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IBA: Tax time is closer than you think — are you prepared?

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December 31st is right around the corner, and with it comes important considerations for year-end tax planning. Special breaks are still available for 2012, and taking action before December 31 could reduce taxes for 2013 and beyond. Plus, planning now for tomorrow’s tax changes could have a significant impact on your —a nd your clients’ — bottom line.

Get important tips and information on action to take before the end of the year and discover what new tax regulations may be on the horizon, including changes in tax rates, accelerated depreciation, and estate valuation, when the IndyBar hosts Bill Owen, Director of Tax Services at BGBC, on Thursday, November 29 for “Year End Tax Planning Tips for Solo/Small Firm Businesses for 2012 and Beyond.” This program, which includes 2.0 general CLE credits, will be held at the IndyBar Education Center from 3 to 5 p.m. Registration and additional information is available online at www.indybar.org.

In advance of the program, Owen shared with the IndyBar two items that every legal practice and small business should consider between now and the end of the year:

“First, if they are planning on making a significant investment in new equipment in the near future, consider doing so before December 31, 2012. The reason is that currently we have ‘50% Bonus Depreciation’ for any new equipment purchased and placed into service during 2012. That means that 50% of the cost of that equipment can be written off in 2012, and the balance can either be expensed under IRC Sec. 179, or depreciated over its normal depreciable life.

For example, if there is $250,000 of new equipment purchased that has a five year depreciable life, the first $125,000 would be expensed as Bonus Depreciation. The $125,000 balance could either be expensed under Section 179 or depreciated with 20% being depreciation expense for the first year. That means the $250,000 purchase could result in a 2012 depreciation deduction of between $150,000 including regular depreciation and $250,000 if Section 179 is elected.

In 2013, under current law, bonus depreciation goes away and Section 179 drops to $25,000. So acting in 2012 can result in a significant acceleration of deductions for new equipment purchases. However, the equipment must not only be purchased, but also placed in service to be eligible for the current deductions.

Second, everyone should do some income tax planning that looks at both 2012 and 2013. In 2013, the top ordinary income tax rate will climb from 35% in 2012 to 39.6% in 2013. In addition, there will be a .9% Health Insurance Surtax on earned income in 2013 and a 3.8% Medicare Surtax on investment income for those with Adjusted Gross Income above $250,000. That means in 2013, those in the upper income tax brackets could be paying as much as 43.4% on investment income and as much as 40.5% for earned income…and that is just for federal income taxes! This may be a time to consider accelerating income into 2012 to reduce the overall income tax exposure for the combined tax years of 2012 and 2013.”

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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