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    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

    Professor David Marcinko was a board certified surgical fellow, hospital medical staff President, public and population health advocate, and Chief Executive & Education Officer with more than 425 published papers; 5,150 op-ed pieces and over 135+ domestic / international presentations to his credit; including the top ten [10] biggest drug, DME and pharmaceutical companies and financial services firms in the nation. He is also a best-selling Amazon author with 30 published academic text books in four languages [National Institute of Health, Library of Congress and Library of Medicine].

    Dr. David E. Marcinko is past Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious “Journal of Health Care Finance”, and a former Certified Financial Planner® who was named “Health Economist of the Year” in 2010. He is a Federal and State court approved expert witness featured in hundreds of peer reviewed medical, business, economics trade journals and publications [AMA, ADA, APMA, AAOS, Physicians Practice, Investment Advisor, Physician’s Money Digest and MD News] etc.

    Later, Dr. Marcinko was a vital recruited BOD member of several innovative companies like Physicians Nexus, First Global Financial Advisors and the Physician Services Group Inc; as well as mentor and coach for Deloitte-Touche and other start-up firms in Silicon Valley, CA.

    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

    Dr. David E. Marcinko’s professional memberships included: ASHE, AHIMA, ACHE, ACME, ACPE, MGMA, FMMA, FPA and HIMSS. He was a MSFT Beta tester, Google Scholar, “H” Index favorite and one of LinkedIn’s “Top Cited Voices”.

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Congress Passes Permanent Tax Provisions

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By Cindy Freking CPA

[Tax Manager ]

cfreking@whirleyproactive.com

Late on December 15th, a bipartisan agreement was reached on tax extenders—i.e., the 50 or so temporary tax provisions that are routinely extended by Congress on a one- or two-year basis—and numerous other tax provisions in the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015” (the Act). This agreement makes permanent many of the individual and business extenders and contains provisions on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), IRS administration and the Tax Courts and miscellaneous other provisions.

Below are some provisions that have been made permanent:

DEPRECIATION & EXPENSING PROVISIONS

  • The Act makes permanent the $500,000 expensing limitation and $2 million phase out amounts under Code Section 179
  • For property placed in service after Dec 31, 2015, the Act provides that air conditioning and heating units are now eligible for expensing
  • Assets for which the De Minimis election applies are not counted in determining the Code Section 179 expensing election or the ceiling
  • 15 Year Write off for Qualified Leasehold , Retail Improvements & Restaurant Property

INDIVIDUALS

  • American Opportunity Credit
  • Enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Above the line Educator Expenses
  • Exclusion for Employer Provided Mass Transit & Parking
  • State and Local Sales deduction
  • Liberalized rules for Qualified Conservation Contributions
  • Nontaxable IRA transfers to eligible charities

BUSINESSES

  • Research & Development credit & offset now available against taxes in addition to income taxes
  • Reduction in S-Corporation recognition period for Built in Gains Tax
  • Exclusion of 100% Gain on certain small business stock
  • Enhanced deduction for Food Inventory
  • Differential Wage Payment Credit (active duty employees)

Assessment

The above provides a brief overview of the Act. There are various provisions that have been extended through 2016 and 2019 and other miscellaneous provisions. If you need additional information or have questions, please contact your CPA.

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IRS

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What is a Structured Settlement?

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What it Is – How it Works?

[By Staff Reporters]

A structured settlement (sometimes called a “periodic payment settlement”) is a claim settlement under which some of the proceeds will be payable in deferred installments in lieu of immediate cash.

Meaning

What does that mean to you? Settlements paid in the form of a single lump sum, especially in catastrophic injury cases, place claimants, and their families, in the position of having to manage money which may be intended to provide for a lifetime of medical and income needs.

Most people are not experienced in handling large sums of money and as a result, the money is often either spent too quickly or invested leaving little or nothing to cover the future needs of the seriously injured person.

History

Structured settlements were developed in order to create a more stable financial footing for claimants.  In 1982, the use of structured settlements was encouraged by Congress and special tax code was written. Instead of receiving a single lump sum, guaranteed payments can be made to you over time, through the purchase of an annuity, to better meet your financial needs.

