Harless Tax Blog

Harless Tax Blog

Help for Victims of Hurricane Irma

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Source: irs.gov

The IRS is providing help to the victims of Hurricane Irma. Special tax relief and assistance is available to taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Areas.

So far, the IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities identified by FEMA for Individual Assistance due to Hurricane Irma:

In U.S. Virgin Islands: The islands of St. John and St. Thomas.

In Puerto Rico: The municipalities of Culebra, Vieques, Canóvanas and Loíza.

In Florida: The counties of Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia.  See More

IRS Issues Urgent Warning to Beware IRS FBI Themed Ransomware Scam

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Source: irs.gov

The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.

The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers.  See More

Know Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Monday, August 28, 2017

Source: irs.gov

Every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights and the IRS has an obligation to protect them. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” groups the taxpayer rights found in the tax code into 10 categories. Know these rights when interacting with the IRS. A good way to learn about them is by reading Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer.

Below are the descriptions of each right, as listed in Publication 1:  See More

Moving Expenses May Be Deductible

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Source: irs.gov

Taxpayers may be able to deduct certain expenses of moving to a new home because they started or changed job locations. Use Form 3903, Moving Expenses, to claim the moving expense deduction when filing a federal tax return.

Home means the taxpayer’s main home. It does not include a seasonal home or other homes owned or kept up by the taxpayer or family members. Eligible taxpayers can deduct the reasonable expenses of moving household goods and personal effects and of traveling from the former home to the new home.

Reasonable expenses may include the cost of lodging while traveling to the new home. The unreimbursed cost of packing, shipping, storing and insuring household goods in transit may also be deductible.  See More

IRS Begins Issuing Notices to Taxpayers whose ITINs Expire by End of 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Source: irs.gov

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service began mailing letters this month to more than 1 million taxpayers with expiring Individual Taxpayer ‎Identification Numbers and urges recipients to renew them as quickly as possible to avoid tax refund and processing delays.

ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 are set to expire at the end of 2017. The notice being mailed -- CP-48 Notices, You must renew your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file your U.S. tax return -- explains the steps taxpayers need to take to renew the ITIN if it will be included on a U.S. tax return filed in 2018.  See More

Tips to Keep in Mind for Taxpayers Traveling for Charity

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Source: irs.gov

During the summer, some taxpayers may travel because of their involvement with a qualified charity. These traveling taxpayers may be able to lower their taxes.

Here are some tax tips for taxpayers to use when deducting charity-related travel expenses:
Qualified Charities. For a taxpayer to deduct costs, they must volunteer for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are generally qualified, and do not need to apply to the IRS. A taxpayer should ask the group about its status before they donate. Taxpayers can also use the Select Check tool on IRS.gov to check a group’s status. See More

Don t Take the Bait, Step 4: Defend against Ransomware

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Source: irs.gov

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals that ransomware attacks are on the rise worldwide as bad actors here and abroad infiltrate computer systems and hold sensitive data hostage.

The IRS is aware of a handful of tax practitioners who have been victimized by ransomware attacks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently cautioned that ransomware attacks are a growing and evolving crime threatening the private and public sectors as well as individuals.  See More

We're Expanding!

Friday, July 28, 2017

We are pleased to to announce the expansion and merger of Harless & Associates with Tequesta Accounting Firm, Viniar & Company CPAs. Together we have formed an affiliated firm, Harless, Viniar & Associates, CPAs, LLC. This means that our clients will now have the opportunity to choose from 2 office locations for their appointments, our current West Palm Beach location and a new Jupiter/Tequesta location (222 South US Highway One, Tequesta, FL).   See More

Solo 401(k) Plans for Companies Without Employees

Friday, July 28, 2017

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Check Withholding Now to Avoid Surprises at Tax Time

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Source: irs.gov
IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2017-10.
The federal income tax is a pay-as-you-go system. Employers generally withhold tax from workers’ wages. Taxpayers also often have taxes withheld from certain other income including pensions, bonuses, commissions and gambling winnings.

People who do not pay tax through withholding, like the self-employed, generally pay estimated tax. In addition, those who earn income such as dividends, interest, capital gains, rent and royalties are usually required to make estimated tax payments.  See More