Category: NEWS

November 16th, 2017 by Oscar

With the holidays around the corner, many people will be making donations to benefit charitable organizations. However, come tax time, the person who made the donation might also benefit. That’s because taxpayers who donate to a charity may be able to claim a deduction for the donation on their federal tax return.

Here are five facts about charitable donations:

Qualified Charities. A taxpayer must donate to a qualified charity to deduct their contributions. Gifts to individuals, political organizations, or candidates are not deductible. To check the status of a charity, taxpayers can use Exempt Organizations Select Check on IRS.gov.

Itemize Deductions. To deduct charitable contributions, taxpayers must file Form 1040 and itemize their deductions. To do this, taxpayers complete Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. They file this form with their tax return.

Getting Something in Return. Taxpayers may receive something in return for their donation. This includes things such as merchandise, meals, and event tickets. Taxpayers can only deduct the amount of the donation that’s more than the fair market value of the item they received. To figure their deduction, a taxpayer would subtract the value of the item received from the amount of their donation.

Type of Donation. For donations of property instead of cash, a taxpayer can only deduct the fair market value of the donated item. Fair market value is generally the price they would get if they sold the item on the open market. If they donate used clothing and household items, those items generally must be in good condition. Special rules apply to certain types of property donations, such as cars and boats.

Donations of $250 or More. If a taxpayer donates $250 or more in cash or goods, they must have a written receipt from the charity. The statement must show: • The amount of the donation. • A description of any property given. • Whether the taxpayer received any goods or services in exchange for their gift, and, if so, must provide a description and good faith estimate of the value of those goods or services.

Posted in NEWS

October 5th, 2017 by Oscar

Taxpayers who get an unexpected or unsolicited phone call from the IRS should be wary – it’s probably a scam. Phone calls continue to be one of the most common ways that thieves try to get taxpayers to provide personal information. These scammers then use that information to gain access to the victim’s bank or other account.

When a taxpayer answers the phone, it might be a recording or an actual person claiming to be from the IRS. Sometimes the scammer tells the taxpayer they owe money and must pay right away. They might also say the person has a refund waiting, and then they ask for bank account information over the phone.

Taxpayers should not take the bait and fall for this trick. Here are several tips that will help taxpayers avoid becoming a scam victim.

The real IRS will not:

  • Call to demand immediate payment
  • Call someone if they owe taxes without first sending a bill in the mail
  • Demand tax payment and not allow the taxpayer to question or appeal the amount owed
  • Require that someone pay their taxes a certain way, such as with a prepaid debit card
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies to arrest a taxpayer who doesn’t pay
  • Threaten a lawsuit

Taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or who have no reason to think they do should follow these steps:

  • Use the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the incident.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission with the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov.
  • Taxpayers who think they might actually owe taxes should follow these steps:
  • Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
  • Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

Posted in NEWS

August 17th, 2017 by Oscar

El Servicio de impuestos Internos (IRS) les recordó hoy a choferes de camiones de carga y otros propietarios de vehículos pesados de carretera que generalmente, su próxima declaración de impuestos por uso de carretera federal vence el jueves, 31 de agosto de 2017.

La fecha límite generalmente corresponde al Formulario-2290 y al pago de impuestos para el año tributario que comenzó el 1ro de julio de 2017 y termina el 30 de junio de 2018. Las declaraciones y el pago de impuestos deben presentarse para el 31 de agosto, para vehículos que transitaron por las carreteras en julio. Para los vehículos que usaron las carreteras por primera vez después de julio, la fecha límite es el último día del siguiente mes de uso.

Aunque algunos contribuyentes tienen la opción de presentar el Formulario 2290 en papel, el IRS exhorta a todos los contribuyentes a tomar ventaja de la rapidez y conveniencia de presentar el formulario electrónicamente y pagar cualquier impuesto electrónicamente. Los contribuyentes que reporten 25 vehículos o más deben presentar electrónicamente. Los vehículos suspendidos por razones de impuestos no cuentan hacia el umbral de 25 o más vehículos reportados.

