IR-2016-14, Feb. 2, 2016
WASHINGTON — Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, headlining the annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. To read more go to:
Criminals impersonating IRS agents
In 2007, the Durdens claimed a charitable contribution deduction of $22,517 for cash contributions to their church. Most individual contributions exceeded $250.Upon questioning by the IRS, the Durdens produced a letter from their church acknowledging the contributions, as well as canceled checks supporting the amounts of the claimed deduction. The IRS declined to accept the [church’s] acknowledgment [of the contributions] on the grounds that it did not contain the required statement under Sec. 170.
For donations of $250 or more […] the donor must obtain a contemporaneous written acknowledgment […], stating the amount of the contribution [and] whether the donee provided goods or services in consideration for the donation […]. If goods or services received consist solely of intangible religious benefits, the contemporaneous documentation must contain a statement to that effect. Church donations denied
If your income threshold is below filing requirements, sometimes it may still be advisable to file a tax return to claim some refundable credits. Check with your CPA who will advise you accordingly. Some of the refundable credits include:
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Adoption Credit
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
- Lifetime Learning Credit
To determine if you qualify go to: Refundable credits
WASHINGTON — Individuals and businesses making contributions to charity should keep in mind some key tax provisions that have taken effect in recent years, especially those affecting donations of clothing and household items and monetary donations.
Rules for Clothing and Household Items
To be deductible, clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return. Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. Charitable Donations
Last year, nearly 100 million taxpayers opted for the safest, fastest and easiest way to submit their individual tax returns — IRS e-file. Since 1990, taxpayers have e-filed nearly 1 billion Form 1040 series tax returns safely and securely. E-file is the norm. And now, with Free File, everyone can file Form 1040 series tax returns for free! http://www.irs.gov/Filing
Nearly three-quarters of all individual income tax filers claim a refund on their annual tax return. Although the vast majority of those refunds are issued as direct deposits, nearly 30 million taxpayers request paper refund checks. The IRS recommends filing tax returns electronically and using direct deposit. For full report go to: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Seeks-to-Return-Undelivered-Checks-to-Taxpayers
Proven statistics show that half of the working Americans own or work for a small business and two of every three new jobs are created by a small business. Consequently with the economy now in recovery mode, many people are starting small businesses and it is not surprising to find many people working out of their homes. Now may be a good time to review the criteria for claiming a deduction for the business use for your 2012 tax year filing… continue reading…Lower Your Taxes: Home Office Deduction
You have three easy and convenient options for getting copies of
your federal tax return information–tax return transcripts and tax account
transcripts–by phone, by mail, or online. For more
information go to: Need a copy of Your Tax Return Information
Payroll taxes to increase by 2% from 4.2% to 6.2% in year 2013.
The Senate passed legislation in the early hours of Tuesday
morning on New Year’s Day to extend income tax cuts for single taxpayers
earning under $400,000 a year and married couples under $450,000 a year (see Senate Approves Post-Midnight Fiscal Cliff Deal, Shifting
Pressure to Boehner). Under the deal approved by the Senate, the top
rate for income above those levels would rise to 39.6 percent, up from 35
However, the temporary payroll tax cut on Social Security
withholding taxes of 2 percentage points was not part of the deal. The House is
expected to take up the bill on Tuesday.
In issuing the guidance, the IRS said it takes note of the fact
that Congress is currently considering legislation that could affect these
rates. If the legislation is enacted, IRS will issue new, corresponding tables
at that time.
The updated tables issued late Monday show the new rates for
2013, which reflect the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. In addition,
employers should also begin withholding Social Security tax at the rate of 6.2
percent of wages paid following the expiration of the temporary
two-percentage-point payroll tax cut in effect for 2011 and 2012.For full story
go to: Payroll taxes to increase by 2% from 4.2% to 6.2%
The House of Representatives late Tuesday easily approved emergency bipartisan legislation sparing all but a sliver of America’s richest from sharp income tax hikes — while setting up another “fiscal cliff” confrontation in a matter of weeks.
The compromise bill averts the sharpest tax increase in American history. But it hikes rates on income above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for households, while exemptions and deductions the wealthiest Americans use to reduce their tax bill face new limits. The accord also raises the taxes paid on large inheritances from 35% to 40% for estates over $5 million. And it extends by one year unemployment benefits for some two million Americans. It also prevents cuts in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients and spares tens of millions of Americans who otherwise would have been hit with the Alternative Minimum Tax. And it extends some stimulus-era tax breaks championed by progressives.
The middle class will still see its taxes go up: The final deal did not include an extension of the payroll tax holiday. For full report go to House passes fiscal cliff deal, tamps down GOP revolt