September 2015 Tax Snacks
Tax Snacks: Bite-size tax news and information on the fly
Extended individual tax returns are due.November 15:
Extended exempt organization tax returns (Form 990 series) are due for calendar year entities.
Several weeks ago, the Senate Finance Committee voted to extend bonus depreciation and the increased Section 179 benefit retroactively from 1/1/15 through the end of 2016. The full Senate has yet to address this. Prior to that, the full House passed a bill that would permanently extend the increased Section 179 deduction, and would also remove the prohibition against A/C and heating units’ inclusion in that deduction. This bill now goes to the Senate as well, for it to consider and reconcile these overlapping efforts. For its part, the White House indicated earlier this year as part of its budget proposal that a permanent Section 179 deduction of up to $1,000,000 should be implemented. There is no telling where these efforts will end up. Frustratingly, it seems quite possible that once again, we will not have an answer until all or most of the year has passed, and taxpayers’ ability to plan for such purchases with full knowledge of the tax impact (which shouldn’t be asking too much!) will be nonexistent in 2015. However, without one of these law changes or a similar one coming to fruition, these benefits will remain expired as of 12/31/14, so it is good to see that in one form or another, the decision-makers appear primed to help.
Last week, New Hampshire rolled out a new tax cut with an incentive for a second one to follow. Pursuant to Senate Bill 9, effective for tax years ending 12/31/16 and later, New Hampshire’s business profits tax and business enterprise tax are reduced from 8.5% and 0.75% to 8.2% and 0.72%, respectively. Also, if state revenue goals are met as of 6/30/17, the rates automatically will decrease again to 7.9% and 0.675%, respectively, for years ending 12/31/18 and later. If those goals are not met, the 8.2% and 0.72% rates remain intact.
Every year, the Treasury Inspector General issues a report card addressing IRS performance during the most recent tax filing season. (Many returns are extended, so most measurements were made as of early May.) The report describes things like the number of returns processed, the dollar amount of attempted fraudulent claims (almost $1 billion!), and average wait time experienced by callers seeking IRS help. A short summary of the report may be found on the Treasury Department’s website, and a link to the entire report is provided at the bottom of that page.
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