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TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS 6: THE RIGHT TO FINALITY

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 02 2021

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.

It includes The Right to Finality.

Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

What you can expect:

  • The IRS generally has three years from the date you file your return to assess any additional tax for that tax year. There are some limited exceptions to this rule. For example, if you fail to file a return or you file a false or fraudulent return, the IRS has an unlimited amount of time to assess tax for that tax year.
  • The IRS generally has 10 years from the assessment date to collect unpaid taxes from you. The IRS can’t extend this 10-year period unless you agree to extend the period as part of an installment agreement to pay your tax debt or the IRS obtains a court judgment. However, there are some situations where the IRS may suspend the ten-year collection period and resume it later. The IRS may be able to do this if there’s a period when the IRS cannot collect, such as times of bankruptcy or a collection due process proceeding.
  • If you believe you have overpaid your taxes, you can file a refund claim asking for the money back. Generally, you must file a refund claim within three years from the date you filed your original return, or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  • If the IRS sends you a notice proposing additional tax (statutory notice of deficiency), the notice must include the deadline for when you can file a petition with the Tax Court to challenge the amount proposed.
  • To timely challenge a statutory notice of deficiency in Tax Court, you must file your petition within 90 days of the date of the statutory notice (150 days if the taxpayer’s address on the notice is outside the United States or if the taxpayer is out of the country at the time the notice is mailed). If you do not timely file a petition, the IRS will assess the amount proposed in the statutory notice and you will receive a bill.
  • Generally, the IRS can only examine (audit) your tax return once for any given tax year. However, the IRS may reopen a previously examined return if the IRS finds it necessary. For example, if there is evidence of fraud, the IRS can reopen an exam.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you, visit: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages. 

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the top of any IRS.gov page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source :  IRS      

TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS 5: THE RIGHT TO APPEAL AN IRS DECISION IN AN INDEPENDENT FORUM

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 02 2021

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.

It includes The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum.

Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.

What you can expect:

  • The IRS Commissioner must ensure that there is an independent IRS Office of Appeals. It’s an office that is separate from the IRS office that initially reviewed your case. Generally, Appeals will not discuss a case with the IRS to the extent that those communications appear to compromise the independence of Appeals.
  • Publication 5, Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest If You Don’t Agree PDF, tells you how to appeal your tax case if you don’t agree with the IRS’s findings.
  • If the IRS has sent you a statutory notice of deficiency, which is a notice proposing additional tax, and you timely file a petition with the United States Tax Court, you may dispute the proposed adjustment in tax court before you have to pay the tax. For more information about the United States Tax Court, see the Court’s taxpayer information page.
  • Generally, if you fully paid the tax and the IRS denies your tax refund claim, or if the IRS takes no action on the claim within six months, then you may file a refund suit. You can file a suit in a United States District Court or the United States Court of Federal Claims. However, you generally have only two years to file a refund suit from the date the IRS mails you a notice that denies your claim.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you, visit: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the top of any IRS.gov page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:  IRS      

TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS 7: THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 02 2021

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.

It includes The Right to Privacy.

Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.

What you can expect:

  • There are limits on the amount of wages that the IRS can levy (seize) to collect tax that you owe. A portion of your wages are protected from levy. The protected amount is the equivalent to the standard deduction, plus any deductions for personal exemptions.
  • The IRS can’t seize certain personal items, such as necessary schoolbooks, clothing, undelivered mail and certain amounts of furniture and household items. The IRS also can’t seize your primary home without court approval. It also must show there is no reasonable, alternative way to collect the tax debt from you.
  • If you submit an offer to settle your tax debt, and the offer relates only to how much you owe (known as a Doubt as to Liability Offer in Compromise), you do not need to submit any financial documentation.
  • The IRS should not seek intrusive and extraneous information about your lifestyle during an audit if there is no reasonable sign that you have unreported income.
  • During a Collection Due Process hearing, the Office of Appeals must consider whether the IRS’s proposed collection action balances the need for efficient tax collection with ensuring the IRS’s collection actions are no more intrusive to you than necessary.
  • More information about the IRS Privacy Policy is available online.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you, visit: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages. 

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the top of any IRS.gov page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:  IRS  

PPP Loans: What 2020 Borrowers Need to Know in 2021

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 02 2021

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Almost a year ago, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis. If your company took out such a loan, you’re likely curious about the tax consequences — particularly for loans that have been forgiven — and also about the launch of “second-draw” PPP loans.

Forgiveness criteria

An eligible recipient may have a PPP loan forgiven in an amount equal to the sum of various costs incurred and payments made during the covered period. These include payroll costs, interest (but not principal) payments on any covered mortgage obligation (for mortgages in place before February 15, 2020), payments for any covered rent obligation (for leases that began before February 15, 2020), and covered utility payments (for utilities that were turned on before February 15, 2020). Also eligible are covered operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenses.

Your covered period would normally have been the 24-week period beginning on the date you took out the loan (ending no later than December 31, 2020, if that was before the expiration of the 24-week period). If you received a PPP loan before June 5, 2020, you could elect a shorter 8-week covered period. If you didn’t elect the 8-week period and instead used the longer 24-week period, you had to maintain payroll levels for the full 24 weeks to be eligible for loan forgiveness. If you didn't make an election, the 24-week period applies.

An eligible recipient seeking forgiveness of indebtedness on a covered loan must verify that the amount for which forgiveness is requested was used to retain employees, make interest payments on a covered mortgage obligation, make payments on a covered lease obligation or make covered utility payments.

Cancellation and deductibility

The reduction or cancellation of indebtedness generally results in cancellation of debt income to the debtor. However, the forgiveness of PPP debt is excluded from gross income. Your tax attributes (net operating losses, credits, capital and passive activity loss carryovers, and basis) won’t generally be reduced on account of this exclusion.

The CARES Act was silent on whether expenses paid with the proceeds of PPP loans could be deducted. The IRS took the position that these expenses were not deductible. However, under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), enacted at the end of 2020, expenses paid from the proceeds of PPP loans are deductible.

“Second-draw” PPP loans

Under the CAA, eligible businesses may be able take out so-called “second-draw” PPP loans. These loans are primarily intended for beleaguered small businesses with 300 or fewer employees that have used up, or will soon use up, the proceeds from initial PPP loans. The maximum second-draw loan amount is $2 million, and only one such loan can be taken out.

To qualify for a second-draw loan, a business must demonstrate at least a 25% decline in gross receipts in any quarter of 2020 as compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019. Qualifying businesses can generally borrow up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs for either the one-year period before the date on which the loan is made or calendar year 2019. The application deadline is March 31, 2021.

Any questions?

A PPP loan may complicate your company’s 2020 income tax filing, but a second draw could provide a much-needed influx of cash. Please contact us with any questions you might have.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters             

TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS 4: THE RIGHT TO CHALLENGE THE IRS’S POSITION AND BE HEARD

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 02 2021

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.
 
It includes The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard.

Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.

What you can expect:

  • If the IRS notifies you that your tax return has a math or clerical error, you have 60 days to tell the IRS that you disagree. You should provide photocopies of any records that may help correct the error. In addition, you may call the number listed on your notice or bill for help. If the IRS agrees with your position, we will make the necessary adjustment to your account and send you a corrected notice.
  • If the IRS does not adopt your position, it will send a notice proposing a tax adjustment (known as a statutory notice of deficiency). The statutory notice of deficiency gives you the right to challenge the proposed adjustment in the United States Tax Court before paying it. To do this, you need to file a petition within 90 days of the date of the notice (150 days if the notice is addressed to you outside the United States). For more information about the United States Tax Court, see the Court’s taxpayer information page.
  • If you submit documentation or raise objections during a return examination (or audit), and the IRS does not agree with your position, it will issue you a statutory notice of deficiency. This notice will explain why the IRS is increasing your tax, which gives you the right to petition the U.S. Tax Court prior to paying the tax.
  • When the IRS notifies you of plans to levy your bank account or other property, you’ll generally have an opportunity to request a hearing before the Office of Appeals. Also, you’ll generally have an opportunity to appeal the proposed or actual filing of a notice of federal tax lien.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you, visit: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the top of any IRS.gov page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

Why the Child Tax Credit is so Valuable

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 25 2021

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If you’re a parent, or soon will be, you’re no doubt aware of how expensive it is to pay for food, clothes, activities and education. Fortunately, the federal child tax credit is available to help many taxpayers with children under the age of 17, and there’s a dependent credit for those who are eligible with older children.

An expanded break

Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) kicked in, the child tax credit was $1,000 per qualifying child. But it was reduced for eligible married couples filing jointly by $50 for every $1,000 (or part of $1,000) by which their adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeded $110,000 ($75,000 for unmarried taxpayers).

Starting with the 2018 tax year, and applying through the 2025 tax year, the TCJA doubled the child tax credit to $2,000 per qualifying child under 17. It also created a $500 credit per dependent who isn’t a qualifying child under 17. There’s no age limit for the $500 credit, but IRS tests for dependency must be met.

The TCJA also substantially increased the thresholds at which the credit begins to phase out. Starting with the 2018 tax year, the total credit amount allowed to a married couple filing jointly is reduced by $50 for every $1,000 (or part of a $1,000) by which their AGI exceeds $400,000. The threshold is $200,000 for other taxpayers. So, many taxpayers who were once ineligible for the credit because their AGI was too high are now eligible to claim it.

SSN requirement

In order to claim the child tax credit for a qualifying child, you must include the child’s Social Security number (SSN) on your tax return. Under previous law, you could instead use an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) or adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN).

If a qualifying child doesn’t have an SSN, you won’t be able to claim the $2,000 credit. However, you can claim the $500 dependent credit for that child using an ITIN or an ATIN. The SSN requirement doesn’t apply for non-qualifying-child dependents but, if there’s no SSN, you must provide an ITIN or ATIN for each dependent for whom you’re claiming a $500 credit.

Don’t miss out

The changes made by the TCJA generally increase the value of these credits and widen their availability to more taxpayers. Please contact us for further information or ask about it when we prepare your tax return.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

TAXABLE VS. TAX-ADVANTAGED: WHERE TO HOLD INVESTMENTS

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 24 2021

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When investing for retirement or other long-term goals, people usually prefer tax-advantaged accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s or 403(b)s. Certain assets are well suited to these accounts, but it may make more sense to hold other investments in traditional taxable accounts.

Know the rules

Some investments, such as fast-growing stocks, can generate substantial capital gains, which may occur when you sell a security for more than you paid for it.

If you’ve owned that position for over a year, you face long-term gains, taxed at a maximum rate of 20%. In contrast, short-term gains, assessed on holding periods of a year or less, are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate — maxing out at 37%. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)

Choose tax efficiency

Generally, the more tax efficient an investment, the more benefit you’ll get from owning it in a taxable account. Conversely, investments that lack tax efficiency normally are best suited to tax-advantaged vehicles.

Consider municipal bonds (“munis”), either held individually or through mutual funds. Munis are attractive to tax-sensitive investors because their income is exempt from federal income taxes and sometimes state and local income taxes. Because you don’t get a double benefit when you own an already tax-advantaged security in a tax-advantaged account, holding munis in your 401(k) or IRA would result in a lost opportunity.

Similarly, tax-efficient investments such as passively managed index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, or long-term stock holdings, are generally appropriate for taxable accounts. These securities are more likely to generate long-term capital gains, which have more favorable tax treatment. Securities that generate more of their total return via capital appreciation or that pay qualified dividends are also better taxable account options.

Take advantage of income

What investments work best for tax-advantaged accounts? Taxable investments that tend to produce much of their return in income. This category includes corporate bonds, especially high-yield bonds, as well as real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are required to pass through most of their earnings as shareholder income. Most REIT dividends are nonqualified and therefore taxed at your ordinary-income rate.

Another tax-advantaged-appropriate investment may be an actively managed mutual fund. Funds with significant turnover — meaning their portfolio managers are actively buying and selling securities — have increased potential to generate short-term gains that ultimately get passed through to you. Because short-term gains are taxed at a higher rate than long-term gains, these funds would be less desirable in a taxable account.

Get specific advice

The above concepts are only general suggestions. Please contact our firm for specific advice on what may be best for you.

Sidebar: Doing due diligence on dividends

If you own a lot of income-generating investments, you’ll need to pay attention to the tax rules for dividends, which belong to one of two categories:

  • Qualified. These dividends are paid by U.S. corporations or qualified foreign corporations. Qualified dividends are, like long-term gains, subject to a maximum tax rate of 20%, though many people are eligible for a 15% rate. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)
  • Nonqualified. These dividends — which include most distributions from real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships — receive a less favorable tax treatment. Like short-term gains, nonqualified dividends are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

TAS Tax Tip: Claiming the Health Care Premium Tax Credit

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 24 2021

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The Premium Tax Credit (PTC) makes health insurance more affordable by helping eligible individuals and their families pay premiums for coverage purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace (also referred to as the Marketplace or Exchange).

There are two ways to get the credit:

  • If you qualify for advance payments of the premium tax credit (APTC), you can choose to have all or some of the advance payments paid directly to the insurance provider to help cover your monthly premiums.
  • You can choose to receive the entire benefit when you claim the PTC on your tax return.

However, whether you chose to get advanced payments or claim the credit on the tax return, you must file a federal income tax return, even if otherwise not required to file, and include a completed Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit. If you do not include this form when filing, the IRS will stop processing your tax return and request it from you.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS      

TAS Tax Tip: How to Address Unemployment Compensation Related Identity Theft

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 24 2021

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During 2020, millions of taxpayers were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through job loss or reduced work hours. Some taxpayers who faced unemployment or reduced work hours applied for and received unemployment compensation from their state. States issue 1099-G, Certain Government Payments to you and to the IRS to report taxable income, including unemployment compensation.

However, identity thieves took advantage of the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims. Payments made as a result of these fraudulent claims went to the identity thieves, while the victims whose names and personal information were taken, did not receive any of the payments. However, the victims may receive a Form 1099-G saying that amount was paid to them anyway.

Here’s how you may find out if your information was used for false claims:

  • Receive a Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits that you did not receive.

If you receive a Form 1099-G for an amount you did not receive, contact the issuing state agency to request a revised Form 1099-G showing you did not receive these benefits. The state agency should send a corrected Form 1099-G reporting $0 in box 1 (zero benefits paid) to you (the identity theft victim) and then they will file a copy with the IRS as soon as possible after the error is discovered.

Act quickly if this is an identity theft situation. If you are unable to obtain a timely, corrected form from your state agency, you should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income you received. However, you may still get a notification from the IRS as your tax return is processed. See below for more information.

  • Receive a notification from the IRS, after filing a tax return.

You may receive some type of notification (e.g., letter) indicating:

  • that someone else used your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or
  • that IRS income records – income from unemployment or income from an employer you did not work for – do not match what you reported to the IRS.

Both types of instances involve identity theft and can happen whether you file electronically or on paper. Different methods of communication are used by the IRS to notify you for each situation.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS      

-DOES MY CAR AFFECT MY INSURANCE RATE?

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 24 2021

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It is a good idea to check the insurance rates that are given to certain cars before you buy them. Usually as the cost of the car rises, so does the insurance premium. The insurance rates on used cars are generally substantially lower than those of new cars.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters  

Tax time is seasonal, but the Taxpayer Bill of Rights applies all year

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 01 2021

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All taxpayers have fundamental rights when they’re interacting with the IRS. These rights apply all year long, not just during tax season. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights presents these rights in 10 categories.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 1: The Right to Be Informed

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 29 2021

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.

It includes The Right to Be Informed.

Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.

What you can expect:

  • Certain notices must include the amount (if any) of the tax, interest, and certain penalties you owe. It must explain why you owe these amounts.
  • When the IRS fully or partially disallows your claim for a refund, it must explain the specific reasons why.
  • Help with Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter is available online at IRS.gov.
  • If the IRS proposes to assess tax against you, it must explain the process – from examination (audit) through collection – in its first letter. This letter should explain your options for a review by an independent Office of Appeals and how the Taxpayer Advocate Service may be able to help you.
  • If you enter a payment plan, known as an installment agreement, the IRS must send you an annual statement. This gives you a record of balances and payments.
  • You can access current and prior year IRS forms and publications at IRS.gov. You can also request order them by calling 800-829-3676.
  • IRS also uses several social media tools that provide helpful tax information to a broad audience. You can find IRS on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and the IRS2Go free mobile app.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you visit: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the top of any IRS.gov page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:  IRS

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2: The Right to Quality Service

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 29 2021

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.

It includes The Right to Quality Service.

Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

What you can expect:

  • You can find answers to most tax questions on IRS.gov. If you cannot find an answer to your tax issue on the IRS website or in published instructions, please contact the IRS for help. IRS representatives care about the quality of the service provided to you and are available to help. Here are some things to consider when contacting the IRS.
    • The IRS provides a contact phone number on the top right corner of the notice or letter.
    • IRS representatives should listen objectively and consider all relevant information.
    • They should answer questions promptly, accurately and thoroughly.
  • Generally, you can speak to an employee’s supervisor if you have a problem.
  • When collecting tax, the IRS should treat you with courtesy. Generally, the IRS should only contact you between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. The IRS should not contact you at your place of employment if the IRS knows or has reason to know that your employer does not allow such contacts. Be mindful of tax scams. Remember, the IRS does not make aggressive phone calls that threaten arrest or prison.
  • The IRS must include information about your right to get help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service in all statutory notices of deficiency. It should tell you how to contact TAS.
  • If you are eligible for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) assistance, the IRS may provide information about your options for legal help.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you visit https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages. 

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the top of any IRS.gov page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

What taxpayers need to know to claim the earned income tax credit

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 29 2021

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The earned income tax credit can give qualifying workers with low-to-moderate income a substantial financial boost. In 2019, the average amount of this credit was $2,476. It not only reduces the amount of tax someone owes but may give them a refund even if they don't owe any taxes or aren't required to file a return. People must meet certain requirements and file a federal tax return in order to receive this credit.

EITC eligibility

  • A taxpayer's eligibility for the credit may change from year to year, so it's a good idea for people to use the EITC Assistant to find out if they qualify.
     
  • Eligibility can be affected by major life changes such as:
    • a new job or loss of a job
    • unemployment benefits
    • a change in income
    • a change in marital status
    • the birth or death of a child
    • a change in a spouse's employment situation
       
  • Taxpayers qualify based on their income and the filing status they use on their tax return. The credit can be more if they have one or more children who live with them for more than half the year and meet other requirements.

New this tax season

There's a new rule to help people impacted by a job loss or change in income in 2020. taxpayers can use their2019 earned income to figure your EITC, if their 2019 earned income was more than their 2020 earned income. The same is true for the additional child tax credit. For details, see the instructions for Form 1040 PDF.

2020 Maximum credit amounts allowed

The maximum credit amounts are based on whether the taxpayer can claim a child for the credit and the number of children claimed:

  • Zero children: $538
  • One child: $3,584
  • Two children: $5,920
  • Three or more children: $6,660

2020 income limits

Those who are working and earn less than these amounts may qualify for the EITC:

Married filing jointly:

  • Zero children: $21,710
  • One child: $47,646
  • Two children: $53,330
  • Three or more children: $56,844

Head of household and single:

  • Zero children: $15,820
  • One child: $41,756
  • Two children: $47,440
  • Three or more children: $50,954

Taxpayers who are married filing separately can't claim EITC.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 3: The Right to Pay No More Than the Correct Amount of Tax

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 29 2021

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The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) is a cornerstone document that highlights the 10 fundamental rights taxpayers have when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these rights in the event they need to work with the IRS on a personal tax matter. The IRS continues to publicly highlight these rights to taxpayers. The IRS also regularly reminds its employees about these rights. The IRS expects employees to understand and apply taxpayer rights throughout every encounter with taxpayers.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, includes a full list of taxpayers’ rights.

It includes The Right to Pay No More Than the Correct Amount of Tax.

Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

What you can expect:

  • If you believe you have overpaid your taxes, you can file for a refund; however, there are specific time frames in which you must file your claim. For more information, see Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund.
  • If you receive an IRS notice or bill and believe there is an error on it, write to the IRS office that sent it to you within the time frame given. You should provide photocopies of any records that may help correct the error. Also, you may call the number listed on your notice or bill for help. If you are correct, the IRS will make the necessary adjustment to your account and send you a corrected notice.
  • If you discover an error after you file your return, you may need to amend your return. You should file an amended return if there is an error or change in your filing status, income, deductions or credits. However, the IRS may automatically correct math errors on a return, and may accept returns with certain forms or schedules left out. In these cases, you do not need to amend your return. If you disagree with an adjustment the IRS made, you must request within 60 days that the IRS reverse the change. This timeline preserves your right to challenge the proposed adjustment in court, if needed, before paying it. 
  • You may request that any amount owed be removed if it exceeds the correct amount due under the law, if the IRS has assessed it after the period allowed by law, or if the assessment was done in error or violation of the law.
  • You may request that the IRS remove any interest from your account if the IRS caused unreasonable errors or delays. For example, if the IRS delays issuing a statutory notice of deficiency because the assigned IRS employee was away for several months attending training, and interest accrues during this time, the IRS may abate the interest related to the delay.
  • You can submit an offer in compromise, asking the IRS to accept less than the full amount of your tax debt, if you believe you don’t owe all or part of the debt. Use Form 656-L, Offer in Compromise PDF.

If you enter a payment plan, known as an installment agreement, the IRS must send you an annual statement. The statement provides balances and a record of payments.

To find out more about the TBOR and what it means to you visit: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov.

The IRS offers Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, in several languages

By making this important publication available in multiple languages, the IRS hopes to increase the number of Americans who know and understand their rights under the tax law. The IRS has more tax information in other languages too. See the “Languages” menu at the top of any IRS.gov page.

The IRS also is committed to protecting taxpayers’ civil rights. The IRS will not tolerate discrimination based on age, color, disability, race, reprisal, national origin, English proficiency, religion, sex, sexual orientation or status as a parent. This includes any contact with IRS employees and the staff or volunteers at community sites.

If a taxpayer faces discrimination, they can send a written complaint PDF to the IRS Civil Rights Division.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

Get a federal tax refund faster with direct deposit

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 29 2021

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The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get their tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit.

Direct deposit is free, fast, simple, safe and secure. Taxpayers can even split their refund to have it deposited into one, two or three different accounts.

Eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by using direct deposit. The IRS uses the same electronic transfer system to deposit tax refunds that is used by other federal agencies to deposit nearly 98% of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.

Direct deposit also avoids the possibility that a refund check could be lost or stolen or returned to the IRS as undeliverable. And it saves taxpayer money. It costs more than $1 for every paper refund issued, but only a dime for each direct deposit.

Easy to use

A taxpayer simply selects direct deposit as the refund method when using tax software or working with a tax preparer, and either they or their tax preparer type in their account and routing number. It's important to double check entries to avoid errors.

The IRS reminds taxpayers they should only deposit refunds directly into U.S. affiliated accounts that are in their name, their spouse's name or both if it's a joint account. Many people do not use checks and may find their routing and account numbers on their online bank account or mobile app.

Taxpayers may have a refund applied to their prepaid debit card. Many reloadable prepaid cards have account and routing numbers that could be provided to the IRS. But check with the financial institution to make sure the card can be used and verify the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.

There are mobile apps that may allow for direct deposit of tax refunds. They must have routing and account numbers associated with them that can be entered on a tax return. Check with the mobile app provider to confirm what numbers to use.

Have the bank routing and account number when having taxes prepared. The IRS does not have the ability to accept this information after a return is filed.

Don't have a bank account?

Visit the FDIC website for information on where to find a bank that can open an account online and how to choose the right account. Veterans can use the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks. Tax return preparers may also offer electronic payment options.

Split refunds

By using direct deposit, a taxpayer can split their refund into up to three financial accounts, including a bank or Individual Retirement Account. Part of the refund can even be used to purchase up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bonds.

A taxpayer can split their refund by using tax software or by using Form 8888, Allocation of Refund PDF (including Savings Bond Purchases), if they file a paper return. Some people use split refunds as a convenient option for managing their money, sending some of their refund to an account for immediate use and some for future savings.

No more than three electronic tax refunds can be deposited into a single financial account or prepaid debit card. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will receive an IRS notice and a paper refund will be issued for the refunds exceeding that limit.

Combining Electronic Filing plus direct deposit yields fastest refunds

The safest and most accurate way to file a tax return is to file electronically. Many people may be eligible to file electronically for free. Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days, but some returns may take longer. Taxpayers can track their refund using Where's My Refund? on IRS.gov or by downloading the IRS2Go mobile app.

Where's My Refund? is updated once daily, usually overnight, so there's no reason to check more than once per day or call the IRS to get information about a refund. Taxpayers can check Where's My Refund? within 24 hours after the IRS has received their e-filed return or four weeks after mailing a paper return. Where's My Refund? has a tracker that displays progress through three stages:

1.   Return Received,

2.   Refund Approved, and 

3.   Refund Sent.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS                 

Did You Know That Unemployment Compensation Is Taxable and Could Impact a Taxpayer’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 27 2021

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In January of 2021, a record high number of taxpayers will receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, indicating the amount of unemployment compensation (UC) paid to them during 2020 that must be reported on their 2020 federal income tax return. 2020 has been a difficult year, particularly for those experiencing unemployment. Taxpayers who received UC, including any of the special unemployment compensation authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, may be unaware that generally, unemployment benefits are included in gross income, like a regular paycheck, and can be taxed. For taxpayers expecting to receive the EITC, it’s important to remember that UC can reduce the amount of EITC, even to zero.

Taxability of UC: UC is not subject to certain payroll taxes, for example, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and withholding is not required. However, taxpayers may still have to pay federal and state income taxes on that income.  The federal income tax treatment of UC depends on the type of program paying the benefits. The IRS provides a tool to help taxpayers determine if payments received for being unemployed are taxable.

The amount of UC shown in box 1 on the Form 1099-G is taxable and must be reported on a federal income tax return for the tax year it was received. UC generally includes any amount received under an unemployment compensation law of the United States or of a state. For example, it includes benefits paid by a state or the District of Columbia from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund, state unemployment insurance benefits, railroad unemployment compensation benefits, disability payments from a government program paid as a substitute for unemployment compensation, unemployment assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, etc.  For more information, see IRS Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income.

Taxpayers should also consider potential state tax requirements, because UC may be taxable in some states. With over 65 million initial jobless claims filed during 2020, many taxpayers will be reporting UC on their tax returns for the first time.

Increased UC under the CARES Act: The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, just as U.S. unemployment reached a record high of 14.7 percent in April, increased UC for many unemployed taxpayers and further expanded benefits to certain categories of workers not ordinarily eligible to receive these benefits, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors. The Department of Labor reported that during the week ending November 21, 2020, 33 states were still offering extended benefits to unemployed workers.

UC Impact on EITC: In addition to reporting UC on their income tax returns for the first time, taxpayers may receive a significantly lower EITC because their 2020 earned income was less than expected. The amount of EITC fluctuates based on the taxpayer’s earned income and adjusted gross income. The EITC is a complex area of law and most low income taxpayers require specialized assistance in order to claim the credit successfully. The IRS provides a helpful tool to help taxpayers determine eligibility for the EITC and an estimated credit amount. However, not all taxpayers can avail themselves of the tool — a 2018 Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) study found that more than 11 percent of low income taxpayers and over 28 percent of seniors never use the internet.

Taxpayers living paycheck to paycheck or from one unemployment check to the next may be anticipating the EITC based on last year’s earned income. However, earned income does not include amounts received as UC. Thus, a taxpayer receiving UC may report less earned income for the purpose of computing the EITC, resulting in a reduction or elimination of the credit. In addition, taxpayers who did not opt for voluntary withholding may see reduced refunds or have a tax due as a result.

To address the negative tax consequences of UC not constituting earned income, I am recommending that Congress allow UC to be included as qualifying income in computing the EITC during national disasters. This legislative recommendation has special meaning in the year of the coronavirus pandemic, with so many jobless taxpayers reliant on UC as a primary source of income. The recommendation will be included in the 2021 Purple Book issued in conjunction with my 2020 Annual Report to Congress.

Collection Alternatives: Some taxpayers may be reluctant to file balance due tax returns if they are unable to pay the tax by the due date. Taxpayers who owe tax and fail to file and pay on time will most likely owe interest and penalties on the tax they pay late. Two penalties may apply – for filing late and for paying late.  Interest accrues on top of penalties. The penalty for late filing can be as much as five percent of the unpaid taxes each month up to a maximum of 25 percent, while the penalty for late payment is generally 0.5 percent of the taxpayer’s unpaid taxes per month up to a maximum of 25 percent of unpaid taxes. If both penalties apply, the maximum amount charged for the two penalties is five percent per month. Taxpayers can avoid incurring the failure-to-file-penalty by timely filing their return. Where taxpayers have a balance due on their returns and are unable to pay that balance in full, the IRS offers collection alternatives, such as installment agreements and offers in compromise. Some taxpayers may qualify to be placed in currently not collectible status.  During 2020, the IRS expanded collection alternatives for individuals experiencing COVID-19-related financial difficulties. The IRS website contains information on these alternatives. Eligible taxpayers may contact a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) for assistance with understanding their filing obligations and collection alternatives.

Communication with Taxpayers: Millions of taxpayers will receive Form 1099-G for the first time and may not appreciate the effect UC will have on their tax returns, including the amount of the EITC. Taxpayers may receive the form in the mail or may receive instructions to retrieve an electronic version of Form 1099-G from their state’s website. We encourage the IRS to continue educating taxpayers about the taxability of UC. In addition to posting information on IRS.gov, I recommend the IRS engage stakeholders, such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) partners, and community organizations to spread the word to potential EITC recipients that the amount of their 2020 credit may be less than they are expecting. TAS will also collaborate with the IRS on including UC information in its EITC outreach materials at the beginning of the filing season.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS

Follow these tips to help prevent common tax return filing issues and refund delays

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 27 2021

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Ready to file your tax return? Stop and check out these tax tips before you file to avoid delays and pass “go” with confidence.

Use your Form W-2, not your pay stub, to verify your income. Your employer generally has until February 1 to issue your Form W-2, and you should wait to receive it before you file. In case you didn’t know, IRS computer systems compare the income that is reported on your tax return to what has been reported to IRS. When income and/or federal income tax withholding don’t match, this can cause a delay in the processing of the return and any refund.

Double check that your information is correct for yourself and your dependents. Check name spellings, taxpayer identification numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and your bank account information for accuracy. Be aware that you must have valid Social Security numbers for all your dependents before filing or that may not only delay processing of your tax return, but in certain instances disqualify you for some refundable credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Don’t forget your W-2s, 1099s, and other attachments. This includes Form 8962 if you are claiming the Premium Tax Credit and Form 1099-G if you received unemployment benefits. Any income document that shows federal income tax was withheld must be attached to your return, if you are filing by paper. If you are filing electronically, follow the software provider’s instructions. If you are unable to obtain your W-2 (or other information returns like Form 1099, K-1, etc.) from your employer, because they closed, you can call the IRS for assistance at 1-800-829-1040, but you must wait until after February 1.

In January, some people who received unemployment benefits in 2020 will get a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, from the agency paying the benefits. The agency will either automatically send a hard copy or, if the agency does not mail the form, recipients will need to visit the agency’s website to get an electronic version of the form.

Also, taxpayers who received a federal tax refund in 2020 may have been paid interest. Refund interest payments are taxable and must be reported on federal income tax returns. In January 2021, the IRS will send Form 1099-INT to anyone who received interest totaling $10 or more.

You need a Form 1098-T from an eligible educational institution to claim education expenses. Eligible educational institutions have until January 31, to provide this form on paper or electronically to students. If not received by January 31, you’ll need to contact the Institution.

Be aware of tax software that imports prior year data automatically. If you are using the same software as the prior year, you’ll want to check that only the current year information is present, and that prior year data didn’t transfer over which may cause an error. So, double check your figures before hitting submit.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS

IRS issues standard mileage rates for 2021

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 27 2021

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The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2021 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56 cents per mile driven for business use, down 1.5 cents from the rate for 2020,
  • 16 cents per mile driven for medical, or moving purposes for qualified active duty members of the Armed Forces, down 1 cent from the rate for 2020, and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2020.

The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

It is important to note that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses. Taxpayers also cannot claim a deduction for moving expenses, unless they are members of the Armed Forces on active duty moving under orders to a permanent change of station. For more details see Moving Expenses for Members of the Armed Forces.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Taxpayers can use the standard mileage rate but must opt to use it in the first year the car is available for business use. Then, in later years, they can choose either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. Leased vehicles must use the standard mileage rate method for the entire lease period (including renewals) if the standard mileage rate is chosen.

Notice 2021-02 PDF, contains the optional 2021 standard mileage rates, as well as the maximum automobile cost used to calculate the allowance under a fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plan. In addition, the notice provides the maximum fair market value of employer-provided automobiles first made available to employees for personal use in calendar year 2021 for which employers may use the fleet-average valuation rule in or the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:  IRS

¿Sabía que la compensación por desempleo es tributable y podría afectar el Crédito tributario por ingreso del trabajo (EITC, por sus siglas en inglés) de un contribuyente?

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 27 2021

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En enero de 2021, un número récord de contribuyentes recibirá un Formulario 1099-G, Certain Government Payment (Ciertos pagos del gobierno, en inglés), indicando la cantidad de compensación por desempleo (UC, por sus siglas en inglés) que se les pagó durante 2020 y que deben declarar en su declaración del impuesto federal sobre los ingresos de 2020. El año 2020 ha sido un año  difícil, sobre todo para aquellas personas que experimentan el desempleo. Los contribuyentes que recibieron la UC, incluso cualquier parte de la compensación especial por desempleo autorizada según la Ley de Ayuda, Alivio y Seguridad Económica por el Coronavirus (CARES, por sus siglas en inglés), pueden no saber que, por lo general, los beneficios por el desempleo se incluyen en los ingresos brutos como un cheque de pago normal y pueden estar sujetos a impuestos. Para los contribuyentes que esperan recibir el EITC, es importante recordar que la UC  puede reducir la cantidad de EITC, incluso a cero.

Imponibilidad sobre la compensación por desempleo (UC): La UC no está sujeta a ciertos impuestos sobre la nómina, por ejemplo los impuestos al Seguro Social y al Medicare y no se requiere la retención de impuestos. Sin embargo, puede que los contribuyentes aún tengan que pagar impuestos federales y estatales sobre esos ingresos. El tratamiento del impuesto federal sobre los ingresos de la UC depende de la clase de programa que pague los beneficios. El IRS proporciona una herramienta (en inglés) para ayudar a los contribuyentes a determinar si los pagos recibidos por estar desempleados son tributables.

La cantidad de la UC que se muestra en la casilla 1 del Formulario 1099-G es tributable y debe declararse en una declaración del impuesto federal sobre los ingresos del año tributario en que se recibió. La UC generalmente incluye cualquier cantidad recibida conforme a una ley de compensación por desempleo de los Estados Unidos o de un estado. Por ejemplo, incluye los beneficios pagados por un estado o el Distrito de Columbia del Fondo de Fideicomiso Federal de Desempleo; los beneficios del seguro de desempleo estatal; los beneficios de compensación por el desempleo ferroviario; los  pagos por incapacidad de un programa gubernamental pagado como sustituto de la compensación por desempleo; asistencia por desempleo conforme a la Ley de Alivio por Desastres y Asistencia por Emergencias de 1974, etcétera. Para obtener más información consulte la Publicación 525 del IRS, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, en inglés (Ingresos tributables y no tributables).

