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Don't make taxes harder than they have to be. Find answers to all your questions with our tax preparation services. We can even manage your books year-round with our bookkeeping services.

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Our Story

Kaplan Tax is a tax and bookkeeping service located in Novato, California. We provide tax preparation services to individuals, families, and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, the US and anywhere in the world! We believe in the value of long-term client relationships, and always go the extra mile to help with any concerns you may have.

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Testimonials

"MY Tax HEROES! Wendy Kaplan and her husband Mark of Kaplan Tax are professional, super bright and cheerful Tax Accountants that I highly recommend.
I honestly did not even expect to get money back BUT I DID. I'm a creative person and paperwork and bookkeeping is not my strong suit whatsoever, but the Kaplans guided me on how to keep better records, and got my taxes in and on time (even though I provided my numbers to them at the 11th hour.) They are easy to work with, communicative and taught me a few tips which really helped with the anxiety of tax time. I was working with an agent in the past who never called me back and didn't explain much. Wish I'd worked with this team sooner."

Suzanne A.

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Loved these guys.  Friendly, efficient, take care of business at an affordable price.  Always been looking for a tax crew who will be straight forward and also extremely knowledgeable. I've gone the past two years and will be sure to keep coming back.  Good stuff.

Dale S.

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Kaplan Tax has been doing my taxes for years now and I am more than satisfied.When I first had Ms Kaplan do my return, she figured out different scenarios and then showed me the one that would save me the most money.In all my years, no other preparer has ever gone through such length to be so thorough in my interest.  I cannot praise her services enough.  On a scale from 1 to 10, she is a 15.

Myrna K.

 


 

A Word about the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act will introduce a new form into the lives of taxpayers. If you purchased your heath care through the State or Federal Marketplace, you will receive a form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. This form will provide you (and us) with the necessary information to complete form 8962, Premium Tax Credit.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the individual shared responsibility provision calls for each individual to have "minimum essential coverage," qualify for an exemption or make a payment when filing their federal tax return. This fee payment is sometimes called the "individual responsibility payment" or more often, a penalty. The fee will be calculated in two ways, the first being 1% of the yearly household income and the second being $95 per adult and $47.50 per child with a maximum of $295 per family. The fee will be the higher result.

To qualify for the Premium Tax Credit, taxpayers meet all of the following criteria:

• buy health insurance through the Marketplace;
• are ineligible for coverage through an employer or government plan;

• do not file a Married Filing Separately tax return;

• are within certain income limits:

One Individual: $11,670  - $46,680
Family of Two: $15,730 - $62,920
Family of Three: $19,790 - $79,160
Family of Four: $23,850 - $95,400
Family of Five: $31,970 - $127,880

Tax Legislation Highlights 2014-15

Although there are no major tax law changes this year, there are still inflation adjustments and other routine changes to consider. As always, it's not what you make but what you keep that counts—that's why it's important to take advantage of every tax break you're entitled to. Here are a number of items that expired at the end of 2013, but which Congress finally extended, retroactively, for 2014:

Educator Expense Deduction - As a teacher, you can claim up to $250 of classroom expenses for supplies, materials, books and software.

Tuition and Fees Deduction - Any student (or parent!) can once again deduct expenses related to education, including tuition, books and other supplies, up to $4,000.

Mortgage Debt Relief - Under the extended tax law, up to $2 million dollars of forgiven debt on your principal residence is eligible to be excluded from your income in 2014.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums - Homeowners can continue to deduct mortgage interest premiums as though they were mortgage interest payments.

Energy Tax Breaks - Homeowners who made energy efficient improvements to their homes in 2014 will still be able to claim the Residential Energy Property Credit. This credit could mean as much as $500.

State and Local General Sales Taxes - Taxpayers still have the option to choose between deducting state and local income tax or state and local general sales tax.

Qualified Charitable Distributions - Individuals at least 70-1/2 years of age can continue to exclude from income, qualified charitable distributions made from an IRA directly to a qualified charity. This tax law can be a huge tax savings for those very established taxpayers who no longer have bigger tax deductions like home mortgage interest since their homes are paid off.

Achieving a Better Life Experience Act - This new tax law creates tax-favored savings accounts for individuals with disabilities along with tax-related offsets.


 

2014 Ordinary Income Tax Rates

Income Range

Tax Rate

Single: $0 - $9,075

Married Filing Jointly: $0 - $18,150

Married Filing Separately: $0 - $9,075

Head of Household: $0 - $12,950

10%

Single: $9,076 - $36,900

Married Filing Jointly: $18,151 - $73,800

Married Filing Separately: $9,076 - $36,900

Head of Household: $12,951 - $49,400

15%

Single: $36,901 - $89,350

Married Filing Jointly: $73,801 - $148,850

Married Filing Separately: $36,901 - $74,425

Head of Household: $49,401 - $127,550

25%

Single: $89,351 - $186,350

Married Filing Jointly: $148,851 - $226,850

Married Filing Separately: $74,426 - $113,425

Head of Household: $127,551 - $206,600

28%

Single: $186,351 - $405,100

Married Filing Jointly: $226,851 - $405,100

Married Filing Separately: $113,426 - $202,550

Head of Household: $206,601 - $405,100

33%

Single: $405,101 - $406,750

Married Filing Jointly: $405,101 - $457,600

Married Filing Separately: $202,551 - $228,800

Head of Household: $405,101 - $432,200

35%

Single: $406,751 and higher

Married Filing Jointly: $457,601 and higher

Married Filing Separately: $228,801 and higher

Head of Household: $432,201 and higher

39.6%

 

