October 2000

BRIEFS:

Income Thresholds indexed to inflation

In 2001, the top 39.6% Federal Income Tax Bracket for married couples filing jointly, single taxpayers and heads of households is expected to start on taxable income of more than $ 297,150, up from the 2000 level of $ 288,350.

The 36% bracket for married couples filing jointly will start on income above

$ 166,400; whereas the 31% bracket will start at more than $ 109,200 and the 28% bracket at more than $ 45,200. For most singles, the 36% will start on income above

$ 136,700 with the 31% bracket starting at $ 65,500.

Higher backdoor tax increases for 2001 indexed to inflation

Lawmakers use this method to raise taxes without raising rates. And in 2001 increases on limits on itemized deductions and a phaseout of personal exemptions for taxpayers with certain income levels start at adjusted gross income of $ 132,900, up from the 2000 level of $ 128,950. For married filing separately, the threshold will be $ 66,450, up from the 2000 level of $ 64,475.

The threshold for the personal exemption phaseout in 2001 will be $ 199,350 for married filing jointly, up from $ 193,400 in 2000; $ 99,675 for married filing separately; $ 132,900 for singles and $ 166,100 for heads of household.

Higher Standard Deduction in 2001

For married couples filing jointly, the regular standard deduction for 2001 will rise to $ 7,550, up from $ 7,350 in 2000. And for most singles, it will be $ 4,550.

 

New Jersey Sales and Withholding Tax Monthly Deposit Requirements

Taxpayers are not required to send monthly remittance statements for Gross Income Withholding (Form NJ-500) or Sales Tax (Form ST-51) if there is no tax due for the month. The required filing thresholds for Form NJ-500 is $ 500 or more; whereas Form ST-51 need not be filed if the amount of sales tax due for the month is $ 500 or less.

However, taxpayers can still file below any required level.

 

Secure your Internet Connection

Accessing the Net allows you to be connected to the largest network in the world, but is froth with opportunities for hackers with malicious intent to access your computer, especially when accessed via DSL or cable modems. So check with your Network Administrator or computer consultant on means of guarding against the hackers.

That is why it is important to protect your network from unauthorized access by using firewalls. So find out if you are vulnerable to such attacks by visiting a site that has a free web-based utility that will allow you to test your systems defenses and identify trouble spots. One such sire is located at www.grc.com.



Check the File and Printer Sharing option which, if enabled, may be a wide open door for hackers. Also, never open an email attachment or run a program without checking it with your anti-virus software program. Remember the "Trojan Horse" tale, so please watch carefully any email posing as some useful executable file to eliminate any security risk that may be compromised through the "back-door".

Invest in software firewall that monitors all Internet protocol transmissions to and from your computer, blocking and reporting suspicious connection requests. Make sure your system becomes "stealth" to intruders.

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