End of year gifting rules and reminders

Are you considering making gifts this year?

The annual gift exclusion for 2014 is $14,000. This annual gift tax exclusion can be given away by an individual in any given year to an unlimited number of people free from any federal gift tax consequences. Any amounts gifted over the annual exclusion will be applied against your lifetime gift tax exemption, which is $5,340,000 in 2014. In 2013 Minnesota passed a gift tax, but it was later repealed.

If you plan to write a check for gifts at the end of the year, be sure the check is cashed before January 1.

Year-end tax tips for businesses

There is still time to take advantage of end-of-the-year tax tips that can save you money.

Accelerate deductions and defer income
There are many income items and expenses in your control. Consider deferring bonuses, consulting income or self-employment income. To accelerate deductions, look at the timing of state and local income tax payments, interest payments and real estate taxes.

Make-up a tax shortfall with increased withholding
Don’t forget that taxes are due throughout the year. Check your withholding and estimated tax payments now while you have time to fix a problem. If you’re in danger of an underpayment penalty, try to make up the shortfall through increased withholding on your salary or bonuses.

Understanding the new tangible property regulations

The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued final regulations that address the proper characterization of expenditures for maintenance, repair and improvement activities associated with tangible property. In other words, the regulations provide guidelines (including safe harbor thresholds) for deducting or capitalizing expenditures (“TPR” or “Repair regulations”).

The IRS and Treasury also issued separate regulations about how to go about disposing of depreciable property and general asset accounts.

Who is affected?
In general, most businesses that have tangible property will need to address these rules in their 2014 tax filings. Specifically, potential favorable opportunity exists for businesses that own buildings, have large tenant improvements or have significant manufacturing equipment and related assets.

LBL is the newest member of Minnesota Keystone

LBL was recently honored alongside nearly 200 other Minnesota companies as part of the Minnesota Keystone Program. This program supports and recognizes companies who give at least 2 percent of their annual pre-tax income back to the community.

In 1976, 23 Minnesota companies created this program (originally known as “The 5% Club”) to recognize and encourage charitable giving in the state. The commitment of Minnesota Keystone participants continues to serve as an example to other businesses, both here and around the globe, and to sustain Minnesota’s spirit of generosity and sense of community.

LBL has always been actively involved in the community.

Wendy Frame and Kate Siegrist among 2014 Top Women in Finance

Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP (LBL) is pleased to announce that Wendy Frame, a partner in the LBL Retirement Plan Consulting Group, and Kate Siegrist, a director in the LBL Technology Partners division, have been selected by Finance & Commerce as 2014 Top Women in Finance. This is Finance & Commerce’s 14th year honoring women who are making outstanding contributions in their professions and communities in Minnesota. Frame and Siegrist will be honored on November 20 at a dinner and awards presentation at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.

Frame is one of four women partners at LBL. Under her leadership, the LBL Retirement Plan Consulting Group has grown from an add-on firm service to a stand-alone practice.