Tax and Business Alert - January 2015



Welcome to this month's edition of the Tax and Business Alert. Our goal is to provide you with current articles on various tax and business topics. The articles are intended to keep you up to date on trends and issues that may impact your business and personal financial affairs. Please contact us if you have questions about any of the issues discussed.

TAXABILITY OF REWARDS PROGRAMS
The IRS has long held that it won't assert that someone has taxable income merely because they personally benefited from frequent flyer miles or other in-kind promotional benefits resulting from their business or official travel. But what if the miles are an award for opening a bank account? This article describes a Tax Court case in which the taxpayer discovered that the reason for being awarded benefits is significant. Read more...

RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTION LIMITATIONS FOR 2015
This article describes IRS cost-of-living adjustments affecting the dollar limitations for retirement plan contributions. Several of the limitations are higher for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory threshold. However, some limitations did not meet that threshold and remain unchanged from 2015. Read more...

TAX CALENDAR
With a new year comes pending tax filing deadlines. This article lists important filing requirements and their deadlines for the first three months of 2015. Read more...

IRS GRANTS TAX RELIEF TO DROUGHT-STRICKEN FARMERS AND RANCHERS
The IRS has extended the time to replace livestock that farmers were forced to sell due to recent drought. This may help some farmers defer tax on any gains they received from the forced sales. This article lists eligibility requirements. Read more...

DEDUCTING LOCAL LODGING EXPENSES
Generally, lodging expenses are not deductible unless the taxpayer is traveling away from home on business. However, thanks to recently finalized IRS regulations, local lodging expenses may be a deductible business expense if certain conditions are met. This article lists those conditions and provides an example. Read more...

SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE AMOUNTS FOR 2015
The annual inflation adjustments have also impacted the various Social Security amounts and thresholds for 2015. This article lists them, and also notes the Medicare surtax. Read more...

This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor are not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters, and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. The information contained in this newsletter was not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of (1) avoiding tax-related penalties prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting or marketing any tax-related matter addressed herein. © 2015