IRS

The Internal Revenue Service determined that since the money you receive through a structured settlement is compensation for an injury, you will never pay taxes on any of the payments (principal or interest). There are two primary articles of legislation governing the tax treatment of structured settlements.

For more information regarding tax treatment of structured settlements, please visit the following pages: IRC 104 (a)(2) and IRC 130.  For other legislative actions and tax codes related to structured settlements, please click on one of the following links:  The Periodic Payment Settlement Act of 1982, 468B, 72(u) or 5891.

Schedules

Payments from a structured settlement can be scheduled for any length of time, even for your lifetime. Payment designs can include bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual payments as well as future lump sums. Ongoing payments can be in level amounts or can keep up with inflation by using a Cost of Living Adjustment (“COLA”). Since you work with the Structured Settlement Consultant to determine the payment design, you can remain confident that your future financial needs are addressed.

If a single lump sum payment is taken as compensation for an injury, it is tax-free but any additional income (called “Interest Income”) you receive from investing the lump sum will be taxable. The bottom line is that structured settlements provide you with a unique opportunity to take advantage of an investment without risk OR tax consequences.

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policies

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Assessment

At the core of the federal tax code’s explicit recognition of structured settlements is the concept of” constructive receipt”.

For a concise explanation about Congress’ intent and how the Internal Revenue Service has traditionally interpreted the application of constructive receipt, click here for the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) brochure, Structured Settlements: Explaining Constructive Receipt.

To download the NSSTA brochure, Structured Settlements and Qualified Assignments: How Federal Tax Rules Benefit all Parties in a Claim, click here.

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IRS Offers New Simplified Home-Office Deduction

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Effective January 1, 2013

By Andrew D. Schwartz CPA

Andrew SchwartzThe IRS has introduced a simplified option for many home-based businesses and some home-based workers to use to figure their deductions for the business use of their home, effective January 1, 2013.

The new optional deduction, capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet, will reduce the paperwork and recordkeeping burden on small businesses by an estimated 1.6 million hours annually.

An Easy Path

The new option provides eligible taxpayers an easier path to claiming the home office deduction. Currently, they are generally required to fill out a 43-line Form 8829, often with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depreciation and carryovers of unused deductions. Taxpayers claiming the optional deduction will complete a significantly simplified form.

No Allocation

Though homeowners using the new option cannot depreciate the portion of their home used in a trade or business, they can claim allowable mortgage interest, real estate taxes and casualty losses on the home as itemized deductions on Schedule A of their tax return.  These deductions need not be allocated between personal and business use, as is required under the regular method.

Business expenses unrelated to the home, such as advertising, supplies and wages paid to employees are still fully deductible.

Restrictions

Current restrictions on the home office deduction, such as the requirement that a home office must be used regularly and exclusively for business and the limit tied to the income derived from the particular business, still apply under the new option.

Drs. Home

Assessment

The new simplified option is available starting with the 2013 return which most taxpayers file early in 2014.

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Presidential Debate Prep – Why Doctors Need to Understand Mitt Romney’s Tax Policy

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The 2012 Presidential Election

By Andrew D. Schwartz, CPA

The conventions have passed and the presidential debate season is upon us. And the 2012 Presidential Election is just a few months away. Let’s take a look at Mitt Romney’s tax policy based on information posted on his campaign’s official website www.mittromney.com.

Extend the Bush Tax Cuts:

If Congress doesn’t act by the end of the year, the 2001 Bush tax cuts will expire on December 31st causing tax rates across the board to increase. According to Mitt Romney:

While the entire tax code is in dire need of a fundamental overhaul, Mitt Romney believes in holding the line against increases in marginal tax rates. The goals that President Bush pursued in bringing rates down to their current level— to spur economic growth, encourage savings and investment, and help struggling Americans make ends meet—are just as important today as they were a decade ago. Letting them lapse, as President Obama promises to do in 2012, is a step in precisely the wrong direction. If anything, the lower rates established by President Bush should be regarded as a directional marker on the road to more fundamental reform.

