The latest scam alert from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cautions taxpayers about phone calls being made during which the scammers threaten to “cancel” their target’s Social Security number unless they agree to send money to pay an unpaid tax bill. The IRS does not have the authority to cancel an individual’s Social Security number. Continue reading
The Biggest Threat to Your Tax Return? Scammers!
As we race toward the end of 2019 individuals and businesses alike are making plans and taking steps to position themselves favorably for their annual tax returns. For example, many businesses are making late year purchases to take advantage of Section 179 deductions, while individual taxpayers might be moving funds into retirement savings or making gifts as part of an estate plan. But many people are unaware of a threat that could have the biggest impact on their 2019 tax return: scammers and cyber criminals. Continue reading
UPDATE: Meals Not Exempt During Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday
The first of the legislatively mandated annual sales tax holidays is set for the weekend of August 17-18, 2019 in Massachusetts. As in previous years, the state’s 6.25% sales tax will be waived on most retail purchases made in the state, up to a $2,500 limit. Sales taxes will also be waived on eligible items purchased online. Continue reading
IRS “Clawback” Won’t Spoil the New Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 effectively doubled the lifetime exemption of assets that can be protected from federal estate and gift taxes. For 2018, assets of up to $11.18 million for an individual and $22.36 million for a married couple can be transferred without triggering the estate and gift tax. Those limits are indexed for inflation and will increase to $11.4 million for individuals and $22.8 million for married couples for the 2019 tax year. Continue reading
Watch Out for These Tax Time Scams
The onset of the tax filing period is likely to also see an increase in scams designed to steal taxpayer financial information or defraud individuals and businesses. Here are some of the scams the IRS is warning taxpayers and businesses to guard against. Continue reading
Important Tax Deadlines for 2019
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a list of important tax deadlines for 2019. We have organized them below in chronological order. Remember, the IRS takes these deadlines seriously, and so should you. No adjustments have been made at this time as a result of the current partial shutdown of the federal government.
What if you miss a deadline? The IRS recommends that you file your return as soon as possible. If you owe taxes, pay them. You may face a financial penalty, or perhaps just an interest charge, but the IRS generally will accept the late return.
Do Not Let Your Guard Down Against Data Thieves
Thinking about enjoying a nice vacation this summer? Don’t count on cybercriminals relaxing anytime soon. Even though the high-profile tax filing period is over, scammers and data thieves continue to ply their nefarious trade. That’s why it is important to remain vigilant at all times. Continue reading
Penalty for Non-Reporting of Foreign Accounts Upheld
If you have money in an overseas account you are required by law to report it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Willful non-reporting can result in stiff penalties that can run as high as 50% of the account value. Continue reading
Good News and Bad News on the “Pass Through” Tax Break
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act not only reduced the tax rate on C corporations, it includes a significant tax break for certain “pass through” entities such as sole proprietors, partnerships, S Corps, LLCs, and self-employed individuals. Business owners who report business income on their personal tax returns will now be able to deduct 20% of “qualified business income,” which is defined as the net amount of qualified income, gains, deductions and losses for the business. On average, the deduction may result in about a 20% reduction in taxes. Continue reading
Making Sense of the New Pass Through Deduction
The new tax law (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) made significant changes to the corporate tax rates. This includes a new deduction for “pass through” business entities like S Corporations, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and LLCs that are taxed as partnerships.