Tax Strategist: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010

The recently enacted Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 is a sweeping tax package that includes, among many other items, an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, estate tax relief, a two-year patch of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), a two-percentage-point cut in employee-paid payroll taxes and in self-employment tax for 2011, new incentives to invest in machinery and equipment, and a host of retroactively resuscitated and extended tax breaks for individuals and businesses.

Cost Segregation

If you own a residential rental or commercial building, you may be eligible for substantial tax breaks for depreciating your property through a cost segregation analysis. For more information on how different types of buildings are depreciated and what items may qualify for accelerated depreciation methods, read this C.P.A. Insight.

Estate Planning Tool—Qualified Personal Residence Trust

A Qualified Personal Residence Trust can be used as part of your overall estate plan to transfer the family home to your children or grandchildren, without incurring federal estate tax. However, there are some tax considerations for your heirs if they choose to sell the property in the future. For more information on Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, read this C.P.A. Insight.

Independent Contractors—How to Classify Workers

If you hire contractors for your business, you should review the list of determining factors provided by the IRS to help you classify workers either as employees or independent contractors. When reviewing the checklist, the IRS will make its decision on the whole picture of the professional relationship, not just a single factor. For more information on classifying workers, read this C.P.A. Insight.

Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance—An Available Option for Employer-Provided Health Plans

Those who are self-employed, partners in a partnership or LLC and 2% or more shareholders in an S corporation can likely add a tax deductible long-term care insurance policies to their health insurance benefits program. For more information on the IRS’ requirements for the policy to be qualified for favorable tax treatment, read this C.P.A. Insight.

To Amend or Not to Amend

You filed your tax return, but you found an income statement you forgot to include. Your situation need not be a nightmare. You simply need to file a 1040x, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. This form will allow you to amend your both your income and deductions. For more information on when to file an amended return, read this C.P.A. Insight.