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.
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The 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.
Simply 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.
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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.
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.