Posted by: Bill & Gayle McCord | January 17, 2011

Meet My Network Monday: Ron Mussett {Good Tax News!}

Meet My Network

Welcome back to Meet My Network Monday!  You’ve already met some fabulous colleagues of mine  from my networking groupGlenn Colley with WR Starkey and Brian Burcham with Burcham Insurance, and Cheryl Williams with Hexter-Fair, as well as Bill and myself.  Last week we heard from Travis Fergurson with Four Seasons Air Conditioning & Heating.  Today, it’s Ron Mussett with some good news about taxes!

Ron Mussett: Crescere Tax Solutions

My name is Ron Mussett, and I provide tax services for both businesses and individuals in the Dallas area.  I forward tax news to my clients regularly (always referencing the source, see below) to keep them informed of changes made by Congress.  Occasionally, I provide an opinion.  My goal is simple: take as much of the uncertainty out of the tax code as possible for those for whom I provide services.  On that note, I have attached 3 pertinent articles below that should be viewed as good news to most tax payers.

My opinion?

Sure, the tax extensions are great for most Americans; however, we as a nation cannot afford them.  With a little thought and planning, Congress could have put a plan in place to reduce the tax cuts in a reasonable manner.  I support smaller government; however, until the citizens of this country work together to change the lack of will of our elected officials to do the right thing for this country – we need to pay for government.

2011 W-2 tax forms and HR 3590: No, you won’t have to pay taxes for health insurance

It is a true that employers will be required to start listing the cost of insurance. The requirement starts for the tax year 2011, so employees will see it on the W-2s they receive in 2012.  But that amount will not be taxed. Current law excludes health insurance from taxable income, and there’s nothing in the health care law that changes that.

Several experts on health care benefits and the workplace confirmed that. “It will not affect your taxable income under the new law,” said Dallas Salisbury of the Employee Benefit Research Institute in an e-mail interview.

Since the health care law actually continues the tax exemption on employer-sponsored insurance, why include a requirement that employers report the value of health insurance on the W-2? There are several reasons.

The new health insurance law will eventually penalize people who are not insured with a tax penalty. The W-2 reporting requirement will help the Internal Revenue Service verify that people have coverage, both for themselves and their dependents[1].

Tax Season Starts Friday, January 14, 2011 and ends Monday, April 18th, 2011.

For Tax Season 2011, the due date for the 1040 family of returns for 2010 is April 18, 2011.

Although April 15 falls on a Friday in Tax Season 2011, Washington, D.C. will observe the Emancipation Day holiday on that day. All federal and municipal offices will be closed.

Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in D.C., is observed annually on April 16. Under D.C. statutes, if a legal holiday falls on a Saturday, the holiday is observed the preceding non-holiday day[2].

Bush Tax Cuts Extended[3]

The recently enacted “Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010” is a sweeping tax package that includes, among many other items, an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, estate tax relief, a two-year “patch” of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), a two-percentage-point cut in employee-paid payroll taxes and in self-employment tax for 2011, new incentives to invest in machinery and equipment, and a host of retroactively resuscitated and extended tax breaks for individuals and businesses. Here’s a look at the key elements of the package:

The current income tax rates will be retained for two years (2011 and 2012), with a top rate of 35% on ordinary income and 15% on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains.

Employees and self-employed workers will receive a reduction of two percentage points in Social Security payroll tax in 2011, bringing the rate down from 6.2% to 4.2% for employees, and from 12.4% to 10.4% for the self-employed.

A two-year AMT “patch” for 2010 and 2011 will keep the AMT exemption near current levels and allow personal credits to offset AMT. Without the patch, an estimated 21 million additional taxpayers would have owed AMT for 2010.

Key tax credits for working families that were enacted or expanded in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will be retained. Specifically, the new law extends the $1,000 child tax credit and maintains its expanded refundability for two years, extends rules expanding the earned income credit for larger families and married couples, and extends the higher education tax credit (the American Opportunity tax credit) and its partial refundability for two years.

Businesses can write off 100% of their equipment and machinery purchases, effective for property placed in service after September 8, 2010 and through December 31, 2011. For property placed in service in 2012, the new law provides for 50% additional first-year depreciation.

Many of the “traditional” tax extenders are extended for two years, retroactively to 2010 and through the end of 2011. Among many others, the extended provisions include the election to take an itemized deduction for state and local general sales taxes in lieu of the itemized deduction for state and local income taxes; the $250 above-the-line deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers; and the research credit.

After a one-year hiatus, the estate tax will be reinstated for 2011 and 2012, with a top rate of 35%. The exemption amount will be $5 million per individual in 2011 and will be indexed to inflation in following years. Estates of people who died in 2010 can choose to follow either 2010′s or 2011′s rules.

Omitted from the new law: Repeal of a controversial expansion of Form 1099 reporting requirements.

Also not included: Extension of the Build America Bonds program, which permits state and localities to issue federally-subsidized municipal bonds.

Crescere Tax Solutions

Ron Mussett

3530 Forest Lane, Suite 111

Dallas, TX 75234





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