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Steve Giorgione warns: Taxpayers Should Be Wary of Unsolicited Calls from the IRS

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Oct 03 2017
Taxpayers who get an unexpected or unsolicited phone call from the IRS should be wary – it’s probably a scam. Phone calls continue to be one of the most common ways that thieves try to get taxpayers to provide personal information. These scammers then use that information to gain access to the victim’s bank or other accounts. 
When a taxpayer answers the phone, it might be a recording or an actual person claiming to be from the IRS. Sometimes the scammer tells the taxpayer they owe money and must pay right away. They might also say the person has a refund waiting, and then they ask for bank account information over the phone.
Taxpayers should not take the bait and fall for this trick. Here are several tips that will help taxpayers avoid becoming a scam victim.
The real IRS will not:
Call to demand immediate payment
Call someone if they owe taxes without first sending a bill in the mail
Demand tax payment and not allow the taxpayer to question or appeal the amount owed
Require that someone pay their taxes a certain way, such as with a prepaid debit card
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
Threaten to bring in local police or other agencies to arrest a taxpayer who doesn’t pay
Threaten a lawsuit
Taxpayers who don’t owe taxes or who have no reason to think they do should follow these steps:
Use the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the incident.
Report it to the Federal Trade Commission with the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov. 
Taxpayers who think they might actually owe taxes should follow these steps:
Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
Every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov to explore their rights and the agency’s obligations to protect them.

Steve Giorgione CPA Alert - IRS Issues Urgent Warning to Beware IRS/FBI-Themed Ransomware Scam

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Aug 29 2017
 
 
https://secure.emochila.com/swserve/siteAssets/site9150/images/Henderson_CPA_alert_238x160.jpg WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.
The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers.
“This is a new twist on an old scheme,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People should stay vigilant against email scams that try to impersonate the IRS and other agencies that try to lure you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. People with a tax issue won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call."
The IRS, state tax agencies and tax industries – working in partnership as the Security Summit – currently are conducting an awareness campaign called Don’t Take the Bait, that includes warning tax professionals about the various types of phishing scams, including ransomware. The IRS highlighted this issue in an Aug. 1 news release IR-2017-125 Don’t Take the Bait, Step 4: Defend against Ransomware.
Victims should not pay a ransom. Paying it further encourages the criminals, and frequently the scammers won’t provide the decryption key even after a ransom is paid.
Victims should immediately report any ransomware attempt or attack to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.IC3.gov. Forward any IRS-themed scams to phishing@irs.gov.
The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. For more information, visit the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page on IRS.gov. Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube videos.
If you are a tax professional and registered e-Services user who disclosed any credential information, contact the e-Services Help Desk to reset your e-Services password. If you disclosed information and taxpayer data was stolen, contact your local stakeholder liaison. 

Las Vegas CPA Shares - Scammers pretending to be from the IRS continue to target taxpayers.

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Aug 15 2017
These scams take many different forms. Among the most common are phone calls and fake emails. Thieves use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try and steal money from taxpayers. Identity theft can also happen with such scams.
 
Taxpayers need to be cautious of phone calls or automated messages from scammers who claim to be from the IRS. These criminals often say the taxpayer owes money. They also demand immediate payment. Scammers also lie to taxpayers and say they are due a refund. They do this to lure their victims into giving their bank account information over the phone. The IRS warns taxpayers not to fall for these scams.
 
Below are tips that will help avoid becoming a victim during the summer months and throughout the year:
The IRS will NOT:
Call to demand immediate payment using specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS first mails a bill to taxpayers who owe taxes. If the IRS assigns a case to a Private Debt Collector (PCA), both the IRS and the authorized collection agency send a letter to the taxpayer. Payment is always to the United States Treasury.
Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
Demand payment of taxes without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If a taxpayer does not owe any tax, they should:
Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident.
Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your report.
If a taxpayer is not sure whether they owe any tax, they can view their tax account information on IRS.gov to find out.
Taxpayers should also watch out for emails and websites looking to steal personal information. An IRS phishing scam is an unsolicited, bogus email that claims to come from the IRS. Criminals often use fake refunds, phony tax bills or threats of an audit. Some emails link to fake websites that look real. The scammers’ goal is to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. If they’re successful, they use it to steal a victim’s money and their identity.
For  taxpayers who get a ‘phishing’ email, the IRS offers this advice:
Don’t reply to the message.
Don’t give out personal or financial information.
Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it.
Do not open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.
More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on IRS.gov/phishing.

Henderson CPA shares - Tips to Know for Deducting Losses from a Disaster

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on July 03 2017
The IRS wants taxpayers to know it stands ready to help in the event of a disaster. If a taxpayer suffers damage to their home or personal property, they may be able to deduct the loss they incur on their federal income tax return. If their area receives a federal disaster designation, they may be able to claim the loss sooner.
Ordinarily, a deduction is available only if the loss is major and not covered by insurance or other reimbursement.
Here are 10 tips taxpayers should know about deducting casualty losses:
1. Casualty loss.  A taxpayer may be able to deduct a loss based on the damage done to their property during a disaster. A casualty is a sudden, unexpected or unusual event. This may include natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. It can also include losses from fires, accidents, thefts or vandalism.
2. Normal wear and tear.  A casualty loss does not include losses from normal wear and tear. It does not include progressive deterioration from age or termite damage.
3. Covered by insurance.  If a taxpayer insured their property, they must file a timely claim for reimbursement of their loss. If they don’t, they cannot deduct the loss as a casualty or theft. Reduce the loss by the amount of the reimbursement received or expected to receive.
4. When to deduct.  As a general rule, deduct a casualty loss in the year it occurred. However, if a taxpayer has a loss from a federally declared disaster, they may have a choice of when to deduct the loss. They can choose to deduct it on their return for the year the loss occurred or on an original or amended return for the immediately preceding tax year.
This means that if a disaster loss occurs in 2017, the taxpayer doesn’t need to wait until the end of the year to claim the loss. They can instead choose to claim it on their 2016 return. Claiming a disaster loss on the prior year's return may result in a lower tax for that year, often producing a refund.
5. Amount of loss.  Figure the amount of loss using the following steps:
Determine the adjusted basis in the property before the casualty. For property a taxpayer buys, the basis is usually its cost to them. For property they acquire in some other way, such as inheriting it or getting it as a gift, the basis is determined differently. For more information, see Publication 551, Basis of Assets. 
Determine the decrease in fair market value, or FMV, of the property as a result of the casualty. FMV is the price for which a person could sell their property to a willing buyer. The decrease in FMV is the difference between the property's FMV immediately before and immediately after the casualty. 
Subtract any insurance or other reimbursement received or expected to receive from the smaller of those two amounts. 
6. $100 rule.  After figuring the casualty loss on personal-use property, reduce that loss by $100. This reduction applies to each casualty-loss event during the year. It does not matter how many pieces of property are involved in an event.
7. 10 percent rule.  Reduce the total of all casualty or theft losses on personal-use property for the year by 10 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.
8. Future income.  Do not consider the loss of future profits or income due to the casualty.                                               
9. Form 4684.  Complete Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, to report the casualty loss on a federal tax return. Claim the deductible amount on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.
10. Business or income property.  Some of the casualty loss rules for business or income property are different from the rules for property held for personal use.
Call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 for special help with disaster-related tax issues. For more on this topic and the special rules for federally declared disaster-area losses see Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters and Thefts. Get it and other IRS tax forms on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

Henderson CPA ask Do you Know the Rules?

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on May 01 2017

Employee or Independent Contractor?

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Know the Rules
The IRS encourages all businesses and business owners to know the rules when it comes to classifying a worker as an employee or an independent contractor.
An employer must withhold income taxes and pay Social Security, Medicare taxes and unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. Employers normally do not have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.
Here are two key points for small business owners to keep in mind when it comes to classifying workers:
1. Control. The relationship between a worker and a business is important. If the business controls what work is accomplished and directs how it is done, it exerts behavioral control. If the business directs or controls financial and certain relevant aspects of a worker’s job, it exercises financial control. This includes:
•    The extent of the worker's investment in the facilities or tools used in performing services 
•    The extent to which the worker makes his or her services available to the relevant market 
•    How the business pays the worker, and 
•    The extent to which the worker can realize a profit or incur a loss 
2. Relationship. How the employer and worker perceive their relationship is also important for determining worker status. Key topics to think about include:
•    Written contracts describing the relationship the parties intended to create 
•    Whether the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits, such as insurance, a pension plan, vacation or sick pay 
•    The permanency of the relationship, and 
•    The extent to which services performed by the worker are a key aspect of the regular business of the company 
•    The extent to which the worker has unreimbursed business expenses 

CPA in Henderson NV Shares IRS Info New IRS Page Imposter.

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Apr 21 2017

The Internal Revenue Service has created a special new page on IRS.gov to help taxpayers determine if a person visiting their home or place of business claiming to be from the IRS is legitimate or an imposter.
With continuing phone scams and in-person scams taking place across the country, the IRS reminds taxpayers that IRS employees do make official, sometimes unannounced, visits to taxpayers as part of their routine casework. Taxpayers should keep in mind the reasons these visits occur and understand how to verify if it is the IRS knocking at their door.
Visits typically fall into three categories:
IRS revenue officers will sometimes make unannounced visits to a taxpayer’s home or place of business to discuss taxes owed or tax returns due. Revenue officers are IRS civil enforcement employees whose role involves education, investigation, and when necessary, appropriate enforcement.
IRS revenue agents will sometimes visit a taxpayer who is being audited. That taxpayer would have first been notified by mail about the audit and set an agreed-upon appointment time with the revenue agent. Also, after mailing an initial appointment letter to a taxpayer, an auditor may call to confirm and discuss items pertaining to the scheduled audit appointment.
IRS criminal investigators may visit a taxpayer’s home or place of business unannounced while conducting an investigation. However, these are federal law enforcement agents, and they will not demand any sort of payment. Criminal investigators also carry law enforcement credentials, including a badge.

 

Henderson CPA - IRS Reminds Seniors to Remain on Alert to Phone Scams during Tax Season

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Mar 24 2017


https://secure.emochila.com/swserve/siteAssets/site9150/images/Hendrson_CPA_Scam_Alert.jpgWASHINGTON – With the 2017 tax season underway, the IRS reminds seniors to remain alert to aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents. The callers claim to be IRS employees, but are not.
These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
The victims are told they owe money to the IRS and must pay it promptly through a preloaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are often threatened with arrest. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Alternately, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the phone scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
“The IRS warns seniors about these aggressive phone calls that can be frightening and intimidating. The IRS doesn't do business like that," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We urge seniors to safeguard their personal information at all times. Don't let the convincing tone of these scam calls lead you to provide personal or credit card information, potentially losing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Just hang up and avoid becoming a victim to these criminals‎."
In recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communication.
Later this spring, the only outside agencies authorized to contact taxpayers about their unpaid tax accounts will be one of the four authorized under the new private debt collection program. Even then, any affected taxpayer will be notified first by the IRS, not the private collection agency (PCA).
The private debt collection program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in 2015, enables designated contractors to collect tax payments on the government’s behalf. The program begins later this spring. The IRS will give taxpayers and their representative written notice when their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The collection agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer. Information contained in these letters will help taxpayers identify the tax amount owed and help ensure that future collection agency calls are legitimate.
The IRS reminds seniors this tax season that they can easily identify when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are four things the scammers often do but the IRS and its authorized PCAs will not do. Any one of these things is a telltale sign of a scam.
The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will never:
•    Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties.
•    Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
•    Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
•    Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
•    Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
•    Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
•    Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
•    Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
Remember, too, the IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues involving bills or refunds. The IRS will continue to keep taxpayers informed about scams and provide tips to protect them. The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit IRS.gov for information including the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page.
Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube Tax Scams

Henderson Tax CPA shares - Name Change and How It Impacts Taxes

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Feb 23 2017


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A name change can have an impact on taxes. All the names on a taxpayer’s tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay a tax refund. Here’s what taxpayers should know if they changed their name:
•    Reporting Name Changes. Got married and now using a new spouse’s last name or hyphenate a name? Divorced and now back to using a former last name? In either case, taxpayers should notify the SSA of a name change. That way the new name on IRS records will match the SSA records.
•    Making Dependent’s Name Change. Notify the SSA if a dependent had a name change. For example, if a taxpayer adopted a child and the child’s last name changed. If the child does not have a Social Security number, the taxpayer may use an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number on their tax return. An ATIN is a temporary number. Apply for an ATIN by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions, with the IRS. Visit IRS.gov to get the form.
•    Getting a New SS Card. File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The form is on SSA.gov or by calling 800-772-1213. The taxpayer’s new card will reflect the name change.
All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.
IRS YouTube Videos: 
•    Changed Your Name after Marriage or Divorce? – English| Spanish | ASL 
Share this tip on social media -- Name Change? How It Impacts Taxes.  http://go.usa.gov/x9uwU#IRS

Las Vegas CPA Shares Fake Charities on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for 2017

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Feb 07 2017

https://secure.emochila.com/swserve/siteAssets/site9150/images/Las_Vegad_CPA_Fake_Charities.jpg     Las Vegas  The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers about groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors, one of the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for the 2017 filing season.
"Fake charities set up by scam artists to steal your money or personal information are a recurring problem," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Taxpayers should take the time to research organizations before giving their hard-earned money.”
Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter anytime, but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their returns or hire someone to prepare their taxes.
Perpetrators of illegal scams can face significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice to shut down scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.
The IRS offers these basic tips to taxpayers making charitable donations:
•    Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, which allows people to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible. Legitimate charities will provide their Employer Identification Numbers (EIN), if requested, which can be used to verify their legitimacy through EO Select Check. It is advisable to double check using a charity's EIN.
•    Don’t give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers or passwords, to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal identities and money from victims. Donors often use credit cards to make donations. Be cautious when disclosing credit card numbers. Confirm that those soliciting a donation are calling from a legitimate charity.
•    Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.
Impersonation of Charitable Organizations
Another long-standing type of abuse or fraud involves scams that occur in the wake of significant natural disasters.
Following major disasters, it’s common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers. Scam artists can use a variety of tactics. Some scammers operating bogus charities may contact people by telephone or email to solicit money or financial information. They may even directly contact disaster victims and claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.
Fraudsters may attempt to get personal financial information or Social Security numbers that can be used to steal the victims’ identities or financial resources. Bogus websites may solicit funds for disaster victims.
To help disaster victims, the IRS encourages taxpayers to donate to recognized charities. Disaster victims can call the IRS toll-free disaster assistance telephone number (866-562-5227). Phone assistors will answer questions about tax relief or disaster-related tax issues.
Find legitimate and qualified charities with the Select Check search tool on IRS.gov. (EINs are frequently called federal tax identification numbers, which is the same as an EIN).