Los contribuyentes deben también considerar los potenciales requisitos tributarios estatales, ya que la UC puede ser tributable en algunos estados. Con más de 65 millones (en inglés)  de reclamaciones iniciales de desempleo presentadas durante 2020, muchos contribuyentes por primera vez declararán la UC en sus declaraciones de impuestos.

 

Aumento de la UC conforme a la ley CARES: La Ley CARES, promulgada el 27 de marzo de 2020, así como el desempleo en los Estados Unidos llegó a una tasa récord de 14.7 por ciento en abril (en inglés), aumentó la UC para muchos contribuyentes desempleados y amplió aún más los beneficios  a ciertas categorías de trabajadores que normalmente no reúnen los requisitos para recibir estos beneficios, tales como los trabajadores por cuenta propia y los contratistas independientes. El Departamento de Trabajo informó que durante la semana que terminó el 21 de noviembre de 2020 (en inglés), 33 estados seguían ofreciendo beneficios ampliados a los trabajadores desempleados.

 

  1. Impacto de la UC en el EITC: Además de declarar por primera vez la UC en sus declaraciones de impuestos, los contribuyentes pueden recibir un EITC significativamente más bajo porque sus ingresos de trabajo en 2020 fueron menores de lo esperado. La cantidad del EITC fluctúa con base en el ingreso de trabajo y el ingreso bruto ajustado del contribuyente. El EITC es un área compleja de la ley (en inglés) y la mayoría de los contribuyentes con bajos niveles de ingresos requieren asistencia especializada para reclamar el crédito con éxito. El IRS proporciona una herramienta útil para ayudar a los contribuyentes a determinar la elegibilidad para el EITC y una cantidad estimada del crédito. Sin embargo, no todos los contribuyentes pueden aprovechar la herramienta — un estudio del Servicio del Defensor del Contribuyente (TAS) de 2018 (en inglés) encontró que más del 11 por ciento de los contribuyentes con bajos niveles de ingresos y más del 28 por ciento de las personas mayores de edad nunca utilizan internet.

Los contribuyentes que viven de cheque en cheque o de un cheque por desempleo al siguiente, pueden anticipar un EITC con base en los ingresos de trabajo del año pasado. Sin embargo, el ingreso de trabajo no incluye las cantidades recibidas como compensación por desempleo (en inglés). Por lo tanto, un contribuyente que reciba la UC puede declarar menos ingreso de trabajo para los propósitos de calcular el EITC, lo que resulta en una reducción o eliminación del crédito. Además, los contribuyentes que no eligieron la retención voluntaria pueden ver reembolsos reducidos o adeudar un impuesto (en inglés) como resultado.

Para abordar las consecuencias tributarias negativas de que la UC no constituya ingreso de trabajo, recomiendo que el Congreso permita que la UC se incluya como ingresos calificados en el cálculo del EITC durante desastres nacionales. Esta recomendación legislativa tiene un significado especial en el año de la pandemia del coronavirus, con tantos contribuyentes desempleados que dependen de la UC como fuente primaria de ingresos. La recomendación se incluirá en el Libro Morado de 2021, emitido conjuntamente con mi Informe Anual al Congreso de 2020.

Alternativas de cobro: Algunos contribuyentes pueden estar reacios a presentar declaraciones de impuestos con saldos adeudados si no pueden pagar los impuestos para la fecha de vencimiento. Los contribuyentes que adeudan impuestos y que no presenten y paguen oportunamente probablemente adeudarán intereses y multas sobre el impuesto que pagan tardío. Hay dos multas que pueden corresponder – por presentar tardío y por pagar tardío. Los intereses se acumulan sobre ambas multas. La multa por la presentación tardía puede ser hasta el cinco por ciento de los impuestos no pagados cada mes hasta un máximo del 25 por ciento, mientras que la multa por el pago tardío generalmente es el 0.5 por ciento de los impuestos no pagados del contribuyente por mes hasta un máximo de 25 por ciento de los impuestos no pagados. Si se aplican ambas multas, la cantidad máxima que se cobra por las dos multas es del cinco por ciento al mes. Los contribuyentes pueden evitar incurrir en la multa por no presentar mediante la presentación oportuna de sus declaraciones. Cuando los contribuyentes tienen un saldo adeudado en sus declaraciones y no pueden pagar ese saldo en su totalidad, el IRS ofrece alternativas de cobro, tales como los planes de pagos a plazos y los ofrecimientos de transacción. Algunos contribuyentes pueden calificar para ser colocados en el estado de “cuenta no cobrable actualmente”. Durante 2020, el IRS amplió las alternativas de cobro para las personas que experimentan dificultades financieras relacionadas con la COVID-19. La página web del IRS, en inglés, contiene información sobre estas alternativas. Los contribuyentes elegibles pueden comunicarse con una Clínica para contribuyentes con bajos niveles de ingresos (LITC) (en inglés) para obtener ayuda para entender sus obligaciones de presentación y las alternativas de cobro.

Comunicación con los contribuyentes: Millones de contribuyentes recibirán por primera vez el Formulario 1099-G y puede que no comprendan el efecto que la UC tendrá en sus declaraciones de impuestos, incluso la cantidad del EITC. Los contribuyentes pueden recibir el formulario por correo o pueden recibir instrucciones para recuperar una versión electrónica del Formulario 1099-G del sitio web de su estado. Animamos al IRS a continuar educando a los contribuyentes sobre la imponibilidad de la UC. Además de publicar información en IRS.gov/español, recomiendo que el IRS involucre a las partes interesadas, tales como los socios de la Asistencia tributaria por voluntarios (VITA, por sus siglas en inglés) y de Asesoramiento tributario para los Ancianos (TCE, por sus siglas en inglés), y las organizaciones comunitarias para difundir a los posibles beneficiarios del EITC que  la cantidad de su crédito en 2020 puede ser menor de lo que esperan. El TAS también colaborará con el IRS en la inclusión de la información de la UC en sus materiales de divulgación del EITC al comienzo de la temporada de presentación de impuestos.

Asistencia en la preparación de la declaración de impuestos: Si los contribuyentes han recibido la UC durante 2020 y no están seguros de qué hacer, los programas de VITA y TCE proporcionan asistencia gratuita para la preparación de la declaración de impuestos a los contribuyentes  elegibles. Los VITA ofrecen preparación gratuita de las declaraciones de impuestos básicas a las personas que generalmente ganan $57,000 o menos, a las personas con discapacidades, y a las personas con dominio limitado del inglés, mientras que los TCE proporcionan asistencia para la preparación de impuestos a los contribuyentes mayores de 60 años de edad. Algunos sitios de los VITA y TCE ofrecerán ayuda virtual a los contribuyentes en lugar de ayuda en persona. Los contribuyentes también pueden acceder a la Alianza Free File (en inglés), que es una coalición sin fines de lucro de compañías de software tributario líderes en la industria, que colabora con el IRS para ayudar a los estadounidenses a preparar y presentar electrónicamente sus declaraciones de impuestos federales de forma rápida, segura y gratuita.

A medida que muchos contribuyentes siguen navegando por un futuro económico incierto en medio de la pandemia, el TAS está listo para ayudar y dirigir a los contribuyentes a los recursos que necesitan.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la contabilidad comercial esencial, los impuestos nacionales, los impuestos internacionales, la representación del IRS, las implicaciones fiscales de los Estados Unidos de las transacciones de bienes inmuebles o los estados financieros, llámenos al 305-274-5811.

Fuente: TAS      

REPORT YOUR VIRTUAL CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS.

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 21 2021

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What is virtual currency?

Virtual currency is a digital representation of value other than a representation of the U.S. dollar or a foreign currency (“real currency”). Virtual currency is used as a unit of account, a store of value, or a medium of exchange. TAS wants to help you understand the tax treatment of virtual currency that can be converted into, or exchanged for, real currency.

Bitcoin is one example of a convertible virtual currency. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which is a specific type of virtual currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions that are digitally recorded on a distributed ledger, such as a blockchain. A transaction involving cryptocurrency that is recorded on a distributed ledger is referred to as an “on-chain” transaction. A transaction that is not recorded on the distributed ledger is referred to as an “off-chain” transaction, where individuals can engage directly with each other without necessarily using a trusted third party like a cryptocurrency exchange.

Why are virtual currency transactions taxable?

Income is generally taxable regardless of the source it comes from. As such, virtual currency transactions are taxable just like ‘traditional’ transactions involving money for goods or services, or an exchange of property for other property or services. Virtual currency is treated as property by the IRS and general tax principles that apply to property transactions apply if you sell, exchange, or otherwise transact using virtual currency.

How are virtual currency transactions taxed?

In general, individuals who transact with virtual currency, including buying and selling virtual currency or exchanging virtual currency, hold the virtual currency as a capital asset and the transactions result in capital gain or capital loss. Since virtual currency is considered property, the same general principles apply. However, virtual currency received as compensation for services is treated the same as wages and results in ordinary income to the recipient who then holds the virtual currency as a capital asset.

The following examples illustrate several common transactions involving virtual currency:

  • Sales: When you sell virtual currency, it is generally a capital asset and you must report the transaction along with any capital gain or loss on the sale.
    • Example: If Mary purchased 5 Bitcoins for $50,000 in April and sold all of her Bitcoins in July for $52,000, she would have short-term capital gain of $2,000 (the sales price less the purchase price). If Mary sold the Bitcoins for $48,000, she would have a short-term capital loss on the sale, that must be reported too, but it would be subject to any limitations on capital loss deductions.
  • Exchanges: If you exchange virtual currency held as a capital asset for services or other property, including goods or another virtual currency, you must report the transaction and any capital gain or loss resulting from the exchange.
    • Example: If Bill buys 5 Bitcoins for $50,000 in April and exchanges them for another virtual currency in June worth $40,000 at the date and time of the exchange, Bill would report a $10,000 short-term capital loss on the transaction. In this case, Bill would have to look at his other capital losses and could potentially be limited in how much he could deduct in the current year. Likewise, if the exchanged virtual currency was worth $60,000 instead of $40,000, Bill would report a $10,000 short-term capital gain on the transaction.
  • Earnings: When you receive property, including virtual currency, in exchange for performing services, whether or not you perform the services as an employee, you must report the earnings as ordinary income. Compensation for services are reported and taxed the same regardless of how the compensation is received (dollars, virtual currencies, property, or other services).If you receive virtual currency in return for providing services as an employee, it’s considered wages and is subject to Federal income tax withholding, Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax, and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax and must be reported by your employer on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, like traditional wages paid in U.S. dollars. If you receive virtual currency in return for providing services and are not an employee of the payor, you are self-employed, and may be considered an independent contractor. Income from self-employment is often reported on Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income.
    • Example: If Deng receives $100,000 for providing services as an employee, he should report this as “wages” on his income tax return. If Deng is not an employee, the compensation is reported on Schedule 1 or Schedule C. Deng must report this income on his income tax return regardless of whether he receives a W-2, 1099-MISC, or other information return.
  • Hard forks: A hard fork occurs when a cryptocurrency undergoes a protocol change resulting in a permanent diversion from the legacy distributed ledger. This may result in the creation of a new cryptocurrency in addition to the legacy cryptocurrency. If your cryptocurrency went through a hard fork, but you did not receive any new cryptocurrency you don’t have taxable income.
    • Example: Maria holds 10 units of cryptocurrency A that has a hard fork after which she also has 10 units of cryptocurrency B. Regardless of how she receives the new cryptocurrency B, she has income. If the 10 units of cryptocurrency B are worth $50 at the date and time she receives them, Maria will have taxable income of $50 that she must report in the year she receives the cryptocurrency B.
  • Unreported transactions: You must report income, gain, or loss from all taxable transactions involving virtual currency on your Federal income tax return for the year of the transaction, regardless of the amount or whether you receive a payee statement (like a Form W-2) or information return (like a Form 1099-MISC).

For more information on the tax treatment of property transactions, see Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets.

What virtual currency transactions are not taxable?

Generally, the same rules that apply to other property apply to virtual currency. Not all property transactions are taxable. For example, the following transactions are not taxable:

  • Transactions with yourself. If you transfer virtual currency from a wallet, address, or account belonging to you, to another wallet, address, or account that also belongs to you, the transfer is a non-taxable event, even if you receive an information return reporting the transfer.
  • Bona fide gifts. If you receive virtual currency as a bona fide gift, the gift is not taxable. You will report any income or loss when you sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of the virtual currency.
  • Charitable donations. If you donate virtual currency to a charitable organization described in Internal Revenue Code Section 170(c), you will not report income, gain, or loss from the donation.
  • Soft forks. A soft fork occurs when a distributed ledger undergoes a protocol change that does not result in a diversion of the ledger and thus does not result in the creation of a new cryptocurrency. Because soft forks do not result in you receiving new cryptocurrency, you will be in the same position you were in prior to the soft fork, meaning that the soft fork will not result in any income to you.

Where Are Virtual Currency Transactions Reported?

Transactions conducted in virtual currency are generally reported on the same tax forms as transactions in other property. They are also reported on a new checkbox on Form 1040. Virtual currency transactions must be reported on:

What records do I need to maintain regarding my transactions using virtual currency?

The Internal Revenue Code and regulations require taxpayers to maintain records that are sufficient to establish the positions taken on tax returns. You should therefore maintain records documenting receipts, sales, exchanges, or other dispositions of virtual currency and the fair market value of the virtual currency for at least three years after reporting any taxable event or have other reporting requirements even if they’re not immediately taxable.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS

2021 tax filing season begins Feb. 12; IRS outlines steps to speed refunds during pandemic

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 21 2021

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The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation's tax season will start on Friday, February 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.

The February 12 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.

This programming work is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers. These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.

To speed refunds during the pandemic, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit as soon as they have the information they need. People can begin filing their tax returns immediately with tax software companies, including IRS Free File partners. These groups are starting to accept tax returns now, and the returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting February 12.

"Planning for the nation's filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation's most important filing seasons ever. This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible."

Last year's average tax refund was more than $2,500. More than 150 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year, with the vast majority before the Thursday, April 15 deadline.

Under the PATH Act, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds and claims from being issued, including to identity thieves.

The IRS anticipates a first week of March refund for many EITC and ACTC taxpayers if they file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns. This would be the same experience for taxpayers if the filing season opened in late January. Taxpayers will need to check Where's My Refund for their personalized refund date.

Overall, the IRS anticipates nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns wherever possible.

Tips for taxpayers to make filing easier

To speed refunds and help with their tax filing, the IRS urges people to follow these simple steps:

  • File electronically and use direct deposit for the quickest refunds.
     
  • Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on Economic Impact Payments. There is no need to call.
     
  • For those who may be eligible for stimulus payments, they should carefully review the guidelines for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Most people received Economic Impact Payments automatically, and anyone who received the maximum amount does not need to include any information about their payments when they file. However, those who didn't receive a payment or only received a partial payment may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return. Tax preparation software, including IRS Free File, will help taxpayers figure the amount.
     
  • Remember, advance stimulus payments received separately are not taxable, and they do not reduce the taxpayer's refund when they file in 2021.

Key filing season dates

There are several important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year's filing season:

  • January 15. IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting Feb. 12. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
     
  • January 29. Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
     
  • February 12. IRS begins 2021 tax season. Individual tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins.
     
  • February 22. Projected date for the IRS.gov Where's My Refund tool being updated for those claiming EITC and ACTC, also referred to as PATH Act returns.
     
  • First week of March. Tax refunds begin reaching those claiming EITC and ACTC (PATH Act returns) for those who file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns.
     
  • April 15. Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns.
     
  • October 15. Deadline to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns

Filing season opening

The filing season open follows IRS work to update its programming and test its systems to factor in the second Economic Impact Payments and other tax law changes. These changes are complex and take time to help ensure proper processing of tax returns and refunds as well as coordination with tax software industry, resulting in the February 12 start date.

The IRS must ensure systems are prepared to properly process and check tax returns to verify the proper amount of EIP's are credited on taxpayer accounts – and provide remaining funds to eligible taxpayers.

Although tax seasons frequently begin in late January, there have been five instances since 2007 when filing seasons did not start for some taxpayers until February due to tax law changes made just before the start of tax time.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS        

Get an Identity Protection PIN to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 21 2021

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The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is pleased to share the news that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has now opened up enrollment in the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) program to anyone who has a Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and is able to verify his or her identity. TAS has long advocated for this change. Beginning in 2004 and through 2019, the National Taxpayer Advocate has made 46 recommendations to the IRS in the Annual Reports to Congress on improving IDT victim assistance. The IRS has adopted over half of these recommendations over this timeframe. TAS continues to advocate for even more improvement to assist IDT victims; see our 2019 Report to Congress for more information.

Starting in mid-January 2021, you may voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program as a proactive way to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft.

What is an IP PIN and why you should consider getting one?

An IP PIN is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your SSN or ITIN. The IP PIN is known only to you and the IRS and helps verify your identity when you file your electronic or paper tax return.

The IP PIN is valid for one year. Each January, a newly generated IP PIN must be obtained.
Any primary taxpayer (listed first on the return), secondary taxpayer (listed second on the return), or dependent may obtain an IP PIN if they can pass the identity proofing requirements.

How do I get an IP PIN?

If you’re volunteering for the IP PIN Opt-In Program you should use the online Get An IP PIN tool which will be available mid-January.

If you don’t already have an account on IRS.gov, you must register to validate your identity. Before you register, read about the secure access identity authentication process.

If you’re volunteering for the IP PIN Opt-In program and you can’t successfully validate your identity through the Get an IP PIN tool, there are alternatives. Please note: using an alternative method will delay your IP PIN. One alternative to using the online tool is filing Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (available mid-January 2021) if your income is $72,000 or less. To apply this way, you must have:

  • A valid SSN or ITIN;
  • An adjusted gross income of $72,000 or less; and
  • Access to a telephone.

IRS will use the telephone number provided on the Form 15227 to call you, validate your identity, and assign you an IP PIN for the next filing season. For security reasons, the IP PIN cannot be used for the current filing season. You will receive your IP PIN via the U.S. Postal Service the following year and in the future.

For other application options, see IRS’s Get An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) page.

How does the IP PIN process work?

Enter the six-digit IP PIN when prompted by your tax software product, provide it to your trusted tax professional preparing your tax return, or enter it on your paper tax return.

Be aware, correct IP PINs must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays. An incorrect or missing IP PIN will result in the rejection of your e-filed return or a delay of your paper return until it can be verified.

Don’t reveal your IP PIN

Your IP PIN should be known only to your tax professional and only when you are ready to sign and submit your return. Be aware that the IRS will never ask for your IP PIN. Phone calls, emails, or texts asking for your IP PIN are scams.

Want to opt-out of the program later?

The IRS plans to offer an opt out feature to the IP PIN program in 2022 if taxpayers find it is not right for them.

For more information about the program and other alternative application options, see IRS’s Get An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) page and FAQs about the Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN).

For more information about Identity Theft, visit IRS’s Identity Theft Central site and our Identity Theft Get Help page.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS       

How COVID-19 Legislation May Affect Your Taxes

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 11 2021

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The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), signed into law Dec. 27, 2020, provides extensive relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as another round of “recovery rebate” payments to individuals and an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for businesses and other employers. The legislation includes some tax relief as well.

A brief overview

Here’s a brief overview of some of the tax-related provisions that may affect you or your business:

Individuals

  • Permanent reduction of adjusted gross income (AGI) floor to 7.5% for medical expense deductions
  • Extended nonitemizer deduction for up to $300 of cash donations ($600 for married couples filing jointly) to qualified charities through 2021
  • Extended 100% of AGI deduction limit for cash donations to qualified charities through 2021
  • Extended exclusion for certain employer payments of student loans through 2025

Businesses and other employers

  • Clarification of tax treatment for PPP loans, certain loan forgiveness and other financial assistance under COVID-19 legislation
  • Extended payroll tax credits for paid leave required under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) through March 2021
  • Extended and expanded tax credits for retaining employees under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act through June 2021
  • 100% business meals deduction for food and beverages provided by restaurants in 2021 and 2022
  • Extended Work Opportunity credit through 2025
  • Extended New Markets credit through 2025
  • Extended family medical leave credit through 2025

More details

This is just a brief look at some of the most significant tax-related provisions in this 5,500+ page legislation. Contact us for more details on how the CAA may affect you.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters    

Second round of Economic Impact Payments have begun

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 11 2021

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The IRS began delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP 2) as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans.

Payments are automatic for eligible taxpayers

No action is required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment, as the payments are automatic.

As with the first round of payments issued under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, most recipients will receive these payments by direct deposit. For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way. Anyone who received the first round of payments earlier this year but doesn’t receive a payment via direct deposit will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a debit card.

Who is eligible and how much will I receive?

Generally, if you have adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2019 up to $75,000 for single individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses, you will receive the full amount of the second payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by 5% of the amount by which your AGI exceeds the applicable threshold above.

The second round of payments, or “EIP 2,” is up to $600 for single taxpayers and up to $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive up to $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.

When will I receive the payment?

Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021. Payments are automatic and you should not contact your financial institution with questions about payment timing. Paper checks began to be mailed out on December 30. The current round of stimulus payments should be completed by Jan. 15, according to the bill’s text.

Can I track my payment?

Taxpayers can use the IRS’s Get My Payment tool, in English or Spanish, to see payment information.

Get My Payment will let you confirm:

  • That we sent your second Economic Impact payment, also known as a stimulus payment.
  • That we sent your first payment. Some people received their first Economic Impact Payment in partial payments. If you received partial payments, the application will show only the most recent.
  • Your payment type: direct deposit or mail.

Note: Data is updated once per day overnight, so there’s no need to check back more than once per day.

IRS phone assistors and the Taxpayer Advocate Service do not have additional information beyond what’s available on IRS.gov and in the Get My Payment application.

What if I did not get a payment previously, but I qualify?

Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment – either the first or the second payment – will be able to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) when they file their 2020 tax returns in 2021. People will see the EIPs referred to as the RRC on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are an advance payment of the RRC.

Please note that the new tax law provision now allows families to receive payments for the taxpayers and qualifying children of the family who have work-eligible Social Security Numbers (SSNs). If you file jointly with your spouse and only one individual has a valid SSN, the spouse with a valid SSN will receive up to a $600 payment and up to $600 for each qualifying child claimed on the 2019 tax return. However, if neither has a valid SSN, no payment will be allowed even if their qualifying child has a valid SSN. People in this group who don’t receive an EIP, can claim an RRC when they file their 2020 tax returns.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS

Follow these tips to help prevent common tax return filing issues and refund delays

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 11 2021

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Ready to file your tax return? Stop and check out these tax tips before you file to avoid delays and pass “go” with confidence.

Use your Form W-2, not your pay stub, to verify your income. Your employer generally has until February 1 to issue your Form W-2, and you should wait to receive it before you file. In case you didn’t know, IRS computer systems compare the income that is reported on your tax return to what has been reported to IRS. When income and/or federal income tax withholding don’t match, this can cause a delay in the processing of the return and any refund.

Double check that your information is correct for yourself and your dependents. Check name spellings, taxpayer identification numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and your bank account information for accuracy. Be aware that you must have valid Social Security numbers for all your dependents before filing or that may not only delay processing of your tax return, but in certain instances disqualify you for some refundable credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Don’t forget your W-2s, 1099s, and other attachments. This includes Form 8962 if you are claiming the Premium Tax Credit and Form 1099-G if you received unemployment benefits. Any income document that shows federal income tax was withheld must be attached to your return, if you are filing by paper. If you are filing electronically, follow the software provider’s instructions. If you are unable to obtain your W-2 (or other information returns like Form 1099, K-1, etc.) from your employer, because they closed, you can call the IRS for assistance at 1-800-829-1040, but you must wait until after February 1.

In January, some people who received unemployment benefits in 2020 will get a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, from the agency paying the benefits. The agency will either automatically send a hard copy or, if the agency does not mail the form, recipients will need to visit the agency’s website to get an electronic version of the form.

Also, taxpayers who received a federal tax refund in 2020 may have been paid interest. Refund interest payments are taxable and must be reported on federal income tax returns. In January 2021, the IRS will send Form 1099-INT to anyone who received interest totaling $10 or more.

You need a Form 1098-T from an eligible educational institution to claim education expenses. Eligible educational institutions have until January 31, to provide this form on paper or electronically to students. If not received by January 31, you’ll need to contact the Institution.

Be aware of tax software that imports prior year data automatically. If you are using the same software as the prior year, you’ll want to check that only the current year information is present, and that prior year data didn’t transfer over which may cause an error. So, double check your figures before hitting submit.

Find a free event

Our local Taxpayer Advocate offices around the country are offering virtual events, during January 2021, that go over these tips in more detail. In addition, some events will include more information about us and how we can help, should you need it throughout the year. Don’t worry if you can’t make one of these scheduled events though, as you can always download our one-page flyer showing these tips or print this page to review as you complete your tax return.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source : IRS       

Taxpayers who don’t itemize can take a special $300 charitable contribution deduction on 2020 tax returns

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 11 2021

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes several temporary provisions designed to help charities. These include higher elective limits for charitable cash contribution made by certain corporations, higher deduction limits for individuals and businesses for certain food donations made to food banks and other eligible charities, and a special $300 deduction.

The special $300 charitable contribution deduction is available to individual taxpayers who choose to take the standard deduction rather than itemizing their deductions. So, if you do not file Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, with your 2020 Form 1040 series income tax return, you can still take this $300 deduction ($150 deduction if your filing status is married filing separately) if your charitable cash donations qualify.

Prior to the CARES act change charitable contribution deductions could only be claimed on Schedule A and did not directly affect the adjusted gross income you reported on your tax return.

Please note that this article discusses only the special $300 charitable contribution deduction for individuals. For more information about other Coronavirus related tax relief provisions, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

What is allowed?

Charitable cash donations of up to $300 made to qualifying organizations before December 31, 2020, are now deductible for individuals who choose to use the standard deduction rather than itemizing their deductions.

Cash donations include those made by check, credit card or debit card. They don’t include donated services, household items, securities or other property.

What donations are considered allowable?

Though cash donations to most charitable organizations qualify, some do not. Before making a donation, people should check the special Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) tool on IRS.gov to make sure the organization qualifies and is eligible for tax-deductible donations.

Where do I claim it on my tax return?

The donation amount will be reported on Form 1040 series tax returns. Review the related form instructions for exactly where to report it on the form.

Forms and instructions can be found on IRS.gov at Forms, Instructions & Publications.

What records do I need to keep?

By law, special recordkeeping rules apply to any taxpayer claiming a charitable contribution deduction. Usually, this includes obtaining a receipt or acknowledgement letter from the charity before filing a tax return and retaining a cancelled check or credit card receipt.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS

6 Key Tax Q&As for 2021

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 11 2021

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Right now, you may be more concerned about your 2020 tax bill than you are about how to handle your personal finances in the new year. However, as you deal with your annual tax filing, it’s a good idea to also familiarize yourself with pertinent amounts that may have changed for 2021.

Not all tax figures are adjusted for inflation and, even if they are, they may be unchanged or change only slightly each year because of low inflation. In addition, some tax amounts can only change with new tax legislation. Here are six commonly asked (and answered) Q&As about 2021 tax-related figures:

1. How much can I contribute to an IRA for 2021? If you’re eligible, you can contribute $6,000 a year into a traditional or Roth IRA, up to 100% of your earned income. If you’re age 50 or older, you can make another $1,000 “catch up” contribution. (These amounts are the same as they were for 2020.)

2. I have a 401(k) plan through my job. How much can I contribute to it? For 2021, you can contribute up to $19,500 to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan. You can make an additional $6,500 catch-up contribution if you’re age 50 or older. (These amounts are also the same as they were for 2020.)

3. I sometimes hire a babysitter and a cleaning person. Do I have to withhold and pay FICA tax on the amounts I pay them? In 2021, the threshold for when a domestic employer must withhold and pay FICA for babysitters, house cleaners and other domestic employees is increasing to $2,300 from $2,200 for 2020.

4. How much do I have to earn in 2021 before I can stop paying Social Security tax on my salary? The Social Security tax wage base is $142,800 for 2021, up from $137,700 for 2020. That means that you don’t owe Social Security tax on amounts earned above that. (You must pay Medicare tax on all amounts that you earn.)

5. What’s the standard deduction for 2021? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the tax benefit of itemizing deductions for many people by significantly increasing the standard deduction and reducing or eliminating various itemized deductions. For 2021, the standard deduction amount is $25,100 for married couples filing jointly (up from $24,800 for 2020). For single filers, the amount is $12,550 (up from $12,400) and, for heads of households, it’s $18,800 (up from $18,650).

So, if the amount of your itemized deductions (such as charitable gifts and mortgage interest) are less than the applicable standard deduction amount, you won’t benefit from itemizing for 2021.

6. How much can I give to one person without triggering a gift tax return in 2021? The gift tax annual exclusion for 2021 is $15,000, unchanged from last year. This amount is only adjusted in $1,000 increments, so it typically increases only every few years.

These are only some of the tax figures that may apply to you. For more information about your tax picture, or if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters   

IS THE PERSON AT YOUR DOOR REALLY FROM THE IRS?

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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In certain situations, the IRS may send an employee out to your residence or place of business to collect past due taxes or conduct an audit of your return. With in-person scams continuing to take place across the country, the Taxpayer Advocate Service wants you to know how and when the IRS may contact you in person to help you protect yourself against possible in-person scams.

Eight things to know about in-person contacts from the IRS:

The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

There are special circumstances when the IRS will come to your home or business.

These include:

When you have an overdue tax bill;

When the IRS needs to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment;

To tour a business as part of an audit; or As part of a criminal investigation.
 

Revenue Officers are IRS employees who work cases that involve an amount owed or a delinquent tax return. Generally, Revenue Officer home or business visits are unannounced.

Revenue Officers carry two forms of official identification, a pocket commission and a HSPD-12 card. Both forms of ID have a photo of the employee and serial numbers. You can (and should) ask to see both IDs before discussing any sensitive or personal information. You may also call the IRS at a phone number provided by the Revenue Officer to confirm his or her identity.

The IRS can assign certain cases to private collection agencies (PCAs) after notifying you in writing. These PCAs will never visit you at your home or business.

The IRS will not ask you to make a payment to anyone other than to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Revenue Agents are IRS employees conducting audits. They may call you to set up appointments, but not without having first notified you by mail. Therefore, by the time a Revenue Agent visits you at your home or business, you will be aware of the audit.

An IRS Criminal Investigator may visit your home or business unannounced while conducting an investigation. However, these are federal law enforcement agents and they will not demand any sort of payment.

When interacting with you, Revenue Officers have the responsibility to educate you about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) and identify economic hardships if you have an outstanding federal tax debt and payment creates a hardship. They also have the responsibility to consider other means of resolving tax debts, including installment agreements and offers in compromise.

IRS employees do not:

Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.

Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers, or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.

If you believe you were visited by someone impersonating the IRS, you can find information on how to report scams here.

Need help with a specific tax problem?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers' rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn't working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.
Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 877-777-4778.

Read more about the kinds of problems TAS handles and how we may be able to assist you with yours.

For current information about IRS operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit irs.gov.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS   

How to Confirm the Identity of a Field Revenue Officer If They Come Knocking at Your Door

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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In certain situations, the IRS may send an employee out to your residence or place of business to collect past due taxes or conduct an audit of your return. With in-person scams continuing to take place across the country, the Taxpayer Advocate Service wants you to know how and when the IRS may contact you in person to help you protect yourself against possible in-person scams.

Eight things to know about in-person contacts from the IRS:

The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

There are special circumstances when the IRS will come to your home or business.

These include:

When you have an overdue tax bill;

When the IRS needs to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment;

To tour a business as part of an audit; or As part of a criminal investigation.

Revenue Officers are IRS employees who work cases that involve an amount owed or a delinquent tax return. Generally, Revenue Officer home or business visits are unannounced.

Revenue Officers carry two forms of official identification, a pocket commission and a HSPD-12 card. Both forms of ID have a photo of the employee and serial numbers. You can (and should) ask to see both IDs before discussing any sensitive or personal information. You may also call the IRS at a phone number provided by the Revenue Officer to confirm his or her identity.

The IRS can assign certain cases to private collection agencies (PCAs) after notifying you in writing. These PCAs will never visit you at your home or business.

The IRS will not ask you to make a payment to anyone other than to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Revenue Agents are IRS employees conducting audits. They may call you to set up appointments, but not without having first notified you by mail. Therefore, by the time a Revenue Agent visits you at your home or business, you will be aware of the audit.

An IRS Criminal Investigator may visit your home or business unannounced while conducting an investigation. However, these are federal law enforcement agents and they will not demand any sort of payment.

When interacting with you, Revenue Officers have the responsibility to educate you about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) and identify economic hardships if you have an outstanding federal tax debt and payment creates a hardship. They also have the responsibility to consider other means of resolving tax debts, including installment agreements and offers in compromise.

IRS employees do not:

Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.

Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers, or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.

If you believe you were visited by someone impersonating the IRS, you can find information on how to report scams here.

Need help with a specific tax problem?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers' rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn't working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.
Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 877-777-4778.

Read more about the kinds of problems TAS handles and how we may be able to assist you with yours.

For current information about IRS operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit irs.gov.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS   

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PREPAYING A MORTGAGE, AND SHOULD I IF I CAN?

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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It is highly recommended that you prepay as much of your mortgage as possible every month, which will drastically reduce the total amount that you pay.

However, there are times where this could be disadvantageous.

If you are in a situation where you don't have funds to cover three to six months of expenses, it is recommended that you save that amount before you pay additional amounts on your mortgage.

If you have a large amount of credit card debt, over the long run, you will save more money by knocking down those high interest loans first.

There also may be times where that money would be more wisely invested in the market, depending on the expected rate of return versus how much you would save in early payments.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

HOW SIGNIFICANTLY DOES MY ADDRESS AFFECT MY INSURANCE?

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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There is a big difference in the premiums that people pay in the suburbs where there is much less traffic congestion as opposed to people that live in big cities with many accidents per capita. Usually this is judged by the zip code of which you register as your home.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters  

RENEW INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS BEFORE THEY EXPIRE

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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Earlier this year, the IRS issued a reminder to certain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) holders whose ITINs expire on December 31, 2020. An individual taxpayer’s failure to timely renew an ITIN may result in a delay of a refund claimed on a 2020 federal income tax return.

The renewal process can take up to sixty days or more, so it is critical to begin the process of renewal now.

Who needs to renew?

Taxpayers who expect to file a federal tax return during 2021 and whose ITIN contains the middle digits 88 (For example: 9NN-88-NNNN) or 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99.

Note: Taxpayer ITINs need to be renewed even if the taxpayer has used it in the last three years.

The IRS may have already sent you a notice about this, but if you did not take action yet, please do so to avoid problems later.

