Harless Tax Blog

Harless Tax Blog

GOP Tax Reform and its effects on the taxation of foreign students and other non-resident aliens

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Source from blog.sprintax.com
At the end of 2017, the U.S. Congress passed the largest tax reform act in history. The act itself contains nearly 500 pages. Even the most experienced American tax accountants are needing to keep up with the constantly changes instructions to advise to clients. My suggestion for clients is: When you read articles about the U.S. tax reform, pay special attention to their sources, and confirm the content with your U.S. accountants/taxation attorneys, so that you can avoid economic loss caused by wrong information. This article will mainly include the effect of the new tax reform act as we know it today to U.S. tax residents and Non-residents. If you have additional questions, please contact me through wechat: harlessmin or mhuang@harlessandassociates.com. Thanks!  See More

Coping with the new entertainment expense and transportation fringe benefit rules

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Source: thetaxadviser.com
Now that new tax rules are in place, employers and their advisers are coping with the difficulties faced in implementing the changes, adjusting to a new normal. New tax laws are always a product of give-and-take, with many constituencies fighting to retain favorable rules and congressional staff putting the pieces together so there are enough votes to pass the legislation. The changes brought about by P.L. 115-97, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), are no exception.

The goal of lowering tax rates, primarily for businesses, needed to be tempered by eliminating certain business deductions or individual income tax exclusions so that federal revenues didn't decline too much. The elimination of employer deductions or individual income tax exclusions causes taxpayers to consider behavior adjustments to account for the increased cost of the formerly deductible or excludable expense. Never has this adjustment had to occur so quickly, with the TCJA legislation enacted on Dec. 22, 2017, and many effective dates occurring only 10 days later, on Jan. 1, 2018.  See More

July 2018 Tax Deadline Reminders

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 16
Employers. For Social Security, Medicare, withheld income tax, and nonpayroll withholding, deposit the tax for payments in June if the monthly rule applies.

July 31
Employers. For Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax, file Form 941 for the second quarter of 2018. Deposit any undeposited tax. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time, you have until August 10 to file the return.  See More

Buck market volatility with a retirement bucket plan

Thursday, June 28, 2018

by: Harless and Associates Staff
We have seen an increase in market volatility in early 2018. A steep pullback in stocks could be good news for working people who are building retirement funds, but those approaching or recently beginning retirement might be hurt.

Historically, stock market setbacks have proven to be buying opportunities for patient investors.

Example 1: Harry Walker was 50 years old in 2008, with most of his retirement savings invested in stock funds within his 401(k) account. Then, Harry’s holdings dropped heavily.  See More

Coping with summer vacations at your small business

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

by: Harless and Associates Staff
During the summer, it may be true that “the living is easy,” as the old song goes. The midyear season, though, is often not so easy at small businesses because many employees are taking vacations. Total work hours often shrink and so may company productivity.

Spreading vacation time over the rest of the year might not be practical, especially if many of your workers have school-age children and desire family vacations during summer break. You may prefer to squeeze most vacations into the summer so the disruption is minimal the remainder of the year. Nevertheless, you probably won’t welcome a warm weather slowdown, so it’s best to take steps to keep things running at an acceptable pace. See More

Did you know?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

by: LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.
In 2017, total U.S. household consumer debt reached $13 trillion. Non-mortgage debt (car loans, student loans, credit cards, and so on) was reported by 71% of American workers. Only 31% of workers with non-mortgage debt were saving outside the workplace for retirement, compared with 69% of workers without non-mortgage debt.  See More

June 2018 Tax Deadline Reminder

Friday, June 08, 2018

Source by: Harless and Associates Staff
June 15
Individuals. If you are not paying your 2018 income tax through withholding (or will not pay enough tax during the year that way), pay the second installment of your 2018 estimated tax.

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, file Form 1040 and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due for 2017. If you want additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain four additional months to file. Then, file Form 1040 by October 15.  See More

Factoid: Winning streak

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

by: Harless and Associates Staff
The median U.S. house price reached $241,700 in early 2018, marking 72 consecutive months of year-on-year price gains.  See More

How to use your 2017 tax return to save more in 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Source: cnbc.com

This spring, don't just stuff your completed tax return into a drawer. Go through it for savings opportunities you can seize right now.

More than 94 million tax returns have been filed as of March 30, still a long way from the more than 155 million returns the IRS expects to receive this year.

If you've already turned in your paperwork and received a refund — or a tax bill — take a moment to comb through your return.

This is especially important because your 2017 return marks the last time you'll be filing under the old tax regime.  See More

Last-minute tax tips for late filers

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Source: cnbc.com

If you're waiting until the absolute last moment to file your taxes, you're not alone — and you're not out of luck.

As of the last tally, the Internal Revenue Service has received 103 million of the 155 million total returns the agency expects this year. (In fact, 20 to 25 percent of Americans wait until the last 14 days before the deadline to prepare their tax returns.)

But there is still time before Tax Day on April 17 to nail down everything you need — and take advantage of certain tax breaks before it's too late. See More