Health Care: W-2 Health Insurance Reporting

The IRS is deferring the requirement for employers to report the value of your health insurance coverage on your W-2. Find out how and when it will be implemented.

Meetings by Appointment

Posted Friday, March 10, 2017
I have arranged to meet with my clients at : The Aloha Center
1626 W Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
Meetings are by prior appointment only, as the majority of my work is done in Skokie.
Just call to make an appointment. Looking forward to seeing you.

When Can I Deduct Expenses for Getting Around for Work?

Posted Friday, March 10, 2017
IRS defines different 'styles' of getting around:

• There is commuting - going from home to work and back - which is generally NOT deductible however it is accomplished, by car, train, bus etc. It all depends on how you view your getting about and if you read on you can learn why. In Chicago, if you use the CTA [train or bus], or even a taxi to get to and from work, those fares, or a part of your monthly pass may qualify as either personal commuting or business expenses. It is up to you to document the deductible business purpose.

• Then there Business transportation costs -- generally going form home to work and back is not deductible, but exceptions may apply such as if you have a Home Office you may qualify as actually going from Work1 - home office to Work2 the job and that is deductible. If you are a W2 employee, it is deductible as a Miscellaneous Employee expense on Schedule A, [or Form 2106, which feeds into the Schedule A] but if you are paid at one job or the other on a 1099 which would probably generate a need for a Schedule C [self-employed business] it would go there on the Schedule C for related transportation. If you are not already using the Schedule A for Itemized Deductions, it may not work as well for you, but is worth a few calculations.

• Business transportation would also apply if say you go from place to place to conduct your business. Such as running a series of errands to pick up things for the office. Or going form lace to make estimates if you are a contractor and you develop the bids for clients.

• If you are using your own car you should be tracking your mileage - both total and the business use. If you use the standard mileage rates - 54 cents per mile for 2016. [for 2017 the rate is 53.5 cents per business mile.] and there you are done. BUT if you wish to use the Actual Rate - which can be quite beneficial in some cases you also need to track the actual cost of buying and operating the vehicle - purchase price, if new, or Fair Market Value, if not, when placed in service, and all the operating costs such as Fuel, regular maintenance, License, tags, permits, Insurance, and even the interest on the loan used to buy the vehicle.

• And of course there is commonly Personal Use - that mileage you have used the vehicle for strictly personal purposes. If the current gas prices weren't enough reason to combine errands into one trip, now you can figure out how to combine business errands with personal to at least benefit from a part of the mileage (business) as a tax deduction. A good strategic plan will help you sort through this.

While not complete, this does sum up the major points. I will not discuss sponsored car-pooling as that is a bit too specialized for this discussion.

Looking at Some Unfinished Returns?

Posted Friday, March 10, 2017
If you are due a refund on an old, unfiled return, you may want to get it in gear!
You can claim that refund on old returns for up to three (3) years after the original return date. That means the unfiled 2013 return [due April 15, 2010] can still be filed before April 15th 2017 and get the refund. Be sure to mail it in Certified, Return receipt to be able to prove receipt.

Any refund claimed after the three year period is forfeited. The funds ‘on deposit’ pay your tax for that year, but any excess is lost forever. This is also true for Amended Returns.

Good luck and good night.

Go To Blog Archive
© 2013-2015 Judy L Yates & Associates | 773.465.5245 | judy@judyyatescpa.com