Eliminate Taxes on Investment Income for People Earning Below $200k:

Romney’s Tax Policy includes a provision to cut taxes for taxpayers earning less than $200k. Let’s see what the Romney Campaign calls the Middle-Class Tax Savings Plan:

As with the marginal income tax rates, Mitt Romney will seek to make permanent the lower tax rates for investment income put in place by President Bush. Another step in the right direction would be a Middle-Class Tax Savings Plan that would enable most Americans to save more for retirement. As president, Romney will seek to eliminate taxation on capital gains, dividends, and interest for any taxpayer with an adjusted gross income of under $200,000, helping Americans to prepare for retirement and enjoy the freedom that accompanies financial security. This would encourage more Americans to save and to invest for the long-term, which would in turn free up capital for investment flowing back into the economy and helping to facilitate economic growth.

Implement Tax Simplification:

Promising tax simplification is nothing new. When I started practicing accounting in 1987, President Reagan had just signed the huge Tax Reform Act of 1986 into law. That Tax Act really complicated the tax code, and it has continued to become increasing more complex over the past 25 years. Remember Steve Forbes? He ran two presidential campaigns on his Flat Tax Platform.

Here is Romney’s spin on tax simplification:

In the long run, Mitt Romney will pursue a conservative overhaul of the tax system that includes lower and flatter rates on a broader tax base. The approach taken by the Bowles-Simpson Commission is a good starting point for the discussion. The goal should be a simpler, more efficient, user-friendly, and less onerous tax system. Every American would be readily able to ascertain what they owed and why they owed it, and many forms of unproductive tax gamesmanship would be brought to an end. Conversely, tax reform should not be used as an under-the-radar means of raising taxes. Where reforms that simplify the code or encourage growth have the effect of increasing the tax burden, they should be offset by reductions in marginal rates. Washington’s problem is not too little revenue, but rather too much spending.

Mitt Romney also wants to eliminate the Death Tax and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax. You can read Mitt Romney’s complete Tax Policy atwww.mittromney.com/sites/default/files/shared/TaxPolicy.pdf

President Obama’s Rebuttal:

There actually isn’t very much information about Obama’s tax policy on his campaign’s official website. Check out The President’s Record on Taxes available at: www.barackobama.com/record/taxes?source=issues-nav and all you will find is mention of the Buffett rule and these four bullet points:

  • President Obama has cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses. One of the first things he did in office was cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. He has also signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses and extended the payroll tax cut for all American workers and their families, putting an extra $1,000 in the typical middle-class family’s pocket.
  • For too long, the U.S. tax code has benefited the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the vast majority of Americans. A third of the 400 highest income taxpayers paid an average rate of 15 percent or less in 2008.
  • That’s why President Obama proposed the Buffett Rule, asking millionaires and billionaires to do their fair share. But if you’re one of the 98 percent of American families who make under $250,000 a year, your taxes won’t go up.
  • The President has asked Congress to take action to reform our tax code and close tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, as well as hedge fund managers, private jet owners, and oil companies.

President Obama’s official campaign site also includes a link to a report that pokes holes in the Romney Tax Policy, available at:www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001628-Base-Broadening-Tax-Reform.pdf.

Which Candidate’s Tax Policy Makes the Most Sense?

Tough question. What makes it tougher is that the President doesn’t write the laws. Instead, the President’s job is to sign bills that have been passed by Congress into law. Even so, having an understanding of the tax philosophy of the country’s two presidential candidates is probably a prudent idea.

Assessment

As an interesting exercise, check out President Obama’s views on taxes from the prior election cycle in our article called What’s The Tax Plan, Man? included in ourOctober 2008 Newsletter, and compare his suggestions from 2008 to what’s been enacted during his first term. A few of the items that he proposed during his previous campaign, including raising the Social Security taxes on people earning more than $250k and implementing a “Make Work Pay” tax credit, have come to fruition during his first term in office.

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Why Physicians Should Double-Check Their 2012 Taxes

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A New AICPA Service

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is offering a new service on the Total Tax Insights Website.

Surveys by the AICPA show that most Americans do not realize how much they are paying in federal, state and local taxes. AICPA President Barry C. Melancon noted, “Our recent national poll showed that taxpayers do not know the percentage of their income that goes to pay taxes or how many types of tax they pay annually. AICPA’s goal is to make federal, state and local taxes more transparent and the total tax insights calculator does that.”

In AICPA surveys, two-thirds of Americans did not understand the amount of tax that they were paying. Many did not realize that they were paying 10 to 20 different taxes over the course of a year.

