Newsletter

Beware of Fake Charity Scams Relating to Hurricanes

Beware of Fake Charity Scams Relating to Hurricanes The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning about possible fake charity scams emerging due to Hurricane Harvey and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups for their donations. While there has been an enormous wave of support across the country for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and with the preparations for the incoming Hurricane Irma, people should be aware of criminals who look to take advantage of this generosity by impersonating charities to...

Is it really the IRS?

How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door Many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials – in person, over the telephone and via email. Don’t get scammed. We want you to understand how and when the IRS contacts taxpayers and help you determine whether a contact you may have received is truly from an IRS employee. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. However, there are special circumstances in...

Learn about Tax Benefits for Education

Learn about Tax Benefits for Education The beginning of the school year is a good time for a reminder of the tax benefits for education. These benefits can help offset qualifying education costs. Here is information about two tax credits available to those who pay higher education costs for themselves, a spouse or a dependent. The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is: Worth a maximum benefit up to $2,500 per eligible student. Only available for the first four years at an eligible educational or vocational...

Tips to Keep in Mind on Income Taxes and Selling a Home

Tips to Keep in Mind on Income Taxes and Selling a Home Homeowners may qualify to exclude from their income all or part of any gain from the sale of their main home. Below are tips to keep in mind when selling a home: Ownership and Use. To claim the exclusion, the homeowner must meet the ownership and use tests. This means that during the five-year period ending on the date of the sale, the homeowner must have: Owned the home for at least...

Private IRS Debt Collectors

Private IRS Debt Collectors You may have heard the adage “The IRS will never call you”, commonly shared among taxpayers to help distance friends and loved-ones from telephone scammers. While it is always wise to be extra careful with anyone claiming to be contacting you on behalf of the IRS, the line has recently become a little more blurred. The Internal Revenue Service has begun a new private collection program of certain overdue federal tax debts; selecting four contractors to implement it. The new program, authorized...

Important Facts about Filing Late and Paying Penalties

Important Facts about Filing Late and Paying Penalties April 18 was this year’s deadline for most people to file their federal tax return and pay any tax they owe. If taxpayers are due a refund, there is no penalty if they file a late tax return. Taxpayers who owe tax, and failed to file and pay on time, will most likely owe interest and penalties on the tax they pay late. To keep interest and penalties to a minimum, taxpayers should file...

Hobby or Business?

Hobby or Business? Taxpayers must report on their tax return the income earned from hobbies. The rules for how to report the income and expenses depend on whether the activity is a hobby or a business. There are special rules and limits for deductions taxpayers can claim for hobbies. Here are four tax tips to consider: Is it a Business or a Hobby?  A key feature of a business is that people do it to make a profit. People engage in a...

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Taxpayers

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Taxpayers Don’t Forget to Update Emergency Plans Because a disaster can strike any time, be sure to review emergency plans annually. Personal and business situations change over time, as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, they should update plans accordingly and inform employees of the changes. Make plans ahead of time and be sure to practice them. Create Electronic Copies of Key Documents Keep a duplicate set of key documents...

Working Grandparents May Be Eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Working Grandparents May Be Eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) The Internal Revenue Service wants working grandparents raising grandchildren to be aware of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and correctly claim it if they qualify. What is the EITC? The EITC is a federal income tax credit for workers who don’t earn a high income ($53,505 or less for 2016) and meet certain eligibility requirements. Because it’s a refundable credit, those who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax,...