Celebrating 20 Years & Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015- January 2016

The Shaw Atlas

Welcome to The Shaw Atlas, the monthly newsletter from Shaw & Associates, CPAs & Financial Advisors. We look forward to keeping you abreast of ever-changing tax codes, providing you with money saving accounting tips and illustrating proactive strategies to help you achieve the financial life you envision.

Celebrating 20 Years in Business

Kevin’s Korner- Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015

Anniversary- Susan Graham 5 Years

Community Events

Celebrating 20 Years in Business

Shaw & Associates is embarking on our 20th year in business starting this month! We have always been fortunate to be surrounded by greatness, because we live in a wonderful place and serve exceptional people every day; so it means a lot for us to be recognized for the great work we do. While it’s hard to believe that soon 20 years in this business will have passed, it’s also very exciting to imagine what the future has in store. Please be on the look-out for additional information related to our 20th year anniversary throughout the year and we look forward to another successful 20 years in business!

Kevin’s Korner

Congress and the President have finally acted and removed some of the guesswork that we all have been performing regarding tax planning. On Friday, Dec. 18th 2015, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 was signed into law and extends, and even makes permanent, several tax provisions that had expired at the beginning of 2015. Although the details of the bill are extensive, there are a few highlights that are most applicable to our clients.

Several tax deductions and credits were made permanent, and retroactive to the beginning of 2015. These include:

  • Research & Development credit
  • Increased Section 179 expensing limits for business tangible property (this remains at the 2014 limit of $500,000 per year, rather than the $25,000 limit originally scheduled for 2015)
  • Eligibility of certain real property for Section 179 expensing
  • The American Opportunity tax credit for $2500 of higher education expenses for eligible students
  • Deduction of certain unreimbursed educator expenses for teachers, principals, and other school employees
  • Deduction of state and local sales taxes as an alternative to deducting state and local income taxes.

This bill also extends the 50% bonus depreciation for certain business tangible property through 2017, and a phased-down amount through 2019.

Additionally, the bill includes a few other noteworthy provisions. These all are effective for 2016 forms that are issued in 2017, and include:

  • The 1098-T that is issued by the universities to report higher education expenses is required to report amounts paid rather than amounts billed (this is helpful to taxpayers as the credit or deduction is based on amounts paid not amounts billed).
  • Forms W-2, W-3, 1099-Misc., and 1096 will be due to the IRS by January 31st. Historically, these forms have been required to be issued to the recipient by January 31st and the government by February 28th; now they will all be due by January 31st.
  • W-2’s will not report the recipient’s full social security number (a truncated version will be used) due to increased cases of identity theft and fraud.

As usual, if you have specific questions on any of these items, please feel free to contact us at info@kevinshawcpa.com.

Anniversary- Susan Graham

IMG_3230Congratulations to our Senior Staff Accountant, Susan Graham, as she celebrates her 5th anniversary with Shaw & Associates this month.

Susan is not only a valued member of our team, she is also a wonderful friend and colleague. During her 5 years with the company, Susan has excelled in efficiency and organization while preparing a variety of client tax returns. She has also been a strong and reliable resource for all things related to taxes and bookkeeping services for our staff and clients.

Thank you, Susan for your continuous hard work and dedication to the company. We look forward to another 5 years with you!

Community Events

OpenStage- Outside Mullingar

Freckled and fierce, Irish lass Rosemary nurses a childhood grudge against her slow and socially awkward neighbor Anthony in this Tony-nominated play about a generations-old land dispute. Outside Mullingar opens Saturday Jan. 9th and plays through Saturday Feb. 6th. Please contact our office for free tickets to attend!

The Arc of Larimer County- Cross-Disability Parent Group

A group of parents sharing the experience of raising children, or caring for adult children, with disabilities. Join us for dinner/drinks/company at Nordy’s BBQ & Grill (4360 St Cloud Dr, Loveland, CO 80538) on Jan. 19th from 6:00pm-7:30pm. Questions: Contact Cari Brown at cbrown@arclc.org or 970-204-6991 x23.

Food Bank of Larimer County- Empty Bowls

As a major fundraiser for the Food Bank, Empty Bowls raises awareness by reminding us that thousands of our neighbors face empty bowls on their tables throughout the year.

Empty Bowls will be hosted at the Hilton Fort Collins on Thursday Feb. 4th from 5:30pm-8:00pm. Tickets to the event are $50/person; $95/pair. There are also sponsorship opportunities available starting at $250. For more information visit the Food Bank of Larimer County website.