Category Archives: Tax Tips

Last chance to claim a 2012 refund

According to the IRS, nearly one million taxpayers who failed to file a return for 2012 are in danger of losing refunds. Tax law provides a three-year period to claim a refund when no return is filed. That means you’ll have to file a tax return for 2012 no later than this year’s April tax deadline – or the chance… (more…)

New tax benefits available when claiming the research and development credit

If you conduct qualified research activities, you may be eligible to claim a federal income tax credit known as the “research and development” credit. This credit is now permanent and may benefit you when you design, develop, and improve business products or processes. Beginning in 2016, the research and development credit can be applied against your alternative minimum tax liability.… (more…)

Get credit for retirement contributions

Did you make contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA, a myRA, or a SEP or SIMPLE plan in 2015? You may qualify for the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, more popularly known as the “saver’s” credit. If you’re eligible, you can apply this federal income tax credit against the tax you owe on your 2015 return. The credit is available… (more…)

One more extension for estate executors

A law passed last summer added a new task for estate executors and others who file estate tax returns after July 31, 2015: providing a statement of the value of estate assets to beneficiaries and the IRS. The statement is designed to ensure consistency between the value of the property for estate tax purposes and the basis a beneficiary reports… (more…)

Will this IRS due date extension hold up your tax return?

In December, the IRS extended the time to file for employers who were required to provide health care information forms such as Form 1095-C to employees. Because the new due date is March 31, you may be ready to file your federal income tax return before you receive Form 1095-C. The IRS says that for 2015, you do not need… (more…)

Poor recordkeeping means lost deductions

What’s worse than keeping records? Losing tax deductions because you didn’t keep records. Tax court cases routinely deal with “unsubstantiated” expenses – business costs that taxpayers claim but cannot prove – and taxpayers routinely lose. Every legitimate and supported deduction can save you tax dollars. As the end of the year approaches, take time to make sure your records are… (more…)

Did you pay domestic employees in 2015?

Nannies, housekeepers, caregivers – the people who make your home life easier – are your employees, and you’re required to comply with income and payroll tax rules. For 2015, you’ll need to withhold social security and Medicare taxes when you pay your worker $1,900 or more during the year. You’ll also need to provide year-end tax forms and wage statements… (more…)

Need money to pay bills? Raiding your 401(k) is not a good idea

When you’re short of cash, raiding your 401(k) plan may seem like a good idea. Here are two reasons why it isn’t. Penalties and taxes. If you’re not at least 59½ years old, you’ll be hit with a 10% penalty for early withdrawals except in certain limited cases, and the money you withdraw will be taxed at your regular tax… (more…)

Are you 65 or older? Include these tax breaks in year-end planning

Celebrate your 65th birthday with federal income tax benefits. Here are some of the breaks available once you reach age 65. Higher standard deduction. Your standard deduction is the sum of the basic standard deduction plus an additional standard deduction if you are age 65 or older at the end of the tax year. You are considered to be 65… (more…)

Make use of your 2015 gift tax exclusion

This year you can give up to $14,000 to as many individuals as you want without any gift tax liability. If you’re married and your spouse joins in the gift, you can, as a couple, elect to give $28,000 to each person with no gift tax liability. Once December 31, 2015, has come and gone, your 2015 gift tax exclusion… (more…)