Gifting in 2010 – Planning for Terminally Ill Clients

  • July 29, 2010

It appears unlikely that Congress will pass any transfer tax reform in 2010. As a result, 2010 could be the best of times for gifting by affluent clients. Part I of this article on gifting in 2010 by noted author and planning expert John J. Scroggin considered the multiple factors that encourage making gifts this year. Part II covered select gift planning opportunities available this year. Part III of the article, below, covers 2010 strategies and planning for terminally ill clients.

2Q Update: Important Tax Developments

  • July 8, 2010

The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments or your business.

IRS Releases Guidance for Grandfathering of Health Insurance Plans

  • July 2, 2010

The IRS has issued temporary and proposed guidance under which health insurance plans will be treated as grandfathered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Plans that are not grandfathered or that lose their grandfathered status will be subject to new shared responsibility requirements for employers after 2013. The IRS also provided the notice requirements that grandfathered plans must give to participants and beneficiaries.

FAQ: Can I Deduct the Cost Incurred Doing Charitable Work?

  • July 2, 2010

Q. I spend 20 hours every week cooking meals and delivering them to an organization that feeds the hungry and homeless. Am I entitled to a deduction for my time and the food I pay for out of my own money?

Brace Yourself for a Sea of Change in the Tax Law

  • July 2, 2010

A number of tax law changes are making their way through Congress, and many more on the way. These changes will affect both individual and business taxpayers alike. In 2010, it is expected that Congress will address the federal estate tax, and is currently working on small business and jobs "relief," as well as an extension of popular, but temporary tax incentives that expired at the end of 2009. This article provides a brief overview of what taxpayers can expect this year.

The IRS Initiates Project to Review 401(k) Plan Compliance

  • June 21, 2010

According to the IRS web site - 401(k) plans represent the largest retirement plan market segment and have a significant impact on the health of the private retirement system in America. Employee Plans Examinations, previously conducted a baseline study of 79 market segments, and the findings indicated that 401(k) plans are by far the most non-compliant plan type in the retirement plan universe. In an effort to improve plan compliance the IRS is sending a questionnaire to 1,200 randomly selected 401(k) sponsors that filed a form 5500 in 2007. The questionnaires were designed to assess compliance with retirement plan regulations. Plan sponsors who receive a letter will complete the Questionnaire by accessing a special Web site.

Smaller Not-for-Profit Entities May Qualify for the New Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

  • June 7, 2010

A provision of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides a Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit. The tax credit is retroactive to January 1, 2010, and applies to certain not-for-profit entities. The credit is designed to encourage smaller not-for-profit entities with low to moderate income employees to provide health care coverage for its employees. While the eligibility rules restrict the credit to relatively small organizations with low to moderate wages, the credit can be significant and possible allow the organization to provide health care benefits when it might otherwise be unable to do so.

Q & A: How do I Claim the Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit for 2010?

  • June 2, 2010

The small business health insurance tax credit, created by the health care reform package, rewards employers that offer health insurance to their employees with a tax break. The credit is targeted to small employers; generally employers with 25 or fewer employees. In May 2010, the IRS issued Notice 2010-44, which describes the steps employers take to determine eligibility for the credit and how to calculate the credit.

Audits of Wealthy Individuals Trending Upward, IRS Oversight Board Reports

  • June 2, 2010

The IRS Oversight Board recently released its 2009 annual report to Congress. The report evaluates the IRS's performance during the 2009 fiscal year (FY), enumerates strategic challenges affecting tax administration, and provides measures the agency's performance during FY 2009. According to the Oversight Board's report, audits of individuals with incomes above $1 million grew 29 percent in FY 2009 compared to FY 2008. However, the number of audits of wealthy individuals represented only 2.58 percent of all individual audits in FY 2009.