Texas State Tax Filing 2015 and Texas Tax Tips

Texas State Tax Filing 2015 and Texas Tax Tips

Texas State Tax Profile Texas is one of seven states that have no individual income tax.  Most of Texas’s tax revenue comes from state sales taxes and taxes on businesses and specific industries.  Texas does have a property tax, but it’s collected by cities, counties, and school districts and can only be used for local needs. Texas Property Tax Property taxes are based on the current market value of real estate and tangible personal property as appraised by the county appraisal district.  To determine value, the appraiser compares your home to others that have recently sold.  The appraised value of your property is then multiplied by the local property tax rate to determine your property tax bill.  These rates are set by counties and school districts and are based on the yearly budget and how much revenue will be needed to cover costs.  These local governments hold public hearings to discuss any tax increases.  If the tax rate increase exceeds certain limits, citizens have the option to petition for a public vote on the increase. Owners of agricultural or timberland property can apply for special appraisals.  These appraisals are based on value of the crops, livestock, timber, etc. that the land produces, which can result in lower appraisals and lower property taxes. Texas Property Tax Exemptions 2016 Property tax exemptions reduce the appraisal value of your property, thereby reducing your property tax bill.  The following exemptions are available in Texas, and can be applied for using one application form. Homestead Exemption: If your property is your principal residence as of January 1st of the tax year, you can qualify...
Pennsylvania Individual Income Tax Return 2016

Pennsylvania Individual Income Tax Return 2016

Pennsylvania Individual Income Taxes – 2016 Individuals in Pennsylvania pay a flat tax of 3.07 percent.  This means that in Pennsylvania everyone pays 3.07 percent, no matter how much income they make.  However, if your income is low enough, the state will forgive your tax debt, bringing your tax bill to zero. Pennsylvania does not allow for a standard deduction or a deduction for personal exemptions (dependents).  Therefore, the allowed deductions, tax credits, and exclusions from income become all the more important. What Income Is Taxable? Pennsylvania assesses tax on the eight classes of income: Compensation Interest Dividends Net profits from a business, profession, or farm Net gains from the dispositions of property Net gains from rents, royalties, patents, and copyrights Income from estates or trusts Gambling and lottery winnings other than Pennsylvania Lottery winnings What Income Is Exempt? Common income items that are exempt from Pennsylvania income tax include: Capital gains from the sale of a principal residence for those who satisfy ownership and use requirements Personal use of employer-owned property Child support Alimony Social security benefits, public and private pensions, and IRA distributions Worker’s compensation, unemployment benefits, and public assistance Sick pay Inheritances and gifts For full details on all exempt income items see the instructions to Form PA-40. What Can I Deduct? Pennsylvania does not allow many of the deductions that are allowed on your Federal tax return 2015, limiting your deductions to the following three: Employment related expenses that were not reimbursed by your employer are allowed to be deducted from your gross compensation.  Pennsylvania requires the costs to be ordinary, necessary, reasonable, and directly...
New York Personal Income Tax Preparation 2016

New York Personal Income Tax Preparation 2016

New York Personal Income Tax – 2016 New York personal income tax rules are very similar to federal income taxes for individuals.  New York only deviates from the federal rules in a few ways, such as exempting pension income and adding deductions for college tuition and college savings.  New York also has several tax credits that will help out homeowners and those with children. New York Income Tax Deductions 2016 New York offers a standard deduction ranging from $3,000 for single individuals to $15,000 for married filing jointly.  There is also an exemption deduction of $1,000 for each dependent.  If your adjusted gross income is less than $100,000 you can take all of your federal itemized deductions on your New York return. Itemized deductions are limited for those with an AGI of greater than $100,000.  New York has these additional deductions available: Contributions to New York’s 529 plan: you can deduct up to $5,000 ($10,000 if married filing jointly), or the actual amount you contributed whichever is least. College tuition: you can either take a deduction or a tax credit for college tuition in New York.  Only tuition paid for the undergraduate enrollment or attendance at an institution of higher education is deductible. This includes expenses paid using a qualified state tuition program (like New York’s 529 College Savings Program).  You cannot deduct things like room and board, books, or activities, even if their purchase is required by the school. Pension Income Can Be Excluded in New York Government pension income from New York state or local government, the federal government (including social security benefits), and certain railroad pensions...
New York City Taxes 2015

