OPTIONAL STANDARD MILEAGE RATES RELEASED FOR 2014

Washington D.C. -- The IRS has issued its 2014 optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles;
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and,
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business, medical and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.
IRS FINALIZES RULES ON ADDITIONAL MEDICARE TAX

Washington D.C. -- The Internal Revenue Service has released the final regulations for the 0.9 percent additional Medicare tax that was imposed as part of the Affordable Care Act. The final regulations adhere to the proposed regulations that were released in 2012 for the additional hospital insurance tax on income above threshold amounts. The tax took effect on Jan. 1, 2012, and applies to wages, compensation, and self-employment income above a threshold amount received in taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2012. The threshold amounts are $200,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for married filing jointly (or $125,000 for married filing separately) taxpayers.

IRS RELEASES FINAL RULES FOR NET INVESTMENT INCOME TAX

Washington D.C. -- The Internal Revenue Service has released final regulations for the net investment income tax that was included in the ACA. The 3.8 percent tax took effect on Jan. 1, 2013, and applies to individuals, estates and trusts that have certain investment income above certain threshold amounts. In addition, they issued proposed regulations on the computation of net investment income as it relates to certain types of property.

MARCUM SHARES TAX PLANNING GUIDE FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES

New York -- Top 100 Firm Marcum LLP's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Practice has released a list of top tax planning tips for married same-sex couples to help guide them on what they will need to file taxes since the federal government officially recognized same-sex marriage for tax purposes. The firm uses the following tips:

1. Married tax status: Determine if there is any benefit to filing amended income tax returns using "married" status.

2. Non-taxable fringe benefits: Consider amending income tax returns to exclude previous taxable income that was used to purchase job-related benefits for your spouse.

3. Employer spousal benefits: Take advantage of all non-taxable fringe benefits available to your spouse.

4. Retirement accounts: Check your IRA/401(k) plan designations.

5. Social Security: Apply for Social Security marital benefits and the lump sum death benefit, if applicable.

6. Estate taxes: If your spouse recently died and the estate paid estate taxes on the portion of the estate that you inherited, file a claim for refund.

7. Making gifts: Consider the effect of transferring assets, gift-tax-free, to your spouse.

8. Estate planning: If you reside in a state that has a death tax and recognizes same-sex marriages, establish a marital trust, Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust or disclaimer trust for your spouse in your will.

9. Payroll tax withholding: Update your Form W-4 to married and adjust your exemptions.

10. Transitioning: Same-sex couples in a domestic partnership or civil union should consider getting married, as different laws apply.

"We are advising all our clients to take full advantage of the tax planning opportunities now available to them and to be proactive in leveraging tax provisions previously accessible only to heterosexual families." LGBT Practice national leader Nanette Lee Miller said in a statement. Janis Cowhey McDonagh, co-leader of the LGBT group, noted that estate planning also plays a vital part of effective tax planning.

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