By McAuley & Crandall, Certified Public Accountants
Our firm is gearing up for tax season. With the arrival of the holidays, we know year-end is not far behind. Everyone likes saving on income taxes, so we are offering some suggestions to help individuals and businesses to keep more of their hard-earned money.
It is important for employees to understand and take advantage of the benefits offered by their employer. Many companies offer 401K participation and matching. Since the employer is offering “free money” which is tax deferred, it is important to maximize the amount contributed as a match to your account by contributing a minimum percentage (often around 6%) to your plan.
Another benefit that is often misunderstood is the cafeteria plan also known as a flexible spending account. For most taxpayers, using the medical reimbursement benefit is the only way they will be able to deduct their medical expenses for tax purposes. These plans are particularly helpful because the contribution is not only exempt from federal and state income taxes, but from FICA and Medicare taxes as well. That means that a Kansas resident who is subject to the 15% federal income tax bracket could save over 29% of the amount contributed. If an employee and her dependents normally spent $1000 per year on non insurance reimbursed medical expenses, such as deductibles, co-pays, optical and dental services, etc. she will save up to $291 in taxes.
In addition, your employer may offer additional benefits such as group disability, long-term care insurance or educational reimbursement plans. Sign up often occurs in December.
Congress has created many business incentives. Among them are:
• Increased small business (Section 179) expensing for 2010 and 2011. (up to $500,000 deduction for qualified businesses).
• Extension of the 50% bonus depreciation for 2010
• Cost of health insurance is deductible in calculating 2010 self-employment tax
• Cell phones have been removed from listed property standards
• Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for Small Employers
We would be happy to consult with you regarding these issues.
Starting in January, McAuley & Crandall will be participating in Operation Underpants, through Project Change, a local charitable organization. If you would like to participate, you may drop off new underwear or socks for men, women and children at our office.
13200 Metcalf Ave Ste 130 * Overland Park, KS 66213 * 913.239.9130 www.MCcpas.com