New York City Taxes 2015

New York City Taxes -2016 New York City is one of the few cities in the country that have their own income tax.  The city also has the distinction of having the highest cigarette tax in the nation.  And it doesn’t stop there, the state of New York is known for having some of the highest property taxes in the nation as well. New York City Property Tax New York City Department of Finance values New York City residential and commercial properties.  A tentative value assessment is sent out each January.  If there are no changes, the final assessment is sent out in May.  New York City assessments are based on percentages of market value with those percentages varying depending on the type of property.  If you do not agree with your assessment, you can appeal it. Property tax rates are set each year by the Mayor and City Council.  Property tax rates usually range from about 10% to 17% depending on the type of property.  These tax rates are applied to property values to help determine each homeowner’s annual tax liability.  Property tax bills are sent out each year in June and payments are due either in two (semi-annual) or four (quarterly) payments. New York City has several exemptions and property tax reductions available including exemptions for senior citizens, veterans, and the disabled.  The New York State STAR exemption for owner-occupied housing is also available as well as property tax abatements (or reductions) for certain individuals. New York City Income Tax 2015 New York City has a separate city income tax in addition to the state income tax...
New York City Income Tax Return

New York City Income Tax Return

New York City is one of the few cities in the U.S. that have a personal income tax.  New York City income tax is paid on your New York State income tax return.  There are no deductions available, but there are separate credits for New York City income taxes. Who Has to Pay New York City Income Tax? Every income-earning individual, estate and trust residing in New York City must pay New York City personal income tax. Taxpayers who have lived in NYC for only part of the year calculate their tax based on the days lived in NYC. New York City Income Tax Deductions New York City income tax is based on New York State taxable income, which is gross income less New York State tax deductions.  There are no deductions specifically for New York City income tax. New York City Income Tax Credits New York City income tax credits reduce the amount of New York City income tax you owe.  They will not affect the amount of New York State income tax that you owe.  Some credits are refundable, meaning that any leftover credit in excess of your tax liability can be refunded to you.  These credits are available to offset New York City income tax: NYC Child and Dependent Care Credit: Full-year and part-year New York City residents who paid child care expenses for children under the age of four may be eligible to claim this credit.  The credit amount can be as much as 75% of your New York State dependent care credit depending on your income.  This is a refundable credit. Pennsylvania State Taxes...
Illinois Income Tax Return 2016

Illinois Income Tax Return 2016

Illinois Tax Profile Illinois cities have some of the highest sales taxes coming in the country with Chicago even charging a special tax on soda.  Illinois cities have also been ranked as having the highest cigarette taxes in the country.  However, cities and counties offer a long list of property tax exemptions and the state income tax is a low flat rate of only 3 percent. Illinois Property Tax The state of Illinois receives no revenue from property taxes – all of the money goes to local municipalities.  According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, 62% of local property tax revenue goes to school districts for education. In Illinois there is a one year lag in the property tax cycle.  Property is assessed on January 1st, and property tax is paid on that assessment in the following year (taxes on a 2013 assessment would be paid in 2014).  Property is assessed at 33.33% of its market value.  Cook County (Chicago’s county) uses a computer model that determines value based on comparable home sales over a five year period and limits the valuation of single family homes to 16% of market value.  Farmland in Illinois is assessed based on its ability to produce income (also known as agricultural value). Property Tax Exemptions Illinois has several exemptions that reduce your property tax by reducing the assessed value of your home.  The General Homestead Exemption can be claimed for up to $5,000 for single-family homes that are the primary residence of the owner.  A lessee with a legal interest in the property and an obligation to pay property taxes can also claim...