Welcome 2013! As the new year rolls around, it’s always a sure bet that there will be changes to the current tax law and 2013 is no different. From health savings accounts to retirement contributions here’s a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.
For 2013, standard deductions and the personal exemption, as well as most retirement contribution limits have been adjusted upward to reflect inflation. However, the current tax rate structure and many other tax provisions revert to pre-Bush era tax cuts.
Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT)
Alternate Minimum Tax (AMT) limits decrease for all taxpayers at $33,750 for singles, $45,000 for married filing jointly, and $22,500 for married filing separately.
For taxable years beginning in 2013, the amount that can be used to reduce the net unearned income reported on the child’s return that is subject to the “kiddie tax,” is $1,000 (up from $950 in 2012). The same $1,000 amount is used to determine whether a parent may elect to include a child’s gross income in the parent’s gross income and to calculate the “kiddie tax”. For example, one of the requirements for the parental election is that a child’s gross income for 2013 must be more than $1,000 but less than $10,000.
For 2013, the net unearned income for a child under the age of 19 (or a full-time student under the age of 24) that is not subject to “kiddie tax” is $2,000.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) are used to pay current or future medical expenses of the account owner, his or her spouse, and any qualified dependent. Medical expenses must not be reimbursable by insurance or other sources and do not qualify for the medical expense deduction on a federal income tax return.
A qualified individual must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and not be covered by other health insurance with the exception of insurance for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, or long-term care.
For calendar year 2013, a qualifying HDHP must have a deductible of at least $1,250 (up $50 from 2012) for self-only coverage or $2,500 (up $100 from 2012) for family coverage (unchanged from 2011) and must limit annual out-of-pocket expenses of the beneficiary to $6,250 for self-only coverage (up $200 from 2012) and $12,500 for family coverage (up $400 from 2012).
Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)
There are two types of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs): the Archer MSA created to help self-employed individuals and employees of certain small employers, and the Medicare Advantage MSA, which is also an Archer MSA, and is designated by Medicare to be used solely to pay the qualified medical expenses of the account holder. To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage MSA, you must be enrolled in Medicare. Both MSAs require that you are enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP).
Self-only coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2013, the term “high deductible health plan” means, for self-only coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $2,150 (up $50 from 2012) and not more than $3,200 (up $50 from 2012), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $4,300 (up $100 from 2012).
Family coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2013, the term “high deductible health plan” means, for family coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $4,300 (up $100 from 2012) and not more than $6,450 (up $150 from 2012), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $7,850 (up $200 from 2012).
Eligible Long-Term Care Premiums
Premiums for long-term care are treated the same as health care premiums and are deductible on your taxes subject to certain limitations. For individuals age 40 or less at the end of 2013, the limitation is $360. Persons over 40 but less than 50 can deduct $680. Those over age 50 but not more than 60 can deduct $1,360, while individuals over age 60 but younger than 70 can deduct $3,640. The maximum deduction $4,550 and applies to anyone over the age of 70.
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
For taxable years beginning in 2012, the foreign earned income exclusion amount is $97,600, up from $95,100 in 2012.
For an estate of any decedent during calendar year 2013, the basic exclusion amount is $1,000,000 (down from $5,120,000 in 2012). Also, if the executor chooses to use the special use valuation method for qualified real property, the aggregate decrease in the value of the property resulting from the choice cannot exceed $1,070,000, up from $1,040,000 for 2012. The maximum tax rate rises to 55% (up from 35% in 2012).
Individuals – Tax Credits
For taxable years beginning in 2013, there is a maximum (non-refundable) credit of $6,000, which is limited to domestic adoption of a child with special needs. The phase-out range (modified adjusted gross income) for the credit is $75,000 to $115,000.
Earned Income Tax Credit
For tax year 2013, the maximum earned income tax credit (EITC) for low and moderate income workers and working families rises to $5,981, up from $5,891 in 2012.
Child Tax Credit
For tax year 2013, the child tax credit is $500 per child.
Individuals – Education
Hope Scholarship (American Opportunity Tax Credit) and Lifetime Learning Credits
The American Opportunity Tax Credit expired on December 31, 2012 at which time it reverted to the Hope Scholarship Credit, a non-refundable $1,500 credit per student. The Lifetime Learning Credit remains at $2,000.
Interest on Educational Loans
In 2013, the deduction for student loan interest on qualified education loans can only be claimed for the first 60 months (5 years) of interest payments. Income phase-out levels for single filers are $40,000 to $55,000 and for married filers are $60,000 to $75,000.
Individuals – Retirement
The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $17,000 to $17,500. Contribution limits for SIMPLE plans increase from $11,500 to $12,000. The maximum compensation used to determine contributions increases to $255,000 (up $5,000 from 2012 levels).
Income Phase-out Ranges
The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and have modified adjusted gross income (AGI) between $59,000 and $69,000, up from $58,000 and $68,000 in 2012.
For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the phase-out range is $95,000 to $115,000, up from $92,000 to $112,000. For an IRA contributor who is not covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s modified AGI is between $178,000 and $188,000, up from $173,000 and $183,000.
The modified AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $178,000 to $188,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $173,000 to $183,000 in 2012. For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $112,000 to $127,000, up from $110,000 to $125,000. For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a retirement plan, the phase-out range remains $0 to $10,000.
The AGI limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low and moderate income workers is $59,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $57,500 in 2012; $44,250 for heads of household, up from $43,125; and $29,500 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $28,750.
Standard Mileage Rates
The rate for business miles driven is 56.5 cents per mile for 2013, up from 55.5 cents per mile in 2012.
Section 179 Expensing
For 2013 the maximum Section 179 expense deduction for equipment purchases is $25,000 (down from $139,000 in 2012) of the first $200,000 (down from $560,000 in 2012) of business property placed in service during the year. The bonus depreciation (50% in 2012) expired at the end of 2012.
Transportation Fringe Benefits
If you provide transportation fringe benefits to your employees, for tax years beginning in 2013 the maximum monthly limitation for transportation in a commuter highway vehicle as well as any transit pass is $125 (same as 2012). The monthly limitation for qualified parking is $240 (same as 2012).
While this checklist outlines important tax changes for 2013, additional changes in tax law are more than likely to arise during the year ahead.
Don’t hesitate to call us if you want to get an early start on tax planning for 2013. We’re here to help!
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