Top Eight Tax Tips about Deducting Charitable Contributions

Published: 3/27/2015 11:10:33 PM

When you give a gift to charity that helps the lives of others in need. It may also help you at tax time. You may be able to claim the gift as a deduction that may lower your tax. Here are eight tax tips you should know about deducting your gifts to charity: 1. Qualified Charities. You must donate to a qualified charity if you want to deduct the gift. You can't deduct gifts to individuals, political organizations or candidates. To check the status of a charity, use the IRS Select Check tool. http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check 2. Itemized Deduction. To deduct your

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​If you did not file your taxes in a few years – How to Fix Your Tax Mess

Published: 3/27/2015 11:08:21 PM

The first step in getting out of your tax mess is calling the IRS. They will want to verify who you are so you'll need your name, address, social security number, employer and current salary. The IRS will want you to commit to a timeframe to file all delinquent tax returns. If you find you are having trouble meeting the deadline, call the IRS to request an extension. They will usually give it to you. Additionally, you'll want to get account summaries from the IRS detailing : Your Transcripts which has what others reported to the IRS What returns have

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AMT — What there are two different income tax systems!

Published: 3/27/2015 10:46:44 PM

Yes, there is two ways to calculate income tax and you have to pay the higher of the two! One we all know and love and the second is called the Alternative minimum tax (AMT). A predecessor to the current AMT was the "minimum tax" was enacted by the Tax Reform Act of 1969 and went into effect in 1970. Treasury Secretary Joseph Barr prompted the enactment action with an announcement that 155 high-income households had not paid a dime of federal income taxes. The households had taken advantage of so many tax benefits and deductions that reduced their tax

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Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls

Published: 3/14/2015 1:01:37 PM

The Internal Revenue Service provides tips to taxpayers to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS. These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don't answer, they often leave an "urgent" callback request. "These telephone

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Fake IRS agents target more than 366,000 in huge tax scam

Published: 3/13/2015 10:26:15 AM

According to Yahoo finance: Fake IRS agents have targeted more than 366,000 people with harassing phone calls demanding payments and threatening jail in the largest scam of its kind in the history of the agency, a federal investigator said Thursday. More than 3,000 people have fallen for the ruse since 2013, said Timothy Camus, a Treasury deputy inspector general for tax administration. They were conned out of a total of $15.5 million. The scam has claimed victims in almost every state, Camus said. One unidentified victim lost more than $500,000. "The criminals do not discriminate. They are calling people everywhere,

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​How to Determine if the Net Investment Income Tax Applies to You

Published: 2/26/2015 9:59:43 AM

How to Determine if the Net Investment Income Tax Applies to You If you have income from investments, you may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. You may owe this tax if you receive investment income and your income for the year is more than certain limits. Here are some key tips you should know about this tax: • Net Investment Income Tax. The law requires a tax of 3.8 percent on the lesser of either your net investment income or the amount by which your modified adjusted gross income exceeds a threshold amount based on your filing

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​IRS Can Help if W-2s Are Missing

Published: 2/9/2015 11:28:00 AM

In most cases you get your W-2 forms by the end of January. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, shows your income and the taxes withheld from your pay for the year. You need your W-2 form to file an accurate tax return. If you haven't received your form by mid-February, here's what you should do: Contact your employer. Ask your employer (or former employer) for a copy. Be sure that they have your correct address. After Feb. 23. If you can't get a copy from your employer, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 after Feb. 23. The IRS will send

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IRA One-Rollover-Per-Year Rule 2015

Published: 2/6/2015 10:46:21 AM

Beginning in 2015, you can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs you own (Announcement 2014-15 and Announcement 2014-32). The limit will apply by aggregating all of an individual's IRAs, including SEP and SIMPLE IRAs as well as traditional and Roth IRAs, effectively treating them as one IRA for purposes of the limit. Trustee-to-trustee transfers between IRAs are not limitedRollovers from traditional to Roth IRAs ("conversions") are not limited

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​2014 & 2015 Tax Facts

Published: 1/31/2015 6:19:28 PM

2014 & 2015 Tax Facts For 2014, the standard deduction for a single individual is $6,200 and for a married couple is $12,400. A person will benefit by itemizing once allowable deductions exceed the applicable standard deduction. Itemized deductions include state and local income taxes (or sales taxes), real estate taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and unreimbursed employee business expenses. For 2014, the personal exemption is $3,950. Individuals will claim a personal deduction for themselves, their spouse, and their dependents. The maximum earnings subject to social security taxes is $118,500 for 2015, up from $117,000 in 2014. The standard mileage

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IRS & Identity Theft

Published: 1/30/2015 10:26:57 AM

Fighting identity theft is an ongoing battle as identity thieves continue to create new ways of stealing personal information and using it for their gain. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security (SS) number to file a tax return to claim a fraudulent refund. A taxpayer's SSN can be stolen through a data breach, a computer hack or a lost wallet. Although identity theft affects a small percentage of tax returns, it can have a major impact on victims by delaying their refunds. Protecting oneself. IRS listed a number of simple, practical steps that a taxpayer

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And you think the IRS service is bad now - get ready for worse!

Published: 1/15/2015 11:35:15 AM

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson today released her 2014 annual report to Congress, which expresses concern that taxpayers this year are likely to receive the worst levels of taxpayer service since at least 2001 when the IRS implemented its current performance measures. The report recommends that Congress enact a principles-based Taxpayer Bill of Rights, adopt additional safeguards to make those rights meaningful, and provide sufficient funding to make the "Right to Quality Service" a reality. In the preface to the report, Olson emphasizes four points: "First, the budget environment of the last five years has brought about a devastating

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ABLE Act of 2014 - Tax-Free Savings Accounts for Disabled Individuals

Published: 1/5/2015 3:16:12 PM

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013 (S. 313/H.R.647) was introduced in the 113th Congress by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such

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​Simplified Option for Home Office Deduction

Published: 10/3/2014 5:21:27 PM

Do you work from home? If so, you may be familiar with the home office deduction, available for taxpayers who use their home for business. Beginning this year, there is a new, simpler option to figure the business use of your home. This simplified option does not change the rules for who may claim a home office deduction. It merely simplifies the calculation and recordkeeping requirements. The new option can save you a lot of time and will require less paperwork and recordkeeping. Here are six facts the IRS wants you to know about the new, simplified method to claim

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