The Total Tax Insights Website

AICPA’s website, www.totaltaxinsights.org is designed as a public service to help everyone understand taxes. AICPA believes that understanding taxes will be very helpful to Americans in their monthly financial planning.

The Total Tax Insights calculator enables taxpayers to enter their basic information. This includes their city, marital status, adjusted gross income and number of dependents. The optional entries include medical deductions, property taxes, charitable deductions and similar items.

After entering in your information, the calculator will show your federal income tax, state income tax and 10 to 15 other potential taxes. In addition to the list of potential taxes, there also is a pie-chart that shows the total amount and the percentage of each tax.

Assessment

Your identification is protected on the site. There is no name or identification required. The AICPA offers the educational website and calculator as a public service. So doctors, check it out and tell us what you think?

Conclusion

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Say it Ain’t So Kathy Sebelius

More HHS Nominee Tax Problems

[By Staff Reporters]56359795

Although it’s sounding more and more like comedian Bill Murray’s movie “Ground Hog Day”, according to Tracy Staton, Health and Human Services department secretary-nominee Kathleen Sebelius, became the second appointee for the agency to admit underpaying her taxes.

Unintentional Problems

Sebelilus fixed three years’ worth of returns due to “unintentional” problems, and paid almost $8,000 in back taxes and interest. The snafu may not be serious enough to jeopardize her nomination, however. Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus issued a statement saying the errors were “minor” and accidental, and that he supported her confirmation (The committee’s ranking Republican Charles Grassley is reserving judgment until after her confirmation hearing).

A Daschle “Do-Over”

We all know that Senator Tom Daschle’s nomination to head up HHS hit the wall after a tax review found he owed some $140,000 in back taxes and interest. Is this a similar KS do-over; aka “mulligan”?

Industry Indignation Index: 45

Assessment

More importantly, are these so-called healthcare demagogues and gurus aware that “perception is reality”; especially in the healthcare space where integrity and trust matters most? Or, as ME-P Publisher Dr. David Edward Marcinko wondered aloud,

“Do politicians and/or those of us in healthcare really believe we are above it all?

Link: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/04/01/sebelius-runs-into-tax-problems-but-daschles-were-bigger

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Tax Tips for Under or Unemployed Medical Professionals

Status Still Possible for Physicians and Nurses

By Sean G. Todd, Esq., M. Tax, CFP©, CPA

Tax Attorney

Certified Public Accountant
Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner

Terminated, reduced-in-force, or out of work in 2009? As the April 15th tax deadline approaches, medical professionals and all other under/unemployed folks might have questions regarding their tax returns – unchartered waters for many. More people than ever before may be experiencing the effects of losing their jobs for the first time, or receiving unemployment benefits, and are uncertain about the tax consequences that relate to all this. So, in these difficult times, give some consideration to working with a professional to help you make the right decisions.   

Labor Department Reports

The US Labor Department report issued on February 6, 2009 showed that nearly 2.6 million jobs were lost over the course of 2008, the highest yearly job loss total since 1945. The official unemployment rate is at 7.2%, a 16 year high, according to the labor department. For your assistance, I’ve prepared some of the most common questions along with the answers. Here are several questions and answers to help you through this stressful time.

1. Do I have to still pay my taxes if I was out of work in 2008?

More likely than not! The IRS requires anyone who received a W-2 from their employer and made at least $8,950 (if you’re single and under 65 years old), or made at least $400 if you’re self employed, to file a tax return. These are the baseline cutoff numbers. If you’re anticipating a tax refund, you must file – even if you didn’t work at all. The IRS will not just send you a refund – you must file and claim your refund. Despite being unemployed, you still are required to file your taxes – often times a new level of frustration begins during this already confusing and frustrating time.    

2. Will I have a tax liability? 

It depends. It depends on a variety of factors since every taxpayer’s tax situation is unique, based on the facts and circumstances of the taxpayer. Some factors may impact a person’s filing requirement such as: if you only had unemployment compensation throughout the year, you may owe some tax on the checks you received. A severance package could also give you a tax bill, as could dividends and interest from investment income. Other factors which also need to be considered would include tax deductions and other life changes as a result of being unemployed: out-of-pocket medical expenses; sale of your home as a result of downsizing or even independent contractor income you might have received.

