Friday, February 21, 2014

Do You Have a Child Under 17?

If so, the Child Tax Credit may reduce your Federal income tax. There are 7 tests to qualify, but they are easy to understand. You can use the ITA tool at to see if you can claim the credit. The tool can also answer most of your tax questions regarding this potential saving.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Missing a W2?

Most employers give Forms W-2 to their workers by Jan. 31. If you haven’t received yours by mid-February, here’s what you should do:

1. Contact your employer.  You should first ask your employer to give you a copy of your W-2. You’ll also need this form from any former employer you worked for during the year. If employers send the form to you, be sure they have your correct address.

2. Contact the IRS.  If you exhaust your options with your employer and you have not received your W-2, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. You’ll need the following when you call:

  • Your name, address, Social Security number and phone number;
  • Your employer’s name, address and phone number;
  • The dates you worked for the employer; and
  • An estimate of the amount of wages you were paid and federal income tax withheld in 2013. If possible, you can use your final pay stub to figure these amounts.

3. File on time.  Your tax return is due by April 15, 2014. If you don’t get your W-2 in time to file, use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Estimate your wages and withheld taxes as accurately as you can. The IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information.

Monday, February 04, 2013

The IRS Won't Give Up

The IRS has issued the following news release. Regardless of what the court has decided, they are determined to continue doing what they've been told they can't do.

On Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia enjoined the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the regulatory requirements for registered tax return preparers. In accordance with this order, tax return preparers covered by this program are not required to complete competency testing or secure continuing education. The ruling does not affect the regulatory practice requirements for CPAs, attorneys, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents or enrolled actuaries.

On Friday, Feb. 1, the court modified its order to clarify that the order does not affect the requirement for all paid tax return preparers to obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Consistent with this modification, the IRS has reopened the online PTIN system.

The IRS continues to have confidence in the scope of its authority to administer this program and is working with the Department of Justice to address all options, including a planned appeal.

Friday, February 01, 2013

And Now for Something Completely Different

Recent funny notes from Forbes magazine's Buy / Sell  / Hold column:

Sell: Jeffrey Loria. Fleeces Miami taxpayers, unloads high-priced talent for peanuts. He's like George Steinbrenner without the warmth and charm.

Sell: John McAfee, founder of pioneer anti-virus program of the same name, on the lam in Belize, suspected of murder.

Sell: Sarah Lawrence College now the priciest in the nation, at $60,000 per year. A new Ferrari or a degree in transgender semiotics? Choices, choices.

Buy: US forecast to be top oil producing nation by 2020. Chastened Saudis vow to build a world-class reality-TV industry.

Hold: Steven Sinofsky; software honcho leaves Microsoft. Exit unnoticed by staffers trying to get Windows 8 to run.

IRS Preparer Registration Issues

Here is a link to a story outlining the current legal mess concerning the IRS attempt to license and regulate tax preparers:

The quick summary: the IRS has been forcing preparers to register with this program for two years, and the Courts have now said it's illegal.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Further 2012 Filing Delays

The IRS announced today a further delay in processing returns that contain Form 8863, Education Credits, which must be filed by people claiming the American opportunity and the lifetime learning tax credits.

During testing, the IRS discovered that programming modifications must be made before the form can be processed correctly so returns that include the form cannot be filed until mid-February.

The IRS also noted that its website contains a list of 30 other forms, including the deprecation form used by most small business owners and real estate investors, that cannot be filed yet because the forms must be updated and systems for processing them tested.

A date will be announced when returns containing these forms will be accepted, but that date will probably be late February or sometime in March.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


The IRS has issued information answering common questions about the new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income. If you are married and have combined gross income of less than $250,000, or are single with less than $200,000, this tax does not apply to you. If you exceed these amounts, this page will be useful in understanding how this new tax will affect you.  

Monday, January 16, 2012


The deductible business mileage rate for 2012 is 55 cents per mile. Medical and moving mileage rate will be 23 cents per mile, and the charitable rate remains 14 cents per mile.