Four US tax tips for 2017

By Dale A. Walters, CPA, PFS, CFP® (US and Canada)

November 21, 2016

1. Be aware that several US tax forms have new filing deadlines. Key changes are:

Return Type Previous Law New Law

Effective Jan 1, 2017

Partnership (Form 1065)

Calendar Year Returns

April 15 March 15
Corporation (Form 1120)

Calendar Year Returns

March 15 April 15
Foreign Accounts

(FinCEN 114)

June 30

No extension

April 15

October 15 with extension

2. Maximize charitable contributions to charities that qualify for an Arizona tax credit. Arizona has made positive changes to its tax credit programs. Three tax credit programs, Qualifying Charitable Organizations, Public School, and Private School Tuition Organizations, now allow you to donate up to the filing date (typically April 15th) to qualify as a credit in the previous year. Note however, that the IRS is not as generous, if you choose to donate in the first three and a half months of 2017, you will receive an Arizona credit in 2016, but the donation must be taken as a deduction on your 2017 federal return. Also, the maximum credit amounts have been increased. Here is a list of the 2016 Arizona credit programs, the maximum credit allowed and the donation deadlines.

AZ Credit Program Maximum Credit Donation Deadline
Qualifying Charitable Org $400 (single/head of household)

$800 (married filing jointly)

April 15

(for previous year)

Qualifying Foster Care Org $500 (single/head of household)

$1,000 (married filing jointly)

April 15

(for previous year)

Public School $200 (single/head of household)

$400 (married filing jointly)

April 15

(for previous year)

Private School $545 (single/head of household)

$1,090 (married filing jointly)

April 15

(for previous year)

Military Family Relief* $200 (single/head of household)

$400 (married filing jointly)

December 31

*Donations to the fund will only qualify for the credit if the total amount donated to the fund during the calendar year has not exceeded one million dollars. Donations made to the fund once the total donations for the calendar year reach one million dollars will not qualify for the credit. The determination of whether a donation will qualify for the credit is made on a first come, first served basis.

3. Use your IRA’s required minimum distribution to contribute to charity. Congress has made permanent, the law that gives a person age 70 ½ or older, the ability to donate the required minimum distribution to charity, up to $100,000 per year, without including the distribution in your taxable income.

4. Be aware of your foreign account filing requirements, the penalties for failing to comply are horrendous. If you have a foreign bank or brokerage account, or if you are a signer on any foreign account, or if you have a foreign life insurance policy with cash value, you have to report each of these accounts, if in the aggregate, their value exceeds US$10,000. You may have to report these accounts on IRS Form 8938 and/or FinCEN 114. If you receive a gift or inheritance from foreign person, you may have to report that gift or inheritance on IRS Form 3520.

Posted in Cross-Border Blog
Cross-Border Series
The Border Guide
Now available in its 11th edition, The Border Guide has sold over 80,000 copies and is considered the definitive cross-border financial tool for Canadians living, working and investing in the United States.
A Canadian's Best Tax Haven
This book will show you how to realize your dream of living a lifestyle in a climate that allows for year-round golfing and sandy beaches while lowering your taxes and cost of living.
Taxation of Canadians in America
This book addresses individual US taxation and estate planning issues you will face as a Canadian living in the US.
Taxation of Americans in Canada
US citizens and green card holders are subject to US tax regardless of where they reside in the world. Are YOU at risk?

Crossing the Border?
TRY OUR CROSS-BORDER FORUM »
Get Updates from Us
SIGN UP FOR E-UPDATES »