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Gianelli & Associates News Blog

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It's Tax Time!

Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets"
- Will Rogers

Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the entire case this year. As you gather financial information this Tax Season, you may want to take note of the following tax relief provisions that were put into effect. This is the result of the House and Senate passing the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH).

Here are several items from this new legislation:

Business Tax Incentives

  •  Sec. 179 increased to a $500,000 expensing limit and a $2 million phaseout threshold both amounts are now indexed for inflation. Additionally, there is an expanded definition of Sec. 179 property to include qualified real property and it treats air conditioning and heating units placed in service after 2015 as eligible for expensing.
  • Sec. 1374(d)(7), reduces the S corporation recognition period for built-in gains tax to five years.
  • Tax credits are now in place for companies who hire certain long-term unemployed individuals.
  • Tax credits are increased for certain research and development expenditures.

50% Bonus Depreciation

  • The rules are reinstated for 2015 and extended at current levels through 2017. In 2018 the bonus depreciation rules will continue but as 40% bonus depreciation. In 2019 the 40% will be reduced to 30%. Bonus depreciation would then end altogether after 2019.

New Depreciation Guidelines for Fruit and Nut Farmers

  • For plants bearing fruit or nuts, those planted or grafted after December 31, 2015 and before January 1, 2020 are allowed bonus depreciation when it is planted or grafted rather than when the plant reaches income-producing stage. Therefore, plants with a long pre-production period can qualify for the bonus depreciation allowance under the new law. However, it is important to note that if bonus depreciation is claimed early on, it cannot be claimed again once the plant is considered "placed in service."

New Partnership and C Corp Return Due Dates

Under the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, next year's returns (2016 tax year returns filed in 2017) will have new due dates.

  • Partnerships will have to file their returns by March 15 instead of the current April 15 deadline (which is the current date for S corporations).
  • C corporations will have a new deadline of April 15 which is one month deferred from the past requirements (but it is important to note that for C corporations with fiscal years ending on June 30, the rule change won't apply until tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2025).

Charitable Contributions

  • Charitable deductions of real property and capital gain real property for conservation purposes will be taken as a 50 percent contribution (100% for qualified farmers and ranchers).
  • Those who are 70.5 years old are allowed tax free distributions directly from their IRA to qualified charitable organizations up to $100,000 per year.
  • Businesses will be allowed to make contributions of "apparently wholesome food" to charities that will use it for the care of the ill, the needy, or infants and to take an above-basis deduction for these contributions of food inventory. The limitation is increased from 10% to 15% of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income (15% of taxable income for C corporations) per year.
  • Tax laws are constantly changing and it is in your best interest to utilize a trusted, knowledgeable advisor. Please contact us if you need assistance in navigating how these law changes affect your business. We like to meet with all our business clients each year to discuss new laws and how they can remain in compliance and best succeed - we'd love to meet with you and your business as well.

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