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Large Employers Must Offer Affordable Health Coverage Beginning In 2015

In general, beginning January 1, 2015, employers with at least 100 full-time and full-time-equivalent employees must offer affordable health coverage that provides minimum value to at least 95% of their full-time employees and their dependents or they may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment. This payment applies only if at least one of the employer’s full-time employees qualifies for a premium tax credit through enrollment in a government Health Insurance Marketplace.

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Is a 1031 Exchange Right for You?
If you own real property that you could sell for a substantial profit, you may have wondered whether there’s a way to avoid or minimize the taxes that would result from such a sale. The answer is yes, if the property is business or investment related. Normally, the gain from a sale of a capital asset is taxable income, but Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code provides a way to postpone the tax on the gain if the property is exchanged for a like-kind property that is also used in business or held for investment. These transactions are often referred to as 1031 exchanges and may apply to other types of property besides real estate, but the information in this article is geared toward real property.

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Getting the Most Out of Employee Business Expense Deductions
Individuals can deduct as miscellaneous itemized deductions certain expenses that they incur in the course of their employment. Generally, qualified business expenses are un-reimbursed expenses that are both ordinary (common and accepted in your industry) and necessary and do not include personal expenses.

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No Health Insurance? Qualify for Hardship Waiver?
If you didn’t get health insurance coverage this year, you may be subject to a penalty unless you qualify for one of the many general or hardship exemptions. There are in excess of 30 possible exemptions from the penalty and some of the exemptions require you to complete and file an application for approval. If approved for an exemption that requires specific approval, you will be issued an exemption certificate number (ECN) that must be included on your tax return to claim the exemption.

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Tax Smart Gifting
Frequently, taxpayers think that gifts of cash, securities or other assets they give to other individuals are tax deductible and, in turn, the gift recipient sometimes thinks income tax must be paid on the gift received. Nothing is further from the truth. To fully understand the ramifications of gifting, one needs to realize that gift tax laws are interrelated with estate tax laws, and Uncle Sam does not want you giving away your wealth before you pass away to avoid inheritance taxes.

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