El impuesto por uso de carretera se aplica a vehículos de motor usados en carretera con un peso bruto tributable de 55,000 libras o más. Esto generalmente incluye camiones, camiones tractores y autobuses. Generalmente, camionetas, pick-ups y camiones de panel no están sujetos a impuestos porque caen por debajo del umbral de 55,000 libras. El impuesto de hasta $550 por vehículo se basa en el peso, y se aplican una variedad de reglas especiales, explicadas en las instrucciones del Formulario 2290.

Los camioneros no necesitan visitar una oficina del IRS para presentar electrónicamente el Formulario 2290 ya que puede presentarse en línea y cualquier pago requerido también puede hacerse en línea.

Generalmente, los que presentan electrónicamente reciben su Anexo-1 estampado por el IRS, minutos después de la presentación. Luego pueden imprimirlo y proporcionarlo al departamento estatal de vehículos de motor, sin visitar una oficina del IRS. Para aquellos que opten por visitar, tenga en cuenta que los centros de asistencia al contribuyente del IRS ahora operan con cita previa.

Posted in NEWS

August 3rd, 2017 by Oscar

Los contribuyentes deben guardar copias de sus declaraciones de impuestos durante un mínimo de tres años. Aquellos que necesitan una copia de su declaración de impuestos deben consultar con su proveedor de software o su preparador de impuestos. Las declaraciones de impuestos de años anteriores están disponibles del IRS, por una tarifa.

Sin embargo, para aquellos que necesitan transcripciones de impuestos, el IRS puede ayudarles. Las transcripciones son gratis.

Transcripciones de impuestos

Una transcripción resume la información de la declaración de impuestos e incluye el ingreso bruto ajustado (AGI, por sus siglas en inglés). Están disponibles para el año tributario en curso, una vez que el IRS ha tramitado la declaración. Las personas también pueden obtenerlas para los tres años anteriores.

Al solicitar hipotecas o ayuda financiera para la universidad, las transcripciones frecuentemente son necesarias. Sin embargo, las compañías hipotecarias suelen arreglar para conseguir una transcripción para un dueño o posible propietario.

Los contribuyentes pueden obtener dos tipos de transcripciones del IRS:

Transcripción de declaración de impuestos.  Una transcripción muestra la mayoría de las partidas, incluyendo el AGI de una declaración de impuestos original (Formularios 1040, 1040A o 1040EZ), según se presentó, junto con cualquier formulario y anexo. No muestra los cambios realizados después de la presentación de la declaración original. Esta transcripción está disponible únicamente para el año tributario en curso y las declaraciones tramitadas durante los tres años anteriores. Una transcripción de la declaración de impuestos generalmente cumple las necesidades de las instituciones crediticias que ofrecen hipotecas y préstamos estudiantiles.

Transcripción de la cuenta tributaria.  Una transcripción de la cuenta tributaria muestra datos básicos, tales como el tipo de declaración, estado civil, ingreso bruto ajustado, ingreso tributable y toda clase de pago. También muestra los cambios realizados después de la presentación de la declaración original.

Para obtener una transcripción, las personas pueden:

Ordenarla en línea. Utilice la herramienta ‘Obtener Transcripción’, disponible en IRS.gov. Hay un enlace debajo de la barra roja titulada TOOLS (Herramientas) en la página principal en inglés. Los que la utilizan, deberán verificar su identidad mediante el proceso de Secure Access (en inglés) (Acceso seguro).

Ordenarla por teléfono. El número para llamar es 800-908-9946.

Ordenarla por correo. Complete y envíe al IRS el Formulario 4506-T o el Formulario 4506T-EZ(SP), para recibir una por correo. Utilice el Formulario 4506-T para solicitar otros archivos tributarios: transcripciones de la cuenta tributaria, registros de cuentas, los salarios e ingresos y la verificación de la no presentación.

