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2010 Tax Act

Social Security for the Self-Employed

As a self-employed small business owner, you have lots of plates to keep spinning, and lots of additional costs that you never dreamed of when you were employed by someone else (if you ever were), like health insurance, for example.  Another cost that you have to deal with when self-employed is Self-Employment tax. Self-Employment tax (SE tax) is essentially where you are paying both the employER and the employEE portion of the Social Security withholding tax.  This means that, for 2018, you are taxed at a rate of 12.4% on your first $128,700 of income (double the rate you’d have withheld if you were employed by someone else).  This doesn’t count the 2.9% that you also have to withhold for Medicare tax – which is another matter altogether. With this in mind, you might wonder if there are ways that you could reduce the Self-Employed tax…?  One way might be […]

Why Your Paycheck is Changing in 2011

After the passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Act) late last year, there were certain changes that will impact your take-home pay in 2011, versus what you were seeing in 2010. For starters, although the 2010 Tax Act extended the tax rates to be the same as they were in 2010, as always there are increases in the tax tables which have a minor impact on your take-home pay.  Typically, this change will increase your tax withheld, reducing your take-home pay. The 2010 Tax Act also included a provision to reduce the withholding requirement for Social Security from 6.2% to 4.2%, which will have the effect of increasing your take-home pay by 2%. One other change to your paycheck came about because of a provision that was not included to be extended as a part of the 2010 Tax Act […]

Date Set for Processing Delayed Returns

The IRS announced on January 20, 2011, that the delayed returns – those that have itemized deductions on Schedule A, include higher education tuition and fees deductions on Form 8917, and/or that include the educator expenses deduction, can begin processing on February 14. Many processors (commercial software) will accept these returns now and send them to the IRS beginning on February 14, so there is no reason to delay.  And if your processor (or tax guy or gal) doesn’t allow for the early acceptance, you can still get your information in to them and they’ll submit it when the time is right. This delay was explained in the article that I wrote earlier about how some returns would be delayed this year due to the late passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Photo by hillary h

Earned Income Tax Credit 2011 Style

There have been a few changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for 2011 and years beyond.  Some of these changes are pretty significant, others are more of the common variety. No More Advance Payments In the past, if a taxpayer was likely to be eligible to receive the EITC on filing his or her return, the law allowed the taxpayer to apply for and receive advance payment of a portion of the credit.  This is because the credit is refundable – even if you don’t owe any tax on your tax return, you’ll get something back with the EITC. With the passage of the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act of 2010 signed into law August 10, 2010, the Advance payment of EITC was repealed, effective after December 31, 2010. Third-Child EITC The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the EITC by 5% for families with three […]

Tax Act 2010 Provisions

As you are likely aware, two major bills enacting tax cuts for individuals will expire at the end of 2010: the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA); and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA).  The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Tax Act 2010) extends quite a few provisions from EGTRRA and JGTRRA for an additional two years, most through 2012.  It also extends a number of provisions enacted as part of EGTRRA that were modified in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). fyi – you can find the technical explanation at – in the document JCX-55-10. Below is a summary of some of the more important provisions that will be extended: Reduction in Employee Payroll Tax The 2010 Tax Act provides for a temporary reduction, for 2011 only, of the employee-paid Social […]

Charitable Contributions From Your IRA in 2010 and 2011

With the passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Tax Act 2010 or 2010 Tax Act), Congress retroactively reinstated the ability to make direct qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from your IRA, in amounts up to $100,000 by IRA owners who are at least age 70½ years of age. This provision expired at the end of 2009, but is once again available, retroactive to January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2011. The provision allows the individual, age 70½ and thus subject to Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), to make contributions directly from an IRA to a Qualified Charity, in an amount of up to $100,000 per year.  Since the 2010 Tax Act was passed so late in the year, there is a special provision for 2010 only, which allows the IRA owner to make such a QCD for the 2010 tax year as late as […]

Tax Benefits for College

When faced with the high cost of college, you want to find and take advantage of every opportunity that you can to cut down on your out-of-pocket expenses, before you give in and take out loans.  So after you’ve applied for all of the grants, scholarships, and other non-loan financial aid that you can, it’s time to consider what sorts of tax benefits may help out with your situation. Credits There are two different kinds of tax credits currently available in tax year 2010 and 2011: American Opportunity Credit – This credit is available for students (and parents of students) that are in their first four years in a degree program at college.  The credit is a maximum of $2,500, and is calculated as:  100% of the first $2,000, and 25% of the next $2,000 of Qualified Higher Education Expenses (QHEE) paid for that student.  QHEE is limited to tuition, […]

Charitable Contributions From Your IRA – 2010 and Beyond

12/19/2010 – with the passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, the provision for an IRA owner who is at least age 70½ to make a direct charitable contribution of up to $100,000 from his or her IRA has been extended through the end of 2011.  Such a direct contribution can be used to satisfy the IRA owner’s Required Minimum Distribution. See the article Charitable Contributions from Your IRA in 2010 and 2011 for more details. Photo by mikebaird