It’s Not Too Late to Make a Retirement Plan Contribution!

 

Small business owners usually have a long list of items on their to-do lists. If contributing to your retirement plan was on your agenda last year, there may still be time to add more to your nest egg and reap the rewards on your 2014 return. If you are self-employed, for example, you may qualify for retirement plan options that include the SEP (Self-Employed Pension Plan) IRA or the individual 401(k).  In both cases, you’re allowed to make contributions to an established plan up until your tax filing deadline, or potentially as late as April 15 of this year (or later if you get an extension). You get two benefits: More money in the bank waiting for you when you retire and a tax deduction for 2014.

 

There are a number of tax-advantaged retirement plan options open to those who run their own shops, with different choices for those who have employees and those who don’t. If you’d like to learn more about them, or if you have any questions about your business, please contact our office. We can help you set up a plan that’s customized to your needs.

 

Documenting Your Charitable Donations

 

Many people make donations to charities whose work they support, but if you are planning to take a tax deduction for your gift, you must have the proper paperwork. Assembling the right documentation can also be tricky because the requirements vary based on whether the donation is cash and on the value of your gift. If you donate less than $250 in cash, for example, a canceled check, credit card statement or similar record may be sufficient, but if you give more, you will need a written acknowledgement from the charity. An additional tax form—and possibly an appraisal—may be needed for non-cash donations, depending on their value. Of course, the organization itself must also qualify as a charity under IRS rules.

 

We can offer advice that will make it possible for you to fund the causes you believe in and qualify for the deductions you deserve. We can also help you incorporate charitable giving into your long-term tax and estate planning. Be sure to contact us with all of your questions on charitable giving or any other financial concern.

JILL JOHNSON CPA PC

Affordable Care Act - and You!

 

Take the Uncertainty Out of Health Care Reform

If you’re not sure what the new health care law means to you, you’re not alone. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that just over a third of the public had tried to find out more information about the law—the Affordable Care Act—in recent months. About half of the respondents to the survey said they remain confused about the law and its provisions.

If you have questions we can provide the answers you need. Among other things, our individual clients should be aware of the Shared Responsibility Provision. Under the provision, people of all ages, including children, must either have minimum essential health coverage, qualify for an exemption or make a payment when they file their tax return this year. We can help you understand whether your coverage meets the law’s requirements, how gaps in coverage will be treated and what circumstances qualify for an exemption. Contact us today to find out how the health care law will affect you. 

 

Do You Qualify for the Health Care Premium Tax Credit?

Individuals and families can buy private health insurance through Affordable Insurance Exchanges, which are marketplaces where individuals can find private health insurance.  If you purchase health insurance through an exchange, you may be eligible for a tax credit that will make your coverage more affordable.

The credit is aimed at middle-income individuals and families. A larger credit is available for older individuals whose coverage costs may be higher. The credit will be refundable, which means it can be used by people who pay little or no federal income tax. You can arrange for the credit to be paid to your insurer in advance so that you have little or no out-of-pocket costs.  Are you eligible for the credit? We can help you find out and work with you to make the best use of your health insurance dollars. Call us today with all your questions about health care finance or any other financial concerns.