Underpublicized 2012 tax changes & reminders

Every year, the IRS institutes big and little changes – and some don’t get as much notice as they should. Here is a rundown of some of alterations and asterisks affecting taxpayers this year.

    Don’t forget Form 8949. If you are reporting capital gains or losses for 2011, you must file this new form along with your return. Speaking of new paperwork, if you own foreign financial assets whose total value exceeds the applicable reporting threshold, you will need the new Form 8938.1

    Be sure to report Roth rollovers. Back in 2010, did you convert or roll over a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA or other Roth account? If you didn’t report the amount of the rollover on your 2010 federal return, you can report half the amount on your 2011 return 2011 and the remaining half in 2012.1

            A select few can still take the first-time homebuyer credit. By 2011, the credit had disappeared for just about everybody…but select military personnel and intelligence agents are still able to claim the credit for 2011.

            If you’re deducting mileage, rates changed in the middle of 2011. The IRS is giving taxpayers a better break given the recent hikes in gas prices. So, if you’re deducting mileage driven while operating an automobile for business, the rate for the first six months of 2011 is $0.51 per mile, and the rate for the last six months of 2011 is $0.555 per mile. The standard deduction rate for medical or moving mileage was also raised: $0.19 a mile from January 1-June 30, $0.235 a mile from July 1-December 31.

            Fewer cars qualified for the alternative motor vehicle credit last year. Only new fuel cell motor vehicles qualified for the tax break in 2011.1

            Three healthcare changes to note. If you qualify for the health coverage tax credit (HCTC), that credit might be larger for 2011 thanks to recent law changes. Did you receive the 65% tax credit in any of the last 10 months of 2011? If so, you get to claim an additional 7.5% retroactive credit on your 2011 federal return – the HCTC was bumped up to 72.5% from 65%.3

            The range of qualified medical expenses was reduced for HSAs & MSAs last year. In 2011, only prescription drugs and insulin counted as qualified medical expenses for these accounts. Another asterisk worth noting: if you took a distribution from an HSA or MSA in 2011 that wasn’t used for a qualified medical expense, the tax penalty for that increased to 20% last year.1

            Lastly, take the self-employed health insurance deduction on your Form 1040 for 2011. If you are looking at Schedule SE and wondering where it went, it has migrated over to line 29 of Form 1040.1

            The AMT exemption amount got another COLA. Thanks to this adjustment, you are subject to the AMT for tax year 2011 only if you earned more than $48,450 as a single filer, $37,225 if married filing separately, or $74,450 if filing jointly.1

            Don’t send your return to an obsolete filing address. Some of the filing locations for federal tax returns have recently changed. Visit www.irs.gov to see where you should send your return this year – it is probably the same address as always, but check and see as it may be different.1

            Finally, you get two extra days. Procrastinators, take heart: once again, the federal filing deadline this year falls on Tuesday, April 17. That’s because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a holiday within the District of Columbia (Emancipation Day).

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. Marketing Library.Net Inc. is not affiliated with any broker or brokerage firm that may be providing this information to you. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is not a solicitation or a recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.

1 – www.advisorone.com/2012/03/05/irs-top-12-tax-law-changes-for-2012 [3/5/12]

2 – www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=240903,00.html [6/23/11]

3 – www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=109960,00.html [2/24/12]

About
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Kim Last is president of Kimberly A. Last Financial Services in Grand Junction. Working in the financial services industry since 1998, Last holds the CFP, CLU and CLTC designations. Her clients include individuals and small businesses. She focuses primarily on retirement planning, including accumulation, tax strategies, distribution, long-term care and wealth transfer planning. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Brokers International Financial Services, LLC, Panora, IA, Member FINRA/SIPC. Brokers International Financial Services, LLC, and Kimberly A. Last Financial Services are not affiliated companies. These are the views of Peter Montoya Inc., not the named representative, and shouldn’t be construed as investment or tax advice. Neither the named representative nor broker/dealer offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your financial advisor for more information.
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