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Wednesday, June 6, 2012


     The Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2012-40 on May 30, 2012.  This Notice addresses the effective date of the $2,500 limit on health flexible spending arrangements for plans that begin a new year after December 31, 2012.  It also addresses the deadline for employers to amend their plans.  Failure to amend the plan by the deadline would cause all cafeteria plan benefits to become taxable income to the employee, as further explained in the Notice.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Informed Consent for Nursing Home Patients

Professor Kim Dayton's Elder Law Prof Blog has an interesting note about a proposed bi-partisan amendment to  S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, that would require informed consent before anti-psychotic medications are prescribed to nursing home patients with dementia.  This is important, because too many nursing homes prescribe anti psychotic medication merely to control patients who would otherwise require staff attention.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Employees Can Deduct Certain Business Expenses

Some employees may be able to deduct certain work-related expenses. The following facts from the IRS can help you determine which expenses are deductible as an employee business expense. You must be itemizing deductions on IRS Schedule A to qualify.

Expenses that qualify for an itemized deduction generally include:
• Business travel away from home
• Business use of your car
• Business meals and entertainment 
• Travel
• Use of your home
• Education
• Supplies
• Tools
• Miscellaneous expenses

You must keep records to prove the business expenses you deduct. For general information on recordkeeping, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals available on the IRS website at, or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

If your employer reimburses you under an accountable plan, you should not include the payments in your gross income, and you may not deduct any of the reimbursed amounts.

An accountable plan must meet three requirements:
1. You must have paid or incurred expenses that are deductible while performing services as an employee.
2. You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable time period.
3. You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable time period.

If the plan under which you are reimbursed by your employer is non-accountable, the payments you receive should be included in the wages shown on your Form W-2. You must report the income and itemize your deductions to deduct these expenses.

Generally, you report unreimbursed expenses on IRS Form 2106 or IRS Form 2106-EZ and attach it to Form 1040. Deductible expenses are then reported on IRS Schedule A, as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to a rule that limits your employee business expenses deduction to the amount that exceeds 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

IRS Web Accessibility Information

The Internal Revenue Service publishes a growing number of videos through You Tube.  Here is one that touches on accessibility for people with with hearing, speech, reading, and other types of disabilities.