|Alpha Omega Accounting PC: Thomas Stamper CPA||
I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of my family, clients and associates. I am very blessed to have you all in my life. I think this is a wonderful time of year a time to reflect and to count your blessings and I have many to count this year. As we take a break and rest up and prepare for the new year I am looking forward to seeing you all again and serving your accounting needs with our best service. I am not scheduling any posts until after Tax day unless something comes up that I just have to comment on. Thank you.
This is the time of year you should be planning. planning for what? Planning for taxes of course. Many people think tax planning is only for business owners and the wealthy but tax planning should be on everyone's agenda. Business owners for sure need to use this time to make strategic decisions on capital outlay versus tax outlay. But I want to talk about things that most do not think about. If you are over 70.5 years old do you want to make that donation directly from your IRA meeting your minimum distribution requirement and if done directly from the IRS it is not included in income? How about if you are looking at selling a property, do you maybe want to take part in this year and part in next year to save jumping tax brackets this year? Same with large IRA withdrawals for say a new car or something. Do you need to get that medical procedure done this year or next year? Should you start doing your donations every other year to have enough to itemize your deductions? There are many things that we do not think about but putting some thought into could save you some money at tax time. And who does not like to do that?
There are some things that you are responsible for as a business owner that you probably did not know. Did you know that if you receive greater than $10,000 in cash in a single transaction or a series of related transactions that you have to report it on IRS form 8300? Did you know that if you have a work place injury that you have to save records pertaining to that for 15 years? Did you know that the IRS and US Department of Labor are aggressively pursuing improper classification of employees as contractors? Did you know that you are required to file as a foreign business with many States in order to do business there even if you are not registered in that State? These are just a few things that may help you understand why you may need a professional on your side when it comes to business. #businessadvisor#businesstaxes#trustedadvisor
By now most have heard that the US Supreme Court has upheld the tax credits to persons obtaining healthcare from a federal exchange. This was important for a couple of reasons. First, it made the employer penalty for employees receiving a credit for healthcare valid in all states. This was one of the major funding sources for the program. Secondly, This decision has made it very difficult for any future Congress from overturning the health care rules in the future. So the new system is here to stay and penalties are real. The Defense Finance Accounting System announced today that active duty, retired, civilian, and reserve personnel will receive form 1095C for filing their taxes. So make sure you wait for that prior to sending in your tax papers. I also want to take this opportunity to remind small business owners that provide health insurance to their employees that unless the insurance company has agreed to send these on your behalf to the insured employees you are responsible to send form 1095C to each of your employees this coming January. Please contact your payroll service provider or your accountant to make sure you are ready for this.
Microsoft is going to put out Windows 10 July 29th of this year and they are not going to charge for it for customers that have Windows 7 or 8. The only issue is that they are going to do this via the automatic update feature so that you will sign up and it will automatically be installed on July 29, 2015. As part of this update it is my understanding that Internet Explorer will be replaced with Microsoft Edge for a browser.
This could be a major issue for business’s and people that use online banking or other government sites from their home computers. Things to consider:
-Other software may not be fully compatible with the new version, including online back-up services
-What if you do not have a back-up and there is a problem, did you just lose all of your data?
-Are you going to be able to use your online banking in the new web browser?
-Are you going to be able to access government websites with the new browser?
-Windows 7 is supported until 2020
If you want to ensure you are not automatically upgraded to Windows 10 until you have verified that all of your software and other functions are compatible with the new version or web browser then it has been recommended to me that you disable automatic updates and check for updates every other day until the update comes out and then you can “hide” the update so it does not install. After that you can turn the automatic updates back on.
I have had a slew of clients recently receive a notification form the Internal Revenue Service that they changed their address. The only problem is that they did not ask them to change their address. Some examples are changing E 20th to East 20th. Not really a big deal. However, I have had a sole proprietor get his personal address changed to his business address. My address even got changed to a PO box. These are big deals. Every client has the same thing to say, I do not know why they did this and when I try to call, the phone says the wait time is 45 minutes to an hour and a half. My recommendation to them and to you as well is to go ahead and fill out a form 8822 (8822B for business) showing your correct address as both the new and the old address. Now here is the important part, you must attach a copy of the notice received from the IRS to the form 8822/8822B. Then save a copy of both in your records.
So why is this happening? The short answer is that I do not know. But if they are receiving a bunch of 8822/8822B forms with change of address notices attached they will investigate and correct the situation.
Well another tax season has come and gone. It was definitely new this year with new repair regulations, new healthcare issues, new fraud issues. So what now? First before school is out and you are busy with summer start a tax file for this year that way anything you receive that is remotely related to taxes you can just drop in the file or envelope and review when you are ready but at least it will all be in one place. Second keep an eye out for letters from the taxing authorities. If you receive a letter, please let your tax preparer have a copy. Sometimes it will just be a request for additional information. Sometimes a better refund and sometimes a not so good letter asking for more money. Any way you get it send it to the tax preparer. Maybe you don't get a bigger refund or maybe you don't owe as much as they say. There are ots of things that carry over from one year to the next and if you do not keep your preparer aware of any changes then you are asking for another letter next year because you did not keep your preparer up to date on things that will affect your next year taxes.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a special enrollment period for health insurance under the federal system. The period has been announced as a special tax season enrollment and will be from 3/15/15 through 4/30/15. The purpose of this special enrollment is to allow those who were penalized for not having insurance in 2014 an opportunity to enroll in order to avoid the penalty in 2015. To be eligible there are four requirements. You have to live in a state that is covered by the federal marketplace. Here in the Four Corners area only Colorado is not on the federal market place. So if you are a Colorado resident you are not eligible. The second requirement is that you have to have filed your taxes after the regular enrollment period ended, 2/15/15. Third is that you were penalized and paid the tax for not having health insurance in 2014. And finally, an affidavit must be signed stating that you did not know about the penalty until you filed your tax return.
Bring it all. You can never bring too much is my suggestion. Whether you are going to a free preparation site, a prepare while you wait service, or you drop off. If you are at a free or prepare while you wait facility, if you do not have your records available then when they ask you a question you will have the information to report it. If you have been there before you sit down and they ask you what seems like a million questions, then they ask for your paperwork and they go fill it out for you. It seems that when you answer yes the next question is do have receipts to verify that? And in most cases you do not and so you miss the deduction because you do not want to lose your spot and go get your papers and start waiting over again. And the organizers that other tax professionals send out have a million questions on them you get to read ahead of time so that you can have your memory jogged and bring the required papers with you the first time. I do not know about the other tax preparers out there but I would rather have more than I need than not enough to get the job done.
There is a scam out there where someone calls and states that you owe the IRS money and if you do not arrange to make a payment today they are going to file a law suit against you. This is a scam and you should just hang up. The IRS will always send a certified letter to inform you of collection intentions. Frankly they do not have the staff or time to call everyone that owes them money, so they have computers send letters for them. If you are ever in doubt, politely say please send me a certified letter and hang up. Or better yet, ask them to call your CPA. If you receive one of these calls you may report the scam to the Treasury Inspector General here http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml .
A Certified Public Accountant, US Navy veteran, husband and dad.