December 29, 2016

Understanding Gift-Tax Exclusions

What are gift-tax exclusions? According to the IRS, a gift must be given with no expectation of receiving anything of equal value in return. Gifts can be cash, property, interest-free loans, payments made to a third party (like a school or hospital) on behalf of the recipient, below-market rate sales, and other types of property transfers. Generally, gifts that meet the following requirements are not taxable: Gifts that are less than the annual exclusion amount for the year ($14,000 in 2016 and 2017) Tuition or medical expenses Gifts to your spouse Gifts to qualified charities and certain political organizations For more information about gifting and end-of-year tax issues, please contact a qualified tax professional. Tip courtesy of IRS.gov
November 15, 2016

Act Now to Avoid Tax-Time Surprises

Avoid tax-time surprises of large refunds or unexpected tax bills by bringing your estimated taxes in line with what you will actually owe: Check your withholding. If you’re an employee, work with your tax professional or use the IRS Withholding Calculator to check that your withholding is correct. Report any important life changes. If you’ve recently gotten married, had a child, gotten divorced, or added other dependents, you may need to adjust your withholding. If you have changed your name, make sure to file the change with the Social Security Administration to avoid errors at tax time. Have multiple sources of income? If you work multiple jobs or receive reportable income from other sources, you may need to make estimated tax payments. Consult your tax professional for help. To learn more about adjusting your tax withholding or paying estimated taxes, ask your tax professional or check Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. Tip courtesy of IRS.gov
October 25, 2016
Early Withdrawal from a retirement account

Are You Subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Alternative Minimum Tax, or the AMT, it may not affect you. The AMT forces many wealthy taxpayers who qualify for certain exemptions to pay a greater share of taxes. Though the AMT permanently indexed to inflation in 2013, many Americans are still subject to the tax. Here are a few things that may need to know. AMT Rules You may be subject to the AMT if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the AMT exemption amount for your filing status. The 2016 AMT exemption amounts for each filing status are: Single and Head of Household = $53,900 Married Filing Joint = $83,800 Married Filing Separate = $41,900 Head of Household = $53,900 The rules for calculating the AMT are more complex than those for regular income tax, so it’s a good idea to work with a qualified tax professional or uses the IRS e-file software. If you want to file a paper tax return, the AMT Assistant tool on IRS.gov can also help. If you find that you owe AMT, you usually must file Form 6251. For more information about the AMT, see Form 6251 instructions on IRS.gov or speak with a tax specialist […]
September 21, 2016
Early Withdrawal from a retirement account

How to Choose a Qualified Tax Professional

How to Choose a Qualified Tax Professional This article is all about “How to Choose a Qualified Tax Professional”If you have a complex tax situation or want help getting the maximum refund possible, you may want to turn to a tax professional to help you with your taxes. Now is a great time to start looking for professional tax help before the year ends and tax season begins. If you’re looking for a professional, there are a few things you should look for: Check for professional qualifications like an affiliation with a professional organization and a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If you have a special tax situation, ask for the preparer’s experience helping people in similar circumstances. Make sure you understand how your tax preparer is being paid. Avoid those who base their fees on a percentage of the refund. Make sure your refund is sent directly to you from the IRS. Under no circumstances should you allow any funds to be deposited into a third-party account. Never sign a blank return. The IRS will hold you personally responsible for any errors or omissions on the return, even when it’s prepared by someone else. Always carefully review your return […]