Tax and Business Alert - February 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.

HELPING AN ADULT CHILD BUY A HOME
Economic and tax considerations make right now a good time for parents (and grandparents) who are willing and able to help their adult children buy a home. This article looks particularly at the 0% capital gains rate and low federal interest rates as factors that might influence the decision. Read more...

THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCOUNTABLE EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT PLANS
Most companies cover their employees' business expenses by reimbursing them for their actual expenses or by paying a travel or mileage allowance. Such arrangements are subject to strict tax rules concerning what qualifies as a legitimate reimbursement arrangement and what is treated (at least for tax purposes) as additional compensation to the employee. It depends on whether the employer's payments are made in accordance with what the IRS calls an accountable plan. This article explains the rules and whether it may or may not be advisable to use such a plan. Read more...

STANDARD MILEAGE RATES FOR 2015
This article notes that, rather than keeping track of the actual cost of operating a vehicle, employees and self-employed taxpayers can use a standard mileage rate to compute their deduction related to using a vehicle for business. Likewise, standard mileage rates are available for computing the deduction when a vehicle is used for charitable, medical or moving purposes. Read more...

EMPLOYER REIMBURSEMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES
For plan years beginning after 2013, the Affordable Care Act institutes so-called market reform provisions that place a whole host of new restrictions on group health plans. With a limited exception, these provisions significantly restrict an employer's ability to reimburse employees for premiums paid on individual health insurance policies, referred to as employer payment arrangements. This article explains the new restrictions on these arrangements and what employers who still have them should do. It also looks at acceptable alternatives. Read more...

WHAT TO DO IF YOU DON'T GET A FORM W-2
An employee who worked during 2014 should receive from his or her employer a Form W-2, "Wage and Tax Statement," by February 2, 2015. This form shows the amount of wages received for the year and the taxes withheld from those wages, and it must be filed with the employee's return. This article explains what to do if the employee hasn't received Form W-2 by mid-February. 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