Tax Blog

Our tax blog is dedicated to CFOs, Tax Directors and Business Owners looking to improve profitability, grow their business or implement a succession plan. At Armanino, we see the tax function as a key strategic tool—as nothing less than a vital means of moving you and your company forward. While we excel in making sure our clients meet regulatory requirements—both domestic and global—that just scratches the surface of what we do.

September 20, 2016

Prepaid Tuition vs. College Savings: Which Type of 529 Plan is Better?

Section 529 plans provide a tax-advantaged way to help pay for college expenses. Here are just a few of the benefits: Although contributions aren’t deductible for federal purposes, plan assets can grow tax-deferred. Some states offer tax incentives for contributing in the form of deductions or credits. The plans usually offer high contribution limits, and …

August 9, 2016

3 Strategies for Tax-Smart Giving

Giving away assets during your life will help reduce the size of your taxable estate, which is beneficial if you have a large estate that could be subject to estate taxes. For 2016, the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption is $5.45 million (twice that for married couples with proper estate planning strategies in place). …

April 26, 2016

Unexpected Retirement Plan Disqualification Can Trigger Serious Tax Problems

It’s not unusual for the IRS to conduct audits of qualified employee benefit plans, including 401(k)s. Plan sponsors are expected to stay in compliance with numerous, frequently changing federal laws and regulations. For example, have you identified all employees eligible for your 401(k) plan and given them the opportunity to make deferral elections? Are employee …

March 14, 2016

3 Income-Tax-Smart Gifting Strategies

If your 2015 tax liability is higher than you’d hoped and you’re ready to transfer some assets to your loved ones, now may be the time to get started. Giving away assets will, of course, help reduce the size of your taxable estate. But with income-tax-smart gifting strategies, it also can reduce your income tax …

March 7, 2016

Make a 2015 Contribution to an IRA Before Time Runs Out

Tax-advantaged retirement plans allow your money to grow tax-deferred — or, in the case of Roth accounts, tax-free. But annual contributions are limited by tax law, and any unused limit can’t be carried forward to make larger contributions in future years. So it’s a good idea to use up as much of your annual limits …

December 28, 2015

No Changes to Retirement Plan Contributions for 2016

Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, but with inflation remaining low, the limits remain unchanged for 2016: Type of limit 2016 limit Elective deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and 457(c)(1) plans $18,000 Contributions to defined contribution plans $53,000 Contributions to SIMPLEs $12,500 Contributions to IRAs $5,500 Catch-up contributions to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and …

November 30, 2015

Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Make 2015 Annual Exclusion Gifts

Recently, the IRS released the 2016 annually adjusted amount for the unified gift and estate tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption: $5.45 million (up from $5.43 million in 2015). But even with the rising exemptions, annual exclusion gifts offer a valuable tax-saving opportunity. The 2015 gift tax annual exclusion allows you to …

September 21, 2015

Why You Should Contribute More to Your 401(k) in 2015

Contributing to a traditional employer-sponsored defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan, offers many benefits: Contributions are pretax, reducing your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), which can also help you reduce or avoid exposure to the 3.8% net investment income tax. Plan assets can grow tax-deferred — meaning you pay no …

September 14, 2015

How to Determine if You Need to Worry About Estate Taxes

Here’s a simplified way to project your estate tax exposure. Take the value of your estate, net of any debts. Also subtract any assets that will pass to charity on your death. Then, if you’re married and your spouse is a U.S. citizen, subtract any assets you’ll pass to him or her. Those assets qualify …

July 7, 2015

Tax Impact of the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. For federal tax purposes, same-sex married couples were already considered married, under the Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor and subsequent IRS guidance — even if their state …

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