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Tag Archive for tax return

How To File U.S. Tax Return If You Are A U.S. Citizen Living In The UK

Olivier Wagner, Tax Traveler, Tax Blog, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections
Recently we’ve been asked to cover the topic on filing US federal income tax return if you are a US citizen living in the UK. You asked and we delivered! Read further to learn more about your US and UK tax obligations.
The starting point for any US expat tax-related topic is gaining a clear understanding who needs to file US taxes. Individuals, who are US citizens, including the ones with dual citizenship (UK/US in this case), or Green Card holders abroad who earn a minimum threshold for filing a US tax return are required by US tax law to file a tax return and pay taxes you may owe. Below are numbers for 2017:

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Inflation Adjustments Under Recently Enacted Tax Law

Tom Kerester, Tax Ambassador, Tax Blog, Washington D.C., USA, TaxConnections

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has updated the tax year 2018 annual inflation adjustments to reflect changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The tax year 2018 adjustments are generally used on tax returns filed in 2019.

The tax items affected by TCJA for tax year 2018 of greatest interest to most taxpayers include the following dollar amounts:

  • The standard deduction for married filing jointly rises to $24,000. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $12,000; for heads of households, $18,000.

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IRS Warning: Don’t Be A Victim Of ‘Ghost’ Tax Return Preparers

Tom Kerester, Tax Ambassador, Tax Blog, Washington D.C., USA, TaxConnections

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service is cautioning taxpayers to avoid the dangers of “ghost” tax return preparers.

According to the IRS, a ghost preparer is paid to prepare a tax return, but does not sign it, either electronically or on paper, as the paid preparer. These phantom preparers who won’t put their name on the tax return are a warning sign for taxpayers of a potential scam.

Here’s how it works. The ghost preparer can print the paper return for their client and tells them to sign and mail it to the IRS. Or, for electronically-filed returns, they will prepare it but won’t digitally sign it as the paid preparer. Read more

Florida Trustee’s Failure To File Trust Accountings And Tax Returns Results In Trust Freeze

Mark Sommer, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, TaxConnections

In a recent Florida Appeals decision, Landau v. Landau, a trustee who failed to file proper and complete trust accountings for two years, and to file trust income tax returns for the same two years, was hit with a freeze of the trust assets by the Court. Because the trustee was also the lifetime income beneficiary of the trust, this freeze effectually prevented the trustee from using the trust for his own support.

Florida trust law requires that a trustee file annual trust accountings. This is true whether the trustee is a bank or trust company, or, as here, was the surviving spouse of the decedent who had created the trust for his lifetime benefit.
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Tax Treatment Of Leasehold Improvements

Grant Gilmour, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections

In real estate, property and building leases are common signed agreements between two corporations. Leasehold improvements are generally building additions for the lease space paid for by the tenant (lessee). These costs are considered capital and amortized over the length of the lease.
Discussion:

Common lease periods for real property are 5 to 10 years.

The lease rates are negotiated by the lessor and the lessee at fair market value. The periodic lease payments are a deduction for the corporation. Upon termination of the lease, the leasehold improvements usually revert back to the lessor unless the lessee can remove them. Read more

Last Minute Tax Tips Before Deadline

Nanda Kumar, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Sterling, Virginia, USA, TaxConnections

Procrastination of tax returns is not a unique phenomenon. In fact, a lot of tax payers file their tax returns in the last two weeks before the deadline. Filing tax returns earlier than the deadlines is better as you are not rushed and chances of making mistakes is also lower. However, if you are racing against the deadline clock for your returns, here are some tips to help you get through.

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Tips For Updating Form W-4 After Doing A Paycheck Checkup

Form W-4, Paycheck Checkup, IRS, Withholding Calculator, Tax Return, Tax Withheld, Thomas Kerester, Tax Ambassador, Tax Blog, Washington D.C., USA, TaxConnections

With recent tax law changes, the IRS urges taxpayers to look into whether they need to adjust their paycheck withholding and submit a new Form W-4 to their employer. Taxpayers can use the updated Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to do a quick “paycheck checkup” to check that they’re not having too little or too much tax withheld at work.

Taxpayers who use the calculator and determine that they need to change their withholding must fill out a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employees will submit the completed Form W-4 to their employers. Read more

Tax Time Guide: Contribute To An Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) By April 17, Claim It For 2017

Tax Time Guide, IRS, Individual Retirement Arrangement, IRA, Taxpayers, Tax Return, Thomas Kerester, Tax Ambassador, Tax Blog, Washington D.C., USA, TaxConnections

WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers today that it’s not too late to contribute to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) and still claim it on a 2017 tax return. Anyone with an IRA may be eligible for a tax credit or deduction on their 2017 tax return if they make contributions by April 17, 2018.

This is the sixth in a series of nine IRS news releases called the Tax Time Guide, designed to help taxpayers navigate common tax issues. This year’s tax-filing deadline is April 17. Read more

Claiming Parents As Dependents On Income Taxes

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Houston, Texas, USA, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

As more and more Baby Boomers are caring for elderly parents, the question often arises: “Can I claim my parent(s) as dependents on my taxes?” The answer to that is, “It depends.”

The IRS does allow parents to be claimed as dependents if certain requirements are met. The IRS always has requirements.

To meet the support requirements necessary to claim your parent as a dependent on your tax return, you must cover 51% or more of their support costs. These costs include food, housing or lodging expenses, clothing, and medical services and/or equipment costs. Read more

Taxpayers Should Report Name Changes Before Filing Taxes

Lance Morris, Tax Advisor, Bangkik, Thailand, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

When a taxpayer changes their name, that change can affect their taxes. All the names on a taxpayer’s tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay a tax refund. Here’s what a taxpayer should do if anyone listed on their tax return changed their name:

  • Reporting Taxpayer’s Name Change. Taxpayers who should notify the SSA of a name change include:
    • Taxpayers who got married and use their spouse’s last name.
    • Recently married taxpayers who now use a hyphenated name.
    • Divorced taxpayers who now use their former last name.

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Taxpayers – 7 Reasons Why You Should File Your Tax Return Early

Nanda Kumar, Tax Blog, Tax Advisor, Sterling, Virginia, TaxConnections

Filing your taxes long before the April 15 deadline might not be your top priority, but there are many benefits to completing your return early. By filing early:

  • You avoid the last-minute stress,
  • Have time to plan for paying taxes you may owe,
  • You can get your refund faster and
  • Avoid fraud by filling out your tax forms sooner rather than later.

1. The Earlier You File, The Earlier You Get Your Refund

  •  A good reason to file your taxes early you’ll get your money sooner.
  • According to the IRS, the average refund was more than $2,800 for 2016 and 2017 Tax Filers…so why miss on that earlier claim and why give you an interest free loan to IRS?

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Some Taxpayers Eligible For A Refund And Do Not Even Know It

Michael Madewell, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Aurora, Missouri, USA, TaxConnections

Taxpayers who are not required to file a tax return may want to do so. They might be eligible for a tax refund and don’t even know it. Some taxpayers might qualify for a tax credit that can result in money in their pocket. Taxpayers need to file a 2017 tax return to claim these credits.

Here is information about four tax credits that can mean a refund for eligible taxpayers:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit. A taxpayer who worked and earned less than $53,930 last year could receive the EITC as a tax refund. They must qualify for the credit, and may do so with or without a qualifying child. They may be eligible for up to $6,318. Taxpayers can use the 2017 EITC Assistant tool to find out if they qualify.

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