Harless Tax Blog

Harless Tax Blog

How to use your 2017 tax return to save more in 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Source: cnbc.com

This spring, don't just stuff your completed tax return into a drawer. Go through it for savings opportunities you can seize right now.

More than 94 million tax returns have been filed as of March 30, still a long way from the more than 155 million returns the IRS expects to receive this year.

If you've already turned in your paperwork and received a refund — or a tax bill — take a moment to comb through your return.

This is especially important because your 2017 return marks the last time you'll be filing under the old tax regime.  See More

Last-minute tax tips for late filers

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Source: cnbc.com

If you're waiting until the absolute last moment to file your taxes, you're not alone — and you're not out of luck.

As of the last tally, the Internal Revenue Service has received 103 million of the 155 million total returns the agency expects this year. (In fact, 20 to 25 percent of Americans wait until the last 14 days before the deadline to prepare their tax returns.)

But there is still time before Tax Day on April 17 to nail down everything you need — and take advantage of certain tax breaks before it's too late. See More

Tax season is here: How to make filing relatively painless

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Source: cnbc.com

Keep an eye on your mailbox over the next few weeks: All of the information you need to prepare your return should be on its way.

Filing season for the 2017 tax year began on Jan. 29. This year, the IRS bumped the deadline to file returns to April 17 because the traditional filing date of April 15 falls on a Sunday. And Emancipation Day — a legal holiday in some locations — will be observed Monday, April 16.  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

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