Ray Clark, CPA, MBA | Clark & Clark PC | 203 East 800 South | Salt Lake City, UT 84111 | 801-521-4538 | staff@clarkaccountingcpa.com

       

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

[fname], fyi - here's the countdown to getting taxes into our office so we do NOT have to file an extension.

Capital Gains and Losses: 10 Helpful Facts to Know + Medical and Dental Expenses + Higher Education Costs


 

When you sell a capital asset, the sale normally results in a capital gain or loss.

 

A capital asset includes most property you own for personal use or own as an investment. Here are 10 facts that you should know about capital gains and losses:

1. Capital Assets. Capital assets include property such as your home or car, as well as investment property, such as stocks and bonds.

2. Gains and Losses. A capital gain or loss is the difference between your basis and the amount you get when you sell an asset. Your basis is usually what you paid for the asset.

3. Net Investment Income Tax. You must include all capital gains in your income and you may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax if your income is above certain amounts. The rate of this tax is 3.8 percent. For details, visit IRS.gov.

4. Deductible Losses. You can deduct capital losses on the sale of investment property. You cannot deduct losses on the sale of property that you hold for personal use.

5. Limit on Losses. If your capital losses are more than your capital gains, you can deduct the difference as a loss on your tax return. This loss is limited to $3,000 per year, or $1,500 if you are married and file a separate return.

6. Carryover Losses. If your total net capital loss is more than the limit you can deduct, you can carry it over to next year's tax return.

7. Long and Short Term. Capital gains and losses are treated as either long-term or short-term, depending on how long you held the property. If you held it for one year or less, the gain or loss is short-term.

8. Net Capital Gain. If your long-term gains are more than your long-term losses, the difference between the two is a net long-term capital gain. If your net long-term capital gain is more than your net short-term capital loss, you have a net capital gain.

9. Tax Rate. The tax rate on a net capital gain usually depends on your income. The maximum tax rate on a net capital gain is 20 percent. However, for most taxpayers a zero or 15 percent rate will apply. A 25 or 28 percent tax rate can also apply to certain types of net capital gain.

10. Forms to File. You often will need to file Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, with your federal tax return to report your gains and losses. You also need to file Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses, with your tax return.

For more information about this topic, see the Schedule D instructions and Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses. You can visit IRS.gov to view, download or print any tax product you need right away.
 

Reminder: Tax Filing this year is April 18th but don't wait until the last minute to get your tax return information to us!

 

Call me at 801-521-4538 to get started on your taxes! Ray


 



Claiming a Tax Deduction for Medical and Dental Expenses

Your medical expenses may save you money at tax time, but a few key rules apply.

 

Here are some tax tips to help you determine if you can deduct medical and dental expenses on your tax return:

- Itemize. You can only claim your medical expenses that you paid for in 2015 if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return.
 

- Income. Include all qualified medical costs that you paid for during the year, however, you only realize a tax benefit when your total amount is more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.
 

- Temporary Threshold for Age 65. If you or your spouse is age 65 or older, then it's 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. This exception applies through Dec. 31, 2016.
 

- Qualifying Expenses. You can include most medical and dental costs that you paid for yourself, your spouse and your dependents including:
   > The costs of diagnosing, treating, easing or preventing disease.
   > The costs you pay for prescription drugs and insulin.
   > The costs you pay for insurance premiums for policies that cover medical care qualify.
   > Some long-term care insurance costs.

Exceptions and special rules apply. Costs reimbursed by insurance or other sources normally do not qualify for a deduction. For more examples of costs you can and can't deduct, see IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. You can get it on IRS.gov/forms anytime.

- Travel Costs Count. You may be able to deduct travel costs you pay for medical care. This includes costs such as public transportation, ambulance service, tolls and parking fees. If you use your car, you can deduct either the actual costs or the standard mileage rate for medical travel. The rate is 23 cents per mile for 2015.

- No Double Benefit. You can't claim a tax deduction for medical expenses paid with funds from your Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Arrangements. Amounts paid with funds from those plans are usually tax-free.

- Use the Tool. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov to see if you can deduct your medical expenses. It can answer many of your questions on a wide range of tax topics including the health care law.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

 



Tax Savings from Higher Education Costs

Money you paid for higher education in 2015 can mean tax savings in 2016. If you, your spouse or your dependent took post-high school coursework last year, there may be a tax credit or deduction for you.

Here are some facts from the IRS about key tax breaks for higher education.

The American Opportunity Credit (AOTC) is:

- Worth up to $2,500 per eligible student.
- Used only for the first four years at an eligible college or vocational school.
- For students earning a degree or other recognized credential.
- For students going to school at least half-time for at least one academic period that started during or shortly after the tax year. Claimed on your tax return using Form 8863, Education Credits.

The Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) is:

- Worth up to $2,000 per tax return, per year, no matter how many students qualify.
- For all years of higher education, including classes for learning or improving job skills.
- Claimed on your tax return using Form 8863, Education Credits.

The Tuition and Fees Deduction is:

- Claimed as an adjustment to income.
- Claimed whether or not you itemize.
- Limited to tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at eligible schools.
- Worth up to $4,000.

Additionally:

- You should receive Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from your school by Feb. 1, 2016. Your school also sends a copy to the IRS.
- You may only claim qualifying expenses paid in 2015.
- You can't claim either credit if someone else claims you as a dependent.
- You can't claim either AOTC or LLC and the Tuition and Fees Deduction for the same student or for the same expense, in the same year.
- Income limits could reduce the amount of credits or deductions you can claim.
- The Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov can help you check your eligibility.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.


While these articles outline important tax issues for 2016, additional changes in tax law are more than likely to arise during the year ahead.  Don't hesitate to call us if you need help or want to get started on tax planning for 2016!.

 


 

[fname], if you have comments or questions on the information in these articles, as usual feel free to call our offices at 801-521-4538.

 

Ray Clark, CPA, MBA

 


Ray Clark, CPA, MBA | Clark & Clark PC | 203 East 800 South | Salt Lake City, UT 84111 | 801-521-4538 | staff@clarkaccountingcpa.com

 

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