 

Las Vegas CPA Steve Giorgione shares Industry Urge Taxpayers to Learn Signs of Identity Theft

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Jan 03 2017

No matter how careful you are, identity thieves may be able to steal your personal information. If this happens, thieves try to turn that data quickly into cash by filing fraudulent tax returns.
The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry ask for your help in their effort to combat identity theft and fraudulent returns. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.
That’s why we launched a public awareness campaign called “Taxes. Security. Together.” We’ve also started a new series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals.
Here are a few signs that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft:
1.    Your attempt to file your tax return electronically is rejected. You get a message saying a return with a duplicate Social Security number has been filed. First, check to make sure you did not transpose any numbers. Also, make sure one of your dependents, for example, your college-age child, did not file a tax return and claim themselves. If your information is accurate, and you still can’t successfully e-file because of a duplicate SSN, you may be a victim of identity theft. You should complete Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Attach it to the top of a paper tax return and mail to the IRS. 
2.    You receive a letter from the IRS asking you to verify whether you sent a tax return bearing your name and SSN. The IRS holds suspicious tax returns and sends taxpayers letters to verify them. If you did not file the tax return, follow the instructions in the IRS letter immediately. 
3.    You receive income information at tax time from an employer unknown to you. Employment-related identity theft involves the use of your SSN by someone, generally an undocumented worker, for employment purposes only. 
4.    You receive a tax refund that you did not request. You may receive a paper refund check by mail that the thief intended to have sent elsewhere. If you receive a tax refund you did not request, return it to the IRS. Write “VOID” in the endorsement section, and include a note on why you are returning it. If it is a direct deposit refund that you did not request, contact your bank and ask them to return it to the IRS. Search IRS.gov for “Returning an Erroneous Refund” for more information. 
5.    You receive a tax transcript by mail that you did not request. Identity thieves sometimes try to test the validity of the personal data they have chosen or they attempt to use your data to steal even more information. If you receive a tax transcript in the mail and you did not request it, be alert to the possibility of identity theft. 
6.    You receive a reloadable, pre-paid debit card in the mail that you did not request. Identity thieves sometimes use your name and address to create an account for a reloadable prepaid debit card that they use for various schemes, including tax-related identity theft.  

 

Steve Giorgione CPA in Henderson shares IRS Mileage Update

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Dec 14 2016

https://secure.emochila.com/swserve/siteAssets/site9150/images/Speedomiter_in_henderson_cpa_office.jpgThe Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2017 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, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
•    53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016
•    17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
•    14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile and the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile from 2016. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.   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.
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 are described in Rev. Proc. 2010-51. Notice 2016-79, posted today on IRS.gov, 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.

Learn How to Recognize Website Phishing Scams

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Dec 07 2016

https://secure.emochila.com/swserve/siteAssets/site9150/images/phishing_238x160.jpgSimply ask for it. That’s the easiest way for an identity thief to steal your personal information.
Each day, people fall victim to phishing scams through emails, texts or phone calls and mistakenly turn over important data. In turn, cybercriminals try to use that data to file fraudulent tax returns or commit other crimes.
The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry -- all partners in the fight against identity theft -- urge you to learn to recognize and avoid phishing scams.
We need your help in the fight against identity theft. That’s why, as part of the Security Summit effort, we launched a public awareness campaign that we call Taxes. Security. Together. We’ve launched a series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals.
It’s called “phishing” because thieves attempt to lure you into the scam mainly through impersonations. The scam may claim to be from a friend, a company with whom you do business, a prize award – anything to get you to open the email or text.
A good general rule: Don’t give out personal information based on an unsolicited email request.
Here are a few basic tips to recognize and avoid a phishing email:
•    It contains a link. Scammers often pose as the IRS, financial institutions, credit card companies or even tax companies or software providers. They may claim they need you to update your account or ask you to change a password. The email offers a link to a spoofing site that may look similar to the legitimate official website. Do not click on the link. If in doubt, go directly to the legitimate website and access your account.
•    It contains an attachment. Another option for scammers is to include an attachment to the email. This attachment may be infected with malware that can download malicious software onto your computer without your knowledge. If it’s spyware, it can track your keystrokes to obtain information about your passwords, Social Security number, credit cards or other sensitive data. Do not open attachments from sources unknown to you.
•    It’s from a government agency. Scammers attempt to frighten people into opening email links by posing as government agencies. Thieves often try to imitate the IRS and other government agencies.
•    It’s an “off” email from a friend. Scammers also hack email accounts and try to leverage the stolen email addresses. You may receive an email from a “friend” that just doesn’t seem right. It may be missing a subject for the subject line or contain odd requests or language. If it seems off, avoid it and do not click on any links.
•    It has a lookalike URL. The questionable email may try to trick you with the URL. For example, instead of www.irs.gov, it may be a false lookalike such as www.irs.gov.maliciousname.com. You can place your cursor over the text to view a pop-up of the real URL.
•    Use security features. Your browser and email provider generally will have anti-spam and phishing features. Make sure you use all of your security software features.
Opening a phishing email and clicking on the link or attachment is one of the most common ways thieves are able not just steal your identity or personal information but also to enter into computer networks and create other mischief.
Learning to recognize and avoid phishing emails – and sharing that knowledge with your family members – is critical to combating identity theft and data loss. Businesses should educate employees about the dangers. 
The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry joined as the Security Summit to enact a series of initiatives to help protect you from tax-related identity theft in 2017. You can help by taking these basic steps.
To learn additional steps you can take to protect your personal and financial data, visit the Taxes. Security. Together. page. Also read Publication 4524, Security Awareness for Taxpayers.

 

CPA Henderson Says Newly Married Couples Should Report Marriage to Marketplace

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Oct 01 2016

Share of IRS Release.

If you’re recently married, you probably have a list of things to do.  There’s one other thing you should add to that list: a health insurance review. This is particularly important if you enrolled in coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace and you receive premium assistance in the form of advance payments of the premium tax credit.
When you apply for assistance to help pay the premiums for health coverage through the Marketplace, the Marketplace will estimate the amount of the premium tax credit that you may be able to claim for the tax year using information you provide. This information includes details about your family composition and your projected household income.
It is important for you to report life changes – known as changes in circumstances – to your Marketplace to get the proper type and amount of financial assistance and to avoid getting too much or too little in advance. Reporting changes in circumstances will allow the Marketplace to adjust your advance credit payments. This adjustment will help you avoid getting a smaller refund or owing money that you did not expect to owe on your federal tax return.
To report changes and to adjust the amount of your advance payments of the premium tax credit you must contact your Health Insurance Marketplace. Be sure to report all changes directly to that Marketplace because they can affect both your coverage and your final credit when you file your federal tax return.
Other changes you should report to the Marketplace include:
Birth or adoption 
Marriage or divorce 
Moving to a different address 
Increases or decreases in your household income 
These changes may also open the door for the Marketplace special enrollment period that permits health care plan changes. In most cases, the special enrollment period for Marketplace coverage is open for 60 days from the date of the life event.
The Premium Tax Credit Change Estimator can help you estimate how your premium tax credit will change if your income or family size changes during the year. This estimator tool does not report changes in circumstances to your Marketplace. Because these tools provide only an estimate, you should not rely upon them as an accurate calculation of the information you will report on your tax return. You should use these estimators only as a guide to assist you in making decisions regarding your tax situation.

 

CPA Steven Giorgione asks - YOUR MOVING EXPENSES ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Sept 05 2016

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Steven Giorgione says Sadly, many people don’t know this and overlook this easy way to recoup some of their out-of-pocket expenses on moving. This is true even if you choose to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing. In other words, they lower your adjusted gross income (the amount your taxes are based upon) and save you money! So just what can you deduct, and what are the rules that apply? I’m going to give you a quick rundown to make sure you deduct all that is allowed!


Moving from Henderson or to Las Vegas the Henderson for work  the Henderson CPA notes: There are important criteria you must meet to be able to do this. These could be: Distance: This is one of the major tests you have to meet. Your new job must be 50 miles or more further from your old home than your old job was from that same home. So if you worked around the corner from your old job previously, your new job has to be at least fifty miles away from that; on the other hand, if you worked twenty miles from your old home, the new job must be at least seventy miles away. If you were unemployed, then the new job must be fifty miles away from your old house as well.                                 Time: Another important criterion is that you must work full-time for 39 weeks or more during the first twelve months after your move. Self-employed people must work at least 78 weeks during the 24 months following the move, including at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months. Of course, if you moved later in the year, you will not have met the entire time test; you are still allowed to take the deduction if you expect to meet it. However, you will have to amend your return or claim the deduction as “other income” on the following year’s taxes if you do not meet the time test.
There are also eligible expenses to deduct such as:
Costs for packing and transporting: This includes amounts you pay to people that pack your goods, or help you load them on the truck, professional movers, shipping fees or fees paid for renting a moving truck or transportation for your pets and your vehicles.
Personal transportation: If you drive your vehicle to your new home,
but your spouse and the children fly to the location, both sets of travel expenses are deductible. One day’s lodging is also deductible in case it is a long trip. (Meals are NOT deductible.)
Utility costs: Fees that you pay to connect or disconnect your utilities at either home are deductible.
Car expenses: You can deduct either the actual expenses you incurred for the use of your car during the move or take a deduction for the standard mileage rate of 24 cents per mile. In addition, parking fees and tolls can be deducted. 
Storage: If there is a gap between the time your belongings leave your old home, but before they are delivered to your new place, that storage cost is deductible, as is the cost of insuring them during this time. 
To qualify for a deduction, first and foremost your move must have taken place in the tax year for which you’re providing information to the IRS, and it must have taken place for either a job or a job location (i.e., you either relocated for work or your place of business moved far away, forcing you to move your residence to be closer to it.) Therefore, moving expenses can be deductible from your tax.

The Henderson CPA says Identity Theft Affecting Your Financial World…Taxes.

Posted by Henderson CPA Tips Posted on Aug 21 2016

For 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the states and the tax industry joined together to enact new safeguards and take additional actions to combat tax-related identity theft. Many of these safeguards will be invisible to you, but invaluable to our fight against these criminal syndicates. If you prepare your own return with tax software, you will see new log-on standards. Some states also have taken additional steps. We also know identity theft is a frustrating process for victims. If you become a victim, we are committed to resolving your case as quickly as possible. 
The IRS has put in place assistance and prevention strategy in order to stop identity theft in your taxes. Here are nine key points:

•    Taxes. Security. Together. The IRS, the states and the tax industry need your help. We can’t fight identity theft alone. The Taxes. Security. Together. awareness campaign is an effort to better inform you about the need to protect your personal, tax and financial data online and at home. 
•    Protect your Records. Keep your Social Security card at home and not in your wallet or purse. Only provide your Social Security number if it’s absolutely necessary. Protect your personal information at home and protect your computers with anti-spam and anti-virus software. Routinely change passwords for internet accounts. 
•    Don’t Fall for Scams.  Criminals often try to impersonate your bank, your credit card company, even the IRS in order to steal your personal data. Learn to recognize and avoid those fake emails and texts. Also, the IRS will not call you threatening a lawsuit, arrest or to demand an immediate tax payment. Normal correspondence is a letter in the mail. Beware of threatening phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS. 
•    Report Tax-Related ID Theft to the IRS. If you cannot e-file your return because a tax return already was filed using your SSN, consider the following steps: • File your taxes by paper and pay any taxes owed. • File an IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit. Print the form and mail or fax it according to the instructions. You may include it with your paper return. • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission using the FTC Complaint Assistant; • Contact one of the three credit bureaus so they can place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your account. 
•    IRS Letters. If the IRS identifies a suspicious tax return with your SSN, it may send you a letter asking you to verify your identity by calling a special number or visiting a Tax payer Assistance Center. This is to protect you from tax-related identity theft. 
•    IP PIN. If you are a confirmed ID theft victim, the IRS may issue an IP PIN. The IP PIN is a unique six-digit number that you will use to e-file your tax return. Each year, you will receive an IRS letter with a new IP PIN. 
•    Report Suspicious Activity. If you suspect or know of an individual or business that is committing tax fraud, you can visit IRS.gov and follow the chart on How to Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity. 

