BA Harris LLP

Estate Taxes, Portability, and Planning for All Married Couples

Published on Friday, January 18, 2013

One of the many provisions made permanent by the American Taxpayer Relief Act on January 1, 2013 was a $5 million exclusion (adjusted annually for inflation) for estates of decedents dying after December 31, 2012. This is great news as otherwise it would have reverted back to a $1 million exclusion. Along with the higher exemption, another permanent provision is “portability” between spouses. Portability refers to the ability to allow the surviving spouse to apply the unused portion of the deceased spouse’s $5 million exclusion in addition to the applicable $5 million exclusion available to the surviving spouse . Using 2013 inflation adjusted amounts; this results in the ability for a married couple to pass up to $10.5 million to their heirs free of estate tax. However, the decedent’s estate (the executor) must make a timely election, generally within 9 months of the date of death, to utilize this provision. Read More...

Vacation Rentals Beware

Published on Thursday, November 15, 2012

If you have a second home, maybe in McCall or Sun Valley, and occasionally rent it out on weekends, odds are you have a sales tax liability that you have not been complying with. Read More...

Year-end Tax Planning

Published on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

As the calendar is drawing to a close in 2012 it marks an unprecedented period of uncertainty for tax professionals and our clients. A host of reduced tax rates, credits, deductions, and other incentives (collectively called the "Bush-era" tax cuts) are scheduled to expire after December 31, 2012 and over 50 tax extenders are up for renewal, either having expired at the end of 2011 or scheduled to expire after 2012. To further complicate matters the impending "fiscal cliff" that has been widely reported adds to the uncertainty we face in making planning decisions. Read More...

The Dreaded IRS Notice

Published on Thursday, July 19, 2012

In an attempt to close the $450 billion tax gap, which is the difference between what is collected and what would be collected if the tax system had 100% compliance, the IRS has initiated a number of different procedures.  Among these procedures is a drastic increase in the volume of IRS notices that it sends to taxpayers. Read More...

What If Your Employer Doesn’t Give You a W-2?

Published on Thursday, February 02, 2012

This isn’t a problem that arises often. When it does, it typically happens to your child. They may have had several jobs during the summer and perhaps the employer didn’t get an accurate address. The business may have failed, which is not unusual in our current difficult economic environment. It can also happen to adults for a variety of reasons. The IRS recently published a “tax tip” dealing with this issue and we thought it was relevant and timely enough to pass it on! Read More...