How do I renew an ITIN?

To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must complete a Form W-7 and submit all required documentation. Taxpayers submitting a Form W-7 to renew their ITIN are not required to attach a federal tax return. However, taxpayers must still note a reason for needing an ITIN on the Form W-7. See the Form W-7 instructions for detailed information.

Taxpayers with an expiring ITIN have the option to renew ITINs for their entire family at the same time. Those who have received a renewal letter from the IRS can choose to renew the family's ITINs together, even if family members have an ITIN with middle digits that have not been identified for expiration. Family members include the tax filer, spouse and any dependents claimed on the tax return.

See our Getting An ITIN help page or the IRS’s reminder page for more information about ways to submit the Form W-7 application package.

How do I avoid errors?

Double check your Form W-7 for missing entries.

Ensure you attach all required documentation (e.g., medical records, school records, identification documents like a valid passport, etc.).

Ensure all required signatures are on the Form W-7.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS       

INTRAFAMILY LOANS AND A FAMILY BANK

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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Among the primary goals of estate planning is to put in writing how you want your wealth distributed to loved ones after your death. But what if you want to use that wealth to help a family member in need while you’re still alive? This has become an increasingly common and pressing issue this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to the U.S. economy.

One way to help family members hit hard by job loss or increased debt is through an intrafamily loan or even by establishing a full-fledged family bank.

Structure loans carefully

Lending can be a way to provide your family financial assistance without triggering unwanted gift taxes. As long as a loan is structured in a manner similar to an arm’s-length loan between unrelated parties, it won’t be treated as a taxable gift.

This means, among other steps, documenting the loan with a promissory note and charging interest at or above the applicable federal rate (which is now historically low). You’ll also need to establish a fixed repayment schedule and ensure that the borrower has a reasonable prospect of repaying the loan.

Even if taxes aren’t a concern, intrafamily loans offer important benefits. For example, they allow you to help your family financially without depleting your wealth or creating a sense of entitlement. Done right, these loans can promote accountability and help cultivate the younger generation’s entrepreneurial capabilities by providing financing to start a business.

Maybe open a bank

Too often, however, people lend money to family members with little planning or regard for potential unintended consequences. Rash lending decisions may lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, conflicts among family members and false expectations. That’s where a family bank comes into play.

A family bank is a family-owned and funded entity — such as a dynasty trust, a family limited partnership or a combination of the two — designed for the sole purpose of making intrafamily loans. Often, family banks can offer financing to family members who might have difficulty obtaining a loan from a bank or other traditional funding sources, or lend at more favorable terms.

By “professionalizing” family lending activities, a family bank can preserve the tax-saving power of intrafamily loans while minimizing negative consequences. The key to avoiding family conflicts and resentment is to build a strong governance structure that promotes communication, decision making and transparency.

Establishing guidelines regarding the types of loans the family bank is authorized to make — and allowing all family members to participate in the decision-making process — ensures that family members are treated fairly and avoids false expectations.

Learn more

More than likely, someone in your extended family has faced difficult financial circumstances this year. Contact us to learn more about intrafamily loans.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:Thomson Reuters         

NEWLY EXPANDED ‘CLOSING A BUSINESS’ INFORMATION PROVIDES STEP-BY-STEP ACTIONS

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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Closing your business can be a difficult and challenging task. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) partnered with IRS to expand its Closing a Business page to help business owners understand the specific actions needed, from a federal tax perspective, for each type of business.

However, before you make the decision to close, if it is due to financial reasons related to the coronavirus, please use TAS’s COVID-19 Business Tax Relief Tool to see if you qualify for new employer tax credits that may help you stay in business. Read more about the benefits of this tool before you try.

If ultimately you do need to close your business, whether you have a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation, the information on this page will help you understand:

What forms you need to file;

How to report the income you receive; and,

How to claim the expenses you incur before closing your business.

Remember to also check your state responsibilities when closing a business.

TAS Resources

COVID-19 Business Tax Relief Tool

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tax Relief

Taxpayer Advocate Service Help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is uniquely positioned to assist all taxpayers (and their representatives), including individuals, businesses, and exempt organizations. If you qualify for our help, an advocate will be with you at every turn and do everything possible to assist through the process.

Currently, TAS is open to virtually serve taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. Visit our Contact Us page to learn more.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS      

HANDLE MUTUAL FUNDS CAREFULLY AT YEAR END

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 14 2020

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As we approach the end of 2020, now is a good time to review any mutual fund holdings in your taxable accounts and take steps to avoid potential tax traps. Here are some tips.

Avoid surprises

Unlike with stocks, you can’t avoid capital gains on mutual funds simply by holding on to the shares. Near the end of the year, funds typically distribute all or most of their net realized capital gains to investors. If you hold mutual funds in taxable accounts, these gains will be taxable to you regardless of whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in the fund.

For each fund, determine how large these distributions will be and get a breakdown of long-term vs. short-term gains. If the tax impact will be significant, consider strategies to offset the gain. For example, you could sell other investments at a loss.

Buyer beware

Avoid buying into a mutual fund shortly before it distributes capital gains and dividends for the year. There’s a common misconception that investing in a mutual fund just before the ex-dividend date (the date by which you must own shares to qualify for a distribution) is like getting free money.

In reality, the value of your shares is immediately reduced by the amount of the distribution, so you’ll owe taxes on the gain without actually achieving an economic benefit.

Seller beware, too

If you plan to sell mutual fund shares that have appreciated in value, consider waiting until just after year end so you can defer the gain until 2021 — unless you think you’ll be subject to a higher rate next year. In that scenario, you’d likely be better off recognizing the gain and paying the tax this year.

When you do sell shares, keep in mind that, if you bought them over time, each block will have a different holding period and cost basis. To reduce your tax liability, it’s possible to select shares for sale that have higher cost bases and longer holding periods (known as the specific identification method), thereby minimizing your gain (or maximizing your loss) and avoiding higher-taxed short-term gains.

Think beyond taxes

Investment decisions shouldn’t be driven by tax considerations alone. You also need to know your risk tolerance and keep an eye on your overall financial goals. Nonetheless, taxes are still an important factor. Contact us to discuss these and other year-end strategies for minimizing the tax impact of your mutual fund holdings.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters      

TAXABLE VS. TAX-ADVANTAGED: WHERE TO HOLD INVESTMENTS

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 04 2020

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When investing for retirement or other long-term goals, people usually prefer tax-advantaged accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s or 403(b)s. Certain assets are well suited to these accounts, but it may make more sense to hold other investments in traditional taxable accounts.

Know the rules

Some investments, such as fast-growing stocks, can generate substantial capital gains, which may occur when you sell a security for more than you paid for it.

If you’ve owned that position for over a year, you face long-term gains, taxed at a maximum rate of 20%. In contrast, short-term gains, assessed on holding periods of a year or less, are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate — maxing out at 37%. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)

Choose tax efficiency

Generally, the more tax efficient an investment, the more benefit you’ll get from owning it in a taxable account. Conversely, investments that lack tax efficiency normally are best suited to tax-advantaged vehicles.

Consider municipal bonds (“munis”), either held individually or through mutual funds. Munis are attractive to tax-sensitive investors because their income is exempt from federal income taxes and sometimes state and local income taxes. Because you don’t get a double benefit when you own an already tax-advantaged security in a tax-advantaged account, holding munis in your 401(k) or IRA would result in a lost opportunity.

Similarly, tax-efficient investments such as passively managed index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, or long-term stock holdings, are generally appropriate for taxable accounts. These securities are more likely to generate long-term capital gains, which have more favorable tax treatment. Securities that generate more of their total return via capital appreciation or that pay qualified dividends are also better taxable account options.

Take advantage of income

What investments work best for tax-advantaged accounts? Taxable investments that tend to produce much of their return in income. This category includes corporate bonds, especially high-yield bonds, as well as real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are required to pass through most of their earnings as shareholder income. Most REIT dividends are nonqualified and therefore taxed at your ordinary-income rate.

Another tax-advantaged-appropriate investment may be an actively managed mutual fund. Funds with significant turnover — meaning their portfolio managers are actively buying and selling securities — have increased potential to generate short-term gains that ultimately get passed through to you. Because short-term gains are taxed at a higher rate than long-term gains, these funds would be less desirable in a taxable account.

Get specific advice

The above concepts are only general suggestions. Please contact our firm for specific advice on what may be best for you.

Sidebar: Doing due diligence on dividends

If you own a lot of income-generating investments, you’ll need to pay attention to the tax rules for dividends, which belong to one of two categories:

  • Qualified. These dividends are paid by U.S. corporations or qualified foreign corporations. Qualified dividends are, like long-term gains, subject to a maximum tax rate of 20%, though many people are eligible for a 15% rate. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)
  • Nonqualified. These dividends — which include most distributions from real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships — receive a less favorable tax treatment. Like short-term gains, nonqualified dividends are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

The Right to Be Informed

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 03 2020

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Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the law and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.

What This Means for You

If you receive a notice fully or partially disallowing your refund claim, including a refund you claim on your income tax return, it must explain the specific reasons why the claim is being disallowed. IRC § 6402(l)

Generally, if you owe a penalty, each written notice of such penalty must provide an explanation of the penalty, including the name of the penalty, the authority under the Internal Revenue Code, and how it is calculated. IRC § 6751(a)

During an in-person interview with the IRS as part of an audit, the IRS employee must explain the audit process and your rights under that process. Likewise, during an in-person interview with the IRS concerning the collection of your tax, the IRS employee must explain the collection process and your rights under that process. IRC § 7521(b)(1)

Generally, the IRS uses Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer to meet this requirement.

The IRS must include on certain notices the amount (if any) of the tax, interest, and certain penalties you owe and must explain why you owe these amounts. IRC § 7522

The IRS must inform you in certain publications and instructions that when you file a joint income tax return with your spouse, both of you are responsible for all tax due and any additional amounts due for that tax year, unless “innocent spouse” relief applies. RRA 98 § 3501(a)

The IRS must inform you in Publication 1 Your Rights as a Taxpayer and all collection related notices that in certain circumstances you may be relieved of all or part of the tax owed with your joint return. This is sometimes referred to as “innocent spouse relief.” RRA 98 § 3501(b)

The IRS must explain in Publication 1 Your Rights as a Taxpayer how it selects which taxpayers will be audited. RRA 98 § 3503

If the IRS proposes to assess tax against you, it will send you a letter providing the examination report, stating the proposed changes, and providing you with the opportunity for a review by an Appeals Officer if you respond generally within 30 days. This letter, which in some cases is the first communication from the examiner, must provide an explanation of the entire process from examination (audit) through collection and explain that the Taxpayer Advocate Service may be able to assist you. RRA § 3504

Generally, Publication 3498, The Examination Process, or Publication 3498-A The Examination Process (Audits by Mail) is included with this letter.

If you enter into a payment plan, known as an installment agreement, the IRS must send you an annual statement that provides how much you owe at the beginning of the year, how much you paid during the year, and how much you still owe at the end of the year. RRA § 98 3506, Treas. Reg. § 301.6159-1(h)

You have the right to access certain IRS records, including instructions and manuals to staff, unless such records are required or permitted to be withheld under the Internal Revenue Code, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Privacy Act. Certain IRS records must be available to you electronically.

If the IRS is proposing to adjust the amount of tax you owe, you will typically be sent a statutory notice of deficiency, which informs you of the proposed change. This notice provides you with a right to challenge the proposed adjustment in Tax Court without first paying the proposed adjustment. To exercise this right, you must file a petition with the Tax Court within 90 days of the date of the notice being sent (or 150 days if the taxpayer’s address on the notice is outside the United States or if the taxpayer is out of the country at the time the notice is mailed). Thus, the statutory notice of deficiency is your ticket to Tax Court. IRC §§ 6212; 6213(b)

For more information about the United States Tax Court, see the Court’s taxpayer information page.

The IRS should ensure that its written guidance and correspondence is accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: TAS   

HOW SHOULD UNMARRIED COUPLES PROTECT THEIR ESTATE AND FINANCIAL HOLDINGS?

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 03 2020

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Here are some important steps to take for couples that are unmarried:

  • Draft wills. The chances of the intentions being followed through with after a death are greater if both partners make wills. Without wills, the probability of the unmarried surviving partner having no rights is more likely.
  • Think about owning property together. This is a way to guarantee that property will pass to the other joint owner at the time of the other's death due to the right of survivorship.
  • Make a durable power of attorney. This will permit the partner to sign papers and checks and take care of other financial issues on his/her behalf should one become incapacitated.
  • Make a health care proxy. Also known as a medical power of attorney, this permits the partner to talk on your behalf to make medical decisions, should you become injured.
  • Have a living will. This lets your wishes regarding artificial feeding and other measures to prolong your life be known.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

Here’s what taxpayers can do now to Get Ready to file taxes in 2021

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 03 2020

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Check their withholding and make any adjustments soon

Since most taxpayers typically only have a few pay dates left this year, checking their withholding soon is especially important. It's even more important for those who:

  • Received a smaller refund than expected after filing their 2019 taxes this year.
  • Owed an unexpected tax bill last year.
  • Experienced personal or financial changes that might change their tax liability.

Some people may owe an unexpected tax bill when they file their 2020 tax return next year, if they didn't have enough withheld throughout the year. To avoid this kind of surprise, taxpayers should use the Tax Withholding Estimator to perform a quick paycheck or pension income checkup. Doing so helps them decide if they need to adjust their withholding or make estimated or additional tax payments now.

Gather tax documents and keep them for at least three years

Everyone should come up with a recordkeeping system. Whether it's electronic or paper, they should use a system to keep all important information in one place. Having all needed documents on hand before they prepare their return helps them file a complete and accurate tax return. This includes:

  • Their 2019 tax return.
  • Form W-2 from employers.
  • Form 1099 from banks and other payers.
  • Forms 1095-A from the marketplace for those claiming the premium tax credit.
  • Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation.
  • Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment.

Most income is taxable, including unemployment compensation, refund interest and income from the gig economy and virtual currencies. Therefore, taxpayers should also gather any documents from these types of earnings. People should keep copies of tax returns and all supporting documents for at least three years.

Confirm mailing and email addresses

To make sure forms make it to the taxpayer on time, people should confirm now that each employer, bank and other payer has the taxpayer's current mailing address or email address. Typically, forms start arriving by mail or are available online in January.

Remember these new things when preparing for the 2021 tax filing season

  • Taxpayers may be able to claim the recovery rebate credit if they met the eligibility requirements in 2020 and one of the following applies to them:
    • They didn't receive an Economic Impact Payment in 2020.
    • They are single and their payment was less than $1,200.
    • They are married, filed jointly for 2018 or 2019 and their payment was less than $2,400.
    • They didn't receive $500 for each qualifying child.
  • Taxpayers who received a federal tax refund in 2020 may have been paid interest. The IRS sent interest payments to individual taxpayers who timely filed their 2019 federal income tax returns and received refunds. Most interest payments were received separately from tax refunds. Interest payments are taxable and must be reported on 2020 federal income tax returns. In January 2021, the IRS will send a Form 1099-INT, Interest Income to anyone who received interest totaling at least $10.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811

Source: IRS

ABLE accounts are a valuable benefit for taxpayers with disabilities

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 03 2020

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Living with a disability can come with additional expenses. Achieving a Better Life Experience accounts are authorized tax-advantaged 529A accounts that help disabled people pay qualified disability-related expenses.

Here are some key things people should know about these accounts.

Annual contribution limit

  • The limit remains $15,000 in 2020.
  • Certain employed ABLE account beneficiaries may make an additional contribution up to the lesser of these amounts:
    • The designated beneficiary's compensation for the tax year 
    • The poverty line for a one-person household. For 2020, this amount is $12,490 in the continental U.S., $15,600 in Alaska and $14,380 in Hawaii. 

Saver's credit

  • ABLE account designated beneficiaries may now be eligible to claim the saver's credit for a percentage of their contributions. 
  • The beneficiary claims the credit on Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions PDF. The saver's credit is a non-refundable credit available to individuals who meet these three requirements:
    • Are at least 18 years old at the close of the taxable year
    • Are not a dependent or a full-time student
    • Meet the income requirements

Rollovers and transfers from section 529 plans

  • Families may now roll over funds from a 529 plan to another family member's ABLE account. 
  • The ABLE account must be for the same beneficiary as the 529 account or for a member of the same family as the 529 account holder. Rollovers from a section 529 plan count toward the annual contribution limit. For example, the $15,000 annual contribution limit would be met by parents contributing $10,000 to their child's ABLE account and rolling over $5,000 from a 529 plan to the same ABLE account.

Qualified disability expenses

  • States can offer ABLE accounts to help people who become disabled before age 26 or their families pay for disability-related expenses. These expenses include housing, education, transportation, health, prevention and wellness, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services.
  • Though contributions aren't deductible for federal tax purposes, distributions, including earnings, are tax-free to the beneficiary, as long as they are used to pay qualified disability expenses. 

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811

Source: IRS      

CREDIT FOR THE ELDERLY OR DISABLED

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 03 2020

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You may be able to take the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled if you were age 65 or older at the end of last year, or if you are retired on permanent and total disability, according to the IRS. Like any other tax credit, it's a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill. The maximum amount of this credit is constantly changing.

You can take the credit for the elderly or the disabled if:

  • You are a qualified individual,
  • Your nontaxable income from Social Security or other nontaxable pension is less than $3,750 to $7,500 (also depending on your filing status).

Generally, you are a qualified individual for this credit if you are a U.S. citizen or resident at the end of the tax year and you are age 65 or older, or you are under 65, retired on permanent and total disability, received taxable disability income, and did not reach mandatory retirement age before the beginning of the tax year.

If you are under age 65, you can qualify for the credit only if you are retired on permanent and total disability. This means that:

  • You were permanently and totally disabled when you retired, and
  • You retired on disability before the end of the tax year.

Even if you do not retire formally, you are considered retired on disability when you have stopped working because of your disability. If you feel you might be eligible for this credit, please contact us for assistance.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

Security Summit partners warn taxpayers of new COVID-related text scam

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 03 2020

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The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry are warning of a new text scam created by thieves that trick people into disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.

The IRS, states and industry, working together as the Security Summit, remind taxpayers that neither the IRS nor state agencies will ever text taxpayers asking for bank account information so that an EIP deposit may be made.

"Criminals are relentlessly using COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments as cover to try to trick taxpayers out of their money or identities," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "This scam is a new twist on those we've been seeing much of this year. We urge people to remain alert to these types of scams."

The scam text message states: "You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment …" The text includes a link to a fake phishing web address.

This fake phishing URL, which appears to come from a state agency or relief organization, takes recipients to a fraudulent website that impersonates the IRS.gov Get My Payment website. Individuals who visit the fraudulent website and then enter their personal and financial account information will have their information collected by these scammers.

People who receive this text scam should take a screen shot of the text message that they received and then include the screenshot in an email to phishing@irs.gov with the following information:

The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails. The IRS does not call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, nor does it demand tax payments on gift cards.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811

Source: IRS   

IRS to mask key business transcript details; protect taxpayers from identity theft

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 03 2020

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Moving to protect business taxpayers from identity theft, the Internal Revenue Service announced that starting December 13 it will begin masking sensitive data on business tax transcripts.

The announcement provides 30 days for stakeholders to make any adjustments. The IRS began informing tax professionals of this change during the summer Nationwide Tax Forums. The agency previously masked sensitive data on individual tax transcripts two years ago.

A tax transcript is a summary of a tax return. Transcripts are often used by tax professionals to prepare prior year tax returns or represent the client before the IRS. Lenders and others use tax transcripts for income verification purposes.

Here's what is visible on the new tax transcript:

  • Last four digits of any Employer Identification Number listed on the transcript: XX-XXX1234
  • Last four digits of any Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification Number listed on the transcript: XXX-XX-1234
  • Last four digits of any account or telephone number
  • First four characters of the first, and last name for any individual (first three characters if the name has only four letters)
  • First four characters of any name on the business name line
  • First six characters of the street address, including spaces
  • All money amounts, including wage and income, balance due, interest and penalties

For both the individual and business tax transcript, there is space for a Customer File Number. The Customer File Number is an optional 10-digit number that can be created usually by third parties that allow them to match a transcript to a taxpayer. The Customer File Number field will appear on the transcript when that number is entered on Line 5 of Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, and Form 4506T-EZ.

Here's how it would work for a taxpayer seeking to verify income for a lender:

1.   The lender will assign a 10-digit number, for example, a loan number, to the Form 4506-T. The Form 4506-T may be signed and submitted by the taxpayer or signed by the taxpayer and submitted by the lender.

2.   The Customer File Number assigned by the requestor on the Form 4506-T will populate on the transcript. The requestor may assign any number except the taxpayer's Social Security number or Employer Identification Number.

3.   Once received by the requester, the transcript's Customer File Number serves as the tracking number to match it to the taxpayer.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811

Source: IRS    

IRS Criminal Investigation releases Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report; identifies $2.3 billion in tax fraud

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 25 2020

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The Internal Revenue Service released the Criminal Investigation Division's annual report, highlighting the agency's successes and criminal enforcement actions taken in fiscal year 2020, the majority of which occurred during COVID-19. A key achievement was the identification of over $10 billion in tax fraud and other financial crimes.

"The special agents and professional staff who make up Criminal Investigation continue to perform at an incredibly high-level year after year," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Even in the face of a global pandemic, the CI workforce initiated nearly 1,600 investigations and identified $2.3 billion in tax fraud schemes. This is no small feat during a challenging year, and their work is critical to protecting taxpayers and the integrity of our tax system."

Key focuses of CI in fiscal year 2020 included COVID-19 related fraud, cybercrimes, with an emphasis on virtual and cryptocurrencies, traditional tax investigations, international tax enforcement, employment tax, refund fraud and tax-related identity theft.

In response to COVID-19 related crimes, CI special agents quickly adapted their investigative techniques to initiate cases into fraudulent claims for Economic Impact Payments, Paycheck Protection Program loans, and refundable payroll tax credits from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

"This year, more than any in recent memory, demonstrated the extraordinary agility and adaptability of the CI workforce," said Jim Lee, Chief of CI. "Clearly, unscrupulous individuals sought to exploit the economic safeguards put in place to buttress a nation in crisis. These individuals and groups were instead met with a cadre of special agents determined to thwart their efforts."

In fiscal year 2020, CI initiated 1,598 cases, applying 73% of its time to tax related investigations. The number of CI special agents increased by one percent, following special agent hiring to offset planned retirements. CI continued increasing its usage of data analytics and strengthening its international partnerships to assist in finding the most impactful cases. One important partnership remained the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5); a transnational committee comprised of tax organizations from five countries. In FY 2020 alone, more information was shared regarding cryptocurrency, tax crimes, and related enforcement, than in the previous ten years combined. CI also saw the first guilty pleas for a case under the J5 umbrella.

As the only federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over federal tax crimes, CI has one of the highest conviction rates in federal law enforcement − at 90.4%. The high conviction rate reflects the thoroughness of CI investigations and the high caliber of CI agents. CI is routinely called upon by prosecutors and partner agencies across the country to lead financial investigations on a wide variety of financial crimes.

"While the annual report is an excellent summation of the hard work and dedication exhibited by CI, this year's report takes on special significance," Lee said. "This report unequivocally reflects the efforts of a workforce undaunted by unprecedented personal and professional challenges. I am profoundly grateful to serve with the men and women of CI."

The 2020 report is interactive, summarizes a wide variety of CI activity during the year and features examples of cases from each field office on a wide range of financial crimes. The federal fiscal year begins October 1 and ends on September 30.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811

Source: IRS       

Get Ready for Taxes: Get ready now to file 2020 federal income tax returns

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 25 2020

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The Internal Revenue Service  encourages taxpayers to take necessary actions this fall to help them file their federal tax returns timely and accurately in 2021, including special steps related to Economic Impact Payments (EIP).

This is the first in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines steps taxpayers can take now to prepare for the 2021 tax return filing season ahead.

Steps taxpayers can take now to make tax filing easier in 2021

Taxpayers should gather Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Forms 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, and other income documents to help determine if they're eligible for deductions or credits. They'll also need their Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, to calculate any Recovery Rebate Credit they may be eligible for on their 2020 Federal income tax return.

Most income is taxable, including unemployment compensation, refund interest and income from the gig economy and virtual currencies.

Taxpayers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) should ensure it hasn't expired before they file their 2020 federal tax return. If it has, IRS recommends they submit a Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, now to renew their ITIN. Taxpayers who fail to renew an ITIN before filing a tax return next year could face a delayed refund and may be ineligible for certain tax credits.

Taxpayers can use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from their paychecks. If they need to adjust their withholding for the rest of the year time is running out, they should submit a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Certificate, to their employer as soon as possible.

Taxpayers who received non-wage income like self-employment income, investment income, taxable Social Security benefits and in some instances, pension and annuity income, may have to make estimated tax payments. Payment options can be found at IRS.gov/payments.

New in 2021: Those who didn't receive an EIP may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit

Taxpayers may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if they met the eligibility criteria in 2020 and:

  • They didn't receive an Economic Impact Payment this year, or
  • Their Economic Impact Payment was less than $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing jointly for 2019 or 2018) plus $500 for each qualifying child.
  • For additional information about the Economic Impact Payment, taxpayers can visit the Economic Impact Payment Information Center.

Received interest on a federal tax refund? Remember these are taxable; include when filing

Taxpayers who received a federal tax refund in 2020 may have been paid interest. The IRS sent interest payments to individual taxpayers who timely filed their 2019 federal income tax returns and received refunds. Most interest payments were received separately from tax refunds. Interest payments are taxable and must be reported on 2020 federal income tax returns. In January 2021, the IRS will send a Form 1099-INT, Interest Income, to anyone who received interest totaling at least $10.

Although the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a 2020 federal tax refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer.

EITC/ACTC-related refunds should be available by first week of March

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund − even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Taxpayers should use Where's My Refund? for their personalized refund date.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:  IRS       

The Tax Impact of Business Property Remediation

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 25 2020

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If your company faces the need to “remediate” or clean up environmental contamination, the money you spend can be tax-deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses. Unfortunately, every type of environmental cleanup expense cannot be currently deducted — some cleanup costs must be capitalized (spread over multiple years for tax purposes).

To lower your current year tax bill as much as possible, you’ll want to claim as many immediate income tax benefits as allowed for the expenses you incur. So, it’s a good idea to explore the tax impact of business property remediation before you embark on the project. If you’ve already done cleanup during 2020, review the costs closely before filing your 2020 tax return.

Deduct vs. capitalize

Generally, cleanup costs are currently deductible to the extent they cover “incidental repairs” — for example, encapsulating exposed asbestos insulation. Other deductible expenses may include the actual cleanup costs, as well as expenses for environmental studies, surveys and investigations, fees for consulting and environmental engineering, legal and professional fees, and environmental “audit” and monitoring costs.

You may also be able to currently claim tax deductions for cleaning up contamination that your business caused on your own property (for example, removing soil contaminated by dumping wastes from your own manufacturing processes and replacing it with clean soil) — if you acquired that property in an uncontaminated state.

On the other hand, remediation costs generally must be capitalized if the remediation:

  • Adds significantly to the value of the cleaned-up property,
  • Prolongs the useful life of the property, or
  • Adapts the property to a new or different use.

In addition, you’ll likely need to capitalize the costs if the remediation makes up for depreciation, amortization or depletion that’s been claimed for tax purposes, or if it creates a separate capital asset that’s useful beyond the current tax year.

However, parts of these types of remediation costs may qualify for a current deduction. It depends on the facts and circumstances of your situation. For instance, in one case, the IRS required a taxpayer to capitalize the costs of surveying for contamination various sites that proved to be contaminated, but the agency allowed a current deduction for the costs of surveying the sites that proved to be uncontaminated.

Complex treatment

Along with federal tax deductions, state or local tax incentives may be available for cleaning up contaminated property. The tax treatment for the expenses can be complex. If you have environmental cleanup expenses, we can help plan your efforts to maximize the deductions available.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters    

Catching Up On Catch-up Contributions

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 25 2020

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When it comes to retirement planning, many people tend to focus on two things: opening a retirement savings account and then eventually drawing funds from it. However, there are other important aspects to truly doing everything you can to grow your nest egg.

One of them is celebrating your 50th birthday. This is because those age 50 or older on December 31 of any given year can start making “catch-up” contributions to their employer-sponsored retirement plans that year (assuming the plan allows them). These are additional contributions to certain accounts beyond the regular annual limits.

Maybe you haven’t yet saved as much for retirement as you’d like to. Or perhaps you’d just like to make the most of tax-advantaged savings opportunities. Whatever the case may be, now is a good time to get caught up on the 2020 catch-up contribution amounts because you might be able to increase your contributions for the year.

401(k)s and SIMPLEs

Under 401(k) limits for 2020, if you’re age 50 or older, you can contribute an extra $6,500 after you’ve reached the $19,500 maximum limit for all employees. That’s a total of $26,000.

If your employer offers a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) instead, your regular contribution maxes out at $13,500 in 2020. If you’re 50 or older, you’re allowed to contribute an additional $3,000 — or $16,500 in total for the year.

But be sure to check with your employer because, while most 401(k) plans and SIMPLEs offer catch-up contributions, not all do.

Self-employed plans

If you’re self-employed, retirement plans such as an individual 401(k) — or solo 401(k) — also allow catch-up contributions. A solo 401(k) is a plan for those with no other employees. You can defer 100% of your self-employment income or compensation, up to the regular 2020 aggregate deferral limit of $19,500, plus a $6,500 catch-up contribution in 2020. But that’s just the employee salary deferral portion of the contribution.

You can also make an “employer” contribution of up to 20% of self-employment income or 25% of compensation. The total combined employee-employer contribution is limited to $57,000, plus the $6,500 catch-up contribution.

IRAs, too

Catch-up contributions to non-Roth accounts not only can enlarge your retirement nest egg, but also can reduce your 2020 tax liability, generally if made by Dec. 31, 2020.

Keep in mind that catch-up contributions are available for IRAs, too. The deadline for 2020 IRA contributions isn’t until April 15, 2021, but deductible contributions may be limited or unavailable based on your income and whether you (or your spouse) is covered by a retirement plan at work. Please contact us for more information.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters    

TAXABLE VS. TAX-ADVANTAGED: WHERE TO HOLD INVESTMENTS

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 18 2020

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When investing for retirement or other long-term goals, people usually prefer tax-advantaged accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s or 403(b)s. Certain assets are well suited to these accounts, but it may make more sense to hold other investments in traditional taxable accounts.

Know the rules

Some investments, such as fast-growing stocks, can generate substantial capital gains, which may occur when you sell a security for more than you paid for it.

If you’ve owned that position for over a year, you face long-term gains, taxed at a maximum rate of 20%. In contrast, short-term gains, assessed on holding periods of a year or less, are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate — maxing out at 37%. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)

Choose tax efficiency

Generally, the more tax efficient an investment, the more benefit you’ll get from owning it in a taxable account. Conversely, investments that lack tax efficiency normally are best suited to tax-advantaged vehicles.

Consider municipal bonds (“munis”), either held individually or through mutual funds. Munis are attractive to tax-sensitive investors because their income is exempt from federal income taxes and sometimes state and local income taxes. Because you don’t get a double benefit when you own an already tax-advantaged security in a tax-advantaged account, holding munis in your 401(k) or IRA would result in a lost opportunity.

Similarly, tax-efficient investments such as passively managed index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, or long-term stock holdings, are generally appropriate for taxable accounts. These securities are more likely to generate long-term capital gains, which have more favorable tax treatment. Securities that generate more of their total return via capital appreciation or that pay qualified dividends are also better taxable account options.

Take advantage of income

What investments work best for tax-advantaged accounts? Taxable investments that tend to produce much of their return in income. This category includes corporate bonds, especially high-yield bonds, as well as real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are required to pass through most of their earnings as shareholder income. Most REIT dividends are nonqualified and therefore taxed at your ordinary-income rate.

Another tax-advantaged-appropriate investment may be an actively managed mutual fund. Funds with significant turnover — meaning their portfolio managers are actively buying and selling securities — have increased potential to generate short-term gains that ultimately get passed through to you. Because short-term gains are taxed at a higher rate than long-term gains, these funds would be less desirable in a taxable account.

Get specific advice

The above concepts are only general suggestions. Please contact our firm for specific advice on what may be best for you.

Sidebar: Doing due diligence on dividends

If you own a lot of income-generating investments, you’ll need to pay attention to the tax rules for dividends, which belong to one of two categories:

  • Qualified. These dividends are paid by U.S. corporations or qualified foreign corporations. Qualified dividends are, like long-term gains, subject to a maximum tax rate of 20%, though many people are eligible for a 15% rate. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)
  • Nonqualified. These dividends — which include most distributions from real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships — receive a less favorable tax treatment. Like short-term gains, nonqualified dividends are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

REFINANCING YOUR HOME

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 18 2020

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Taxpayers who refinanced their homes may be eligible to deduct some costs associated with their loans.

Generally, for taxpayers who itemize, the “points” paid to obtain a home mortgage may be deductible as mortgage interest. Points paid to obtain an original home mortgage can be, depending on circumstances, fully deductible in the year paid. However, points paid solely to refinance a home mortgage usually must be deducted over the life of the loan.

For a refinanced mortgage, the interest deduction for points is determined by dividing the points paid by the number of payments to be made over the life of the loan. This information is usually available from lenders. Taxpayers may deduct points only for those payments made in the tax year. For example, a homeowner who paid $2,000 in points and who would make 360 payments on a 30-year mortgage could deduct $5.56 per monthly payment, or a total of $66.72 if he or she made 12 payments in one year.

However, if part of the refinanced mortgage money was used to finance improvements to the home and if the taxpayer meets certain other requirements, the points associated with the home improvements may be fully deductible in the year the points were paid. Also, if a homeowner is refinancing a mortgage for a second time, the balance of points paid for the first refinanced mortgage may be fully deductible at pay off.

Other closing costs — such as appraisal fees and other non-interest fees — generally are not deductible. Additionally, the amount of Adjusted Gross Income can affect the amount of deductions that can be taken.  Please contact us if you've recently refinanced, and we can be a big help!

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

PLANNING FOR THE NET INVESTMENT INCOME TAX

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 18 2020

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Despite its name, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) didn’t cut all types of taxes. It left several taxes unchanged, including the 3.8% tax on net investment income (NII) of high-income taxpayers.

You’re potentially liable for the NII tax if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers and qualifying widows or widowers; $125,000 for married taxpayers filing separately). Generally, MAGI is the same as adjusted gross income. However, it may be higher if you have foreign earned income and certain foreign investments.

To calculate the tax, multiply 3.8% by the lesser of 1) your NII, or 2) the amount by which your MAGI exceeds the threshold. For example, if you’re single with $250,000 in MAGI and $75,000 in NII, your tax would be 3.8% × $50,000 ($250,000 - $200,000), or $1,900.

NII generally includes net income from, among others, taxable interest, dividends, capital gains, rents, royalties and passive business activities. Several types of income are excluded from NII, such as wages, most nonpassive business income, retirement plan distributions and Social Security benefits. Also excluded is the nontaxable gain on the sale of a personal residence.

