6 Important Tax Changes for 2015

6 Important Tax Changes for 2015

With 2015 officially in motion, you may be in the mindset of preparing to file your 2014 taxes. However, you also need to consider the newest changes in the tax code for 2015 and starting planning now to avoid costly mistakes throughout the year. Planning ahead for tax changes and adjusting your budget accordingly can mean the difference between writing a large or small check to the IRS in 2016. To help you get started, here are a few of the big tax changes for 2015 and how they may affect you.

  1. 401(k) Limits: In 2014, the cap for employee contributions to 401(k) plans was set at $17,500. In 2015, that limit will increase to $18,000. What does this mean for you? If you do have a 401(k) plan through work, be sure to inform your payroll department to increase your contribution (beginning January 1st) to make sure you are saving the maximum allowable in 2015. The allowance for those 50 years old and older has also been increased from $5,500 to $6,000.
  2. Alternative Minimum Tax: The AMT is an income tax on corporations, estates, trusts, and individuals imposed by the government. Moving into 2015, the AMT exemption has been raised by 1.5% from 2014. The AMT exemption amount for FY 2015 is $53,600 for individuals and $83,400 for those filing jointly.
  3. Standard Deduction: In 2015, the standard deduction (the fixed amount that reduces one’s taxable income each year) will increase to $6,300 for single filers and $12,600 for those filing jointly. This important change is crucial to tax planning. If you are unable to itemize enough deductions to exceed your standard deduction, it may be the only tax break you receive from the government on your next year’s tax return.
  4. Affordable Care Act:
    • For Employers: The ObamaCare Employer Mandate was set to begin in 2014, but was delayed until 2015. The Employer Mandate states that businesses with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees (30 hours or more per week)  must provide health insurance to at least 70% for 2015 of their F/T employees and dependents (age 26 and under), or pay a fine. A way for businesses to circumvent any financial penalty involved making “employer healthcare arrangements” with their full-time staff members, which means the employer reimbursed employees for some or all of the premium expenses incurred for health insurance policies. However, under section 498D of the Internal Revenue Code, if these types of arrangements were done, the employer could be subject to a $100 excise tax per day per employee.
    • For Individuals: The Affordable Care Act has been top of mind to many since being enacted. Part of its regulations mandates that most Americans must have health insurance or they are subject to paying a tax penalty. In 2014, the penalties were 1% of your household income or $95 per person (whichever is greater). Most people may have thought that was steep. However, in 2015, the penalties have increased to 2% of total household income or $325 per person. Those fees can add up quickly for the lower and middle class tax brackets.
  1. Flexible Spending Account Limits: In 2014, the annual limit for employee contributions to flexible spending accounts was set at $2,500 for qualified healthcare expenses. Beginning January 1, 2015, that limit will be raised $50 (up to $2,550). Those enrolled in flexible spending accounts through their employer need to make sure they opt in for the new maximum to get full benefit from the program.
  2. Tax Brackets: Income tax figures will once again be raised for 2015 at about 1.6% from 2014.

Unsure how these changes may affect you? Click here to contact a Scheffel Boyle Representative today!

2015 Illinois Tax Rate Changes

2015 Illinois Tax Rate Changes

  • Illinois Personal Income Tax rate is increased from 3% to 5% between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2014. The rate will revert to 3.75% (originally proposed at 4%) from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2024.
  • Corporate Income Tax Rate is increased from the current 7.3% rate to 9.5% starting January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014. It then drops to 7.75% between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2024.

Unsure about how this might affect you? Click here to contact your Scheffel Boyle team today!

Scheffel Boyle Named “Winning Workplace”

Scheffel Boyle is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by St. Louis Small Business Monthly as a “Winning Workplace” for the publication’s November 2014 issue.

Scheffel Boyle was one of ten “Winning Workplaces” selected in the entire St. Louis area. Winners were chosen based on their workplace cultures, employee benefit packages, and innovative professional attitude toward employee satisfaction and development.

