Posts tagged irs
IRS Corrected Special Edition Tax Tip 2012-13
The Internal Revenue Service is issuing a warning about a new tax scam that uses a website that mimics the IRS e-Services online registration page.
The actual IRS e-Services page offers web-based products for tax preparers, not the general public. The phony web page looks almost identical to the real one.
The IRS gets many reports of fake websites like this. Criminals use these sites to lure people into providing personal and financial information that may be used to steal the victim’s money or identity.
The address of the official IRS website is www.irs.gov. Don’t be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.
If you find a suspicious website that claims to be the IRS, send the site’s URL by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the subject line, ‘Suspicious website’.
Be aware that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.
If you get an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, report it by sending it to email@example.com.
The IRS has information at www.irs.gov that can help you protect yourself from tax scams of all kinds. Search the site using the term “phishing.”
- Suspicious e-Mails and Identity Theft
- Reporting Phishing
- Identity Theft resource page
- Publication 4523, Beware of Phishing Schemes (PDF)
IRS YouTube Videos:
from Kelly Phillips Erb, aka taxgirl:
If you’re like me, you got slammed today with bogus emails claiming to be from the IRS. Most were the run of the mill “Federal tax transaction rejected” variety – like the ones from before. A few, however, were a bit more sophisticated. This one, in particular, caught my eye:
To read the rest of her article, please go here.
Are you a sole proprietor, farmer, landlord, partner or shareholder? If so, take note, because included on the 2012 Schedules, C, E and F and Forms 1065, 1120 and 1120-S are two questions regarding 1099 compliance that must be answered.
The first question is “Did you make any payments in 2012 that would require you to file Form(s) 1099?” Then, ‘If “Yes,” did you or will you file all required Forms 1099?’ These questions are part of the IRS’ ongoing effort to close the tax gap by ensuring that service providers report 100% of their income.
When are you required to file a 1099? A 1099 is required to be filed when $600 or more is paid to any unincorporated business or individual for any of the following.
- For services
- For services combined with providing materials
- For rent
In addition, if you paid $600 or more for legal or health care services, 1099′s need to be issued regardless of the vendor’s entity status (in other words, you must send them to corporations as well.)
Before you decide to simply answer “No” to these questions, keep in mind that the penalties for noncompliance can add up. For “Intentional Disregard” (purposefully not filing the required forms), the minimum penalty the IRS may impose is $100 per 1099 not filed, with no maximum penalty.
To avoid noncompliance be sure to complete a Form W-9 before you pay for services rendered. Examples of services rendered include, but are not limited to repairs, janitorial, accounting, legal, consulting and computer maintenance services. In other words, get the name, address, entity type and Social Security Number or Federal Employer Identification Number of anyone you make payments to for services rendered in the course of conducting your business. Five minutes worth of due diligence can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars!
BRING US YOUR 1099-Ks!
1099-Ks are now required to be filed by credit card companies, banks and third party networks (think PayPal) to report gross receipts made by credit or debit cards. If you report gross receipts of less than the amounts reported on the 1099-Ks issued to you the IRS will be sure to assess additional tax and penalties. Because of this we must have your 1099-K’s to ensure correct revenue reporting.
The reporting requirements can be complex. Please contact our office if you need clarification on these issues.
IR-2011-116, Dec. 9, 2011 http://1.usa.gov/ttw0ow
The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2012 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2012, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
- 55.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The rate for business miles driven is unchanged from the mid-year adjustment that became effective on July 1, 2011. The medical and moving rate has been reduced by 0.5 cents per mile.
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Independent contractor Runzheimer International conducted the study.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
These and other requirements for a taxpayer to use a standard mileage rate to calculate the amount of a deductible business, moving, medical or charitable expense are in Rev. Proc. 2010-51.
Notice 2012-01 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.
IR-2011-104, Oct. 20, 2011, http://1.usa.gov/nPdoS7
WASHINGTON — For tax year 2012, personal exemptions and standard deductions will rise and tax brackets will widen due to inflation, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.
By law, the dollar amounts for a variety of tax provisions, affecting virtually every taxpayer, must be revised each year to keep pace with inflation. New dollar amounts affecting 2012 returns, filed by most taxpayers in early 2013, include the following:
- The value of each personal and dependent exemption, available to most taxpayers, is $3,800, up $100 from 2011.
- The new standard deduction is $11,900 for married couples filing a joint return, up $300, $5,950 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up $150, and $8,700 for heads of household, up $200. Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.
- Tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. For a married couple filing a joint return, for example, the taxable-income threshold separating the 15-percent bracket from the 25-percent bracket is $70,700, up from $69,000 in 2011.
Credits, deductions, and related phase outs.
- For tax year 2012, the maximum earned income tax credit (EITC) for low- and moderate- income workers and working families rises to $5,891, up from $5,751 in 2011. The maximum income limit for the EITC rises to $50,270, up from $49,078 in 2011.The credit varies by family size, filing status and other factors, with the maximum credit going to joint filers with three or more qualifying children.
- The foreign earned income deduction rises to $95,100, an increase of $2,200 from the maximum deduction for tax year 2011.
- The modified adjusted gross income threshold at which the lifetime learning credit begins to phase out is $104,000 for joint filers, up from $102,000, and $52,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $51,000.
