As teachers head back for a new school year, they often pay for various expenses for which they don’t receive reimbursement. Fortunately, they may be able to deduct them on their tax returns. However, there are limits on this special deduction, and some expenses can’t be written off.

teachers classroom supplies - apple, stack of books, colored pencils and A B C blocks

For 2019, qualifying educators can deduct some of their unreimbursed out-of-pocket classroom costs under the educator expense deduction. This is an “above-the-line” deduction, which means you don’t have to itemize your deductions in order to claim it.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Frank Landreneau, a Director and one of the faces of our International Tax team. Frank, welcome back to the playbook.

Frank: It’s great to be back.

Jen: In our last segment, we were talking about mistakes that multi-foreign multi-national companies can make when they’re doing some debt financing. Can you elaborate a little bit more on that?


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Frank Landreneau, a director and one of the faces of our International Tax team. Frank, welcome back to The Playbook.

Frank: Thanks for having me again. It’s a pleasure.

Jen: We’ve covered all sorts of international topics, but one thing we haven’t touched on is tax reform for tax planning strategies for multinational companies coming inbound.

Frank: That’s right. The rules have changed and tax reform, you know, the biggest development is the change in our tax rate for corporations since most inbound companies do business as a corporation and we’ve gone to 21% tax rate. There are revised rules for interest expense deductions and new rules regarding our net operating loss carryforwards.

Jen: Is there any kind of things people should be aware of for a financing strategy for when they’re coming inbound?


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Frank Landreneau, one of our International Tax Directors. Frank, welcome back to The Playbook.

Frank: Thanks, Jen. It’s great to be back.

Jen: So, last time we talked about international tax baskets with the new tax reform. What are some issues that business owners are finding with that?


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Frank Landreneau, one of our International Tax Directors. Frank, welcome back to The Playbook.

Frank: Thanks, Jen. Thanks for having me back.

Jen: We’ve talked about GILTI and FDII in previous episodes, and now I know there’s some more foreign impacts with the new tax reform. Is there anything else you can share with us about that?

Frank: Yes, in response to the Tax Reform Act, Treasury has had to come up with new rules for four tax credits. For example, previously, we had two types of foreign tax credit baskets.
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Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are the amounts you’re legally required to withdraw from your qualified retirement plans and traditional IRAs after reaching age 70½. If you participate in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k), you must generally begin taking required withdrawals from the plan no later than April 1 of the year after which you turn age 70½.

However, there’s an exception that applies to certain plan participants who are still working for the entire year in which they turn 70½.


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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Frank Landreneau, one of our International Tax Directors. Frank, welcome back to The Playbook.

Frank: Thanks, Jen. It’s great to be back.

Jen: We’ve been talking about IC-DISC, and last time we talked about tax reform. What’s changed strategy wise since before tax reform and now after tax reform?

Frank: I think with IC-DISC it’s kind of a Back to the Future type of thing, because when the IC-DISC came out, it was really meant to be a deferral tactic and to really get tax advantages, because you’re deferring the recognition of the IC-DISC income, or really, the export income.
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If you’re the parent of a child who is age 17 to 23, and you pay all (or most) of his or her expenses, you may be surprised to learn you’re not eligible for the child tax credit.

But there’s a dependent tax credit that may be available to you. It’s not as valuable as the child tax credit, but when you’re saving for college or paying tuition, every dollar counts!


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It’s not just businesses that can deduct vehicle-related expenses. Individuals also can deduct them in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) might reduce your deduction compared to what you claimed on your 2017 return.

For 2017, miles driven for business, moving, medical and charitable purposes were potentially deductible. For 2018 through 2025, business and moving miles are deductible only in much more limited circumstances. TCJA changes could also affect your tax benefit from medical and charitable miles.


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