The Worst Tax Penalties to Avoid

A question we continually hear from my clients is, “How do I pay less tax?” But as you know, there is no simple answer to this question. While tax reduction strategies do exist, they are limited for the majority of clergy−and they do take some planning and attention. But there is one tax saving approach…

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New exemption rules not expected until July 2016

In June 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced proposed changes to overtime regulations that would significantly increase the minimum salary required to classify an employee as an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee, and proposed indexing those wages to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics data on annual earnings in future years. Those proposed…

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IRS audits of individuals are way down

Thanks to reduced funding to the IRS by Congress, the audit rate for individual tax returns has declined from 291,000 field audits in fiscal year 2014 to 267,000 in fiscal year 2015. The number of correspondence audits increased from 951,000 for fiscal year 2014 to 961,000 for fiscal year 2015. The revenue from examinations fell…

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Donating a car to charity?

Remember that an appraisal is required for noncash contributions with a value exceeding $5,000. See Form 8283 and instructions as the IRS web site, www.irs.gov. (There is a Declaration of Appraiser on the form.) There is an exception to the rule for vehicles donated to a charity. If the charity sells the car, the taxpayer…

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Seniors, remember to take your required minimum distributions.

Generally, when a participant in a retirement plan or an IRA reaches age 70 ?, minimum distributions are required to be made by December 31 each year. The distributions are also required to be made for inherited accounts. Roth accounts are excluded from this rule during the original owner’s lifetime.

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Do you have unrealized capital losses?

Since the stock market has done so well, fewer individuals are holding stock that has declined in value. If you do, consider selling it before the end of the year. The capital losses can offset any capital gains that you have plus an additional $3,000 can be used to offset other taxable income. Remember the…

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Ministry Expense App to Help You Track Your Receipts.

Shoeboxed (iOS, Android, Web) is a beautiful app that does one thing really well: It collects receipts. With Shoeboxed, you can easily snap pictures of receipts and the app extracts the vendor, total amount, payment method, date and also categorizes into the most common tax categories. More than 1 million businesses use Shoeboxed to scan and organize their receipts…

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What if I Stop at the Hospital During My Commute?

Question: If I drive my personal car from my home to the hospital and then to the church office, what part of that drive is eligible for the standard mileage rates? My church says that the total miles of the trip should be added and then the usual commute miles from home to office should…

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When Are Vehicle Registration Fees Deductible?

According to the IRS, vehicle registration fees are classified as a personal property tax—that is, a state or local tax charged on personal property, based on the value of the personal property (as opposed to weight or other characteristics) and assessed on a yearly basis (even if it’s collected more or less than once per…

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