Given the way the NII tax is calculated, you can reduce the tax either by reducing your MAGI or reducing your NII. To accomplish the former, you could maximize contributions to IRAs and qualified retirement plans. To do the latter, you might invest in tax-exempt municipal bonds or in growth stocks that pay little or no dividends.

There are many strategies for reducing the NII tax. Consult with one of our tax advisors before implementing any of them. And remember that, while tax reduction is important, it’s not the only factor in prudent investment decision-making.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: Thomson Reuters

LIVING THE DREAM OF EARLY RETIREMENT

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 18 2020

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Many people dream of retiring early so they can pursue activities other than work, such as volunteering, traveling and pursuing their hobbies full-time. But making this dream a reality requires careful planning and diligent saving during the years leading up to the anticipated retirement date.

It all starts with retirement savings accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s. Among the best ways to retire early is to build up these accounts as quickly as possible by contributing the maximum amount allowed by law each year.

From there, consider other potential sources of retirement income, such as a company pension plan. If you have one, either under a past or current employer, research whether you can receive benefits if you retire early. Then factor this income into your retirement budget.

Of course, you’re likely planning on Social Security benefits composing a portion of your retirement income. If so, keep in mind that the earliest you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits is age 62 (though waiting until later may allow you to collect more).

The flip side of saving up enough retirement income is reducing your living expenses during retirement. For example, many people strive to pay off their home mortgages early, which can possibly free up enough monthly cash flow to make early retirement feasible.

By saving as much money as you can in your retirement savings accounts, carefully planning your Social Security strategies and cutting your living expenses in retirement, you just might be able to make this dream a reality. 

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: Thomson Reuters           

IRS: Check tax withholdings now as the last quarter of 2020 begins

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 02 2020

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that now is the perfect time to review their tax withholding and payments to avoid a surprise when filing next year.

An adjustment or two made now may boost take home pay or allow taxpayers to pay more in the last quarter of 2020 to avoid a surprise tax bill.

Some things to consider that will affect taxes owed in 2020 include:

  • Coronavirus tax relief – Tax help for taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and others – including health plans – affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes – Special tax law provisions may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the federal government declares their location to be a major disaster area.
  • Unemployment compensation – Millions of Americans got taxable unemployment compensation, many of them for the first time. Taxes can be withheld from their benefits.
  • Job loss – IRS Publication 4128, Tax Impact of Job Loss PDF, explains how this unfortunate circumstance can create new tax issues.
  • Workers moving into the gig economy due to the pandemic – IRS advises people earning income in the gig economy to consider quarterly estimated tax payments to stay current.
  • Life changes such as marriage or childbirth – Getting married or having a child are just a couple of life events that can affect your refund or how much you owe.

Pay as you go

Taxes are generally paid throughout the year whether from salary withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of both. About 70% of taxpayers, however, over withhold their taxes every year which typically results in a refund. The average refund in 2020 was well over $2,400.

Taxpayers can pay electronically, throughout the year, online, by phone or with a mobile device and the IRS2Go app. They can choose an electronic payment option to schedule estimated tax payments and receive email notifications about their payments.

Taxpayers can also visit IRS.gov/account to view their taxes owed, payment history and key tax return information from their most recent tax return as originally filed and, if they have one, they'll see details about their payment plan.

Regarding refunds

IRS reminds people that there are many factors that affect the timing of a refund. The fastest way to get a tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing Direct Deposit. IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, but it's possible it can take longer.

Tax Withholding Estimator

The IRS launched an improved Tax Withholding Estimator tool last summer to make it easier for everyone to have the right amount of tax withheld during the year. This is especially important for anyone who faced an unexpected tax bill or a penalty when they filed this year. It's also an important step for those who made withholding adjustments in 2020, had a major life change or were adversely affected by the pandemic.

The tool offers workers, as well as retirees, self-employed individuals and other taxpayers, a more user-friendly step-by-step tool for effectively tailoring the amount of income tax they have withheld from wages and pension payments.

The tax withholding estimator has several key features for ease of use:

  • Plain language throughout the tool to improve comprehension.
  • The ability to more effectively target at the time of filing either a tax due amount close to zero or a refund amount.
  • A progress tracker to help users see how much more information they need to input.
  • The ability to move back and forth through the steps, correct previous entries and skip questions that don't apply.
  • Enhanced tips and links to help the user quickly determine if they qualify for various tax credits and deductions.
  • Self-employment tax for a user who has self-employment income in addition to wages or pensions.
  • Automatic calculation of the taxable portion of any Social Security benefits.
  • A mobile-friendly design.

In addition, the new Tax Withholding Estimator makes it easier to enter wages and withholding for each job held by the taxpayer and their spouse, as well as separately entering pensions and other sources of income. At the end of the process, the tool makes specific withholding recommendations for each job and each spouse and clearly explains what the taxpayer should do next.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source : IRS

Newly expanded ‘Closing a Business’ information provides step-by-step actions

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 02 2020

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Closing your business can be a difficult and challenging task. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) partnered with IRS to expand its Closing a Business page to help business owners understand the specific actions needed, from a federal tax perspective, for each type of business.

However, before you make the decision to close, if it is due to financial reasons related to the coronavirus, please use TAS’s COVID-19 Business Tax Relief Tool to see if you qualify for new employer tax credits that may help you stay in business. Read more about the benefits of this tool before you try.

If ultimately you do need to close your business, whether you have a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation, the information on this page will help you understand:

  • What forms you need to file;
  • How to report the income you receive; and,
  • How to claim the expenses you incur before closing your business.

Remember to also check your state responsibilities when closing a business.

TAS Resources

Taxpayer Advocate Service Help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is uniquely positioned to assist all taxpayers (and their representatives), including individuals, businesses, and exempt organizations. If you qualify for our help, an advocate will be with you at every turn and do everything possible to assist through the process.

Currently, TAS is open to virtually serve taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. Visit our Contact Us page to learn more.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: TAS 

Para ayudar a quienes no presentan impuestos, el IRS estableció el 10 de noviembre como el “Día nacional de inscripción para pagos de impacto económico”

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 02 2020

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WASHINGTON — El Servicio de Impuestos Internos estableció el día 10 de noviembre como el "Día nacional de inscripción para pagos de impacto económico", ya que la agencia y sus socios a través de todo el país lanzan un impulso final para animar a todos los que normalmente no presentan una declaración de impuestos a inscribirse para recibir un pago de impacto económico.

El "Día nacional de inscripción para pagos de impacto económico" tendrá lugar unos días antes de la fecha límite de inscripción extendida al 21 de noviembre. Este evento especial contará con el apoyo de grupos de socios del IRS dentro y fuera de la comunidad tributaria que incluyen aquellos que trabajan con comunidades de bajos ingresos y desatendidas. Estos grupos ayudarán a correr la voz sobre la nueva fecha límite del 21 de noviembre y, en algunos casos, proporcionarán apoyo especial a las personas que todavía necesitan inscribirse para los pagos.

El IRS ya envió casi 9 millones de cartas a personas que pueden ser elegibles para pagos de impacto económico de $1,200, pero normalmente no presentan una declaración de impuestos. Las cartas, junto con el evento especial del 10 de noviembre, anima a las personas a usar la herramienta Non-Filers: Enter Info Here, disponible únicamente en IRS.gov.

"Nuestros grupos de socios han sido una parte crítica de la campaña de publicidad y educación sin precedentes del IRS este año para comunicarle a las más personas posible la información acerca de estos pagos," dijo Chuck Rettig, Comisionado del IRS. "Como resultado, millones de estadounidenses usaron exitosamente la herramienta Non-Filers y recibieron su pago de impacto económico. La inscripción es rápida y fácil, e instamos a todos a compartir esta información para llegar a la mayor cantidad de personas antes del día de vencimiento del 21 de noviembre".

Para apoyar el esfuerzo en curso, así como el "Día nacional de inscripción para pagos de impacto económico", muchos grupos de socios trabajan con el IRS, ayudando a traducir y poner a disposición en 35 idiomas información y recursos de los pagos de impacto económico. El IRS también planifica un esfuerzo especial en las redes sociales para apoyar la campaña de inscripción final en varios idiomas.

Mientras que la mayoría de los contribuyentes elegibles de los Estados Unidos recibieron automáticamente sus pagos de impacto económico, otros que no tienen la obligación de presentar necesitan usar la herramienta Non-Filers para inscribirse con el IRS para obtener su pago. Por lo general, esto incluye a las personas que reciben pocos o ningún ingreso.

Desde que el IRS lanzo la herramienta Non-Filers en la primavera, más de 8 millones de personas que normalmente no están obligadas a presentar una declaración de impuestos se han inscrito para los pagos. El IRS continúa trabajando para comunicarle a otras personas que aún no han usado la herramienta, lo que resultó en el envió especial de las cartas y al evento especial de inscripción del 10 de noviembre.

La herramienta está diseñada para personas con ingresos generalmente menores de $24,400 para parejas casadas, y $12,200 para solteros que no pueden ser reclamados como dependientes por otra persona. Esto incluye a parejas e individuos que se encuentran sin hogar.

Cualquier persona que use la herramienta Non-Filers puede acelerar la llegada de su pago al elegir recibirlo por depósito directo. Aquellos que no elijan esta opción recibirán un cheque.

A partir de dos semanas después de inscribirse, las personas pueden hacer un seguimiento del estado de su pago a través de la herramienta Obtener mi pago, solamente disponible en IRS.gov.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la contabilidad comercial esencial, los impuestos nacionales, los impuestos internacionales, la representación del IRS, las implicaciones fiscales de los Estados Unidos de las transacciones de bienes inmuebles o los estados financieros, llámenos al 305-274-5811.

Fuente: IRS

-College savings showdown: 529s vs. Roth IRAs

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 02 2020

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Many people assume that a 529 plan is the ideal college savings tool, but other vehicles can help parents save for college expenses, too. Take the Roth IRA, for example. Whether you should use one or the other (or both) depends on several factors, including how much you intend to contribute and how you’ll use the earnings.

Plan snapshots

A 529 plan allows participants to make substantial nondeductible contributions — up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the plan and state limits. The funds grow tax-free, and there’s no tax on withdrawals, provided they’re used for “qualified higher education expenses” such as tuition, fees, books, computers, and room and board. Other qualified expenses include up to $10,000 of primary or secondary school tuition per student per year and, new under last year’s SECURE Act, up to $10,000 of student loans per beneficiary. If you use the funds for other purposes, you’ll generally be subject to income taxes and a 10% penalty on the earnings portion. Some 529 plans are also eligible for state tax breaks.

Roth IRA contributions also are nondeductible and grow tax-free. And you can withdraw those contributions anytime, tax- and penalty-free, for any purpose. Qualified distributions of earnings — generally, after age 59½ and more than five years after your first contribution — are also tax- and penalty-free.

Advantages and drawbacks

The main advantages of 529 plans are generous contribution limits and the ability to accept contributions from relatives or friends. Roth IRAs, on the other hand, are subject to annual contribution limits of currently $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re 50 or older). So, even if you and your spouse each set up Roth IRAs when your child is born, the most you’ll be able to contribute over 18 years is $216,000 (not taking into account any future inflation increases to the contribution limit). Additional drawbacks are that you must have earned income at least equal to the contribution, and you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA if your adjusted gross income exceeds certain limits.

Funds in a 529 plan that aren’t used for qualified education expenses will eventually trigger taxes and penalties when they’re withdrawn. However, with a Roth IRA, you can use contributions, as well as qualified distributions of earnings, for any purpose without triggering taxes or penalties. This includes items that wouldn’t be qualified expenses under a 529 plan, such as a car or off-campus housing expenses that exceed the college’s room and board allowance. Plus, if you don’t need all your Roth IRA funds for college expenses, you can leave them in the account indefinitely.

Consider goals

Before selecting a plan, consider your overall financial, retirement and estate planning goals. Our firm can help.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: Thomson Reuters   

Unemployment Compensation is Taxable - Explore Your Options Now

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 02 2020

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Unemployment compensation, including special unemployment compensation authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, must generally be included in gross income. If you are receiving unemployment benefits, the benefits are taxable. Do you know you can have tax withheld so you may not owe when you file your tax return next year?

How this may affect you

  • If you receive unemployment compensation this year, you must report it on your tax return.
  • Tax is not withheld automatically from unemployment benefits.
  • Even if you have returned to work, you may not have enough tax withheld between now and the end of the year to cover the tax due on your unemployment compensation.
  • If you don’t have enough tax withheld, you may also have to pay penalties and interest.
  • Unemployment compensation is considered unearned income, so it doesn’t count when calculating the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This means your EITC may be less than you expect, depending on how much unemployment compensation you receive.

What you can do now so you won’t owe at tax time

  • If you currently receive unemployment compensation, you may choose to have a flat ten percent withheld from your unemployment benefits to cover part or all of your tax liability.
  • You should contact the agency paying you benefits to see if it has its own form you need to fill out for voluntary withholding. If not, you should fill out Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request, and give it to that agency. Don’t send it to the IRS.
  • If you were unemployed but have returned to work, you may increase the tax withheld on your paychecks or make estimated tax payments. The estimated tax payment for the first two quarters of 2020 was due on July 15. The third quarter payment was due on September 15, 2020, and the fourth quarter payment is due on January 15, 2021. More information is available here.

 Other things you should know

  • If you receive unemployment benefits in 2020, you should receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, in late January or early February 2021.
  • You can find the amount of unemployment compensation you received in 2020 in Box 1 of the form. Be sure to report this income on your 2020 tax return.
  • You can find the amount of tax withheld in Box 4 of the form. Be sure to claim this withholding on your 2020 tax return, along with any tax withheld from your paycheck or any other sources.
  • If you have too much tax withheld, you may either request a refund on your 2020 tax return or have it applied to 2021 taxes. The choice is yours.

Taxpayer Advocate Service Help

Currently, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is open to virtually serve taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. Visit our Contact Us page to see who qualifies for TAS assistance. We will also be posting updated operational status information there as well.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: TAS 

Is It Time for a Cost Segregation Study? & Beware of “Wash Sales” When Selling Securities

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 02 2020

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Is it time for a cost segregation study?

Because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, many companies may want to conserve cash and not buy much equipment this year. As a result, you may not be able to claim as many depreciation tax deductions as in the past. However, if your company owns real property, there’s another approach to depreciation to consider: a cost segregation study.

Depreciation basics

Business buildings generally have a 39-year depreciation period (27.5 years for residential rental properties). Typically, companies depreciate a building’s structural components — including walls, windows, HVAC systems, plumbing and wiring — along with the building. Personal property (such as equipment, machinery, furniture and fixtures) is eligible for accelerated depreciation, usually over five or seven years. And land improvements, such as fences, outdoor lighting and parking lots, are depreciable over 15 years.

Often, businesses allocate all or most of their buildings’ acquisition or construction costs to real property, overlooking opportunities to allocate costs to shorter-lived personal property or land improvements. Items that appear to be “part of a building” may in fact be personal property. Examples include removable wall and floor coverings, removable partitions, awnings and canopies, window treatments, signs and decorative lighting.

Pinpointing costs

A cost segregation study combines accounting and engineering techniques to identify building costs that are properly allocable to tangible personal property rather than real property. Although the relative costs and benefits of a cost segregation study will depend on your particular facts and circumstances, it can be a valuable investment.

It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions on certain items, thereby reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the potential benefits of a cost segregation study are now even greater than they were a few years ago because of enhancements to certain depreciation-related tax breaks.

Worth a look

Cost segregation studies have costs all their own, but the potential long-term tax benefits may make it worth your while to undertake the process. Contact our firm for further details.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: Thomson Reuters   

Beware of “wash sales” when selling securities

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 29 2020

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If you’re planning to sell capital assets at a loss to offset gains that have been realized during the year, it’s important to beware of the “wash sale” rule. Under this tax rule, if you sell stock or securities for a loss and buy substantially identical stock shares or securities back within the 30-day period before or after the sale date, the loss can’t be claimed for tax purposes.

The rule

The wash sale rule is designed to prevent taxpayers from benefiting from a loss without parting with ownership in any significant way. Note that the rule applies to a 30-day period before or after the sale date to prevent “buying the stock back” before it’s even sold. (If you participate in any dividend reinvestment plans, the wash sale rule may be inadvertently triggered when dividends are reinvested under the plan, if you’ve separately sold some of the same stock at a loss within the 30-day period.)

Although the loss can’t be claimed on a wash sale, the disallowed amount is added to the cost of the new stock. So, the disallowed amount can be claimed when the new stock is finally disposed of (other than in a wash sale).

An example

Assume you buy 500 shares of XYZ Inc. for $10,000 and sell them on November 5 for $3,000. On November 30, you buy 500 shares of XYZ again for $3,200. Since the shares were “bought back” within 30 days of the sale, the wash sale rule applies. Therefore, you can’t claim a $7,000 loss. Your basis in the new 500 shares is $10,200: the actual cost plus the $7,000 disallowed loss.

If only a portion of the stock sold is bought back, only that portion of the loss is disallowed. So, in the above example, if you’d only bought back 300 of the 500 shares (60%), you would be able to claim 40% of the loss on the sale ($2,800). The remaining $4,200 loss that is disallowed under the wash sale rule would be added to your cost of the 300 shares.

No surprises

The wash sale rule can come as a nasty surprise at tax time. Contact us for assistance.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source : Thomson Reuters   

To help non-filers, IRS sets Nov. 10 as ‘National EIP Registration Day;’ Register at IRS.gov for Economic Impact Payment

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 29 2020

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today set November 10 as "National EIP Registration Day," as the agency and partners across the country launch a final push to encourage everyone who doesn't normally file a tax return to register to receive an Economic Impact Payment.

"National EIP Registration Day" will take place just a few days ahead of the extended November 21 registration deadline. This special event will feature support from IRS partner groups inside and outside of the tax community, including those that work with low-income and underserved communities. These groups will help spread the word about the new November 21 deadline and, in some cases, provide special support for people who still need to register for the payments.

The IRS has already sent nearly 9 million letters to people who may be eligible for the $1,200 Economic Impact Payments but don't normally file a tax return. The letters, along with the special November 10 event, both urge people to use the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool, available exclusively on IRS.gov.

"Our partner groups have been a critical part of the unprecedented IRS outreach and education campaign this year to contact as many people as possible about these payments," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "As a result, millions of Americans have successfully used the Non-filers portal and received their Economic Impact Payment. Registration is quick and easy, and we urge everyone to share this information to reach as many people before time runs out on November 21."

To support the ongoing effort as well as "National EIP Registration Day," many partner groups have been working with the IRS, helping translate and making available Economic Impact Payment information and resources in 35 languages. The IRS also plans a special push on social media to support the final registration drive in multiple languages.

While most eligible U.S. taxpayers have automatically received their Economic Impact Payment, others who don't have a filing obligation should use the Non-Filers tool to register with the IRS to get their money. Typically, this includes people who receive little or no income.

Since the Non-Filers tool launched in the spring, over 8 million people who normally aren't required to file a tax return have registered for the payments. The IRS continues to work to reach others who haven't used the tool yet, which led to the special mailing and the special Nov. 10 registration event.

The tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles who could not be claimed as a dependent by someone else. This includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

Anyone using the Non-Filers tool can speed up the arrival of their payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Those not choosing this option will get a check.

Beginning two weeks after they register, people can track the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source : IRS

IRS: Revise la retención de impuestos ahora que comienza el último trimestre de 2020

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 29 2020

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WASHINGTON — El Servicio de Impuestos Internos les recordó hoy a los contribuyentes que ahora es el tiempo oportuno para hacer una revisión de impuestos y pagos para evitar una sorpresa al presentar el próximo año.

Un ajuste o dos ahora puede aumentar lo que reciben en su cheque de pago o permitir que algunas personas paguen más en el último trimestre de 2020 para evitar una factura de impuestos inesperada.

Algunas cosas para considerar que afectarán los impuestos adeudados en 2020 incluyen:

Pague según gane

Los impuestos generalmente se pagan durante todo el año, ya sea por retención salarial, pagos de impuestos estimados trimestrales o una combinación de ambos. Alrededor del 70 por ciento de los contribuyentes, sin embargo, retienen impuestos en exceso cada año, lo que normalmente resulta en un reembolso. El reembolso promedio en 2020 fue de más de $2,400.

Los contribuyentes pueden pagar electrónicamente, durante todo el año, en línea, por teléfono o con un dispositivo móvil y la aplicación IRS2Go. Pueden elegir una opción de pago electrónico para programar pagos de impuestos estimados y recibir notificaciones por correo electrónico acerca de sus pagos.

Los contribuyentes también pueden visitar IRS.gov/cuenta para ver los impuestos adeudados, el historial de pagos y la información clave de su declaración de impuestos más reciente tal como se presentó originalmente y, si tienen uno, verán detalles acerca de su plan de pago.

Acerca de reembolsos

El IRS recuerda a las personas que hay muchos factores que afectan cuándo emitimos un reembolso. La manera más rápida de obtener un reembolso de impuestos es presentar electrónicamente y elegir Depósito Directo (en inglés). El IRS emite la mayoría de los reembolsos en menos de 21 días, pero es posible que tarde más.

Estimador de Retención de Impuestos

El IRS lanzó la mejorada herramienta Estimador de Retención de Impuestos el verano pasado para facilitar que todos tengan la cantidad correcta de impuestos retenidos durante el año. Esto es especialmente importante para cualquiera que recibió una factura de impuestos o una multa inesperada cuando presentaron este año. También es un paso importante para aquellos que hicieron ajustes de retención en 2020 o tuvieron un cambio importante en su vida o se vieron afectados negativamente por la pandemia.

La herramienta les ofrece a los trabajadores, así como a los jubilados, individuos que trabajan por su cuenta y otros contribuyentes, una herramienta paso a paso más dinámica y fácil de usar para adaptar eficazmente el monto del impuesto sobre los ingresos que han retenido de los salarios y los pagos de pensiones.

El estimador de retención de impuestos tiene varias características clave para facilitar su uso:

  • Lenguaje sencillo en toda la herramienta para mejorar la comprensión.
  • La capacidad de identificar de manera más efectiva al momento de presentar impuestos un monto adeudado de impuestos cercano a cero o un monto de reembolso.
  • Un nuevo rastreador de progreso para ayudar al usuario a ver cuánta más información necesita ingresar.
  • La capacidad de seguir los pasos indicados, corregir entradas previas y omitir preguntas que no aplican.
  • Consejos y enlaces para ayudar al usuario a determinar rápidamente si califican para varios créditos y deducciones tributarias.
  • Impuesto de trabajo por cuenta propia para un usuario que tiene ingresos de trabajo por cuenta propia además de salarios o pensiones.
  • Cálculo automático de la porción tributable de cualquier beneficio del Seguro Social.
  • Un diseño apto para dispositivos móviles.

Además, el nuevo Estimador de Retención de Impuestos facilita ingresar salarios y retenciones de cada trabajo retenido por el contribuyente y su cónyuge, así como ingresar por separado las pensiones y otras fuentes de ingresos. Al final del proceso, la herramienta hace recomendaciones de retención específicas para cada trabajo y cada cónyuge, y explica claramente lo que el contribuyente debe hacer.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la contabilidad comercial esencial, los impuestos nacionales, los impuestos internacionales, la representación del IRS, las implicaciones fiscales de los Estados Unidos de las transacciones de bienes inmuebles o los estados financieros, llámenos al 305-274-5811.

Fuente : IRS

- AMT LESS “TOOTHY” BUT MAY STILL TAKE A BITE

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 29 2020

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AMT less “toothy” but may still take a bite

For many years, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) posed a risk to many taxpayers in the middle- to upper-income brackets. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) took much of the “teeth” out of the AMT by raising the inflation-adjusted exemption. As a result, middle-income earners have had less to worry about, but those whose income has substantially increased (or remains high) should still watch out for its bite.

Basic rules

The AMT was established to ensure that higher-income individuals pay at least a minimum tax, even if they have many large deductions that significantly reduce their “regular” income tax. If your AMT liability is greater than your regular income tax liability, you must pay the difference as AMT — in addition to the regular tax.

As mentioned, the TCJA substantially increased the AMT exemption for 2018 through 2025. The exemption reduces the amount of AMT income that’s subject to the AMT. The 2020 exemption amounts are $72,900 (for single filers), $113,400 (for married joint filers) and $56,700 (for married separate filers).

AMT rates begin at 26% and rise to 28% at higher income levels. That top rate is lower than the maximum regular income tax rate of 37%, but fewer deductions are allowed for the AMT. For example, you can’t deduct state and local income or sales taxes, property taxes and certain other expenses.

Risk factors

The AMT exemption phases out when your AMT income surpasses the applicable threshold, so high-income earners remain susceptible. However, even some taxpayers who consider themselves middle-income earners may trigger the AMT by exercising incentive stock options or incurring large capital gains.

For example, because the exemption phases out based on income, realizing substantial capital gains could cause you to lose part or all of that exemption and, thus, subject you to AMT liability. If it looks like you could get hit by the AMT this year, you might want to delay sales of highly appreciated assets until next year (if you don’t expect to be subject to the AMT then) or use an installment sale to spread the gains (and potential AMT liability) over multiple years.

Also, be aware that claiming substantial itemized deductions for expenses that aren’t deductible for AMT purposes used to be a major risk factor for falling into the AMT net. However, because the TCJA limited or eliminated some of these deductions for regular income tax purposes (such as the deduction for state and local taxes and miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to a 2% of adjusted gross income floor, respectively), this is now much less of a risk.

Appropriate strategies

Since passage of the TCJA, the AMT may have become an afterthought for many people. However, it’s still worth a look to see whether it could create undesirable tax consequences for you. Please contact us for help assessing your exposure to the AMT and, if necessary, implementing appropriate strategies for your tax situation.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial  tatements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

DEDUCTIBLE TAXES

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 29 2020

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Did you know that you may be able to deduct certain taxes on your federal income tax return? The IRS says you can if you file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. Deductions decrease the amount of income subject to taxation. There are four types of deductible non-business taxes:

  • State and local income taxes, or general sales taxes;
  • Real estate taxes;
  • Personal property taxes; and
  • Foreign income taxes.

You can deduct estimated taxes paid to state or local governments and prior year's state or local income tax as long as they were paid during the tax year. If deducting sales taxes instead, you may deduct actual expenses or use optional tables provided by the IRS to determine your deduction amount, relieving you of the need to save receipts. Sales taxes paid on motor vehicles and boats may be added to the table amount, but only up to the amount paid at the general sales tax rate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limit the total amount of the above state and local taxes an individual can deduct in a calendar year to $10,000.

Taxpayers will check a box on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, to indicate whether their deduction is for income or sales tax.

Deductible real estate taxes are usually any state, local, or foreign taxes on real property. If a portion of your monthly mortgage payment goes into an escrow account and your lender periodically pays your real estate taxes to local governments out of this account, you can deduct only the amount actually paid during the year to the taxing authorities. Your lender will normally send you a Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, at the end of the tax year with this information.

Call us or contact us today to find out how we can save you money!

To claim a deduction for personal property tax you paid, the tax must be based on value alone and imposed on a yearly basis. For example, the annual fee for the registration of your car would be a deductible tax, but only the portion of the fee that was based on the car's value.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-AFTER A DIVORCE, WHAT HAPPENS TO MY CREDIT HISTORY?

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 29 2020

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If the name on your account changes, lenders may appraise the application and credit line to decide if your qualifications meet the credit standards. You may be asked to reapply.

To avoid inconvenience, maintain credit in your own name. Preserving your own, separate, credit history makes things easier in the future. In an emergency, if you need credit, it will be available.

Avoid using your spouse's name - i.e. Mrs. Peter Johnson - for purpose of credit.

Get an update on your credit report. Be sure that your name, as well as your spouse's, is being reported correctly. If you would like to use your spouse's credit history to your benefit, simply write a letter to the credit agency and request that both names be put on the account.

Find out if there is any incomplete or inaccurate data in your account. Send the credit bureau a letter asking them to correct this information. They need to confirm receipt within a normal time period and inform you when the mistake is fixed.

Improving your own credit history in your name should be simple if you have been sharing accounts with your spouse. Make a call to a major credit bureau and ask for copies of your account information. Get in touch with the issuers of the cards with whom you share accounts with your spouse and request to have your name on the account as well.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-IS NOW THE TIME FOR SOME LIFE INSURANCE?

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 28 2020

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Many people reach a point in life when buying some life insurance is highly advisable. Once you determine that you need it, the next step is calculating how much you should get and what kind.

Careful calculations

If the coverage is to replace income and support your family, this starts with tallying the costs that would need to be covered, such as housing and transportation, child care, and education — and for how long. For many families, this will be only until the youngest children are on their own.

Next, identify income available to your family from Social Security, investments, retirement savings and any other sources. Insurance can help bridge any gaps between the expenses to be covered and the income available.

If you’re purchasing life insurance for another reason, the purpose will dictate how much you need:

Funeral costs. An average funeral bill can top $7,000. Gravesite costs typically add thousands more to this number.

Mortgage payoff. You may need coverage equal to the amount of your outstanding mortgage balance.

Estate planning. If the goal is to pay estate taxes, you’ll need to estimate your estate tax liability. If it’s to equalize inheritances, you’ll need to estimate the value of business interests going to each child active in your business and purchase enough coverage to provide equal inheritances to the inactive children.

Term vs. permanent

The next question is what type of policy to purchase. Life insurance policies generally fall into two broad categories: term or permanent.

Term insurance is for a specific period. If you die during the policy’s term, it pays out to the beneficiaries you’ve named. If you don’t die during the term, it doesn’t pay out. It’s typically much less expensive than permanent life insurance, at least if purchased while you’re relatively young and healthy.

Permanent life insurance policies last until you die, so long as you’ve paid the premiums. Most permanent policies build up a cash value that you may be able to borrow against. Over time, the cash value also may reduce the premiums.

Because the premiums are typically higher for permanent insurance, you need to consider whether the extra cost is worth the benefits. It might not be if, for example, you may not require much life insurance after your children are grown.

But permanent life insurance may make sense if you’re concerned that you could become uninsurable, if you’re providing for special-needs children who will never be self-sufficient, or if the coverage is to pay estate taxes or equalize inheritances.

Some comfort

No one likes to think about leaving loved ones behind. But you’ll no doubt find some comfort in having a life insurance policy that helps cover your family’s financial needs and plays an important role in your estate plan. Let us help you work out the details.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

IS NOW THE TIME FOR SOME LIFE INSURANCE?.

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 14 2020

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Many people reach a point in life when buying some life insurance is highly advisable. Once you determine that you need it, the next step is calculating how much you should get and what kind.

Careful calculations

If the coverage is to replace income and support your family, this starts with tallying the costs that would need to be covered, such as housing and transportation, child care, and education — and for how long. For many families, this will be only until the youngest children are on their own.

Next, identify income available to your family from Social Security, investments, retirement savings and any other sources. Insurance can help bridge any gaps between the expenses to be covered and the income available.

If you’re purchasing life insurance for another reason, the purpose will dictate how much you need:

  • Funeral costs. An average funeral bill can top $7,000. Gravesite costs typically add thousands more to this number.
  • Mortgage payoff. You may need coverage equal to the amount of your outstanding mortgage balance.
  • Estate planning. If the goal is to pay estate taxes, you’ll need to estimate your estate tax liability. If it’s to equalize inheritances, you’ll need to estimate the value of business interests going to each child active in your business and purchase enough coverage to provide equal inheritances to the inactive children.

Term vs. permanent

The next question is what type of policy to purchase. Life insurance policies generally fall into two broad categories: term or permanent.

Term insurance is for a specific period. If you die during the policy’s term, it pays out to the beneficiaries you’ve named. If you don’t die during the term, it doesn’t pay out. It’s typically much less expensive than permanent life insurance, at least if purchased while you’re relatively young and healthy.

Permanent life insurance policies last until you die, so long as you’ve paid the premiums. Most permanent policies build up a cash value that you may be able to borrow against. Over time, the cash value also may reduce the premiums.

Because the premiums are typically higher for permanent insurance, you need to consider whether the extra cost is worth the benefits. It might not be if, for example, you may not require much life insurance after your children are grown.

But permanent life insurance may make sense if you’re concerned that you could become uninsurable, if you’re providing for special-needs children who will never be self-sufficient, or if the coverage is to pay estate taxes or equalize inheritances.

Some comfort

No one likes to think about leaving loved ones behind. But you’ll no doubt find some comfort in having a life insurance policy that helps cover your family’s financial needs and plays an important role in your estate plan. Let us help you work out the details.

For more information on the appeals process, please contact us!

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

TAXABLE VS. TAX-ADVANTAGED: WHERE TO HOLD INVESTMENTS-

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 14 2020

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When investing for retirement or other long-term goals, people usually prefer tax-advantaged accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s or 403(b)s. Certain assets are well suited to these accounts, but it may make more sense to hold other investments in traditional taxable accounts.

Know the rules

Some investments, such as fast-growing stocks, can generate substantial capital gains, which may occur when you sell a security for more than you paid for it.

If you’ve owned that position for over a year, you face long-term gains, taxed at a maximum rate of 20%. In contrast, short-term gains, assessed on holding periods of a year or less, are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate — maxing out at 37%. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)

Choose tax efficiency

Generally, the more tax efficient an investment, the more benefit you’ll get from owning it in a taxable account. Conversely, investments that lack tax efficiency normally are best suited to tax-advantaged vehicles.

Consider municipal bonds (“munis”), either held individually or through mutual funds. Munis are attractive to tax-sensitive investors because their income is exempt from federal income taxes and sometimes state and local income taxes. Because you don’t get a double benefit when you own an already tax-advantaged security in a tax-advantaged account, holding munis in your 401(k) or IRA would result in a lost opportunity.

Similarly, tax-efficient investments such as passively managed index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, or long-term stock holdings, are generally appropriate for taxable accounts. These securities are more likely to generate long-term capital gains, which have more favorable tax treatment. Securities that generate more of their total return via capital appreciation or that pay qualified dividends are also better taxable account options.

Take advantage of income

What investments work best for tax-advantaged accounts? Taxable investments that tend to produce much of their return in income. This category includes corporate bonds, especially high-yield bonds, as well as real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are required to pass through most of their earnings as shareholder income. Most REIT dividends are nonqualified and therefore taxed at your ordinary-income rate.

Another tax-advantaged-appropriate investment may be an actively managed mutual fund. Funds with significant turnover — meaning their portfolio managers are actively buying and selling securities — have increased potential to generate short-term gains that ultimately get passed through to you. Because short-term gains are taxed at a higher rate than long-term gains, these funds would be less desirable in a taxable account.

Get specific advice

The above concepts are only general suggestions. Please contact our firm for specific advice on what may be best for you.