According to St. Louis Small Business Monthly editor Ron Ameln, “Winning Workplaces are not only the best places to work in St. Louis, but businesses that have created a winning culture for employees, owners, and the future of the company.”

Dennis Ulrich, Scheffel Boyle’s Managing Principal, is grateful for Scheffel Boyle to be recognized for an award that is employee-focused and looks forward to sharing this honor with his staff.

“Scheffel Boyle is only a ‘Winning Workplace’ because of our people. No matter if you are a Principal or staff accountant, we are all never done learning or growing professionally here,” Ulrich said. “We all commit to creating a very encouraging, team-oriented environment. I’m proud to come to work every day and be associated with this dedicated group of professionals.”

Scheffel Boyle is recognized as the largest locally-owned accounting firm in Southwestern Illinois, and as one of the largest accounting firms in the St. Louis region. Their offices are currently located in Alton, Edwardsville, Belleville, Highland, Jerseyville, Columbia, Carrollton, Bartelso, and Bethalto. Established in 1924, their services include corporate, personal, and governmental tax, auditing, and accounting.

Crystal Bock Earns Jersey County Leadership In Action Designation

Our team is extremely proud to announce that Crystal Bock, CPA, Supervisor out of our Jerseyville office, has graduated from the Jersey County Leadership in Action program!

This 8-month intensive program focuses on developing leaders in Jersey County through awareness, education, and community involvement. Crystal spent her own personal time attending classes and seminars to learn about all issues, both past and present, that affect her local area. The program provided education on variety of community programs, agricultural issues, economic development strategies, local infrastructure, and more.

Scheffel Boyle encourages all team members to participate in professional development efforts, both inside and outside of the workplace. Crystal is a great example of how to dedicate yourself to improving your local community through volunteer efforts.

Congratulations Crystal! Your Scheffel Boyle family appreciates your dedication to the communities we serve.

Scheffel Boyle Participates in Highlands Gigabit Challenge

Scheffel Boyle is one of several local businesses joining together for the highly anticipated “Gigabit Challenge” in Highland, Illinois.

The firm is supporting the business plan competition, which boasts more than $50,000 in cash and prizes to the winning teams.

The City of Highland and the Metro East Small Business Development Center have teamed up in the planning of this nationally-publicized professional competition. To be considered, applicants must have their business located in Highland’s city limits and submit a detailed business plan. The winners will be those who best use technology to enhance a product or service.

According to Lisa Peck, Highland’s Economic Development and Marketing Coordinator, the purpose of the competition is to bring new jobs to the Highland community, while furthering “the development of Highland as a technology hub.”

Mark Korte, Scheffel Boyle’s Principal of the Highland office, wanted to be a part of the competition to drive more business and recognition to the local community.

“This is a unique contest that not only encourages forward thinking in a business model, but also focuses on community development for Highland, which is very important to us at Scheffel Boyle,” Korte said. “I look forward to meeting with the winners and discovering how we can help their business succeed in the local community.”

The Highland Gigabit Challenge is sponsored by the city of Highland, Metro East Small Business Development Center, Singleton Law Firm PC, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Highland Chamber of Commerce, Corning, Foppe Visual Communications, Scheffel Boyle, Terra Properties, Bluebird Network, TheBANK of Edwardsville, RETKO Group, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, Oates Associates, National Telco Television Consortium, First Clover Leaf Bank, the Rotary Club of Highland, Highland Communication Services, Highland Entrepreneurship Program and Moran Economic Development.

Twelve semifinalists were recently announced for the competition, and winners will be revealed on December 12th, 2014.

Scheffel Boyle and Allison Knapp & Siekmann, Ltd. Join Forces

Effective October 1st, 2014, The Scheffel Boyle team is pleased to announce a new addition to their already dominant force in the St. Louis region. The firm of Allison Knapp & Siekmann has joined forces with Scheffel Boyle. This combination will increase Scheffel Boyle’s geographical footprint in Southern Illinois and the St. Louis metropolitan area.

