While the past year did not produce any monumental changes to U.S. tax law, there are a number of noteworthy changes that expats should keep in mind as we enter 2017. We also share a few highlights from President-elect Trump’s current tax plan.
Tag Archive for tax return
Most taxpayers today do not mail their tax returns as the use of e-filing continues to increase. However, some still mail in paper returns, and there are occasions in which correspondence with the IRS must be done through the mail. Most taxpayers utilize the United States Postal Service in these cases. But there are Read more
For all those individuals currently preparing his/her own 2015 Tax Return, please be aware of the significant changes in Finance Act 2014, especially in the areas of:
1. Research & Development Tax Credits
2. Capital Allowances for the Provision of Specified Intangible Assets
3. Three Year Relief for Start-up Companies
5. Company Residence
R&D Tax Credit
Up to 1st January 2015, Section 766 TCA 1997 provided that the Read more
Even though non-profit organizations can be tax-exempt, they are still required to file a return with the IRS. Many individuals, including those associated with non-profit organizations, do not understand the tax obligations of a non-profit organization.
I have compiled a top ten list of mistakes made in regard to taxes for these organizations.
• Not understanding the difference in non-profit and tax-exempt. An organization is a non-profit when it registers with the state as a non-profit organization. This state registration does not confer on it tax-exempt status. The organization must file a Form 1023 with the IRS to apply for, and receive tax-exempt status.
• Not filing a return. Because the organization is tax-exempt, some have a belief that the organization is not required to file a tax return. All tax exempt organizations, with the exception of churches, must file a Form 990 annually with the IRS. Read more
As The United States Tax Code gets more complex, one would think that the number of individuals utilizing a paid preparer would be on the increase. However, that is not the case. More and more individuals are filing their own returns. I see at least two reasons for this. The individual tax return market can be viewed as consisting of two segments – very simple returns with no itemized deductions or other complications in the return and more complex returns utilizing multiple tax schedules and tax forms. As the standard deduction increases, more taxpayers are taking the standard deduction, so their tax return is fairly simple to prepare. Adding to the simplicity of the return is the second factor – availability of inexpensive or free preparation software. Since these typically guide the taxpayer in preparation, the task becomes even simpler.
However, taxpayers of all stripes should be aware of certain factors involved in filing their returns. I have provided my “Ten Best Tips for Filing your Return.” These tips can be useful for those preparing their own returns, but they can also guide the taxpayer using a CPA or other professional preparer in assembling their information for the preparer.
• File tax returns on time, even if you cannot pay now. You will be assessed a penalty and interest for failure to pay, but you will avoid the failure to file penalty. This penalty is 5% per month of the amount of taxes owed, up to 25%. If you don’t owe, there shouldn’t be a penalty. Read more
Several federal bills enacted in 2015 included tax changes. One of these was P.L. 114-41 (7/31/15), the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act. Given the title, we might think that any tax change involved transportation, such as the gasoline excise tax. Wrong! This bill does not increase the gasoline excise tax. Its main purpose is to transfer money from the general fund to the Highway Trust Fund because our gasoline excise tax of 18.4 cents per gallon is insufficient to fund the HTF (and more fuel efficient cars means we buy less gas each year). [I’ve blogged on this a few times – here, for example.]
One of the tax change in P.L. 114-41 is to change due dates of certain returns, starting mostly for the 2016 tax year. The purpose is improved administration of our tax system. For example, one change is to move the due date for a Read more
Tax Court Did Not Consider To Be A Valid Return
In Reifler, TC Memo 2015-199TC Memo 2015-199, the Tax Court recently held that a joint return not signed by the wife was not a valid return and, as a result, imposed the failure-to-file penalty. In so doing, it rejected the taxpayer’s arguments that the return was valid either because it substantially complied with the valid return rules or because the wife intended to file a joint return and tacitly consented to the filing of a joint return.
Signatures on a tax return not only verify that a return has indeed been filed by the person indicated on the front page of a Form 1040 but also certify that all the statements in the tax return are made under penalty of perjury and are true, correct, and complete to the best of Read more
If you are contemplating selling real-estate property, there are a number of issues that could impact the taxes that you might owe, and there are steps you can take to minimize the gain, defer the gain, or spread it over a number of years.
The first and possibly most important issue is adjusted basis. When computing the gain or loss from the sale of property, your gain or loss is measured from your adjusted basis in the property. Thus, your gain or loss would be the sales price minus the sales expenses and adjusted basis.
So what is adjusted basis? Determining adjusted basis can sometimes be complicated, but in a simplified overview, it is a dollar amount that starts with your acquisition value and Read more
The child tax credit is a credit given for each dependent child on your tax return, who is under the age of 17 at the end of the tax year. The child tax credit is a nonrefundable credit, and is intended to provide an extra measure of tax relief for taxpayers with qualifying children.
To qualify for this credit, you must have a qualifying child on your tax return. The rules for determining if your child is a qualifying child for the purpose of this credit are as follows:
• The child must be your son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, eligible foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. (This includes your niece, nephew, grandchild, great-grandchild, etc.)
• The child must not provide for over half of his or her own support for the year. Read more
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
If you discover that you forgot something on your tax return, you can amend that return after it has been filed. The need to amend can be because of:
• Receiving an unexpected or amended K-1 from a trust, estate, partnership, or S-corporation.
• Overlooking an item of income or receiving a corrected 1099.
• Failing to claim the correct advanced premium credit because of an incorrect 1095-A.
• Forgetting about a deducible expense.
• Forgetting about an expense that would qualify for a tax credit.
These are among the many reasons individuals need to amend their returns, whether it is Read more