Sidebar: Doing due diligence on dividends

If you own a lot of income-generating investments, you’ll need to pay attention to the tax rules for dividends, which belong to one of two categories:

  • Qualified. These dividends are paid by U.S. corporations or qualified foreign corporations. Qualified dividends are, like long-term gains, subject to a maximum tax rate of 20%, though many people are eligible for a 15% rate. (Note: These rates don’t account for the possibility of the 3.8% net investment income tax.)
  • Nonqualified. These dividends — which include most distributions from real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships — receive a less favorable tax treatment. Like short-term gains, nonqualified dividends are taxed at your ordinary-income tax rate.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

YOUR APPEAL RIGHTS-

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 14 2020

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Are you in the middle of a disagreement with the IRS? One of the guaranteed rights for all taxpayers is the right to appeal. If you disagree with the IRS about the amount of your tax liability or about proposed collection actions, you have the right to ask the IRS Appeals Office to review your case.

IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, explains some of your most important taxpayer rights. During their contact with taxpayers, IRS employees are required to explain and protect these taxpayer rights, including the right to appeal.

The IRS appeals system is for people who do not agree with the results of an examination of their tax returns or other adjustments to their tax liability. In addition to examinations, you can appeal many other things, including:

  • Collection actions such as liens, levies, seizures, installment agreement terminations and rejected offers-in-compromise
  • Penalties and interest
  • Employment tax adjustments and the trust fund recovery penalty

Appeals conferences are informal meetings. The local Appeals Office, which is independent of the IRS office that proposed the disputed action, can sometimes resolve an appeal by telephone or through correspondence.

The IRS also offers an option called Fast Track Mediation, during which an appeals or settlement officer attempts to help you and the IRS reach a mutually satisfactory solution. Most cases not docketed in court qualify for Fast Track Mediation. You may request Fast Track Mediation at the conclusion of an audit or collection determination, but prior to your request for a normal appeals hearing. Fast Track Mediation is meant to promote the early resolution of a dispute. It doesn't eliminate or replace existing dispute resolution options, including your opportunity to request a conference with a manager or a hearing before Appeals. You may withdraw from the mediation process at any time.

When attending an informal meeting or pursuing mediation, you may represent yourself or you can be represented by an attorney, certified public accountant or individual enrolled to practice before the IRS.

If you and the IRS appeals officer cannot reach agreement, or if you prefer not to appeal within the IRS, in most cases you may take your disagreement to federal court. But taxpayers can settle most differences without expensive and time-consuming court trials.

For more information on the appeals process, please contact us!

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

BUSINESS OR HOBBY?.

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 14 2020

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It is generally accepted that people prefer to make a living doing something they like. A hobby is an activity for which you do not expect to make a profit. If you do not carry on your business or investment activity to make a profit, there is a limit on the deductions you can take. You must include on your return income from an activity from which you do not expect to make a profit. An example of this type of activity is a hobby or a farm you operate mostly for recreation and pleasure. You cannot use a loss from the activity to offset other income. Activities you do as a hobby, or mainly for sport or recreation, come under this limit. So does an investment activity intended only to produce tax losses for the investors.

The limit on not-for-profit losses applies to individuals, partnerships, estates, trusts, and S corporations. For additional information on these entities, refer to business structures. It does not apply to corporations other than S corporations. In determining whether you are carrying on an activity for profit, all the facts are taken into account. No one factor alone is decisive. Among the factors to consider are whether:

  • You carry on the activity in a business-like manner,
  • The time and effort you put into the activity indicate you intend to make it profitable,
  • You depend on income from the activity for your livelihood,
  • Your losses are due to circumstances beyond your control (or are normal in the start-up phase of your type of business),
  • You change your methods of operation in an attempt to improve profitability,
  • You, or your advisors, have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business,
  • You were successful in making a profit in similar activities in the past,
  • The activity makes a profit in some years, and
  • You can expect to make a future profit from the appreciation of the assets used in the activity.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

FOR BUSINESS FINANCING, WHAT KINDS OF LOANS EXIST?-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 26 2020

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You must know the exact amount of money that you need, what your purpose is and how you will repay it in order to be successful in getting a loan. You must convince the lender in a written proposal that you are a good credit risk.

There are two basic kinds of loans, although terms vary by lender:

Short-term and long-term, maturity periods of up to one year are generally short-term, which include accounts receivable loans, working capital loans and lines of credit.

Maturities greater than a year and less than seven years is a typical long-term loan. Equipment and real estate loans can have maturity up to 25 years. Major business expenses such as purchasing real estate and facilities, durable equipment, construction, vehicles, furniture and fixtures, etc. are a few purposes for long-term loans.                                                

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

WHAT WILL WORKER’S COMPENSATION COVER IF I EVER NEED IT?

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 24 2020

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Worker's compensation will only cover you for injuries that occur on the job site. The compensation varies from state to state, but most states will pay throughout the lifetime of the worker, in the case of a permanent disability.

You can get all of the information that you need regarding individual state's worker's compensation benefits by contacting your state's Department of Labor.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters  

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 24 2020

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When it comes to tax records, some are required to be kept under special circumstances.

However, if the IRS believes you have significantly underreported your income (by 25 percent or more), it may go back six years in an audit. If there is any indication of fraud, or you do not file a return, no period of limitation exists. To be safe, use the following guidelines.

  • Car Records (keep until the car is sold)
  • Credit Card Receipts (keep until verified on your statement)
  • Insurance Policies (keep for the life of the policy)
  • Mortgages / Deeds / Leases (keep 6 years beyond the agreement)
  • Pay Stubs (keep until reconciled with your W-2)
  • Sales Receipts (keep for life of the warranty)
  • Stock and Bond Records (keep for 6 years beyond selling)
  • Warranties and Instructions (keep for the life of the product)
  • Other Bills (keep until payment is verified on the next bill)
  • Depreciation Schedules and Other Capital Asset Records (keep for 3 years after the tax life of the asset)

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

PERSONAL DOCUMENTS-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 24 2020

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Federal law requires you to maintain copies of your tax returns and supporting documents for three years. This is called the "three-year law" and leads many people to believe they're safe provided they retain their documents for this period of time.

However, if the IRS believes you have significantly underreported your income (by 25 percent or more), it may go back six years in an audit. If there is any indication of fraud, or you do not file a return, no period of limitation exists. To be safe, use the following guidelines.

April 15 has come and gone and another year of tax forms and shoeboxes full of receipts is behind us. But what should be done with those documents after your check or refund request is in the mail?

Please be aware that if the IRS believes you have significantly underreported your income (by 25 percent or more), it may go back six years in an audit. If there is any indication of fraud, or you do not file a return, no period of limitation exists. To be safe, use the following guidelines.

Personal Documents To Keep For One Year

While it's important to keep year-end mutual fund and IRA contribution statements forever, you don't have to save monthly and quarterly statements once the year-end statement has arrived.

Personal Documents To Keep For Three Years

  • Credit Card Statements
  • Medical Bills (in case of insurance disputes)
  • Utility Records
  • Expired Insurance Policies

Personal Documents To Keep For Six Years

  • Supporting Documents For Tax Returns
  • Accident Reports and Claims
  • Medical Bills (if tax-related)
  • Sales Receipts
  • Wage Garnishments
  • Other Tax-Related Bills

Personal Records To Keep Forever

  • CPA Audit Reports
  • Legal Records
  • Important Correspondence
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Income Tax Payment Checks
  • Property Records / Improvement Receipts (or six years after property sold)
  • Investment Trade Confirmations
  • Retirement and Pension Records (Forms 5448, 1099-R and 8606 until all distributions are made from your IRA or other qualified plan)

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

AMENDED RETURNS-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 24 2020

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Oops! You've discovered an error after your tax return has been filed. What should you do? You may need to amend your return.

The IRS usually corrects math errors or requests missing forms (such as W-2s) or schedules. In these instances, do not amend your return. However, do file an amended return if any of the following were reported incorrectly:

  • Your filing status
  • Your total income
  • Your deductions or credits

Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed paper or electronically-filed Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ return. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. If you are amending more than one tax return, use a separate 1040X for each year and mail each in a separate envelope to the IRS processing center for your state. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the centers.

Form 1040X has three columns. Column A is used to show original or adjusted figures from the original return. Column C is used to show the corrected figures. The difference between the figures in Columns A and C is shown in Column B. You should explain the items you are changing and the reason for each change on the back of the form.

If the changes involve another schedule or form, attach it to the 1040X. For example, if you are filing a 1040X because you have a qualifying child and now want to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, you must complete and attach a Schedule EIC to the amended return.

If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund. If you owe additional tax for the prior year, Form 1040X must be filed and the tax paid by April 15 of this year, to avoid any penalty and interest.

You generally must file Form 1040X to claim a refund within three years from the date you filed your original return, or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.  Please contact us for more!

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-USE CAPITAL LOSSES TO OFFSET CAPITAL GAINS-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 24 2020

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When is a loss actually a gain? When that loss becomes an opportunity to lower tax liability, of course. Now’s a good time to begin your year-end tax planning and attempt to neutralize gains and losses by year end. To do so, it might make sense to sell investments at a loss in 2018 to offset capital gains that you’ve already realized this year.

Now and later

A capital loss occurs when you sell a security for less than your “basis,” generally the original purchase price. You can use capital losses to offset any capital gains you realize in that same tax year — even if one is short term and the other is long term.

When your capital losses exceed your capital gains, you can use up to $3,000 of the excess to offset wages, interest and other ordinary income ($1,500 for married people filing separately) and carry the remainder forward to future years until it’s used up.

Research and replace

Years ago, investors realized it could be beneficial to sell a security to recognize a capital loss for a given tax year and then — if they still liked the security’s prospects — buy it back immediately. To counter this strategy, Congress imposed the wash sale rule, which disallows losses when an investor sells a security and then buys the same or a “substantially identical” security within 30 days of the sale, before or after.

Waiting 30 days to repurchase a security you’ve sold might be fine in some situations. But there may be times when you’d rather not be forced to sit on the sidelines for a month.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative. With a little research, you might be able to identify a security in the same sector you like just as well as, or better than, the old one. Your solution is now simple and straightforward: Simultaneously sell the stock you own at a loss and buy the competitor’s stock, thereby avoiding violation of the “same or substantially identical” provision of the wash sale rule. You maintain your position in that sector or industry and might even add to your portfolio a stock you believe has more potential or less risk.

If you bought shares of a security at different times, give some thought to which lot can be sold most advantageously. The IRS allows investors to choose among several methods of designating lots when selling securities, and those methods sometimes produce radically different results.

Good with the bad

Investing always carries the risk that you will lose some or even all of your money. But you have to take the good with the bad. In terms of tax planning, you can turn investment losses into opportunities — and potentially end the year on a high note.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

BUSINESS DOCUMENTS-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 24 2020

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Business Documents To Keep For One Year

  • Correspondence with Customers and Vendors
  • Duplicate Deposit Slips
  • Purchase Orders (other than Purchasing Department copy)
  • Receiving Sheets
  • Requisitions
  • Stenographer's Notebooks
  • Stockroom Withdrawal Forms

Business Documents To Keep For Three Years

  • Employee Personnel Records (after termination)
  • Employment Applications
  • Expired Insurance Policies
  • General Correspondence
  • Internal Audit Reports
  • Internal Reports
  • Petty Cash Vouchers
  • Physical Inventory Tags
  • Savings Bond Registration Records of Employees
  • Time Cards For Hourly Employees

Business Documents To Keep For Six Years

  • Accident Reports, Claims
  • Accounts Payable Ledgers and Schedules
  • Accounts Receivable Ledgers and Schedules
  • Bank Statements and Reconciliations
  • Cancelled Checks
  • Cancelled Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Employment Tax Records
  • Expense Analysis and Expense Distribution Schedules
  • Expired Contracts, Leases
  • Expired Option Records
  • Inventories of Products, Materials, Supplies
  • Invoices to Customers
  • Notes Receivable Ledgers, Schedules
  • Payroll Records and Summaries, including payment to pensioners
  • Plant Cost Ledgers
  • Purchasing Department Copies of Purchase Orders
  • Records related to net operating losses (NOL's)
  • Sales Records
  • Subsidiary Ledgers
  • Time Books
  • Travel and Entertainment Records
  • Vouchers for Payments to Vendors, Employees, etc.
  • Voucher Register, Schedules

Business Records To Keep Forever

While federal guidelines do not require you to keep tax records "forever," in many cases there will be other reasons you'll want to retain these documents indefinitely.

  • Audit Reports from CPAs/Accountants
  • Cancelled Checks for Important Payments (especially tax payments)
  • Cash Books, Charts of Accounts
  • Contracts, Leases Currently in Effect
  • Corporate Documents (incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.)
  • Documents substantiating fixed asset additions
  • Deeds
  • Depreciation Schedules
  • Financial Statements (Year End)
  • General and Private Ledgers, Year End Trial Balances
  • Insurance Records, Current Accident Reports, Claims, Policies
  • Investment Trade Confirmations
  • IRS Revenue Agent Reports
  • Journals
  • Legal Records, Correspondence and Other Important Matters
  • Minutes Books of Directors and Stockholders
  • Mortgages, Bills of Sale
  • Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers
  • Property Records
  • Retirement and Pension Records
  • Tax Returns and Worksheets
  • Trademark and Patent Registrations

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

IRS UNVEILS "DIRTY DOZEN" LIST OF TAX SCAMS FOR 2020; AMERICANS URGED TO BE VIGILANT TO THESE THREATS DURING THE PANDEMIC AND ITS AFTERMATH

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 20 2020

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams with a special emphasis on aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief, including Economic Impact Payments.

This year, the Dirty Dozen focuses on scams that target taxpayers. The criminals behind these bogus schemes view everyone as potentially easy prey. The IRS urges everyone to be on guard all the time and look out for others in their lives.

"Tax scams tend to rise during tax season or during times of crisis, and scam artists are using pandemic to try stealing money and information from honest taxpayers," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "The IRS provides the Dirty Dozen list to help raise awareness about common scams that fraudsters use to target people. We urge people to watch out for these scams. The IRS is doing its part to protect Americans. We will relentlessly pursue criminals trying to steal your money or sensitive personal financial information."

Taxpayers are encouraged to review the list in a special section on IRS.gov and be on the lookout for these scams throughout the year. Taxpayers should also remember that they are legally responsible for what is on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. Consumers can help protect themselves by choosing a reputable tax preparer.

The IRS urges taxpayers to refrain from engaging potential scammers online or on the phone. The IRS plans to unveil a similar list of enforcement and compliance priorities this year as well.

An upcoming series of press releases will emphasize the illegal schemes and techniques businesses and individuals use to avoid paying their lawful tax liability. Topics will include such scams as abusive micro captives and fraudulent conservation easements.

Here are this year's "Dirty Dozen" scams:

Phishing:

Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a tax bill, refund or Economic Impact Payments. Don't click on links claiming to be from the IRS. Be wary of emails and websites − they may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information.

IRS Criminal Investigation has seen a tremendous increase in phishing schemes utilizing emails, letters, texts and links. These phishing schemes are using keywords such as "coronavirus," "COVID-19" and "Stimulus" in various ways.

These schemes are blasted to large numbers of people in an effort to get personal identifying information or financial account information, including account numbers and passwords. Most of these new schemes are actively playing on the fear and unknown of the virus and the stimulus payments. (For more see IR-2020-115, IRS warns against COVID-19 fraud; other financial schemes.)

Fake Charities:

Criminals frequently exploit natural disasters and other situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic by setting up fake charities to steal from well-intentioned people trying to help in times of need. Fake charity scams generally rise during times like these.

Fraudulent schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by telephone, text, social media, e-mail or in-person using a variety of tactics. Bogus websites use names similar to legitimate charities to trick people to send money or provide personal financial information. They may even claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.

Taxpayers should be particularly wary of charities with names like nationally known organizations. Legitimate charities will provide their Employer Identification Number (EIN), if requested, which can be used to verify their legitimacy. Taxpayers can find legitimate and qualified charities with the search tool on IRS.gov.

Threatening Impersonator Phone Calls:

IRS impersonation scams come in many forms. A common one remains bogus threatening phone calls from a criminal claiming to be with the IRS. The scammer attempts to instill fear and urgency in the potential victim. In fact, the IRS will never threaten a taxpayer or surprise him or her with a demand for immediate payment.

Phone scams or "vishing" (voice phishing) pose a major threat. Scam phone calls, including those threatening arrest, deportation or license revocation if the victim doesn't pay a bogus tax bill, are reported year-round. These calls often take the form of a "robocall" (a text-to-speech recorded message with instructions for returning the call).

The IRS will never demand immediate payment, threaten, ask for financial information over the phone, or call about an unexpected refund or Economic Impact Payment. Taxpayers should contact the real IRS if they worry about having a tax problem.

Social Media Scams:

Taxpayers need to protect themselves against social media scams, which frequently use events like COVID-19 to try tricking people. Social media enables anyone to share information with anyone else on the Internet. Scammers use that information as ammunition for a wide variety of scams. These include emails where scammers impersonate someone's family, friends or co-workers.

Social media scams have also led to tax-related identity theft. The basic element of social media scams is convincing a potential victim that he or she is dealing with a person close to them that they trust via email, text or social media messaging.

Using personal information, a scammer may email a potential victim and include a link to something of interest to the recipient which contains malware intended to commit more crimes. Scammers also infiltrate their victim's emails and cell phones to go after their friends and family with fake emails that appear to be real and text messages soliciting, for example, small donations to fake charities that are appealing to the victims.

EIP or Refund Theft:

The IRS has made great strides against refund fraud and theft in recent years, but they remain an ongoing threat. Criminals this year also turned their attention to stealing Economic Impact Payments as provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Much of this stems from identity theft whereby criminals file false tax returns or supply other bogus information to the IRS to divert refunds to wrong addresses or bank accounts.

The IRS recently warned nursing homes and other care facilities that Economic Impact Payments generally belong to the recipients, not the organizations providing the care. This came following concerns that people and businesses may be taking advantage of vulnerable populations who received the payments. These payments do not count as a resource for determining eligibility for Medicaid and other federal programs They also do not count as income in determining eligibility for these programs. See IR-2020-121, IRS alert: Economic Impact Payments belong to recipient, not nursing homes or care facilities for more.

Taxpayers can consult the Coronavirus Tax Relief page of IRS.gov for assistance in getting their EIPs. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of identity theft should consult the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft on IRS.gov.

Senior Fraud:

Senior citizens and those who care about them need to be on alert for tax scams targeting older Americans. The IRS recognizes the pervasiveness of fraud targeting older Americans along with the Department of Justice and FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), among others.

Seniors are more likely to be targeted and victimized by scammers than other segments of society. Financial abuse of seniors is a problem among personal and professional relationships. Anecdotal evidence across professional services indicates that elder fraud goes down substantially when the service provider knows a trusted friend or family member is taking an interest in the senior's affairs.

Older Americans are becoming more comfortable with evolving technologies, such as social media. Unfortunately, that gives scammers another means of taking advantage. Phishing scams linked to Covid-19 have been a major threat this filing season. Seniors need to be alert for a continuing surge of fake emails, text messages, websites and social media attempts to steal personal information.

Scams targeting non-English speakers:

IRS impersonators and other scammers also target groups with limited English proficiency. These scams are often threatening in nature. Some scams also target those potentially receiving an Economic Impact Payment and request personal or financial information from the taxpayer.

Phone scams pose a major threat to people with limited access to information, including individuals not entirely comfortable with the English language. These calls frequently take the form of a "robocall" (a text-to-speech recorded message with instructions for returning the call), but in some cases may be made by a real person. These con artists may have some of the taxpayer's information, including their address, the last four digits of their Social Security number or other personal details – making the phone calls seem more legitimate.

A common one remains the IRS impersonation scam where a taxpayer receives a telephone call threatening jail time, deportation or revocation of a driver's license from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Taxpayers who are recent immigrants often are the most vulnerable and should ignore these threats and not engage the scammers.

Unscrupulous Return Preparers:

Selecting the right return preparer is important. They are entrusted with a taxpayer's sensitive personal data. Most tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service, but dishonest preparers pop up every filing season committing fraud, harming innocent taxpayers or talking taxpayers into doing illegal things they regret later.

Taxpayers should avoid so-called "ghost" preparers who expose their clients to potentially serious filing mistakes as well as possible tax fraud and risk of losing their refunds. With many tax professionals impacted by COVID-19 and their offices potentially closed, taxpayers should take particular care in selecting a credible tax preparer.

Ghost preparers don't sign the tax returns they prepare. They may print the tax return and tell the taxpayer to sign and mail it to the IRS. For e-filed returns, the ghost preparer will prepare but not digitally sign as the paid preparer. By law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assists in preparing federal tax returns must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Paid preparers must sign and include their PTIN on returns.

Unscrupulous preparers may also target those without a filing requirement and may or may not be due a refund. They promise inflated refunds by claiming fake tax credits, including education credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and others. Taxpayers should avoid preparers who ask them to sign a blank return, promise a big refund before looking at the taxpayer's records or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund.

Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their tax return, regardless of who prepares it. Taxpayers can go to a special page on IRS.gov for tips on choosing a preparer.

Offer in Compromise Mills:

Taxpayers need to wary of misleading tax debt resolution companies that can exaggerate chances to settle tax debts for "pennies on the dollar" through an Offer in Compromise (OIC). These offers are available for taxpayers who meet very specific criteria under law to qualify for reducing their tax bill. But unscrupulous companies oversell the program to unqualified candidates so they can collect a hefty fee from taxpayers already struggling with debt.

These scams are commonly called OIC "mills," which cast a wide net for taxpayers, charge them pricey fees and churn out applications for a program they're unlikely to qualify for. Although the OIC program helps thousands of taxpayers each year reduce their tax debt, not everyone qualifies for an OIC. In Fiscal Year 2019, there were 54,000 OICs submitted to the IRS. The agency accepted 18,000 of them.

Individual taxpayers can use the free online Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool to see if they qualify. The simple tool allows taxpayers to confirm eligibility and provides an estimated offer amount. Taxpayers can apply for an OIC without third-party representation; but the IRS reminds taxpayers that if they need help, they should be cautious about whom they hire.

Fake Payments with Repayment Demands:

Criminals are always finding new ways to trick taxpayers into believing their scam including putting a bogus refund into the taxpayer's actual bank account. Here's how the scam works:

A con artist steals or obtains a taxpayer's personal data including Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and bank account information. The scammer files a bogus tax return and has the refund deposited into the taxpayer's checking or savings account. Once the direct deposit hits the taxpayer's bank account, the fraudster places a call to them, posing as an IRS employee. The taxpayer is told that there's been an error and that the IRS needs the money returned immediately or penalties and interest will result. The taxpayer is told to buy specific gift cards for the amount of the refund.

The IRS will never demand payment by a specific method. There are many payment options available to taxpayers and there's also a process through which taxpayers have the right to question the amount of tax we say they owe. Anytime a taxpayer receives an unexpected refund and a call from us out of the blue demanding a refund repayment, they should reach out to their banking institution and to the IRS.

Payroll and HR Scams:

Tax professionals, employers and taxpayers need to be on guard against phishing designed to steal Form W-2s and other tax information. These are Business Email Compromise (BEC) or Business Email Spoofing (BES). This is particularly true with many businesses closed and their employees working from home due to COVID-19. Currently, two of the most common types of these scams are the gift card scam and the direct deposit scam.

In the gift card scam, a compromised email account is often used to send a request to purchase gift cards in various denominations. In the direct deposit scheme, the fraudster may have access to the victim's email account (also known as an email account compromise or "EAC"). They may also impersonate the potential victim to have the organization change the employee's direct deposit information to reroute their deposit to an account the fraudster controls.

BEC/BES scams have used a variety of ploys to include requests for wire transfers, payment of fake invoices as well as others. In recent years, the IRS has observed variations of these scams where fake IRS documents are used in to lend legitimacy to the bogus request. For example, a fraudster may attempt a fake invoice scheme and use what appears to be a legitimate IRS document to help convince the victim.

The Direct Deposit and other BEC/BES variations should be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) where a complaint can be filed. The IRS requests that Form W-2 scams be reported to: phishing@irs.gov (Subject: W-2 Scam).

Ransomware:

This is a growing cybercrime. Ransomware is malware targeting human and technical weaknesses to infect a potential victim's computer, network or server. Malware is a form of invasive software that is often frequently inadvertently downloaded by the user. Once downloaded, it tracks keystrokes and other computer activity. Once infected, ransomware looks for and locks critical or sensitive data with its own encryption. In some cases, entire computer networks can be adversely impacted.

Victims generally aren't aware of the attack until they try to access their data, or they receive a ransom request in the form of a pop-up window. These criminals don't want to be traced so they frequently use anonymous messaging platforms and demand payment in virtual currency such as Bitcoin.

Cybercriminals might use a phishing email to trick a potential victim into opening a link or attachment containing the ransomware. These may include email solicitations to support a fake COVID-19 charity. Cybercriminals also look for system vulnerabilities where human error is not needed to deliver their malware.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

AVOID SCAMS OFFERING ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 20 2020

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Scammers are counting on confusion about the Coronavirus Tax Relief offered to taxpayers who are impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). Taxpayers should be aware of the numerous scams designed to steal their money and personal information.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not initiate contact with taxpayers to request any personal or financial information in order to receive an EIP through:

  • Phone,
  • Email,
  • Text messages,
  • Websites, or
  • Social media sites, groups or forums.

Be cautious of anyone demanding money from you in order to receive an EIP. You don’t need to make a payment to receive an EIP.

Spread the word. Tell your friends, relatives and neighbors - do not to respond to any requests pretending to be associated with Coronavirus Tax Relief or EIPs.

FAKE WEBSITES

There are many scammers who use websites designed to look almost identical to a federal agency website, but they will not have the right URL or website address. Make sure you are looking at a website that starts with “https://” and ends with “.gov.” Otherwise they are likely not a valid U.S. government site. If you receive an email, text message, web link or other communication from an unknown source or sender, avoid clicking on the link or opening the attachments.

CHARITABLE DONATIONS

If you choose to donate to a charitable organization, use the IRS Tax Exempt Organization search tool to verify an organization’s federal tax status before donating.

REPORT SCAMS

IRS Coronavirus-related (COVID-19) scams should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or submitted through the NCDF web Complaint Form. The NCDF is a national coordinating agency within the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division dedicated to improving the detection, prevention, investigation, and prosecution of criminal conduct related to natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies, such as COVID-19. Hotline staff will obtain information regarding your complaint, which will then be reviewed by law enforcement officials.

Fraud or theft of EIPs can also be reported online to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). TIGTA investigates external attempts to corruptly interfere with federal tax administration, including IRS-related Coronavirus scams.

Report unsolicited emails or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from the IRS, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) or other government agencies by forwarding them to phishing@irs.gov. You should not engage potential scammers online or on the phone.

TAS ASSISTANCE

Know that TAS is assisting taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. Please understand though, that TAS is not able to respond to general inquiries about IRS EIPs. And for the time being, assistance provided by TAS is being provided to taxpayers virtually.

For questions about EIPs, please go to the www.irs.gov/eipfaq, call the EIP help line at 800-919-9835, or visit our TAS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tax Relief site.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:TAS        

-IRS TAKES NEW STEPS TO ENSURE PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN RECEIVE $500 ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 20 2020

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service continues to look for ways to help people who were unable to provide their information in time to receive Economic Impact Payments for their children. As part of that effort, the Internal Revenue Service announced today it will reopen the registration period for federal beneficiaries who didn't receive $500 per child payments earlier this year.

The IRS urges certain federal benefit recipients to use the IRS.gov Non-Filers tool starting August 15 through September 30 to enter information on their qualifying children to receive the supplemental $500 payments.

Those eligible to provide this information include people with qualifying children who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits and Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

The IRS anticipates the catch-up payments, equal to $500 per eligible child, will be issued by mid-October.

"IRS employees have been working non-stop to deliver more than 160 million Economic Impact Payments in record time. We have coordinated outreach efforts with thousands of community-based organizations and have provided materials in more than two dozen languages," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Given the extremely high demand for EIP assistance, we have continued to prioritize and increase resource allocations to eligible individuals, including those who may be waiting on some portion of their payment. To help with this, we are allocating additional IRS resources to ensure eligible recipients receive their full payments during this challenging time."

Used the Non-Filers tool after May 5? No action needed.

For those Social Security, SSI, Department of Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries who have already used the Non-Filers tool to provide information on children, no further action is needed. The IRS will automatically make a payment in October.

Didn't use the IRS Non-Filers tool yet? Provide information by September 30.

For those who received Social Security, SSI, RRB or VA benefits and have not used the Non-Filers tool to provide information on their child, they should register online by Sept. 30 using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool, available exclusively on IRS.gov. Remember, anyone who filed or plans to file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return should file the tax return and not use this tool.

For those unable to access the Non-Filers tool, they may submit a simplified paper return following the procedures described in this FAQ on IRS.gov.

Any beneficiary who misses the September 30 deadline will need to wait until next year and claim it as a credit on their 2020 federal income tax return.

Those who received their original Economic Impact Payment by direct deposit will also have any supplemental payment direct deposited to the same account. Others will receive a check.

Eligible recipients can check the status of their payments using the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov. In addition, a notice verifying the $500-per-child supplemental payment will be sent to each recipient and should be retained with other tax records.

Other Non-Filers can still get a payment; must act by October 15.

Though most Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments, the IRS reminds people with little or no income and who are not required to file tax returns that they remain eligible to receive an Economic Impact Payment.

People in this group should also use the Non-Filers' tool – but they need to act by October 15 to receive their payment this year.

Anyone who misses the October 15 deadline will need to wait until next year and claim it as a credit on their 2020 federal income tax return.

Available in both English and Spanish, the Non-Filers tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles. This includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness. People can qualify, even if they don't work or have no earned income. But low- and moderate-income workers and working families eligible to receive special tax benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, cannot use this tool. They will need to file a regular return by using IRS Free File or by another method.

Other important notices involving Economic Impact Payments:

Spouse's past-due child support. The IRS is actively working to resolve cases where a portion or all of an individual's payment was taken and applied to their spouse's past-due child support. People in this situation do not need to take any action. The IRS will automatically issue the portion of the EIP that was applied to the other spouse's debt.

Spouses of deceased taxpayers. Upon enactment of the CARES Act, the IRS initially implemented the legislation consistent with processes and procedures relating to the 2008 stimulus payments (which were transmitted to deceased individuals). After further review this spring, Treasury determined that those who died before receipt of the EIP should not receive the advance payment. As a result, the EIP procedures were modified to prevent future payments to deceased individuals. The cancellation of uncashed checks is part of this process. Some EIPs to spouses of deceased taxpayers were cancelled. The IRS is actively working on a systemic solution to reissue payments to surviving spouses of deceased taxpayers who were unable to deposit the initial EIPs paid to the deceased and surviving spouse. For EIPs that have been cancelled or returned, the surviving spouse will automatically receive their share of the EIP.

The IRS has taken steps to get payments to as many eligible individuals as possible. A recent oversight report confirmed that the IRS correctly computed the amount due for 98% of the payments issued. However, the IRS acknowledges the significance for those who have not yet received their full payment. The IRS continues to look at ways to help people get the right amount of the payment and will continue to provide updates on additional enhancements as they occur.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS 

IRS ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO MISSED THE JULY 15 DEADLINE, FILE NOW TO AVOID BIGGER BILL

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 20 2020

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WASHINGTON — For those who missed the July 15 tax deadline and didn't request an extension, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers about some important tips, including filing electronically as soon as possible to reduce potential penalties.

Some taxpayers may have extra time to file and pay any taxes due without penalties and interest. These include:

  • Members of the military who served or are currently in a combat zone. They qualify for an additional extension of at least 180 days to file and pay taxes.
  • Support personnel in combat zones or a contingency operation in support of the Armed Forces. They may also qualify for a filing and payment extension of at least 180 days.
  • Some disaster victims. Those who qualify have more time to file and pay what they owe.

The IRS offers these after-tax-day tips:

File to get a tax refund

The only way to get a refund is to file a tax return. There is no penalty for filing after the deadline if a refund is due. Use electronic filing options including IRS Free File available on IRS.gov through October 15 to prepare and file returns electronically.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that, while we continue to process electronic and paper tax returns, issue refunds, and accept payments, we're experiencing delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing. If a taxpayer filed a paper tax return, we will process it in the order we received it. Do not file a second tax return or call the IRS.

Taxpayers can track a refund using the Where's My Refund? tool on IRS.gov, IRS2Go and by phone at 800-829-1954. Taxpayers need the primary Social Security number on the tax return, the filing status and the expected refund amount. The tool updates once daily, usually overnight, so checking more frequently will not yield different results. The "Where's My Refund?" tool cannot be used to track Economic Impact Payments.

File to reduce penalties and interest

Normally, taxpayers should file their tax return, or request an extension, and pay any taxes they owe by the deadline to avoid penalties and interest. Taxpayers need to remember that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Penalties and interest will apply to taxes owed after July 15.

Even if a taxpayer can't afford to immediately pay the taxes they owe, they should still file a tax return as soon as possible to reduce possible penalties. The IRS has more information for taxpayers who owe the IRS, but cannot afford to pay.

Ordinarily, the failure-to-file penalty is 5% of the tax owed for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. But if a return is filed more than 60 days after the due date, the minimum penalty is either $435 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. Filing and paying as much as possible is important because the late-filing penalty and late-payment penalty add up quickly. The basic failure-to-pay penalty rate is generally 0.5% of unpaid tax owed for each month or part of a month. For more see IRS.gov/penalties.

Taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for penalty relief. A taxpayer will usually qualify if they have filed and paid timely for the past three years and meet other requirements. For more information, see the first-time penalty abatement page on IRS.gov.

Pay taxes due electronically

Those who owe taxes can view their balance, pay with IRS Direct Pay, by debit or credit card or apply online for a payment plan, including an installment agreement. Several other electronic payment options are available on IRS.gov/payments. They are secure and easy to use. Taxpayers paying electronically receive immediate confirmation when they submit their payment. With Direct Pay and the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), taxpayers can opt in to receive email notifications about their payments.

Need help? Tips for selecting a tax professional

Taxpayers can also look for help from a tax professional. Taxpayers can use several options to help find a tax preparer. One resource is Choosing a Tax Professional, which includes a wealth of consumer guidance for selecting a tax professional. There are various types of tax return preparers, including enrolled agents, certified public accountants, attorneys and some who don't have a professional credential.

The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications is a free searchable and sortable database. It includes the name, city, state and zip code of credentialed return preparers who are CPAs, enrolled agents or attorneys, as well as those who have completed the requirements for the IRS Annual Filing Season Program. A search of the database can help taxpayers verify credentials and qualifications of tax professionals or locate a tax professional in their geographic area.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS 

SHOULD I REFINANCE?-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 12 2020

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In order to refinance your home, the current market rate should be at least 2 percentage points lower than what you are paying on your mortgage. Speak with a lender to see what rate you may be able to get. Remember to factor in costs lie appraisals, points from the lender, and others, which may not be apparent in your initial price assessment.

After assessing that cost, get a quote of what your total payment would be after refinancing. The simplest way to find out how long it will take to recover the refinancing costs will be to divide your closing costs by the monthly savings with your new monthly payment.

