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2015 Federal Budget – Extending the Exclusion From Income for Cancelled Mortgage Debt

For as long as I could remember, a cancelled debt came with a tax bill. If you defaulted on a loan, the discharged debt amount was treated as income and taxed at your marginal rate, i.e. simply added on top of your income and taxed. Soon after the housing crisis of 2004-5, congress passed a [...]

2015 Federal Budget – Extending the American Opportunity Tax Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a College Tuition benefit. Specifically, Taxpayers may claim an AOTC for 100 percent of the first $2,000 plus 25 percent of the next $2,000 of qualified tuition and related expenses (for a maximum credit of $2,500) per student. This is not a deduction, but a credit, in effect, you [...]

2015 Federal Budget – Increasing Standard Mileage Rates for Charitable Driving

There are times that you can deduct the cost of operating your car, and more specifically, write off the mileage you've driven for particular reasons. From the IRS site, above is a brief summary. You can see the disparity between what you can deduct for miles driven for business vs medical, moving, and charity. Strangely, [...]

2015 Federal Budget – Limiting the Size of Retirement Accounts

We continue our look at the proposed 2015 Government Budget, and today it's one that is bound to impact people by surprise. The proposal itself may seem well intended, at face value, it puts a limit on what one can accumulate in their retirement accounts. In light of the Mitt Romney $400M IRA, such proposals [...]

2015 Federal Budget – Closing the Carried Interest Loophole

This is a change for the better that reverses a bit of tax code that never made sense to me. There is a loophole that taxes what you or I would look at as income to partners of an investment firm, and tax it at a capital gain rate. As the budget proposal states "Although [...]

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