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What is Probate?

Posted by Raymond Pace on January 26, 2012
What is probate and when is it required? We hear so often that when someone dies, their estate must be probated. Basically, what that means is that a state court implements a system to approve how the assets of the deceased are transferred to others. Every state has different requirements as to what the value of the assets must be before probate is necessary. Generally, these requirements fall between $20,000 to $100,000 in what are termed "probate assets." In New York State, for example, the probate asset amount is set at $30,000. So, what are... read more

Maximizing Your Child Tax Credit

Posted by George Tylipakis on January 19, 2012
If you file as a married couple, have children and your annual combined gross income is greater than $110,000 but less than $129,000 (one child) or $149,000 (two children), you should be making a valiant effort to maximize the child tax credit. Clients ask me for suggestions about ways to increase their refund and save their hard-earned money.  You might be surprised by how many married filing joint taxpayers with two children who earn $150,000 lose the child tax credit due to phase-out rules.  Many of them have a 401(k) plan at work into which... read more

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion for 2012

Posted by Jeanette Calabrese on January 09, 2012
“How much can I give someone as a gift before I have to file a gift tax return”?  This is the typical question I get asked a lot in my years being an Accountant.  The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion has not gone up from 2011, it will remain at $13,000 a year per donee (person who receives the gift) for 2012.   The exclusion for a Married couple will be $26,000 a year per donee.  If a taxpayer goes beyond the exclusion for a donee, then a gift tax return needs to be filed (Form 709).  A married couple that are Citizen’s have unlimited exclusion and co... read more

Income Tax Filing for NYS Same-Sex Married Couples

Posted by Chris Pace on January 04, 2012
On July 24, 2011 the Marriage equality act was passed giving Same-Sex couples in NYS the right to marry. Couples married as of December 31, 2011 in NY or in any other state or country that recognizes same-sex marriage will be considered married for the entire year, which means they MUST file a NYS Joint tax return or file as Married Filing Separate. Not to spoil the excitement, but same sex married couples will not have it easy when filing their income tax returns for 2011.  Filing taxes for same-sex spouses will be more complicated since the f... read more

FAQ: Who is eligible for the small business stock exclusion?

Posted by Chris Pace on October 20, 2011
Included among the many important individual and business incentives extended and enhanced by the massive tax bill passed in late December is a 100-percent exclusion of gain from the sale of qualified small business stock. Under the Tax Relief, Unemployment Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act) individuals and other noncorporate taxpayers should not overlook the benefit of investing in qualified small business stock considering the ability for qualifying taxpayers to exclude 100-percent of gain from the sale or exch... read more

Education tax benefits: A report card

Posted by Chris Pace on October 20, 2011
While Congress extended the reduced individual income tax rates with passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act) in late 2010, it also extended several educational tax benefits as well through 2012. As families plan their upcoming tax year, it is important to keep these benefits in mind. 65

Tax law changes for 2011 impact individuals and businesses

Posted by Chris Pace on October 20, 2011
Legislation enacted during the past few years, including the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and the more recently enacted Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act), contains a number of important tax law changes that affect 2011. Key changes for 2011 affect both individuals and businesses. Certain tax breaks you benefited from in 2010, or before, may have changed in amount, timing, or may no longer be available in 2011. However, new tax incentives may be valuable. This article highli... read more

Filing season starts with delays for some taxpayers, extended tax incentives for others

Posted by Chris Pace on October 20, 2011
As February gets underway, the 2011 filing season is about to kick into high-gear. The IRS began processing 2010 returns from individuals in January but some taxpayers have to wait until mid-February to file their returns. Additionally, the traditional April 15 filing deadline is extended three more days in 2011, so taxpayers have some extra time to file. All these changes and more may make the start of the filing season challenging. Individuals who are informed about the changes can better navigate their return preparation. 61... read more

How Do I? Compute the state and local sales tax deduction?

Posted by Chris Pace on October 20, 2011
Taxpayers may elect to deduct state and local general sales and use taxes in lieu of deducting state and local income taxes for 2010 and 2011. Before Congress passed the 2010 Tax Relief Act (Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010), the sales tax deduction was not available for the 2010 tax year. However, the 2010 Tax Relief Act retroactively extends the sales tax deduction for 2010 and also makes it available for the 2011 tax year. 57... read more

February 2011 tax compliance calendar

Posted by Chris Pace on February 01, 2011
As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of February 2011. 69
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