Phoenix Tax Law Blog

Affordable Healthcare Changes to Taxes

Many people are unsure how the newly instituted government mandated healthcare will affect their tax situations. The Affordable Healthcare Act will soon be mandated by the IRS. Are you interested in what that means for you? Hopefully we can shed some light on this.

Let’s start with New Medicare taxes. Virtually all employers remove 7.65% of employee wages to support older generations. Nearly 1.5% of this percent is directed to Medicare. The Affordable Care Act will increase the Medicare hospital tax by .9% early this year, applicable to anyone making over $200,000.

Additionally, Healthcare Flex-Spending Accounts will be capped at a total of $2500 with annual deductions once the law takes effect. Prior to Affordable Healthcare, there was no cap. Some are proposing taxpayers should be able to carry over unused amounts but this has yet to be considered law.

Penalties will occur for those who are uninsured. Although such penalties will be capped at a point, they are set to increase if the taxpayer remains without healthcare over several years. The intent here is to progressively stress the importance for all Americans to secure coverage.

Still confused on how Affordable Healthcare will change your tax situation? Talk with an expert.

Posted in Taxes |

Have Questions About 2013 Taxes?

Another tax season is upon us as 2013 is officially well and underway. Although the season comes and goes, one thing never changes – many people about to file their taxes have questions. Are you prepared to file your taxes? Make sure all your questions are answered first.

Tax laws change every single year. Understanding these differences fluently would require one to concentrate almost exclusively in a taxes – don’t be bashful about your confusions. Tax specialists are readily available to answer your questions and see that you receive the full return you’re entitled to. They can also help you understand how the universal healthcare law set to take effect impacts your personal tax situation.

Don’t delay on filing your taxes. Regardless if you’re in a position to pay your taxes, filing them as soon as possible can spare you some serious headaches further down the road. The IRS is more likely to treat your case favorably if you’re punctual about filing. Speak with an attorney for a consultation on how you can successfully weather the payments you’re required to make.

You don’t have to be a tax specialist to file accurately, you just have to know one!

Posted in Taxes |

Arizona Bill 1242 Aims to Give Tax Breaks to Filmmakers

After Quentin Tarantino passed on Arizona in favor of New Mexico to film part of his recent motion picture, “Django Unchained,” it created discourse within many local political circles. Republican Senator Al Melvin then proposed a bill in order to entice film production crews into filming movie scenes in the state with a 20% tax credit incentive. An additional 5% would be awarded if the film company heavily used a production studio in Arizona, as well to further lure studios to the desert landscape.

This bill is intended to bring business into the state, but some say this tax credit will not help the current job crises affecting Arizona. A bill similar to 1242, which was in effect from 2005-2010, provided incentives for filmmakers to work on location within the state, but was not renewed. Senator Al Melvin argues that some of the long term effects include tourism, hospitality, and construction to the areas being filmed. Opposition claims the opposite, that long-sustaining jobs will not be created due to the ephemeral nature of film production.

The expenditures for the film need to meet the $250,000 mark before the crew receives their incentive tax breaks. Another stipulation involves a 70 million dollar cap on returns, with nothing paid back until post-production, so that the film budget is spent within the state. Historical old-west movie settings like Old Tucson and other desert towns are hoping that if this bill passes, it will bring a much needed economic resurgence. Arizona is trying to be a fierce competitor in the US in order to attract jobs and create investment opportunities for future generations.

Posted in Taxes |

American Tax Relief Scam to Payout $15 Million

A company called American Tax Relief is being penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its shady business practices, which failed to compensate over $60 million dollars to their clients. The business advertised their services as a reputable way for people reduce their taxes and save money. The company collected nearly $103 million dollars before being shut down in September of 2010.

For many Americans, there has been increased pressure to trim the financial fat and save money however possible. Many of these tax services have increased their marketing budget to push the buttons of these concerned individuals using internet ads and TV commercials with hired actors. American Tax Relief charged fees ranging from 3,200 to 25,000 for their work, and in some cases even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of these people had fallen behind on things like income taxes, and were looking for a quick fix to save them from financial ruin; these tax and debt companies are at an advantage when advertising to venerable listeners.