Aquellos que necesitan una copia real de la declaración de impuestos, pueden obtener una del año tributario en curso y de hasta los seis años anteriores. El precio por copia es $50. Complete y envíe por correo el Formulario 4506 para solicitar una copia de una declaración de impuestos. Envíe por correo la solicitud a la oficina del IRS, indicada en el formulario. Las personas que viven en una zona de desastre declarada por el gobierno federal, pueden obtener una copia gratuita.

Planifique. Los plazos de entrega para los pedidos en línea y por teléfono típicamente tardan de 5 a 10 días a partir del momento en que el IRS recibe la solicitud. Debe permitir pasar 30 días para recibir una transcripción ordenada por correo y 75 días para las copias de su declaración de impuestos.

Posted in NEWS, SMALL BUSINESSES

July 31st, 2017 by Oscar

During the summer, some taxpayers may travel because of their involvement with a qualified charity. These traveling taxpayers may be able to lower their taxes.

Here are some tax tips for taxpayers to use when deducting charity-related travel expenses:

Qualified Charities.  For a taxpayer to deduct costs, they must volunteer for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are generally qualified, and do not need to apply to the IRS. A taxpayer should ask the group about its status before they donate.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses.  A taxpayer may be able to deduct some of their costs including travel. These out-of-pocket expenses must be necessary while the taxpayer is away from home. All costs must be:

  • Unreimbursed,
  • Directly connected with the services,
  • Expenses the taxpayer had only because of the services the taxpayer gave, and
  • Not personal, living or family expenses.

Genuine and Substantial Duty.  The charity work the taxpayer is involved with has to be real and substantial throughout the trip. The taxpayer can’t deduct expenses if they only have nominal duties or do not have any duties for significant parts of the trip.

Value of Time or Service.  A taxpayer can’t deduct the value of their time or services that they give to charity. This includes income lost while the taxpayer serves as an unpaid volunteer for a qualified charity.

Travel Expenses a Taxpayer Can Deduct.  The types of expenses a taxpayer may be able to deduct include:

  • Air, rail and bus transportation,
  • Car expenses,
  • Lodging costs,
  • Cost of meals, and
  • Taxi or other transportation costs between the airport or station and their hotel.

Travel Expenses a Taxpayer Can’t Deduct. Some types of travel do not qualify for a tax deduction. For example, a taxpayer can’t deduct their costs if a significant part of the trip involves recreation or vacation.

Posted in NEWS

July 24th, 2017 by Oscar

Miscellaneous deductions are tax breaks that generally don’t fit into a particular tax category.  They can help reduce taxable income and the amount of taxes owed.  For example, some employees can deduct certain work expenses like uniforms as miscellaneous deductions.  To do that, they must itemize their deductions instead of taking the standard deduction on their tax return.

Here are several tips from the IRS about miscellaneous deductions:

The Two Percent Limit.  Most miscellaneous costs are deductible only if the sum exceeds 2% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI).  For example, before being able to deduct certain expenses, a taxpayer with $50,000 in AGI must come up with more than $1,000 in miscellaneous deductions.  Expenses may include:

  • Unreimbursed employee expenses.
  • Job search costs for a new job in the same line of work.
  • Job tools.
  • Union dues.
  • Work-related travel and transportation.
  • The cost paid to prepare a tax return. These fees include the cost paid for tax preparation software. They also include any fee paid for e-filing a return.

Deductions Not Subject to the Limit. Some deductions are not subject to the 2% limit. They include:

  • Certain casualty and theft losses. In most cases, this rule is for damaged or stolen property held for investment. This may include property such as stocks, bonds and works of art.
  • Gambling losses up to the total of gambling winnings.
  • Losses from Ponzi-type investment schemes.

