Tax Tip: Foreign Bank Reporting

August 17th, 2017

picDon’t fret if you missed the April 18 deadline for reporting foreign accounts.

You have an automatic six-month extension (until Oct. 16) to file the FBAR for 2016. U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts whose total value exceeded $10,000 at any time in 2016 are required to electronically file FinCen Form 114 to report them.

And for taxpayers with undisclosed overseas accounts from prior years…

Keep in mind IRS’s voluntary disclosure program, which lets account owners come in, fess up and pay any back taxes and a penalty to avoid criminal charges.

Let us know if you have any questions or need help filing this form.

Tax Tip: Calling Foul on Scammy Business Coaches

August 2nd, 2017

picStarting a small business is a big deal. That’s why people might consider getting a business coach to help.

But what if the coach doesn’t help, but actually hurts your interests?

Unfortunately, that’s what happened to thousands of people who wanted to start home-based internet businesses.

Read more >

Let us know if you have any questions

Tax Tip: IRS Phone Scams

August 2nd, 2017

picIt’s the start of August. But that hasn’t put a stop to IRS phone scams.

The latest involves fraudsters impersonating agency employees and calling victims to inform them of bogus certified letters that were returned to IRS as undeliverable.

The callers reference the Revenue Service’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System and tell victims to pay using a prepaid debit card or they’ll be reported to the police.

Report any suspicious calls to Treasury inspectors at 800-366-4484 and to the Federal Trade Commission by filing a consumer complaint at www.ftc.gov.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Tax Tip: Getting Married?

July 31st, 2017

picIf you’re getting married this year, we know you’re probably focused on things like the dress, the venue, the food, etc. As your accounting firm, we want to remind you of some “to dos” you should know considering your taxes and finances.

Here are 5 important things newlyweds should know.

1. If you change your name, be sure to report the name change to the Social Security Administration. Updating your name with the SSA is important because names and Social Security numbers on your tax return must match SSA records.

2. Be aware that if you get married during 2017 you will be considered to be married for the entire year for tax purposes. You and your spouse may choose to file as “married filing a joint return”, or “married filing a separate return” each year. Head of household status is no longer an option if you had previously filed that way because you have children living with you.

3. A change in marital status may, of course, result in a change in your tax bracket. Couples with very dissimilar incomes could end up owing less by getting married, in essence getting a “marriage bonus.” However, couples with similar incomes, may actually end up owing. Changing your withholding status to Married, instead of Single, may actually compound this problem. So, if you work, be sure to complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, so that your federal and state tax withholdings are adjusted as soon as possible. A tax projection might be helpful in many situations.

4. You should also inform the IRS if your address changes. You can do that by filing Form 8822, Change of Address, with the IRS.

5. Be aware that changes to retirement plan and life insurance beneficiaries may be needed as well when you marry. Generally, retirement plans and life insurance companies can only pay benefits to a participant’s/owner’s named beneficiaries upon his or her death. To change beneficiaries, you should contact your employer or plan administrator and your life insurance company to request change of beneficiary forms and complete them as indicated.

These are just a few things to think about when you come back from your honeymoon. If you have questions about how your new marriage will affect other financial matters, please contact us.

Tax Tip: Scammers Don’t Really Give Refunds

July 12th, 2017

picThe FTC has been cracking down on deceptive tech support operations that call or send pop-ups to make people think their computers are infected with viruses.

Recently, a woman who lost money to one of the defendant’s in the FTC cases got a call from someone who claimed to be with a company the FTC sued. (It was a lie. In reality, the company has closed.)

Read more >

Let us know if you have any questions.