Posts tagged tax law changes
Tax Season Starts on Time for Most Taxpayers; Those Affected by Late Tax Breaks Can File in Mid- to Late February
IR-2010-126, Dec. 23, 2010 http://bit.ly/h21QkW
WASHINGTON — Following last week’s tax law changes, the Internal Revenue Service announced today the upcoming tax season will start on time for most people, but taxpayers affected by three recently reinstated deductions need to wait until mid- to late February to file their individual tax returns. In addition, taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A will need to wait until mid- to late February to file as well.
The start of the 2011 filing season will begin in January for the majority of taxpayers. However, last week’s changes in the law mean that the IRS will need to reprogram its processing systems for three provisions that were extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on Dec. 17.
People claiming any of these three items — involving the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction as well as those taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A — will need to wait to file their tax returns until tax processing systems are ready, which the IRS estimates will be in mid- to late February.
“The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of recent tax law changes on other taxpayers. The IRS will work through the holidays and into the New Year to get our systems reprogrammed and ensure taxpayers have a smooth tax season.”
The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the late tax law changes. In the interim, people in the affected categories can start working on their tax returns, but they should not submit their returns until IRS systems are ready to process the new tax law changes.
The IRS urged taxpayers to use e-file instead of paper tax forms to minimize confusion over the recent tax changes and ensure accurate tax returns.
Taxpayers will need to wait to file if they are within any of the following three categories:
- Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses as well as state and local taxes. In addition, itemized deductions include the state and local general sales tax deduction extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 enacted Dec. 17, which primarily benefits people living in areas without state and local income taxes and is claimed on Schedule A, Line 5. Because of late Congressional action to enact tax law changes, anyone who itemizes and files a Schedule A will need to wait to file until mid- to late February.
- Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. This deduction for parents and students — covering up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution — is claimed on Form 8917. However, the IRS emphasized that there will be no delays for millions of parents and students who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit.
- Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction. This deduction is for kindergarten through grade 12 educators with out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250. The educator expense deduction is claimed on Form 1040, Line 23, and Form 1040A, Line 16.
For those falling into any of these three categories, the delay affects both paper filers and electronic filers.
The IRS emphasized that e-file is the fastest, best way for those affected by the delay to get their refunds. Those who use tax-preparation software can easily download updates from their software provider. The IRS Free File program also will be updated.
As part of this effort, the IRS will be working closely with the tax software industry and tax professional community to minimize delays and ensure a smooth tax season.
Updated information will be posted on IRS.gov. This will include an updated copy of Schedule A as well as updated state and local sales tax tables. Several other forms used by relatively few taxpayers are also affected by the recent changes, and more details are available on IRS.gov.
In addition, the IRS reminds employers about the new withholding tables released Friday for 2011. Employers should implement the 2011 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than Jan. 31, 2011. The IRS also reminds employers that Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide, containing the extensive wage bracket tables that some employers use, will be available on IRS.gov before year’s end.
Related Item: Forms Affected By the Extender Provisions
After much speculation and anticipation, Congress finally passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the Act). The President signed it into law on December 17. The Act, in essence, is an extension of the 2001/2003 Bush-era tax cuts for two years. Also, the Act provides a payroll tax holiday for 2011 and a change in the exemption amount and maximum tax rate for estate taxation. The Act extends and modifies many of the provisions first enacted in the 2009 American Recovery and Relief Act. Finally, the Act incorporates many individual extensions of the so-called annual extenders. The following is a list of individual provisions that will certainly affect your tax liability for 2011, 2012, and possibly 2010, as well. More >
The recently enacted Small Business Jobs Act contained one provision that may have escaped the notice of taxpayers who own rental property, but will affect them starting in January. Under the provision, owners of property who receive rental income will be required to issue Forms 1099 to service providers for payments of $600 or more during the year.
The act subjects recipients of rental income from real estate to the same information-reporting requirements as taxpayers engaged in a trade or business. Thus, rental income recipients making payments of $600 or more to a service provider in the course of earning rental income are required to provide an information return (typically, Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income) to the IRS and to the service provider. This provision will apply to payments made after Dec. 31, 2010, and will cover, for example, payments made to plumbers, painters or accountants in the course of earning the rental income.
While rental property owners will not actually issue the required 1099s until early 2012, they need to start keeping adequate records of payments starting Jan. 1, 2011, so they will be prepared to issue correct 1099s. They will also need to obtain the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the service provider, using Form W-9 or a similar form.
To read the rest of this article from the Journal of Accountancy, please go to http://bit.ly/a4tBf8.
How can you tell it’s an election year? By the sheer number of scare tactics and outright lies being shuffled about.
An email is making the rounds – again – suggesting that health care benefits will appear on forms W-2 and will be taxed.
To read the rest of the article, please go to http://bit.ly/9WYZYp
There are a couple new tax and financial planning issues affecting our clients for the 2009 tax season, so be aware:
1. Every disaster needs a new tax law…apparently.
We, like the rest of the world, were saddened by the tragedy of the Haiti earthquake, and, like so many, were inspired to donate what we could. As accountants, however, we also realized this created a new issue for the upcoming tax season. They do make tax planning a challenge. For an analysis of deducting Haiti donations made in 2010 on your 2009 tax return, look at page 3 of our newsletter. This is hot off the government presses and doesn’t apply to any of the other worthwhile causes out there.
2. Another developing issue: if you’ve worked diligently with your attorney to develop an estate plan, congratulations, that plan may now be useless — at least for the time being.
As of January 1, 2010 the estate tax has been temporarily repealed. Don’t worry, though; it comes back as of January 1, 2011. Congress may extend the tax retroactively, but who knows. You may want to contact your attorney to see if a fix to your plan is warranted.
There may be more retroactive tax laws to follow, so stay tuned!
On a more positive note, wouldn’t it be nice if the Kansas Legislature actually considered and passed a repeal of the Kansas Income Tax? I understand that other taxes would be expanded to cover the shortfall, but I am growing tired of Kansans moving to Texas, Florida or Nevada to avoid the Kansas Income Tax. Even boring accountants can dream.
In 2009, numerous new and expanded deductions and credits came into being for a broad cross-section of taxpayers: College tax benefits for parents and students; energy credits for homeowners who are going green; and even tax breaks for home buyers and car buyers.
Following is a summary of these and other key changes taxpayers will find when they start preparing their 2009 federal income tax returns. More >