The FTC has ordered American Tax Relief to pay out $15 million dollars in money and assets, to compensate the victims which saw no return from their investment. Company owner, Alex Seung Hahn’s net worth of about $100 million dollars afforded him a $3.4 million dollar home in Beverly Hills, an extensive collection of prestigious cars, along with gold and other valuables. Now some of these luxuries may be ceased in an effort to reimburse their former clients. Attorney Daniel Murphy knows how to achieve the best possible outcome in such cases.

It is unclear whether Hahn and his company will face criminal charges.  American Tax Relief has a strong legal defense team which was able to keep him from losing massive amounts of money, $85 million dollars remains after all the recent legal proceedings. It is important to be cautious and do research when considering one of these alleged tax or debt relief services, and contact a lawyer if you are in need of professional tax help.

Posted in Taxes |

Amazon to Include Sales Tax for Arizonans

Online retail giant Amazon will begin collecting sales tax for Arizona.

An agreement was reached between Amazon and the state of Arizona following a dispute over sales tax collected and distributed to state funding. The new taxation policies are set to begin early 2013, 6.6% additional fees on all products and digital sales implemented by July.

The situation arose when Arizona, a state still rebounding from the impact of a harsh recession, sent the online distributor a bill to the tune of nearly 50 million dollars. Amazon responded by disputing they were not lawfully required to collect such imposed taxes for the state.

This is hardly an isolated incident for Amazon. Many other states that enforce a sales tax are not receiving funding from Amazon presently. The situation in Arizona may soon prompt other local governments to explore the necessity this brand of funding.

Adversely, some consumers are complaining the inclusion of sales tax alongside shipping fees will defeat the purpose of purchasing online together strictly for the sake of convenience. It remains to be seen if Amazon sales within Arizona will be heavily impacted by the change in the months ahead.

Posted in State Taxes |

Arizona Educators Brace for Temporary Funding to Expire

The temporary sales tax benefiting Arizona education are set to expire early 2013.

Arizona voters voted against Proposition 204 this election season, a proposal to make a temporary increase to state sales tax in benefit of Arizona schools. Many educators are concerned about a ‘fiscal cliff’ separate from the national dilemma.

The end of the temporary sales tax bonus to Arizona schools could signal massive layoffs, larger classrooms and absence of certain education programs altogether. The education system in Arizona is already working its way out of a lengthy recession from recent years, the cut in funding could trigger similar bleak conditions into happening again.

Governor Jan Brewer has publically stated the loss of funding to public schools will be compensated for, yet allocating necessary funds to compensate for losses measuring millions of dollars in loss remains unclear. With uncertainty reaching a new high, those in the education industry are beginning to brace themselves for the potential consequences.

The failure of Proposition 204 ushering in penalties to an already ailing education system in Arizona could potentially be a blessing in disguise. Should conditions worsen, immense scrutiny would be placed on the necessary changes to be made to rectify the situation going into the future.

Posted in State Taxes |

Fiscal Cliff Prompts IRS to Open Tax-Filing Season Eight Days Later Than Planned

The recent tax law changes resulting from the Fiscal Cliff have prompted the IRS to open tax season eight days later than usual, to make necessary adjustments. The IRS is set to begin processing returns on January 30, and will not go through any files before that date.

Part of the reason why the date has been pushed back has to do with programming the IRS computers and changing forms and instructions.  The IRS stated they need time to update and test the new systems, making sure that the data is correct.

The delay in tax refunds might be harmful for lower-income families who are struggling to make ends meet. Other people with more complicated tax issues are directed to file in late February or March in order for the IRS to fully implement the Fiscal Cliff changes.  Some of the groups with delayed tax returns have to do with tax credits, such as electric or hybrid vehicle owners, business-related issues, or property credits.

Since 2001 there has been approximately 5,000 changes to the United States tax code, and the rate of people who use tax professionals or software to file has grown exponentially.  People are becoming especially worrisome about the future of the American tax system and fear another recession.

