Tax-Free IRA Distributions to Certain Public Charities for Taxpayers 70½ and Older

tax rules for ira distribution

The Federal Path Act includes provisions to allow a taxpayer who is age 70½ or older to make tax-free distributions from their IRA’s to qualified charities. The Path Act allows an individual who is over the age of 70½ to make a direct distribution from their IRA account to a charity.  The benefit of doing such is that the amount transferred to the charity will be counted as part of the taxpayer’s qualified minimum distribution and it will also not be included in the taxpayer’s gross income for Federal and State income taxes.  In order to qualify as a qualified

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Safe Harbor for Rental Real Estate – What You Need to Know

real estate safe harbor tax law

Last month the IRS issued the final regulations regarding Section 199A.  The IRS also issued IRS Notice 2019-07 which set forth a safe harbor under which a rental real estate enterprise would be treated as a trade or business under Section 199A.  The purpose of the Notice is to give taxpayers guidelines as to the application of the 199A deduction for rental real estate properties. To qualify for the safe harbor requirements, the taxpayer must meet the following requirements: Keep separate books and records setting out the income and expenses for the rental real estate enterprise; For tax years beginning

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Professional Tax Preparation Recommended for Businesses

professional tax preparation

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has added a number of complex issues to the tax preparation for businesses. Taxpayers who previously prepared their own tax returns with Schedule C’s or Schedule F’s will face many complex issues under the new tax act.  One issue is the new 20 percent pass–through deduction for non-C corporation businesses. The Act also has significant changes regarding depreciation and the deduction of expenses. Another item that adds complexity to tax preparation for 2018 is that the State of Iowa has not adopted the changes in federal tax law for the year 2018. I highly

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IRS Guidance on Large Gifts Made Prior to 2026

irs tax on gift

Last month the Internal Revenue Service issued a proposed regulation addressing large gifts made prior to 2026.  The basic exclusion amount for estate or gift tax for the year 2017 was $5,490,000.00.  The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the basic exclusion amount from 5 million to 10 million for tax years 2018 through 2025 with both dollar amounts adjusted for inflation.  For the year 2018 the basic exclusion amount adjusted for inflation is $11,180,000.00 million.  For 2019 the basic exclusion amount adjusted for inflation is $11,400,000.00.  Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the year 2026,

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Business Tax Update: Business Meals Still 50 Percent Deductible

iowa business tax law meal entertainment

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a Notice (Notice 2018-76) regarding the deductibility of business meal expenses under the new Tax Act.  The Notice may be relied on until proposed regulations are published.  The Notice provides that most business meal expenses will be 50 percent deductible as long as a separate invoice is provided for the food.  The new Tax Act prohibits the deduction of entertainment expenses.  It has been unclear until this Notice whether business meals involving a client or a potential client would fall into the entertainment expense category.  As such, until the proposed regulations are published, a

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Estate, Gift and Generation Skipping Tax Provisions In The New Tax Act

estate planning tax law

This brief article will deal with the changes to the Estate, Gift and Generation Skipping Tax under the new tax law. The Act doubles the basic exclusion amount for estates of individuals who die during the 2018 through 2025 tax years and for gifts made during those same tax years.  The basic exclusion amount for each person increases from 5.6 million per person in 2017 to 11.2 million per person in 2018.  The amount of the exclusion will be indexed for inflation starting in tax year 2019. The Act does not repeal the estate, gift or generation skipping tax for

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Supreme Court Case on Iowa Inheritance Tax Exemptions

inheritance tax code iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court, on November 17, 2017, issued an opinion interpreting a definition utilized in an inheritance tax exemption.  The Court points out that for many years prior to 1997 the Iowa inheritance tax had an unlimited exemption for any share of the estate passing to the surviving spouse, limited exemptions for lineal descendants and lineal ascendants and no exemption for step-children.  In 1997, the Legislature eliminated inheritance tax on property passing to parents, grandparents, great grandparents, children, stepchildren, grandchildren and great grandchildren among others.  In 2003, the Legislature added a definition for “stepchild” which defined “stepchild” as the

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When Gifting to Charity Make Sure to get Written Acknowledgements

donations to charity tax rules des moines

Many individuals regularly make gifts to qualified organizations to receive tax-deductible contributions.  Pursuant to the IRS rules, a taxpayer who makes a single donation of $250.00 or more to a qualified charity must have an written acknowledgement from the Organization for each single donation of $250.00 or more or an written acknowledgement from the Organization setting out the date and amount of each contribution in excess of $250.00. The $250.00 amount set out above does not mean that you add up all contributions to see if you reach the $250.00 limit.  The $250.00 threshold is only reached when you make

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Skepticism as a Useful Tool

legal sceptic evaluation

I am not suggesting that one must be a skeptic but rather that constructive doubt is useful in my profession.  I need to have an understanding of the differences among (1) what I think, (2) what I believe, and (3) what I know. With regard to thinking, it involves the development of a process by which I gather information.  It is being open-minded, being non-judgmental and does not evaluate the information or documentation assembled. With regard to what I believe, it involves looking at the information and the documentation assembled and sorting through the information and documentation to analyze which

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Don’t Hide The Important Documents From Yourself

filing wills and legal documents west des moines, iowa

After a person has signed his/her Will, the most often asked question is, “what do I do with my Will”. There are a variety of responses to that question. Among the answers are: A safe deposit box which can present another problem at your death; A secured strong box in your home; The Trust Department of the bank if you have named the bank as executor of your estate. If you place your Will in your safe deposit box, make certain that you have authorized your spouse, at least one of your children or a trusted friend to have access

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