Also take into consideration how long you plan on holding your home. It may not make sense to refinance the home if you plan on selling in the near future.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-HOW DOES LEGAL TREATMENT DIFFER BETWEEN MARRIED AND UNMARRIED COUPLES?-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 12 2020

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Unmarried couples don't:

Inherit each other's property automatically. Married couples have the state intestacy laws to support them if they do not have a will. Under the law, the surviving spouse will inherit (at the minimum) a fraction of the deceased spouse's property.
Have the privilege to speak for one another in a medical crisis. In the case that your life partner loses capacity or consciousness, someone will have to make the go-ahead decision for a medical purpose. It should be you, but if you haven't filed certain paperwork, you may not have the ability to do so.
Have the privilege to handle one another's finances in a crisis. A married couple that jointly own assets is less affected by this problem than an unmarried couple.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

DEDUCTING MORTGAGE INTEREST-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 12 2020

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If you own a home, and you itemize your deductions on Schedule A, you can claim a deduction for the interest paid. To be deductible, the interest you pay must be on a loan secured by your main home or a second home (including a second home that is also rented out for part of the year, so long as the personal use requirement is met). The loan can be a first or second mortgage, a home improvement loan, or a home equity loan. To be deductible, the loan must be secured by your home but the proceeds can be used for other than home improvements. You can refinance and use the proceeds to pay off credit card debt, go on vacation or buy a car and the interest will remain deductible. There are other financial reasons for not wanting to do this but it will not disqualify the deduction.

The interest deduction for home acquisition debt (that is, a loan taken out after October 13, 1987 to buy, build, or substantially improve a qualified home) is limited to debt of $750,000 ($375,000 if married filing separately).

In addition to the deduction for mortgage interest, points paid on the original purchase of your residence are also generally deductible. Taxpayers who are required to pay mortgage insurance premiums may also be able to deduct this amount subject to certain income limits. For more information about the mortgage interest deduction, see IRS Publication 936.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-SPECIAL TAX BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY AND THEIR FAMILIES-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 04 2020

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Members of the military may qualify for special tax benefits. For instance, they don't have to pay taxes on some types of income. Special rules could lower the tax they owe or allow them more time to file and pay their federal taxes.

Here are some of these special tax benefits:

  • Combat pay exclusion: If someone serves in a combat zonepart or all of their pay is tax-free. This also applies to people working in an area outside a combat zone when the Department of Defense certifies that area is in direct support of military operations in a combat zone. There are limits to this exclusion for commissioned officers.
  • Other nontaxable benefits: Base allowance for housing, base allowance for subsistence and uniform allowances are among several government pay items excluded from gross income, which means they are not taxed.
  • Moving expenses: Some non-reimbursed moving expenses may be tax deductible. To deduct these expenses, the taxpayer must be a member of the Armed Forces on active duty and their move must be due to a military order or result of a permanent change of station.
  • Deadline extensions: Some members of the military – such as those who serve overseas – can postpone most tax deadlines. Those who qualify can get automatic extensions of time to file and pay their taxes.
  • Earned income tax credit: Special rules allow military members who get nontaxable combat pay to choose to include it in their taxable income. One reason they might do this is to increase the amount of their earned income tax credit. People who qualify for this credit could owe less tax or even get a larger refund.
  • Joint return signatures: Both spouses must normally sign a joint income tax return. However, if military service prevents that from happening, one spouse may be able to sign for the other or get a power of attorney. Service members may want to consult with their installation's legal office to see if a power of attorney is right for them. 
  • Reserve and National Guard travel: Members of a reserve component of the Armed Forces may be able to deduct their unreimbursed travel expenses on their return. In order to do so, they must travel more than 100 miles away from home in connection with their performance of services as a member of the reserves.
  • ROTC allowances: Some amounts paid to ROTC students in advanced training are not taxable. However, active duty ROTC pay is taxable. This includes things like pay for summer advanced camp.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS       

RISKS VS. BENEFITS OF LIFE INSURANCE LOANS

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 04 2020

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Because of the economic downturn triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, many people have found themselves in need of cash to pay unexpected medical bills, mortgage payments and other expenses. One option is to borrow against the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy, but such loans aren’t risk-free.

Recognizing potential pitfalls

Before you borrow against a life insurance policy, consider risks such as:

Reduced benefits for heirs. If you die before repaying the loan or choose not to repay it, the loan balance plus any accrued interest will reduce the benefits payable to your heirs. This can be a hardship for family members if they’re counting on the insurance proceeds to replace your income or to pay estate taxes or other expenses.

Possible financial and tax consequences. Depending on your repayment schedule, there’s a risk that the loan balance plus accrued interest will grow beyond your policy’s cash value. This may cause your policy to lapse, which can trigger unfavorable tax consequences and deprive your family of the policy’s death benefit.

Eligibility. You can borrow against a life insurance policy only if you’ve built up enough cash value. This can take many years, so don’t count on a relatively new policy as a funding source.

Tapping cash value

There can be advantages to borrowing from a life insurance policy over a traditional loan. These include:

Lower costs. Interest rates are usually lower than those available from banks and credit card companies, and there are little or no fees or closing costs.

Simplicity and speed. So long as your insurer offers loans, there’s no approval process, lengthy application, credit check or income verification. Generally, you can obtain the funds within five to 10 business days.

Flexibility. Most insurers don’t impose restrictions on use of the funds. And you have the flexibility to design your own repayment schedule. You can even choose not to repay the loan, though that has negative tax consequences.

Generally no tax impact (as long as policy doesn’t lapse). Funds acquired by borrowing from a policy aren’t considered income, so they’re typically not reported to the IRS. This differs significantly from surrendering a policy in exchange for its cash value, which triggers taxable gains to the extent the cash value exceeds your investment in the policy (generally, premiums paid less any dividends or withdrawals). Note that interest paid on the loan typically isn’t deductible.

Reviewing your options

Be sure you really need to borrow from a life insurance policy before doing so. Consider alternatives, such as selling an asset or reducing expenses. We can help you make the right choice.

Sidebar: Dispelling a myth

There’s a common misconception that, when you borrow against a life insurance policy, you’re “borrowing from yourself.” In other words, when you pay interest on the loan, you’re essentially paying yourself.

This may be true when you borrow money from a retirement plan, but it’s not accurate when it comes to life insurance policy loans. In fact, you’re borrowing from your insurer, pledging the cash value of your policy as collateral and paying interest to the company. Policy loans may be cheaper than traditional loans, but they’re not free.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters  

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS IF I CO-SIGN FOR A LOAN?-

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 04 2020

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The co-signer enters an agreement to be responsible for the repayment of the loan if the borrower defaults. A lender will usually not go after the co-signer until the borrower defaults, but they can lawfully go after the co-signer at any time.

It has been stated by finance companies that in the case of a default most co-signers actually pay off the loans that they have co-signed for including the legal and late fees that end up being tacked on. Clearly this can be a large financial burden, and it can also reflect negatively on the co-signer's credit.

If you do agree to co-sign on a loan for someone, you can request that the financial institution agrees that it will refrain from collecting from you unless the primary borrower defaults. Also, make sure that your liability is limited to the unpaid principal and not any late or legal fees.

Upon co-signing you may have to brandish financial documents to the lender just as the primary borrower would have to.

Co-signing for a loan gives you the same legal responsibility for the repayment of the debt as the borrower. If there are late payments, this will affect your credit as well.

If you are asked to co-sign for someone, you may want to provide another option and suggest that they get a secured credit card. This way, they can build up their own credit history and not open themselves up to the possibility of taking on a debt too large, placing themselves, and you, in financial danger.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

IRS: NEW LAW PROVIDES RELIEF FOR ELIGIBLE TAXPAYERS WHO NEED FUNDS FROM IRAs AND OTHER RETIREMENT PLANS

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 04 2020

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service provided a reminder that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act can help eligible taxpayers in need by providing favorable tax treatment for withdrawals from retirement plans and IRAs and allowing certain retirement plans to offer expanded loan options.

Can I get money from my retirement account now?

Under the CARES Act, individuals eligible for coronavirus-related relief may be able to withdraw up to $100,000 from IRAs or workplace retirement plans before December 31, 2020, if their plans allow. In addition to IRAs, this relief applies to 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit-sharing plans and others.

These coronavirus-related withdrawals:

  • May be included in taxable income either over a three-year period (one-third each year) or in the year taken, at the individual's option.
     
  • Are not subject to the 10% additional tax on early distributions that would otherwise apply to most withdrawals before age 59½,
     
  • Are not subject to mandatory tax withholding, and
     
  • May be repaid to an IRA or workplace retirement plan within three years.

Can I take out a loan?

Individuals eligible to take coronavirus-related withdrawals may also, until September 22, 2020, be able to borrow as much as $100,000 (up from $50,000) from a workplace retirement plan, if their plan allows. Loans are not available from an IRA.

For eligible individuals, plan administrators can suspend, for up to one year, plan loan repayments due on or after March 27, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. A suspended loan is subject to interest during the suspension period, and the term of the loan may be extended to account for the suspension period.

Taxpayers should check with their plan administrator to see if their plan offers these expanded loan options and for more details about these options.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for COVID-19 relief, coronavirus-related withdrawals or loans can only be made to an individual if:

  • The individual is diagnosed with the virus SARS-CoV-2 or with coronavirus disease 2019 (collectively, COVID-19) by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (including a test authorized under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act);
     
  • The individual's spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test; or
     
  • The individual experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of:
     
    • The individual being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off, having work hours reduced, being unable to work due to lack of childcare, having a reduction in pay (or self-employment income), or having a job offer rescinded or start date for a job delayed, due to COVID-19;
    • The individual's spouse or a member of the individual's household (that is, someone who shares the individual's principal residence) being quarantined, being furloughed or laid off, having work hours reduced, being unable to work due to lack of childcare, having a reduction in pay (or self-employment income), or having a job offer rescinded or start date for a job delayed, due to COVID-19; or
    • Closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual, the individual's spouse, or a member of the individual's household, due to COVID-19.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

-WHAT DO BANKS LOOK FOR IN A LOAN REQUEST?

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 04 2020

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The bank official who reviews the loan request is focused on repayment. Most loan officers request a copy of your business credit report to determine your ability to repay.

The lending officer will consider the following issues while using the information you provided and the credit report:

  • Have you invested at least 25% or 50% of savings or personal equity into the business for the loan you are requesting? (Keep in mind that 100% of your business will not be financed by an investor.)
  • Do your work history, your credit report and letters of recommendation show a healthy record of credit worthiness? This is a key factor.
  • Do you have the training and experience necessary to operate a successful business?
  • Do your loan proposal and business plan document your knowledge of and dedication to the success of the business?
  • Is the cash flow of the business sufficient to make the monthly payments on the requested loan?

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

WITH GLITCH FIXED, CONSIDER BUSINESS PROPERTY UPGRADES

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 04 2020

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law in March, has provided more than just relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also contains a beneficial change in the tax rules for many improvements to interior parts of nonresidential buildings, referred to as qualified improvement property (QIP).

Recent history

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed in 2017, it contained an inadvertent drafting error by Congress. The error made it so that any QIP placed in service after December 31, 2017, wasn’t classified as 15-year property and therefor wasn’t eligible for 100% bonus depreciation. So, the cost of QIP had to be deducted over a 39-year period rather than over a 15-year period or entirely in the year the QIP was placed in service.

Investments qualifying as QIP generally include upgrades to retail, restaurant and leasehold property. Hence, the problem became commonly known as the “retail glitch.”

The fix

Fortunately, when drafting the CARES Act, Congress fixed the retail glitch. Most businesses can now claim 100% bonus depreciation for QIP — or depreciate it over 15 years — assuming all applicable rules are followed. (Note that improvements related to a building’s enlargement, elevator or escalator, or internal structural framework don’t qualify.)

Because of the slowdown in the U.S. economy, your business (like so many others) may not be in a financial position to undertake a QIP project right away. But when investing in your business is looking feasible, factor this tax break into your considerations for making future property improvements.

Even if you can’t afford to invest in QIP this year, you might be able to enjoy some QIP tax benefits now. The correction is retroactive to any QIP placed in service after December 31, 2017. So if you made eligible improvements in 2018 or 2019, you may be able claim a tax refund.

Next steps

While claiming 100% bonus depreciation may sound like a no-brainer, keep in mind that in some circumstances it might be more beneficial to depreciate QIP over 15 years. Either option can produce a tax refund for prior years; it’s just the size of the refund that will differ. We can help you determine if your property improvement investments qualify as QIP and, if so, assess whether 100% bonus depreciation or 15-year depreciation is better for you.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters    

-MORTGAGE MATTERS: TO PAY DOWN OR NOT TO PAY DOWN

Posted by Admin Posted on July 29 2020

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If you’re a homeowner and manage your finances well, you might have extra cash after you’ve paid your monthly bills. What should you do with this extra money? Some would say make additional mortgage payments toward your principal to pay off your mortgage early. Others would say: No, invest those dollars in the stock market!

The decision is very much about risk vs. return. There’s little, if any, risk in prepaying a mortgage, because you already know what your rate of return will be: the interest rate on your mortgage. For instance, if your mortgage interest rate is 4.5%, this would be the return earned by every dollar that goes toward prepayment (not factoring in the mortgage interest deduction if you qualify).

However, if you invest the money in the stock market, you’ll assume much more risk. The level of risk depends on the assets you invest in, but there’s no such thing as a risk-free investment.

Your mortgage interest rate is indeed an important factor. If your rate is relatively low, so is the return from prepaying your mortgage. The final decision for many people comes down to whether they believe they can earn a higher return investing the money than they would prepaying their mortgage.

Clearly there’s the potential to outperform your mortgage interest rate by investing your money for the long term. Remember, though, that the stock market may be volatile in the short term and offers no guarantees.

There’s no single answer to the “pay down the mortgage or invest in the market?” question. We can provide additional, more specific guidance on making the right decision for you.

If you have any questions regarding Essential Business Accounting, Domestic Taxation, International Taxation, IRS Representation, U.S. Tax Implications of Real Estate Transactions or Financial Statements, pleasegiveus a call at 305-274-5811.                                   

Source: Thomson Reuters

-WHICH IS BETTER, BUYING OR LEASING MY NEXT CAR?-

Posted by Admin Posted on July 23 2020

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It depends on factors such as 1) what kind of deal you can make with the dealership, 2) the typical mileage you put on your car, 3) how much you wear down a car, and 4) the primary use for the car.

To determine whether leasing or buying is best, compare the costs and other issues involved in a lease or purchase. The following factors should be considered:

  • Beginning costs
  • Continual costs
  • Total costs
  • Is there a possibility of deduction of any of the costs due to the car being used for business?
  • How important is it to have ownership of the car

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

IRS UNCLAIMED REFUNDS OF $1.5 BILLION WAITING FOR TAX YEAR 2016; TAXPAYERS FACE JULY 15 DEADLINE

Posted by Admin Posted on July 23 2020

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WASHINGTON — Unclaimed income tax refunds worth more than $1.5 billion await an estimated 1.4 million individual taxpayers who did not file a 2016 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

"The IRS wants to help taxpayers who are owed refunds but haven't filed their 2016 tax returns yet," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers. There's only a three-year window to claim these refunds, and the window closes on July 15. To claim the refund, a return for tax year 2016 must be filed by July 15, 2020."

In Notice 2020-23 (PDF), the IRS extended the due date for filing tax year 2016 returns and claiming refunds for that year to July 15, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the IRS is issuing Economic Impact Payments to Americans, the agency urges taxpayers who haven't filed past due tax returns to file now to claim these valuable refunds.

To collect refunds for tax year 2016, taxpayers must file their 2016 tax returns with the IRS no later than this year's extended tax due date of July 15, 2020.

The IRS estimates the midpoint for the potential refunds for 2016 to be $861 — that is, half of the refunds are more than $861 and half are less.

In cases where a federal income tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity to claim a tax refund. If they do not file a tax return within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.

For 2016 tax returns, the window closes July 15, 2020, for most taxpayers. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by the July 15 date.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that there is no penalty for filing late when a refund is involved. Taxpayers seeking a 2016 tax refund should know that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2017 and 2018. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2016. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2016, the credit was worth as much as $6,269.

The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2016 were:

  • $47,955 ($53,505 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
  • $44,648 ($50,198 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $39,296 ($44,846 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
  • $14,880 ($20,430 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Current and prior year tax forms (such as the tax year 2016 Form 1040, 1040-A and 1040-EZ) and instructions are available on the IRS.gov Forms and Publications page or by calling toll-free 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years 2016, 2017 or 2018 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer. Taxpayers who are unable to get missing forms from their employer or other payer can order a free wage and income transcript at IRS.gov using the Get Transcript Online tool. Alternatively, they can mail Form 4506-T to request a wage and income transcript. A wage and income transcript shows data from information returns received by the IRS, such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, Form 5498 and IRA contribution information. Taxpayers can use the information from the transcript to file their tax return.

State-by-state estimates of individuals who may be due 2016 income tax refunds

State or District Estimated Number of Individuals Median Potential Refund Total Potential Refunds*
Alabama 23,300 $859 $24,614,400
Alaska 5,500 $979 $6,754,900
Arizona 32,400 $762 $32,281,600
Arkansas 13,400 $822 $13,798,800
California 130,600 $816 $135,981,300
Colorado 27,500 $809 $28,276,500
Connecticut 14,300 $930 $16,213,300
Delaware 5,600 $878 $6,114,500
District of Columbia 3,700 $904 $4,224,600
Florida 99,000 $874 $105,706,400
Georgia 48,600 $792 $49,682,700
Hawaii 7,700 $932 $8,785,600
Idaho 6,200 $727 $5,876,000
Illinois 51,700 $909 $57,312,200
Indiana 32,700 $887 $35,129,700
Iowa 14,700 $908 $15,735,600
Kansas 14,600 $877 $15,706,800
Kentucky 18,700 $869 $19,517,100
Louisiana 24,400 $849 $26,410,100
Maine 5,600 $802 $5,482,200
Maryland 28,200 $873 $31,619,700
Massachusetts 29,900 $956 $34,261,900
Michigan 46,600 $853 $49,591,400
Minnesota 21,000 $803 $21,155,300
Mississippi 12,900 $777 $12,931,600
Missouri 32,400 $828 $33,522,400
Montana 4,600 $781 $4,582,000
Nebraska 7,800 $845 $8,081,700
Nevada 15,900 $859 $16,922,300
New Hampshire 6,500 $965 $7,474,300
New Jersey 36,200 $936 $41,268,900
New Mexico 9,600 $833 $10,219,600
New York 70,300 $958 $80,830,100
North Carolina 44,900 $833 $46,044,500
North Dakota 4,000 $949 $4,539,800
Ohio 52,900 $841 $54,542,900
Oklahoma 21,000 $866 $22,600,000
Oregon 21,400 $762 $21,237,200
Pennsylvania 55,200 $919 $60,505,200
Rhode Island 3,900 $926 $4,410,100
South Carolina 17,200 $769 $17,323,700
South Dakota 3,800 $899 $3,976,100
Tennessee 29,000 $840 $29,834,800
Texas 143,400 $898 $159,809,900
Utah 11,100 $766 $11,037,700
Vermont 2,800 $892 $2,897,400
Virginia 37,900 $827 $39,977,600
Washington 37,200 $918 $42,273,300
West Virginia 7,200 $921 $7,830,000
Wisconsin 19,900 $781 $19,483,100
Wyoming 3,400 $920 $3,766,100
Totals 1,418,300 $861 $1,518,154,900

*Excluding credits.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS       

 

-TAXPAYERS NEED TO RESUME PAYMENTS BY JULY 15

Posted by Admin Posted on July 22 2020

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WASHINGTON — The IRS reminds taxpayers who took advantage of the People First Initiative tax relief and did not make previously owed tax payments between March 25 to July 15 that they need to restart their payments.

As the IRS continues to reopen its operations across the country, taxpayers who were in payment agreements and skipped any payments from March 25 and July 15 should start paying again to avoid penalties and possible default on their agreements.

"Through the People First Initiative, we have endeavored to provide unprecedented relief to help those who owed federal taxes and allow them extra time," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "As we resume a phased-in approach to our normal operations, we are sympathetic to the many Americans still suffering COVID-related hardships and stand ready to continue offering help to those who need it."

Here's what taxpayers should do to resume their payment agreements to the IRS, including Installment Agreements, Offers in Compromise, and Private Debt Collection program payments:

Installment Agreements

Taxpayers who suspended their installment agreement payments between April 1 and July 15, 2020, will need to resume their payments by their first monthly payment due date after July 15. Taxpayers should be aware that the IRS didn't default their agreement, but interest did accrue, and the balance remained.

Taxpayers who had their bank suspend direct debit payments should contact the bank immediately to ensure their first monthly payment due date occurring on or after July 15, 2020 is sent to avoid penalties.

If a taxpayer can't meet their current installment agreement terms due to a COVID related hardship, they can revise the agreement on IRS.gov/paymentplan or call the customer service number on their IRS notice if they have a Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA).

Offer in Compromise

Pending Offers: If the IRS is currently reviewing a taxpayer's submitted offer but hasn't accepted it yet, the taxpayer should resume their required payments starting July 15, 2020. The IRS will amend the taxpayer's offer to allow them to pay any skipped payments at the end of the offer period, if the offer is accepted.

Already Accepted Offers: If a taxpayer has an Offer in Compromise agreement, and the taxpayer was unable to make the payments on their accepted offer because of a COVID-19 hardship, the taxpayer should resume payments and make up the missed payments by July 15, 2020. If the taxpayer is unable to make up the missed payments, they can contact the number on the IRS notice to discuss their situation.

Private Debt Collection

The IRS did not forward new delinquent accounts to Private Collection Agencies (PCAs) from April 1 through July 15, 2020, and PCA interaction with taxpayers was limited to inbound telephone calls unless requested by a taxpayer in a voicemail or correspondence.

Taxpayers who had their PCA payments on hold should resume payments by July 15. The IRS encourages taxpayers to work with their assigned PCA to establish a new payment arrangement or restructure an existing one based on their current situation.

Taxpayers Who Owe But Can't Pay

The IRS reminds taxpayers who are experiencing a hardship or who have questions about their payments to call the customer service number provided on their notice but be mindful that wait times could be long. Phone lines remain extremely busy as the IRS resumes operations. Taxpayers also have a variety of options through IRS.gov/payments to make one time or recurring payments without having to contact the IRS.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source : IRS       

-DEDUCTIBLE HOME OFFICE-

Posted by Admin Posted on July 22 2020

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Whether you are self-employed or an employee, if you use a portion of your home exclusively and regularly for business purposes, you may be able to take a home office deduction.

You can deduct certain expenses if your home office is the principal place where your trade or business is conducted or where you meet and deal with clients or patients in the course of your business. If you use a separate structure not attached to your home for an exclusive and regular part of your business, you can deduct expenses related to it.

Your home office will qualify as your principal place of business if you use it exclusively and regularly for the administrative or management activities associated with your trade or business. There must be no other fixed place where you conduct substantial administrative or management activities. If you use both your home and other locations regularly in your business, you must determine which location is your principle place of business, based on the relative importance of the activities performed at each location. If the relative importance factor doesn't determine your principle place of business, you can also consider the time spent at each location.

If you are an employee, you have additional requirements to meet. You cannot take the home office deduction unless the business use of your home is for the convenience of your employer. Also, you cannot take deductions for space you are renting to your employer.

Generally, the amount you can deduct depends on the percentage of your home used for business. Your deduction will be limited if your gross income from your business is less than your total business expenses. Please contact us for more!

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

Taxpayers should report tip income on their tax return

Posted by Admin Posted on July 22 2020

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Generally, income received from any source, including tips, is taxable. Here's some information to help taxpayers report tip income.

All tips that taxpayers receive are income and subject to federal income tax. Taxpayers must include all tips they receive in their gross income. This includes:

  • Tips directly from customers.
  • Tips added using credit cards.
  • Tips from a tip-splitting arrangement with other employees.

The value of non-cash tips, such as tickets, passes or other items of value is also income and subject to tax.

Three things can help taxpayers to correctly report their tip income.

  • Keep a daily tip record.
  • Report tips to their employer.
  • Report all tips on their income tax return.

Use the Interactive Tax Assistant

This online tool provides answers to tax law questions. Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov to find out if their tip income is taxable.

If an employee receives $20 or more in any month, they must report their tips for that month to their employer by the 10th day of the next month. The employer must withhold federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on the reported tips.

The tax filing deadline has been postponed to Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The IRS is processing tax returns, issuing refunds and accepting payments. Taxpayers who mailed a tax return will experience a longer wait. There is no need to mail a second tax return or call the IRS.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS      

NO OLVIDE QUE LOS BENEFICIOS DEL SEGURO SOCIAL PUEDEN ESTAR SUJETOS A IMPUESTOS

Posted by Admin Posted on July 22 2020

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Los contribuyentes que reciben beneficios del Seguro Social pueden tener que pagar impuestos federales sobre una parte de esos beneficios.

Los beneficios del Seguro Social incluyen beneficios mensuales de jubilación, supervivencia y discapacidad. No incluyen pagos suplementarios de ingresos de seguridad, que no están sujetos a impuestos.

La parte de los beneficios que están sujetos a impuestos depende de los ingresos y el estado civil tributario del contribuyente.

Para saber si sus beneficios son tributables, los contribuyentes deben:

  • Tomar la mitad del dinero del Seguro Social que recaudaron durante el año y agregarlo a sus otros ingresos.

Otros ingresos incluyen pensiones, salarios, intereses, dividendos y ganancias de capital.

  • Si son solteros y ese total asciende a más de $25,000, entonces parte de sus beneficios del Seguro Social pueden estar sujetos impuestos.

Si están casados ​​y presentan una declaración conjunta, deben tomar la mitad de su Seguro Social, más la mitad del Seguro Social de su cónyuge, y agregarlo a todos sus ingresos combinados. Si ese total es más de $32,000, entonces parte de su Seguro Social puede estar sujeto a impuestos.

El cincuenta por ciento de los beneficios de un contribuyente puede estar sujeto a impuestos si:

  • Presenta como soltero, jefe de familia, viudo o viudo calificado con ingresos de $25,000 a $34,000.
  • Casado que presentó una declaración por separado y vivió separado de su cónyuge durante todo 2019 con ingresos de $25,000 a $34,000.
  • Casado que presenta una declaración conjunta con ingresos de $32,000 a $44,000.

Hasta el 85 por ciento de los beneficios de un contribuyente pueden estar sujetos a impuestos si:

  • Presenta como soltero, jefe de familia o viuda o viudo calificado con más de $34,000 de ingresos.
  • Casado que presenta una declaración conjunta con más de $44,000 de ingresos.
  • Casado ​​que presenta una declaración por separado y vivió separado de su cónyuge durante todo 2019 con más de $34,000 de ingresos.
  • Casado ​​que presenta una declaración por separado y vivió con su cónyuge en cualquier momento durante 2019.

El Asistente Interactivo de Impuestos en IRS.gov puede ayudar a los contribuyentes a responder la pregunta ¿Son tributables mis beneficios de Seguro Social o Retiro Ferroviario Nivel I? (en inglés).

El plazo de presentación de impuestos se pospuso hasta el miércoles, 15 de julio de 2020. El IRS está procesando declaraciones de impuestos, emitiendo reembolsos y aceptando pagos. Los contribuyentes que enviaron una declaración de impuestos experimentarán una espera más larga. No es necesario enviar una segunda declaración de impuestos o llamar al IRS.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la contabilidad comercial esencial, los impuestos nacionales, los impuestos internacionales, la representación del IRS, las implicaciones fiscales de los Estados Unidos de las transacciones de bienes inmuebles o los estados financieros, llámenos al 305-274-5811.

Fuente: IRS         

TAX INCENTIVES FOR EDUCATION

Posted by Admin Posted on July 22 2020

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The tax code provides a variety of tax incentives for families who are paying higher education costs or are repaying student loans. You may be able to claim an American Opportunity Credit (formerly called the Hope Credit) or Lifetime Learning Credit for the qualified tuition and related expenses of the students in your family (i.e. you, your spouse, or dependent) who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions. Different rules apply to each credit and the ability to claim the credit phases out at higher income levels. 

If you don't qualify for the credit, you may be able to claim the "tuition & fees deduction" for qualified educational expenses. You cannot claim this deduction if your filing status is married filing separately or if another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return. This deduction phases out at higher income levels. 

You may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. The deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income, so you do not have to itemize your deductions on Schedule A Form 1040. However, this deduction is also phased out at higher income levels.  

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters 

KEEPING UP WITH THE NET OPERATING LOSS RULES

Posted by Admin Posted on July 16 2020

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When a trade or business’s deductible expenses exceed its income, a net operating loss (NOL) generally occurs. When filing your 2019 income tax return, you might find that your business has an NOL — and you may be able to turn it to your tax advantage. But the rules applying to NOLs have changed and changed again. Let’s review.

Pre-TCJA

Before 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), when a business incurred an NOL, the loss could be carried back up to two years. Any remaining amount could then be carried forward up to 20 years.

A carryback generates an immediate tax refund, boosting cash flow. A carryforward allows the company to apply the NOL to future years when its tax rate may be higher.

Post-TCJA

The changes made under the TCJA to the tax treatment of NOLs generally weren’t favorable to taxpayers. According to those rules, for NOLs arising in tax years ending after December 31, 2017, most businesses couldn’t carry back a qualifying NOL.

This was especially detrimental to trades or businesses that had been operating for only a few years. They tend to generate NOLs in those early years and greatly benefit from the cash-flow boost of a carryback. On the plus side, the TCJA allowed NOLs to be carried forward indefinitely, as opposed to the previous 20-year limit.

For NOLs arising in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, the TCJA also stipulated that an NOL carryforward generally can’t be used to shelter more than 80% of taxable income in the carryforward year. (Under previous law, generally up to 100% could be sheltered.)

COVID-19 response

The NOL rules were changed yet again under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. For NOLs arising in tax years beginning in 2018 through 2020, taxpayers are now eligible to carry back the NOLs to the previous five tax years. You may be able to file amended returns for carryback years to receive a tax refund now.

The CARES Act also modifies the treatment of NOL carryforwards. For tax years beginning before 2021, taxpayers can now potentially claim an NOL deduction equal to 100% of taxable income (rather than the 80% limitation under the TCJA) for prior-year NOLs carried forward into those years. For tax years beginning after 2020, taxpayers may be eligible for a 100% deduction for carryforwards of NOLs arising in tax years before 2018 plus a deduction equal to the lesser of 1) 100% of NOL carryforwards from post-2017 tax years, or 2) 80% of remaining taxable income (if any) after deducting NOL carryforwards from pre-2018 tax years.

Complicated rules

The NOL rules have always been complicated and multiple law changes have complicated them further. It’s also possible there could be more tax law changes this year affecting NOLs. Please contact us for further clarification and more information.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters 

CHARITABLE GIVING IN A TIME OF CRISIS

Posted by Admin Posted on July 16 2020

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The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created much financial stress, but the crisis has also generated an intense need for charitable action. If you’re able to continue donating during this difficult period, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act may make it a little easier for you to do so, whether you’re a small or large donor.

Tax benefits

From an income tax perspective, the CARES Act has expanded charitable contribution deductions. Individual taxpayers who don’t itemize can take advantage of a new above-the-line $300 deduction for cash contributions to qualified charities in 2020. “Above-the-line” means the deduction reduces adjusted gross income (AGI). You can take this in addition to your standard deduction.

For larger donors, the CARES Act has eased the limitation on charitable deductions for cash contributions made to public charities in 2020, boosting it from 60% to 100% of AGI. There’s no requirement that your contributions be related to COVID-19.

Careful steps

To be able to claim a donation deduction, whatever the size, you need to ensure you’re giving to a qualified charity. You can check a charity’s eligibility to receive tax-deductible contributions by visiting the IRS’s Tax-Exempt Organization Search.

If you’re making a large gift, it’s a good idea to do additional research on the charities you’re considering so you can make sure they use their funds efficiently and effectively. The IRS tool provides access to detailed financial information about charitable organizations, such as Form 990 information returns and IRS determination letters.

Even if a charity is financially sound when you make a gift, there’s no guarantee it won’t suffer financial distress, file for bankruptcy protection or even cease operations down the road. The last thing you likely want is for a charity to use your gifts to pay off its creditors or for a purpose unrelated to the mission that inspired you to give in the first place.

One way to manage these risks is to restrict the use of your gift. For example, you might limit the use to assisting a specific constituency or funding medical research. These restrictions can be documented in a written gift or endowment fund agreement.

Generous impact

Indeed, charitable giving is more important than ever. Contact our firm for help allocating funds for a donation and understanding the tax impact of your generosity.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters   

TAXPAYERS SHOULD FILE ON TIME EVEN IF THEY CAN’T PAY THEIR FULL TAX BILL

Posted by Admin Posted on July 16 2020

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Taxpayers should file their tax return by the deadline even if they cannot pay the full amount due. Otherwise, they may end up owing even more because penalties and interest can cause a taxpayer's debt to grow.

If a taxpayer owes taxes, but can't pay by the July 15, 2020 deadline, they should:

File their tax return or request an extension of time to file.

Taxpayers who can't file their return on time, should request an extension to file. Without this extension, they may face a failure-to-file penalty.

To get an extension to file, taxpayers must do one of the following:

File Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using Free File on IRS.gov.

  • Submit an electronic payment with Direct Pay, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by debit, credit card or digital wallet and select Form 4868 or extension as the payment type.

Pay what they can by the deadline.

Taxpayers must pay their bill on time. If they don't, they will could face a failure-to-pay penalty. Taxpayers should remember that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. An automatic extension of time to file will process when taxpayers pay all or part of their taxes electronically by the Wednesday, July 15 due date.

Set up a payment plan.

Taxpayers who know they owe taxes but can't pay by the deadline have options. For example, they can apply for a payment plan on IRS.gov or in writing using Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.

The tax filing deadline has been postponed to Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The IRS is processing tax returns, issuing refunds and accepting payments. Taxpayers who mailed a tax return will experience a longer wait. There is no need to mail a second tax return or call the IRS.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS       

Taxpayers should be aware of myths about tax refunds

Posted by Admin Posted on July 07 2020

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Now that many taxpayers have filed their federal tax returns electronically and the IRS is back to processing paper tax returns sent by mail, they're eager for details about their refund. When it comes to refunds, there are several common myths.

Getting a refund this year means there's no need to adjust withholding for 2020

To help avoid a surprise next year, taxpayers should make changes now to prepare for next year. One way to do this is to adjust their tax withholding with their employer. This is easy to do using the Tax Withholding Estimator. This tool can help taxpayers determine if their employer is withholding the right amount. This is especially important for anyone who got an unexpected result from filing their tax return this year. This could have happened because the taxpayer's employer withheld too much or too little tax from the employee's paycheck in 2019.

Calling the IRS or a tax professional will provide a better refund date

Many people think talking to the IRS or their tax professional is the best way to find out when they will get their refund. The best way to check the status of a refund is online through the Where's My Refund? tool or the IRS2Go mobile app.

Taxpayers can call the automated refund hotline at 800-829-1954. This hotline has the same information as Where's My Refund? and IRS telephone assistors. There is no need to call the IRS unless Where's My Refund? says to do so.