2014 Capital Gain Rates

(not including Medicare contribution tax)

Tax Bracket

Short-Term

Long-Term

10%

10%

0%

15%

15%

0%

25%

25%

15%

28%

28%

15%

33%

33%

15%

35%

35%

15%

39.6%

39.6%

20%

2015 Tax News

IRS Interest Rates:
  
Interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The rates will be:

• three (3) percent for overpayments [two (2) percent in the case of a corporation];
• three (3) percent for underpayments;
• five (5) percent for large corporate underpayments; and
• one-half (0.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.
• Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis.

Standard Deduction:
The standard deduction rises to $6,300 for singles and married persons filing separate returns and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly, up from $6,200 and $12,400, respectively, for tax year 2014. The standard deduction for heads of household rises to $9,250, up from $9,100.

Personal Exemption:
The personal exemption for tax year 2015 rises to $4,000, up from the 2014 exemption of $3,950. However, the exemption is subject to a phase-out that begins with adjusted gross incomes of $258,250 ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly). It phases out completely at $380,750 ($432,400 for married couples filing jointly.)

Itemized Deduction Limitation:
The limitation for itemized deductions to be claimed on tax year 2015 returns of individuals begins with incomes of $258,250 or more ($309,900 for married couples filing jointly).

ATM:
The Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount for tax year 2015 is $53,600 ($83,400, for married couples filing jointly). The 2014 exemption amount was $52,800 ($82,100 for married couples filing jointly).

Earned Income Credit:
The maximum Earned Income Credit amount for 2015 is $6,242 for taxpayers filing jointly who have 3 or more qualifying children, up from a total of $6,143 for tax year 2014.

Foreign Earned Income:
The foreign earned income exclusion breaks the six-figure mark for 2015, rising to $100,800, up from $99,200 for 2014.

Estate Tax Exclusion:
Estates of decedents who die during 2015 have a basic exclusion amount of $5,430,000, up from a total of $5,340,000 for estates of decedents who died in 2014. For 2015, the exclusion from tax on a gift to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen is $147,000, up from $145,000 for 2014.

Annual Gift Exclusion:
The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2015.

Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA):
The employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements annual dollar limit on employee contributions rises to $2,550 for 2015, up $50 dollars from the amount for 2014.

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit:
Under the small business health care tax credit, the maximum credit is phased out based on the employer’s number of full-time equivalent employees in excess of 10 and the employer’s average annual wages in excess of $25,800 for tax year 2015, up from $25,400 for 2014.

Standard Mileage Rates for 2015:

• Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

• 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven

• 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes

• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

• Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage 
  rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after claiming any depreciation for that vehicle.  In
  addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

2015 Pension Plan Limits:

• The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal
  government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $17,500 to $18,000.

• The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the
  federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $5,500 to $6,000.

• The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500. The catch-up
  contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over remains unchanged at $1,000.

• The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who
are covered by a workplace retirement plan and have modified adjusted gross incomes (AGI) between $61,000 and $71,000,
up from $60,000 and $70,000 in 2014. For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is $98,000 to $118,000, up from $96,000 to $116,000.
For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered,
the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $183,000 and $193,000, up from $181,000 and $191,000. For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

• The AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $183,000 to $193,000 for married couples filing 
jointly, up from $181,000 to $191,000 in 2014. For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $116,000 to $131,000, up from $114,000 to $129,000. For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a retirement plan at work, the phase-out range remains $0 to $10,000.

• The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in a SIMPLE IRA increases to $12,500 in 2015, up from $12,000 in 2014. Contributions to an employee’s SEP-IRA cannot exceed the lesser of 25% of the employee’s compensation or $53,000 in 2015, up from $52,000 in 2014.

• The AGI limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low- and moderate-income
  workers is $61,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $60,000 in 2014; $45,750 for heads of household, up from
  $45,000; and $30,500 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $30,000.
 

2015 HSA Plan Limits:

• The contribution limits for Health Savings Accounts increased to $3,350 for individuals and $6,650 for families. The HSA catch-   up contribution limit (for taxpayers age 55 or older) remains at $1,000.
• The minimum deductible amounts for High Deductible Health Plans remains at $1,300 for individuals and $2,600 for families.
• The maximum out-of-pocket amounts for High Deductible Health Plans increased to $6,450 for individuals and $12,900 for 
  families

 

Contact us today to work with an attentive, personalized, and friendly tax service.