Toward the end of tax season, we field some telephone calls helping clients transmit extension form 4868 for their clients. When the telephone call is about finished the client will make a comment something along the lines of “thanks, one down 40 to go!”. It’s about that time Taxware customer support becomes their best friend when they let them know that there is an easier way to do all their extensions in a batch.
The IRS encourages everyone to use the Withholding Calculator to perform a quick “paycheck checkup.” This is even more important this year because of recent tax law changes.
Results from the calculator will include a recommendation of whether or not users should consider submitting a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to their employers. Before beginning, taxpayers should have a copy of their most recent pay stub and tax return.
It was last year about this time that I received more than one call from the someone claiming to be the IRS stating that I owed them money and I needed call an 800# to get it all cleared up. It sounded so real I could see how anyone would believe it, and the fact that they called more than once I decided to get on the IRS.gov website and do a little research to make sure it wasn’t real. I knew in my gut they wouldn’t contact me that way but still I was appalled at the audacity of someone to execute this type of a scheme.
Tax Planning Tutorial
Some of the most common questions we are fielding this year are regarding the “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017“ and how it affects the taxpayers taxes. It’s totally understandable as people are either excited or concerned about the unknown. To help you be able to answer some of these questions, King T. Dalton, CPA and Founder of Taxware Systems, Inc. wrote an article that is currently posted on our blog here. As more information is made available we plan on writing additional articles, so look for those in future newsletters and blog posts.
Most taxpayers claim the standard deduction when they file their federal tax return. However, some filers may be able to lower their tax bill by choosing to itemize when they file their 2017 tax return. Before making that decision, it’s a good idea to figure deductions using both methods and choose the method with the most benefit. The IRS offers the following tips to help taxpayers decide:
Taxpayers with Expired ITINs Should Renew Them Now to File Their 2017 Taxes
Taxpayers with an expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Number should renew it as soon as possible if they need to file a 2017 tax return. They can renew it by submitting a Form W-7. Tax returns with expired ITINs will face delays. Affected taxpayers may also lose out on key tax benefits until they renew their ITINs. It can take the IRS up to 11 weeks to complete an ITIN renewal during tax season.
By King T. Dalton, CPA and Founder of Taxware Systems, Inc.
This is a preliminary analysis of the new tax act that will affect 2018 tax returns, and is based on my understanding of the new law, which may need further clarification. The analysis is not intended to be complete, but to provide a guide to the significant changes. Taxware is working to update our Individual Tax Planning programming to incorporate the new law as much as possible.
The IRS requires that an 8879 be signed by the taxpayer before the 1040 can be efiled. Usually this would be a physical signature in person, but there are ways to do this without the taxpayer stepping foot into your office.
A great solution for remotely signing an 8879 is the Adobe Acrobat program. This is a free software that is most likely already on your clients’ computers and it now has the option to fill and sign documents electronically.
When tax season is over, we in the tax industry want to let everything go until extensions are due. While time off is often well-deserved, there are some easy things you can do to get your clients–and yourself–ready for next tax season well before January.
In the tax industry, you could say that we have learned to expect the unexpected, especially with tax laws being updated consistently throughout the tax year. What about fires, power outages or even cybercrime? No one knows when disasters will strike, but as a taxpayer and a tax professional, you can be ready to combat problems and keep your important information safe.
Backups: Store paper client data and documents in securely locked areas. Make sure to have strong computer passwords to protect client information and be sure to back up your data daily on an external hard drive or in a cloud storage space in case of disaster such as flood, fire or power outage.
Avoid Scams: Phishing emails can look authentic, and people impersonating reliable agencies might threaten you or your clients into divulging personal information. Stand firm; if you receive an email from someone you are not familiar with, do not click on any links in the email. If you receive a threatening call, hang up immediately.
Document Valuables: Take photos or videos of the contents of your home or business, including equipment and storage areas. These visual records can help prove the value of lost items. They could help with insurance claims or casualty loss deductions on a tax return.
Emergency Plans: How well can your business come back after a disaster? Make sure to have an operations plan in place and review it annually. Just as your business changes over time, so do your preparedness needs. As you add employees or major changes occur, update your plans and inform your people.
For more information on how to prepare in case of disaster, please visit:
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