Easier Tax Planning in Brainerd, MN: What’s Taxable and What Isn’t

by | Aug 26, 2013 | Lawyers

Tax Planning in Brainerd, MN can be a nightmare, because the tax code changes every year–and most of us aren’t really sure what’s taxable. There are some benefits that are taxable under IRS code, but they’re so small that the IRS does not bother to collect on them. The tax planning experts at Website Domain have put together a list of six benefits that the Internal Revenue Service tends to ignore.

Meal Reimbursements

If you work overtime, ask your employer to give you the money to buy dinner or to order some takeout. A meal’s cost is not included as part of your income, and it is a tax deduction for your employer. One stipulation: the meal’s cost must be ‘reasonable’, and they must be paid for on an occasional basis.

The Employee Discount

If you teach at a university, you may be able to get discounts on college courses, and even take some for free! If you work in retail, you may get a discount on your purchases. These discounts’ value is nontaxable as long as the discounted service or product is also available to the public.

Group Meals

To foster a spirit of cooperation, many companies hold corporate picnics and group dinners. These aren’t considered gifts because they aren’t given with generosity; rather, your employer hopes to get a business benefit from them. Company picnics are a form of compensation, but because they’re so difficult to value and administer, the IRS elects not to tax them.

Tickets to Concerts and Sporting Events

As long as they’re not given on a routine basis, the value of event tickets you get from your boss is considered to be ‘occasional’ and nontaxable. The Internal Revenue Service just doesn’t have the resources to keep track of this type of income.

Workplace Snacks

For some workplaces, the ‘water cooler’ now includes treats such as sodas, candy, coffee, doughnuts and a lot more. Some offices have so much food around that you don’t really need to go out for lunch–and you can sit back and enjoy a snack, because it’s nontaxable.

Cell Phones

Most people are reluctant to admit it, but the majority of employees who have business cell phones also use them for personal reasons. Previously, the IRS required employees to keep separate records for business and personal cell phone use, but this requirement is no longer in effect.

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