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What to Know for 2015 Taxes

There have been some changes this past year to Wisconsin law and Federal law.

Private School Tuition Deduction

2014 is the first year that Wisconsin allows a deduction for private school tuition.  If your children are in a private school, please bring a record of your tuition payments. The deduction for elementary school tuition is up $4,000 and for high school, up to $10,000.

Same-Sex Marriage

In October 2014, the Wisconsin ban on same-sex marriage was overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This now means that same-sex couples can file jointly as Married. Previously, they had to file as Single or Head of Household. A couple is considered married for the whole year if they were lawfully married as of December 31. If a spouse dies during the year, the couple may file a joint return for the year unless the surviving spouse remarries during the year. Lawfully married means a valid marriage in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

Affordable Care Act

Also known as ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, requires all Americans to have health insurance as of 2014. There is a penalty for not having health insurance during 2014. It will be 1% of your yearly household income, or $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under age 18), depending on which amount is higher. It is not necessary to bring in proof of  health insurance, however, your tax preparer will ask you whether you had insurance for the entirety of 2014.

 

Consider remodeling your home

You can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home (of $500,000 for married filing jointly) if all you owned and lived in the home for at least 2 of the last 5 years, and if you didn’t sell another home within 2 year.
What this means is that if you spend some money to remodel, the increase in your sales price on the house may be tax free.
For example, say that your house is worth $100,000. But you spend $20,000 to remodel the kitchen and bathroom. If that remodel allows you to sell the house for $130,000, the extra $10,000 you get ($30,000 price increase minus the $20,000 cost of remodel) is tax free.

DISCLAIMER:

THE TAX TIPS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND MAY NOT APPLY TO YOUR PARTICULAR TAX SITUATION.  PLEASE CONSULT A COMPETENT TAX PROFESSIONAL ABOUT ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.