 

 

Henderson CPA Shares Article Check Your Tax Withholding this Summer

Posted by CPA NEWS Posted on Aug 03 2016

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Each year, many people get a larger refund than they expect. Some find they owe a lot more tax than they thought they would. If this has happened to you, review your situation to prevent a tax surprise. Did you marry? Have a child? Change in income? Life events can have a major impact on your taxes. Bring the taxes you pay closer to the amount you owe. Here are some tips to help you come up with a plan:
•    New Job. When you start a new job, you must fill out a Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, and give it to your employer. Your employer will use the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to withhold from your pay. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to help you fill out the form. This tool is easy to use and it’s available 24/7.
•    Estimated Tax. If you earn income that is not subject to withholding you may need to pay estimated tax. This may include income such as self-employment, interest, dividends or rent. If you expect to owe $1,000 or more in tax, and meet other conditions, you may need to pay this tax. You normally pay it four times a year. Use the worksheet in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure the tax.
•    Life Events. Check to see if you need to change your Form W-4 or change the amount of estimated tax you pay when certain life events take place. A change in your marital status, the birth of a child or the purchase of a new home can change the amount of taxes you owe. In most cases, you can submit a new Form W–4 to your employer anytime. 
•    Changes in Circumstances. If you are receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit, it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance. 

Call the Hederson CPA Steven Giorgione for an appointment today.

The Las Vegas CPA Offers How Selling Your Home Can Impact Your Taxes

Posted by CPA NEWS Posted on Aug 01 2016

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Usually, profits you earn are taxable. However, if you sell your home, you may not have to pay taxes on the money you gain. Here are ten tips to keep in mind if you sell your home this year.
1.    Exclusion of Gain.  You may be able to exclude part or all of the gain from the sale of your home. This rule may apply if you meet the eligibility test. Parts of the test involve your ownership and use of the home. You must have owned and used it as your main home for at least two out of the five years before the date of sale.
2.    Exceptions May Apply.  There are exceptions to the ownership, use and other rules. One exception applies to persons with a disability. Another applies to certain members of the military. That rule includes certain government and Peace Corps workers. For more on this topic, see Publication 523, Selling Your Home.
3.    Exclusion Limit.  The most gain you can exclude from tax is $250,000. This limit is $500,000 for joint returns. The Net Investment Income Tax will not apply to the excluded gain.
4.    May Not Need to Report Sale.  If the gain is not taxable, you may not need to report the sale to the IRS on your tax return.
5.    When You Must Report the Sale.  You must report the sale on your tax return if you can’t exclude all or part of the gain. You must report the sale if you choose not to claim the exclusion. That’s also true if you get Form 1099-S, Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions. If you report the sale, you should review the Questions and Answers on the Net Investment Income Tax on IRS.gov.
6.    Exclusion Frequency Limit.  Generally, you may exclude the gain from the sale of your main home only once every two years. Some exceptions may apply to this rule.
7.    Only a Main Home Qualifies.  If you own more than one home, you may only exclude the gain on the sale of your main home. Your main home usually is the home that you live in most of the time.
8.    First-time Homebuyer Credit.  If you claimed the first-time homebuyer credit when you bought the home, special rules apply to the sale. For more on those rules, see Publication 523.
9.    Home Sold at a Loss.  If you sell your main home at a loss, you can’t deduct the loss on your tax return.

10.    Report Your Address Change.  After you sell your home and move, update your address with the IRS. To do this, file Form 8822, Change of Address. Mail it to the address listed on the form’s instructions. If you purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. 
IRS Tax Tips provide valuable information throughout the year. IRS.gov offers tax help and info on various topics including common tax scams, taxpayer rights and more.

How a Summer Wedding Can Affect Your Taxes shared by A Henderson CPA

Posted by CPA NEWS Posted on July 20 2016

With all the planning and preparation that goes into a wedding, taxes may not be high on your summer wedding checklist. However, you should be aware of the tax issues that come along with marriage. Here are some basic tips to help with your planning:
• Name change. The names and Social Security numbers on your tax return must match your Social Security Administration records. If you change your name, report it to the SSA. To do that, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You can get the form on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or from your local SSA office.

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• Change tax withholding. A change in your marital status means you must give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you and your spouse both work, your combined incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket or you may be affected by the Additional Medicare Tax. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov to help you complete a new Form W-4. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for more information.
• Changes in circumstances. If you or your spouse purchased a Health Insurance Marketplace plan and receive advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2016, it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace when they happen. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance credit payments are paid directly to your insurance company on your behalf to lower the out-of-pocket cost you pay for your health insurance premiums. Reporting changes now will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance, which may affect your refund or balance due when you file your tax return.
• Address change. Let the IRS know if your address changes. To do that, send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service. You can ask them online at USPS.com to forward your mail. You may also report the change at your local post office. You should also notify your Health Insurance  Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current  health care plan.
• Tax filing status. If you’re married as of Dec. 31, that’s your marital status for the whole year for tax purposes. You and your spouse can choose to file your federal income tax return either jointly or separately each year. You may want to figure the tax both ways to find out which status results in the lowest tax.
• Select the right tax form. Choosing the right income tax form can help save money. Newly married taxpayers may find that they now have enough deductions to itemize on their tax returns. You must claim itemized deductions on a Form 1040, not a Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.
IRS Tax Tips provide valuable information throughout the year. IRS.gov offers tax help and info on various topics including common tax scams, taxpayer rights and more.

 

Don’t Forget to Report Certain Foreign Accounts to Treasury by the June 30 Deadline

Posted by CPA NEWS Posted on June 26 2016

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers who have one or more bank or financial accounts located outside the United States, or signature authority over such accounts that they may need to file an FBAR by Thursday, June 30

Henderson Business CPA Taxes shares: Top Year-End IRA Reminders from IRS

Posted by CPA NEWS Posted on Dec 03 2015

The Henderson Small Buisness CPA offers IRS Year End Reminders.

Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs, are important vehicles for you to save for retirement. If you have an IRA or plan to start one soon, there are a few key year-end rules that you should know. Here are the top year-end IRA reminders from the IRS:
•    Know the contribution and deduction limits.  You can contribute up to a maximum of $5,500 ($6,500 if you are age 50 or older) to a traditional or Roth IRA. If you file a joint return, you and your spouse can each contribute to an IRA even if only one of you has taxable compensation. You have until April 18, 2016, to make an IRA contribution for 2015. In some cases, you may need to reduce your deduction for your traditional IRA contributions. This rule applies if you or your spouse has a retirement plan at work and your income is above a certain level. 
•    Avoid excess contributions.  If you contribute more than the IRA limits for 2015, you are subject to a six percent tax on the excess amount. The tax applies each year that the excess amounts remain in your account. You can avoid the tax if you withdraw the excess amounts from your account by the due date of your 2015 tax return (including extensions). 
•    Take required distributions.  If you’re at least age 70½, you must take a required minimum distribution, or RMD, from your traditional IRA. You are not required to take a RMD from your Roth IRA. You normally must take your RMD by Dec. 31, 2015. That deadline is April 1, 2016, if you turned 70½ in 2015. If you have more than one traditional IRA, you figure the RMD separately for each IRA. However, you can withdraw the total amount from one or more of them. If you don’t take your RMD on time you face a 50 percent excise tax on the RMD amount you failed to take out. 
•    IRA distributions may affect your premium tax credit. If you take a distribution from your IRA at the end of the year and expect to claim the PTC, you should exercise caution regarding the amount of the distribution.  Taxable distributions increase your household income, which can make you ineligible for the PTC.  You will become ineligible if the increase causes your household income for the year to be above 400 percent of the Federal poverty line for your family size. In this circumstance, you must repay the entire amount of any advance payments of the premium tax credit that were made to your health insurance provider on your behalf.  
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

 

CPA Las Vegas Shares Taxpayers to Guard Against New Tricks by Scam Artists

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 30 2015

 Taxpayers to Guard Against New Tricks by Scam Artists; Losses Top $20 Million
IR-2015-99, Aug. 6, 2015
 
WASHINGTON — Following the emergence of new variations of widespread tax scams, the Internal Revenue Service today issued another warning to taxpayers to remain on high alert and protect themselves against the ever-evolving array of deceitful tactics scammers use to trick people.
 
These schemes – which can occur over the phone, in e-mails or through letters with authentic looking letterhead – try to trick taxpayers into providing personal financial information or scare people into making a false tax payment that ends up with the criminal.
 
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received reports of roughly 600,000 contacts since October 2013. TIGTA is also aware of more than 4,000 victims who have collectively reported over $20 million in financial losses as a result of tax scams.
 
“We continue to see these aggressive tax scams across the country,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said.  “Scam artists specialize in being deceptive and fooling people. The IRS urges taxpayers to be extra cautious and think twice before answering suspicious phone calls, emails or letters.”
 
Scammers posing as IRS agents first targeted those they viewed as most vulnerable, such as older Americans, newly arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. These criminals have expanded their net and are now targeting virtually anyone.
 
In a new variation, scammers alter what appears on your telephone caller ID to make it seem like they are with the IRS or another agency such as the Department of Motor Vehicles. They use fake names, titles and badge numbers. They use online resources to get your name, address and other details about your life to make the call sound official. They even go as far as copying official IRS letterhead for use in email or regular mail.
 
Brazen scammers will even provide their victims with directions to the nearest bank or business where the victim can obtain a means of payment such as a debit card. And in another new variation of these scams, con artists may then provide an actual IRS address where the victim can mail a receipt for the payment – all in an attempt to make the scheme look official.
 
The most common theme with these tricks seems to be fear. Scammers try to scare people into reacting immediately without taking a moment to think through what is actually happening.
 
These scam artists often angrily threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation or other similarly unpleasant things. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests, sometimes through “robo-calls,” via phone or email. The emails will often contain a fake IRS document with a telephone number or email address for your reply.
 
It is important to remember the official IRS website is IRS.gov. Taxpayers are urged not to be confused or misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.  Taxpayers should never provide personal information, financial or otherwise, to suspicious websites or strangers calling out of the blue. 
 
Below are five things scammers often do that the real IRS would never do: 
 
The IRS will never:
•    Angrily demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill. 
•    Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying. 
•    Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
•    Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card. 
•    Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. 
 
Here’s what you should do if you think you’re the target of an IRS impersonation scam: 
•    If you actually do owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with a payment issue. 
•    If you know you don’t owe taxes or do not immediately believe that you do, you can report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484.  
•    If you’ve been targeted by any scam, be sure to contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Compliant Assistant at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint. 

