Disabled veterans in California get a tax break. The California State Board of Equalization has announced increases in the property exemption amounts and the household income limit for disabled veterans’ exemptions for 2020. For the 2020 assessment year, the exemption amounts are $143,273 for the basic exemption (up from $139,437 for 2019) and $214,910 for the low-income exemption (up from $209,156 for 2019). The household income limit for those claiming the low-income exemption is $64,337 (up from $62,6147 for 2019). Contact your Linkenheimer CPA with questions.
Prepaying property taxes related to the current year but due the following year has long been one of the most popular and effective year-end tax-planning strategies. But does it still make sense in 2018?
The answer, for some people, is yes — accelerating this expense will increase their itemized deductions, reducing their tax bills. But for many, particularly those in high-tax states, changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminate the benefits.
The TCJA made two changes that affect the viability of this strategy. First, it nearly doubled the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, $18,000 for heads of household, and $12,000 for singles and married couples filing separately, so fewer taxpayers will itemize. Second, it placed a $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, including property taxes plus income or sales taxes.
For property tax prepayment to make sense, two things must happen:
- You must itemize (that is, your itemized deductions must exceed the standard deduction), and
- Your other SALT expenses for the year must be less than $10,000.
If you don’t itemize, or you’ve already used up your $10,000 limit (on income or sales taxes or on previous property […]
Businesses that acquire, construct or substantially improve a building — or did so in previous years — should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions, thus reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And the potential benefits are now even greater due to enhancements to certain depreciation-related breaks under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
Real property vs. tangible personal property
IRS rules generally allow you to depreciate commercial buildings over 39 years (27½ years for residential properties). Most times, you’ll depreciate a building’s structural components — such as walls, windows, HVAC systems, elevators, plumbing and wiring — along with the building. Personal property — such as equipment, machinery, furniture and fixtures — is eligible for accelerated depreciation, usually over five or seven years. And land improvements — fences, outdoor lighting and parking lots, for example — are depreciable over 15 years.
Too often, businesses allocate all or most of a building’s acquisition or construction costs to […]
The IRS allows the separation of building components so that items such as land improvements and personal property can be separately depreciated over the shorter recover periods. A property’s structure is generally subject to a 39-year recovery period (non-residential) and 27.5-year for residential, while land improvements qualify for a 15-year recovery period and personal property qualifies for a 5-year recovery period. As a property investor, let’s say you installed new flooring throughout your building. Every year, you can write that flooring off on your taxes until the end of its useful life. That period of time that the asset depreciates is considered the recovery period and the shorter the recovery period, the greater the reduction […]
For our clients out there who are real estate agents and property owners: The taxpayer was a licensed real estate agent who owned rental properties. For 2006 and 2007, she deducted a total of $78,543 in rental losses. Upon audit, the IRS disallowed these losses because the taxpayer failed to show she materially participated in the rental activity. The taxpayer argued that her status as a real estate professional automatically rendered the losses nonpassive, regardless of material participation. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the IRS, holding that although real estate professionals are not subject to the per se rule under IRC Sec. 469(c)(2) that rental losses are passive, they must still show material participation before deducting rental losses. Therefore, the taxpayer was not entitled to deduct the losses.
If you have any questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.
Depreciation & Expensing Provisions in the PATH Act
The PATH Act makes permanent the enhanced Code Sec. 179 expensing and phaseout limits, and 15-year write-off for qualifying leasehold improvements, restaurant buildings and improvements, and retail improvements. In addition, the Act provides for a retroactive extension of provisions that had expired at the end of 2014, including 50% bonus first-year depreciation (at a rate that gradually decreases). For further information and to discuss whether your purchase is a “qualifying property”, please contact us.
Enhanced Expensing Made Permanent
Under pre-Act law. For tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2014, the maximum expensing limit had dropped to $25,000, and the investment ceiling dropped to $200,000.
New law. The Act makes the following changes to the Code Sec. 179 expensing election:
- The $500,000 expensing limitation and $2 million phase-out amounts are retroactively extended and made permanent. After Dec. 31, 2015, both the expensing and phase-out limits are indexed for inflation.
- The rule that allows expensing for computer software is retroactively extended and made permanent.
- Qualified real property (generally qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant, and qualified retail property) is eligible to be expensed.
- For tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015, air conditioning and heating units are eligible for expensing.
15-Year Write-off for Qualified Leasehold and Retail Improvements and Restaurant Property Made Permanent
As a California resident, most of us probably know someone who has suffered some kind of property loss courtesy of an earthquake. The recent Napa earthquake that shook the North Bay is a good reminder that many might be eligible to claim a casualty deduction for your property loss if you suffer property damage during the tax year as a result of a sudden, unexpected or unusual event (such as a flood, hurricane, tornado, fire, earthquake or even volcanic eruption. A casualty does not include normal wear and tear or progressive deterioration.). The casualty deduction is also available if you are the victim of vandalism.
Generally, you may deduct casualty and theft losses relating to your home, household items and vehicles on your federal income tax return. You may not deduct casualty and theft losses covered by insurance unless you file a timely claim for reimbursement, and you reduce the loss by the amount of any reimbursement or expected reimbursement.
If your property is personal-use property or is not completely destroyed, the amount of your casualty loss is the lesser of:
- The adjusted basis of your property, or
- The decrease in fair market value of […]