2015

Keep an Eye on the ACA Rules and Potential Changes

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Are your employees enrolled in a health care plan? Here’s something to consider in your planning: Late in 2015, Congress delayed implementation of a significant tax on high-cost employer-sponsored insurance plans — called the “Cadillac tax” — from 2018 to 2020. Under this rule, when the value of a health plan is more than $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage, the plans face a 40% tax on the excess amount, but businesses now won’t have to face that concern for a couple more years. Even with this delay, it’s worthwhile keeping this potential tax on your radar screen.

Also, if your company was not subject to the Affordable Care Act for 2015, be aware that the thresholds changed dramatically for 2016. An organization becomes an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) when it employs an average of 50 or more full-time and full-time-equivalent employees on business days during the calendar year. ALEs must provide certain employees with health insurance that meets specific standards, or face significant penalties.  If you have any questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.

By |December 7th, 2016|affordable care act|0 Comments

Reminder IP PINs Are Required for Identity Theft Victims’ 2015 Returns

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In mid December, the IRS issued CP01A notices containing a 6-digit Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) for taxpayers who are victims of tax-related identity theft. This notice is sent to taxpayers who: (1) reported to the IRS they are a victim of identity theft; (2) have been identified by the IRS as a victim of identity theft; (3) received an IP PIN last year, or (4) participated in the 2015 IP PIN pilot for residents of FL, GA, or DC. Beginning 1/1/16, taxpayers who are assigned an IP PIN must use it (regardless of whether the SSN is entered for a primary, spouse, or dependent/qualifying individual) on the following returns: Form 1040 series, Form 2441 (Child and Dependent Care Expenses), and Schedule EIC (Earned Income Credit). If the IP PIN is not included in any of the required fields, the return will be rejected. See www.irs.gov/Individuals/IPPIN-Rule .

By |January 7th, 2016|irs|0 Comments

2015 PATH Act Amendments Regarding Vineyards

One of the more interesting and potentially very beneficial amendments to the Internal Revenue Code as a result of the 2015 PATH Act related to vineyards are the new provisions related to bonus depreciation and the deemed time of placement-into-service to an earlier date for certain fruit bearing trees and vines.

Under the old provision (IRC §168(k)) the allowance of 50% bonus depreciation would only be available in the year the property is placed into service. In the case of fruit bearing grape vines, this would be when the vine becomes income producing (typically a few years after planting).

However, under the new amendment (IRC §168(k)(5)) the rules shifted the deemed time of placement-into-service to a much earlier date. Grape vines now become “qualified property” when planted and are eligible for the 50% bonus depreciation in their first year.

There are other caveats to the new provisions, however generally taxpayers will be allowed depreciation deductions sooner for planted vines.  If you think this may apply to you or you’re interested in hearing more, please feel free to contact us and one of our professional staff would be happy to help you.

Note: This provision only applies to vines […]

By |December 31st, 2015|depreciation|0 Comments

PATH Act Changes to the Research Credit

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The recently enacted “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015″ (i.e., the 2015 PATH Act) contains a provision making permanent the popular research credit. This credit encourages businesses to invest more in R&D by allowing a tax credit for spending on qualified research. The credit (1) is for 20% of current year qualified spending that exceeds a base amount related to gross receipts in certain earlier years and (2) can’t exceed 10% of the total spending in the current year on qualified research. Alternatively, taxpayers can irrevocably choose a simpler calculation.

The credit had lapsed for expenditures in 2015, but the legislation is also effective for those expenditures.

And importantly, the new law also makes two major changes to the credit, both favorable to small businesses. First, it provides that beginning in 2016 eligible small businesses ($50 million or less in gross receipts) may claim the credit against alternative minimum tax (AMT) liability. Also, beginning in 2016, the new law also provides that the credit can be used by certain even smaller businesses against the employer’s portion of the Social Security portion of the employer’s payroll tax (i.e., FICA) liability.

By |December 31st, 2015|research credit|0 Comments

New PATH Act Provides Major Benefits to Businesses in 2015

With only two weeks remaining until the end of the year, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hike (PATH) Act of 2015, which reinstates a large number of tax provisions that had expired in 2014, many of which were not just renewed, but made permanent, while some of the other provisions are extended through 2016, and in some cases, 2019. This gift from Congress comes just in time for the holidays and will have a significant impact on tax payers and businesses. Below are some of the major provisions worth noting. And because California does not conform to some of these tax breaks, please contact us so we can help with your individual and year-end tax planning.

