Tag Archives: emancipation day

Fun Friday April 8, 2016

Thank Abraham Lincoln for the three extra days you have to file your 2015 taxes.

Why is tax day April 18 this year?

By Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
April 07, 2016 at 9:02 AM

Tax Day is typically April 15. This year that date coincides with Emancipation Day, the Washington D.C. holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. capital.

Emancipation Day is usually observed April 16, the date in 1862 when President Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act. The act freed the 3,100 slaves who lived in the capital.

But April 16 falls on a Saturday this year, So the local government in D.C. will shut down a day earlier to mark the holiday.

Federal government offices do not close during the holiday, but the Internal Revenue Service treats D.C. holidays the same as federal holidays when it comes to filing taxes. That pushes the official national deadline to the next business day, or in this case, Monday, April 18.

The Washington Post reports that residents in Maine and Massachusetts get an extra day, on top of the three-day extension, thanks to Patriots’ Day, the April 18 holiday marking the revolutionary battles of Lexington and Concord. Taxpayers in those states will have until April 19 to file.

The expression is a Proverb, April showers bring May flowers”

1.   April, traditionally a rainy period, gives way to May, when flowers will bloom because of the water provided to them by the April rains.

2.   By extension, that a period of discomfort can provide the basis for a period of happiness and joy.

Related terms

·         every dark cloud has a silver lining

·         everything happens for a reason

·         to everything there is a season

A Poem:

April showers bring May flowers,
That is what they say.
But if all the showers turned to flowers,
We’d have quite a colourful day!

There’d be bluebells and cockleshells,
Tulips red and green,
Daffodils and Chinese squill,
The brightest you’ve ever seen.

You’d see tiger lilies and water lilies,
Carnations pink and blue,
Forget-me-not and small sundrop
Glistening with the dew.

We’d have fireweed and milkweed
And many more different flowers.
Mexican star and shooting star,
Falling in the showers.

And if all the showers turned to flowers
On that rainy April day,
Would all the flowers turn to showers
In the sunny month of May?

Fun Friday From Gurdayal Singh, February 19

Monday, February 22nd, is George Washington’s birthday. He was the first President of the United States, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, presided over the convention that drafted the current United States Constitution and during his lifetime was called the “father of his country”. Serving Two Terms, he was born in 1732, and died December 14, 1799 at age 67.

5 Great Quotes from George Washington:

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” 

“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.”

Mind These Tax Code Changes as You Prepare Your 2015 Returns

Tax season has now opened and we are discovering a whole new world of confusing regulations and complex forms. Manage your returns with this review of changes specific to the 2015 tax season.

1. Later filing date—April 18, 2016!

Emancipation Day is an official holiday in the District of Colombia, ad this year Emancipation Day falls on April 15. Therefore, U.S. taxpayers in all 50 states will be granted an extra few days to complete their returns in 2015. April 18 is the official date by which all tax returns must be filed. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until April 19 to file their tax returns, as Patriot Day falls on April 18 in 2016.

2. Increased penalty for the uninsured

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most Americans must purchase health insurance or pay a penalty via their tax return. To calculate the penalty tax, first determine the amounts owed under the “flat-dollar amount” and “percentage of income,” and then take the higher of the two numbers. The flat-dollar penalty for 2015 is $325 per adult plus half the adult amount for each uninsured child under age 18. The total household penalty under the flat-dollar calculation is capped at three times the adult rate, or $975.

For the percentage of income calculation, take your taxable income and multiply by the percent assigned to the tax year (2015 is 2%). The percentage of income penalty is capped at the average cost of a bronze plan, which for 2015 is $2,484 for an individual and $12,240 for a family of five.

Tip: Go to the IRS website to learn more about what qualifies as health care coverage under the ACA.

3. Higher Roth IRA limits

The IRA contributions limits remain unchanged at $5,500 per person (individuals age 50 and older may contribute up to $6,500 to an IRA). If an individual’s income does not reach a certain threshold, you can contribute directly to a Roth IRA up until April 18, 2016 (see Table 1). For singles, the income threshold for 2015 Roth IRA contributions begins at $116,000 and ends at $131,000. For married couples filing jointly, the threshold begins at $183,000 and ends at $193,000.

Table 1: Retirement Plan Contribution Limits
Retirement account Income threshold for tax year 2015
Roth IRA contribution limit $5,500
Roth IRA contribution limit if 50 or over $6,500
Traditional IRA contribution limit $5,500
Traditional IRA contribution limit if 50 or over $6,500
Roth IRA income limits (single) $116,000-$131,000
Roth IRA income limits (married) $183,000-$193,000

Source: IRS

Tip: If your income exceeds the threshold for a Roth IRA, contribute to a Traditional IRA and then convert it to a Roth IRA, which can save you a lot of money over the long-term.

4. Higher thresholds for personal exemptions and income brackets

For tax year 2015, the personal exemption amount is $4,000. The personal exemption phase-out (PEP) thresholds for taxpayers with higher incomes are based on filing status as shown below in Table 2.

Table 2: Personal Exemption Thresholds
Filing status PEP threshold starts PEP threshold ends
Single $258,250 $380,750
Married filing jointly $309,900 $432,400
Married filing separately $154,950 $216,200
Head of household $284,050 $406,550

Source: Tax Policy Center

The income threshold for the highest tax bracket increased for tax year 2015, benefiting those who fall in or just under the highest tax bracket. For the taxpayers in the 39.6% tax brackets, the taxable income threshold has risen, as shown below in Table 3.

Table 3: Highest Tax Bracket Thresholds
Filing status Tax year 2015
Individuals $413,200
Married filing jointly $464,850
Head of household $439,000
Married filing separately $232,425
Estates and trusts $12,300

Source: IRS

5. Standard deductions adjusts slightly

Remember, there are two types of tax deductions: standard and itemized, but you can only claim one type of deduction on your tax return. If you do not itemize, the basic standard deduction depends on your filing status and is subtracted from the adjusted gross income to reduce your taxable income. In addition, blind taxpayers or those over age 65 can take an additional deduction.

Table 4: 2015 Standard Deduction
Filing status Tax year 2015
Individuals $6,300
Married Filing Jointly $12,600
Married Filing Separately $6,300
Head of Household $9,250
Dependent filing own return $1,050
Blind or over 65 $1,250 additional deduction
Blind or over 65, unmarried or not a surviving spouse $1,550 additional deduction

Source: IRS

Attempting to leverage the constantly evolving tax codes may be challenging for financial professionals, and can be terrifying and simply too time-consuming. Ensure you work with a tax professional when questions arise.

Debra Taylor, CPA/PFS, Esq., is the president of the Taylor Financial Group, LLC, a wealth management firm in Franklin Lakes, N.J. Debra has been recognized by her broker-dealer for her client service and has been named a member of LPL Financial’s Chairman’s Council, a recognition given to the top 2% of all advisors supported by LPL Financial.

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