Although the tax filing date has changed, and there will be delays for pay outs, due date to file will remain the same, April 15. So make sure to get your taxes taken care of before the date to avoid being penalized.

Posted in Taxes |

Arizona Jobs At Stake With Fiscal Cliff

As news of the fiscal cliff looms closer to the new year, one report indicates Arizona could potentially lose 50,000 jobs. It’s a damning figure that could result in placing Arizona employment in similar conditions as to when the recession first started. Inability to find resolution to the fiscal cliff threatens to cost the state billions of dollars long term. Insiders are warning that automatic spending cuts and increased tax rates could rattle Arizona residents, having dire consequences to an already rebounding job market.

To avoid economic disaster, Arizona will have to undergo a variety of spending cuts in the next few months. Groups such as Fix the Debt are calling for politicians to work out an effective compromise before the inevitable. Figures indicate that countries such as China, Japan and Brazil hold massive amounts of US debt holdings, urging changes to US tax codes and legislation to avoid adding to an already staggering total.

Although Arizona will not be the only state dramatically effected by a lack of fiscal cliff compromise, the job market in the state will regress back to bleak conditions. Although multiple offers have been proposed, no deal has been embraced universally by republicans and democrats. Despite this, political leaders are indicating a deal is close.

You can learn more from Labor Law Compliance Center.

Posted in State Taxes |

Taxing the Lottery: What’s in Store for Mega Millionaires

The Powerball jackpot prize recently soared to previously unrecorded heights and one Arizona resident has come to collect. To those optimistic enough to research the tax breakdown, you’re surely aware there’s a hefty toll to pay regarding a $587.5 million prize.

As the prize is considered income, the federal and state government is entitled to the maximum taxation on the biggest lottery payouts, a percentage of 35%. Between two jackpot winners, the winnings are dwindled down from just shy of $600 million to somewhere in the neighborhood of $114 million. While that’s a far cry from the posted jackpot listing, being 1/10 of the way to billionaire status is hardly anything to scoff at.

So what should you do when you find yourself holding the lucky ticket? Experts suggest the best option remains electing for a lump sum cash payout given the fluctuations that occur with tax rates – this option cuts the jackpot winnings in half in addition to all other applicable taxes.

Previous lottery or online casino arabic winners advise the first step you should take is hiring an experienced attorney so you don’t end up paying out more than you have to. Still, the likelihood of you ever needing to worry about any of this remains astronomically small. One statistic indicates you’re nearly twenty times more likely to win an Academy Award than hitting it big on Easy Street.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Being Smart About Your New Family’s Future

Regardless of your age or how healthy you are, accidents and illness can strike at any time; life does not discriminate. What would happen if you were not there to help provide for your family? Part of being a responsible spouse or parent is planning for the future to protect your loved ones from a worst case scenario.

First, appoint a trustee for the estate to handle all of the financial affairs, bills, assets, and the hiring of an attorney. This person should be a reliable and trustworthy individual, often they are family members, or professionals, like accountants.

Secondly, name a guardian for your children in case one or both parents die. As long as one parent is physically and mentally capable of raising children themselves, they can have the child in their custody. If both parents pass away, make sure you entrust your little ones with a responsible and loving person who can adequately take care of them. If you do not appoint a guardian, the courts will appoint someone who might not be the most ideal fit for your child.

Third, look over your life insurance policy. If one parent was lost, that could mean a loss of income or a loss of child care. Make sure your policies are able to protect your family from being financially devastated. If you haven’t already bought a life insurance policy, now is the time to find the complete review of Bestow life insurance and buy it.

Fourth, make a plan to divide up your assets, and have someone manage the children’s inheritance. Usually the assets go to the surviving spouse, but if both parents have deceased, the assets can be used to help provide for the children, so it is important to plan ahead. If there is no one to manage the children’s inheritance or assets, the court will have a professional come in to do the job, which is not free.

Be smart and protect your loved ones from the uncertainty of life.

Posted in Estate Planning |