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Congress Passes Some Permanent Tax Extenders

Congress has recently passed the following extenders as PERMANENT:

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) allows taxpayers to claim a $1,000 tax credit for each qualifying child under age 17 that the taxpayer can claim as a dependent.  The CTC phases out when taxpayers' income exceeds certain thresholds.

The Hope Scholarship Credit is a credit of $1,800 (indexed for inflation) for various tuition and related expenses for the first two years of post-secondary education. It phases out for AGI starting at $48,000 (if single) and $96,000 (if married filing jointly), with indexing for inflation.

The Act permanently extends the educator expense deduction and, for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2015, modifies the deduction by indexing the $250 amount for inflation, and  including professional development expenses.

The Act permanently extends the option to claim an itemized deduction for State and local general sales taxes in lieu of an itemized deduction for State and local income taxes. The taxpayer may either deduct the actual amount of sales tax paid in the tax year, or alternatively, deduct an amount prescribed by IRS.

The Act extends this exclusion for two years so that it applies to home mortgage debt discharged before Jan. 1, 2017. The Act also modifies the exclusion to apply to qualified principal residence indebtedness that is discharged in 2017, if the discharge is pursuant to a written agreement entered into in 2016.

As always, please contact our offices should you have any questions on any of the above!

Christmas is right around

Many of you donate items to Goodwill or other charitable organizations during the year. Did you know that getting items ready for donation before the turn of the year can help you with your 2015 taxes? Say you have been putting off cleaning out those closets of clothes you have been meaning to donate. Donating them before 12/31 and obtaining a receipt will allow you to deduct the FMSV (fair market selling value) of those items should you itemize your deductions. We highly recommend noting all items included and even saving pictures of those items that were donated for verification purposes.

A few bags of clothing/other items may save you some tax dollars when filing your personal returns.

Just another year-end planning idea from us at Pandolfo Bendik.

Please contact our offices should you have any questions.

Is now the time for some

Before we close the books on 2015, did your life encounter a big change such as:

- new job/change of jobs?

- newborn child/child who graduated college/college bound student?

- newly retired or subject to required minimum distributions (RMD's)?

- increase or decrease in self-employment earnings?

- begin or start a new business?

There are many ways to plan before the end of the year for some great tax-time saving tips. We've seen it all to often that when we begin working on a tax project or return AFTER the beginning of the new year (such as during tax season), there are many ways in which we COULD have advised alternative routes but cannot since the year had already closed.

Give us a call or email if you think we should discuss your tax situation before it's too late!

Jason; ; 412-788-1335