Ordering a tax transcript is a secret way to get a refund date

Doing so will not help taxpayers find out when they will get their refund. Where's My Refund? tells the taxpayer their tax return has been received and if the IRS has approved or sent the refund.

Where's My Refund? must be wrong because there's no deposit date yet

Updates to Where's My Refund? ‎on both IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app are made once a day. These updates are usually made overnight. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it's possible a refund may take longer. If the IRS needs more information to process a tax return, the agency will contact the taxpayer by mail. Taxpayers should also consider the time it takes for the banks to post the refund to the taxpayer's account. People waiting for a refund in the mail should plan for the time it takes a check to arrive.

Where's My Refund? must be wrong because a refund amount is less than expected

There are several factors that could cause a tax refund to be larger or smaller than expected. Situations that could decrease a refund include:

  • The taxpayer made math errors or mistakes
  • The taxpayer owes federal taxes for a prior year
  • The taxpayer owes state taxes, child support, student loans or other delinquent federal non-tax obligations
  • The IRS holds a portion of the refund while it reviews an item claimed on the return

The IRS will mail the taxpayer a letter of explanation if these adjustments are made. Some taxpayers may also receive a letter from the Department of Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service if their refund was reduced to offset certain financial obligations.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

Gig economy tips taxpayers should remember

Posted by Admin Posted on July 06 2020

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The gig economy, also called sharing or access economy, is activity where taxpayers earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods. Often, it’s through a digital platform like an app or website. While there are many types of sharing economy businesses, ride-sharing and home rentals are two of the most popular.

Here are some things taxpayers should remember:

  • Income from these sources is taxable, regardless of whether an individual receives information returns. This is true even if the work is full-time, part-time or if an individual is paid in cash.
  • Taxpayers may also be required to make quarterly estimated income tax payments and pay their share of Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid taxes.

While providing gig economy services, it is important that the taxpayer is correctly classified.

  • This means the business or the taxpayer must determine whether the individual providing the services is an employee or independent contractor.
  • Taxpayers can use the worker classification page on IRS.gov to see how they are classified.
  • Independent contractors may be able to deduct business expenses, depending on tax limits and rules. It is important for taxpayers to keep records of their business expenses.

Since income from the gig economy is taxable, it’s important that taxpayers remember to pay the right amount of taxes throughout the year to avoid owing when they file.

  • An employer typically withholds income taxes from their employees’ pay to help cover income taxes their employees owe.
  • Gig economy workers who are not considered employees have two ways to cover their income taxes:
    • Submit a new From W-4 to their employer to have more income taxes withheld from their paycheck, if they have another job as an employee.
    • Make quarterly estimated tax payments to help pay their income taxes throughout the year, including self-employment tax.

The Gig Economy Tax Center on IRS.gov answers questions and helps gig economy taxpayers understand their tax responsibilities.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

IRS extiende fecha límite del 15 de julio y otros plazos para víctimas de tornados en partes del sur; provee otro alivio

Posted by Admin Posted on July 06 2020

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WASHINGTON — Víctimas de los tornados, tormentas severas e inundaciones que ocurrieron en partes de Mississippi, Tennessee y Carolina del Sur ahora tendrán hasta el 15 de octubre de 2020 para presentar varias declaraciones de impuestos individuales y comerciales y efectuar pagos de impuestos, anunció hoy el Servicio de Impuestos Internos.

El IRS ofrece este alivio a cualquier área designada por la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA) como elegible para asistencia individual. Actualmente, esto incluye los condados de Clarke, Covington, Grenada, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lawrence, Panola y Walthall en Mississippi, los condados de Bradley y Hamilton en Tennessee y los condados de Aiken, Barnwell, Berkeley, Colleton, Hampton, Marlboro, Oconee, Orangeburg y Pickens en Carolina del Sur.

Los contribuyentes en las localidades que se agreguen más tarde al área del desastre recibirán automáticamente la misma ayuda de presentación y pago. La lista actual de localidades elegibles siempre está disponible en la página de ayuda en caso de desastres en IRS.gov.

El alivio tributario pospone varios plazos de presentación y pago de impuestos que comenzaron a partir del 12 de abril. Como resultado, las personas y empresas afectadas tendrán hasta el 15 de octubre de 2020 para presentar las declaraciones y pagar los impuestos que debieron originalmente durante este período. Esto incluye las declaraciones individuales y comerciales del 2019 que vencen el 15 de julio debido a COVID-19. Entre otras cosas, esto también significa que los contribuyentes afectados tendrán hasta el 15 de octubre para hacer contribuciones a las cuentas IRA de 2019.

La fecha límite del 15 de octubre también se aplica a los pagos de impuestos estimados de los primeros trimestres de 2020 que vencen el 15 de julio, y el pago de impuestos estimados del tercer trimestre que usualmente vence el 15 de septiembre. También se aplica a las declaraciones de impuestos trimestrales de nómina y los impuestos por uso y consumo que usualmente vencen el 30 de abril y el 31 de julio.

Además, las multas sobre los depósitos de impuestos sobre la nómina y los impuestos por uso y consumo que vencen a partir del 12 de abril y antes del 27 de abril se anularán siempre y cuando los depósitos se hayan efectuado para el 27 de abril.

La página de ayuda por desastre del IRS tiene detalles acerca de otras declaraciones, pagos y acciones relacionadas con impuestos que califican para el tiempo adicional.

El IRS proporciona automáticamente la presentación y el alivio de multas a cualquier contribuyente con una dirección de registro del IRS ubicada en el área del desastre. Por lo tanto, los contribuyentes no necesitan comunicarse con la agencia para obtener este alivio. Sin embargo, si un contribuyente afectado recibe un aviso de multa por presentación o pago tardío del IRS que tiene una fecha de vencimiento de presentación, pago o depósito original o extendida dentro del período de aplazamiento, el contribuyente debe llamar al número que aparece en el aviso para que le anulen la multa.

Además, el IRS trabajará con cualquier contribuyente que viva fuera del área del desastre, pero cuyos archivos necesarios para cumplir con una fecha límite que ocurra durante el período de aplazamiento se encuentren en el área afectada. Esto también incluye a los trabajadores que asisten a las actividades de ayuda que están afiliados a un gobierno reconocido u organización filantrópica.

Los contribuyentes que califican para alivio que viven fuera del área del desastre deben comunicarse con el IRS al 866-562-5227, una vez se reanuden las operaciones normales. Para información acerca de los servicios disponibles del IRS, visite la página de Operaciones y servicios del IRS en irs.gov/coronavirus.

Las personas y empresas en un área de desastre declarada federalmente que sufrieron pérdidas relacionadas con el desastre no reembolsadas o sin seguro pueden optar por reclamarlas en la declaración del año en que ocurrió la pérdida (en este caso, la declaración de 2020 que normalmente se presenta el próximo año) o la declaración para el año anterior Esto significa que los contribuyentes pueden, si lo desean, reclamar estas pérdidas en la declaración de 2019 que están completando esta temporada de impuestos.

Asegúrese de escribir el número de declaración de FEMA en cualquier declaración que reclame una pérdida. Los números son 4536 para Mississippi, 4541 para Tennessee y 4542 para Carolina del Sur. Vea la Publicación 547 (SP) para más detalles.

El alivio tributario es parte de una respuesta federal coordinada al daño causado por estas tormentas y se basa en evaluaciones locales de daños de FEMA. Para obtener información acerca de la recuperación ante desastres, visite disasterassistance.gov/es.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la contabilidad comercial esencial, los impuestos nacionales, los impuestos internacionales, la representación del IRS, las implicaciones fiscales de los Estados Unidos de las transacciones de bienes inmuebles o los estados financieros, llámenos al 305-274-5811.

Fuente: IRS

-Consejos a cerca de la economía compartida que los contribuyentes deben recordar-

Posted by Admin Posted on July 06 2020

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La economía compartida, también llamada economía disponible por encargo o de acceso, es una actividad en la que los contribuyentes obtienen ingresos al proporcionar trabajo, servicios o bienes a pedido. A menudo, es a través de una plataforma digital como una aplicación o sitio web. Mientras que hay muchos tipos de negocios de economía compartida, los viajes compartidos y el alquiler de propiedades son dos de los más populares.

Aquí hay algunas cosas que los contribuyentes deben recordar:

  • Los ingresos de estas fuentes están sujetos a impuestos, independientemente de si un individuo recibe declaraciones de información. Esto es cierto incluso si el trabajo es a tiempo completo, a tiempo parcial o si a un individuo se le paga en efectivo.
  • También se puede exigir a los contribuyentes que hagan pagos trimestrales de impuestos estimados y paguen su parte de los impuestos del Seguro Social, Medicare o Medicaid.

Al proporcionar servicios de economía compartida, es importante que el contribuyente se clasifique correctamente.

  • Esto significa que la empresa o el contribuyente deben determinar si la persona que brinda los servicios es un empleado o un contratista independiente.
  • Los contribuyentes pueden usar la página de clasificación de los trabajadores  en IRS.gov para ver cómo están clasificados.
  • Los contratistas independientes pueden deducir los gastos comerciales, según los límites y las normas tributarias. Es importante que los contribuyentes mantengan archivos de sus gastos comerciales.

Dado que los ingresos de la economía compartida están sujetos a impuestos, es importante que los contribuyentes recuerden pagar la cantidad correcta de impuestos durante todo el año para evitar adeudarlos cuando presenten sus declaraciones.

  • Un empleador generalmente retiene los impuestos tributarios del pago de sus empleados para ayudar a cubrir los impuestos que sus empleados deben.
  •  Los trabajadores de la economía compartida que no se consideran empleados tienen dos maneras de cubrir sus impuestos tributarios:
    • Envíe un nuevo Formulario W-4 a su empleador para que se le retengan más impuestos de su cheque de paga, si tiene otro trabajo como empleado.
    • Haga pagos trimestrales de impuestos estimados para ayudar a pagar sus impuestos durante todo el año, incluido el impuesto sobre el trabajo por cuenta propia.

El Centro de ayuda tributaria para la economía compartida en IRS.gov tiene respuestas a preguntas y ayuda a los contribuyentes de la economía compartida a comprender sus responsabilidades tributarias.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la contabilidad comercial esencial, los impuestos nacionales, los impuestos internacionales, la representación del IRS, las implicaciones fiscales de los Estados Unidos de las transacciones de bienes inmuebles o los estados financieros, llámenos al 305-274-5811.

Fuente: IRS 

-Keep Economic Impact Payment notice with other tax records-

Posted by Admin Posted on July 06 2020

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People who receive an Economic Impact Payment this year should keep Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, with their tax records. This notice provides information about the amount of their payment, how the payment was made and how to report any payment that wasn't received.

For security reasons, the IRS mails this notice to each recipient's last known address within 15 days after the payment goes out. It's especially important for people to keep this notice if they think their payment amount is wrong. When they file their 2020 tax return, they can refer to Notice 1444 and claim additional credits, if they are eligible for them.

Taxpayers should keep this notice filed with all their other important tax records. These include, W-2s from employers,1099s from banks and other payers, other income documents and virtual currency transaction records.

All taxpayers should keep a copy of their past tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Key information from their prior year return may be required to file next year. Life changes like employment or marital status and financial gains or losses can affect a tax refund or the amount of taxes a person may owe.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS        

Spread the word & help millions of qualified homeless and low-income families receive their Economic Impact Payment

Posted by Admin Posted on June 22 2020

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Many Americans who qualify for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) are not aware of, and may potentially miss out on, this economic assistance under the CARES Act. While many taxpayers do not need to take action in order to receive any EIP to which they are entitled, there are other taxpayers who will need to take some action in order to receive an EIP. Thus, the IRS needs your help to spread the word. Join over 100,000 other partners nationwide in efforts to reach those in your community who may be low-income, experiencing homeless or who may have Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

Visit IRS.gov for tools and information, including translated materials, on this outreach initiative. See how you can help share this valuable information with fellow Americans at risk of missing out on this economic benefit.

More Information

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS        

-IT WILL HAPPEN IN THE SUMMER

Posted by Admin Posted on June 22 2020

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Later this summer, for the first-time taxpayers will be able to file their Form 1040-X, Amended U.S Individual Income Tax Return electronically.

Making this form electronically fileable has been a long-time goal for the IRS. It will greatly benefit the tax professional community and taxpayers.

The new electronic option will allow the IRS to receive amended returns faster while minimizing errors normally associated with manually completing the form. It will also provide the IRS with more complete and accurate data to help support customer service representatives answer taxpayer questions.

When the electronic filing option becomes available, taxpayers will only be able to amend tax year 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR returns electronically. In general, taxpayers will still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form.

Whether an amended return is filed electronically or manually, taxpayers can still use the Where's My Amended Return? online tool to check the status of their amended return.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

-PAGO DE IMPACTO ECONÓMICO PUEDE LLEGAR EN TARJETA DE DÉBITO PREPAGADA

Posted by Admin Posted on June 22 2020

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Algunas personas pueden recibir su pago de impacto económico por corre o en una tarjeta de débito prepagada en lugar de un cheque. Las personas pueden recibir una tarjeta de débito incluso si la herramienta Obtener mi pago muestra que reciben un cheque. Hay una sección especial de tarjetas de débito prepagadas en IRS.gov.

Estas son algunas de las preguntas comunes que las personas pueden tener a cerca de estas tarjetas.

¿El IRS envió tarjetas de débito prepagadas?

Si. Las tarjetas de débito prepagadas se conocen como la Tarjeta de pago de impacto económico (en inglés) y fueron preparadas por la Oficina del Servicio Fiscal, parte del Departamento del Tesoro. Revise su correo cuidadosamente. Estas tarjetas llegan en un sobre sencillo de "Servicios para titulares de tarjetas de Money Network". El nombre de la Visa aparecerá en el frente de la tarjeta. El reverso de la tarjeta tiene el nombre del banco emisor, Meta Bank®, N.A. La información incluida con la tarjeta explica que la tarjeta es la Tarjeta de pago de impacto económico del destinatario.

¿Alguien puede transferir dinero de su tarjeta de débito a su cuenta bancaria?

Si. El límite de transferencias ACH a una cuenta bancaria es de $2,500 por transacción. Las personas pueden transferir fácilmente el dinero de su tarjeta a una cuentabancariaexistenteenlíneaenEIPCard.com (en inglés). Los titulares de tarjetas también pueden transferir dinero si usan la aplicación móvil Money Network, que se puede descargar como una aplicación en un teléfono inteligente. Los titulares de tarjetas necesitarán la ruta y el número de su cuenta bancaria.

¿Qué hace alguien si pierde o destruye su tarjeta de débito prepagada?

Las personas que hayan perdido o destruido su Tarjeta EIP pueden solicitar un reemplazo gratis a través del Servicio al Cliente de Meta Bank®. La  tarifa estándar de $7.50 no se aplicará para la primera reemisión de cualquier Tarjeta EIP. Cualquier tarifa inicial cobrada a un cliente desde una fecha anterior se devolverá. Las personas no necesitan saber su número de tarjeta para solicitar un reemplazo. También pueden solicitar un reemplazo a través del 800-240-8100 y luego elegir la opción 2 del menú principal.

El IRS enviará una carta por correo acerca del pago de impacto económico a la dirección registrada del individuo dentro de los 15 días posteriores a la realización del pago. Tenga cuidado con los sitios web y los intentos de redes sociales que solicitan dinero o información personal y los esquemas vinculados a los pagos de impacto económico.

El IRS alienta a las personas a compartir esta información con familiares y amigos.

Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre la contabilidad comercial esencial, los impuestos nacionales, los impuestos internacionales, la representación del IRS, las implicaciones fiscales de los Estados Unidos de las transacciones de bienes inmuebles o los estados financieros, llámenos al 305-274-5811.

Fuente: IRS                   

An extension to file is not an extension to pay taxes

Posted by Admin Posted on June 22 2020

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For most taxpayers the filing and payment deadline was postponed July 15. Those who need more time to file beyond the postponed date, can request an extension to file. Taxpayers must request an extension to file by July 15. This gives them until October 15 to file their tax return. An extension to file is not an extension to pay. Taxes must be paid by July 15.

How to request an extension to file

To get an extension to file, taxpayers must do one of the following:

  • File Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using Free File on IRS.gov.
  • Submit an electronic payment with Direct Pay, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by debit, credit card or digital wallet and select Form 4868 or extension as the payment type.

An automatic extension of time to file will process when taxpayers pay all or part of their taxes electronically by the Wednesday, July 15 due date.

Although the tax filing deadline has been postponed to July 15, 2020, the IRS continues processing electronic tax returns, issuing direct deposit refunds and accepting electronic payments.

The agency is now is back to processing paper tax returns sent by mail. However, taxpayers who mailed a paper tax return will likely experience a longer wait time. Those who have already mailed a paper tax return but, it hasn’t yet been processed, should not file a second tax return or write the IRS to check the status of their tax return or Economic Impact Payment.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

-WITH A DIVORCE, WHAT ARE THE TAX IMPLICATIONS?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 12 2020

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Upon completion of a divorce, individual tax returns will be filed. There are a few areas that may result in tax consequences. The following are the most common:

  • Child Support
    It is not taxable to the recipient and is not deductible by the payer. If it is specially designated as child support in a divorce agreement or lessened by the occurrence of a contingency relative to the child, meaning a child reaches a specified age, it is considered as a payment.
  • Alimony
    It is taxable to the recipient and deductible by the payers. It is known as a payment in accordance with a divorce agreement other than child support or when allocated in the decree as something other than alimony. In a separation agreement, similar treatment is in accordance with separate maintenance payments. Payments may not end upon death of the recipient and may not be front-loaded.
  • Property Settlements
    When in accordance with the divorce or separation, they are not taxable. In the event of transfers of assets amongst spouses, they do not become taxable income, gains, loses, or deductions. The recipient spouse gets the cost basis of the property. Your spouse may provide you with an equal share of the property based on a fair market value, but be careful with the lower basis. In the end, it can produce a taxable gain at the asset's sale.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM OPPORTUNISTIC FRAUD-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has spurred much confusion and unprecedented economic challenges. It has also created ample opportunities for dishonest individuals and criminal organizations to prey on the anxieties of many Americans.

As the year rolls along, fraud schemes related to the crisis will continue as well, potentially becoming even more sophisticated. Here are some protective actions you can take.

Watch out for phony charities

When a catastrophe like COVID-19 strikes, the charitably minded want to donate cash and other assets to help relieve the suffering. Before donating anything, beware that opportunistic scammers may set up fake charitable organizations to exploit your generosity.

Fake charities often use names that are similar to legitimate organizations. So, before contributing, do your homework and verify the validity of any recipient. Remember, if you’re scammed, not only will you lose your money or assets, but those who would benefit from your charitable action will also lose out.

Don’t get hooked by phishers

In a “phishing” scheme, victims are enticed to respond to a deceptive email or other online communication. In COVID-19-related phishing scams, the perpetrator may impersonate a representative from a health agency, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They may ask for personal information, such as your Social Security or bank account number, or instruct you to click on a link to a survey or website.

If you receive a suspicious email, don’t respond or click on any links. The scammer might use ill-gotten data to gain access to your financial accounts or open new accounts in your name. In some cases, clicking a link might download malware to your computer. For updates on the COVID-19 crisis, go directly to the official websites of the WHO or CDC.

The IRS reports that its Criminal Investigation Division has seen a wave of new and evolving phishing schemes against taxpayers — and among the primary targets are retirees.

Shop carefully

In many parts of the United States, and indeed around the world, certain consumer goods have become scarce. Examples have included hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, masks and toilet paper. Scammers are exploiting these shortages by posing as retailers or direct-to-consumer suppliers to obtain buyers’ personal information.

Con artists may, for instance, claim to have the goods that you need and ask for your credit card number to complete a transaction. Then they use the card number to run up charges while you never receive anything in return.

Buy from only known legitimate businesses. If a supplier offers a deal out of the blue that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also watch out for price gouging on limited items. If an item is selling online for many times more than the usual price, you probably want to avoid buying it.

Hang up on robocalls

You may have noticed an increase in “robocalls” — automated phone calls offering phony services or demanding sensitive information — since the COVID-19 crisis began. For instance, callers may offer COVID-19-related items at reduced rates. Then they’ll ask for your credit card number to “secure” your purchase.

Reputable companies, charities and government agencies (such as the IRS) won’t try to contact you this way. If you receive an unsolicited call from a phone number that’s blocked or that you don’t recognize, hang up or ignore it.

In addition, don’t buy into special offers for items such as COVID-19 treatments, vaccinations or home test kits. You’ll likely end up paying for something that at best doesn’t exist and at worst could harm you.

Tarnish their gold

For fraudsters, this year’s worldwide crisis is a golden opportunity. Don’t let them take advantage of you or your loved ones.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters               

-HOW EMPLOYERS CAN GET SOME FINANCIAL RELIEF WITH THE RETENTION TAX CREDIT-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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To help reduce layoffs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new federal income tax credit for employers that keep workers on their payrolls. The credit equals 50% of eligible employee wages paid by an eligible employer in a 2020 calendar quarter. It's subject to an overall wage cap of $10,000 per eligible employee. Here are answers to some FAQs about the retention credit.

What employers are eligible?

Eligible employer status for the retention credit is determined on a 2020 calendar quarter basis. The credit is available to employers, including nonprofits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended during a 2020 calendar quarter as a result of an order from an appropriate governmental authority that limits commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19.

The retention credit can also be claimed by employers that have experienced a greater-than-50% decline in gross receipts for a 2020 calendar quarter compared to the corresponding 2019 calendar quarter. However, the credit is disallowed for quarters following the first calendar 2020 quarter during which gross receipts exceed 80% of gross receipts for the corresponding 2019 calendar quarter.

To illustrate: Suppose a company’s 2020 gross receipts are as follows compared to 2019:

  • First quarter: 86%
  • Second quarter: 43%
  • Third quarter: 92%

The company had a greater-than-50% decline in gross receipts for the second quarter of 2020. So, it’s an eligible employer for purposes of the retention credit for the second and third quarters of 2020. For the fourth quarter of 2020, it’s ineligible because its gross receipts for the third quarter of 2020 exceeded 80% of gross receipts for the third quarter of 2019.

What wages are eligible?

The retention credit is available to cover eligible wages paid from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020. For an eligible employer that had an average of 100 or fewer full-time employees in 2019, all employee wages are eligible for the credit (subject to the overall $10,000 per-employee wage cap), regardless of whether employees are furloughed due to COVID-19.

For an employer that had more than 100 full-time employees in 2019, only wages of employees who are furloughed or given reduced hours due to the employer's closure or reduced gross receipts are eligible for the retention credit (subject to the overall $10,000 per-employee wage cap, including qualified health plan expenses allocable to those wages).

The amount of wages eligible for the credit is capped at a cumulative total of $10,000 for each eligible employee. The $10,000 cap includes allocable health plan expenses. For example, a company pays an employee $8,000 in eligible wages in the second quarter of 2020 and another $8,000 in the third quarter of 2020. The credit for wages paid to the employee in the second quarter is $4,000 (50% x $8,000). The credit for wages paid to the employee in the third quarter is limited to $1,000 (50% x $2,000) due to the $10,000 wage cap. Any additional wages paid to the employee are ineligible for the credit due to the $10,000 cap.

What other rules and restrictions apply?

The retention credit is not allowed for:

  • Emergency sick leave wages or emergency family leave wages that small employers (generally those with fewer than 500 employees) are required to pay under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), because they’re covered by federal payroll tax credits granted by the FFCRA,
  • Wages taken into account for purposes of claiming the pre-existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and
  • Wages taken into account for purposes of claiming the pre-existing employer credit for paid family and medical leave.

In addition, the retention credit isn't available to small employers that receive a potentially forgivable Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed Small Business Interruption Loan under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program.

How is the credit claimed?

Technically, an eligible employer's allowable retention credit for a calendar quarter is offset against the employer's liability for the Social Security tax component of federal payroll taxes. That component equals 6.2% of the first $137,700 of an employee's 2020 wages.

But the credit is "refundable." That means an employer can collect the full amount of the credit even if it exceeds its federal payroll tax liability.

The allowable credit can be used to offset all of an employer's federal payroll tax deposit liability, apparently including federal income tax, Social Security tax and Medicare tax withheld from employee paychecks. If an employer's tax deposit liability isn't enough to absorb the credit, the employer can apply for an advance payment of the credit from the IRS.

Can you benefit?

If your business has suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act’s 50% employee retention credit might help you keep workers on the payroll during the crisis. Keep in mind that additional guidance could be released on the credit or more legislation could be signed into law extending or expanding the credit. We can apprise you of any updates, help you determine whether you’re eligible and explore other tax-saving and financial assistance opportunities that may be available to you during this challenging time.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters     

-NEW BREAK TEMPORARILY MAKES RETIREMENT PLAN WITHDRAWALS LESS TAXING-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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A key provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is intended to help alleviate some of the economic hardship many Americans are experiencing as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It allows tax-favored treatment for distributions from retirement accounts in certain situations.

Penalty waiver and more

Under the CARES Act, IRA owners who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to take tax-favored “coronavirus-related” distributions (CVDs) of up to $100,000 from their IRAs. If you’re under age 59½, the early withdrawal penalty that normally would apply is waived. Any eligible IRA owner can recontribute (repay) a CVD back into their IRA within three years of the withdrawal date and treat the withdrawal and later recontribution as a tax-free rollover. There are no limitations on what you can use CVD funds for during that three-year period.

The CARES Act also may allow you to take tax-favored CVDs from your employer's qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or profit-sharing plan, if the plan allows it. If allowed, the tax rules for CVDs taken from qualified plans are similar to those for CVDs taken from IRAs. As of this writing, a lot of details still need to be figured out about how CVDs taken from qualified plans will work. Contact the appropriate person with your employer for more information.

7 basic rules

There are seven basic rules for taking CVDs from IRAs:

1. You can take one or more CVDs up to the $100,000 limit.

2. CVDs can come from different IRAs.

3. The three-year recontribution period for each CVD begins on the day after you receive it.

4. You can make your recontributions in a lump sum or through multiple recontributions.

5. You can recontribute to one or several IRAs, and they don't have to be the same accounts you took the CVDs from.

6. As long as you recontribute the entire CVD amount within the three-year window, the whole transaction or series of transactions are treated as tax-free IRA rollovers.

7. If you're under 59½, the 10% penalty tax that usually applies to early IRA withdrawals is waived for CVDs, even if you don’t recontribute.

If your spouse owns one or more IRAs in his or her own name, he or she may be eligible for the same distribution privilege.

Who’s eligible

CVDs can be taken from January 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020, by an eligible individual. That means an individual:

  • Who's diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  • Whose spouse or dependent (generally a qualifying child or relative who receives more than half of his or her support from you) is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test,
  • Who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, laid off or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19,
  • Who's unable to work because of lack of childcare due to COVID-19 and experiences adverse financial consequences as a result,
  • Who owns or operates a business that has closed or has had operating hours reduced due to COVID-19 and has experienced adverse financial consequences as a result, or
  • Who has experienced adverse financial consequences due to other COVID-19-related factors.

As of this writing, IRS guidance on how to interpret the last two factors is needed. Check in with us for the latest developments.

When taxes are due

You'll be taxed on any CVD amount that you don't recontribute within the three-year window. But you won't have to worry about owing the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under 59½.

You can choose to spread the taxable amount equally over three years, apparently starting with 2020. But here it gets tricky, because the three-year window won't close until sometime in 2023. Until then, it won't be clear that you failed to take advantage of the tax-free CVD rollover deal. So, you may have to amend a prior-year return to report some additional taxable income from the CVD. As of this writing, the IRS is expected to issue guidance to clarify this issue. Again, check in with us for the latest information.

You also have the option of simply reporting the taxable income from the CVD on your 2020 individual income tax return Form 1040. Again, you won't owe the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under 59½.

Getting through the crisis

CVDs can be a helpful, flexible tax-favored financial tool for eligible taxpayers during the pandemic. But it's just one of several financial relief measures available under the CARES Act that include tax relief, and other relief legislation may be forthcoming. We can help you take advantage of relief measures that will help you get through the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

SOURCE : THOMSON REUTERS

-WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE INITIAL COSTS OF LEASING A CAR?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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Learn what the total initial costs will be when determining if you want to lease or buy. You will use this total amount to compare to the cost of buying.

Initial costs are the amount you will need to come up with for the down payment when you lease a car. The security deposit, the first and last lease payments, the "capitalized cost reductions," the sales taxes, title fees, license fees, and insurance are included. Usually the initial costs amount to less than the down payment that is necessary to purchase a car. During the bargaining with the dealer, all initial costs are open for negotiation.

The Lessor must disclose all up-front, continuing, and ending costs in a standard, understandable format according to the Federal Consumer Leasing Act.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-CAN YOU QUALIFY FOR THE PAYROLL TAX CREDIT?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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For many businesses, retaining employees has been difficult, if not impossible. If your company has been able to keep all or some of its workers, you may qualify for the payroll tax credit created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, known as the Employee Retention Credit.

Assessing your qualifications

The Employee Retention Credit provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees. The credit is available to employers whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The credit is also available to employers that have experienced a greater than 50% reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis. When such an employer’s gross receipts exceed 80% of the comparable quarter in 2019, the employer no longer qualifies for the credit beginning with the next quarter.

The credit is unavailable to employers benefitting from certain Small Business Administration loan programs or to self-employed individuals.

Examining wages paid

For employers that had an average number of full-time employees in 2019 of 100 or fewer, all employee wages are eligible, regardless of whether an employee is furloughed or has experienced a reduction in hours.

For employers with more than 100 employees in 2019, only wages paid to employees who are furloughed or face reduced hours because of the employer’s closure or reduced gross receipts are eligible for the credit. No credit is available for wages paid to an employee for any period for which the employer is allowed a Work Opportunity Tax Credit with respect to the employee.

In the context of the credit, the term “wages” includes health benefits and is capped at the first $10,000 in wages paid by the employer to an eligible employee. Wages don’t include amounts considered for required paid sick leave or required paid family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition, wages applicable to this credit aren’t taken into account for the employer credit toward paid family and medical leave.

Claiming advance payments and refunds

The IRS can advance payments to eligible employers. If the amount of the credit for any calendar quarter exceeds applicable payroll taxes, the employer may be able to claim a refund of the excess on its federal employment tax return.

In anticipation of receiving the credits, employers can fund qualified wages by 1) accessing federal employment taxes, including withheld taxes, that are required to be deposited with the IRS or 2) requesting an advance of the credit from the IRS on Form 7200, “Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19.” The IRS may waive applicable penalties for employers who don’t deposit applicable payroll taxes in anticipation of receiving the credit.

Obtaining relief

The credit applies to wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2021. Contact our firm for help determining whether you qualify and, if so, how to claim this tax break.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters     

-WHEN RETIREMENT PLANS OR IRAS ARE DIVIDED IN A DIVORCE, WHAT HAPPENS?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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If in accordance with the qualified domestic relations order or other order of the court in the case of an IRA, these plans are separated as non-taxable. However, this is the case only if the assets stay in the retirement account or IRA. Once the funds are allocated, they will be taxed to the recipient. The payer does not get the benefit of a deduction and the recipient does not have taxable income when divided.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-HOW CAN I NEGOTIATE FOR A NEW CAR?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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Keep in mind that you are not just looking for a car. You also have to select a dealer with whom you will continue a long-term relationship with, as you usually have to service your car at the dealership. If you aren't comfortable with the dealership, go somewhere else.

A good time to try for a good bargain on a car is the last Saturday of September, October, or December.

Before you start looking for a car, learn about the financing options. You can be prepared when the dealer starts to discuss financing if you are aware of what the banks are charging.

Some points you will want to highlight during the negotiations are:

  • You are aware of the exact model and options you want
  • You are shopping around and will get quotes from other dealerships
  • You will not be talking about financing or trade-ins until the dealer has given an offer and make sure not to mention a trade-in until the price has been negotiated
  • You are fully aware of the invoice cost of the car

Lastly, go to other dealerships even if you think you have a great price.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-WHAT SHOULD I BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR WHEN I AM PURCHASING LIFE INSURANCE?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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First of all, beware that many insurance salespeople work on a commission basis, and may want to persuade you to purchase the policy that brings them the largest commission, rather than getting you the policy that makes the most sense for you.

Most of all, be sure that the company you are buying from will be in existence when you need them. Make sure that you check the insurer's rating before you consider doing business with them.

Always review the costs of any recommended policy. The commissions will be stated, and you can see exactly where the money that you contribute will go.

Ask the insurance agent to explain the different policies and why the one you agree on is the best for you considering your circumstances.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-SHOULD I TAKE ANY PARTICULAR STEPS WITH REGARD TO THE ASSETS OF THE DECEASED?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 11 2020

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To learn how to handle the following assets of the deceased, speak with your financial advisor.

General rules are as follows:

  • Automobiles. Find out if the title of the car of the deceased needs to be modified by checking with the State DMV.
  • Insurance Policies. The beneficiaries of policies held by the deceased's spouse may need to be modified. It might be smart to lessen the amount of life insurance coverage if the spouse doesn't have any dependents. Revision of home and auto insurance may also need to be done.
  • Bank Accounts. The title of a joint bank account will automatically pass to the surviving spouse. Advise the bank to change the ownership records. If the name of the deceased was the only name on the bank account, the asset will go through probate unless it is a trust account.
  • Safe Deposit Box. A court order is necessary, in most states, to open a safe deposit box that is only in the deceased's name.
  • Stocks and Bonds. Verify with the broker of the deceased to change title of stocks and bonds.
  • Credit Cards. If the credit cards are only in the deceased's name, they should be cancelled and the estate should pay outstanding payments. If the cards are in both names, the surviving spouse should inform the credit card companies of the death and ask for cards only in the survivor's name to be reissued.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-HOW SHOULD CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS BE DEALT WITH DURING A DIVORCE?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 03 2020

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As soon as you know you are going to be getting a divorce, immediately cancel all joint accounts.

Regardless of who accumulated the bill, creditors can legally try to collect payment from either party on the joint credit card or other credit account. You will be responsible for payment as long as your name appears on the joint accounts.

The agreement that is reached during the divorce may state who must pay the bills. From the creditor's point of view, both your spouse and you are responsible as long as the joint account stays open. The creditor will attempt to receive payment from who they think are most likely to pay while reporting late payments to the credit bureaus in both names. Due to the irresponsibility of the co-signer, your credit history could be harmed.

You may be required to pay the remaining balance in full upon closure of the account. If this is the case, ask the creditor to distribute the outstanding balance to separate accounts.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-HERE’S HOW YOU CAN SUSPEND IRS INSTALLMENT AGREEMENT PAYMENTS

Posted by Admin Posted on June 03 2020

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The IRS People First Initiative, announced on March 25, gives taxpayers the option to suspend installment agreement payments due through July 15:

Existing Installment Agreements – For taxpayers under an existing Installment Agreement, payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020 are suspended. Taxpayers who are currently unable to comply with the terms of an Installment Payment Agreement, including a Direct Debit Installment Agreement, may suspend payments during this period if they prefer. Furthermore, the IRS will not default any Installment Agreements during this period. By law, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.

