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Very Last Minute Tax Tips

Posted by John R. Culbertson, Partner on Apr 13, 2018 9:46:24 AM
Are you ready for tax day? There are only a few days left until the Tuesday, April 17 deadline for individuals, sole proprietors and C corporations. Not quite ready? Don’t worry, there’s still time (if you hustle) to make some moves that can possibly save you money in federal and state taxes for 2017. Here are three ideas you can use right now:

1. Deduct State and Local Sales Taxes. As an individual, you can deduct either a) state and local income taxes, or b) state and local general sales taxes. If you live in a state with low or no personal income tax or if you owe little or nothing to the state, you can elect to deduct state and local sales taxes in place of state and local income taxes. If you choose to do this, your tax preparer will use a table to from the IRS to calculate your deduction. It bases your deduction on your income, personal and dependent exemptions, and state of residence. If you kept receipts from all of your 2017 purchases, you can add up the actual sales tax amounts paid and deduct that total, which may give you a larger write-off. Even if you use the IRS table, you can add sales tax amounts from major purchases, including motor vehicles, boats, aircraft, and home improvements. You can deduct actual sales taxes for these major purchases in addition to the predetermined amount from the IRS table.

2. Make a Deductible IRA Contribution If have yet to make a deductible traditional IRA contribution for the 2017 tax year, you can do so up until the tax filing deadline of April 17, 2018 and claim the write-off on your 2017 return. You can make a deductible contribution of up to $5,500 (or $6,500 if you were age 50 or older as of December 31, 2017). If you're married, your spouse can potentially do the same, which will double your write-off.

There are three ground rules for deductible IRAs. First, you must have enough 2017 earned income (from jobs, self-employment or alimony received) to equal or exceed your IRA contributions for the 2017 tax year. If you're married, either spouse (or both) can provide the necessary earned income. Second, you can't make a deductible contribution if you were 70½ or older as of December 31, 2017. Third, deductible IRA contributions are phased out (reduced or eliminated) if last year's income was too high.

3. Establish a SEP IRA. If you own a small business and you don't have a retirement plan, you can set up a simplified employee pension (SEP). A SEP can be created in the current year and generate a deduction on last year's tax return. In fact, if you're self-employed and extend your 2017 return, you have until October 15, 2018, to submit the paperwork and make a deductible contribution for last year.

Your deductible contribution can be up to 20 percent of your 2017 self-employment income or up to 25 percent of your 2017 salary if you work for your own business. The maximum amount you can contribute for the 2017 tax year is $54,000. You can realize substantial tax savings with a SEP. For example, if you are self-employed and in the 28 percent federal tax bracket, if you make a $30,000 deductible SEP contribution on April 1, 2018, you could lower your 2017 federal income tax bill by $8,400 (plus any state income tax savings).

On thing you should know. You may not want to establish a SEP if your business has employees. The IRS requires you to make contributions to their accounts. If you have employees, discuss the pros and cons with your financial and legal advisors before setting up a SEP.

For Businesses

If your business made improvements to real property in 2017, you might qualify for a special Section 179 deduction.

The Sec. 179 deduction privilege often allows eligible businesses to deduct the entire cost of depreciable asset additions in the year they're placed in service. For 2017, the limit is $510,000. However, this break is phased out dollar-for-dollar for qualifying purchases over $2.03 million in 2017. So, Sec. 179 deduction is not available if your total investment in qualifying property was above $2.54 million for 2017.

Armed with this information, now it’s time to contact your tax preparer! Better that than suffering any penalty you may be subject to for not filing on time!

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Topics: For-Profit Entities, Funeral Homes, Construction

Survey: Employers Adapt Quickly to Withholding Tax Changes

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 30, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Most employers had no problems meeting the February 15, 2018, deadline to begin using the 2018 federal income tax withholding tables, which reflect changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). However, many employees question how the TCJA will affect them.

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Topics: Government Entities, Not-for-Profits, For-Profit Entities, Funeral Homes, Construction

Bowman at the 200 Club of Burlington

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 27, 2018 11:00:00 AM

On February 23, 2018, the 200 Club of Burlington County held its 28th Annual Valor and Scholarship Awards Banquet.  

Bowman & Company Senior Manager and 200 Club of Burlington County Treasurer Evan Palmer attended the dinner at the Merion Caterers in Cinnaminson, NJ.

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Topics: Not-for-Profits, Events

Bowman & Company LLP Supports Black History Month

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 26, 2018 3:15:00 PM

Bowman & Company LLP was a proud supporter of Black History Month events at Rowan College at Burlington County.  On February 28th, Michael Cesaro, the firm’s Managing Partner was on site at Rowan College to welcome guest speakers American fashion model Pat Cleveland and 6ABC’s Rick Williams.

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Topics: Events

Bowman Featured at the Gloucester County Municipal Clerk's Association Meeting

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 23, 2018 11:28:18 AM

On Friday March 2, 2018, Bowman Partner Michael Cesaro and Senior Manager Evan Palmer presented to the Gloucester County Municipal Clerks’ Association about the role of the Municipal Clerk in the Municipal Budget Process and matters pertaining to the new Financial Automation and Tracking System established by New Jersey.

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Topics: Speaking Engagements, Government Entities, Events, #BowmanGivesBack

Are Roth IRAs Still Beneficial under the New Tax Law?

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 23, 2018 11:00:00 AM

The Roth IRA remains an attractive retirement planning vehiclefor many individuals after the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Here's what you need to know about Roth IRAs and Roth IRA conversions under the new law.

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Topics: Government Entities, Not-for-Profits, For-Profit Entities, Funeral Homes, Construction

Not-for-Profits, Are You Getting Ready for The New Financial Statements?

Posted by Glen J. Walton, CPA, Partner on Mar 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM

An Accounting Standards Update (ASU) was released recently by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that will change the way all not-for-profits (NFPs) classify net assets and prepare financial statements.

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How the New Limit on SALT Deductions Affects Homeowners

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 9, 2018 11:00:00 AM

The ability to deduct state and local taxes (SALT) has historically been a valuable tax break for taxpayers who itemize deductions on their federal income tax returns. Unfortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limits SALT deductions for 2018 through 2025. Here's important information that homeowners should know about the new limitation.

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Topics: Government Entities, Not-for-Profits, For-Profit Entities, Funeral Homes, Construction

Scam Alert:  Watch out For Erroneous Refunds

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 8, 2018 2:00:00 PM

The IRS is warning taxpayers of a quickly growing scam involving erroneous tax refunds being deposited into their bank accounts. The IRS also offers a step-by-step explanation for how to return the funds and avoid being scammed.

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Topics: Government Entities, Not-for-Profits, For-Profit Entities, Funeral Homes, Construction

Bowman Brings Holiday Cheer to the Children of Camden 

Posted by Bowman & Co on Mar 6, 2018 2:00:00 PM

On December 21st, 2017, Bowman & Company LLP staff visited Camden City Hall for the City's annual holiday gift drive.  A holiday tradition for the firm, Bowman staff donated presents of toys and clothing to a total of 30 children in Camden to help them celebrate the holidays.  Pizza was served, holiday music was played, and Santa and his elves were on hand to deliver presents.  The children were all thrilled to take part in this wonderful event, and a jolly, festive time was had by all.

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Topics: Government Entities, Events, #BowmanGivesBack