Highlights of the PATH Act:

  • $622 Billion Tax Break Package
  • Over 100 Separate Provisions
  • Permanent Research Tax Credit, Code Sec. 179 Expensing and AOTC (American Opportunity Tax Credit)
  • Five-Year Extension for Bonus Depreciation
  • Delay of Excise Tax on “Cadillac” Plans
  • Moratorium on Medical Device Excise Tax
  • Overall Major IRS Reform

Permanent Extensions for Individuals

  • Earned income tax credit
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • Child tax credit
  • Option to to deduct state and local sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes
  • Teachers classroom expense deductions
  • Charitable distributions for IRAs
  • Qualified […]
By |December 29th, 2015|congress, extension, extensions, irs|0 Comments

Challenging Tax Environment

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Taxpayers and their advisers engaged in year-end tax planning for 2015 are challenged by the uncertain fate of “extender legislation.” In previous years, a number of “temporary” tax rules, i.e., those having a termination date specified in the Code, routinely were extended for one or two years, but this year, Congress has yet to act on a host of important provisions that expired at the end of 2014. Some or all of these expired provisions may be retroactively reinstated, thereby opening up some truly last minute year-end tax planning opportunities, but there’s no way of knowing if that will take place.
The tax breaks that expired at the end of 2014 include, for individuals: the option to deduct state and local sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes; the above-the line- deduction for qualified higher education expenses; tax-free IRA distributions for charitable purposes by those age 70-1/2 or older and the exclusion for up-to-$2 million of mortgage debt forgiveness on a principal residence. For businesses, tax breaks that expired at the end of last year and may be retroactively reinstated and extended include: 50% bonus first year depreciation for most new machinery, equipment and software; the $500,000 annual expensing limitation; the […]

By |December 1st, 2015|tax|0 Comments

Linkenheimer LLP Voted Best Place to Work for 5th Year

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LINKENHEIMER LLP CPAS & ADVISORS VOTED BEST PLACE TO WORK BY NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

FIVE-TIME WINNER

SANTA ROSA – Realizing that its people are the key to the company’s success, Linkenheimer strives to create the best environment for them. Its focus on internal culture results in the best possible approach to developing positive financial solutions.

“Great people make us great in an environment that fosters respect, caring and dedication to serving clients and our community,” said Managing Partner John Jones. “We’re a local business making a global impact with the help of our clients.”

“As a working mother, I value being able to work a flexible schedule while having the ability to be involved with my children’s activities and still work a full week. I feel employee’s thoughts and suggestions are really taken to heart, and the firm is constantly striving to better itself to make a great place for employees.”

The company supports its team’s dedication to the community through Rotary memberships, non-profit boards and over 900 hours a year committed to benefiting the community. The firm and its employees also support free eye care mobile clinics and the construction […]

By |October 26th, 2015|best place to work|0 Comments

Linkenheimer Wins Gold in North Bay Biz Best of Awards

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Linkenheimer would like to thank our clients, staff, families, friends and community for their votes and support in this year’s Best of Award. We are truly grateful for the relationships that have developed over the years and we recognize we would not be in this position without your involvement. Our clients continue to provide inspiration for us. Our staff remains the foundation of our company. The ongoing support of our families and friends allows us to weather long days during tax season. Their sacrifice makes it possible to serve our clients well. And the community, filled with a diverse group of people who continue to work towards the common goal of making Sonoma County a better place and an amazing home for a business, could be a model for the rest of the country in terms of service and giving back.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve each and every one of you for another year. We look forward to continuing that trend of service for years to come. And we thank you for allowing us to be a part of your communities and your lives.

By |June 1st, 2015|award|0 Comments

Fewer IRS Audits Predicted for 2015

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In an email to employees, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the IRS will not be able to close as many audits in 2015 due to the agency’s budget cuts. With a reduction in enforcement personnel (they announced a hiring freeze in December), he indicated that there will likely be at least 46,000 fewer individual and business audit closures and more than 280,000 fewer collections from automated notices or field revenue agents. Additionally, two furlough days for IRS employees in 2015 may be planned. Furthermore, aging information technology systems will not be replaced, which could delay new taxpayer protections against identity theft. This announcement comes on the heels of a budget reduction for the agency of $346 million during the remaining nine months of the fiscal year ending 9/30/15, which, according to the Commissioner, is the lowest funding since 2008.

By |January 29th, 2015|audit, irs|0 Comments

Property Taxes Due February 1st

If you are a property owner, the 2nd installment of your property taxes are due Sunday, February 1st.

Annual property tax bills are mailed in early October of each year. The bill is payable in two installments.

The 1st installment is due on November 1 and is delinquent if the payment is not received by 5:00 p.m. or postmarked by December 10. A 10% penalty is assessed for delinquent payments.

The 2nd installment is due on February 1 and is delinquent if the payment is not received by 5:00 p.m. or postmarked by April 10, a 10% penalty and $10.00 cost fee are assessed.

If December 10 or April 10 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the delinquency date is the next business day.

Both installments can be paid at the same time. If you choose to pay both installments in one payment, please include the first and second installment stubs with your payment.

Payment Deadline Summary

Installment             Due Date            Delinquency Date*            Penalty, if delinquent

1st                   November 1         […]

By |January 29th, 2015|property tax|0 Comments