Public Safety Officers Get a Tax Break

Tax savings for health care costs

Beginning in 2007, retired public safety officers, or those who have separated from service due to disability, get a tax break for health care costs. If you are a retired public safety officer,

such as a policeman, fireman, member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew, a member of a volunteer fire department, or a chaplain of a volunteer fire department, you may be eligible to exclude from income distributions from your governmental retirement plan that are used to pay health insurance premiums.

The exclusion is limited to the lesser of your actual health insurance premiums, or $3,000. The payment of the health insurance premiums must be made directly to the provider of the health insurance plan. The exclusion will not apply if the premiums are paid by you then reimbursed by the pension plan. This exclusion applies to distributions from governmental defined benefit plans or defined contribution plans, governmental 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plans, and governmental 457(b) eligible deferred compensation plans.

Tax Tips Small Business

Deducting the Business Use of Your Home

Don't overlook your home office

If you use a portion of your home for business, you may be able to take a home office deduction whether you are self-employed or an employee. Expenses that you may be able to deduct for business use of the home may include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, depreciation, painting, and repairs.

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Small Business Quick Tip

Business Mileage Rate

Instead of deducting the actual expenses for the business use of your vehicle, opt for the standard mileage rate. In 2013, you can deduct 56 1/2 cents for each business mile you drive.
Wednesday, 16th April 2014
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Tax Tips Personal

Refinancing Your Home Mortgage

What's deductible and what's not?

While there are benefits to refinancing your home mortgage, most refinancing costs are not deductible on your tax return. There is one exception, however. The amount you pay for points, or prepaid interest, may be amortized over the life of your new loan. Although this might not amount to much when you spread it out over 15, 20, or 30 years, don't file away your closing papers quite yet.

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Personal Quick Tip

Summer Day Camp

 

Along with the lazy, hazy days of summer come some extra expenses, including summer day camp. But, the IRS has some good news for parents: those added expenses may help you qualify for a tax credit.

Many parents who work or are looking for work must arrange for care of their children under 13 years of age during the school vacation. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is available for expenses incurred during the summer and throughout the rest of the year.