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Filing Late Taxes For 2012Filing late taxes for 2012 3. Filing late taxes for 2012 Gifts Table of Contents If you give gifts in the course of your trade or business, you can deduct all or part of the cost. Filing late taxes for 2012 This chapter explains the limits and rules for deducting the costs of gifts. Filing late taxes for 2012 $25 limit. Filing late taxes for 2012 You can deduct no more than $25 for business gifts you give directly or indirectly to each person during your tax year. Filing late taxes for 2012 A gift to a company that is intended for the eventual personal use or benefit of a particular person or a limited class of people will be considered an indirect gift to that particular person or to the individuals within that class of people who receive the gift. Filing late taxes for 2012 If you give a gift to a member of a customer's family, the gift is generally considered to be an indirect gift to the customer. Filing late taxes for 2012 This rule does not apply if you have a bona fide, independent business connection with that family member and the gift is not intended for the customer's eventual use. Filing late taxes for 2012 If you and your spouse both give gifts, both of you are treated as one taxpayer. Filing late taxes for 2012 It does not matter whether you have separate businesses, are separately employed, or whether each of you has an independent connection with the recipient. Filing late taxes for 2012 If a partnership gives gifts, the partnership and the partners are treated as one taxpayer. Filing late taxes for 2012 Example. Filing late taxes for 2012 Bob Jones sells products to Local Company. Filing late taxes for 2012 He and his wife, Jan, gave Local Company three gourmet gift baskets to thank them for their business. Filing late taxes for 2012 They paid $80 for each gift basket, or $240 total. Filing late taxes for 2012 Three of Local Company's executives took the gift baskets home for their families' use. Filing late taxes for 2012 Bob and Jan have no independent business relationship with any of the executives' other family members. Filing late taxes for 2012 They can deduct a total of $75 ($25 limit × 3) for the gift baskets. Filing late taxes for 2012 Incidental costs. Filing late taxes for 2012 Incidental costs, such as engraving on jewelry, or packaging, insuring, and mailing, are generally not included in determining the cost of a gift for purposes of the $25 limit. Filing late taxes for 2012 A cost is incidental only if it does not add substantial value to the gift. Filing late taxes for 2012 For example, the cost of gift wrapping is an incidental cost. Filing late taxes for 2012 However, the purchase of an ornamental basket for packaging fruit is not an incidental cost if the value of the basket is substantial compared to the value of the fruit. Filing late taxes for 2012 Exceptions. Filing late taxes for 2012 The following items are not considered gifts for purposes of the $25 limit. Filing late taxes for 2012 An item that costs $4 or less and: Has your name clearly and permanently imprinted on the gift, and Is one of a number of identical items you widely distribute. Filing late taxes for 2012 Examples include pens, desk sets, and plastic bags and cases. Filing late taxes for 2012 Signs, display racks, or other promotional material to be used on the business premises of the recipient. Filing late taxes for 2012 Figure B. Filing late taxes for 2012 When Are Transportation Expenses Deductible? Most employees and self-employed persons can use this chart. Filing late taxes for 2012 (Do not use this chart if your home is your principal place of business. Filing late taxes for 2012 See Office in the home . Filing late taxes for 2012 ) Please click here for the text description of the image. Filing late taxes for 2012 Figure B. Filing late taxes for 2012 When Are Local Transportation Expenses Deductible?TAs for Figure B are: Reg 1. Filing late taxes for 2012 162-1(a); RR 55–109; RR 94–47 Gift or entertainment. Filing late taxes for 2012 Any item that might be considered either a gift or entertainment generally will be considered entertainment. Filing late taxes for 2012 However, if you give a customer packaged food or beverages you intend the customer to use at a later date, treat it as a gift. Filing late taxes for 2012 If you give a customer tickets to a theater performance or sporting event and you do not go with the customer to the performance or event, you have a choice. Filing late taxes for 2012 You can treat the cost of the tickets as either a gift expense or an entertainment expense, whichever is to your advantage. Filing late taxes for 2012 You can change your treatment of the tickets at a later date by filing an amended return. Filing late taxes for 2012 Generally, an amended return must be filed within 3 years from the date the original return was filed or within 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later. Filing late taxes for 2012 If you go with the customer to the event, you must treat the cost of the tickets as an entertainment expense. Filing late taxes for 2012 You cannot choose, in this case, to treat the cost of the tickets as a gift expense. Filing late taxes for 2012 Prev Up Next Home More Online Publications
Credit - Protect Your Credit
Beware: Offers to Skip a Payment
If your credit company invites you to skip a monthly payment without a penalty, it is not doing you a favor. You will still owe finance charges on your unpaid balance. And interest could be adding up on any purchases you make after the due date you skipped.
