Some key filing dates have changed.  Employers are required to file W-2s with the federal government by January 31st.  up from the prior deadlines of February 28th for paper returns and March 31st for e-filings.

This earlier deadline matches the date for sending copies of the forms to employees.  The January 31st date also applies to 1099s reporting non- employee compensation.  This due date for most regular corporations is 3 ½ months after year end and March 15th for calendar year firms.  Those needing more time can request a six-month extension.  The deadline for S firms and cooperation’s with a June 30th fiscal year has not changed.

  • The 2017 standard mileage rate for business driving falls to 53 ½ cents a mile, a 0.5 cent drop.  The rate decreases to 17 cent a mile for travel for medical purposes and job-related moves.  However, the rate for charitable driving remains at 14 cent a mile.
  • Two business tax breaks have been reinstated.  Small start ups can opt to claim $250,000.00 of R & D (Research & Development) to offset payroll taxes instead of their regular income tax liability.  The election is available to companies in business for five (5) years or less that have gross receipts under five million dollars.  Businesses that hire the long term unemployed get a tax credit.  The work opportunity tax credit is expanded to cover employers that hire people who have been out of work for twenty-seven (27) weeks or more and received unemployment benefits.  The 40% credit on the first $6,000.00 in wages applies to those beginning work after 2015.
  • The income levels to qualify for the health premium credit is 2017 has gone up.  It is available to filers with household incomes ranging from 100% to 400% of the poverty level.  $11,880.00 to $47,520.00 for single and $24,300.00 to $97,200.00 for a family of four who buy health insurance through one of the exchange.  Individuals who can get affordable health insurance do not qualify, nor do individuals who can get affordable health insurance through their employers.  The annual cap on deductible contributions to HSAs rises to $3,400.00 in 2017 for self only coverage.  The ceiling for account owners with family coverage remains $6,750.00.
  • Individuals born before 1963 can put in an additional $1,000.00.  Minimum policy deductibles stay at $2,600.00 for families and $1,300.00 for singles.  The limits on our-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and copayments, stay steady at $13,100.00 for people with family coverage and $6,500.00 for individual coverage.
  • The limits on deducting long-term care premiums are higher in 2017.  Tax payers who are 71 or older can write off as much as $5,110.00 per person.  Filers age 61-70 up to $4,090.00.  Those who are 51 to 60 can deduct up to $1,530.00.  Individuals age 41-50 can take up to $770.00.  People age 40 or younger can take $410.00.  For most, long-term care premiums are medical expenses taken only by itemizers.