Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tax Planning Tip #1 - Use Your Home as a Tax-Saving Tool

You can deduct interest on up to a combined total of $1 million of mortgage debt incurred to purchase, build or improve your principal residence and a second residence. And you can deduct points related to a loan for purchasing or improving your principal residence. Also keep in mind these deductions and exclusions:
  • Property tax deduction. Before paying your bill early to accelerate the deduction into 2008, review your AMT situation.
    If you end up subject to the AMT, the prepayment will be for naught because
    you’ll lose the deduction.
  • Home equity debt interest deduction. Interest on home equity debt used to improve your principal residence—plus interest on up to $100,000 of home equity debt used for any purpose—is deductible. So consider using home equity debt to pay off credit cards or auto loans, whose interest isn’t deductible. But beware of the AMT: If the home equity debt isn’t used
    for home improvements, the interest isn’t deductible for AMT purposes.
  • Rental income exclusion. If you rent all
    or a portion of your primary residence or second home for less than 15 days, you don’t have to report the income. But expenses associated with the rental aren’t deductible.
  • Home sale gain exclusion. When you sell
    your principal residence, you can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers)
    of gain if you meet certain tests. Losses aren’t deductible.

Because a second home is ineligible for the exclusion, consider converting it to rental use before selling. It will then be considered a business asset, and you may be able to defer tax on any gains by doing a like-kind exchange. Or you may be able to deduct a loss, but only to the extent attributable to a decline in value after the conversion.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Doeren Mayhew Named to Inside Public Accounting’s “Best of the Best” List for 2008

Below is one of our company's recent press releases discussing Doeren Mayhew's 14th consecutive being named one of the Best of the Best Accounting firms.

TROY, MICHIGAN – Doeren Mayhew, Troy-based public accounting and management consulting firm, was named by Inside Public Accounting (IPA) as one of the five “Best of the Best” CPA firms in the Great Lakes Region. Doeren Mayhew is the only Michigan-based firm to achieve this honor.

IPA’s Best of the Best recognition honors 25 firms annually for their wise management and superior operational performance in fiscal and management metrics based on 50 criteria. This is the 14th year IPA has named the best accounting firms. 250 of the best firms in the U.S. participated in this year’s IPA Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms. Each of the firms is eligible for the IPA Best of Best honor. Doeren Mayhew is one of only three firms nationally to receive the honor 14 consecutive years.

Mark Crawford, managing director of Doeren Mayhew, said, “This honor is really a reflection of a very talented and dedicated staff, and the loyalty of hundreds of Michigan’s best businesses – many of whom have been clients of the firm for 40 years or more.”

Best of the Best firms represent the top accounting firms in the nation who each demonstrate the right combination of vision, planning, and execution to deliver superior performance,” says Michael Platt, principal of the Platt Consulting Group and publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting. “Firms who earn this designation are tops in their field, and represent the best of what the accounting profession has to offer,” Platt says.

“The success of these firms stand in stark contrast to many of the negative stories of financial services companies we’ve all read about over the last few months,” says Platt. “We salute all of these firms and recognize their overall management strategies as models that the profession can be quite proud of,” Platt says.

Originally founded in 1932, Doeren Mayhew recently celebrated its 75th anniversary and has grown to become nationally and internationally recognized as trusted business advisors to thousands of individuals and businesses throughout North America and around the world. Doeren Mayhew represents manufacturers, contractors and builders, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, auto dealers, financial institutions, municipalities, school districts, and non-profit organizations, with a full range of accounting, audit, tax, merger and acquisition, and consulting services.

Doeren Mayhew Release on PRUrgent