Beware: Teaser Rates
Some cards are advertised with very low introductory interest rates called teasers. The rate is good for a short period of time. If you know you can pay what you owe while the low rate is in effect, it could be a good deal. But if the teaser time runs out and you still owe money, you could end up paying a higher rate than you might have without the special introductory rate. Just one late payment could also cancel the teaser rate.
Beware: Credit Insurance
When you take out a loan for a big purchase, a salesperson may try to sell you credit insurance. Your credit card company may also encourage you to purchase credit insurance. The coverage may be promoted as a way for you to protect yourself if your property is damaged or lost. Other credit insurance offers promises to make loan payments if you are laid off, become disabled or die. It is almost always better to buy regular property, life or disability insurance instead of credit insurance.
Be Alert: 'Credit Repair' Scams
Beware! Before you sign up for fee based credit repair services, beware. Many of the promised services are either illegal or ones you can do for free by yourself. Before you sign up to work with these companies, here are some tidbits to keep in mind:
- A credit repair company must give you a copy of the "Consumer Credit File Rights under State and Federal Law" before you sign a contract.
- The company cannot perform any services until you have signed a written contract and completed a three day waiting period, during which time you can cancel the contract without paying any fees.
- The company cannot charge you until it has completed the promised services, according to the Credit Repair Organizations Act.
- It is illegal to erase timely and accurate negative information contained in your credit history.
- Suggestions that you create a new credit history (also called file segregation) by requesting an Employer Identification Number from the IRS are also illegal.
- You can work to solve your own credit challenges, by requesting a free copy of your credit report, and by working with creditors to dispute incorrect information.
CARD Act Protections for Consumers
The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility & Disclosure (CARD) Act brought about sweeping protections for consumers. Among other things, your credit card company:
- Cannot change rates or fees without sending you a notice 45 days in advance in most cases.
- Must give you the option of rejecting a fee increase, but be aware that the credit card company may close your account if you reject the fee increase and may require a higher monthly payment.
- Cannot charge you a late payment fee of more than $25, regardless of how much you owe- unless one of your last six payments was late or the credit card company can justify a higher fee based on the cost of late payments.
- Cannot charge a late payment fee that is greater than your minimum payment.
- Cannot charge you an inactivity fee for not using your card.
- Cannot charge you more than one fee for a single late payment or any other violation of your cardholder agreement.
- Cannot charge you over-the-limit transaction fees unless you opt in, stating that you want to allow transactions that take you over your credit card limit. If the credit card company allows the transaction without your opt-in, it cannot charge you a fee.
- Can impose only one fee per billing cycle for transactions that take you over your credit limit if you opt in to over-the-limit transactions. You can revoke your opt-in at any time.
- Has to tell you how long it will take to pay off your balance if you make only minimum payments.
- Must mail or deliver your credit card bill at least 21 days before your payment is due.
- Must apply any payments above the minimum required amount to the balance with the highest interest rate, if you have more than one rate.
- Cannot increase your rate for the first 12 months after you open an account unless you have a variable interest rate or an introductory rate; you are more than 60 days late paying your bill; or you are in a workout agreement and don't make payments as arranged.
- Cannot charge higher rates for purchases made before you receive notice of a new rate.
- Cannot use the double-cycle billing method when calculating interest; interest can only be charged on balances within the current billing cycle.
- Cannot increase your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) without explaining why it is doing so. If your credit card company increases your APR, it generally must re-evaluate that rate increase every six months. Under some circumstances, it may have to reduce your rate after the evaluation.
What's more, a credit card company can grant credit cards to consumers under age 21 only if they can show they are able to make payments or have a cosigner for the card. The Federal Reserve has more information about CARD Act protections.