Dear Client:

There is still time to call the office and make a tax planning appointment in 2016, or via mail. Not everybody needs this, but if sales are up, up, up, then you can guess which way your taxes would be heading!

Tax season-2017. As usual my “book” is pretty full for those clients who want to sit with me. We do have slots in January and around deadline. If you don’t owe, many clients last year came in shortly after tax season (we file Henry’s easy-extension for you!) and were delighted to not hear all phones ringing and being pressed for time. Extensions are a good thing, not bad. Come in and relax while we do the work. You can book those anytime also.

Corporations (including LLC/S Corps) can be a great help getting information to us in early January.

Depending on who wins the election, tax rules could change significantly.

Donald Trump was lower taxes, and business success-stimulating less regulations with deep tax-cuts.

Hillary Clinton is just the opposite who wants to increase payroll and other taxes which could slow or stall the growth of business and instead increase government spending on benefits, education and other programs.

The other two no-party candidates have announced little or nothing, so I don’t know. They are not even mentioned in any of my tax resources.

I will only speak generally, since political tax plans released during campaigns are never what appears later to be approved and passed by Congress when the time comes.

NEWS ITEM!  Numerous People (32+) in India and other countries (including 20 from the US)  making calls from call-centers to US citizens pretending to be IRS and other government officials and have arrested and charged. Thousands of individuals in the US have been victimized of hundreds of millions of dollars. (us dept. of justice)


2017 pay-in for 401(k) remains the same at $18,000. Add $6,000 if 50 and over.

2017 SIMPLE IRA remains the same too. $12,500 max plus now $3,000 if 50 and over

ROTH and regular IRA stay the same too at $5,500 plus $1,000 50 and over. Traditional IRA Phase outs will be at higher income levels- $99,000-$119,000 couples. ROTH phase-outs will be $186,000-$190,000 for couples.

Social Security /Payroll taxes will increase quite a bit. $8,700 increase up to $127,200 will be charged the FICA tax (12.4%). However, for people receiving Social Security, look forward to a whopping 0.3% benefit increase. Wow!

As the end of the year approaches, it is a good time to think of planning moves that will help lower your tax bill for this year and possibly the next. Factors that compound the planning challenge this year include turbulence in the stock market, overall economic uncertainty, and Congress’s all too familiar failure to act on a number of important tax breaks that will expire at the end of 2016.


Some of these expiring tax breaks will likely be extended, but perhaps not all, and as in the past, Congress may not decide the fate of these tax breaks until the very end of 2016 (or later). For individuals, these breaks include:

  1. the exclusion for discharge of indebtedness on a principal residence,
  2. the treatment of mortgage insurance premiums as deductible qualified residence interest,
  3. the 7.5% of adjusted gross income floor beneath medical expense deductions for taxpayers age 65 or older, and the deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses. There is also a host of expiring energy provisions, including:
  4. the nonbusiness energy property credit,
  5. the residential energy property credit,
  6. the qualified fuel cell motor vehicle credit,
  7. the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit,
  8. the credit for 2-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles,
  9. the new energy efficient homes credit, and
  10. the hybrid solar lighting system property credit.

Incomes that exceed $200,000 AGI (modified), $125,000 MFS once again have unique concerns to address from additional Obamacare surtaxes. They must be wary of the 4% surtax on certain unearned, rental and passive income and the additional 1% Medicare (hospital insurance, or HI) tax on earned income. Note-S Corporation taxable income is not subject to these taxes.

We have compiled a checklist of additional actions based on current tax rules that may help you save tax dollars if you act before year-end. Not all actions will apply in your particular situation, but you (or a family member) will likely benefit from many of them. We can narrow down the specific actions that you can take once we meet with you to tailor a particular plan. In the meantime, please review the following list and contact us at your earliest convenience so that we can advise you on which tax-saving moves to make:

Details for Year-End Tax Planning Moves for Individuals

Details for Year-End Tax-Planning Moves for Businesses & Business Owners

Businesses should consider making expenditures that qualify for the business property expensing option. For tax years beginning in 2016, the expensing limit is $500,000 and the investment ceiling limit is $2,010,000. Expensing is generally available for most depreciable property (other than buildings), off-the-shelf computer software, and qualified real property—qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property. The generous dollar ceilings that apply this year mean that many small and medium sized businesses that make timely purchases will be able to currently deduct most if not all their outlays for machinery and equipment. What’s more, the expensing deduction is not prorated for the time that the asset is in service during the year. This opens up significant year-end planning opportunities.

Businesses also should consider making expenditures that qualify for 50% bonus first year depreciation if bought and placed in service this year. The bonus depreciation deduction is permitted without any proration based on the length of time that an asset is in service during the tax year. As a result, the 50% first-year bonus write-off is available even if qualifying assets are in service for only a few days in 2016.

These are just some of the year-end steps that can be taken to save taxes. Again, by contacting us, we can tailor a particular plan that will work best for you.

Have a great after-election party and safe Holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving