2015 Tax Tips

Standard Mileage Rates for 2015

The 2016 standard mileage rates for use of a vehicle are 57.5 cents per mile (up from 56 cents per mile in 2014), 23 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes, and 14 cents per mile for rendering gratuitous services to a charitable organization.

Employer Reimbursements of Individual Health Insurance Policies

For plan years beginning after 2013, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) institutes so-called market reform provisions that place a whole host of new restrictions on group health plans. The penalty for violating market reform restrictions is a punitive$100-per-day, per-employee penalty; or $36,500 per employee, per year. These new market reform provisions significantly restrict an employer’s ability to reimburse employees for premiums, referred to as employer payment arrangements. Under such arrangements, the employer reimburses employees for premiums they pay on their individual health insurance policies (or the employer sometimes pays the premium on behalf of the employee). Unfortunately, these arrangements violate the market reform provisions. (The market reform provisions do not apply to group health plans that have only one participating employee).

Bottom line. While still technically allowed under the tax code, employer payment arrangements, other than arrangements covering only one employee, are no longer a viable alternative.

Charitable Contributions

In most cases, you can itemize your charitable contributions as a deduction up to 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Gifts of appreciated property are generally deductible up to 30% of your AGI. In all cases, you must have documentation of any contribution over $250 in order to deduct it on your itemized deductions.

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