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Charitable Contribution Deduction Limitation Increased

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The deduction for an individual’s charitable contribution is limited to prescribed percentages of the taxpayer’s “contribution base.” Under pre-Act law, the applicable percentages were 50%, 30%, or 20%, and depended on the type of organization to which the contribution was made, whether the contribution was made “to” or merely “for the use of” the donee organization, and whether the contribution consisted of capital gain property. The 50% limitation applied to public charities and certain private foundations.

No charitable deduction is allowed for contributions of $250 or more unless the donor substantiates the contribution by a contemporaneous written acknowledgment (CWA) from the donee organization. Under Code Sec. 170(f)(8)(D), IRS is authorized to issue regs that exempt donors from this substantiation requirement if the donee organization files a return that contains the same required information; however, IRS has decided not to issue such donee reporting regs.

New law. For contributions made in tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and before Jan. 1, 2026, the 50% limitation under Code Sec. 170(b) for cash contributions to public charities and certain private foundations is increased to 60%. (Code Sec. 170(b)(1)(G), as added by Act Sec. 11023) Contributions exceeding the 60% limitation are generally allowed to be carried forward and deducted for up to five years, subject to the later year’s ceiling.

And, for contributions made in tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2016, the Code Sec. 170(f)(8)(D) provision; i.e., the donee-reporting exemption from the CWA requirement-is repealed. (Former Code Sec. 170(f)(8)(D), as stricken by Act Sec. 13705)

IRS FAQ on Casualty Tree Loss

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We’ve had a number of clients ask us questions since the wildfires on tree loss and what that means in terms of determining a casualty loss on property. Below is an FAQ from the IRS which should hopefully provide some good information. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your Linkenheimer CPA.

Q: How does a taxpayer determine a casualty loss from damaged trees and other landscaping on personal-use residential property when that loss is attributable to a disaster?

A: In determining the amount of a casualty loss from damage to personal-use residential property, trees and other landscaping are considered part of the entire residential property, and are not valued separately or assigned a separate basis, even if purchased separately.

To compute your casualty loss:

Determine your adjusted basis in the entire residential property before the casualty. Your basis is generally the cost of the property, adjusted for improvements and certain other events. For more information on determining your adjusted basis, see Publication 530, Tax information for First-Time Homeowners, and Publication 551, Basis of Assets

Determine the decrease in fair market value of the entire residential property as a result of the casualty.

From the smaller of these two amounts, subtract insurance and any other form of compensation received or expected to be received.

For residential property, damaged and destroyed trees and other landscaping may adversely affect the fair market value of the entire property by reducing the curb or overall appeal of the property.

One method of determining the decrease in fair market value is to compare an appraisal of the entire residential property, including trees and other landscaping, before the damage caused by the casualty to an appraisal of the entire residential property […]

By |December 7th, 2017|casualty loss, Community, irs|0 Comments

FAQs Related to Disaster Recovery and the Fires

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Our CPA’s have compiled a list of 25 frequently asked questions related to fire victims and the recovery process. This document will continue to be updated over time as new questions roll in. If you have any additional questions in the meantime that aren’t answered below, please feel free to contact us at Linkenheimer LLP. We’ll continue to work side by side with all of you during this rebuilding process as we put our great community back together.

Frequently asked questions related to disaster relief for this affected by the fires: 

  1. Can an employer make a payment to an employee for missed time as a result of the fire and have that payment excluded from the employees gross income? No, the payments would be considered taxable wages.
  1. What information is needed to substantiate a casualty loss? To substantiate your loss, you’ll need the following, the type of casualty and date it occurred, proof that you were the owner of the property, or if you were a lessee, that you were contractually liable for the damage, whether a claim for reimbursement exists for which there is a reasonable expectation of recovery and documented evidence to support the claimed loss.
  1. How can I reconstruct records if all were lost in the disaster? It may be time consuming and challenging to reconstruct records, but these will be used for insurance purposes as well as tax losses.  Visit this IRS webpage for tips: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tips-for-individuals-who-need-to-reconstruct-records-after-a-disaster
  1. How do I document the loss of real estate? To document the loss of real estate take photographs to establish the extent of the damage – before and after photos work best. You should also contact the […]
By |November 8th, 2017|Community, disaster, question, relief|0 Comments

Rental Resources and List of Utilities

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For all those who were displaced by the wild fires in Sonoma County, below is a list of Property Management Companies and Apartment Complexes:

