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2017 Year-End Tax Guide

 

Message from Joseph J. Perry


Welcome to our 2017 Marcum Year-End Tax Guide. As our Firm’s Tax & Business Services practice leader, I am proud to preside over the finest tax professionals in the industry. Our more than 500 tax associates, many with advanced degrees, guided our clients through myriad tax issues during this past year.

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Business Year-End Planning


The end of the year provides many challenges and opportunities for business owners to make decisions that could impact current and future business and personal taxes. As business owners, it is very important to evaluate year-to-date operations, as well as future operations, and to implement effective tax planning around these expectations.

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Highlights of 2017 Tax Court Cases


In the case of Castigliola, et al v Commissioner, TC, the taxpayers failed to subject excess earnings from their professional limited liability company to self-employment tax under the advice of a CPA with over 40 years of experience.

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


On September 27, 2017, the Trump Administration and Republican leaders released a unified framework for tax reform that would make changes to both individual and business taxation including suggested cuts in rates. The unified framework was a nine-page blueprint of proposals for tax relief that was not very specific or detailed.

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Affordable Care Act Update for 2017


As of this writing, the Republican plan to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act through the reconciliation process is officially dead. The ACA remains the law of the land, and all individuals and businesses must be prepared to deal with its rules for 2017.

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The Expanding Research and Development Tax Credit


The research & development tax credit is one of the few domestic tax credits existing under current tax law - and is often overlooked and most often not utilized to its maximum potential. The federal Research and Development Tax Credit provides significant benefits to taxpayers with qualifying expenses.

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Payroll-Based Tax Credits


Many small to medium- sized business are eligible for federal wage-based tax credits for employees hired. But every year, hundreds of millions of dollars go unclaimed by U.S. businesses who are unaware of or overlook these tax programs.

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Five Commonly Missed Construction Tax Strategies


Numerous advantageous tax strategies are available to construction contractors. However, these strategies are only beneficial if properly planned and used. Unfortunately, many of the strategies discussed below are commonly missed, which means contractors could be leaving money on the table each year.

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Casualty Losses in Federally Declared Disasters


In the wake of the recent devastation caused by major back-to-back hurricanes, taxpayers with property damage from either Hurricane Harvey,Irma or Maria will need to determine how to properly account for the losses suffered.

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Trust and Estate Planning Update


The estate and gift tax laws are complex and always changing. When families and individuals plan for their future, they need to be aware of current changes so they can make informative decisions in regards to their estates.

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Same-Sex Spouses Should Examine Estate Planning


Regardless of whether the federal estate and generation-skipping transfer tax is repealed this year, estate planning for same-sex couples has been positively changed for the foreseeable future.

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Tuition Planning


Whether you're in your 20's or have children in their 20's, you may think that tuition planning would be fairly straightforward. Earn more, save more. But it is not that simple to plan effectively.

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2017 Year-End State Updates


Selected state by state summaries of new laws and opportunities.

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The Rise of Amazon and Problems This Creates


Amazon has begun the process of registering and collecting sales tax in most states on sales allocated.

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Sales Tax Collection – The New Wild West


The world of state taxation is ever-changing. States have taken it upon themselves to create statutes that are, at best, a stretch of the limitations of the power of the state and, at worst, unconstitutional.

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Maximizing Charitable Contributions


There is seemingly no end to the solicitations we receive from qualified charitable organizations seeking our support. Appeals come routinely by regular mail, e-mail, television commercials, and word-of-mouth from religious, educational, social, cultural, and political organizations.

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Identity Theft: The Threat and What to Do About It


Data breaches and identity thefts are becoming more frequent, despite the availability of resources to protect individuals and businesses from improper disclosure of personal information. One common example is theft of a taxpayer's social security number, for the purposes of filing a tax return in the taxpayer's name and laying claim to a fraudulent refund.

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Self-Employment Tax: The Rubik's Cube for Partnerships


Have you ever sat down with a Rubik's Cube and thought you solved the puzzle, only to find one square still out of place? If you are the owner of an unincorporated business treated as a partnership for income tax purposes, the mysterious self-employment tax treatment you receive may just be the ultimate Rubik's Cube!

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Foreign Tax Credits and Various Operating Structures


For U.S. companies undergoing international expansion, there are a number of important issues to consider prior to commencing operations in a foreign jurisdiction. A principal consideration is the type of foreign entity through which the U.S. company will be conducting its activities in foreign markets, as this could materially impact overall taxation.

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Recent Changes to Small Captive Insurance Companies


The PATH Act, signed into law at the end of 2015, has two delayed features that impact small insurance companies taxed under IRC Section 831(b) for the tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2017. The first is generally viewed as a favorable provision and is relatively straightforward in its application.

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Transfer Pricing Update


Transfer pricing continues to be one of the leading topics in the tax world. Pursuant to the changes implemented to documentation requirements by the Organization for Economic Co- operation and Development ("OECD") and the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") over the last two years, and to the publicity surrounding high profile audits and assessments imposed on multinational entities ("MNEs"), more taxpayers are focusing on making sure they have adequate support for transfer pricing policies.

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