Answers to common questions after you file your tax return

You have filed your 2016 tax return, but you probably still have questions. Here are a few of the most common post-filing questions the IRS answers. Read more.

Read More

Tax filing responsibilities of estate executors

As an executor of an estate, it’s your responsibility to make sure all the necessary tax returns are filed. This overview will help you make sure you don’t miss any.

Read More

Job hunting? Take advantage of potential tax breaks

As the job market continues to improve, more people are embarking on a job hunt. Did you know there’s a potential tax break in a job hunt? You can deduct the cost of looking for a job in your current field, even if you don’t get the job. Typical expenses are travel to job interviews, resume costs, and employment agency fees. You must itemize your deductions, and your total miscellaneous deductions must exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.

The importance of maintaining good tax records

Keeping your tax records organized year-round is a good practice and will keep you from hastily assembling your documents for your annual tax preparation appointment. If you are diligent about maintaining your tax records, you won’t have to worry about losing a valuable deduction because you forgot to list expenses on your return, or having unsubstantiated items disallowed in the event of an audit.

Generally, your tax returns can be audited up to three years after filing. However, if income is underreported more than 25%, the IRS can collect underpaid taxes up to six years later. So, keeping good records means you’ll always be able to verify what you report on your tax return. Hang on to your tax records for seven years.

Why you should consider a midyear tax review

Most people don’t include tax planning on their summertime agenda, but there are benefits to doing so. The problem with waiting until the end of the year is that you reduce the time for planning strategies to take effect. If you take the time now to schedule a midyear tax planning review, you will have eight months for your actions to make a difference on your 2017 tax return. In addition, proposed tax reform could be cause for additional changes to your tax plan. Planning now for 2017 taxes not only helps reduce your taxes, but it may help you gain control of your entire financial situation. Give us a call to set up an appointment today.

Will your tax refund be offset by debts?

Be aware that if you have unpaid federal or state debt, such as overdue child support, state income tax, or student loans, all or part of your 2016 income tax return may be redirected to pay the debt. This is called the offset program. If an offset occurs with your tax return, the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service will send you a notice. The notice will list the original refund and offset amounts, as well as the name and contact information of the agency that received the payment. If you have questions, contact our office.

June 15 tax filing date for U.S. citizens abroad

U.S. citizens and resident aliens living overseas or serving in the military outside the U.S. receive an automatic two-month extension of the regular tax filing deadline. If this extension applies to your living situation, you have until June 15, 2017 to file your 2016 tax return. To use this automatic two-month extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining that you live overseas or you are serving in the military outside the U.S.

Could the Coverdell ESA be the right fund for you?

When it comes to saving for education, you aren’t limited to the 529 college savings plan. Learn about the Coverdell Education Savings Account to see if it’s right for your situation. Read more.

Read More

What you should do when the IRS contacts you

Has the IRS questioned something on your tax return? Ignoring it is not the proper course of action. Learn the do’s and don’ts of IRS correspondence.

Read More

Catfishing an IRS employee

Creative parking violations; scams at day care; “additional” cash fees; and other highlights of recent tax cases:

Flint, Mich.: Former IRS employee Gregory Lundene, 53, has been sentenced to six months in prison after pleaded guilty to participating in a Nigerian‑based ID-theft scheme, according to published reports.

Chicago: A federal judge has barred Irving Brown Sr., a retired Chicago Fire Department captain, from preparing federal returns for others.

Durham, N.C.: Preparer Laurean S. Robinson, 31, has pleaded guilty to filing false returns, specifically fraudulently claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and inflating refunds.

Buffalo, N.Y.: Unregistered preparer Shonnell Harris, 48, has pleaded guilty in connection with filing fraudulent tax returns for employees and other acquaintances at her now-shuttered day care center.

Union City, N.J.: Preparer Shirley Arias, a.k.a. Shirley Zambrano, 43, has pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting others in the preparation of false and fraudulent tax returns.

Read the full article: Tax Fraud Blotter: ‘Catfishing’ an IRS employee