Tax Articles

In the continually changing world of taxes, we’re here to keep you informed.

 

To date, the IRS has reported that the average tax refund is up 1.3% compared to 2018.  However, not everybody is getting a refund. If you are facing an unexpected tax bill, here are some things to keep in mind.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig made it clear that the agency would be processing returns and providing refunds as scheduled, despite the government shutdown.
When sitting down to prepare taxes, whether for ourselves or a client, password security may be the last thing on our minds. But realistically, it should be one of the first.
Taking these few steps today will save you time and hassle come time to file your 2018 tax returns in 2019. 
For the most part, the TCJA eliminated the deduction for any expenses considered to be entertainment, amusement or recreation. However, the deductibility of business meals remains.  
When it comes to taxes, there is no shortage of situations to prepare for. One of the most overlooked areas relates to natural disasters.
With so many changes unfolding under the new tax law, and with life moving as quickly as it does, reviewing the amount withheld from your paycheck is crucial. In fact, the IRS reports that many taxpayers are expected to see a shift in their refund amounts when filing their 2018 tax returns in 2019. 
Certain summertime activities may even qualify you for tax credits or deductions. Here are some things to keep in mind today to avoid unwelcome surprises come time to file...
Taxpayers who filed for an extension to file their 2017 tax returns should keep in mind that the extension deadline is October 15th, 2018. 
The Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 introduces some perks for small business owners that you won't want to miss.
In order to avoid a failure-to-pay penalty, it’s important to file your tax return by the filing deadline − even if you can’t pay what you owe in full.
This may seem like a strange question given the fact that we are now filing our 2017 taxes, but with over 1.1 billion dollars of unclaimed money at stake, it's a question worth asking.
​"Unreal audits" often require the same verification principles as traditional audits and incite the same level of discomfort as a real examination.
In December, Congress passed the most significant - and perhaps the most confusing - tax bill we've seen in over three decades, earning a stamp of approval from the President just in time for tax season.
When tragedy strikes, scammers will often seize the opportunity for their own financial gain. By being mindful, you can ensure that you're helping those in need without putting yourself at risk.
When dealing with the devastating challenges of domestic abuse, taxes are likely the furthest thing from your mind. However, if you find yourself in this type of situation, it is important to understand your rights as a taxpayer so that you can safeguard your finances for the future.
The IRS is searching for volunteers to lend a helping hand and to share some wisdom in their communities.
With the short amount of days we have left in 2017, this is the perfect time to evaluate your tax situation and ensure that, come 2018, you’ll have no surprises when you file your tax return.
Have you or someone you know experienced loss from a disaster? You may be able to deduct the loss you incurred on your federal income tax return.
The IRS recently issued a warning that tax-related scams are still on the rise and are urging taxpayers to take caution!
When determining the deduction for a home office, there are two different methods to choose from: Actual expenses and the simplified method.
The IRS encourages all businesses and business owners to know the rules when it comes to classifying a worker as an employee or an independent contractor.
In regard to IRS rules for keeping records and income tax returns, the general rule is that you must keep records for the period of time during which the IRS can audit you and assess additional tax – or during the period in which you can claim a credit or refund by filing an amended tax return.
While real IRS letters make their way through the mail system, tax scammers have been quick to try and ship out their own tax bills in an attempt to take advantage of the honest, unsuspecting taxpayer.
One of the most frequent scams we see during tax season is that of the crooked tax preparer.
There are a few tax benefits available to our military personnel. These adjustments are designed to give back to the men and women who have given so much for us!
The IRS has some quick and helpful tips for those who are anxious to get their yearly tax filing out of the way.
During an audit, the last thing that any IRS examiner wants to hear is "I lost those documents when my basement flooded!"

The IRS recently announced that their Get Transcript Online feature is now available for taxpayers who would like to obtain their tax transcripts.

There are a few things you should know about gambling and how it can affect you when tax time rolls around.
Scammers, despite their many flaws, tend to be clever, and often create fake charities that have names strikingly close to vetted non-profit organizations.
We have created a list of 5 quick tips on how to deal with any IRS letter you receive to help make the process as quick and painless as possible.
Day-camp programs can provide safe and fun environments for your children while you work to support your family. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is available to help offset some of these expenses.
If you missed the tax filing date, you are certainly not alone; there are thousands of taxpayers who miss the filing cutoff every year.
So while tax season may have ended, scam artists are still working around the clock and the Internal Revenue Service continually encourages taxpayers to keep a vigilant eye out for anything that seems remotely suspicious.
The TAS is an independent organization within the IRS, created with the intention of identifying and resolving problem areas within the tax system.
As this year’s tax season shifts into full gear, tax scammers are at hard at work - attempting to sway fellow taxpayers.
Congress extended most of the tax breaks which were set to expire at the end of 2015 and expanded a number of other tax provisions.
This is a brief summary of the IRS's numerous requirements in regard to charitable giving.
Here are 3 tips to help make the upcoming tax filing season just a little bit easier.
The Cadillac tax has zero to do with automobiles and everything to do with health care.
We wanted to let you know that, yes, there are some tax benefits to hitting the books.
Add These Tax Items to Your Wedding Checklist
IRS Partners have begun to create and initiate essential changes which will revolutionize and improve taxpayer security in the coming years.
The IRS has taken the initiative to remind taxpayers about the importance of protecting and preserving important documents, should disaster choose to strike.
The IRS opened up its LITC grant application process for organizations looking to serve and educate low-income taxpayers.
While U.S. citizens and resident aliens work and live overseas during large portions of the tax year, many of these individuals still have IRS tax filing requirements.
When your electronically filed tax return is rejected by the IRS, it can be frustrating. But, most of the time, there’s a simple explanation for the rejection.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is available to workers who earn $52,427 or less from wages or self–employment.
With the tax filing season in full swing, the IRS has reissued warnings to all taxpayers to be on alert for tax scams.
If the name and taxpayer ID number provided to a payment card processor or third party settlement organization doesn’t matches IRS records, the payments received by the business will be subject to 28% withholding.
The IRS announced that it is changing its interpretation of the way the one year limitation rule applies to rollovers to match the IRC and Tax Court’s interpretations.
If at this late date you still haven’t filed your tax return, here are some tips to help you avoid many of the most common tax return errors.
If the name and taxpayer ID number provided to a payment card processor or third party settlement organization doesn’t matches IRS records, the payments received by the business will be subject to 28% withholding.
The IRS and National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson announced the adoption of a new Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
For charitable organizations, there is now a new three-page application, Form 1023-EZ, which replaces the standard twenty-six page Form 1023 for eligible organizations.
Tax returns are due on June 16th for U.S. taxpayers living abroad who qualify for and are taking advantage of the automatic two-month extension.
There could be a number of reasons for a delayed refund. The IRS may be reviewing your case to eliminate the possibility of identity theft, or it is possible that a tax audit is pending.
Filing for a tax return extension does NOT give you an extension of time to pay your tax bill.
Tax related identity theft occurs then your personal information is used without your permission to fraudulently file a return or claim a refund.
The IRS just announced a new version of their mobile app, IRS2Go. The app is available for free at the iTunes app store for Apple iPhone and iTouch users, and Android users can download it at Google Play.
Taxpayers all across America are receiving telephone calls from scammers purporting to be from the IRS.
With the 2013 holiday season upon us, here are some tax tips for gift givers.
Victims of the IRS telephone are receiving telephone calls that appear to be from the IRS and providing a fake name and IRS badge number.
You may be eligible for a Premium Tax Credit (also known as a premium subsidy) next year if you purchase your health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
According to the new ruling, marital status will be based on the laws of the state where a marriage is initially established.
No matter what your political affiliation is, beginning January 1, 2014, having minimum essential healthcare coverage (minimum essential coverage) is the law.
Tax identity theft cases have been increasing every year. Since the beginning of 2013, the IRS has helped to resolve more than 200,000 cases.
The issues relate to the process the IRS uses to approve applications for tax exempt status under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4).
The IRS has granted a three month tax filing and payment extension to taxpayers affected by the Boston Marathon explosions that occurred on Tax Day.
The IRS released its annual Dirty Dozen list of tax scams. The agency is actively pursuing and shutting down promoters of these schemes.
When your tax return is audited, the IRS will ask to see the specific records and documents that show how you came up with the dollar amounts you reported on your tax return.
The IRS announced a new, simplified method of calculating the home office deduction starting for 2013. The new method is optional for businesses and employees who are eligible to deduct the offices in their homes.
The new tax law contains a number of provisions that benefit middle class taxpayers, including a permanent AMT patch and the revival of several popular tax breaks, such as the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums and the general sales tax deduction.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the IRS has announced a range of relief measures intended to help those in disaster areas meet their tax obligations and recover from the damage caused by the storm.
South Carolina Department of Revenue announced that security may have been compromised on 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit cards in a September cyber attack.
Presidential declarations allow the IRS to grant relief to taxpayers who reside or have businesses in affected locations.
Tax planning can make a big difference in the amount of taxes you are legally required to pay, especially in a year that may mark the end of an era of lower tax rates.
The IRS has been taking a controversial position with regard to accuracy-related penalties on disallowed refundable tax credits.
If you are a business traveler – either as an employee or a self-employed business owner – you are allowed to deduct the costs of your meals, lodging and transportation costs, as well as incidentals, such as tips and laundry, for your trips away from home that require an overnight stay.
One after another, the large “tax debt relief” companies are going away.
Every year millions of Americans take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
If you are a U.S. citizen living and working overseas, the IRS expects you to report the money you earn just as if you were residing on U.S. soil.
One after another, the large “tax debt relief” companies are going away.
There’s a new wave of “phishing” scams involving phony emails from tax software companies such as TurboTax.
On February 22, President Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,
Every year millions of Americans take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
If you hire or contract with individuals to provide services to your business, it is important to correctly determine whether each person is an employee or independent contractor.
On Monday, November 21st, President Obama signed into law the Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act, and the VOW to Hire Heroes Act. The new legislation permanently repeals the three percent withholding requirement on government payments to contractors and adds new tax credits for hiring military veterans.
If you are an employee and usually receive a large tax refund each year, it’s likely that you haven’t claimed enough withholding allowances on the Form W–4 you filled out at work.
An important deadline this month applies to the estates of taxpayers who died in January of this year. The 2010 Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act, signed into law last December, includes a new provision for “portability” of the estate tax exclusion amount between spouses.
The IRS has the authority adjust our tax returns to correct math errors without performing an audit. And while we have the right to dispute adjustments the IRS makes to our returns, a recent review by the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that the Agency’s process for responding to disputes is in need of improvement.
If you accept credit cards or use an electronic payments service such as PayPal to process your sales transactions, you may be receiving the new IRS Form 1099–K in early 2012 for tax year 2011. Beginning with tax year 2011, banks and other payment processing services will be required to file Form 1099–K to report gross receipts, both to you and to the IRS.
Last month the United States Tax Court decided that a California woman, described by many as a “cat lady,” would be allowed to deduct certain unreimbursed expenses relating to work she did with feral cats on behalf of a charitable organization in 2004.
Tax related identity theft involves the practice of using stolen social security numbers to obtain employment or tax refunds.
Last year’s Health Care Bill included a controversial revenue raiser that required businesses, beginning in tax year 2012, to file an information reporting document with the IRS any time $600 or more in total payments were made to an individual or business during a tax year.
If you know you have a large tax bill coming that you are not able to pay, the most important thing to know is that you should still file your tax return before the filing deadline. Even if you are not able to make the full payment, filing your return on time and making as large a payment as possible could save you a substantial amount in penalties and interest.
Taxpayers with undisclosed income in hidden offshore bank accounts have a second chance to come forward, the IRS announced last month.
According to IRS statistics released in December, 1,581,394 audits of individual tax returns were conducted during the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2010, an increase of nearly 11 percent over the previous year. Collections actions, including levies, liens and seizures, also increased, and so did the number of criminal investigations and prosecutions.
The good news is that the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 was finally passed in December. We have two more years of lower income tax rates and AMT relief, as well as extensions of several popular tax breaks and incentives.
If you’ve been putting off making your home more energy efficient, it’s time to hurry up and make that trip to your local home improvement store. The reason is that the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit is expiring at the end of this month, based on current law.
One of the most controversial revenue raisers of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is the expansion of information reporting requirements for businesses.
On September 27th the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 was signed into law. The bill’s title is somewhat of a misnomer, as the law contains a number of provisions that may affect W–2 wage earners as well as enhancements and extensions of certain tax breaks for all businesses, not just small business owners.
A provision in the Affordable Care Act is bringing a change to medical expenses that may be reimbursed with tax–free distributions from flexible spending arrangements (Health FSA’s) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRA’s). Beginning January 1, 2011, amounts paid for over–the–counter medicines and drugs will be allowed to be reimbursed by FSAs and HSAs only if they are purchased with a prescription.
With the March passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Acts, several new penalties, credits, exemptions and other changes have been added to the tax code.
The Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010, signed by President Obama on July 2, 2010, extended the closing date deadline that homebuyers are required to meet in order to qualify for the Homebuyer Tax Credit. Eligible taxpayers now will have an additional three months, until September 30, 2010, to close title on qualifying residences.
At the time of year when the sun’s rays are strongest, a new tax on indoor tanning services is going into effect.
The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is one of the new provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 17th, 2010. The act includes the “Hire Now Tax Cut,” which combines payroll tax forgiveness with a tax credit for retaining employees in a two-pronged approach to boosting U.S. payrolls.
If you had a debt forgiven and you were personally liable for the debt*, you will likely receive a Form 1099–C, Cancellation of Debt, from the financial institution reporting the amount discharged.
If you itemize deductions, cash contributions you make to qualified charities providing earthquake relief in Haiti after January 11, 2010, and before March 1, 2010, are deductible on your 2009 tax return. The new law applies only to cash (as opposed to property) contributions.
If you are claiming a homebuyer credit on your 2009 tax return, the IRS requires that you mail your return along with certain documents proving that you are eligible to receive the credit