 

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 30 2015

Henderson CPA Shares Moving Expense Deduction

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 30 2015

Moving Expense Deduction
If you move your home you may be able to deduct the cost of the move on your federal tax return next year. This may apply if you move to start a new job or to work at the same job in a new location. In order to deduct your moving expenses, your move must meet three requirements:
1. Your move must closely relate to the start of work.  In most cases, you can consider moving expenses within one year of the date you start work at a new job location. Additional rules apply to this requirement.
2. Your move must meet the distance test.  Your new main job location must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your prior job location. For example, let’s say that your old job was three miles from your old home. To meet this test, your new job must be at least 53 miles from your old home.
3. You must meet the time test.  You must work full-time at your new job for at least 39 weeks the first year after the move. If you’re self-employed, you must also meet this test. In addition you must work full-time for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first two years at the new job site. If your tax return is due before you meet the time test, you can still claim the deduction if you expect to meet it.
See Publication 521, Moving Expenses, for more information about the rules.
If you qualify for this deduction, here are a few more tips from the IRS: 
•    Travel.  You can deduct certain transportation and lodging expenses while moving. This applies to costs for yourself and other household members while moving from your old home to your new home. You may not deduct your travel meal costs.
•    Household goods and utilities.  You can deduct the cost of packing, crating and shipping your property. This may include the cost to store or insure the items while in transit. You can deduct the cost to disconnect or connect utilities at your old and new homes.
•    Expenses you can’t deduct.  You may not deduct: 
o    Any part of the purchase price of your new home.
o    The cost of selling your home.
o    The cost of breaking or entering into a lease.
See Publication 521for more examples.
•    Reimbursed expenses.  If your employer later pays you for the cost of a move that you deducted on your tax return, you may need to include the payment as income. You must report any taxable amount on your tax return in the year you get the payment.
•    Address change.  When you move, make sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Post Office. To notify the IRS, file Form 8822, Change of Address.
Premium Tax Credit – Changes in Circumstances.  If you purchased health insurance coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may receive advance payments of the premium tax credit. It is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as when you move to a new address, to your Marketplace. Other changes that you should report include changes in your income, employment, family size, or eligibility for other coverage. Advance credit payments provide premium assistance to help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of premium assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

 

Steve Giorgione Henderson CPA offers How to Pay for College

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 30 2015

Sleepless nights are the unfortunate reality when youre a parent. And nothing can help parents tossing and turning like thinking about how they must pay for their son or daughter’s college. For the very financially minded, this worry may arise as soon as you find out you’re expecting. Others may not start to worry until much later. No matter your child’s age, the staggering cost of college is likely to become a concern at some point. Consider this: a four-year education at a private college is on track to cost $323,900 by 2033. Might as well give up now, right? Wrong. You can build your child’s college fund slowly and steadily as you go from changing diapers to handing over the keys to the family car. The solution? A tax-deferred savings plan.
529 Plan 
One of the most well-known college savings plans is the 529 savings plan. Aside from praying that you win the lottery or hoping your child becomes the next Mark Zuckerberg, 529 plans are a great way to incrementally save for college. Named after the section in the Internal Revenue Code, the 529 plan has been around since 1996. The government offers two types of 529 plans: college savings plans and prepaid tuition plans. With a college savings plan, you can use the funds at any college that’s accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. A prepaid tuition plan can only be used for undergraduate tuition at public colleges in your state.
529 plans offer some great benefits to whomever sets them up—parents, grandparents, or a generous aunt or uncle. Money saved can be used to pay for student tuition, any associated fees, textbooks, and room and board at accredited colleges and universities. Earnings in the 529 are not federally taxed, and generally not taxed at the state level when used for qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary. And best of all, anyone can be named as a beneficiary — a son or daughter, a friend, even yourself. In Washington, DC, where Dan set up a DC College Savings Plan for his daughter, he can deduct up to $4,000 per year per plan ($8,000 total if he files jointly with his wife) on his DC return. In New York, where Lauren set up a plan for her son, she can deduct up to $5,000 per year on her state return (or $10,000 total if she files jointly with her husband). Unlike other investment plans (like Roth IRAs), 529 plans have no income restrictions on the contributor or the beneficiary. No limit exists to the number of plans you can set up, so have as many children as you want!
One note about 529 plans: If you already have one and your child will be attending school soon, be sure to request the money about two months before you need it to pay tuition, as it can take 4 to 6 weeks to get your money.
Coverdell Education Savings Account
A Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) is similar to a 529 plan, tax-wise, with a few exceptions. Unlike a 529, which must be used to pay for college to avoid penalties, a Coverdell ESA can be used for education at any level and can be used for school uniforms, books and school supplies. However, you can only contribute a maximum contribution of $2,000 annually per beneficiary in all accounts in the beneficiary’s name. Additionally, this type of account is only available to those whose modified gross adjusted income is less than $110,000 ($220,000 if filing jointly).
Education Savings Bond Program
Bonds have fallen out of favor in recent years, but don’t count them out as part of your arsenal of savings options for college. Unlike 529 plans, the money is guaranteed. Also unlike 529 plans, bonds do not have as much opportunity for growth, so, they probably shouldn’t be your only savings program. Having a portion of your savings portfolio in bonds can be a good way to minimize any fluctuations in the stock market when you are ready to pay for college.
Shop Around for Loans
If your child will be starting college soon and your college savings plan doesn’t cover the cost of tuition and fees, be sure to shop around for loans. Some parent loans for college can carry interest rates of more than 7 percent!
While the prospect of paying college tuition is daunting, you can find a number of ways to save. If your kids will be starting college in roughly 17 years, like our respective daughter and son, start now. Who knows what tuition will look like by then? And even if you’ve got a college savings plan in place, it never hurts to buy a lottery ticket now and again. Just in case.
Daniel Bond, CAE, Senior Communications Manager-Consumer Education, American Institute of CPAs.
Lauren J. Sternberg, Communications Manager-American Institute of CPAs. 

 

Five Tax Tips about Hobbies that Earn Income

Posted by Admin Posted on July 27 2015

Five Tax Tips about Hobbies that Earn Income
Millions of people enjoy hobbies. They can also be a source of income. Some of these types of hobbies include stamp or coin collecting, craft making and horse breeding. You must report any income you get from a hobby on your tax return. How you report the income is different than how you report income from a business. There are special rules and limits for deductions you can claim for a hobby. Here are five basic tax tips you should know if you get income from your hobby:
1.    Business versus Hobby.  A key feature of a business is that you do the activity to make a profit. This differs from a hobby that you may do for sport or recreation. There are nine factors to consider when you determine if you do the activity to make a profit. Make sure you base your decision on all the facts and circumstances of your situation. Refer to Publication 535, Business Expenses to learn more. You can also visit IRS.gov and type “not-for-profit” in the search box.
2.    Allowable Hobby Deductions.  You may be able to deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted for the activity. A necessary expense is one that is helpful or appropriate. See Publication 535 for more on these rules.
3.    Limits on Expenses.  As a general rule, you can only deduct your hobby expenses up to the amount of your hobby income. If your expenses are more than your income, you have a loss from the activity. You can’t deduct that loss from your other income.
4.    How to Deduct Expenses.  You must itemize deductions on your tax return in order to deduct hobby expenses. Your costs may fall into three types of expenses. Special rules apply to each type. See Publication 535 for how you should report them on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.
5.    Use IRS Free File.  Hobby rules can be complex. IRS Free File can make filing your tax return easier. IRS Free File is available until Oct. 15. If you make $60,000 or less, you can use brand-name tax software. If you earn more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. You can only access Free File through IRS.gov.
You can get Publication 535 on IRS.gov/forms at any time.
Additional IRS Resources:
•    Business or Hobby? Answer Has Implications for Deductions
•    Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income
•    Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions
•    Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax
•    IRC Section 183: Activities Not Engaged in For Profit (Audit Technique Guid

Posted by Admin Posted on July 27 2015

Review Your Taxes This Summer to Prevent a Surprise Next Spring

Posted by Admin Posted on July 27 2015

Review Your Taxes This Summer to Prevent a Surprise Next Spring
Each year, many people get a larger refund than they expected. Some find they owe a lot more tax than they thought they would. If this happened to you, review your situation to prevent another tax surprise. Did you marry? Have a child? Have a change in income? Some life events can have a major effect on your taxes. You can bring the tax you pay closer to the amount you owe. Here are some key IRS tips to help you come up with a plan of action:
•    New Job.   When you start a new job, you must fill out a Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate and give it to your employer. Your employer will use the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to withhold from your pay. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to help you fill out the form. This tool is easy to use and it’s available 24/7.
•    Estimated Tax.  If you earn income that is not subject to withholding you may need to pay estimated tax. This may include income such as self-employment, interest, dividends or rent. If you expect to owe a thousand dollars or more in tax, and meet other conditions, you may need to pay this tax. You normally pay it four times a year. Use the worksheet in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure the tax.
•    Life Events.  Check to see if you need to change your Form W-4 or change the amount of estimated tax you pay when certain life events take place. A change in your marital status, the birth of a child or buying a new home can change the amount of taxes you owe. In most cases, you can submit a new Form W–4 to your employer anytime. 
•    Changes in Circumstances.   If you are receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit, it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.
For more see Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. You can get it on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

 

Las Vegas CPA offers tips on Vacation home Rentals from IRS

Posted by Admin Posted on July 12 2015

Tips about Vacation Home Rentals from IRS
If you rent a home, you usually must report the income from rental on your tax return. However, you may not have to report the rent you get if the rental period is short and you also use the property as your home. In most cases, you can deduct your rental expenses. When you also use the rental as your home, your deduction may be limited. Here are some basic tax tips that you should know if you rent out a vacation home:
•    Vacation Home.  A vacation home can be a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat or similar property. 
•    Schedule E.  You usually report rental income and rental expenses on Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss. Your rental income may also be subject to Net Investment Income Tax. 
•    Used as a Home.  If the property is “used as a home,” your rental expense deduction is limited. This means your deduction for rental expenses can’t be more than the rent you received. For more about these rules, see Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes). 
•    Divide Expenses.  If you personally use your property and also rent it to others, special rules apply. You must divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use. To figure how to divide your costs, you must compare the number of days for each type of use with the total days of use. 
•    Personal Use.  Personal use may include use by your family. It may also include use by any other property owners or their family. Use by anyone who pays less than a fair rental price is also personal use. 
•    Schedule A.  Report deductible expenses for personal use on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. These may include costs such as mortgage interest, property taxes and casualty losses. 
•    Rented Less than 15 Days.  If the property is “used as a home” and you rent it out fewer than 15 days per year, you do not have to report the rental income. In this case you deduct your qualified expenses on schedule A. 
•    Use IRS Free File.  If you still need to file your 2014 tax return, you can use IRS Free File to make filing easier. Free File is available until Oct. 15. If you make $60,000 or less, you can use brand-name tax software. If you earn more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. Free File is available only through the IRS.gov website. 
You can get forms and publications on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

IRS Reminds Those with Foreign Assets of U.S. Tax Obligations Shares By Steven Giorgione CPA

Posted by Admin Posted on Apr 21 2015
The Internal Revenue Service  today reminded U.S. citizens and resident aliens, including those with dual citizenship who have lived or worked abroad during all or part of 2014, that they may have a U.S. tax liability and a filing requirement in 2015.

Most People Abroad Need to File

A filing requirement generally applies even if a taxpayer qualifies for tax benefits, such as the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign tax credit , that substantially reduce or eliminate their U.S. tax liability. These tax benefits are not automatic and are only available if an eligible taxpayer files a U.S. income tax return.

The filing deadline is Monday, June 15, 2015, for U.S. citizens and resident aliens whose tax home and abode are outside the United States and Puerto Rico, and for those serving in the military outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico, on the regular due date of their tax return. To use this automatic two-month extension, taxpayers must attach a statement to their return explaining which of these two situations applies. See U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad for details.

Nonresident aliens who received income from U.S. sources in 2014 also must determine whether they have a U.S. tax obligation. The filing deadline for nonresident aliens can be April 15 or June 15 depending on sources of income. See Taxation of Nonresident Aliens on IRS.gov.

Special Reporting for Foreign Accounts and Assets

Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts. In most cases, affected taxpayers need to complete and attach Schedule B to their tax return. Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts, such as bank and securities accounts, and usually requires U.S. citizens to report the country in which each account is located.

Taxpayers with an interest in, or signature or other authority over, foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2014 must file with the Treasury Department a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). It is due to the Treasury Department by June 30, 2015, must be filed electronically and is only available online through the BSA E-Filing System website. For details regarding the FBAR requirements, see Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

In addition, certain taxpayers may also have to complete and attach to their return Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets.  Generally, U.S. citizens, resident aliens and certain nonresident aliens must report specified foreign financial assets on this form if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds. See the instructions for this form for details.

IRS Simplifies Reporting for Canadian Retirement Accounts

The IRS has eliminated a special annual reporting requirement that has long applied to taxpayers who hold interests in either of two popular Canadian retirement plans. This is part of an IRS change announced in October making it easier for taxpayers with these plans to get favorable U.S. tax treatment. As a result, many Americans and Canadians with registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered retirement income funds (RRIFs) no longer need to file Form 8891 each year reporting details on these plans. This change does not affect any other reporting requirements that may apply, such as FinCEN Form 114 and Form 8938.

Report in U.S. Dollars

Any income received or deductible expenses paid in foreign currency must be reported on a U.S. return in U.S. dollars. Likewise, any tax payments must be made in U.S. dollars.

Both Form 114 and Form 8938 require the use of a Dec. 31 exchange rate for all transactions, regardless of the actual exchange rate on the date of the transaction.  Generally, the IRS accepts any posted exchange rate that is used consistently. For more information on exchange rates, see Foreign Currency and Currency Exchange Rates.

Expatriate Reporting

Taxpayers who relinquished their U.S. citizenship or ceased to be lawful permanent residents of the United States during 2014 must file a dual-status alien return, attaching Form 8854, Initial and Annual Expatriation Statement. A copy of the Form 8854 must also be filed with Internal Revenue Service Philadelphia, PA 19255-0049, by the due date of the tax return (including extensions). See the instructions for this form and Notice 2009-85, Guidance for Expatriates Under Section 877A, for further details.

Choose Free File or E-File

U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad can now use IRS Free File to prepare and electronically file their returns for free. This means both U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of $60,000 or less can use brand-name software to prepare their returns and then e-file them for free. A limited number of companies provide software that can accommodate foreign addresses. To determine which will work best, view the complete Free File Software list and the services provided. 

