Harless Tax Blog

Harless Tax Blog

Tax reform changes affecting small business and self-employed taxpayers; third quarter estimated tax payment deadline is Sept. 17

Monday, September 10, 2018

Source from irs.gov
WASHINGTON – With the last third of the year now in full view, the IRS today reminded small business and self-employed taxpayers of the importance of meeting their tax obligations. Part of those obligations normally include making quarterly estimated tax payments.

This news release is part of an ongoing campaign aimed at helping small businesses understand tax reform changes that affect their bottom line.  See More

Options Available For U.S. Taxpayers with Undisclosed Foreign Financial Assets

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Source from irs.gov
The implementation of FATCA and the ongoing efforts of the IRS and the Department of Justice to ensure compliance by those with U.S. tax obligations have raised awareness of U.S. tax and information reporting obligations with respect to non-U.S. investments. Because the circumstances of taxpayers with non-U.S. investments vary widely, the IRS offers the following options for addressing previous failures to comply with U.S. tax and information return obligations with respect to those investments:

1)  Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program; Note: The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is closing. Refer to the OVDP FAQs for an outline of the sunset provisions.

2)  Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures;  See More

Taxpayers should check out these helpful tax tools

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Source from irs.gov
Questions about taxes could come up any time of the year. Whether it’s about tracking a refund or paying a bill, taxpayers can find answers to their questions on IRS.gov. Here are some of the most popular IRS tools:

·  IRS Free File. Taxpayers who filed an extension can use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file a federal tax return. Free File is available at no cost for anyone with income below $66,000. Free File is available through Oct. 15 to file a 2017 tax return. IRS Free File is available through IRS.gov or the IRS2Go mobile app.

·  Direct Deposit. Direct Deposit is the best and fastest way for taxpayers to get their tax refund electronically deposited for free into their financial account. Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to receive their refund.  See More

Avoid penalty for underpayment of taxesAvoid penalty for underpayment of taxes

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Source from irs.gov
WASHINGTON ― With nearly 10 million U.S. taxpayers facing a penalty for underpayment of estimated tax last year, the Internal Revenue Service urges taxpayers to plan ahead, understand their options and avoid the penalty when they file in early 2019.

To help taxpayers avoid this common situation, the IRS is focusing four news releases this week on key areas to help taxpayers pay the right amount of tax and avoid an estimated tax penalty. The IRS is highlighting a variety of resources and tools – including the online Withholding Calculator – to help taxpayers determine if they need to make an additional tax payment to avoid an unwelcome surprise at tax time.  See More

Spouses Need To Think Carefully About When To Take Social Security Benefits

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Source from fa-mag.com
When a spouse starts receiving his Social Security benefits can determine the lifetime income his or her surviving partner will get, according to Diane Pearson, a wealth advisor and shareholder at Legend Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh.

Social Security makes up an average of 40 percent of people’s retirement income and “is more valuable than most people think,” said Pearson during a webinar Wednesday sponsored by Legend Financial entitled “Social Security Planning: What You Need To Know To Maximize Retirement Income.”  See More

Classic Lesson From The Tax Court

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Source from accountantsworld.com
Timing is at least as important in tax as it is in comedy. Although less common than it used to be before the age of direct deposit and mobile banking apps, the question sometimes arises about when must a taxpayer report as gross income a check received on December 31st but not cashed until January. The flip side is when may a taxpayer take a deduction for a check sent out on December 31st but not cashed until January.

Taxpayers tend to want to push off reporting income into a later year and tend to want to pull back deductions into the current year. Specifically taxpayers who receive a check on the last day of the year would like to say they don’t have income until they cash the check in January. But at the same time, taxpayers who write a check for a deductible expense on the last day of the year want to deduct that expense in that year and not the next.  See More

IRS issues guidance on small business accounting

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Source from irs.gov
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance today on new tax law changes that allow small business taxpayers with average annual gross receipts of $25 million or less in the prior three-year period to use the cash method of accounting.

The Revenue Procedure outlines the process that eligible small business taxpayers may use to obtain automatic consent to change accounting methods that are now permitted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA.  See More

Coping with the new entertainment expense and transportation fringe benefit rules

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Source: thetaxadviser.com
Now that new tax rules are in place, employers and their advisers are coping with the difficulties faced in implementing the changes, adjusting to a new normal. New tax laws are always a product of give-and-take, with many constituencies fighting to retain favorable rules and congressional staff putting the pieces together so there are enough votes to pass the legislation. The changes brought about by P.L. 115-97, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), are no exception.

The goal of lowering tax rates, primarily for businesses, needed to be tempered by eliminating certain business deductions or individual income tax exclusions so that federal revenues didn't decline too much. The elimination of employer deductions or individual income tax exclusions causes taxpayers to consider behavior adjustments to account for the increased cost of the formerly deductible or excludable expense. Never has this adjustment had to occur so quickly, with the TCJA legislation enacted on Dec. 22, 2017, and many effective dates occurring only 10 days later, on Jan. 1, 2018.  See More

June 2018 Tax Deadline Reminder

Friday, June 08, 2018

Source by: Harless and Associates Staff
June 15
Individuals. If you are not paying your 2018 income tax through withholding (or will not pay enough tax during the year that way), pay the second installment of your 2018 estimated tax.

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, file Form 1040 and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due for 2017. If you want additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain four additional months to file. Then, file Form 1040 by October 15.  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