- For 2012, annual deductible amounts for Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) increased from the tax year 2011 amounts; please see the table below.
|Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)||Self-only coverage||Family coverage|
|Minimum annual deductible||$2,100||$4,200|
|Maximum annual deductible||$3,150||$6,300|
|Maximum annual out-of-pocket expenses||$4,200||$7,650|
The $2,500 maximum deduction for interest paid on student loans begins to phase out for a married taxpayers filing a joint returns at $125,000 and phases out completely at $155,000, an increase of $5,000 from the phase out limits for tax year 2011. For single taxpayers, the phase out ranges remain at the 2011 levels.
Estate and GiftFor an estate of any decedent dying during calendar year 2012, the basic exclusion from estate tax amount is $5,120,000, up from $5,000,000 for calendar year 2011. Also, if the executor chooses to use the special use valuation method for qualified real property, the aggregate decrease in the value of the property resulting from the choice cannot exceed $1,040,000, up from $1,020,000 for 2011.
The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $13,000.
- The monthly limit on the value of qualified transportation benefits exclusion for qualified parking provided by an employer to its employees for 2012 rises to $240, up $10 from the limit in 2011. However, the temporary increase in the monthly limit on the value of the qualified transportation benefits exclusion for transportation in a commuter highway vehicle and transit pass provided by an employer to its employees expires and reverts to $125 for 2012.
- Several tax benefits are unchanged in 2012. For example, the additional standard deduction for blind people and senior citizens remains $1,150 for married individuals and $1,450 for singles and heads of household.
Details on these inflation adjustments can be found in Revenue Procedure 2011-52, which will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2011-45 on November 7, 2011.
For every one dollar in federal income taxes owed, the IRS is only able to collect 84 cents. The missing 16 cents is called the tax gap.
It’s the difference between what individuals and businesses should pay and what they actually do pay. After adjusting for late payments and enforcement actions by the IRS, the “net tax gap” is estimated to be approximately $290 billion a year.
With the federal budget suffering from massive deficits, closing the net tax gap and collecting those additional funds has become a priority.
In IRS jargon, failing to pay your tax liability — the amount you owe — is called “non-compliance”. There are three types of non-compliance that cause the tax gap:
- Underreporting of one’s tax liability by inflating your expenses or failing to report a portion of your income.
- Underpayment of one’s tax liability by not sending the IRS the full amount you owe when its due.
- Non-filing of one’s return and failure to make any kind of payment towards what you owe.
Underreporting is estimate to account for 82 percent of the net tax gap. Across all three types of non-compliance, businesses account for 70 percent. To address this situation, 1099 filing requirements have been expanded.
To read the rest of the article, please go to http://bit.ly/9YbwEu.
A new video on the Small Business section of the IRS Video Portal looks at how good recordkeeping can reduce stress at tax time. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/cQ2qFP
The IRS reminds taxpayers that interest deductions on home mortgages are limited, including limitations for home acquisition and home equity indebtedness.
There is one limit for loans used to buy, build, or substantially improve a residence — called home acquisition debt. There is another limit for loans secured by a qualified residence but used for other purposes — called home equity debt. Internal Revenue Code Section 163(h) (3) provides guidance for the limitations on the home mortgage interest deduction.
The law allows taxpayers to deduct interest on two categories of indebtedness secured by their residences. Acquisition indebtedness is used to acquire, construct, or substantially improve a residence, and cannot exceed $1,000,000. Home equity indebtedness is any debt other than acquisition indebtedness and cannot exceed $100,000.
To read the rest of the article, please go to http://bit.ly/bZr9WU.
It’s coming, looming closer and closer with each passing day. The dreaded tax filing season is in full swing, and, we’ll bet, it’s already giving a number of business owners more than their fair share of headaches.
As a small business, you’re already overwhelmed. You run your business, take care of your employees, manage your client relationships, and focus on your services or products. Where does keeping track of IRS changes for small business taxes fit into your schedule?
One of the major obstacles for small business owners is knowing and understanding tax law because of its ever-changing nature and the amount of time it takes to stay on top of it. Startups in particular experience quite the shock when the full scale of their tax requirements becomes clear.
In addition to the federal income tax, businesses also face various types of state and local taxes, including income, franchise and/or sales taxes. If they have employees, they must deal with payroll taxes – including payments and information filings to the government and their employees.
Many businesses also face specific excise taxes. Even the type of business entity you’ve chosen (sole proprietor, partnership, LLC) affects your taxes. Too often, small businesses overlook important details or misfile some of these tax responsibilities.
Some important reminders:
- Keep good records
- Plan for paying taxes throughout the year, set aside the funds you’ll need before they come due
- Make sure you classify your employees properly – classifying employees as contractors leads to trouble
- Follow the IRS guidelines carefully to avoid potential fines and penalties
There are many tools out there attempting to assist small business owners track required activities. The IRS publishes a small business tax calendar every year (here’s the link to the handy interactive copy of the tax calendar online). You can also subscribe to the tax calendar in your outlook calendar.
As a small business owner, you’re probably a do-it-yourselfer, after all, there’s lots of software packages available for tax filing. However, if maneuvering the gauntlet of allowable deductions and proper filing for maximizing your tax reductions is daunting, it might be smarter to focus on what you do best and hire a professional who specializes in small businesses to prepare your taxes. Especially as small business taxes are never one-time shots, a tax professional can keep track of the constant deadlines and requirements for you.
For vehicles placed in service in 2010, businesses that value employees’ personal use of company vehicles under the cents-per-mile method can do so for passenger cars valued at $15,300 and trucks or vans valued at $16,000 that are placed in service in 2010. These values have gone up from 2009 when they were $15,000 and $15,200 respectively. Want more details, the full policy is posted on the IRS site here.