3. Do I have to include my unemployment checks in taxable income?

In a word, yes. Unemployment compensation is included as taxable income for federal purposes and most state tax returns. When applying for unemployment, we recommend that you elect tax withholding. You can choose whether you want federal and/or state income taxes automatically taken out of your unemployment benefits. If you choose to withhold, federal income taxes are withheld at a 10% rate, while the state rate varies. But since many cash-strapped Americans opt not to withhold – come April they may have to pay up during an already stressful time when extra cash is often times not available. So if you are not electing any tax withholding, a tax bill may be an unwelcome surprise when you file your 2008 return.

4. What if I “took” money from my 401(k)?

The answer depends on the definition of “took”. If you took a loan from your 401(k), exclude this from taxable income. You may owe taxes if you took money out of a retirement plan or 401(k) to supplement your unemployment checks. That counts as income and is taxable too. The taxes are in addition to a 10% penalty on early withdrawals if you’re below the age of 59-1/2. A special election is available to many taxpayers to avoid this 10% penalty on early withdrawals which many do not know about – costing even more in taxes. 

5. What if I did some supplemental work as an independent contractor?

In the attempt to continue to earn an income after being unemployed, you might have done some freelance or project work. Being unemployed allowed you the flexibility to become self-employed. That is the positive side of things – you earned income. Here is the negative side: if you earned some income doing odd jobs or consulting services while unemployed, you’re subject to income tax AND self-employment tax on that income. To report that supplemental work, taxpayers must include a Schedule C with their income tax return, which details the income and expenses for the year. This is where we see a lot of errors – individuals do not prepare schedule C for this type of earnings. If you earned over $30,000 and are now unemployed – you may go to www.lostmyjobtaxprep.com for an exclusive offer.  If you earned more than $600 during one of the projects, expect to receive tax form 1099 and you must include that as taxable income on your income tax return. Also note that if you made less than $600, then you will not be issued a 1099 but are still required to report this income as well on your tax return.

6. Relocated for the new job?

If the new job required you to relocate for the position, you may be able to deduct the moving expenses not reimbursed by your new employer. But there’s a distance test you must meet to qualify for the deduction. The new job site has to be 50 miles further than the distance from your old residence was from the old job, according to Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants [AICPA]. This basically prevents you from trying to deduct a move within the same metropolitan area.

7. Are my job search expenses deductible?

Those who were on the job hunt last year can utilize the tax code to their benefit and qualify for a larger refund. There are a slew of tax deductions available. In fact, many of the expenses incurred while looking for a job can be deducted, which can result in some serious tax savings.

Tax Checklists

As readers and subscribers to the Medical Executive-Post are aware, there is a quality initiative in clinical medicine that promotes the use of checklists. So, here is a good, but partial list of those things you need to keep track of:

  • Anything you spend on creating, printing and mailing your resume is deductible.
  • Anything you spend on a career coach or headhunter.
    Any long distance, cell or fax charges directly associated with your job search.
  • Transportation costs such as a bus, taxi, train or plane to an interview is deductible.
  • Mileage costs accrued when you drive to interviews and even to the unemployment office. [Between Jan. 1, 2008, and June 30, 2008, taxpayers can claim 50.5 cents per mile, between July 1, 2008 and Dec. 31 2008 taxpayers can claim 58.5 cents per mile].
  • All job related parking fees and tolls; and,
  • All meals and lodging if the interview was out of town.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/a-homer-simpson-moment-of-clarity-on-medical-quality

Further Explanations

You cannot deduct the cost of the “new interview suit” as it does not qualify as a uniform. Also forget about deducting the value of your time as the IRS deems it to be worthless for tax deduction purposes. So too, forget about deducting your new Coach “briefcase” and matching “interview” shoes – they too are disallowed.  It’s the responsibility of each taxpayer to keep receipts related to any of these expenses in order to substantiate them when filing. In a self-serving interest, we always recommend consulting a professional tax preparer for help.  

Two New Websites

There are two websites especially beneficial for individuals who have lost their jobs and are concerned about protecting their 401(k) account. Individuals who are still employed can benefit from the information provided on the site as well.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Speaker:If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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