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Accounting & Tax News

 

Publication 17
Tax-filing information and tips on what income to report and how to report it, figuring capital gains and losses, claiming dependents, choosing the standard deduction versus itemizing deductions and using IRAs to save for retirement


The Affordable Care Act And Your Income Taxes

Which category of individual tax return filer do you fall into and how do you avoid the “Individual Responsibility Payment” (i.e. tax)? Are you covered under a “qualifying health insurance plan” (e.g. employer or medicare coverage), which offers “minimum essential coverage”, and are therefore exempt from the payment?  Are you in an exempt category, due to your income level, or other qualifications, which allows you to avoid the payment?  Or did you buy your health insurance on either the Federal or State of WA health care exchange and are therefore receiving an “Advance Premium Credit”, which means when your tax return is prepared you’ll either receive an additional premium tax credit, or else you’ll pay the individual responsibility payment?  Since this is the first year of required reporting of the ACA on your annual individual income tax return, along with its related taxes and credits, there is a new degree of complexity in preparing even the simplest of tax returns, so please contact us if you have any questions or need our assistance in preparing your 2014 income tax return. We also want to take a minute to welcome Chrissy Hammond to our staff – please tell her hello when you call or come by our office.

Posted Feb. 20, 2015/wittenbergcpa.com

Tax Season News - For 2014

The IRS is now accepting all tax returns via their e-file program.  The biggest single change that is required this tax year for an individual taxpayer has to do with ACA compliance –   ACA compliance .  As a reminder, with the start of the new calendar year it’s a very good time to update your income tax withholding from wages with your employer, which can be done by completing a Form W-4 .   The IRS offers a useful “withholding calculator ” tool, for your use in determining how much withholding to have taken out of your wages or retirement benefits. Also, please note the following IRS allowable mileage rates for the 2015 calendar year; business rate of 57 1/2 cents per mile, charitable rate of 14 cents per mile, and the medical and moving rate of 23 cents per mile.  Finally, please bear with us as we update our firm’s website for tax and payroll related resources and links , and certainly contact us, if we can answer your questions, or if you’d like to schedule an income tax appointment with our firm.

Posted Jan. 29, 2015/wittenbergcpa.com

Deadline For Businesses To File Annual Tax Returns

 With the deadline for annual tax filings just around the corner, the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) is offering some tips to help businesses file their taxes on time.
January is the busiest time of year for Revenue, with tax returns all due from monthly, quarterly and annual filers. In all, Revenue could receive up to 518,000 returns this month – about half of those are expected to be from annual filers.
Every annual filer – even if they had no business activity in 2014 – must file a tax return with Revenue by Feb. 2, 2015. The typical due date to file annual tax returns is Jan. 31, but because that date falls on a weekend this year, it has been extended to the next business day.
Around 90 percent of businesses that file monthly or quarterly use Revenue’s electronic filing system. However, some businesses are only required to file a tax return annually and may need assistance whether they file electronically, by phone or by mail.
Revenue offers several options to help taxpayers file their returns:

  • Visit one of Revenue’s offices located across the state.
  • Call and talk to Revenue’s tax specialists: 800-647-7706.
  • For answers to quick filing questions, try Live Chat to talk with a tax information specialist.

Callers can reach Revenue tax specialists between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every weekday. Automated phone services are available 24 hours a day.More tips for annual filers are on Revenue’s website.

Jan. 26, 2014

Top Five Reasons To E-file

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.