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December 28, 2016

Looking Ahead To 2017

  • Look for Congress to repeal the Medical Device Tax enacted in 2013 as a funding mechanism for the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”).
  • Obamacare will not look the same – look for repeal and reenactment of certain provisions of the ACA, perhaps with modifications to any “reenacted” provisions.
  • Look for repeal of the Estate Tax or its substantial modification, while leaving the Gift Tax somewhat unchanged in the process.
  • Brace for tax filing season to open January 23, 2017 and the filing season to close at midnight on April 18, 2017 to allow for the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C. The IRS advises that while tax professionals and software vendors may accept returns before January 23, those returns will not be submitted or accepted by the IRS before that date.  There is no advantage to filing paper returns before January 23. (IR 2016-157)
  • Try to file a 2016 tax return electronically. In spite of problems associated with electronic filing from time to time it is the fastest and most secure way of obtaining a refund.
  • Refunds on individual income tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit must be held by the IRS until at least February 15, 2017. However, due to logistical issues in processing those refunds, the actual date for a refund may be at least February 27.
  • Also, regarding security surrounding 2016 tax filings, here are some common sense safe guards to attempt to avoid identity theft:
    • Do not “routinely” carry Social Security Administration cards or other documents that include your social security number. (Of course, this ignores the fact that such Social Security Cards are mailed to beneficiaries by ordinary mail and carry a clear warning that they must be displayed when seeking medical treatment.)
    • Use and update virus and malware security software on computers and other data-driven electronic devices.
    • If possible, encrypt sensitive data stored on computers.
    • Do not open or respond to emails with links that claim to be from the IRS. The IRS does not communicate in that manner.
    • Update passwords with more characters, including special, letters and numbers, the longer the better.

2017 looks to be an interesting year from a legal perspective. For inquiries regarding legal ramifications for you, your family or your business as a result of any changes contact one of PK Law’s Attorneys or information@pklaw.com.

 

This information is provided for general information only. None of the information provided herein should be construed as providing legal advice or a separate attorney client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney of your choice about your particular situation. While PK Law has taken reasonable efforts to insure the accuracy of this material, the accuracy cannot be guaranteed and PK Law makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy.