Category: INDIVIDUALS

October 24th, 2017 by Oscar

Domestic abuse often includes control over finances. An important part of managing finances is understanding one’s tax rights. Taxpayers have the right to expect the IRS to consider facts and circumstances that might affect the individual’s taxes.

Taxpayers have the right to:

  1. File a separate return even if they’re married.
  2. Review the entire tax return before signing a joint return.
  3. Review supporting documents for a joint return.
  4. Refuse to sign a joint return.
  5. Request more time to file their tax return.
  6. Get copies of prior year tax returns from the IRS.
  7. Seek independent legal advice.

Taxpayers also have the right to request relief from the liability shown on a joint return. This is known as innocent spouse relief. Here are a couple of examples:

Example 1:

  • A taxpayer signs a joint return with their spouse.
  • The taxpayer thought their spouse paid all taxes due.
  • The IRS contacts the taxpayer because the taxes shown on the joint return were not paid.

Example 2:

  • The taxpayer signs a joint return with their spouse.
  • The taxpayer didn’t know about their spouse’s unreported income or erroneous deductions.
  • The IRS adjusted the taxes due because of their spouse’s improper items.

To apply for Innocent Spouse Relief, a taxpayer fills out Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief.


 

Posted in INDIVIDUALS

October 23rd, 2017 by Oscar

Now that the tax return extension filing deadline has passed, the IRS suggests that taxpayers look ahead and get ready for next year.

Taxpayers still have time to take these three actions that may affect the 2017 tax return they will file in 2018.

Charitable contributions. Taxpayers can deduct contributions that they make to charitable organizations only in the year the donation is made. There is still time for taxpayers to contribute to a charity before the end of 2017. After several storms this year, many taxpayers are making donations to disaster relief organizations. Taxpayers can use the IRS Exempt Organization Select Check tool on IRS.gov to make sure that these charities and any other tax-exempt organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

IRA distributions. Taxpayers over age 70 ½ should receive payments from their individual retirement accounts and workplace retirement plans by the end of 2017. A special rule allows those who reached 70 ½ in 2017 to wait until April 1, 2018 to receive their distributions.

IRA Contributions. Taxpayers generally must make workplace retirement account contributions by the end of the year. However, they can make 2017 IRA contributions until April 17, 2018.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS

October 18th, 2017 by Oscar

Mientras que los contribuyentes no comenzarán a presentar sus declaraciones de impuestos hasta dentro de varios meses, existen ciertas cosas que pueden hacer para facilitar el trámite el próximo año. Aquí hay dos cosas que podrían afectar las declaraciones de 2017 que se presentarán en 2018.

Informe los cambios de nombre. Los contribuyentes recientemente casados o divorciados que cambien su nombre, deben notificar a la Administración de Seguro Social (SSA, por sus siglas en inglés). También deben notificar a la SSA si cambió el nombre de un dependiente. Los contribuyentes deben hacer esto para que cuando el contribuyente presente la declaración el próximo año, el nuevo nombre concuerde con el que aparecerá en la declaración de impuestos. Una discrepancia entre el nombre incluido en su declaración de impuestos y en los archivos de la SSA puede causar problemas en el trámite de su declaración de impuestos e incluso retrasar su reembolso de impuestos.

Renueve los números de identificación personal del contribuyente. Los contribuyentes que utilicen un Número de identificación personal del contribuyente (ITIN) deben verificar si su número venció en 2016 o vencerá este año. Si es así y necesitan presentar una declaración en 2018, deben solicitar ahora la renovación de su ITIN, para el próximo año evitar que ciertos créditos tributarios sean rechazados y hayan retrasos en el trámite. Los contribuyentes que no hayan utilizado su ITIN para presentar una declaración federal al menos una vez en los últimos tres años, verán que su número vence el 31 de diciembre de 2017. Además, los ITINs con dígitos medios de 70, 71, 72 u 80, también vencerán al final del año. Sólo los contribuyentes con los ITINs que vencen tienen que tomar alguna acción. Para renovar un ITIN, un contribuyente debe completar un Formulario W-7(SP) y presentar la documentación requerida. No se requiere una declaración de impuestos al presentar una solicitud de renovación.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS, SMALL BUSINESSES

October 18th, 2017 by Oscar

When a hurricane or other disaster strikes, the IRS wants taxpayers to know they can count on the agency for help.

Here are six resources taxpayers can access on IRS.gov:

Tax information about federally declared disasters. Special tax law provisions apply when the federal government declares a major disaster area. This relief can help victims recover financially after a disaster. For instance, the IRS may grant more time to file tax returns and pay tax.

Information about faster refunds. Taxpayers may be able to get a faster refund from losses suffered in a federally-declared disaster area. Taxpayers can claim losses related to the disaster on the tax return for the previous year. They claim the loss by filing an amended return in most cases.

Disaster declarations. Taxpayers can visit the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page on IRS.gov. This page has a list of the latest disaster declarations and any related disaster tax relief.

Disaster relief resources. The IRS has many resources to help those who provide disaster relief. The Disaster Relief Resources for Charities and Contributors.

Around the Nation. The Around the Nation page provides local tax news, including disaster relief information that applies to specific areas.

Making a plan. Taxpayers can check out the Preparing for a Disaster page on IRS.gov for information about prepping for a possible disaster in the future.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS, NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, SMALL BUSINESSES

October 17th, 2017 by Oscar

Throughout the year, many taxpayers contribute money or gifts to qualified organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Taxpayers who plan to claim a charitable deduction on their tax return must do two things:

  1. Have a bank record or written communication from a charity for any monetary contributions.
  2. Get a written acknowledgment from the charity for any single donation of $250 or more.

Here are six things for taxpayers to remember about these donations and written acknowledgements:

  1. Taxpayers who make single donations of $250 or more to a charity must have one of the following: a) A separate acknowledgment from the organization for each donation of $250 or more.; b) One acknowledgment from the organization listing the amount and date of each contribution of $250 or more.
  2. The $250 threshold doesn’t mean a taxpayer adds up separate contributions of less than $250 throughout the year; for example, if someone gave a $25 offering to their church each week, they don’t need an acknowledgement from the church, even though their contributions for the year are more than $250.
  3. Contributions made by payroll deduction are treated as separate contributions for each pay period.
  4. If a taxpayer makes a payment that is partly for goods and services, their deductible contribution is the amount of the payment that is more than the value of those goods and services.
  5. A taxpayer must get the acknowledgement on or before the earlier of these two dates: a) The date they file their return for the year in which they make the contribution; b) The due date, including extensions, for filing the return.
  6. If the acknowledgment doesn’t show the date of the contribution, the taxpayers must also have a bank record or receipt that does show the date.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS, SMALL BUSINESSES

October 13th, 2017 by Oscar

El IRS advirtió hoy a todos los usuarios de e-Services que tengan cuidado con una nueva estafa de phishing que intenta engañar a los profesionales de impuestos para que “firmen” un nuevo acuerdo de usuario de e-Services. La estafa de phishing busca robar contraseñas y datos.

El correo electrónico fraudulento dice ser de “e-Services Registration” (Inscripción de e-Services) y usa “Important Update about Your e-Services Account” (Actualización importante acerca de su cuenta de e-Services) en la línea del asunto. Afirma, en parte, “We are rolling out a new user agreement and all registered users must accept its revised terms to have access to e-Services and its products.” (Estamos implementando un nuevo acuerdo de usuario y todos los usuarios inscritos deben aceptar los términos revisados para tener acceso a los servicios electrónicos y sus productos). Le pide a la persona que revise y acepte el acuerdo, pero los lleva a un sitio falso.

Todos los profesionales de impuestos deben estar conscientes de que a medida que los servicios electrónicos comienzan a moverse este mes a la autenticación de acceso seguro y sus protecciones de dos factores, es probable que los criminales cibernéticos intenten robar contraseñas y datos antes de la transición. Tal como el IRS ha advertido en los últimos años, estos esquemas sofisticados son de naturaleza adaptativa y todos deben ser cautelosos antes de hacer clic en un enlace o ingresar información personal confidencial.

Para aquellos que hayan hecho clic en este enlace, realice un escaneo profundo (deep scan) con el software de seguridad, comuníquese con el personal de IT/seguridad informática y con el Servicio de ayuda electrónica del IRS.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS, SMALL BUSINESSES

October 12th, 2017 by Oscar

While taxpayers will not start filing their tax returns for a few months, there are a few things they can do to make the process easier next year. Here are two things that could affect the 2017 returns they will file in 2018.

Report name changes. Recently married or divorced taxpayers who change their name should notify the Social Security Administration. They should also notify the SSA if a dependent’s name changed.  Taxpayers need to do this so that when the taxpayer files next year, the new name on the tax return matches A mismatch between the name shown on their tax return and the SSA records can cause problems in the processing of their tax return and may even delay their tax refund.

Renew Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. Taxpayers who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number should check to see if their number expired in 2016 or will expire this year. If so, and they need to file a return in 2018, they should apply now to renew their ITIN to avoid certain disallowed tax credits and processing delays next year. Taxpayers who have not used their ITIN to file a federal return at least once in the last three years will see their number expire Dec. 31, 2017. Additionally, ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year. Only taxpayers with expiring ITINs need to take any action. To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must complete a Form W-7 and submit required documentation. No tax return is required when submitting an application to renew.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS, SMALL BUSINESSES

October 11th, 2017 by Oscar

Taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their federal tax returns have until Oct.16 to double-check their returns for tax benefits that people often overlook. These taxpayers still have time to see if they can benefit from these four credits.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit – also known as EITC and EIC –  benefits people who work and who have low-to-moderate incomes. This credit reduces the amount of tax owed and may result in a refund. To qualify for this credit, a person must meet certain requirements. They must also file a tax return.

Child Tax Credit

This is a credit of up to $1,000 per qualifying child. Taxpayers who claim this credit – but who do not qualify for the full amount – may also be able to take the additional child tax credit.

Saver’s Credit

This credit helps low-to-moderate-income workers save for retirement. It is also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit.

American Opportunity Credit

A credit for tuition, enrollment fees, and class material for the first four years of higher education. The amount of this credit is up to $2,500 per eligible student per year.

 

Posted in INDIVIDUALS

October 10th, 2017 by Oscar

Taxpayers who are victims of a disaster might need to reconstruct records to prove their loss. Doing this may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance, or insurance reimbursement.

Here are 12 things taxpayers can do to help reconstruct their records after a disaster:

  • Taxpayers can get free tax return transcripts by using the Get Transcript tool on IRS.gov.
  • To establish the extent of the damage, taxpayers should take photographs or videos as soon after the disaster as possible.
  • Taxpayers can contact the title company, escrow company, or bank that handled the purchase of their home to get copies of appropriate documents.
  • Home owners should review their insurance policy as the policy usually lists the value of a building to establish a base figure for replacement.
  • Taxpayers who made improvements to their home should contact the contractors who did the work to see if records are available. If possible, the home owner should get statements from the contractors to verify the work and cost. They can also get written accounts from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
  • For inherited property, taxpayers can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, the taxpayer can contact the attorney who handled the trust.
  • When no other records are available, taxpayers can check the county assessor’s office for old records that might address the value of the property.
  • There are several resources that can help someone determine the current fair-market value of most cars on the road. These resources are all available online and at most libraries:
    • Kelley’s Blue Book
    • National Automobile Dealers Association
    • Edmunds
  • Taxpayers can look on their mobile phone for pictures that show the damaged property before the disaster.
  • Taxpayers can support the valuation of property with photographs, videos, canceled checks, receipts, or other evidence.
  • If they bought items using a credit card or debit card, they should contact their credit card company or bank for past statements.
  • If a taxpayer doesn’t have photographs or videos of their property, a simple method to help them remember what items they lost is to sketch pictures of each room that was impacted.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS

October 9th, 2017 by Oscar

El Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS) tiene un recordatorio importante para los contribuyentes que solicitaron una prórroga ya que se acerca la fecha límite de presentación del 16 de octubre. La cantidad del ingreso bruto ajustado (AGI, por sus siglas en inglés) de la declaración de 2015 puede ser necesaria para presentar la declaración de impuestos de 2016 electrónicamente.

 

Para aquellos contribuyentes que tienen una prórroga y radican en un área declarada zona de desastre federal y fueron afectados se les puede permitir más tiempo para presentar. Actualmente, los contribuyentes afectados por los huracanes Harvey, Irma y María, así como personas en partes de Michigan, West Virginia califican para este alivio. 

Como recordatorio, los contribuyentes deben guardar una copia de sus declaraciones de impuestos y documentos relacionados por un mínimo de tres años. Las declaraciones de años anteriores son aún más importantes ya que el IRS continúa haciendo cambios para proteger a los contribuyentes y autenticar su identidad.

 

Cómo encontrar el AGI; planifiquen si necesitaran una trascripción por correo

El ingreso bruto ajustado es el ingreso bruto menos ciertos ajustes. En las declaraciones de 2015, el AGI está en la línea 37 del formulario 1040; en la línea 21 del formulario 1040A y en la línea 4 del formulario 1040EZ. Los contribuyentes que presentaron electrónicamente, pero no guardaron una copia de su declaración de impuestos original de 2015 deben recurrir a su proveedor del programa o preparador de impuestos del año anterior para obtener una copia.

Los contribuyentes que no tienen acceso a sus declaraciones de impuestos del año anterior también pueden obtener transcripción en línea o por correo. Una transcripción es un resumen de la declaración de impuestos o cuenta tributaria. Hay varios tipos de transcripciones, pero la transcripción de la declaración de impuestos es preferible. 

Para obtener su transcripción en línea e inmediatamente tener acceso, los contribuyentes deben aprobar la autenticación de acceso seguro. Los contribuyentes que no pueden aprobar la autentificación de acceso seguro deben usar “obtener transcripción por correo”. Se le enviará una transcripción a su dirección dentro de cinco a 10 días.

Posted in INDIVIDUALS, SMALL BUSINESSES