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES – Sonoma County

Westgate Property Management – 707-769-9590
Mahoney Davison Property Management – 707-762-7710
Century 21 Bundesen Property Management – 762-7777
North Bay Property Management – 707-303-3748
DeDe’s Rentals – 707-523-4500
Pacific Properties – 707-206-6645
Hills & Homes – 707-585-2913
Sonoma County Property Rentals – 707-596-1020
Kelley Rentals – 707-824-2222
Alliance Property Management – 707-524-8380
Timely Property Management – 707-588-9200
Baker & Associates – 707-542-4700
Kelley Rentals – 707-824-2222
Task Property Management – 707-579-2013
W Property Management – 707-545-6187
Rental Property Management – 707-843-3696
Safer Property Management – 707-978-4303

APARTMENT COMPLEXES

Rohnert Park
Copeland Creek – 707-586-9741
Creekview Place Apartments – 707-664-8986
Fiori Estate Apartments – 844-404-4061
Oak View of Sonoma Hills (Senior) – 888-321-0662
Park Ridge Apartments – 707-400-6865
Americana Apartments – 707-584-3522
Vintage Point Apartments – 707-664-8028
Dalewood Apartments – 707-664-8432
Edgewood Apartements – 707-585-2241
Santa Alicia Apartments – 707-795-1465
Willow Creek Apartments – 707-739-4189
The Reserve at Rohnert Park – 707-584-7860
Emerald Point Apartments – 707-795-9200
McDouall Apartments – 707-795-8479
Camino Creek Apartments – 707-664-8808
Lancaster Arms Apartments – 707-795-1445

Santa Rosa
Sonoma Garden Apartments – 707-575-7586
Quail Run Apartments – 707-568-3455
Meadowview Apartments – 707-542-4067
Malibu Apartments – 707-542-2631
Vineyard Gardens – 844-347-6129
Harvest Park – 707-387-9150
The Meadows – 707-579-9567
Gray’s Meadow – 707-523-0886
Tierra Springs – 707-544-4696
Renaissance – 707-361-6807
Vintage Park Senior – 707-527-6719
Alderbrook Heights – 707-544-4696
Creekside Park – 707-544-1400
Sonoma Garden – 707-528-6334

Sebastopol
Sebastopol […]

By |November 8th, 2017|Community, disaster, relief|0 Comments

Insurance Tips and Rebuilding Questions

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As we look into the future and the rebuilding of our county begins, we are faced with uncertainty and questions. We have compiled some common insurance questions and tips and hope that these will help throughout the process. If you have any questions, please let us know. We are also hosting three seminars in November on disaster relief and the impact on taxes and your business. For more info or too sign up, please click here.

1. Be pro-active in the claim process and keep good notes.
2. You’re not on a level playing field when you’re dealing with an insurance claim.
3. Don’t pad or exaggerate your claim.
4. Give your insurance company a chance to do the right thing, but don’t mistake a friendly representative for a friend.
5. Document and support your claim with proof, details and estimates.
6. Present clear requests in writing that explain what you need, when you need it, and why you’re entitled to it.
7. Think of your insurance claim as a business negotiation—you’re dealing with a for-profit company.
8. Don’t sign legal documents without consulting with a qualified attorney. There are many local attorneys who are providing free consulting to those who have insurance related questions, including our friends at Friedemann Goldberg LLP.
9. Try to resolve problems informally but complain in writing, go up the chain of command and/or use government agency help when necessary.

You can also visit https://www.insurance.ca.gov/ for additional information.

Below is information provided from the California Department of Insurance.

The information found in the links below provide valuable information that can help prepare you settle your claim and avoid some […]

By |November 8th, 2017|Community, disaster, relief|0 Comments

Disaster Relief Tax Seminar

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Disaster Relief and Tax Consequences Seminar

November 28th, December 5, 12, 19th; 9-10:30am

Space is limited and will fill up quickly. Please RSVP below and let us know the day you would like to attend. We look forward to seeing you and answering any questions you might have. Breakfast will be provided and the seminar will be held at our office at 187 Concourse Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA. 95403.

Join the Linkenheimer team as we discuss the tax relief and implications of the local wildfires that have affected so many. There will be a discussion and Q&A time where we will answer your questions regarding your disaster relief options, IRS implications and more.

By |October 31st, 2017|Community, disaster, relief, tax|0 Comments

Payments to Employees Affected by the Local Fires

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During these tragic times businesses may want to help employees affected by the local fires.  The purpose of the following information is to highlight some tax efficient opportunities to help employees affected by the local fires which were declared a qualified disaster by President Trump.  IRC section 139 allow employers to provide qualified disaster relief payments to employees that have incurred unreimbursed expenses due to a qualified disaster (such as the local fires) and have those payments excluded from the employees gross income and included as deductible expense for the business making the payment.   For the payments to be considered qualified disaster relief payments, they should be for either items i. or ii. below, but only to the extent not already covered by insurance.

