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IRS Alerts Taxpayers About Refund Scam

Dan Gordon, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Bangkok, Thailand, TaxConnections

The IRS warns taxpayers of a new twist on an old scam. Criminals are depositing fraudulent tax refunds into individuals’ actual bank accounts, then attempting to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers.
Here are the basic steps criminals follow to carry out this scam. The thief:

• Hacks tax preparers’ computers to steal taxpayer data.

• Uses the stolen information to file tax returns as the taxpayers.

• Has refunds deposited into taxpayers’ bank accounts. Read more

Missing Important Tax Forms? Here’s What To Do

Dan Gordon, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Bangkok, Thailand, TaxConnections

Form W-2

You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from each of your employers for use in preparing your federal tax return. Employers must furnish this record of 2017 earnings and withheld taxes no later than January 31, 2018 (allow several days for delivery if mailed).

If you do not receive your Form W-2, contact your employer to find out if and when the W-2 was mailed. If it was mailed, it may have been returned to your employer because of an incorrect address. After contacting your employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for your employer to resend or to issue the W-2. Read more

Seven Facts about Dependents and Exemptions

Some tax rules affect everyone who files a federal income tax return. With that in mind, here are seven facts about dependents and exemptions that taxpayers should know about.

1. Exemptions lower your income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. You can usually deduct $4,050 for each exemption you claim on your tax return.

2. Personal exemptions. You can usually claim an exemption for yourself. If you’re married and file a joint return you can also claim one for your spouse. If you file a separate return, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer.

Read more

Changes Are Coming To The FBAR FATCA Reporting For Expats

The new “Highway Fund Extension Act” has some interesting additions having nothing to do with highways including Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement. AND new tax due dates for corporate and other forms.

The main change that will be of interest to all EXPATS is the due date for the FBAR form here is the text direct from the act:

“The due date of FinCEN Report 114 (relating to Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) shall be April 15 with a maximum extension for a 6-month period ending on October 15 and with provision for an extension under rules similar to the rules in Treas. Reg. section 1.6081–5. For any taxpayer required to file such Form for the first time, any Read more

Tips on Travel While Giving Your Services to Charity

Do you plan to donate your services to charity this summer? Will you travel as part of the service? If so, some travel expenses may help lower your taxes when you file your tax return next year. Here are several tax tips that you should know if you travel while giving your services to charity.

• Qualified Charities.  In order to deduct your costs, your volunteer work must be for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are qualified, and do not need to apply to the IRS. Ask the group about its IRS status before you donate. You can also use the Select Check tool on IRS.gov to check the group’s status. Read more

Find Out If Your Health Coverage Is Qualifying Coverage Under The Health Care Law

The Affordable Care Act requires you and each member of your family to have qualifying health care coverage, qualify for an exemption from the responsibility to have minimum essential coverage, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your federal income tax return. For purposes of ACA, qualifying health care coverage is also known as minimum essential coverage.

Minimum essential coverage includes:

• Health plans offered in the individual market – plans offered by a health insurance issuer licensed by a state, including a qualified health plan offered through the federally-facilitated or a state-based Health Insurance Marketplace. Read more

It’s Time For A Mid-Year Premium Tax Credit Checkup

If you have insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be getting advance payments of the premium tax credit. These are paid directly to your insurance company to lower your monthly premium. Changes in your income or family size may affect your premium tax credit. If your circumstances have changed, the time is right for a mid-year checkup to see if you need to adjust the premium assistance you are receiving. You should report changes that have occurred since you signed up for your health insurance plan to your Marketplace as they occur.

Changes in circumstances that you should report to the Marketplace include:

• an increase or decrease in your income Read more

Keep Track of Miscellaneous Deductions

Miscellaneous deductions can cut taxes. These may include certain expenses you paid for in your work if you are an employee. You must itemize deductions when you file to claim these costs. So if you usually claim the standard deduction, think about itemizing instead. You might pay less tax if you itemize.  Here are some IRS tax tips you should know that may help you reduce your taxes:

Deductions Subject to the Limit.  You can deduct most miscellaneous costs only if their sum is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. These include expenses such as:

• Unreimbursed employee expenses. Read more

10 Tips For Deducting Losses From A Disaster

National Hurricane Season is officially in progress. If you suffer damage to your home or personal property, you may be able to deduct the losses you incur on your federal income tax return. Here are ten tips you should know about deducting casualty losses:

1. Casualty loss. You may be able to deduct losses based on the damage done to your property during a disaster. A casualty is a sudden, unexpected or unusual event. This may include natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. It can also include losses from fires, accidents, thefts or vandalism.

2. Normal wear and tear. A casualty loss does not include losses from normal wear and tear. It does not include progressive deterioration from age or termite damage. Read more

Cash Flow: The Pulse of Your Business

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. Some business experts even say that a healthy cash flow is more important than your business’s ability to deliver its goods and services! While that might seem counterintuitive, consider this: if you fail to satisfy a customer and lose that customer’s business, you can always work harder to please the next customer. If you fail to have enough cash to pay your suppliers, creditors, or employees, then you’re out of business!

What is Cash Flow?

Cash flow, simply defined, is the movement of money in and out of your business; these movements are called inflow and outflow. Inflows for your business primarily come from the sale of goods or services to your customers but keep in mind that inflow only occurs Read more

Tax Tips For Students With A Summer Job

Is your child a student with a summer job? Here’s what you should know about the income your child earns over the summer.

1. All taxpayers fill out a W-4 when starting a new job. This form is used by employers to determine the amount of tax that will be withheld from your paycheck. Taxpayers with multiple summer jobs will want to make sure all their employers are withholding an adequate amount of taxes to cover their total income tax liability. If you have any questions about whether your child’s withholding is correct, please call our office.

2. Whether your child is working as a waiter or a camp counselor, he or she may receive tips as part of their summer income. All tip income is taxable and is therefore, subject to Read more

The Home-Based Business: Basics to Consider

More than 52 percent of businesses today are home-based. Every day, people are striking out and achieving economic and creative independence by turning their skills into dollars. Garages, basements, and attics are being transformed into the corporate headquarters of the newest entrepreneurs–home-based business people.

And, with technological advances in smartphones, tablets, and iPads as well as a rising demand for “service-oriented” businesses, the opportunities seem to be endless.

Is a Home-Based Business Right for You?

Choosing a home business is like choosing a spouse or partner: Think carefully before starting the business. Instead of plunging right in, take the time to learn as much about Read more

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