Trump Tax Reform Then & Now

Trump Tax Reform Then and Now

President Trump ran his campaign on many issues important to the American people with one of the top issues focusing on our taxation policy. During the election we discussed his plans for tax reform for both individuals and businesses, so, what has changed? For starters Trump has cut back on the level of details his administration is willing to release at this time. The one page document released on Wednesday, April 26 2017 outlined in very broad terms the following:

1. Individual reform:

  1. Reduce the 7 tax brackets to 3:
    1. 10%
    2. 25%
    3. 35%
  2. Double the standard deduction
  3. Provide tax relief for families with child and depended care expenses
  4. Eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy
  5. Protect home ownership and charitable gift tax deductions
  6. Repeal the AMT, “Death Tax”, and the 3.8% Net Investment Income Tax

2. Business reform:

  1. Consolidate all current tax brackets to a flat 15% rate
  2. Adopt a Territorial tax system (income is only taxed when earned from a source within the country)
  3. Introduce a one-time tax on the repatriation of all potentially taxable income held overseas
  4. Eliminate tax breaks for special interests

Trump is taking this reform in stride and has opted to hold listening sessions throughout the month of May to receive input that can help shape this reform. We will continue to provide updates as we hear more.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Safeguard Yourself from Scam “IRS Visits”

safeguard yourself from Scam IRS Visits

We are unfortunately in the age of ever evolving scams perpetrated by criminals that prey on the uninformed; therefore, it is crucial to understand how agencies like the IRS will contact you, the taxpayer. The IRS initiates the majority of their contact via U.S. Postal Service mail, however, as part of routine case work it is possible an IRS representative visits you. The reason for the visit will be for one of the following reasons: collections, audits, and/or criminal investigations.

The representative should begin the interaction be identifying him or herself with two forms of official credentials called a pocket commission and a HSPD-12 Card. These forms of identification are unique to Federal employees and contractors and you as the taxpayer have the right to see them. Do not discuss any confidential tax matters prior to confirming the representative’s identity.

During these interactions the IRS representative will not do the following:

  • Demand payment using a specific payment method such as a debit or gift card, especially over the phone
  • Demand payment without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount
  • Threaten to bring in local police in an attempt to arrest or seize taxpayer licenses or immigration status for not paying

If you experience any of the above be sure to cease all discussions and immediately call your tax representative or local police department for assistance.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Help! I Owe Tax and Can’t Pay!

Help I owe Tax and Cant Pay

So you’ve finished your 2016 tax return just before the April 18th deadline and have a list of how you are going to spend your tax refund, but it turns out that you owe money. What should you do if you can’t afford to pay the tax now? Here are our suggestions:

1. Minimize penalties. There are separate penalties for filing your tax return late (5% per month) and paying your taxes late (0.5% per month). So you should still file your tax return or extension by April 18th, otherwise your problems will be much worse. If you are unable to file your tax return by April 18th, use Form 4868 to request an extension until October 16th.

2. Request an installment agreement. If you owe $50,000 or less, you can file an online application to pay your tax bill for up to 72 months. You will need to have filed your 2016 tax return to request the agreement and it is important that you stay current with the payment schedule. Click here for the online application.

3. Request an Offer-in-Compromise. This is an option for taxpayers who the IRS believes don’t have the assets or income potential to pay their tax bill. For these taxpayers, the IRS actually reduces the tax that is due. A deal like this is tough to get. The IRS has a Pre-Qualifier tool on their website.

It is also important to understand why you owe tax and take steps to plan for future tax payments so that you are not in the same position next year. Consider increasing your withholding or making estimated tax payments for 2017 to prepay the tax due over time or set the money aside in a savings account to fund the payment next April.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Are you Taking Advantage of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

Are you Taking Advantage of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

The IRS issued Tax Tip 2017-28 to remind taxpayers of an often overlooked tax benefit, the child and dependent care tax credit. This credit is available to those who were required to incur expenses for the care of their dependents so they could work or look for work. In order to claim the credit both spouses must either work, be looking for work, be a full-time student or disabled. Common types of expenses which could qualify are day care, preschool and summer camps.

In order for the expenses to qualify they must be incurred for a “qualifying person”. The IRS defines this to be a child under age 13 or a spouse or dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care. Additionally, the taxpayer claiming the credit must have earned income (wages or self-employment income).

The credit was calculated to be between 20 and 35 percent of the qualifying expenses. Qualifying expenses are capped at $3,000 for a single dependent or $6,000 for multiple dependents. It’s important to note that if the taxpayer is utilizing a cafeteria plan to pay for these care expenses pre-tax, they will not be entitled to claim the credit.

This tax credit is claimed by filing Form 2441 with their individual tax return. The form requires certain information such as tax identification numbers and addresses of the dependent and care provider.
The IRS has created a tax assistance to for this credit which can be found here.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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