A second option, Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, has no income limit and is best suited to people who are comfortable preparing their own tax return.

Both the e-file and Free File electronic filing options are available until Oct. 15, 2015, for anyone filing a 2014 return. Check out the e-file link on IRS.gov for details on the various electronic filing options. Free File is not available to nonresident aliens required to file a Form 1040NR.

More Information Available

Any U.S. taxpayer here or abroad with tax questions can refer to the International Taxpayers landing page and use the online IRS Tax Map and the International Tax Topic Index to get answers. These online tools assemble or group IRS forms, publications and web pages by subject and provide users with a single entry point to find tax information.

Taxpayers who are looking for return preparers abroad should visit the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.

To help avoid delays with tax refunds, taxpayers living abroad should visit the Helpful Tips for Effectively Receiving a Tax Refund for Taxpayers Living Abroad page.

Las Vegas CPA Shares Five Things to Know if You Need More Time to File Your Taxes

Posted by Admin Posted on Apr 21 2015

The April 15 tax deadline is coming up. If you need more time to file your taxes, you can get an automatic six month extension from the IRS. Here are five things to know about filing an extension:

1.    Use IRS Free File to file an extension. You can use IRS Free File to e-file your extension request for free. Free File is only available through IRS.gov. You must e-file the request by midnight on April 15. Don’t forget to come back to Free File to e-file your taxes for free. You can access the program at any time through Oct. 15.

2.    Use Form 4868. You can also request an extension by filling out Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You must mail this form to the IRS by April 15. Form 4868 is available on IRS.gov/forms at any time. 

3.    More time to file is not more time to pay. An extension to file will give you until Oct. 15 to file your taxes. It does not give you more time to pay your taxes. You still must estimate and pay what you owe by April 15 to avoid a late filing penalty. You will be charged interest on any tax that you do not pay on time. You may also owe a penalty if you pay your tax late. 

4.    Use IRS Direct Pay.  The safe, fast and easy way to pay your tax is with IRS Direct Pay. Visit IRS.gov/directpay to use this free and secure way to pay from your checking or savings account. You also have other electronic payment options. The IRS will automatically process your extension when you pay electronically. You can pay online or by phone.

5.    IRS helps if you can’t pay all you owe.  If you can’t pay all the tax you owe, the IRS offers you payment options. In most cases, you can apply for an installment agreement with the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov. You may also file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. If you can’t make payments because of a financial hardship, the IRS will work with you. 

If you found this Tax Tip helpful, please share it through your social media platforms. A great way to get tax information is to use IRS Social Media. You can also subscribe to IRS Tax Tips or any of our e-news subscriptions.

CPA Henderson shares -Tips for Filing an Amended Return

Posted by Admin Posted on Apr 21 2015


Have you found that you made an error on your federal tax return? If so, you may need to file an amended return. Here are ten tips that can help you file.

1.    Tax form to amend your return.  Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct your tax return. You must file a paper Form 1040X; it can’t be e-filed. You can get the form on IRS.gov/forms at any time. See the Form 1040X instructions for the address where you should mail your form.

2.    Amend to correct errors.  You should file an amended tax return to correct errors or make changes to your original tax return. For example, you should amend to change your filing status, or to correct your income, deductions or credits. 

3.    Don’t amend for math errors, missing forms.  You normally don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS will automatically correct those for you. Also, do not file an amended return if you forgot to attach tax forms, such as a Form W-2 or a schedule. The IRS will mail you a request for them in most cases.

4.    Most taxpayers don’t need to amend to correct Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, errors.  Eligible taxpayers who filed a 2014 tax return and claimed a premium tax credit using incorrect information from either the federally-facilitated or a state-based Health Insurance Marketplace, generally do not have to file an amended return regardless of the nature of the error, even if additional taxes would be owed. The IRS may contact you to ask for a copy of your corrected Form 1095-A to verify the information.

5.    Time limit to claim a refund.  You usually have three years from the date you filed your original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim a refund. You can file it within two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later. That means the last day for most people to file a 2011 claim for a refund is April 15, 2015. See the Form 1040X instructions for special rules that apply to some claims.  

6.    Separate forms for each year.  If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each year. You should mail each year in separate envelopes. Note the tax year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Check the form’s instructions for where to mail your return. 

7.    Attach other forms with changes.  If you use other IRS forms or schedules to make changes, make sure to attach them to your Form 1040X. 

8.    When to file for second refund.  If you are due a refund from your original return, wait to get that refund before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. Amended returns take up to 16 weeks to process. You may spend your original refund while you wait for any additional refund.

9.    Pay added tax as soon as you can.  If you owe more tax, file your Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as you can. This will stop added interest and penalties. Use IRS Direct Pay to pay your tax directly from your checking or savings account.

10.    Track your amended return.  You can track the status of your amended tax return three weeks after you file with ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ This tool is on IRS.gov or by phone at 866-464-2050. It is available in English and in Spanish. The tool can track the status of an amended return for the current year and up to three years back. To use ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ enter your taxpayer identification number, which is usually your Social Security number. You will also enter your date of birth and zip code. If you have filed amended returns for multiple years, you can check each year one at a time.

If you found this Tax Tip helpful, please share it through your social media platforms. A great way to get tax information is to use IRS Social Media. You can also subscribe to IRS Tax Tips or any of our e-news subscriptions. 

Las Vegas Accountant shares: Claiming a Tax Deduction for Medical and Dental Expenses

Posted by Admin Posted on Mar 04 2015

Your medical expenses may save you money at tax time, but a few key rules apply. Here are some tax tips to help you determine if you can claim a tax deduction:

  • You must itemize.  You can only claim your medical expenses that you paid for in 2014 if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return. If you take the standard deduction, you can’t claim these expenses.
  • AGI threshold.  You include all the qualified medical costs that you paid for during the year. However, you can only deduct the amount that is more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.
  • Temporary threshold for age 65.  If you or your spouse is age 65 or older, the AGI threshold is 7.5 percent of your AGI. This exception applies through Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Costs to include.  You can include most medical and dental costs that you paid for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. Exceptions and special rules apply. Costs reimbursed by insurance or other sources do not qualify for a deduction.
  • Expenses that qualify.  You can include the costs of diagnosing, treating, easing or preventing disease. The costs you pay for prescription drugs and insulin qualify. The costs you pay for insurance premiums for policies that cover medical care qualify. Some long-term care insurance costs also qualify. For more examples of costs you can and can’t deduct, see IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. You can get it on IRS.gov/forms anytime.
  • Travel costs count.  You may be able to claim travel costs you pay for medical care. This includes costs such as public transportation, ambulance service, tolls and parking fees. If you use your car, you can deduct either the actual costs or the standard mileage rate for medical travel. The rate is 23.5 cents per mile for 2014.
  • No double benefit.  You can’t claim a tax deduction for medical expenses you paid for with funds from your Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Arrangements. Amounts paid with funds from those plans are usually tax-free. This rule prevents two tax benefits for the same expense.
  • Use the tool.  You can use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool to see if you can deduct your medical expenses. The tool can answer many of your questions on a wide range of tax topics.

Important Information about Advance Payments of the Premium Tax Credit and Your Tax Return for Las Vegas Accountant

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 15 2015
The Affordable Care Act includes financial assistance in the form of the premium tax credit for eligible taxpayers with moderate incomes who purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
When you purchased coverage for 2014 through the Marketplace, you may have chosen to have the government send advance payments of the premium tax credit to your insurer to lower your monthly insurance premiums. At that time, the Marketplace estimated these credits based on information you provided about your expected household income and family size for the year. 
If you chose to have advance credit payments sent to your insurer, you must file a federal income tax return, even if otherwise not required to file. You will need to reconcile these payments with the amount of premium tax credit you’re eligible for on your tax return. Receiving too much or too little in advance can affect your refund or balance due when you file.
For example, if you had certain life changes during the year and notified the Marketplace, the Marketplace should have adjusted the amount of the advance credit payments sent to your insurer accordingly. If you did not notify the Marketplace about these life changes, the advance credit payments may have been either too high or too low.
Advance credit payments that are lower than the amount of premium tax credit on your tax return will reduce your tax bill or increase your refund.
On the other hand, if your advance credit payments are more than the premium tax credit you are eligible for based on your actual income, you will need to repay the excess amount, subject to certain caps. This will result in a smaller refund or a larger bill when you file your return.  The repayment amount is based on your household income and family size. For more information on the repayment if your household income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line, the repayment amount is limited. Taxpayers with household incomes of 400 percent or more of the federal poverty line must repay all of the excess amount. See the instructions for Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC) for more information on the federal poverty line amounts.
Normally, taxpayers may owe certain penalties for late payments or underpayment of estimated tax. However, to help smooth the process for the first year of the Affordable Care Act, the IRS will waive these penalties for eligible taxpayers if they resulted from repayment of excess advance payments of the premium tax credit.  This has no effect on the fee individuals will pay if they chose not to buy affordable health coverage.
You must complete Form 8962 to claim the premium tax credit and reconcile your advance credit payments with the premium tax credit you are eligible to claim on your return. You should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement from your Marketplace by early February. This form provides information you will need when completing Form 8962. If you have questions about the information on Form 1095-A for 2014, or about receiving Form 1095-A for 2014, you should contact your Marketplace directly.  
Remember that filing electronically is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return as it guides individuals and tax preparers through the process and does all the math. Electronic Filing options include free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File for taxpayers who qualify, commercial software, and professional assistance.

Las Vegas Accountant explains What You Should Know if You Get Tipped at Work

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 15 2015
If you get tips on the job, you should know some things about tips and taxes. Here are a few tips from the IRS to help you file and report your tip income correctly:
• Show all tips on your return.  You must report all tips you receive on your federal tax return. This includes the value of tips that are not in cash. Examples include items such as tickets, passes or other items.
• All tips are taxable.  You must pay tax on all tips you received during the year. This includes tips directly from customers and tips added to credit cards. It also includes your share of tips received under a tip-splitting agreement with other employees. 
• Report tips to your employer.  If you receive $20 or more in tips in any one month, you must report your tips for that month to your employer. You should only include cash, check and credit card tips you received. Do not report the value of any noncash tips on this report. Your employer must withhold federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on the reported tips. 
• Keep a daily log of tips.  Use Publication 1244, Employee's Daily Record of Tips and Report to Employer, to record your tips. This will help you report the correct amount of tips on your tax return.
For more on this topic, see Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income. You can get it on IRS.gov.
If you found this Tax Tip helpful, please share it through your social media platforms. A great way to get tax information is to use IRS Social Media. You can also subscribe to IRS Tax Tips or any of our e-news subscriptions.

Henderson Accountant shares tips: Statement to claim Premium Tax Credit

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 05 2015
 Taxpayers Will Use New Information Statement to claim Premium Tax Credit
The Affordable Care Act is bringing several changes to the tax filing season this year, including a new form some taxpayers will receive. If you or anyone in your household enrolled in a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2014, you’ll get Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement.
You will receive Form 1095-A from the Marketplace where you purchased your coverage, not the IRS. This form should arrive in the mail from your Marketplace by early February. You should wait to receive your Form 1095-A before filing your taxes.
Form 1095-A will tell you the dates of coverage, total amount of the monthly premiums for your insurance plan, information you may use to determine the amount of your premium tax credit, and any amounts of advance payments of the premium tax credit.
You will use the information to calculate the amount of your premium tax credit and reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit made on your behalf to your insurance provider with the premium tax credit you are claiming on your tax return.  To do this, you will use Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), which you file with your tax return.
If you do not receive your Form 1095-A by early February, you should contact the state or federal Marketplace from which you received coverage. If you believe any information on your Form 1095-A is incorrect, you should contact the state or federal Marketplace from which you received coverage. The Marketplace may need to send you a corrected Form 1095-A.
You may receive more than one Form 1095-A if different members of your household had different health plans, you updated your coverage information during the year, or you switched plans during the year.

Henderson Accountant shares List of Tax Scams for 2015

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 01 2015
Fake Charities Among the IRS “Dirty Dozen” 
Henderson Las Vegas — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers about groups masquerading as a charitable organization to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors, one of the “Dirty Dozen” for the 2015 filing season.

"When making a donation, taxpayers should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate and currently eligible charities, IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations.

Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter anytime, but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their returns or hire someone to prepare their taxes.
Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice to shut down scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.
The IRS offers these basic tips to taxpayers making charitable donations:
Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, which allows people to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible.
Don’t give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers or passwords to anyone who solicits a contribution from you. Scam artists may use this information to steal your identity and money. People use credit card numbers to make legitimate donations but please be very careful when you are speaking with someone who called you.
Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.