  1. Reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred as a result of a disaster. This would include expenses related to loss of use.
  2. Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence or repair or replacement of its contents to the extent that the need for such repair, rehabilitation, or replacement is attributable to a qualified disaster.

Other items to point out:

To maximize the tax benefit of these payments, take steps to ensure that payments to employees are for expenses that not covered by insurance.  For example, reimburse deductibles and expenses specifically excluded from insurance coverage first.  Then consider other items that may require further correspondence with insurance adjusters.

Due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding a qualified disaster, it is anticipated that individuals will not be required to account for actual expenses provided they are reasonable and commensurate with the expenses incurred.  As such, use your own judgment […]

By |October 19th, 2017|business, Community, disaster, relief, tax|0 Comments

Tax Relief for Victims of California Wildfires

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As the local fires near containment and our community looks to band together in the rebuilding process, we wanted to send out a brief update the IRS released today providing an overview of the tax relief and extensions they are offering. We will continue to put out pertinent information as it becomes available. Over the next 24 hours, we will also provide a detailed guide related to tax relief for victims of the fires. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email your Linkenheimer CPA.

The IRS has provided tax relief for the victims of wildfires affecting parts of California. Currently, the IRS is providing relief to seven California counties: Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occur starting on 10/8/17. Affected individuals and businesses now have until 1/31/18 to file returns and pay any taxes that are originally due during the relief period. This includes quarterly estimated tax payments, extended 2016 income tax returns, and quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. The IRS noted that tax payments related to 2016 individual tax returns were originally due on 4/18/17, and therefore, not eligible for this relief. The relief is automatically available to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area. Therefore, the taxpayer does not need to contact the IRS to get this relief. Firefighters and aid workers assisting in the relief efforts that are affiliated with a recognized organization and live outside the disaster area also may qualify for the relief by contacting the IRS.

By |October 18th, 2017|Community, disaster, irs, relief|0 Comments

Fire Recovery Business Resources and Comprehensive List of Links for Those Needing Help

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With the fires still burning and information scattered in various spots, we wanted to try and provide our clients, friends and family a comprehensive list of resources that can be shared and referenced easily. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you affected by this horrible disaster. We will continue to post new info as we get it and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Stay Safe.

Staying up to date or needing help:

For life-threatening emergencies, dial 911.

The County of Sonoma has county-wide information including shelters, evacuation areas and clinics.

The City of Santa Rosa has information specific to the Santa Rosa area including shelters and evacuation areas.

Please refer to local media such as KSRO.com (1350-AM or 103.5-FM), KZST.com (101.1-FM) or PressDemocrat.com.

Nixle keeps you up-to-date with relevant information from your local public safety departments. Sonoma County Sheriffs Office updates. Santa Rosa Police Department updates. To receive text updates and alerts, text your ZIP code to 888-777.

Cal Fire Updates

California Office of Emergency Services

Sonoma County Fire Info is an aggregator of information that includes a number of resources.

Missing persons or check in as safe:

Check in or search registrants at the Red Cross’ Safe & Well site.

Check in on Facebook on the crisis response page.

File a missing persons report by calling 707-565-3856.

Fire Recovery Business Resources

If you […]

By |October 13th, 2017|Community, disaster, relief|0 Comments

IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of California Wildfires; Extension Filers Have Until Jan. 31 to File

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The following information is from the IRS:

Victims of wildfires ravaging parts of California now have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out this coming Monday, Oct. 16.

Currently, the IRS is providing relief to seven California counties: Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba. Individuals and businesses in these localities, as well as firefighters and relief workers who live elsewhere, qualify for the extension. The agency will continue to closely monitor this disaster and may provide other relief to these and other affected localities.

The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Oct. 8, 2017. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes originally due during this period.

This includes the Jan. 16, 2018 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that received a tax-filing extension until Oct. 16, 2017. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2016 returns were originally due on April 18, 2017, those payments are not eligible for this relief.

A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected, including the Oct. 31 deadline for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns. Calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose 2016 extensions run out on Nov. 15, 2017 also qualify for the extra time.

In addition, the IRS is waiving late-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due after Oct. 8 and before Oct. 23, if […]

By |October 13th, 2017|Community, disaster, irs, relief|0 Comments