How can I make sure my donations are tax-deductible?

It’s that time of year when taxpayers are thinking about how they want to give back, and many taxpayers will want to donate to a charity that means something to them. The IRS has a tool that may help them make sure their donations are as beneficial as possible.

Tax Exempt Organization Search on IRS.gov is a tool that allows users to search for tax-exempt charities. Taxpayers can use this tool to determine if donations they make to an organization are tax-deductible charitable contributions.

Here are some things to know about the TEOS tool:

  • It provides information about an organization’s federal tax status and filings.
  • It’s mobile device friendly.
  • Donors can use it to confirm that an organization is tax-exempt and eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.
  • Users can find out if an organization had its tax-exempt status revoked.
  • Organizations are listed under the legal name or a “doing business as” name on file with the IRS.
  • The search results are sortable by name, Employee Identification Number, state, and country.
  • Users may also download entire lists of organizations eligible to receive deductible contributions, auto-revoked organizations and e-Postcard filers.

Taxpayers can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant, Can I Deduct my Charitable Contributions? to help determine if a charitable contribution is deductible.

More Information:
Tips for Tax Exempt Organization Search
Tax Exempt Organization Search: Frequently Asked Questions
Subscribe to the Exempt Organizations Newsletter

IRS YouTube Videos:
Tax Exempt Organization Search English | ASL

Share this tip on social media — #IRSTaxTip: How taxpayers can make sure their donations are tax deductible. https://go.usa.gov/xp5yB

Advanced Client Information Screen Tips & Tricks

Do you know about the advanced client information screen? It is a tool already included in the program that has many frequently used features all in one place. It allows you to:

  • Lookup a client’s basic information without going into their return.
  • Keeps all of the acknowledgments pertaining to that client in one place for easy reprinting including bank product if applicable.
  • Maintains your client’s payment and billing status with the ability to add a quick entry.
  • Start an email or text to your client.

The best part of the advanced information screen is that it is available right from the recall client menu! To access the advanced information screen, go to your recall client list. From there single click on the client you are interested in. Press F2 on your keyboard or click on the [F2] button at the top of the client list and the advanced client information screen should appear.

From here you can view the client’s address and phone number on the left-hand side, along with their Federal and State refund/balance due. In the center column, you can view their bill to you, as well as make a payment on that bill. Their return status and e-file status are also shown in the center column, and the return status can be changed from here if needed.

On the top of the screen, you will see information for starting an email or text to your client. By default, clicking email, or text will open your Window’s email application of choice and fill out the ‘to’ field for you. You can also input your contact settings if you want to send emails and texts directly through the program. Setting up this information is covered in our tutorial video on emailing from the program, available here: https://youtu.be/bXt-7-3MbjI

On the right-hand side of your screen, you will see your client’s E-File and Bank Product acknowledgments. They are color-coded so you can tell at a glance the status of each portion of their return. Have you ever needed to reprint an acknowledgment? Simply click the view button on the acknowledgment on the right and it will bring up a PDF copy of the acknowledgment that you can print out!

Once you are finished reviewing your client, pressing ‘Okay’ will take you staight back to the recall client menu. The advanced client information screen is great for quickly looking up your client, making payments, and starting emails. Because you never leave the recall client screen, you are always just one click away from getting information about another client, starting a new return, recalling a prior return, or finishing up a return you have already started. Check it out today in your 1040 Individual Program!

-Matthew, Taxware Lead Technician

Security Summit marks 4th National Tax Security Awareness Week

IRS announces new dates, social media effort and partner toolkit to highlight identity theft precautions.

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry today announced that the 4th Annual National Tax Security Awareness Week will take place between Dec. 2 and Dec. 6.

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Online seminars from 2019 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums now available

Tax professionals can earn continuing education credits online by taking seminars recorded at the 2019 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums.

The 15 new self-study seminars are now available on the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online website. Self-study seminars provide information to participants using interactive videos, PowerPoint slides and transcripts.

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Need a copy of the Tax reform publication in a different language?

TAX REFORM PUBLICATION TRANSLATED INTO DIFFERENT LANGUAGES

Taxpayers who filed an extension can find resources on IRS.gov that can help them file their tax return. One of these resources is Publication 5307, Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families. This publication is now available in several different languages.

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What out-of-pocket expenses can teachers deduct on their taxes?

What teachers should know about deducting out-of-pocket classroom expenses

Now that fall is here and school has started, many teachers are dipping into their own pockets to buy classroom supplies. Doing this throughout the year can add up fast. Fortunately, eligible educators may be able to defray qualified expenses they paid in 2019 when they file their tax return in 2020.

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Have you received a letter threatening an IRS lien? If you have then read this first!

Taxpayers should beware of property lien scam

With scam artists hard at work all year, taxpayers should watch for new versions of tax-related scams. One such scam involves fake property liens. It threatens taxpayers with a tax bill from a fictional government agency.

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Tax Planning for 2019 is here!

You can take the mystery out of your client’s future tax return today; using our Tax Planning Tool built into Wintax.

Today we want to make you aware of one of our powerful tools called “Tax Planning”. This is a tool that is embedded inside your program so there is nothing to add or install. Simply make sure your Wintax program is up to date and you are ready to use it.

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ID theft: Here’s what to look for and what to do when it happens

Tax-related identity theft occurs when a thief uses someone’s stolen Social Security number to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. The victim may be unaware that this has happened until they e-file their return. Even before the victim files their return, the IRS may send the taxpayer a letter saying the agency identified a suspicious return using the stolen SSN.

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Updated pub helps taxpayers understand an offer in compromise

The IRS just issued an updated publication with information for individual taxpayers and business owners unable to pay their taxes. This electronic pub, Offer in Compromise Booklet, helps people understand how an offer in compromise works.

An offer in compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles a tax debt for less than the full amount owed. An offer in compromise is an option when a taxpayer can’t pay their full tax liability. It is also an option when paying the entire tax bill would cause the taxpayer a financial hardship. The ultimate goal is a compromise that suits the best interest of both the taxpayer and the agency.

When reviewing applications, the IRS considers the taxpayer’s unique set of facts and any special circumstances affecting the taxpayer’s ability to pay as well as the taxpayer’s:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Asset equity

The booklet covers everything a taxpayer will need to know about submitting an offer in compromise, including:

  • Who is eligible to submit an offer
  • How much it costs to apply
  • How the application process works

The booklet also includes the forms that taxpayers will complete as part of the offer in compromise process.

More information:

 

 

*This message was distributed from IRS Tax Tips. For more information on federal taxes please visit IRS.gov.