Call the IRS toll-free disaster assistance telephone number (1-866-562-5227) if you are a disaster victim with specific questions about tax relief or disaster related tax issues.
Impersonation of Charitable Organizations
Another long-standing type of abuse or fraud involves scams that occur in the wake of significant natural disasters.
Following major disasters, it’s common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers. Scam artists can use a variety of tactics. Some scammers operating bogus charities may contact people by telephone or email to solicit money or financial information. They may even directly contact disaster victims and claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.
They may attempt to get personal financial information or Social Security numbers that can be used to steal the victims’ identities or financial resources. Bogus websites may solicit funds for disaster victims.

Henderson Accountant & CPA shares: The Health Care Law’s Effect on You

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 31 2015

Nearly everyone is affected by the Affordable Care Act and will need to do something new when filing their taxes this year. The following chart will help you better understand how the health care law affects you and everyone on your return. 

To help navigate these changes, taxpayers and their tax professionals should consider filing returns electronically.Using tax preparation software is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return as it guides individuals and tax preparers through the process and does all the math. There are a variety of electronic filing options, including free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File for taxpayers who qualify, commercial software, and professional assistance. 

IF YOU… THEN YOU…

Are U.S. citizens or are non-U.S. citizens living in the United States Must have qualifying health care coverage, qualify for a health coverage exemption, or make a payment when you file your tax return
Have health coverage through an employer or under a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid and coverage for veterans for the entire year Just have to check a box on your Form 1040 series return and do not read any further

Do not have coverage for any month of the year Should check the instructions to Form 8965 to see if you are eligible for an exemption

Are eligible for an exemption from coverage for a month Are not responsible for making an Individual Shared Responsibility payment for that month, and must claim the exemption or report an exemption already obtained from the Marketplace by completing Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions,and submitting it with your tax return
Do not have coverage and are not eligible for an exemption from coverage for any month of the year Are responsible for making an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your return
Are responsible for making an individual shared responsibility payment Will report it on your tax return and make the payment with your taxes
Received the benefit of more advance payments of the premium tax credit than the amount of credit for which you qualify Will repay the amount in excess of the credit you are allowed subject to a repayment cap
Need qualifying health care coverage for 2015 Can enroll in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) during the open enrollment period that runs through Feb. 15, 2015; once open enrollment ends, individuals can enroll only if they qualify under special enrollment provisions  
Enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace for yourself or someone else on your tax return Might be eligible for the premium tax credit

Did not enroll in health insurance from the Marketplace for yourself or anyone else on your tax return Cannot claim the premium tax credit

Or another person on your tax return who is enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace is not eligible for health care coverage through your employer or under a government program Might be eligible for the premium tax credit

Are eligible for the premium tax credit Can choose to get premium assistance now to lower your monthly payments or get all the benefit of the credit when you claim it  on your tax return
Choose to get premium assistance now Will have payments sent on your behalf to your insurance provider. These payments are called advance payments of the premium tax credit

Get the benefit of advance payments of the premium tax credit and experience a significant life change, such as a change in income or marital status Report these changes in circumstances to the Marketplace when they happen

Get the benefit of advance payments of the premium tax credit Will report the payments on your tax return and reconcile the amount of the payments  with the amount of credit for which you are eligible

The Henderson Accounting firm of Steven T. Giorgione CPA is available for consulting call to day and schedule and appointment. 

Las Vegas Accountant shares Hiding Money or Income Offshore.

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 31 2015

Hiding Money or Income Offshore Among the “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2015 Filing Season

Las Vegas Henderson Nevada The Internal Revenue Service today said avoiding taxes by hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on its annual list of tax scams known as the “Dirty Dozen” for the 2015 filing season.

"The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore, Steve Giorgione agrees Taxpayers are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting their taxes and filing requirements in order.
Since the first Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program opened in 2009, there have been more than 50,000 disclosures and we have collected more than $7 billion from this initiative alone.  The IRS conducted thousands of offshore-related civil audits that have produced tens of millions of dollars. The IRS has also pursued criminal charges leading to billions of dollars in criminal fines and restitutions.

The IRS remains committed to our priority efforts to stop offshore tax evasion wherever it occurs.  Even though the IRS has faced several years of budget reductions, the IRS continues to pursue cases in all parts of the world, regardless of whether the person hiding money overseas chooses a bank with no offices on U.S. soil.
Through the years, offshore accounts have been used to lure taxpayers into scams and schemes.
Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter anytime, but many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their returns or hire people to help with their taxes.
Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to shut down scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.

Hiding Income Offshore
Over the years, numerous individuals have been identified as evading U.S. taxes by hiding income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or nominee entities and then using debit cards, credit cards or wire transfers to access the funds. Others have employed foreign trusts, employee-leasing schemes, private annuities or insurance plans for the same purpose.
The IRS uses information gained from its investigations to pursue taxpayers with undeclared accounts, as well as the banks and bankers suspected of helping clients hide their assets overseas. The IRS works closely with the Department of Justice to prosecute tax evasion cases.
While there are legitimate reasons for maintaining financial accounts abroad, there are reporting requirements that need to be fulfilled. U.S. taxpayers who maintain such accounts and who do not comply with reporting requirements are breaking the law and risk significant penalties and fines, as well as the possibility of criminal prosecution.
Since 2009, tens of thousands of individuals have come forward voluntarily to disclose their foreign financial accounts, taking advantage of special opportunities to comply with the U.S. tax system and resolve their tax obligations. And, with new foreign account reporting requirements being phased in over the next few years, hiding income offshore is increasingly more difficult.

See your CPA or Accountant to clean  up any open items. Steve Giorgione a Las Vegas Based CPA Accounting firm in Henderson Nevada serves  the Las Vegas professional Gamblers and Small Business owners, Call and schedule a consultation today. 

Las Vegas - Henderson CPA warns: Phone List of Tax Scams for the 2015 Filing Season

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 25 2015

Las Vegas CPA Steven T Giorgione shares concerns of a threat to the public via the phone.


Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain near the top of the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2015 filing season, 

The Nevada IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent months as scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS reminds Las Vegas taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.

"If someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats if you don't pay immediately, it's a scam artist calling,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The first IRS contact with Nevada taxpayers is usually through the mail. Taxpayers have rights, and this is not how we do business."

The Dirty Dozen is compiled annually by the IRS and lists a variety of common scams taxpayers may encounter any time during the year. Many of these con games peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or hire someone to do so. This year for the first time, the IRS will issue the individual Dirty Dozen scams one at a time during the next 12 business days to raise consumer awareness.

Phone scams top the list this year because it has been a persistent and pervasive problem for many Las Vegas taxpayers for many months. Scammers are able to alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers. They often leave "urgent" callback requests. They prey on the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, newly arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. Scammers have been known to impersonate agents from IRS Criminal Investigation as well.
These criminals try to scare and shock you into providing personal financial information on the spot while you are off guard, “Don’t be taken in and don’t engage these people over the phone.”
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received reports of roughly 290,000 contacts since October 2013 and has become aware of nearly 3,000 victims who have collectively paid over $14 million as a result of the scam, in which individuals make unsolicited calls to taxpayers fraudulently claiming to be IRS officials and demanding that they send them cash via prepaid debit cards.

Nevada's Protect Yourself
As telephone scams continue across Las Vegas, Henderson and the country, the IRS recently put out a new YouTube video with a renewed warning to taxpayers not to be fooled by imposters posing as tax agency representatives. The new Tax Scams video describes some basic tips to help protect taxpayers from tax scams.

The Las Vegas CPA thought you should be aware.



Nevada CPA The Health Care Law - Getting Ready to File Your Tax Return

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 24 2015
It’s always a good idea to prepare early to file your federal income tax return.  Certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act – also known as the Health Care Law – will probably affect your federal income tax return when you file this year.
You or your tax professional should consider preparing and filing your tax return electronically.  Using tax preparation software is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. There are a variety of electronic filing options, including free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File for taxpayers who qualify, commercial software, and professional assistance.
Here are five things you should know about the health care law that will help you get ready to file your tax return.
Coverage requirements
The Affordable Care Act requires that you and each member of your family have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, qualify for an exemption from the coverage requirement, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing your federal income tax return.
Reporting requirements
Most taxpayers will simply check a box on their tax return to indicate that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year. No further action is required. Qualifying health insurance coverage includes coverage under most, but not all, types of health care coverage plans. Use the chart on IRS.gov/aca to find out if your insurance counts as qualifying coverage. 
For a limited group of taxpayers -those who qualify for, or received advance payments of the premium tax credit - the health care law could affect the amount of tax refund or the amount of money they may owe when they file in 2015. Visit IRS.gov/aca to learn more about the premium tax credit.
Exemptions
You may be eligible to claim an exemption from the requirement to have coverage.  If you qualify for an exemption, you will need to complete the new IRS Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, when you file your tax return.   You must apply for some exemptions through the Health Care Insurance Marketplace.  However, most of the exemptions are easily obtained from the IRS when you file your tax return. Some of the exemptions are available from either the Marketplace or the IRS.
If you receive an exemption through the Marketplace, you’ll receive an Exemption Certificate Number to include when you file your taxes. If you have applied for an exemption through the Marketplace and are still waiting for a response, you can put “pending” on your tax return where you would normally put your Exemption Certificate Number.
Individual Shared Responsibility Payment
If you do not have qualifying coverage or an exemption for each month of the year, you will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your return for choosing not to purchase coverage. Examples and information about figuring the payment are available on the IRS Calculating the Payment page.
Premium Tax Credits
If you bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement from your Marketplace by early February. Save this form because it has important information needed to complete your tax return. 
If you are expecting to receive Form 1095-A and you do not receive it by early February, contact the Marketplace where you purchased coverage.  Do not contact the IRS because IRS telephone assistors will not have access to this information.
If you benefited from advance payments of the premium tax credit, you must file a federal income tax return. You will need to reconcile those advance payments with the amount of premium tax credit you’re entitled to based on your actual income. As a result, some people may see a smaller or larger tax refund or tax liability than they were expecting.  Nevada CPA Steven T Giorgione offers this information so you know,

CPA Las Vegas Henderson shares Top Five Reasons to E-file

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 21 2015

Are you still using the old school method of doing your taxes? Do you still mail paper forms to the IRS? If so, make this the year you switch to a much faster and safer way of filing your taxes. Join the nearly 126 million taxpayers who used IRS e-file to file their taxes last year. Here are the top five reasons why you should file electronically too:

  1. Accurate and easy.  IRS e-file is the best way to file an accurate tax return. The tax software that you use to e-file helps avoid mistakes by doing the math for you. It guides you every step of the way as you do your taxes. IRS e-file can also help with the new health care law tax provisions. The bottom line is that e-file is much easier than doing your taxes by hand and mailing paper tax forms. 
  2. Convenient options.  You can buy commercial tax software to e-file or ask your tax preparer to e-file your tax return. You can also e-file through IRS Free File, the free tax preparation and e-file program available only on IRS.gov. You may qualify to have your taxes filed through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. In general, VITA offers free tax preparation and e-file if you earned $53,000 or less. TCE offers help primarily to people who are age 60 or older.
  3. Safe and secure.  IRS e-file meets strict security guidelines. It uses secure encryption technology to protect your tax return. The IRS has safely and securely processed more than 1.3 billion e-filed tax returns from individuals since the program began.
  4. Faster refunds.  In most cases you get your refund faster when you e-file. That’s because there is nothing to mail and your return is virtually free of mistakes. The fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit into your bank account. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days.
  5. Payment flexibility.  If you owe taxes, you can e-file early and set up an automatic payment on any day until the April 15 due date. You can pay electronically from your bank account. You can also pay by check, money order, debit or credit card. Visit IRS.gov/payments for more information.
If you found this Tax Tip helpful, please share it through your social media platforms. A great way to get tax information is to use IRS Social Media. Steven T. Giorgione CPA Serves Henderson and Las Vegas Nevada.

Henderson CPA Tax Season Opens As Planned Following Extenders Legislation

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 29 2014

Following the passage of the extenders legislation, the Internal Revenue Service announced today it anticipates opening the 2015 filing season as scheduled in January.
The IRS will begin accepting tax returns electronically on Jan. 20. Paper tax returns will begin processing at the same time.
The decision follows Congress renewing a number of "extender" provisions of the tax law that expired at the end of 2013. These provisions were renewed by Congress through the end of 2014. The final legislation was signed into law Dec 19, 2014.
"We have reviewed the late tax law changes and determined there was nothing preventing us from continuing our updating and testing of our systems," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Our employees will continue an aggressive schedule of testing and preparation of our systems during the next month to complete the final stages needed for the 2015 tax season."
The IRS reminds taxpayers that filing electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund. There is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for e-file to begin.

