Tax Tips – The Electric Motor Vehicle Credit

Saving the Environment and Saving Money! – Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit

Your Tax Savings = up to $7,500

Were you seriously considering the purchase of a Chevy Volt and then saw the $40,000 sticker price and had second thoughts? Well the IRS is willing to cut a sizable break of up to $7,500 if you purchase the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt. Both the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, two plug-in electric cars, are categorized by the IRS as Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles and will get you this tax break.

In addition, if you want to buy a charging dock at home for your plug-in car, both charging dock and installation are eligible for a 50% federal tax credit up to $2,000.

While the new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit phases out after 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States, there is no need to rush out and get one unless you are looking to be the first on your block to own one. There have only been several thousand sold since production began in 2011.

For more information of the $7,500 tax credit for purchasing a Chevy Volt go to:  http://www.mychevroletvolt.com/chevy-volt-federal-tax-credit-form-8936

For more information of the $7,500 tax credit for purchasing a Nissan Leaf go to: http://nissanleafelectric.com/2010/04/how-do-the-nissan-leaf-tax-credits-work/.

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

The Residential Energy Tax Credit

Saving the Environment and Saving Money Part I – The Residential Energy Tax Credit

Your Tax Savings in 2011 = $500

Thinking about getting a new hot water heater or blowing some insulation into your attic but thought it might cost more than you wanted to spend? If so, the residential energy tax credit is for you!

The residential energy tax credit is for taxpayers who purchase energy efficient improvements (EEI) made to their principal US home. The credit for 2011 is 30% of what you spend up to $500. (E.g. you buy a hot water heater for $500-the tax credit is $150.)

Note: If you claimed the residential energy credit from 2006-2010, you have to reduce the 2011 credit by the amount of the prior year’s credit. Some of the energy efficient items that are eligible for the credit in 2011 include insulation windows, hot water heaters, furnaces, certain roofing, skylights, and central A/C.

If you made energy efficient improvement in 2009 or 2010, you were eligible for a $1,500 credit for qualified EEI items. Do not fret if you forgot to include it on your prior year’s tax return; you have three years from the tax filing deadline to go back and amend your return to claim the credit!

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

ERock Tax Tip – Claim your Child Tax Credit on form 1040

Tax Tip of the Day – Make Sure You Claim Your Child Tax Credit

 
According to 2008 statistics the average cost to raise a child is nearly $200,000. Couple that with the cost of college and you have a might fine sum that is needed to raise a child. The IRS offers taxpayers who have children several tax deductions and credits that mean more money in your pocket. Here is what the IRS offers:

    • The child tax credit is worth up to $1,000 per child through age 17.  
    • Taxpayers with children are allowed an exemption which can potentially save from $370 to $1,295 per child on their tax return.  
    • Taxpayers who have children under the age of 12 and send them to child care or camp qualify to receive a credit between $600 and $1,050 per child.

Please find out from your Tax Advisor what credits apply in your particular situation.

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

ERock Tax Tip – Claim Unreimbursed Expenses on Form 2106

Tax Tip of the Day – Claim Unreimbursed Employer Business Expenses

Do you incur any unreimbursed business expenses from your employer?  Expenses could include travel, attending conferences, using your cell phone or automobile mileage. Any amount you spend on unreimbursed employer business expenses above 2% of your adjusted gross income is deductible on your Schedule A itemized deductions form.  You may also be able to deduct a home office expense as well on form 8829, but be careful about this one!

 

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

Tax Blog – Payroll Tax cut will be extended for 2012!

Government Giving Taxpayer up to $2,136 Tax Break in 2011 and another in 2012 by Reducing Social Security Withholding

Your Tax Savings = up to $2,136 per year!

For 2011 and probably 2012 social security paid by the taxpayer was reduced from 6.2% to 4.2%. And 2% is a lot ($760) given the average taxpayer earnings in the US was $38,000 in 2008. For each $10,000 of taxable earnings, the taxpayer saves $200 up to $106,800. While the issue of who is going to pay for social security is something our government is definitely going to have to tackle in the next few years, they certainly are more focused right now on fixing the economy. This tax break will do that! You do not have to do anything to take advantage of this tax savings. Your employer or tax preparer will make sure you are getting this tax break!

