Now that summer has arrived, you may find opportunities to combine business activities with pleasure, which could result in tax breaks. Here are five of those potential breaks.

1. Organize a company outing. Normally, deductions for business entertainment and meals are limited to 50 percent of the expenses. However, you can write off 100 percent of the cost of a company picnic or other get-together. Note that you can't restrict the outing to only a select few employees.

2. Take a mini-vacation. If you're traveling on business, you might extend the trip a few days to get in some sightseeing. Generally, you can deduct your travel expenses — including airfare and 50 percent of your meals — if the primary purpose of the travel is business related. But you can't deduct expenses for your side trips.

3. Send the kids to camp. When you send your children who are under age 13 to day camp so you and your spouse can work in the summer, you may claim the dependent care credit for the expense. Usually, the maximum credit is $600 for one child and $1,200 for two or more children. The cost of overnight camp doesn't qualify.

4. Lease your vacation home. If you rent out your vacation home when you're not using it, you often can deduct your rental expenses in full. Deductions are limited to rental income if your personal use for the year exceeds the greater of 14 days or 10 percent of the rental time. Note: There are no tax consequences for a rental of two weeks or less.

5. Fish for deductions. Although you can't claim deductions for an entertainment facility, like a boat, you may still write off 50 percent of entertainment expenses relating to the facility. For instance, if you take a client deep sea fishing after a substantial business meeting, you can deduct the fuel, food, and drinks — even the fish bait.

These are just five possibilities, but it's important to be aware of exclusions and limitations that may apply to your situation.

Burzenski and Company, P.C. 

Is your child thinking about taking on a job for extra money this summer? If so, both of you may have questions about taxes. The following are a few tax tips to help you prepare.

For 2017, your child can earn as much as $6,350 and not pay a dime in federal income tax. If your child's earnings won't exceed this amount, consider having the child claim "student–exempt" when completing the "Federal Withholding Allowance Certificate" (Form W-4). As long as your child's total income doesn't exceed the $6,350 limit, he or she may not need to file a 2017 tax return.

Don't overlook the fact Social Security and Medicare taxes will be withheld from your child's paycheck. While these payments are not income taxes, let your new worker know they will be withheld from his or her paycheck.

Keep in mind that self-employment income, tips, interest, dividends, and stock sales may impact your child's tax return filing requirement.

As long as you provide more than half of your child's support, you can continue to claim the child as an exemption on your tax return. Your child will lose his or her exemption, but that exemption deduction is typically more valuable to you than to your child.

If you need more details about the tax implications of your child's summer job, please call us at 203-468-8133.

 

Summertime usually makes us think of vacations, backyard barbecues, and general relaxation. Tax planning may not be on the top of your summertime to do list, but this year you may want to consider making time for it.

Major tax reform is being considered in Washington for the first time in thirty years. Current proposals include changes to the tax bracket structure, personal deductions, exemptions, and childcare credits. Potential changes could create pitfalls or opportunities that can make a difference in the taxes you pay. You can't control what happens in Washington, but you can prepare for what's ahead by considering moves that could minimize your tax bill for 2017.

This year tax planning is more important than ever. Call today at 203-468-8133 to schedule a midyear tax review. We'll discuss your situation and find the strategies that are most beneficial to you.