Henderson Accountant shares How to Understand the Health Care Law

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 29 2014

     
There is a new publication that will help you learn about how the Affordable Care Act affects your taxes.  IRS Publication 5187, Health Care Law: What’s New for Individuals and Families is now available on IRS.gov/aca. While the health care law has several parts, this publication breaks down what’s new for the 2014 federal tax return you will be filing in 2015.
This new publication provides important information for taxpayers who:
Had health insurance coverage for the entire year
Did not have health coverage for each month of the year
Purchased health insurance from the Marketplace
Might be eligible for an exemption from  the coverage requirement
Had advance payments of the premium tax credit sent to their insurance provider
Is claiming the premium tax credit on their tax return
The publication includes a glossary that will help you understand new terms related to ACA. It also addresses the new lines for reporting ACA information on Forms 1040, 1040-A and 1040-EZ.
Most people have qualifying health coverage, and all they will need to do is simply check a box on their tax return.
You can access Publication 5187 at IRS.gov/aca, along with other important information related to the health care law. You can also find it by typing “p5187” into the search window at the top of any IRS.gov page or “5187” in the Forms and Pubs search window on IRS.gov.

Las Vegas CPA shares New IRS Mileage Deduction for Business Vehicles

Posted by Admin Posted on Dec 10 2014
New Standard Mileage Rates Now Available; Business Rate to Rise in 2015
The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2015 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, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:
57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014 
23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014  
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.
Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after claiming accelerated depreciation, including the Section 179 expense deduction, on that vehicle. Likewise, the standard rate is not available to fleet owners (more than four vehicles used simultaneously). Details on these and other special rules are in Revenue Procedure 2010-51, the instructions to Form 1040 and various online IRS publications including Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.
Besides the standard mileage rates, Notice 2014-79, posted today on IRS.gov, also includes the basis reduction amounts for those choosing the business standard mileage rate, as well as the maximum standard automobile cost   that may be used in computing an allowance under  a fixed and variable rate plan

Las Vegas Henderson CPA, Six IRS Tips for Year-End Gifts to Charity

Posted by Admin Posted on Nov 17 2014

The Henderson CPA IRS article : Many people give to charity each year during the holiday season. Remember, if you want to claim a tax deduction for your gifts, you must itemize your deductions. There are several tax rules that you should know about before you give. Here are six tips from the IRS that you should keep in mind:

1. Qualified charities. You can only deduct gifts you give to qualified charities. Use the IRS Select Check tool to see if the group you give to is qualified. Remember that you can deduct donations you give to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies. This is true even if Select Check does not list them in its database.

2. Monetary donations.  Gifts of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. You must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return. This is true regardless of the amount of the gift. The statement must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, or bank, credit union and credit card statements. If you give by payroll deductions, you should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document from your employer. It must show the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.

3. Household goods.  Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. If you donate clothing and household items to charity they generally must be in at least good used condition to claim a tax deduction. If you claim a deduction of over $500 for an item it doesn't have to meet this standard if you include a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return.

4. Records required.  You must get an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. Additional rules apply to the statement for gifts of that amount. This statement is in addition to the records required for deducting cash gifts. However, one statement with all of the required information may meet both requirements.

5. Year-end gifts.  You can deduct contributions in the year you make them. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2014. This is true even if you don’t pay the credit card bill until 2015. Also, a check will count for 2014 as long as you mail it in 2014.

6. Special rules.  Special rules apply if you give a car, boat or airplane to charity. For more information visit IRS.gov.
If you found this Tax Tip helpful, please share it through your social media platforms. A great way to get tax information is to use IRS Social Media. Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips or any of our e-news subscriptions.

Serving Henderson and Las Vegas Business owners with Book Keeping and Accounting. Steven Giorgione Certified Public Accountant.

Las Vegas CPA Helps Six Tips for People Who Owe Taxes

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 05 2014


While most people get a refund from the IRS when they file their taxes, some do not. If you owe federal taxes, the IRS has several ways for you to pay. Here are six tips for people who owe taxes:
1. Pay your tax bill.  If you get a bill from the IRS, you’ll save money by paying it as soon as you can. If you can’t pay it in full, you should pay as much as you can. That will reduce the interest and penalties charged for late payment. You should think about using a credit card or getting a loan to pay the amount you owe.
2. Use IRS Direct Pay.  The best way to pay your taxes is with the IRS Direct Pay tool. It’s the safe, easy and free way to pay from your checking or savings account. The tool walks you through five simple steps to pay your tax in one online session. Just click on the ‘Pay Your Tax Bill’ icon on the IRS home page.
3. Get a short-term extension to pay.  You may qualify for extra time to pay your taxes if you can pay in full in 120 days or less. You can apply online at IRS.gov. If you received a bill from the IRS you can also call the phone number listed on it. If you don’t have a bill, call 800-829-1040 for help. There is usually no set-up fee for a short-term extension.
4. Apply for a monthly payment plan.  If you owe $50,000 or less and need more time to pay, you can apply for an Online Payment Agreement on IRS.gov. A direct debit payment plan is your best option. This plan is the lower-cost, hassle-free way to pay. The set-up fee is less than other plans. There are no reminders, no missed payments and no checks to write and mail. You can also use Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, to apply. For more about payment plan options visit IRS.gov.
5. Consider an Offer in Compromise.  An Offer in Compromise lets you settle your tax debt for less than the full amount that you owe. An OIC may be an option if you can’t pay your tax in full. It may also apply if full payment will cause a financial hardship. You can use the OIC Pre-Qualifier tool to see if you qualify. It will also tell you what a reasonable offer might be.
6. Change your withholding or estimated tax.  You may be able to avoid owing the IRS in the future by having more taxes withheld from your pay. Do this by filing a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer. The IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov can help you fill out a new W-4. If you have income that’s not subject to withholding you may need to make estimated tax payments. See Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals for more on this topic.
To find out more see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. You can get this booklet on IRS.gov. You may also call 800-TAX-FORM to get it by mail.

We can Assist with IRS collections.
Call us today for help Steven T. Giorgione C.P.A serving Las Vegas Henderson Boulder City Nevada.

Five Basic Tax Tips about Hobbies

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 05 2014


Millions of people enjoy hobbies that are also a source of income. Some examples include stamp and coin collecting, craft making, and horsemanship.
You must report on your tax return the income you earn from a hobby. The rules for how you report the income and expenses depend on whether the activity is a hobby or a business. There are special rules and limits for deductions you can claim for a hobby. Here are five tax tips you should know about hobbies:
1. Is it a Business or a Hobby?  A key feature of a business is that you do it to make a profit. You often engage in a hobby for sport or recreation, not to make a profit. You should consider nine factors when you determine whether your activity is a hobby. Make sure to base your determination on all the facts and circumstances of your situation. For more about ‘not-for-profit’ rules see Publication 535, Business Expenses.
2. Allowable Hobby Deductions.  Within certain limits, you can usually deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted for the activity. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate for the activity.
3. Limits on Hobby Expenses.  Generally, you can only deduct your hobby expenses up to the amount of hobby income. If your hobby expenses are more than your hobby income, you have a loss from the activity. You can’t deduct the loss from your other income.
4. How to Deduct Hobby Expenses.  You must itemize deductions on your tax return in order to deduct hobby expenses. Your expenses may fall into three types of deductions, and special rules apply to each type. See of Publication 535 for the rules about how you claim them on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.
5. Use IRS Free File.  Hobby rules can be complex and IRS Free File can make filing your tax return easier. IRS Free File is available until Oct. 15. If you make $58,000 or less, you can use brand-name tax software. If you earn more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. Free File is available only through the IRS.gov website.
For more on these rules see Publication 535. You can get it on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Additional IRS Resources:
• Business or Hobby? Answer Has Implications for Deductions
• Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income
• Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions
• Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax
• IRC Section 183: Activities Not Engaged in For Profit (Audit Technique Guide) – details on the factors to determine ‘for profit’ or ‘not-for-profit’

CPA ask: How Safe is Personal Data in Frequent Flyer Reward Programs?

Posted by Admin Posted on Oct 05 2014

How many frequent flyer or preferred hotel guest programs do you belong to? Did you know there's a risk in that?

While three-quarters (75 percent) of frequent travelers expect their loyalty program data to be secured to at least the same standard as a financial institution, only 33 percent feel their accounts are secure enough, according to a new Deloitte study, "Loyalty data security: Are hospitality and travel companies managing the risks of their rewards programs?"

Few frequent travelers appear fully aware of the wider risks involved when loyalty data — including travel schedules and other personal data — is lost or stolen. Roughly one in seven (15 percent) are simply concerned that a breach would result in a loss of loyalty points, while the majority of travelers (76 percent) worry about the loss of credit card numbers.

"Our study indicates a disconnect between travelers' expectations and perceptions about the security of their personal data," said Charles Carrington, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP in the Travel, Hospitality and Leisure practice and author of the study. "Travelers consider protection of their physical security a basic expectation when they're in a hotel or in the air. This responsibility now extends into the cyber world. Travel companies increasingly request that customers share a detailed level of personal information. These same companies need to roll up their sleeves and move beyond mere policy compliance to ensure that customer data is truly secure. Failure to do so could not only frustrate, even endanger, travelers, but also cause serious reputational damage and revenue loss."

Personal preferences: Drawing the line

While rewards programs are often a critical way for airlines and hotels to build customer loyalty, simply offering frequent traveler points is no longer enough. As a result, airlines and hotels are continuously looking for ways to personalize programs and tailor travel experiences. However, the study reveals the low level of trust in these companies' security standards is restricting the amount and type of information travelers are willing to share.

Most consumers (93 percent) are willing to share travel preferences such as seating choices and nearly three- quarters (74 percent) are comfortable sharing their food and drink preferences. However, many draw the line at sharing more personal information, such as hobbies (32 percent), geolocation (28 percent) and health and fitness records (7 percent).

Despite millennia's typically being more receptive to sharing personal data with companies, the study revealed only a slight increase in the level of trust with loyalty programs — 37 percent will share hobbies, little more than one-third (34 percent) will share geolocation and just 14 percent are comfortable sharing health and fitness records with loyalty programs. Overall, only 40 percent of Millennia's believe their personal information is secure.

This reluctance to provide more personal details could limit the degree to which airlines and hotels will be able to customize experiences to engage their most valuable patrons and drive repeat business.

A breach of data is a breach of brand loyalty and trust

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
The study showed that any breach of loyalty data would have a significant impact on the brand
involved. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of survey respondents said that should such a breach occur, they would be less likely to use the company responsible and 15 percent said they would be a lot less likely to do so.

"Frequent travelers are often the most valuable customer segment for hotels and airlines," continued Carrington. "Companies that can persuade these customers to share detailed information about their interests, hobbies and preferences will create a highly valuable and continuous cycle: the more information they gather, the more they will be able to personalize the travel experience and the tighter their bond with customers. But if they fail to live up to their custodial responsibility to secure customer information, that bond can be shattered in an instant."

Educating and engaging the customer

The study revealed that the lack of confidence consumers have in the security of their frequent traveler accounts is not leading them to be more vigilant in their security practices. Only 21 percent of survey respondents change their passwords at least once per quarter and more than half (53 percent) use the same password for other accounts.

Additionally, 41 percent of consumers indicated that they had little or no knowledge at all about travel companies' privacy and security policies of their frequent traveler programs.

These findings present an opportunity for travel companies to educate and engage their customers, communicating with them more openly, making them aware of enhancements to privacy and security measures and explaining how their data will be used and how it will benefit them. Ideas to improve traveler trust may include rewarding points to customers who regularly change their passwords, offering cyber security monitoring services, or offering reminders or links to change passwords .Read Complete Article http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/12005881/how-safe-is-personal-data-in-frequent-flyer-and-guest-reward-programs

Henderson NV CPA Alert: IRS Reminds Those with Foreign Assets of U.S. Tax Obligations

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 24 2014
LAS VEGAS WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds U.S. citizens and resident aliens, including those with dual citizenship who have lived or worked abroad during all or part of 2013, that they may have a U.S. tax liability and a filing requirement in 2014.
The filing deadline is Monday, June 16, 2014, for U.S. citizens and resident aliens living overseas, or serving in the military outside the U.S. on the regular due date of their tax return. Eligible taxpayers get one additional day because the normal June 15 extended due date falls on Sunday this year. To use this automatic two-month extension, taxpayers must attach a statement to their return explaining which of these two situations applies. See U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad for details.
Nonresident aliens who received income from U.S. sources in 2013 also must determine whether they have a U.S. tax obligation. The filing deadline for nonresident aliens can be April 15 or June 16 depending on sources of income. See Taxation of Nonresident Aliens on IRS.gov.
Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts. In most cases, affected taxpayers need to fill out and attach Schedule B to their tax return. Certain taxpayers may also have to fill out and attach to their return Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets.
Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts, such as bank and securities accounts, and usually requires U.S. citizens to report the country in which each account is located.
Generally, U.S. citizens, resident aliens and certain nonresident aliens must report specified foreign financial assets on Form 8938 if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds. See the instructions for this form for details.
Separately, taxpayers with foreign accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2013 must file electronically with the Treasury Department a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). This form replaces TD F 90-22.1, the FBAR form used in the past. It is due to the Treasury Department by June 30, 2014, must be filed electronically and is only available online through the BSA E-Filing System website. For details regarding the FBAR requirements, see Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).
Taxpayers abroad can now use IRS Free File to prepare and electronically file their returns for free. This means both U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of $58,000 or less can use brand-name software to prepare their returns and then e-file them for free. A second option, Free File Fillable Forms the electronic version of IRS paper forms, has no income limit and is best suited to people who are comfortable preparing their own tax return. Check out the e-file link on IRS.gov for details on the various electronic filing options.
A limited number of companies provide software that can accommodate foreign addresses. To determine which will work best, view the complete Free File Software list and the services provided. Both e-file and Free File are available until Oct. 15, 2014, for anyone filing a 2013 return.