Taxpayers can’t deduct some expenses. For example, personal living or family expenses are not deductible. To claim allowable miscellaneous deductions, taxpayers must use Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

Posted in NEWS

July 8th, 2017 by Oscar

Las leyes federales requieren que la mayoría de los empleadores retengan el impuesto federal de los sueldos de sus empleados. Las herramientas del IRS pueden ayudar a pequeñas empresas a comprender algunos de los requisitos para la retención, la información que se debe presentar y el pago de impuestos de nómina que se debe hacer. 

El impuesto federal – Las pequeñas empresas primero necesitan calcular cuánto deben retener. Los empleadores de pequeñas empresas pueden llegar a conocer este proceso mejor si comienzan con el Formulario W-4 de un empleado y las tablas de retención .

El impuesto de Seguro Social y Medicare – La mayoría de los empleadores también retienen impuestos de seguro social y Medicare de los sueldos de los empleados y los depositan junto con la cantidad combinada del empleador. En el año 2013, a los empleadores se les dio la responsabilidad de retener el impuesto adicional de Medicare de los sueldos que superan la cantidad del umbral.  No existe un sistema para igualar contribuciones por parte del empleador para el impuesto adicional de Medicare y ciertos tipos de salarios y compensación no están sujetos a la retención. 

Impuesto Federal por Desempleo (FUTA, por sus siglas en inglés) – Los empleadores reportan y pagan el impuesto FUTA por separado. Los empleados no tienen que pagar este impuesto y tampoco se les retiene de su paga. El impuesto FUTA se paga directamente de los fondos de la pequeña empresa.  

Posted in NEWS

June 1st, 2017 by Oscar

Taxpayers who need in-person help from an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) need to call to schedule an appointment. All TACs provide service by appointment. They are an essential service the IRS provides when a tax issue cannot be resolved online or by phone.

Consider the self-service options on IRS.gov before calling for an appointment. Many questions can be resolved online without taxpayers having to travel to a Tax Assistance Center.

If face-to-face service is necessary, then taxpayers should call 844-545-5640 to schedule an appointment. .

Avoid scams. The IRS does not initiate contact using social media or text message. First contact normally comes in the mail. Those wondering if they owe money to the IRS can check to see if they have a balance due on IRS.gov.

Posted in NEWS

March 3rd, 2017 by Oscar

Not finding quite everything you need in QuickBooks Online? Here are some handy add-on apps available.

QuickBooks Online may work for you just fine as is. After all, it was designed to meet the needs of the millions of small businesses that want to manage and track their income and expenses, create records and transactions, and run reports to gauge their financial health. QuickBooks Online was also designed to grow along with your business. But there’s no need for Intuit to add internal features to do so. In fact, that would make it too expensive and unwieldy for many companies.

Instead, Intuit has partnered with other small business websites to provides add-ons—applications that extend the usefulness of QuickBooks Online in one or more areas, like accounts receivable and payable, inventory, and expense-tracking. They integrate easily to share data and do the extra work you need. Here are some of them to consider.

Bill.com
Bill.com automates your accounts receivable and payable processes. It supports electronic billing and payment, as well as multiple approval levels.

You can certainly enter and pay bills using QuickBooks Online. And you can send invoices to customers and receive payments. But adding a connection to Bill.com gives you more advanced options for accounts receivable and payable. Simply send your bills to Bill.com by scanning, emailing, faxing, or taking a picture with your smartphone. The site’s automation tools turn them into digital records and route them through your specified approvers. Once approved, they’re paid electronically or by paper check. Invoices are just as easy to process; customers can pay by using PayPal, credit card, or ACH. Bill.com’s mobile app makes it possible to keep up with invoices and bills while you’re out of the office.

