Thursday, October 12, 2017

IRS Tips For Business Owners Whose Records Are Destroyed In Hurricane Or Flood

Tips for Business Owners Who Need to Reconstruct Records After a Disaster
After a disaster, many business owners might need to reconstruct records to prove a loss. This may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance, or insurance reimbursement.


Here are four tips for businesses that need to reconstruct their records:
  • To create a list of lost inventories, business owners can get copies of invoices from suppliers. Whenever possible, the invoices should date back at least one calendar year.
  • For information about income, business owners can get copies of last year’s federal, state and local tax returns. These include sales tax reports, payroll tax returns, and business licenses from the city or county. These will reflect gross sales for a given period.
  • Owners should check their mobile phone or other cameras for pictures and videos of their building, equipment and inventory.
  • Business owners who don’t have photographs or videos can simply sketch an outline of the inside and outside of their location. For example, for the inside the building, they can draw out where equipment and inventory was located. For the outside of the building, they can map out the locations of items such as shrubs, parking, signs, and awnings.
More Information:

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Monday, October 9, 2017

CELEBRATE COLUMBUS DAY AND HOW WHITE EUROPEANS MADE THIS COUNTRY GREAT FOR ALL PEOPLE

CELEBRATE COLUMBUS DAY AND HOW WHITE EUROPEANS MADE THIS COUNTRY SO GREAT AND FREE THAT PEOPLE OF COLOR AND MINORITIES WANT TO COME AND LIVE HERE RATHER THAN IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES !!

So obsessed are these anti-historians that they’ve started a nationwide attempt to rename Columbus Day, Indigenous People’s Day, which as The Federalist points out, is far worse:

When thinking of pre-Columbian America, forget what you’ve seen in the Disney movies. Think “slavery, cannibalism and mass human sacrifice.” From the Aztecs to the Iroquois, that was life among the indigenous peoples before Columbus arrived.

For all the talk from the angry and indigenous about European slavery, it turns out that pre-Columbian America was virtually one huge slave camp. According to “Slavery and Native Americans in British North America and the United States: 1600 to 1865,” by Tony Seybert, “Most Native American tribal groups practiced some form of slavery before the European introduction of African slavery into North America.”

“Enslaved warriors sometimes endured mutilation or torture that could end in death as part of a grief ritual for relatives slain in battle. Some Indians cut off one foot of their captives to keep them from running away.”

Things changed when the Europeans arrived, however: “Indians found that British settlers… eagerly purchased or captured Indians to use as forced labor. More and more, Indians began selling war captives to whites.”

That’s right: Pocahontas and her pals were slave traders. If you were an Indian lucky enough to be sold to a European slave master, that turned out to be a good thing, relatively speaking. At least you didn’t end up in a scene from “Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom.”


Monday, August 28, 2017

IRS Issues Urgent Warning: Beware IRS/FBI Ransomware Scam


Avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage.


The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. 

However instead of a questionnaire the link downloads a certain type of Trojan Horse type of malware called "ransomware" that prevents users from accessing the data stored on their computer/device unless they pay a money ransom to the scammers.

“This is a new twist on an old scheme,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People should stay vigilant against email scams that try to impersonate the IRS and other agencies that try to lure you into clicking a link or opening an attachment.  People with a tax issue won’t get their first contact from the IRS with a threatening email or phone call."

IRS YouTube Videos:


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Monday, August 21, 2017

Need To Amend Your Personal Tax Return? File Form 1040X


File an amended tax return to correct information that changes tax calculations.  This includes making changes to filing status and dependents, or correcting income credits or deductions.

Don’t file an amended return to fix math errors because the IRS will correct those.


The IRS offers tips on how to amend a tax return:
  1. File using paper form. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct errors to an original tax return the taxpayer has already filed. Taxpayers can’t file amended returns electronically. Mail the Form 1040X to the address listed in the form’s instructions.

  2. Preparing Form 1040X. Many taxpayers find the easiest way to figure the entries for Form 1040X is to make the changes in the margin of the original tax return and then transfer the numbers to their Form 1040X. Taxpayers should be sure to check a box at the top to show the year they are amending. Form 1040X will be the taxpayer’s new tax return, changing the original entries to include new information. Taxpayers should explain what they are changing and why on the second page of Form 1040X in Part III.

  3. Know when to amend. Taxpayers should amend a tax return to correct their filing status, the number of dependents or total income. They should also amend to claim deductions or credits not claimed or to remove deductions and credits they are not entitled to on the original return. The instructions for Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, list more reasons to amend a return.

  4. Know when NOT to amend. In some cases, it is not necessary to amend a tax return. Taxpayers should not worry about math errors because the IRS will make the correction. Taxpayers do not need to amend their return if they forgot to include a required form or schedule. The IRS will mail a request to the taxpayer, if needed.

  5. Use separate forms for each tax year. Taxpayers amending tax returns for more than one year will need a separate 1040X for each tax year. Mail each tax year’s Form 1040X in separate envelopes. See "Where to File" in the instructions for Form 1040X for the correct address.

  6. Include other forms or schedules. If a taxpayer makes changes to any form or schedule, they should attach them to the Form 1040X when filing. Not doing so could cause a delay in processing.

  7. Wait to file for corrected refund for tax year 2016. Taxpayers should wait for the refund from their original tax return before filing an amended return. It is okay to cash the refund check from the original return before receiving any additional refund. Amended returns can take up to 16 weeks to process.

  8. Pay additional tax. Taxpayers filing an amended return because they owe more tax should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible. This will limit interest and penalty charges.

