Healthcare Reform To Cause Real Life Headaches

As all of use hurtle down the road toward the implementation of the 2010 health care legislation it sure does appear that the health care legislation will certainly create its own health problems... especially for your tax adviser! There is a lot to know about the 2010 health care legislation in order to take advantage of favorable provisions and to avoid or minimize penalties. 

The health care legislation enacted in March 2010—the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L. 111-148, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, P.L.111-152—is almost 1,000 pages long. It involves numerous rules on employer-provided health care, insurance exchanges, insured rights, and the health care delivery system. There are numerous tax provisions. Guidance from the IRS and other government agencies has been emerging since 2010, and much of it is quite lengthy.

The Affordable Care Act includes a variety of measures specifically for small businesses that help lower premium cost growth and increase access to quality, affordable health insurance. Depending on whether

Making the Most of Your Aircraft Deductions

More than ever, the media, IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission have expressed their disapproval of private aircraft use by businesses. They each hold a general perception that personal use of business aircraft is extravagant and difficult to justify. But, your purchase, lease, or charter of an aircraft by you or the corporation you own (remember if you’re married, “you” includes your spouse as well) can still create open the opportunity for significant tax benefits.

As you might imagine, the IRS does not take as kind of a view of the tax benefits of aircraft ownership as you or I might. The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 reversed the favorable aircraft deduction strategies previously available to you as identified in a key Tax Court case (Sutherland Lumber-Southwest, Inc. v Commissioner).

An IRS notice now restricts certain aircraft deductions, requires specific treatment of business owners, and requires stricter, more detailed records of aircraft use. Even with these restrictions though, you can still increase your financial wellbeing by making the aircraft rules work for you.

Watch out for taxes if you sell your life insurance contract

The IRS has issued two new rulings addressing the sale and surrender of life insurance contracts from the point of view of policyholders and the investors. In this down economy, it can make good economic sense to sell an insurance policy that is no longer needed, or maybe can no longer be afforded.

The sale of an insurance policy is the sale of an asset; however, the gain could be either ordinary income (taxed like wages) or capital gain income (generally a lower tax rate). You will also need to take into account your investment in the policy (your tax basis).

Now, this discussion does not pertain to someone selling their insurance policy when they are either chronically ill or terminally ill. In those circumstances special exclusions generally will apply.

There are three situations under which you may be selling your policy.

  1. Surrender of the policy to the issuer for cash value.
  2. Sale of the policy with cash surrender value to an unrelated person.
  3. Sale of the policy with no cash surrender value to an unrelated person.

Here are the examples for each situation which demonstrate how the tax bite is determined.