Meetings underway on payroll tax cut extension

Last December, the 4.2% social security tax rate that workers pay on wages was extended through February 29, 2012.

Now a Congressional conference is being held to find a way to extend the lower tax rate through the end of 2012. The sticking point is lack of agreement between Republicans and Democrats on how to pay for the extension, estimated to cost $100 billion.

House Democrats have expressed the hope that the conference will be completed by the Presidents’ Day recess scheduled for the week of February 20. The legislation would extend the current 4.2% payroll tax rate through December 31, extend unemployment insurance benefits, and prevent cuts in reimbursements to Medicare providers.

Several legislators want to include tax extenders in the payroll tax cut legislation. These “extenders” include such provisions as the research and development credit for businesses, the optional deduction for state and local sales taxes, and the $250 deduction for school supplies purchased by teachers. Though these tax breaks appear to be universally popular, finding a way to pay for them remains the big issue.

As you do your 2012 tax planning, keep the uncertain legislative picture in mind.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today’s small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it.

Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission.

Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations.

She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.

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