  9. File within three-year time limit. Generally, to claim a refund, taxpayers must file a Form 1040X within three years from the date they timely filed their original tax return or within two years from the date the person pays the tax, whichever is later. For taxpayers who filed their original return early (for example, March 1 for a calendar year return), their return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15).

  10. Track your amended return. Taxpayers can track the status of an amended return three weeks after filing. Go to “Where’s My Amended Return?” or call 866-464-2050.
Get Form 1040X on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:

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Friday, August 11, 2017

IRS Tax Tips For Starting A New Business

 

If summer plans include starting a business, be sure to visit our detailed information page for entity selection, formation, and startup considerations.



New business owners may also find the following five IRS tax tips helpful:

1. Business Structure.  An early choice to make is to decide on the type of structure for the business. The most common types are sole proprietor, partnership and corporation. The type of business chosen will determine which tax forms to file.

2. Business Taxes. There are four general types of business taxes. They are income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax. In most cases, the types of tax a business pays depends on the type of business structure set up. Taxpayers may need to make estimated tax payments. If so, use IRS Direct Pay to make them. It’s the fast, easy and secure way to pay from a checking or savings account.

3. Employer Identification Number (EIN).  Generally, businesses may need to get an EIN for federal tax purposes. Search “EIN” on IRS.gov to find out if the number is necessary. If needed, it’s easy to apply for it online.

4. Accounting Method.  An accounting method is a set of rules used to determine when to report income and expenses. Taxpayers must use a consistent method. The two most common are the cash and accrual methods:

a. Under the cash method, taxpayers normally report income and deduct expenses in the year that they receive or pay them.
b. Under the accrual method, taxpayers generally report income and deduct expenses in the year that they earn or incur them. This is true even if they get the income or pay the expense in a later year.
Get all the basics of starting a business on IRS.gov at the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center.

IRS You Tube Videos: 
  • IRS Small Business Self-Employed Tax CenterEnglish
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Monday, July 24, 2017

IRS Income Tax Tips: Making The Most Out Of Miscellaneous Deductions

Miscellaneous deductions are tax breaks that generally don’t fit into a particular tax category.  They can help reduce taxable income and the amount of taxes owed. 

For example, some employees can deduct certain work expenses like uniforms as miscellaneous deductions.  To do that, they must itemize their deductions instead of taking the standard deduction on their tax return.

Here are several tips from the IRS about miscellaneous deductions:

  • The Two Percent Limit.  Most miscellaneous costs are deductible only if the sum exceeds 2% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI).  For example, before being able to deduct certain expenses, a taxpayer with $50,000 in AGI must come up with more than $1,000 in miscellaneous deductions.  Expenses may include:
    • Unreimbursed employee expenses.
    • Job search costs for a new job in the same line of work.
    • Job tools.
    • Union dues.
    • Work-related travel and transportation.
    • The cost paid to prepare a tax return. These fees include the cost paid for tax preparation software. They also include any fee paid for e-filing a return.
  • Deductions Not Subject to the Limit. Some deductions are not subject to the 2% limit. They include:
    • Certain casualty and theft losses. In most cases, this rule is for damaged or stolen property held for investment. This may include property such as stocks, bonds and works of art.
    • Gambling losses up to the total of gambling winnings.
    • Losses from Ponzi-type investment schemes.
Taxpayers can’t deduct some expenses. For example, personal living or family expenses are not deductible. To claim allowable miscellaneous deductions, taxpayers must use Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. For more about this topic, see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. Get them on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

Avoid scams. The IRS will never initiate contact using social media or text message. First contact generally comes in the mail. Those wondering if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on IRS.gov to find out.

Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An Open Letter To Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein And Special Counsel Robert Mueller

The latest news of another left wing progressive attacking and murdering republicans over the hysteria created by this fake witch hunt Russia collusion story should give Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller pause.

The left wing news media and the democrats will continue to agitate for civil war for as long as Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller are allowed to continue this farce witch hunt investigation.  Trump supporters will not likely sit idly by forever while these violent attacks continue, and when/if the Trump supporters begin to defend themselves and their constitutionally elected President a modern civil war could erupt.

I hope Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller will understand that this phony Russia witch hunt may well become this century's Dread Scott decision.  How this phony Russia witch hunt is handled and resolved could either quell or provoke this Century's civil war.  Just as the Dread Scott decision lead directly to our 19th century civil war.

For the sake of the Union, Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller need to understand that no trumped up process crime prosecutions (obstruction, etc.) are likely to be tolerated by a substantial portion of the public.  The only way to end this matter peacefully is to quickly bring any actual charges of actual non-process crimes out into the open (if there are any) and otherwise wrap up this phony witch hunt investigation within the next 60 days.  If they don't, the media and the democrats will continue to agitate for civil war, and Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller will not be able to escape moral responsibility for contributing to the resulting carnage.

I urge Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller to think of the country, and not have such a narrowly blind focus to the world around them that they make today decisions that will live in infamy.  Their handling of these matters should be guided accordingly.  Taking too long risks the media and the democrats igniting a new civil war.  Making the wrong decisions and a failure to exercise prosecutorial discretion for the good of the country also risks igniting a new civil war.

Supporters of our constitutionally elected President are watching and for now waiting for the system to put an end to these phony witch hunts.  I'm begging them both to act accordingly for the good of the country.

I doubt the Supreme Court thought their plain property law decision in Dread Scott that followed logical prior precedents in the law of property would lead to the civil war of the 19th century and the deaths of 500,000 citizens.  Yet that is exactly what happened.  The court's blind excuses and failure to act for the preservation of the union should not be repeated by Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller.

Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.