But a lot of IRS sites are closed or at low capacity, so how can you suspend payments without calling the IRS?

How to Suspend Payments

  • Regular Installment Agreements (IAs) (where you send payments directly to the IRS): You can choose to simply not make payments through July 15. There is no need to inform the IRS. The IRS will not let the agreement go into default.

For other types of installment agreements, shown below, the IRS will continue to debit payments from banks and employers during the suspension period. These installment agreements will not be defaulted for missing payments, at least through July 15.

However, if you need to suspend these types of installment payments, due to financial reasons, you need to take the actions listed below:

  • Direct Debit Installment Agreements (DDIAs) (where payments are automatically taken from a designated bank account):
     
    • Contact your bank directly, share the IRS People First Initiative information, and ask them to temporarily stop deductions. Banks are required to comply with customer requests to stop recurring payments within a specified timeframe.
  • Payroll Deduction Installment Agreements (PDIAs) (where payments are taken from your paycheck):
     
    • Contact your employer, share the IRS People First Initiative information, and ask the employer to not deduct or send payments from their pay to the IRS through July 15.

Re-start Payments Before July 15

Please note that if payments are stopped, in order to avoid possible default of the agreement once the suspension period expires on July 15, 2020, taxpayers must resume payments as of that date.

For DDIAs and PDIAs, taxpayers must inform their bank or their employer, respectively, to allow the debits to resume at least two weeks before their next payment is due.

Before Suspending Payments

However, before you make the decision to suspend payments, please understand that, by law, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances. So, if you are in a position where you can continue these payments without financial hardship, then you should consider continuing the payments to reduce the interest charges.

Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance

Know that TAS is open to virtually serve taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. So, if you cannot stop payments for DDIAs or PDIAs, after making contacts as instructed above, go to our Contact Us page and call the local number listed for your state or area.

Please understand though, that TAS cannot currently help you get any Economic Impact Payments before the IRS releases them.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: TAS       

-HOW TO REQUEST LEVIES AND LIENS RELEASES-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 03 2020

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Some taxpayers may need some additional relief during the COVID-19 pandemic from existing federal tax liens and IRS levies on bank accounts, wages or property. IRS describes available relief in the People First Initiative. Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) would like to provide some simple instructions for taxpayers to follow, especially in situations causing economic hardship.

Levy Releases

A levy will not be automatically released. The IRS considers a taxpayer’s request to release a levy on a case by case basis if the levy is causing an economic hardship. “Economic hardship” means the levy prevents the taxpayer from meeting basic, reasonable living expenses. Please note the IRS may ask for additional financial information to determine if a levy is causing an economic hardship before deciding to release the levy. To request relief:

  • If you are working with a revenue officer, contact the revenue officer directly.
  • If you are not working with a revenue officer, you must call the number provided on the levy notice.

Unable to reach the IRS by phone for levy release request?

If you are unable to reach an IRS representative by phone, fax your request to (855) 796-4524. The fax should include your name, address and social security numbers (for both spouses, if you filed jointly). Also, include the name, address and fax number of the employer or bank where the levy is being processed.

Note: This fax number is only used to address emergency levy release requests. Due to current limited staffing, the IRS will not respond to other issues sent to this fax line.

Lien Certificates

The IRS is processing all electronically submitted lien certificate applications (including lien releases, discharges of property from the federal tax lien, withdrawals of the notice of federal tax lien and subordinations of the federal tax lien) normally and assigning them within 10 days:

  • Currently, the IRS requests all taxpayers use the E-Fax line for their ACR site (844-201-8382) for submission.

Note: Due to Coronavirus, IRS is NOT processing lien certificate applications mailed to the Advisory Consolidated Receipts (ACR) site in Florence, Kentucky.

Publication 4235, Collection Advisory Group Numbers and Addresses (PDF), has additional information on the process for submitting applications for lien certificates and on related topics.

For more information on current IRS operations, see the IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue page and the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments page.

Taxpayer Advocate Service Help

TAS is open to virtually serve taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. If you cannot get a lien or levy released, after making contacts as instructed above, go to our Contact Us page and call the local number listed for your state or area.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811. 

SOURCE: TAS   

-IS IT POSSIBLE TO FINANCIALLY PREPARE FOR DIVORCE?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 03 2020

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A plan for the termination of the financial partnership of the marriage is crucial if you are thinking of divorce. All financial assets and liabilities that have been acquired during the years of marriage will need to be divided. If children play a role, the support that will be paid to the custodial parent in the future should be taken into account.

The time put into organizing this will be worth it in the long run. The following are a few steps to consider:

  • Prepare an inventory of your financial situation that will help you in two ways:

1.   It will aid in determining how debts accumulated during the marriage will be paid off. (It is best to try and get all the joint debt (credit card debt) paid off before the divorce. To come to an agreement as to the method for paying them off, it is smart to make a list of the debts. )

2.   It will give you an introductory look at the information needed to divide the property.

  • Prepare a list of all assets, whether joint or separate, that includes:

1.   Your residence(s)

2.   The value of any brokerage accounts

3.   Your valuable antiques, jewelry, luxury items, collections, and furnishings

4.   The current balance in all bank accounts

5.   Your autos

6.   The value of investments, including any IRAs

  • Locate copies of the last two or three years' tax returns. These will be beneficial later.
  • Know the exact quantity of salary and miscellaneous income brought home by your spouse and you.
  • Obtain all papers regarding insurance, life, health, pension, and other retirement benefits.
  • Make a list of debts that are owed both separately and jointly, including mortgage, credit card debt, auto loans and other liabilities.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-DURING A DIVORCE, WHAT ARE THE LEGAL ISSUES THAT MUST BE HANDLED?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 03 2020

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Make an agreement with your spouse to plan for the legal issues that will be dealt with in the future, such as division of property, alimony or support payments and child custody. The amount of time and money that will be spent trying to reach a legal solution will be lessened dramatically if this can be done, either with the help of lawyers or court.

The following are general tips to face the legal aspects of divorce:

  • If there are important issues with regards to child custody, alimony or assets, find your own attorney.
  • Use referrals from other professionals, trusted friends or the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (www.aaml.org) to find a good matrimonial lawyer.
  • Verify that the agreement of divorce approaches all topics such as insurance coverage, life health and auto.
  • On IRA accounts, life insurance policies, pension plans, 401(k) plans, and other retirement accounts make sure to modify the beneficiaries.
  • Update your will.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-AFTER MARRIAGE, WHAT ARE THE TAX IMPLICATIONS?-

Posted by Admin Posted on June 03 2020

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You are entitled to file a joint income tax return upon marriage. Although this simplifies the filing process, you will more than likely discover that your tax bill is either higher or lower than when you were single. It's higher when you file together, as more of your income is taxed in the higher tax brackets. This is commonly known as the marriage tax penalty. In 2003, a tax law that intended to reduce the marriage penalty went into effect, but this law didn't get rid of the penalty for higher bracket taxpayers.

Once married, you may not file separately in an attempt to avoid the marriage penalty. Actually, filing as married filing separately can raise your taxes. For the optimal filing status for your situation you should speak with your tax advisor.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-INNOCENT SPOUSE RULES: PROTECTION UNDER SOME CIRCUMSTANCES-

Posted by Admin Posted on May 26 2020

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Must one spouse pay the tax resulting from a fabrication or omission by another spouse on a jointly filed tax return? It depends. If the spouse qualifies, he or she may be able to avoid personal tax liability under the “innocent spouse” rules.

Joint filing status

Generally, married taxpayers benefit overall by filing a joint tax return on the federal level. This is particularly the case when one spouse earns significantly more than the other. Filing jointly may also help the couple maximize certain income tax deductions and credits.

But joint filing status comes with a catch. Each spouse is “jointly and severally” responsible for any tax, interest and penalties attributable to the return. And this liability continues to apply even if the couple gets a divorce or one spouse dies. In other words, the IRS may try to collect the full amount due from one spouse, even if all the income reported on the joint return was earned by the other spouse.

Basic rules

However, the tax law provides tax relief for an “innocent spouse.” Under these rules, one spouse may not be liable for any unpaid tax and penalties, despite having signed the joint return.

To determine eligibility for relief, the IRS imposes a set of common requirements. The spouses must have filed a joint return that has an understatement of tax, and that understatement must be attributable to one spouse’s erroneous items. For this purpose, “erroneous items” are defined as any deduction, credit or tax basis incorrectly stated on the return, as well as any income not reported.

From there, the other (“innocent”) spouse must establish that, at the time the joint return was signed, he or she didn’t know — or have reason to know — there was an understatement of tax. Finally, to qualify, the IRS needs to find that it would be unfair to hold one spouse liable for the understatement after considering all the facts and circumstances.

Additional notes

For many years, innocent spouse relief had to be requested within two years after the IRS first began its collection activity against a taxpayer. But, in 2011, the IRS announced that it would no longer apply the two-year limit on collection activities.

In addition, by law, when one spouse applies for innocent spouse relief, the IRS must contact the other spouse or former spouse. There are no exceptions even for victims of spousal abuse or domestic violence.

Help available

Historically, courts haven’t been particularly generous about upholding claims under the innocent spouse rules. State laws can also complicate matters. If you’re wondering whether you’d qualify for relief, please contact us for help.

Sidebar: What does the IRS consider?

The IRS considers “all facts and circumstances” in determining whether it would be inequitable to hold an “innocent” spouse liable for taxes due on a jointly filed tax return. One factor that may increase the likelihood of relief is that the taxes owed are clearly attributable to one spouse or an ex-spouse who filled out the errant return.

If one spouse was deserted during the marriage, or suffered abuse, it may also improve the chances that innocent spouse relief will be granted. In some cases, the IRS may examine the couple’s situation to determine whether the spouse applying for relief knew about the erroneous items.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters     

IRS: Three new credits are available to many businesses hit by COVID-19

Posted by Admin Posted on May 21 2020

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds employers affected by COVID-19 about three important new credits available to them.

Employee Retention Credit:

The employee retention credit is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. There are only two exceptions: State and local governments and their instrumentalities and small businesses who take small business loans.

Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories:

1.    The employer's business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter.

2.    The employer's gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer's gross receipts go above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter.

Employers will calculate these measures each calendar quarter.

Paid Sick Leave Credit and Family Leave Credit:

The paid sick leave credit is designed to allow business to get a credit for an employee who is unable to work (including telework) because of Coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis. Those employees are entitled to paid sick leave for up to 10 days (up to 80 hours) at the employee's regular rate of pay up to $511 per day and $5,110 in total.

The employer can also receive the credit for employees who are unable to work due to caring for someone with Coronavirus or caring for a child because the child's school or place of care is closed, or the paid childcare provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus. Those employees are entitled to paid sick leave for up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) at 2/3 the employee's regular rate of pay or, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in total. 

Employees are also entitled to paid family and medical leave equal to 2/3 of the employee's regular pay, up to $200 per day and $10,000 in total. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the family leave credit.

Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees' wages by the amount of the credit.

Eligible employers are entitled to immediately receive a credit in the full amount of the required sick leave and family leave, plus related health plan expenses and the employer's share of Medicare tax on the leave, for the period of April 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. The refundable credit is applied against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees.

How will employers receive the credit?

Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees' wages by the amount of the credit.

Eligible employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns or Form 941 beginning with the second quarter. If the employer's employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may receive an advance payment from the IRS by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19.

Eligible employers can also request an advance of the Employee Retention Credit by submitting Form 7200.

The IRS has also posted Employee Retention Credit FAQs and Paid Family Leave and Sick Leave FAQs that will help answer questions.

Updates on the implementation of the Employee Retention Credit and other information can be found on the Coronavirus page of IRS.gov.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source:  IRS        

IRS warns of scams related to natural disasters

Posted by Admin Posted on May 21 2020

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WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that criminals and scammers try to take advantage of the generosity of taxpayers who want to help victims of major disasters.

Fraudulent schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person using a variety of tactics.

  • Some impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers.
  • Bogus websites use names similar to legitimate charities to trick people to send money or provide personal financial information.
  • They even claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.
  • Others operate bogus charities and solicit money or financial information by telephone or email.

Help for disaster victims

Comprehensive information on disaster-related tax issues, including provisions for tax relief, can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov. In the case of a federally declared disaster, affected taxpayers may also call the IRS Special Services Help Line, 866-562-5227, with disaster-related tax questions. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

Donate to real charities

To help taxpayers donate to legitimate charities, the IRS website, IRS.gov, has a search feature, Tax Exempt Organization Search, that helps users find or verify qualified charities. Donations to these charities may be tax-deductible.

  • Contribute by check or credit card. Never give or send cash.
  • Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution.

Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.” More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.”

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

-WHY THE ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT AMOUNT COULD BE DIFFERENT THAN ANTICIPATED

Posted by Admin Posted on May 21 2020

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WASHINGTON — The IRS and Treasury have successfully delivered nearly 130 million Economic Impact Payments to Americans in less than a month, and more are on the way. Some Americans may have received a payment amount different than what they expected. Payment amounts vary based on income, filing status and family size.

See below for some common scenarios that may explain why you received a different payment amount than expected:

You have not filed a 2019 tax return, or the IRS has not finished processing your 2019 return

Payments are automatic for eligible people who filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019. Typically, the IRS uses information from the 2019 tax return to calculate the Economic Impact Payment. Instead, the IRS will use the 2018 return if the taxpayer has not yet filed for 2019. If a taxpayer has already filed for 2019, the agency will still use the 2018 return if the IRS has not finished processing the 2019 return. Remember, the IRS accepting a tax return electronically is different than completing processing; any issues with the 2019 return mean the IRS would've used the 2018 filing.

If the IRS used the 2018 return, various life changes in 2019 would not be reflected in the payment. These may include higher or lower income or birth or adoption of a child.

In many cases, however, these taxpayers may be able to claim an additional amount on the 2020 tax return they file next year. This could include up to an additional $500 for each qualifying child not reflected in their Economic Impact Payment.

Claimed dependents are not eligible for an additional $500 payment

Only children eligible for the Child Tax Credit qualify for the additional payment of up to $500 per child. To claim the Child Tax Credit, the taxpayer generally must be related to the child, live with them more than half the year and provide at least half of their support. Besides their own children, adopted children and foster children, eligible children can include the taxpayer's younger siblings, grandchildren, nieces and nephews if they can be claimed as dependents. In addition, any qualifying child must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other qualifying resident alien. The child must also be under the age of 17 at the end of the year for the tax return on which the IRS bases the payment determination.

A qualifying child must have a valid Social Security number (SSN) or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN). A child with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is not eligible for an additional payment.

Parents who are not married to each other and do not file a joint return cannot both claim their qualifying child as a dependent. The parent who claimed their child on their 2019 return may have received an additional Economic Impact Payment for their qualifying child. When the parent who did not receive an additional payment files their 2020 tax return next year, they may be able to claim up to an additional $500 per-child amount on that return if they qualify to claim the child as their qualifying child for 2020.

Dependents are college students

Pursuant to the CARES Act, dependent college students do not qualify for an EIP, and even though their parents may claim them as dependents, they normally do not qualify for the additional $500 payment. For example, under the law, a 20-year-old full-time college student claimed as a dependent on their mother's 2019 federal income tax return is not eligible for a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. In addition, the student's mother will not receive an additional $500 Economic Impact Payment for the student because they do not qualify as a child younger than 17. This scenario could also apply if a parent's 2019 tax return hasn't been processed yet by the IRS before the payments were calculated, and a college student was claimed on a 2018 tax return.

However, if the student cannot be claimed as a dependent by their mother or anyone else for 2020, that student may be eligible to claim a $1,200 credit on their 2020 tax return next year.

Claimed dependents are parents or relatives, age 17 or older

If a dependent is 17 or older, they do not qualify for the additional $500. If a taxpayer claimed a parent or any other relative age 17 or older on their tax return, that dependent will not receive a $1,200 payment. In addition, the taxpayer will not receive an additional $500 payment because the parent or other relative is not a qualifying child under age 17.

However, if the parent or other relative cannot be claimed as a dependent on the taxpayer's or anyone else's return for 2020, the parent or relative may be eligible to individually claim a $1,200 credit on their 2020 tax return filed next year.

Past-due child support was deducted from the payment

The Economic Impact Payment is offset only by past-due child support. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send the taxpayer a notice if an offset occurs.

For taxpayers who are married filing jointly and filed an injured spouse claim with their 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if they haven't filed the 2019 tax return), half of the total payment will be sent to each spouse. Only the payment of the spouse who owes past-due child support should be offset.

The IRS is aware that a portion of the payment sent to a spouse who filed an injured spouse claim with his or her 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if no 2019 tax return has been filed) may have been offset by the injured spouse's past-due child support. The IRS is working with the Bureau of Fiscal Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. If you filed an injured spouse claim with your return and are impacted by this issue, you do not need to take any action. The injured spouse will receive their unpaid half of the total payment when the issue is resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.

Garnishments by creditors reduced the payment amount

Federal tax refunds, including the Economic Impact Payment, are not protected from garnishment by creditors by federal law once the proceeds are deposited into a taxpayer's bank account.

What if the amount of my Economic Impact Payment is incorrect?

Everyone should review the eligibility requirements for their family to make sure they meet the criteria.

In many instances, eligible taxpayers who received a smaller-than-expected Economic Impact Payment (EIP) may qualify to receive an additional amount early next year when they file their 2020 federal income tax return. EIPs are technically an advance payment of a new temporary tax credit that eligible taxpayers can claim on their 2020 return. Everyone should keep for their records the letter they receive by mail within a few weeks after their payment is issued.

When taxpayers file their return next year, they can claim additional credits on their 2020 tax return if they are eligible for them. The IRS will provide further details on IRS.gov on the action they may need to take.

The EIP will not reduce a taxpayer's refund or increase the amount they owe when they file a tax return early next year. It is also not taxable and it should not be included in income on a 2020 return.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

-HOW EMPLOYERS CAN GET SOME FINANCIAL RELIEF WITH THE RETENTION TAX CREDIT

Posted by Admin Posted on May 21 2020

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To help reduce layoffs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new federal income tax credit for employers that keep workers on their payrolls. The credit equals 50% of eligible employee wages paid by an eligible employer in a 2020 calendar quarter. It's subject to an overall wage cap of $10,000 per eligible employee. Here are answers to some FAQs about the retention credit.

What employers are eligible?

Eligible employer status for the retention credit is determined on a 2020 calendar quarter basis. The credit is available to employers, including nonprofits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended during a 2020 calendar quarter as a result of an order from an appropriate governmental authority that limits commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19.

The retention credit can also be claimed by employers that have experienced a greater-than-50% decline in gross receipts for a 2020 calendar quarter compared to the corresponding 2019 calendar quarter. However, the credit is disallowed for quarters following the first calendar 2020 quarter during which gross receipts exceed 80% of gross receipts for the corresponding 2019 calendar quarter.

To illustrate: Suppose a company’s 2020 gross receipts are as follows compared to 2019:

  • First quarter: 86%
  • Second quarter: 43%
  • Third quarter: 92%

The company had a greater-than-50% decline in gross receipts for the second quarter of 2020. So, it’s an eligible employer for purposes of the retention credit for the second and third quarters of 2020. For the fourth quarter of 2020, it’s ineligible because its gross receipts for the third quarter of 2020 exceeded 80% of gross receipts for the third quarter of 2019.

What wages are eligible?

The retention credit is available to cover eligible wages paid from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020. For an eligible employer that had an average of 100 or fewer full-time employees in 2019, all employee wages are eligible for the credit (subject to the overall $10,000 per-employee wage cap), regardless of whether employees are furloughed due to COVID-19.

For an employer that had more than 100 full-time employees in 2019, only wages of employees who are furloughed or given reduced hours due to the employer's closure or reduced gross receipts are eligible for the retention credit (subject to the overall $10,000 per-employee wage cap, including qualified health plan expenses allocable to those wages).

The amount of wages eligible for the credit is capped at a cumulative total of $10,000 for each eligible employee. The $10,000 cap includes allocable health plan expenses. For example, a company pays an employee $8,000 in eligible wages in the second quarter of 2020 and another $8,000 in the third quarter of 2020. The credit for wages paid to the employee in the second quarter is $4,000 (50% x $8,000). The credit for wages paid to the employee in the third quarter is limited to $1,000 (50% x $2,000) due to the $10,000 wage cap. Any additional wages paid to the employee are ineligible for the credit due to the $10,000 cap.

What other rules and restrictions apply?

The retention credit is not allowed for:

  • Emergency sick leave wages or emergency family leave wages that small employers (generally those with fewer than 500 employees) are required to pay under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), because they’re covered by federal payroll tax credits granted by the FFCRA,
  • Wages taken into account for purposes of claiming the pre-existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and
  • Wages taken into account for purposes of claiming the pre-existing employer credit for paid family and medical leave.

In addition, the retention credit isn't available to small employers that receive a potentially forgivable Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed Small Business Interruption Loan under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program.

How is the credit claimed?

Technically, an eligible employer's allowable retention credit for a calendar quarter is offset against the employer's liability for the Social Security tax component of federal payroll taxes. That component equals 6.2% of the first $137,700 of an employee's 2020 wages.

But the credit is "refundable." That means an employer can collect the full amount of the credit even if it exceeds its federal payroll tax liability.

The allowable credit can be used to offset all of an employer's federal payroll tax deposit liability, apparently including federal income tax, Social Security tax and Medicare tax withheld from employee paychecks. If an employer's tax deposit liability isn't enough to absorb the credit, the employer can apply for an advance payment of the credit from the IRS.

Can you benefit?

If your business has suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act’s 50% employee retention credit might help you keep workers on the payroll during the crisis. Keep in mind that additional guidance could be released on the credit or more legislation could be signed into law extending or expanding the credit. We can apprise you of any updates, help you determine whether you’re eligible and explore other tax-saving and financial assistance opportunities that may be available to you during this challenging time.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

-TAXPAYERS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR NEW VERSION OF SSN SCAM

Posted by Admin Posted on May 21 2020

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Taxpayers should be on the lookout for new variations of tax-related scams. In the latest twist on a scam related to Social Security numbers, scammers claim to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s SSN. It’s yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning ‘robocall’ voicemails.

Scammers may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN. If taxpayers receive a call threatening to suspend their SSN for an unpaid tax bill, they should just hang up.

Make no mistake…it’s a scam.

Taxpayers should not give out sensitive information over the phone unless they are positive they know the caller is legitimate. When in doubt –hang up. Here are some telltale signs of this scam. The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, iTunes gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments.
  • Ask a taxpayer to make a payment to a person or organization other than the U.S. Treasury.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.

Taxpayers who don’t owe taxes and have no reason to think they do should:

Taxpayers who owe tax or think they do should:

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS         

-NEW BREAK TEMPORARILY MAKES RETIREMENT PLAN WITHDRAWALS LESS TAXING

Posted by Admin Posted on May 21 2020

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A key provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is intended to help alleviate some of the economic hardship many Americans are experiencing as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It allows tax-favored treatment for distributions from retirement accounts in certain situations.

Penalty waiver and more

Under the CARES Act, IRA owners who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to take tax-favored “coronavirus-related” distributions (CVDs) of up to $100,000 from their IRAs. If you’re under age 59½, the early withdrawal penalty that normally would apply is waived. Any eligible IRA owner can recontribute (repay) a CVD back into their IRA within three years of the withdrawal date and treat the withdrawal and later recontribution as a tax-free rollover. There are no limitations on what you can use CVD funds for during that three-year period.

The CARES Act also may allow you to take tax-favored CVDs from your employer's qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or profit-sharing plan, if the plan allows it. If allowed, the tax rules for CVDs taken from qualified plans are similar to those for CVDs taken from IRAs. As of this writing, a lot of details still need to be figured out about how CVDs taken from qualified plans will work. Contact the appropriate person with your employer for more information.

7 basic rules

There are seven basic rules for taking CVDs from IRAs:

1. You can take one or more CVDs up to the $100,000 limit.

2. CVDs can come from different IRAs.

3. The three-year recontribution period for each CVD begins on the day after you receive it.

4. You can make your recontributions in a lump sum or through multiple recontributions.

5. You can recontribute to one or several IRAs, and they don't have to be the same accounts you took the CVDs from.

6. As long as you recontribute the entire CVD amount within the three-year window, the whole transaction or series of transactions are treated as tax-free IRA rollovers.

7. If you're under 59½, the 10% penalty tax that usually applies to early IRA withdrawals is waived for CVDs, even if you don’t recontribute.

If your spouse owns one or more IRAs in his or her own name, he or she may be eligible for the same distribution privilege.

Who’s eligible

CVDs can be taken from January 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020, by an eligible individual. That means an individual:

  • Who's diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  • Whose spouse or dependent (generally a qualifying child or relative who receives more than half of his or her support from you) is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test,
  • Who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, laid off or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19,
  • Who's unable to work because of lack of childcare due to COVID-19 and experiences adverse financial consequences as a result,
  • Who owns or operates a business that has closed or has had operating hours reduced due to COVID-19 and has experienced adverse financial consequences as a result, or
  • Who has experienced adverse financial consequences due to other COVID-19-related factors.

As of this writing, IRS guidance on how to interpret the last two factors is needed. Check in with us for the latest developments.

When taxes are due

You'll be taxed on any CVD amount that you don't recontribute within the three-year window. But you won't have to worry about owing the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under 59½.

You can choose to spread the taxable amount equally over three years, apparently starting with 2020. But here it gets tricky, because the three-year window won't close until sometime in 2023. Until then, it won't be clear that you failed to take advantage of the tax-free CVD rollover deal. So, you may have to amend a prior-year return to report some additional taxable income from the CVD. As of this writing, the IRS is expected to issue guidance to clarify this issue. Again, check in with us for the latest information.

You also have the option of simply reporting the taxable income from the CVD on your 2020 individual income tax return Form 1040. Again, you won't owe the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under 59½.

Getting through the crisis

CVDs can be a helpful, flexible tax-favored financial tool for eligible taxpayers during the pandemic. But it's just one of several financial relief measures available under the CARES Act that include tax relief, and other relief legislation may be forthcoming. We can help you take advantage of relief measures that will help you get through the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source : Thomson Reuters    

NEW EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT HELPS EMPLOYERS KEEP EMPLOYEES ON PAYROLL

Posted by Admin Posted on May 14 2020

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll by providing them an Employee Retention Credit. It also helps to make sure workers aren't forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the coronavirus.

Eligible employers can claim this credit for wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.

Eligible employers

The credit is available to all employers that have experienced an economic hardship due to COVID-19. This includes tax-exempt organizations. Only two exceptions apply:

1.    Federal, state and local governments and their instrumentalities, and

2.    Small businesses that receive small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

For purposes of this credit, employers experiencing an economic hardship include those with suspended operations due to a government order related to COVID-19 or that have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts.

An employer may have to fully or partially suspend operations because a governmental order limits commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19 in a manner that prevents the employer from operating at normal capacity.

A significant decline in gross receipts begins in the first calendar quarter in 2020 in which an employer's gross receipts are less than 50% of its gross receipts for the same quarter in 2019. The decline ends the first calendar quarter in 2020 after the quarter in which the employer's gross receipts are greater than 80% of its gross receipts for the same quarter in 2019.

The employer calculates these measures each calendar quarter.

Amount of credit

The tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages paid to an employee. The employer's maximum credit for qualified wages paid to any employee is $5,000. Qualified wages include the cost of employer-provided health care.

Example. Eligible employer pays Employee B $8,000 in qualified wages in Q2 2020 and $8,000 in qualified wages in Q3 2020. The credit available to the employer for the qualified wages paid to Employee B is equal to $4,000 in Q2 and $1,000 in Q3 due to the overall limit of 50% of up to $10,000 of qualified wages per employee for all calendar quarters.

Qualified wages

The wages that qualify for the credit vary based on the average number of the employer's full-time employees in 2019. If the employer had 100 or fewer employees on average in 2019, the credit is based on wages paid to all employees, regardless if they worked or not. If the employer had more than 100 employees on average in 2019, then the credit is allowed only for wages paid to employees for time they did not work. In each case, the wages that qualify are wages paid for a calendar quarter in which the employer experiences an economic hardship.

The amount of qualified wages for which an eligible employer may claim the Employee Retention Credit doesn't include the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages for which the employer received tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This means that the employer can't use the same wages to determine the amount of the Employee Retention Credit.

How to claim the credit

Beginning with the second calendar quarter of 2020, to claim the credit, employers should report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns, usually Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return. They can receive the benefit of the credit even before filing by reducing their federal employment tax deposits by the amount of the credit. Then they will account for the reduction in deposits due to the Employee Retention Credit on the Form 941. The IRS recently posted Frequently Asked Questions about the ability both to reduce deposits for the credit and to defer the deposit of all of the employer's share of social security tax due before January 1, 2021 under a separate provision in the CARES Act (PDF).

If employers do not have enough federal employment taxes to cover the amount of the credit, after they have deferred deposits of employer social security taxes under the CARES Act as discussed in the frequently asked questions, they may request an advance payment of the credit from the IRS by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19. They may fax their completed forms to 855-248-0552.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

NEW BREAK TEMPORARILY MAKES RETIREMENT PLAN WITHDRAWALS LESS TAXING

Posted by Admin Posted on May 14 2020

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NEW BREAK TEMPORARILY MAKES RETIREMENT PLAN WITHDRAWALS LESS TAXING

A key provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is intended to help alleviate some of the economic hardship many Americans are experiencing as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It allows tax-favored treatment for distributions from retirement accounts in certain situations.

Penalty waiver and more

Under the CARES Act, IRA owners who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to take tax-favored “coronavirus-related” distributions (CVDs) of up to $100,000 from their IRAs. If you’re under age 59½, the early withdrawal penalty that normally would apply is waived. Any eligible IRA owner can recontribute (repay) a CVD back into their IRA within three years of the withdrawal date and treat the withdrawal and later recontribution as a tax-free rollover. There are no limitations on what you can use CVD funds for during that three-year period.

The CARES Act also may allow you to take tax-favored CVDs from your employer's qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or profit-sharing plan, if the plan allows it. If allowed, the tax rules for CVDs taken from qualified plans are similar to those for CVDs taken from IRAs. As of this writing, a lot of details still need to be figured out about how CVDs taken from qualified plans will work. Contact the appropriate person with your employer for more information.

7 basic rules

There are seven basic rules for taking CVDs from IRAs:

1. You can take one or more CVDs up to the $100,000 limit.

2. CVDs can come from different IRAs.

3. The three-year recontribution period for each CVD begins on the day after you receive it.

4. You can make your recontributions in a lump sum or through multiple recontributions.

5. You can recontribute to one or several IRAs, and they don't have to be the same accounts you took the CVDs from.

6. As long as you recontribute the entire CVD amount within the three-year window, the whole transaction or series of transactions are treated as tax-free IRA rollovers.

7. If you're under 59½, the 10% penalty tax that usually applies to early IRA withdrawals is waived for CVDs, even if you don’t recontribute.

If your spouse owns one or more IRAs in his or her own name, he or she may be eligible for the same distribution privilege.

Who’s eligible

CVDs can be taken from January 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020, by an eligible individual. That means an individual:

  • Who's diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
  • Whose spouse or dependent (generally a qualifying child or relative who receives more than half of his or her support from you) is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test,
  • Who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, laid off or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19,
  • Who's unable to work because of lack of childcare due to COVID-19 and experiences adverse financial consequences as a result,
  • Who owns or operates a business that has closed or has had operating hours reduced due to COVID-19 and has experienced adverse financial consequences as a result, or
  • Who has experienced adverse financial consequences due to other COVID-19-related factors.

As of this writing, IRS guidance on how to interpret the last two factors is needed. Check in with us for the latest developments.

When taxes are due

You'll be taxed on any CVD amount that you don't recontribute within the three-year window. But you won't have to worry about owing the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under 59½.

You can choose to spread the taxable amount equally over three years, apparently starting with 2020. But here it gets tricky, because the three-year window won't close until sometime in 2023. Until then, it won't be clear that you failed to take advantage of the tax-free CVD rollover deal. So, you may have to amend a prior-year return to report some additional taxable income from the CVD. As of this writing, the IRS is expected to issue guidance to clarify this issue. Again, check in with us for the latest information.

You also have the option of simply reporting the taxable income from the CVD on your 2020 individual income tax return Form 1040. Again, you won't owe the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under 59½.

Getting through the crisis

CVDs can be a helpful, flexible tax-favored financial tool for eligible taxpayers during the pandemic. But it's just one of several financial relief measures available under the CARES Act that include tax relief, and other relief legislation may be forthcoming. We can help you take advantage of relief measures that will help you get through the COVID-19 crisis.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: Thomson Reuters

CONSUMER ALERTS ON TAX SCAMS

Posted by Admin Posted on May 14 2020

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Note that the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

NEW EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS

Posted by Admin Posted on May 14 2020

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NEW EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS

Many businesses that have been severely impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) will qualify for two new employer tax credits – the Credit for Sick and Family Leave and the Employee Retention Credit. 

Sick and Family Leave

Credit for Sick and Family Leave

An employee who is unable to work (including telework) because of coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, is entitled to paid sick leave for up to ten days (up to 80 hours) at the employee’s regular rate of pay, or, if higher, the Federal minimum wage or any applicable State or local minimum wage, up to $511 per day, but no more than $5,110 in total.

Caring for someone with Coronavirus

An employee who is unable to work due to caring for someone with coronavirus, or caring for a child because the child’s school or place of care is closed, or the paid child care provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus, is entitled to paid sick leave for up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay or, if higher, the Federal minimum wage or any applicable State or local minimum wage, up to $200 per day, but no more than $2,000 in total.

Care for children due to daycare or school closure

An employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus, is also entitled to paid family and medical leave equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, up to $200 per day and $10,000 in total. Up to ten weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the family leave credit. 

Credit for eligible employers

Eligible employers are entitled to receive a credit in the full amount of the required sick leave and family leave, plus related health plan expenses and the employer’s share of Medicare tax on the leave, for the period of April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.  The refundable credit is applied against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees. Eligible employers can reduce federal employment tax deposits in anticipation of the credit.  They can also request an advance of the paid sick and family leave credits for any amounts not covered by the reduction in deposits. The advanced payments will be issued by paper check to employers.

Employee Retention Credit

Eligible employers can claim the employee retention credit, a refundable tax credit equal to 50 percent of up to $10,000 in qualified wages (including health plan expenses), paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021.  Eligible employers are those businesses with operations that have been partially or fully suspended due to governmental orders due to COVID-19, or businesses that have a significant decline in gross receipts compared to 2019.

The refundable credit is capped at $5,000 per employee and applies against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees.  Eligible employers can reduce federal employment tax deposits in anticipation of the credit.  They can also request an advance of the employee retention credit for any amounts not covered by the reduction in deposits. The advanced payments will be issued by paper check to employers.

If you have any questions regarding accounting, domestic taxation, essential business accounting, international taxation, IRS representation, U.S. tax implications of Real Estate transactions or financial statements, please give us a call at 305-274-5811.

Source: IRS

-WHAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

Posted by Admin Posted on May 14 2020