James Moore, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants (James Moore) is pleased to announce that Nadia Batey, CPA, located in the firm’s Tallahassee office, is available to discuss important tax provisions for 2015. Your readers/viewers/listeners don’t want to be surprised when it’s time for them to file their 2015 returns. Batey can help you provide the information they need by explaining the latest tax changes.
The three top issues for taxpayers to be aware of for 2015 tax returns are:
1. Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, also known as the Tax Extenders Bill, includes approximately $680 billion in revived tax breaks over the next 10 years. The bill includes deductions for state and local sales taxes, the exemption for cancellation of debt on a principal residence, the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums and teachers’ deductions for classroom expenses, among many others.
2. Affordable Care Act Requirements for reporting health insurance coverage – or lack of it – on their income tax returns. Information reporting by employers’ on proof of coverage for their employees takes effect this year, making it easier for taxpayers to determine whether they had health insurance coverage during 2015 that met the law’s requirements. The fee or penalty for NOT having health insurance increased in 2015, so those who are uninsured will now pay a fine of the higher of 2% of income or $325 per uninsured person ($162.5 per child under 18). The fee goes even higher in 2016 to 2.5% of income or $695 per person ($347.5 per child under 18), so taxpayers who opted not to pay premiums in 2015 may need to reevaluate that choice in 2016. For future years, the fee will increase with inflation. Open enrollment for 2016 starts November 1 and runs through January 31, 2016.
3. Taxpayer identity theft will continue to occur – don’t make it easy for thieves. Protect your information – shred mail, don’t be fooled by “phishing” scams, check your credit report regularly at annualcreditreport.com and report any breaches immediately to all three credit reporting agencies; visit identitytheft.gov to know in advance what steps to take if your personal information is breached or if you are a victim of identity theft. Business owners need to secure their networks, train their staff about the importance of protecting customers’ data and restrict access to only those employees in need of it, and audit regularly for breaches
Taxpayers should also remember these deductions when preparing their 2015 tax returns
Deductions taxpayers may be able to claim even if they don’t itemize:
- Contributions to retirement plans and health savings accounts
- Alimony payments
- Capital losses
- Interest paid on student loans
- Qualified tuition and expenses
Examples of deductions taxpayers may be able to take if they itemize:
- Mortgage interest
- Charitable contributions
- Job search expenses
- State and local income and personal property taxes
- Medical expenses
- Casualty and theft losses
Nadia Batey, CPA is a tax senior manager with James Moore, CPAs where she works closely with businesses and individuals to provide innovative tax planning solutions that help maximize the value of their businesses and improve their overall financial health.
James Moore, founded in 1964, is a regional firm with offices in Daytona Beach, Gainesville and Tallahassee. The firm specializes in providing tax, auditing, accounting and controllership, technology solutions, consulting, and wealth management services.