IRS Announces 2013 Tax Rates, Standard Deduction Amounts and More

The IRS has released the tax tables for 2013 as well as the cost-of-living adjustments for inflation for certain tax items. But wait… before you read any further, promise me something? You understand that these are the applicable rates for the tax year 2013, right? They are NOT the rates that you’ll use to prepare your 2012 tax returns in 2013 but rather the rates that you’ll use to prepare your 2013 tax returns in 2014. I know it’s confusing but promise you won’t mix up the two (or at least that you’ll trust your tax preparer to keep them …

House Passes Senate Budget Bill Convincingly: We Have A Tax Deal!

Well, color me surprised. The House voted on the budget after all, and they voted up or down, rather than amending the Senate bill. The House voted “Yea” and they did so quite convincingly (257 YEA to 167 NAY). Here’s what the bill does: Income tax The tax cuts were extended – permanently – for all but those at the top. For this purpose, the top means $400,000 for individual filers and $450,000 for married couples. The top tax rate will increase to 39.6% from 35%. The Pease and PEP (personal exemption phaseout) restrictions on limitations were also extended. The …

All You Need to Know About IPOs, Going Public and Stock Options

Admit it. For weeks now, you’ve been dropping the terms “IPO” and “going public” and “stock options” in water cooler conversation and at cocktail parties and you don’t really know what they mean. Or how they make people rich. Or why it matters to you. And it’s totally Facebook’s fault. As you know, Facebook is “going public” any day now and those “stock options” are going to make folks like Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin ever more rich. As much as the whole world wants to pretend that we really don’t like those guys and we really hate Facebook (remarkable …

Tax Season Cheat Sheet: Most Noteworthy Tax Changes of 2011

We’re down to the wire! Tax season is nearly over for the 2011 tax year: just 15 days remain until Tax Day (remember that you have until April 17, 2012, to file your 2011 individual federal income tax return). If you haven’t yet filed, here’s your chance to get caught up on what was new for the 2011 tax season: There is no Schedule M and no Making Work Pay Credit. The Making Work Pay Credit which was available for taxpayers in 2009 and 2010 is not available for 2011. That means there is no Schedule M to file and …

Taxes from A to Z: K Is For Kiddie Tax

K is for Kiddie Tax. It’s no secret that Congress is concerned about tax fraud. With loopholes and exceptions galore (all, ahem, actually created by Congress), Congress believes that taxpayers are trying to evade taxes left and right. And who among these thieving schemers are the worst offenders? These folks: That’s right, kids. In 1986, Congress was so concerned about kids cheating the system (okay, really, kids and their parents), that they enacted the so-called “kiddie tax.” The idea behind the kiddie tax was that by taxing a child’s passive income (from, say, investments) at the same rate as that …

Hey Congress, Why Don’t You…? Fix the AMT

Eric Satterley writes: An immediate need is to change the alternative minimum tax recapture law. On stock options you were forced to pay the alternative minimum tax even if you exercised any options (even if you did not sell the stocks). The law was that you could recapture/apply the tax paid toward the capital gains when you sold the tax. A couple of years ago that changed and you can nolonger recapure/apply the tax paid toward capital gains if you are subject to alternative minimum tax. Net effect is that you are now double taxed on the same shares of …

Congressional Officials Critical of Tax Breaks in Proposed Stimulus Plan

As blogged previously, Obama’s proposed stimulus package is meeting resistance – on both sides of the aisle. Key members of the Senate Finance Committee have criticized plans for a $3,000 tax credit for new hires, citing that it wasn’t the most effective means of promoting employment. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said, “I’d rather spend the money on the infrastructure, on direct investment, on energy conversion and other kinds of things much more directly and much more rapidly and much more certainly create a real job.” Also on the hit list? Proposed tax credits for working Americans, which had been pitched …

Quick, While the Nation’s Distracted, Let’s Pretend to Fix the AMT!

While the nation’s attention was turned to the financial bank crisis, the House passed a bill increasing the exemption level for the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to $46,200 for individuals and $69,950 for married couples filing jointly. The motion passed by a margin of 393-30. The bill provides about $2,000 of relief each to affected taxpayers. What does it mean? Perhaps nothing. Earlier this year, the House tried to pass AMT relief but the White House threatened to veto the bill. The threat was meaningless since the bill didn’t pass the Senate. One reason it didn’t pass? The $61 billion …

House Passes Tax Bill to Repeal AMT; White House Threatens Veto

Defying the White House, Representatives in the US House voted to prevent about 22 million taxpayers from being hit by the alternative minimum tax (AMT). What? Oh yeah, just like with any headline, there’s more. The idea of AMT relief was originally endorsed by the GOP (such as Senator McCain). The problem with AMT relief? The $61 billion hole in the budget left behind. To offset the hole, Deomocrats propose to raise revenue in three key areas: 1, The bill would tax the “carried interest” of private equity and hedge fund managers at ordinary income tax rates instead of the …