Everyday people want to know if they can to turn an activity they enjoy into a tax-exempt charity. Probably the most common reason people want to create a tax-exempt charity is to receive tax deductible donations. To receive tax deductible donations, the organization would have to be exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). For an organization to be exempt under Section 501(c)(3), the organization has to meet certain basic requirements.
On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (the "Act"). The Act contains a requirement that 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations file a notice with the IRS. Prior to the Act, 501(c)(4) organizations could, but were not required to, submit a Form 1024 requesting tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Once again, the tax filing season is behind most Americans, leaving in its wake another batch of paper and electronic records for taxpayers to add to what may already be a large collection of old tax papers and files. So, how long should you keep these files, and what documents should be saved in the archives?
Previously the IRS announced that employer payment plans would violate the Affordable Care Act and subject an employer to penalties. An employer payment plan is a plan under which an employer reimburses an employee for all or part of the premium for an individual health insurance policy. The penalty for this arrangement is $100 per participant/per day.
An employer that has an IRS preapproved retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, profit sharing plan, or money purchase pension plan, is required to restate the plan every six years for changes in the law. The last six year restatement cycle ended April 30, 2010 and the IRS has announced that the second restatement cycle will run through April 30, 2016. Any employer that does not restate a preapproved retirement plan by April 30, 2016 will be subject to a late amender penalty.
The IRS has released final regulations governing when taxpayers must capitalize expenditures and when they can deduct expenditures related to the acquisition of tangible property. These regulations are effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Importantly, the final regulations provide for a de minimis safe harbor election that allows taxpayers to immediately deduct the cost of acquiring certain items of tangible property, provided that specific requirements are satisfied. The election is made annually by attaching a statement to a timely filed income tax return.
On Halloween, the IRS treated employers and health flexible spending account participants to a change in the longstanding "use it or lose it" rule. Beginning immediately, employers may amend their cafeteria plans to allow participants to carry over up to $500 of unused FSA funds at the end of the plan year so that the carryover can be used to reimburse qualified medical expenses incurred in the following plan year. In addition, the amount carried over will not count against the permitted $2,500 salary reduction limit applicable to the next plan year.