Expensify

Are your employees still paper-clipping receipts to handwritten expense reports? This method is unnecessarily time-consuming – and often inaccurate. Expensify solves both problems. Your staff can take photos of receipts with their smartphones. Expensify then converts the expense information into coded digital records and submits them for approval based on your company’s policies. Credit card purchases can be automatically imported, too. All data is synchronized with QuickBooks Online in real-time and coded to reflect your preference of QBO’s expense accounts, customers/jobs, etc. Once you’ve approved a report, you can have the money deposited in the employee’s bank account the next day.

TSheets Time Tracking

TSheets employee scheduling software automates tasks that QuickBooks Online doesn’t do: scheduling and remote time-tracking for your hourly employees. Your staff no longer has to fill in paper timesheets. Instead, they can use their smartphones to track their hours and GPS location points. And while Excel is certainly better for creating schedules than paper, TSheets takes over that task, too. After you’ve approved timesheets, that information is sent over to QuickBooks, ready for use in your payroll processing.

Your employees can easily “punch” in and out using their smartphones. TSheets also uses GPS technology so that your staff members’ locations are always known to you.

SOS Inventory

QuickBooks Online performs some basic inventory management tasks. You can create records for items and use them in transactions, and keep track of the number of items in stock so you know when to reorder (or have a sale). SOS Inventory goes well beyond those capabilities. You can create sales orders, track cost history and serial numbers, and document work-in-progress (WIP). SOS Inventory supports multiple locations and the entire pick/pack/ship process.

Insightly CRM

You can create thorough customer records in QuickBooks Online and document some of your interaction. But it doesn’t facilitate true Customer Relationship Management (CRM) nor project management. Insightly CRM does both. It lets you build exceptionally thorough customer profiles so that you can view social streams, email history, and any events, opportunities, or events related to them. Its project management features include the ability to track by pipelines or milestones, define contact roles and custom fields, and generate advanced project reporting.

QuickBooks Online Integration Key

All of these apps can work in standalone settings, but their integration with QuickBooks Online and their mobile capabilities create powerful partnerships that help you serve both your customers and your employees in ways that QuickBooks Online alone can’t.

We’re not trying to sell you applications here. Our concern is that you’re getting as much out of QuickBooks itself as you can. We can steer you toward add-on solutions if that seems necessary, but we’re always happy to work with you on getting to know QuickBooks Online better and matching its capabilities to your company’s needs.

Posted in NEWS

March 2nd, 2017 by Oscar

If a lender cancels part or all of a debt, a taxpayer must generally consider this as income. However, the law allows an exclusion that may apply to homeowners who had their mortgage debt canceled in 2016.

Here are tips about debt cancellation:

Main Home. If the canceled debt was a loan on a taxpayer’s main home, they may be  able to exclude the canceled amount from their income. They must have used the loan to buy, build or substantially improve their main home to qualify. Their main home must also secure the mortgage.

Loan Modification. If a taxpayer’s lender canceled or reduced part of their mortgage balance through a loan modification or ‘workout,’ the taxpayer may be able to exclude that amount from their income. They may also be able to exclude debt discharged as part of the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. The exclusion may also apply to the amount of debt canceled in a foreclosure.

Refinanced Mortgage. The exclusion may apply to amounts canceled on a refinanced mortgage. This applies only if the taxpayer used proceeds from the refinancing to buy, build or substantially improve their main home and only up to the amount of the old mortgage principal just before refinancing. Amounts used for other purposes do not qualify.

Other Canceled Debt. Other types of canceled debt such as second homes, rental and business property, credit card debt or car loans do not qualify for this special exclusion. On the other hand, there are other rules that may allow those types of canceled debts to be nontaxable.

Form 1099-C. If a lender reduced or canceled at least $600 of a taxpayer’s debt, the taxpayer should receive Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, by Feb. 1. This form shows the amount of canceled debt and other information.

Form 982. If a taxpayer qualifies, report the excluded debt on Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness. They should file the form with their income tax return.

Exclusion Extended. The law that authorized the exclusion of cancelled debt from income was extended through Dec. 31, 2016.

Posted in NEWS