Maine Taxes, Wills & Estate Planning

Year-End Tax Planning Reminders

Another year end is rapidly approaching so it is once again time to consider end of the year tax planning.  This year there is even more uncertainty than usual with the possibility of extensive modifications and changes to the tax code that, if passed, will seriously alter the tax landscape for 2018 and subsequent years. (more…)

2016 End of Year Tax Planning Ideas

As we approach year-end, it’s time to consider end of the year tax planning.  For this year, the problem is compounded as a result of uncertainty as to what the new year will bring with a change in administration and the likelihood that President-elect Trump and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate will make structural alterations in the Tax Code.  There is certainly a possibility that next year will bring about lower marginal income tax rates and significant changes to the application of exemptions and deductions. (more…)

New Procedure for Obtaining a Waiver of the 60 Day Rollover Deadline for Retirement Account

MISSING THE 60 DAY ROLLOVER DEADLINE CAN CAUSE THE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT ROLLOVER TO BE TAXED: Most of us are aware that a taxpayer who participates in an IRA or qualified retirement plan may be eligible to make a tax free rollover of a lump sum distribution but only if the funds are contributed to another IRA or qualified retirement plan within 60 days of receipt. Failure to meet the 60 day requirement can cause the distribution to be taxable and possibly subject to the penalty tax on early distributions. (more…)

Tax Advice for Victims of Identity Theft

The IRS reported a total of 1.6 million victims of identity theft involving stolen tax refunds in the first half of 2013, compared to just 271,000 for the whole of 2010. In monetary terms, the 2013 payout of stolen tax refunds came to $5.8 billion. The problem appears to be getting worse for 2014, with reports of penetrations of the computer systems of major tax preparation companies, including Turbo Tax, and widespread collection call scams. (more…)

Tax Filing Tips under the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act contains tax provisions that affect your 2014 income tax return. Almost everyone is affected by the individual shared responsibility provision, while only people who purchased coverage through the Marketplace are affected by the premium tax credit. The following chart will help you better understand what you need to do on your tax return. This chart is also available at IRS.gov/aca. (more…)

Hardship Exemption under the Affordable Care Act

The Internal Revenue Service has published an Announcement and new Regulations relating to qualifying for the “hardship exemption” under the Affordable Care Act, IRS Notice 2014-76, which may be helpful to taxpayers in preparing their tax returns for 2014. The Announcement and new Regulations may be found at the IRS website.

Individual Deduction Planning for 2014

Deduction timing is also an important element of year-end tax planning. Deduction planning is complex, however, due to factors such as filing status, adjusted gross income levels for deduction phaseout, and the alternative minimum tax. You also have to consider your income for the current and succeeding tax years to determine when claiming deductions will be the most advantageous. (more…)

Planning for Tax Reporting Under the Affordable Care Act

Though April 15, 2015, is a long way off, it’s time to begin thinking about how the Affordable Care Act will affect your 2014 income taxes.

The Affordable Care Act essentially requires that you and everyone in your family have qualifying insurance known as “minimal essential coverage”; qualify for an exemption; or make  a “Shared Responsibility Payment” (which is essentially treated as an additional tax) when you file your 2014 tax return. (more…)

New Maine “Use Tax” Amnesty Program

The Maine Revenue Service has recently announced a new amnesty program for taxpayers who may be subject to “use tax” because they purchased tangible personal property outside the State of Maine and brought the property into Maine for use.   The official explanation of the amnesty program is attached.  Use tax problems can be significant for people who purchase expensive items such as vehicles, boats, airplanes, machinery and  equipment, computers, and other expensive items outside the State of Maine and bring them into Maine.

Avoiding Probate

There are advantages and disadvantages to using non-probate transfers that pass your property directly to your beneficiaries instead of by Will.  Even in states like Maine, that have a less formal will-probate process, lower fees, and fewer delays, there are advantages in using non-probate transfers.  The key advantage is the beneficiaries’ immediate access to property. (more…)

Maine Estate Tax Reform

The Legislature has passed and the Governor has signed a significant estate tax reform package.

The big news is that the Maine credit shelter exemption will increase from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 per taxpayer as of January 1, 2013. A married couple will be able to shelter $4,000,000 from Maine estate taxes. (more…)