Henderson NV Alert: Check Out College Tax Credits for 2014 and Years Ahead

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 15 2014


Nevada CPA ― With another school year now in full swing, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded parents and students that now is a good time to see if they will qualify for either of two college tax credits or any of several other education-related tax benefits when they file their 2014 federal income tax returns.

In general, the American opportunity tax credit and lifetime learning credit are available to taxpayers who pay qualifying expenses for an eligible student. Eligible students include the taxpayer and his or her spouse and dependents. The American opportunity tax credit provides a credit for each eligible student, while the lifetime learning credit provides a maximum credit per tax return. Though a taxpayer often qualifies for both of these credits, he or she can only claim one of them for a particular student in a particular year. Claimed on Form 8863, these credits are available to all taxpayers — both those who itemize their deductions on Schedule A and those who claim a standard deduction.

For those eligible, including most undergraduate students, the American opportunity tax credit will generally yield the greater tax savings. Alternatively, the lifetime learning credit should be considered by part-time students and those attending graduate school.

Both credits are available for students enrolled in an eligible college, university or vocational school, including both nonprofit and for-profit institutions. Neither credit can be claimed by a nonresident alien, a married person filing a separate return or someone claimed as a dependent on another person’s return.

Normally, a student will receive a Form 1098-T from their institution by the end of January of the following year (Jan. 31, 2015 for calendar year 2014). This form will show information about tuition paid or billed along with other information. However, amounts shown on this form may differ from amounts taxpayers are eligible to claim for these tax credits. Taxpayers should see the instructions to Form 8863 and Publication 970 for details on properly figuring allowable tax benefits.

Many of those eligible for the American opportunity tax credit qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student. Students can claim this credit for qualified educational expenses paid during the entire tax year for a certain number of years:

  • The credit is only available for 4 tax years per eligible student. 
  • The credit is available only if the student has not completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education before 2014.

Here are some more key features of the credit:

  • Qualified education expenses are amounts paid for tuition, fees and other related expenses for an eligible student. Other expenses, such as room and board, are not qualified expenses.
  • The credit equals 100 percent of the first $2,000 spent and 25 percent of the next $2,000. That means the full $2,500 credit may be available to a taxpayer who pays $4,000 or more in qualified expenses for an eligible student.
  • The full credit can only be claimed by taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is $80,000 or less. For married couples filing a joint return, the limit is $160,000. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. No credit can be claimed by joint filers whose MAGI is $180,000 or more and singles, heads of household and some widows and widowers whose MAGI is $90,000 or more.
  • Forty percent of the American opportunity tax credit is refundable. This means that even people who owe no tax can get an annual payment of up to $1,000 for each eligible student.

The lifetime learning credit of up to $2,000 per tax return is available for both graduate and undergraduate students. Unlike the American opportunity tax credit, the limit on the lifetime learning credit applies to each tax return, rather than to each student. Also, the lifetime learning credit does not provide a benefit to people who owe no tax.

Though the half-time student requirement does not apply to the lifetime learning credit, the course of study must be either part of a post-secondary degree program or taken by the student to maintain or improve job skills. Other features of the credit include:

  • Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance qualify as do other fees required for the course. Additional expenses do not.
  • The credit equals 20 percent of the amount spent on eligible expenses across all students on the return. That means the full $2,000 credit is only available to a taxpayer who pays $10,000 or more in qualifying tuition and fees and has sufficient tax liability.
  • Income limits are lower than under the American opportunity tax credit. For 2014, the full credit can be claimed by taxpayers whose MAGI is $54,000 or less. For married couples filing a joint return, the limit is $108,000. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. No credit can be claimed by joint filers whose MAGI is $128,000 or more and singles, heads of household and some widows and widowers whose MAGI is $64,000 or more.

You can use the IRS’s Interactive Tax Assistant tool to help determine if you are eligible for these benefits. The tool is available on IRS.gov. Eligible parents and students can get the benefit of these credits during the year by having less tax taken out of their paychecks. They can do this by filling out a new Form W-4, claiming additional withholding allowances, and giving it to their employer.

There are a variety of other education-related tax benefits that can help many taxpayers. They include:

  • Scholarship and fellowship grants — generally tax-free if used to pay for tuition, required enrollment fees, books and other course materials, but taxable if used for room, board, research, travel or other expenses.
  • Student loan interest deduction of up to $2,500 per year.
  • Savings bonds used to pay for college — though income limits apply, interest is usually tax-free if bonds were purchased after 1989 by a taxpayer who, at time of purchase, was at least 24 years old.
  • Qualified tuition programs, also called 529 plans, used by many families to prepay or save for a child’s college education.

Taxpayers with qualifying children who are students up to age 24 may be able to claim a dependent exemption and the earned income tax credit.


Las Vegas, Henderson, NV CPA warns: Scammers continuing to pose as IRS agents

Posted by Admin Posted on Sept 14 2014


  

Tax season may be over, but scammers posing as IRS officials continue to call, saying people owe taxes and better pay     up. They threaten to arrest or deport people, revoke a license, or even shut down a business. How do they do it? By      rigging caller ID information to appear as if the IRS is calling, and sometimes even making a follow-up call claiming to  be the police or the DMV.

We posted about this last month, and got a tremendous response from readers. Lots of people wrote to tell us about variations of the scam: robocalls from “Heather” from the IRS, or calls claiming to be from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and mentioning IRS codes. But the scam always ends the same way: a demand for money loaded on a prepaid debit card, sent through a wire transfer, or paid by credit card.

Henderson CPA shares IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 29 2014

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot   Suspicious Calls:


Henderson NV — The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.


These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.


“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business.”
The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:


1. Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:


• If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
• If you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
Remember, too, the IRS does not use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

Steven Giorgione CPA serving Henderson Nevada and Las Vegas thought you should Know!.

Henderson CPA Shares Top Ten Tax Facts if You Sell Your Home

Posted by Admin Posted on July 22 2014

Las Vegas CPA


Do you know that if you sell your home and make a profit, the gain may not be taxable? That’s just one key tax rule that you should know. Here are ten facts to keep in mind if you sell your home this year.

  1. If you have a capital gain on the sale of your home, you may be able to exclude your gain from tax. This rule may apply if you owned and used it as your main home for at least two out of the five years before the date of sale.
  2. There are exceptions to the ownership and use rules. Some exceptions apply to persons with a disability. Some apply to certain members of the military and certain government and Peace Corps workers. For details see Publication 523, Selling Your Home.
  3. The most gain you can exclude is $250,000. This limit is $500,000 for joint returns. TheNet Investment Income Tax will not apply to the excluded gain.
  4. If the gain is not taxable, you may not need to report the sale to the IRS on your tax return.
  5. You must report the sale on your tax return if you can’t exclude all or part of the gain. And you must report the sale if you choose not to claim the exclusion. That’s also true if you get Form 1099-S, Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions. If you report the sale you should review the Questions and Answers on the Net Investment Income Tax on IRS.gov.
  6. Generally, you can exclude the gain from the sale of your main home only once every two years.
  7. If you own more than one home, you may only exclude the gain on the sale of your main home. Your main home usually is the home that you live in most of the time.
  8. If you claimed the first-time homebuyer credit when you bought the home, special rules apply to the sale. For more on those rules see Publication 523.
  9. If you sell your main home at a loss, you can’t deduct it.
  10. After you sell your home and move, be sure to give your new address to the IRS. You can send the IRS a completed Form 8822, Change of Address, to do this.

Important note about the Premium Tax Credit.If you receive advance payment of thePremium Tax Credit in 2014 it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit provide financial assistance to help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.


CPA Las Vegas says Special Tax Benefits for Members of the Armed Forces

Posted by Admin Posted on July 18 2014


The Las Vegas CPA has Shared: Special tax benefits apply to members of the U. S. Armed Forces. For example, some types of pay are not taxable. And special rules may apply to some tax deductions, credits and deadlines. Here are ten of those benefits

    • Deadline Extensions.  Some members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone some tax deadlines. If this applies to you, you can get automatic extensions of time to file your tax return and to pay your taxes.
    • Combat Pay Exclusion.  If you serve in a combat zone, certain combat pay you get is not taxable. You won’t need to show the pay on your tax return because combat pay isn’t included in the wages reported on your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Service in support of a combat zone may qualify for this exclusion.
    • Earned Income Tax Credit.  If you get nontaxable combat pay, you may choose to include it to figure your EITC. You would make this choice if it increases your credit. Even if you do, the combat pay stays nontaxable.
    • Moving Expense Deduction.  You may be able to deduct some of your unreimbursed moving costs. This applies if the move is due to a permanent change of station,
    • Uniform Deduction.  You can deduct the costs of certain uniforms that regulations prohibit you from wearing while off duty. This includes the costs of purchase and upkeep. You must reduce your deduction by any allowance you get for these costs.
    • Signing Joint Returns.  Both spouses normally must sign a joint income tax return. If your spouse is absent due to certain military duty or conditions, you may be able to sign for your spouse. In other cases when your spouse is absent, you may need a power of attorney to file a joint return.
    • Reservists’ Travel Deduction.  If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves, you may deduct certain costs of travel on your tax return. This applies to the unreimbursed costs of travel to perform your reserve duties that are more than 100 miles away from home.
    • Nontaxable ROTC Allowances.  Active duty ROTC pay, such as pay for summer advanced camp, is taxable. But some amounts paid to ROTC students in advanced training are not taxable. This applies to educational and subsistence allowances                  Civilian Life.  If you leave the military and look for work, you may be able to deduct some job hunting expenses. You may be able to include the costs of travel, preparing a resume and job placement agency fees. Moving expenses may also qualify for a tax deduction.               
    • Help.  Most military bases offer free tax preparation and filing assistance during the tax filing season. Some also offer free tax help after April 15.

Las Vegas Nevada: IRS Tip Sheet on Gambling Income and Losses

Posted by Admin Posted on July 09 2014




Whether you like to play the ponies, roll the dice or pull the slots, your gambling winnings are taxable. You must report all your gambling income on your tax return. If you’re a casual gambler, odds are good that these basic tax tips can help you at tax time next year:

1. Gambling income.  Gambling income includes winnings from lotteries, horse racing and casinos. It also includes cash prizes and the fair market value of prizes like cars and trips.

2. Payer tax form.  If you win, you may get a Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, from the payer. The IRS also gets a copy of the W-2G. The payer issues the form depending on the type of game you played, the amount of your winnings and other factors. You’ll also get the form if the payer withholds taxes from what you won.

3. How to report winnings.  You must report all your gambling winnings as income. This is true even if you don’t receive a Form W-2G. You normally report your winnings for the year on your tax return as ‘other income.’

4. How to deduct losses.  You can deduct your gambling losses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. The amount you can deduct is limited to the amount of the gambling income you report on your return.

5. Keep gambling receipts.  You should keep track of your wins and losses. This includes keeping items such as a gambling log or diary, receipts, statements or tickets. 

For more on this topic see Publications 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, and 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. Both are available on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Additional IRS Resources:

IRS YouTube Videos:

IRS Podcasts:

Don't ignore the IRS

Posted by Admin Posted on July 01 2014

Henderson CPA serving Las Vegas area Recommends this article: 

Each year the IRS mails millions of notices. Here’s what you should do if you receive a notice from the IRS:

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1. Don’t ignore it. You can respond to most IRS notices quickly and easily. And it’s important that you reply promptly. 2. IRS notices usually deal with a specific issue about your tax return or tax account. For example, it may say the IRS has corrected an error on your tax return. Or it may ask you for more information.

3. Read it carefully and follow the instructions about what you need to do.

4. If it says that the IRS corrected your tax return, review the information in the notice and compare it to your tax return.

If you agree, you don’t need to reply unless a payment is due.

If you don’t agree, it’s important that you respond to the IRS. Write a letter that explains why you don’t agree. Make sure to include information and any documents you want the IRS to consider. Include the bottom tear-off portion of the notice with your letter. Mail your reply to the IRS at the address shown in the lower left part of the notice. Allow at least 30 days for a response from the IRS.

5. You can handle most notices without calling or visiting the IRS. If you do have questions, call the phone number in the upper right corner of the notice. Make sure you have a copy of your tax return and the notice with you when you call.

6. Keep copies of any notices you get from the IRS.

7. Don’t fall for phone and phishing email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS first contacts people about unpaid taxes by mail – not by phone. The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email, text or social media about their tax return or tax account.

For more on this topic visit IRS.gov. Click on ‘Responding to a Notice’ at the bottom left of the home page. Also see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. You can get it on IRS.gov or call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to get it by mail.


For information on how Steven Giorgione CPA can help please contact us.