As the April 18th deadline for filing 2016 income tax returns draws near, practitioners may encounter some clients who don’t have cash to pay the balance due on their returns. Clients can avoid penalties but not interest if they can get an extension of time to pay from IRS. But such extensions merely postpone the day of reckoning for the period of the extension (generally, six months).
Tag Archive for Tax Returns
On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law P.L. 114-41, the “Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015,” which includes a number of important tax provisions, including revised due dates for partnership, S corporations and C corporation returns and revised extended due dates for some returns.
We’ve blogged a number of times in the past about the foreign earned income exclusion (“FEIE”), because it is one of the main tax relief measures available to expats filing U.S. tax returns. Expats qualifying for the FEIE may be able to exclude all or part of their foreign salary or wages from their income when filing their return – so its importance can’t be overstated.
Tax professionals should alert their clients that a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds until mid-February 2017 for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Much has been made in the press of late regarding the tax returns of the major Presidential candidates. This article is not focused on promoting either candidate, but an attempt to shed some light on these recent tax revelations.
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
Short Blog Posts In One Location…
◊ Green card holders who are holding cards close to 8 of the last 15 years need to examine their options to avoid becoming covered expatriates if they return to Canada and/or wish to give up the green card. Becoming a covered expatriate can have significant U.S. tax implications to you.
◊ CRA Form 1135 may become easier for 2015 if the aggregate cost of foreign property is not over $250K.
◊ Snowbirds need to watch their days presence in the U.S. to avoid deemed residency rules and related filing obligations! Read more
The IRS has recently written on their website that eligible taxpayers may elect out of Rev. Proc. 2015-20 by filing a statement with their 2014 tax returns indicating their qualifying trade or business is not applying the simplified procedure of Rev. Proc. 2015-20. Qualified small business taxpayers who accept the relief of Rev. Proc. 2015-20 automatically forfeit any opportunity to retroactively correct capitalized expenditures that should have been deducted in years prior to 2014.
A qualified “small business taxpayer” for this purpose is any business with total assets of less than $10 million or less than $10 million in average annual gross receipts (from prior three taxable years). Read more
Looking ahead to the filing season for this year’s tax returns, a frequent question is whether you should keep track of tax-deductible expenditures or simply settle for the standard deduction amount.
Whether you can itemize deductions on your tax return depends on how much you spent on certain expenses during the year. Money paid for medical care, mortgage interest, taxes, charitable contributions, casualty losses and miscellaneous deductions (usually job or investment related) can reduce your taxes. If the total amount spent on those categories is more than the standard deduction, you can usually benefit by itemizing.
The standard deduction amounts are based on your filing status, your age and whether or Read more
If you’re financially unable to pay your tax debt immediately, you can make monthly payments through an installment agreement. As long as you pay your tax debt in full, you can reduce or eliminate your payment of penalties or interest, and avoid the fee associated with setting up the agreement.
Before applying for any payment agreement, you must file all required tax returns.
You may be eligible to apply for a streamline payment agreement if:
• Individuals must owe $50,000 or less in combined individual income tax, penalties and interest, and have filed all required returns. Read more
The general rule for married taxpayers filing their tax returns is that they can only file Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separately (MFS). There is, however, a very important exception to this rule. If you are married and separated from your spouse, under tax law you may be considered unmarried if certain conditions are met. This means that you could qualify to use the Head Of Household filing status instead of MFS, and will not be subject to the disadvantages associated with the MFS filing status.
Under tax law, you can be considered unmarried if you meet all the following tests:
• Obviously, you must intend to file a separate return from your spouse.
• You must have paid more than half the costs of keeping up a home for the tax year. Read more