More Bad News For High Income Taxpayers

Starting in 2013 there is a new tax applied to net investment income (NII). The 3.8% tax is imposed by Section 1411 to certain net income of individuals, estates and trusts that have income above certain statutory levels.

Individuals will owe the tax if they have net investment income and also have modified adjusted gross income above the following thresholds:

  • Married filing jointly $250,000
  • Married filing separately $125,000
  • Single $200,000

If you are exempt from Medicare taxes you may still be subject to the tax if your income is above the applicable thresholds.

Estates and trusts are subject to the tax if they have any undistributed NII and have adjusted gross income over the dollar amount at which the highest tax bracket for an estate begins for the taxable year (for tax year 2013, this amount is $11,950). There are certain trusts such as grantor trusts, charitable trusts, qualified retirement trusts, REITs and others that are not subject to the new tax.

Net Investment Income includes interest, dividends, capital gains, rental income, royalty income, income from businesses involved in trading of financial instruments or commodities and business income that is considered to come from a passive activity under Section 469. This list is not all inclusive. To arrive at net investment income, gross investment income is reduced by the deductions necessary to generate the gross investment income, such as investment interest expense, investment advisory fees, expenses related to rental and royalty income and state and local taxes allocable to the items included in the NII calculation.

Some common gains included in determining NII are:

  • Gains from the sale of stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • Capital gain distributions from mutual funds
  • Capital gain from the sale of investment real estate
  • Capital gain from the sale of second home
  • Gains from the sale of passive interests in partnerships and S Corporations

With regard to gains from the sale of your principal residence, any part of the gain excluded under Section 121 is not included in the NII calculation. However, any gain in excess of the exclusion ($500,000 MFJ and $250,000 single) is included the NII calculation.

The tax will be reported on Form 1040 for individuals and Form 1041 for Trusts and Estates. The IRS has released a draft of Form 8960 for purposes of reporting the new tax. This tax is also subject to estimated tax requirements. Taxpayers should take this tax into consideration in order to avoid under payment penalties.


By Jeff Eischeid

Paper Matters at the End of The Financial Year

You are doing a great job of helping society with your charitable contributions. Much appreciated! But, don’t forget to collect the receipts. If you donate $250 or more, you need to ask your church, mosque, temple or other charity to issue you a certificate stating that you have not received any goods or services for your payment. Without it, you get no deduction.  In case you gifted an item worth more than $5,000, you need to have a “qualified appraisal” done. There are a lot of details. Jeff Eischeid can shed light on this topic. For more information, visit:

Early Planners are Wiser!

Wise people say- “Early to bed, early to rise makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise”. And wiser people would say “Early tax planners maximize tax savings”. And this is what we really expected from Jeff Eischeid. When other experts recommend reviews of investment portfolios, Eischeid goes a step further by asking investors to focus on their investment strategy rather than selling off securities merely to get a tax break. Starting with ideas on how to convert your stock market loss into charity’s gain to tax deduction strategies for the self-employed and for those who suffered job loss, Eischeid explains how early planning can save you from a year-end fire drill at:

Georgia’s New Tax Court

Assuming the Governor signs recent legislation passed by the Legislature, Georgia will join 30 other states in establishing a Tax Tribunal to resolve taxpayer disputes. The Tribunal will be an autonomous division within the Office of State Administrative hearings that is separate from the Department of Revenue. Judges will be appointed by the governor and will all be licensed Georgia attorneys with at least eight years of tax law experience.
The Tribunal will receive and review evidence, conduct hearings and issue published decisions. Those decisions can be appealed through Georgia’s court system. In the eyes of many, the Tax Tribunal is a much needed improvement for the resolution of Georgia tax disputes.


By Jeff Eischeid

April 15th Tax Deadline Extended

When the tax deadline falls on the weekend or on a holiday, the filing deadline is automatically extended to the next business day. April 15th is a Sunday this year. April 16th is a holiday. What holiday? Emancipation Day.
The federal government observes holidays recognized by the District of Columbia. Since 2005 Emancipation Day has been an official holiday in the District. The holiday celebrates President Lincoln’s signing the 1862 Act freeing about 3,100 slaves in the District of Columbia.

By Jeff Eischeid

Bennett Thrasher recognized as one of the Best Full-Service Accounting Firms

Jeff Eischeid is proud to announce that Bennett Thrasher was named one of the Best Full-Service Accounting Firms, in an Atlanta-area survey of the legal community sponsored by the Daily Report.

The Daily Report’s “Best Of”, published in the December 12 issue, highlighted businesses which stood out among their competitors in areas which are perceived as critical to practicing law and managing attorneys’ personal and professional lives.

Read the full article here