What to Expect as a Small Business from the IRS in 2012

AIA’s Chief Financial Officer, Mark Francis, provides his insights into important IRS rule changes that could potentially have both positive and negative impacts to your bail bond business.

In 2012, Many Tax Benefits Increase Due to Inflation Adjustments
by Mark Francis, CFO – AIA
For tax year 2012, personal exemptions and standard deductions will rise and tax brackets will widen due to inflation, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.
By law, the dollar amounts for a variety of tax provisions, affecting virtually every taxpayer, must be revised each year to keep pace with inflation. New dollar amounts affecting 2012 returns, filed by most taxpayers in early 2013, include the following:
The value of each personal and dependent exemption, available to most taxpayers, is $3,800, up $100 from 2011. The new standard deduction is $11,900 for married couples filing a joint return, up $300, $5,950 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up $150, and $8,700 for heads of household, up $200. Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.
Tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. For a married couple filing a joint return, for example, the taxable-income threshold separating the 15-percent bracket from the 25-percent bracket is $70,700, up from $69,000 in 2011.
Credits, Deductions, and Related Phase Outs
For tax year 2012, the maximum earned income tax credit (EITC) for low- and moderate- income workers and working families rises to $5,891, up from $5,751 in 2011. The maximum income limit for the EITC rises to $50,270, up from $49,078 in 2011.The credit varies by family size, filing status and other factors, with the maximum credit going to joint filers with three or more qualifying children.
The foreign earned income deduction rises to $95,100, an increase of $2,200 from the maximum deduction for tax year 2011.
The modified adjusted gross income threshold at which the lifetime learning credit begins to phase out is $104,000 for joint filers, up from $102,000, and $52,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $51,000.
The $2,500 maximum deduction for interest paid on student loans begins to phase out for married taxpayers filing a joint return at $125,000 and phases out completely at $155,000, an increase of $5,000 from the phase out limits for tax year 2011. For single taxpayers, the phase out ranges remain at the 2011 levels.
Estate and Gift
For an estate of any decedent dying during calendar year 2012, the basic exclusion from estate tax amount is $5,120,000, up from $5,000,000 for calendar year 2011.
The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $13,000.

AIA Congratulates PBT on a Successful Annual Conference

Last week, the AIA team attended the Annual Conference of the Professional Bondsmen of Texas. This year’s conference took place at the beautiful La Cantera Resort in San Antonio. In addition to great conference presentations and informative curriculum, there were the traditional events including a golf tournament, a welcome reception and a casino-themed event, capped off by the ever famous PBT auction. As always, these events were first class in every way. We take our hats off to PBT for a job well done. Here are some highlights from day one sessions:

The Keynote speaker was William “Pete” Rearden. He gave a presentation called, “Oops…Your Attitude is Showing.” He is a motivational speaker/comedian that talked about how our attitudes affect our performance, lives and work. He focused on the power of positive thinking. He also talked about the difference between leadership and management, and the importance of communication.

PBT presented a brief presentation on health insurance programs that are available for small businesses.

Roger Moore did a session on the difference between employees and independent contractors. He helped the audience determine if those working in their offices should be classified as employees or independent contractors by going through a list of determining factors that need to be considered.

Mark Holtschneider from Lexington National did a presentation on Immigration Bonds. He focused on the risks involved in writing these types of bonds, the requirements and rules, and also the underwriting expectations. He also reviewed the necessary forms that are involved in writing immigration bonds.

Town Hall Meeting- Scott Walstead provided updates to the attendees on legislative matters and specific hot topics in the bail industry. After the meeting, members were asked to mark the items that were most important to them so that the PBT could determine where their focus should be in the upcoming year. The upcoming Be An Angel event was also discussed

• Davie Westmoreland of Texas Quick Bail – PBT Bondsman of the Year

• Glenn Strickland of A1 Bonding – PBT Award of Excellence

• Doc Dillard of Doc’s Bail Bonds – PBT President’s Award

• Ken Good – PBT President’s Award

Outgoing PBT President, John McCluskey, also received a special award from incoming President, Scott Walstead, recognizing John’s contributions and leadership over the past four years. The entire AIA Family of Companies would like to extend our warmest congratulations to everyone who was honored. We are especially proud of our own AIA agents that continue to play a valuable leadership role in PBT. PBT is a great organization and it is made greater by all of the individuals that participate and contribute their time, money, and passion for the benefit of the bail profession.

We would also like to congratulate those individuals who have stepped up and taken on responsibilities for the PBT as its new officers. This includes the following individuals:

• President- Scott Walstead

• Vice President- Davie Westmoreland

• Secretary- Judy Grandmaison-Warren

• Treasurer- Melinda Webb

• Parliamentarian- Eddie Dees

Directors: Marge Walstead, John McCluskey, Glenn Strickland, Bo Jones, Ken Good, Ronnie Long, Alicia Davis

We look forward to another year of great things coming out of the PBT and to working closely with this new leadership team of real bail professionals. Congratulations to everyone.

Pretrial Release


What impact has Pretrial Release had in your county? Have your precious tax dollars been used to make our communities safer or are they putting you and your family more at risk? It’s time you heard the facts…or shall we say, the myths about Pretrial Release. If you are a bail agent you may want to share this information with your local opinion leaders.


To receive your FREE copy of the “Taxpayer Funded Pretrial Release – A Failed System” booklet, visit www.depositbailtruth.com.