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Tag Archive for tax return

IRS Offers Payment Plans For Those Who Filed Taxes But Did Not Pay

The Internal Revenue Service today advised those now receiving tax bills because they filed on time but didn’t pay in full that there are many easy options for paying what they owe to the IRS.

If a tax return was filed but the balance due remains unpaid, the taxpayer will receive a letter or notice in the mail from the IRS, usually within a few weeks. These notices, including the CP14 and CP501, both of which notify taxpayers that they have a balance due, are frequently mailed in the months of June and July.

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Should You Use A Credit Card To Pay Your Taxes?

With tax filing season out of the way, paying off those tax bills that weren’t paid by April 18th is the next major concern for people. While there are a few options for payment agreements if you can’t afford to write a check for the full amount immediately, there’s also the option of paying your tax bill with a credit card. It can be less confusing than navigating IRS payment plans, and if your credit card has a nice rewards program, then it’s something to think about.

Depending on how much you owe in taxes and what terms your credit card offers, it may or may not be worth putting your tax bill on your credit card. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a credit card to pay your taxes and why you would or wouldn’t want to pursue this option.

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Are You An American For Tax Purposes? Are You A U.S. Citizen If You Never Lived In The U.S.?

Are You An American For Tax Purposes?

The U.S. law has different classifications of who and what is considered to be an American(officially, a U.S. person) for tax purposes and it’s important to check if you fall into any of the categories below, hence obliged to report your worldwide income to Uncle Sam.

The Official Term Is “United States Person” And It Includes:

1. A U.S. citizen by birth:

  • You were born in the United States
  • You were born outside of the United States with at least 1 parent who is a U.S. citizen*

2. A resident alien of the United States if you meet one of the two tests:

  • A Green Card test
  • The substantial presence test for the calendar year

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What To Do When Your Tax Return Is Late

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, was the tax deadline for most taxpayers to file their tax returns. If you haven’t filed a 2017 tax return yet, it’s not too late, and it may be easier than you think. First, gather any information related to income and deductions for the tax years for which a return is required to be filed, then call the office.

If you’re owed money, then the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your refund. If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can, which will stop the interest and penalties that you will owe.

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How Long Should Tax Records Be Kept?

A frequent question we get throughout the year is: How long should I keep records and tax returns?

Here is a helpful guide to follow:

1 Year
Monthly statements of investments until an annual statement recapping the year’s activity is available, bank statements, copies of checks used for tax deductible expenses and payroll statements until your W-2 arrives and you confirm the information matches.  Read more

IRS Audit Triggers: 10 Red Flags To Avoid

In 2017, the IRS received more than 152 million tax returns from individuals, married couples, and businesses. And these numbers are predicted to increase for 2018. With so many people filing, you’d think it’s highly unlikely to get audited. However, you should think again. Since the IRS began allowing e-filing, many people have been filing taxes themselves, which means they’re more likely to make mistakes.

This is one important reason why the IRS set up a filter system to pay specific attention to certain parts of your tax return and flag them if they seem suspicious or potentially inaccurate. You’ll have a much better chance of avoiding an audit if you keep these 10 IRS audit triggers in mind when you file your taxes. Read more

2017 IRS Data Book Shows Chances Of Being Audited

The IRS has published the 2017 version of its annual IRS Data Book, which contains statistical information about the IRS and taxpayer activities during the previous year. The IRS Data Book helps illustrate the breadth and complexity of the U.S. tax system. According to the Data Book, during fiscal year 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017), the IRS collected overall more than US$ 3.4 trillion from taxpayers, processed more than 245 million tax returns and other forms, and issued more than $436 billion in tax refunds.

The IRS also audited almost 1.1 million tax returns during fiscal year 2017.  Almost 90% of the audited returns were individual income tax returns. While the percentage of overall returns audited was relatively low at 0.5% overall, the percentages were significantly higher for two types of taxpayers – wealthy individuals and individuals filing international returns. Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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