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

Tax Tip – The American Opportunity Tax Credit

Education Tax Credits and Deductions:  The American Opportunity Credit

Your Tax Savings = up to $2,500 annually per student

Worth up to $2,500 per year per student, the American Opportunity Credit is available to those students in their first four years of seeking a degree at an undergraduate college or university or pursuing a certificate at a trade or technical school. Qualified expenses include tuition, fees and course materials including equipment and supplies needed for classes (computers, iPads). While most taxpayers will qualify for this valuable credit, joint filers who earn more than $160,000 and single filers (head of household too) who make more than $80,000 are not eligible for this credit.  

Note that part-time students who take longer than four years to finish a degree or certificate are eligible for this credit for the entire duration of their studies. How big is this? Parents that are putting two children through college at the can save $20,000.

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

The Residential Energy Efficient Property Tax Credit

Saving the Environment and Saving Money Part II–The Residential Energy Efficient Property Tax Credit

Your Tax Savings = Unlimited $$ – 30% of what you spend!

Have you considered installing in your backyard one of those energy generating windmills that has been made famous by Cape Wind off the coast of Nantucket (it would be a smaller version)? Are you curious to see how the power of dirt and ground can heat your water and your house? Have you been hankering for some solar panels on your roof, but thought they were cost prohibitive? These energy efficient ways to power and heat our homes may still be more costly then conventional methods, but the government is willing to help you pay for them.   

The residential energy efficient property credit (REEP) includes the purchase of solar, wind and geothermal equipment by the taxpayer for their principal US home. For example, if you install solar panels on the side of your house at a cost of $10,000, your real cost is $7,000 after the tax credit ($10,000 x 30=$3,000). Unlike the residential energy credit, there is no lifetime limit of $500; it is 30% of whatever you spend! A good tax savings for those inclined to make these kind of environmentally friendly improvements.

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

Tax tip of the day – Make a charitable contribution

Charitable donations are not only good for your community, they are good for your tax return as well. Remember that all charitable contributions are deductible dollar for dollar on your schedule A itemized deductions whether the contribution is a clothing donation to the salvation army or an old car donation to Cars for Kids or membership dues paid to your local church or synagogue.  Please understand that there are several ways to report these items and certain documents and checks that need to be attached as a requirement of filing.

Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

Tax Tip – Dealing with the onslaught of 1099s and Tax Docs

Tax Tip of the Day – Breaking Down all this crazy mail that gets delivered!

Just as we seem to get organized and sorted out after the holidays and turn of the New Year, tax documents begin to flood our mailbox. Most of us are looking for a little breathing room and tend to set these aside in a pile for later tending, potentially leaving us scrambling for a stray document at the last minute. This year keep yourself organized with these simple tips for when the mail comes through your front door.

1) Buy a 10 x 13 envelope and label it Tax Stuff 2011.
2) When your tax documents come in the mail, if you are inclined open then up, and add them to the big envelope.  Or just add the documents directly to the folder unopened if that’s all you can manage at that moment.
3) Use 2 or more if you need to or even get a larger envelope. 
4) Set up a time in advance of tax filing deadlines to meet with a professional tax preparer. Your tax preparer will have a list of all the documents you’ll need to collect as well.
5) Send your envelope ahead of time to your tax preparer before you meet with them or bring your large envelope(s) to the meeting. We’ll open any unopened mail at this point and sort and organize your documents for you.

 There is no need to spend vast amounts of your valuable time scanning or copying the documents before contacting your tax preparer or meeting with them. In working with Erock Tax as your professional tax preparer, know that whatever works best for you generally works for us, Our goal is to educate of ways to make tax preparation easy for you and ultimately to streamline the often painful process of getting ready for your tax season.
Stuart Steinberg, CPA, MBA has owned a strategic tax planning practice on the North Shore for 23 years.  Please feel free to contact him anytime and let Erock Tax take care of you!

9 Tax Tips to Lower your Stress – 2011Filing Season

Lower Your Stress for the 2011 Tax Filing Season with These Tips  – Listen to Stu’s WNBP Radio Podcast with morning guy Win Damon as the 2 talk about lowering your stress around taxes! Click below!

 

  

 

It’s February and time to prepare for income tax returns. Many taxpayers will find themselves facing unnecessary stress about filing their 2011 taxes.  People    often treat tax filing as a once-a-year process, when in fact, it should be year round. Proper planning is the springboard to financial success. By folowing a few   “stress lowering” tax-filing tips you can get through the myriad of forms and rules without too much anxiety.

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