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Personal & Family Taxes Posts

Depreciation-related breaks on business real estate: What you need to know when you file your 2018 return

February 01, 2019 by ORW Staff

Commercial buildings and improvements generally are depreciated over 39 years, which essentially means you can deduct a portion of the cost every year over the depreciation period. (Land isn’t depreciable.) But special tax breaks that allow deductions to be taken more quickly are available for certain real estate investments.

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Investment interest expense is still deductible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll benefit

February 01, 2019 by ORW Staff

As you likely know by now, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced or eliminated many deductions for individuals. One itemized deduction the TCJA kept intact is for investment interest expense.

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2 major tax law changes for individuals in 2019

February 01, 2019 by ORW Staff

While most provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect in 2018 and either apply through 2025 or are permanent, there are two major changes under the act for 2019. Here’s a closer look.

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You may be able to save more for retirement in 2019

December 31, 2018 by ORW Staff

Retirement plan contribution limits are indexed for inflation, and many have gone up for 2019, giving you opportunities to increase your retirement savings

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Check deductibility before making year-end charitable gifts

December 07, 2018 by ORW Staff

As the holidays approach and the year draws to a close, many taxpayers make charitable gifts — both in the spirit of the season and as a year-end tax planning strategy. But with the tax law changes that go into effect in 2018 and the many rules that apply to the charitable deduction, it’s a good idea to check deductibility before making any year-end donations.

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Catch-up retirement plan contributions can be particularly advantageous post-TCJA

November 27, 2018 by ORW Staff

Will you be age 50 or older on December 31? Are you still working? Are you already contributing to your 401(k) plan or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) up to the regular annual limit? Then you may want to make “catch-up” contributions by the end of the year.

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Mutual funds: Handle with care at year end

November 19, 2018 by ORW Staff

As we approach the end of 2018, it’s a good idea to review the mutual fund holdings in your taxable accounts and take steps to avoid potential tax traps.

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Time for NQDC plan deferral elections

November 08, 2018 by ORW Staff

If you’re an executive or other key employee, your employer may offer you a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan. As the name suggests, NQDC plans pay employees in the future for services currently performed. The plans allow deferral of the income tax associated with the compensation.

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Donate appreciated stock for twice the tax benefits

October 30, 2018 by ORW Staff

But did you know that you can enjoy an additional tax benefit if you donate long-term appreciated stock instead of cash?

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The tax deduction ins and outs of donating artwork to charity

October 15, 2018 by ORW Staff

If you’re charitably inclined and you collect art, appreciated artwork can make one of the best charitable gifts from a tax perspective. In general, donating appreciated property is doubly beneficial because you can both enjoy a valuable tax deduction and avoid the capital gains taxes you’d owe if you sold the property.

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You might save tax if your vacation home qualifies as a rental property

October 02, 2018 by ORW Staff

Do you own a vacation home? If you both rent it out and use it personally, you might save tax by taking steps to ensure it qualifies as a rental property this year. Vacation home expenses that qualify as rental property expenses aren’t subject to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s (TCJA’s) new limit on the itemized deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) or the lower debt limit for the itemized mortgage interest deduction.

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Back-to-school time means a tax break for teachers

September 01, 2018 by ORW Staff

When teachers are setting up their classrooms for the new school year, it’s common for them to pay for a portion of their classroom supplies out of pocket. A special tax break allows these educators to deduct some of their expenses. This educator expense deduction is especially important now due to some changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

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Play your tax cards right with gambling wins and losses

August 21, 2018 by ORW Staff

If you gamble, be sure you understand the tax consequences. Both wins and losses can affect your income tax bill. And changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could also have an impact.

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Keep an eye out for extenders legislation

August 16, 2018 by ORW Staff

The pieces of tax legislation garnering the most attention these days are the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) signed into law last December and the possible “Tax Reform 2.0” that Congress might pass this fall. But for certain individual taxpayers, what happens with “extenders” legislation is also important.

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The TCJA prohibits undoing 2018 Roth IRA conversions, but 2017 conversions are still eligible

August 10, 2018 by ORW Staff

Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), you could undo a Roth IRA conversion using a “recharacterization.” Effective with 2018 conversions, the TCJA prohibits recharacterizations — permanently. But if you executed a conversion in 2017, you may still be able to undo it.

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Do you still need to worry about the AMT?

August 08, 2018 by ORW Staff

There was talk of repealing the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) as part of last year’s tax reform legislation. A repeal wasn’t included in the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but the TCJA will reduce the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT.

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Why the “kiddie tax” is more dangerous than ever

August 01, 2018 by ORW Staff

Now, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the kiddie tax has become more dangerous than ever.

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3 traditional midyear tax planning strategies for individuals that hold up post-TCJA

July 20, 2018 by ORW Staff

With its many changes to individual tax rates, brackets and breaks, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) means taxpayers need to revisit their tax planning strategies.

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What you can deduct when volunteering

July 13, 2018 by ORW Staff

Because donations to charity of cash or property generally are tax deductible (if you itemize), it only seems logical that the donation of something even more valuable to you — your time — would also be deductible. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

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Home green home: Save tax by saving energy

July 05, 2018 by ORW Staff

“Going green” at home — whether it’s your principal residence or a second home — can reduce your tax bill in addition to your energy bill, all while helping the environment, too. The catch is that, to reap all three benefits, you need to buy and install certain types of renewable energy equipment in the home.

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