In business since 1950, Allison Knapp & Siekmann (AKS) shares the same dedication to high quality client service that Scheffel Boyle has prided itself on for nearly a century. AKS had office locations in Belleville and Bethalto, Illinois, where their professionals will remain on staff and continue their current positions as the newest members of the Scheffel Boyle team.

Now that AKS has joined forces with Scheffel Boyle, the full-service accounting, auditing, tax, business, and financial consulting firm has now expanded its footprint in the St. Louis metropolitan area to 10 offices and approximately 100 employees, while adding a greater depth of resources and expertise for their clients. Scheffel Boyle’s Dennis Ulrich, CPA & Managing Partner, and Allison Knapp & Siekmann’s Henry Siekmann both feel the acquisition will only further enhance the quality service they have offered clients for years.

“Bringing our two firms together is a great step not only for us, but for all our clients. We are constantly growing as a firm, bringing a new level of knowledge and expertise to the work we do. I feel AKS shares our dedication to an exceptional standard of service that we hold dear at Scheffel Boyle,” said Dennis Ulrich, Managing Principal of Scheffel Boyle. “I’m confident that this combination will bring positive changes for both firms and our combined family of clients.”

AKS Managing Principal Henry Siekmann, CPA also believes this news is a step forward for both firms.

“All of my team at AKS is extremely excited to be joining forces with such a reputable firm as Scheffel Boyle. We have had a great working relationship for years and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together,” Siekmann said. “Joining the Scheffel Boyle team will bring greater knowledge, resources, and fresh industry insight for our associates and clients. We look forward to what the future holds.”

Scheffel Boyle is recognized as the largest locally-owned accounting firm in Southwestern Illinois, and as one of the largest accounting firms in the St. Louis region. Their offices are currently located in Alton, Edwardsville, Belleville, Highland, Jerseyville, Columbia, Carrollton, and Bartelso. Established in 1924, their services include corporate, personal, and governmental tax, auditing, and accounting services.


Sarah Wells, Marketing Coordinator

Office: 618.656.1206


Scheffel Boyle CPAs Announces Promotions

Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work!

Promoted in Jerseyville


Crystal Bock, CPA

Promoted in Highland


Michael Ulrich, CPA

Carrie Seiffert, CPA

Heather Wiesemeyer, CPA

Promoted in Alton


Jenna Andres, CPA

Julie Graham, CPA


Alicia Bianco

Promoted in Edwardsville


Jenny Zipprich, CPA

John Russell, CPA


Jason Grunlund

Promoted in Belleville


Travis Cook

Promoted in Carollton


Jenni Flowers

Scheffel Boyle Introduces New Marketing Coordinator

Scheffel Boyle is excited to announce a new addition to their already outstanding team. Sarah Wells recently joined the firm as the new Marketing Coordinator.

Wells has over four years of experience in marketing and public relations and currently lives with her husband and son in Maryville, IL. She graduated from SIUE in 2008 from their Mass Communications department after living in the Edwardsville area since 2003. From there she worked in the non-profit sector and then ventured into the construction industry, where she has worked for the last three years. She has specialized in marketing, public relations, and business development for small and medium-sized businesses. She is very excited to join the amazing team at Scheffel and looks forward to broadening their reach in the communities they serve.

In early 2014, Scheffel & Company, PC merged with J.W. Boyle & Co., LTD to form Scheffel Boyle. This merger will help better serve all their clients with a new combination of exemplary knowledge in both the accounting and tax fields.

Scheffel Boyle has 8 locations across Southern Illinois and is recognized as one of the largest accounting firms in the St. Louis region. The firm was even named by St. Louis Small Business Monthly as “Most Reliable” in 2012 and one of the “Best Accounting Firms” in 2013. They are also an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA, a nationwide association of independently-owned accounting, consulting, and service firms with exemplary client service goals.

See this story on the Illinois Business Journal Website: