Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Miscellaneous Deductions Can Cut Taxes

Keep Track of Miscellaneous Deductions

These deductions may include certain expenses you paid for in your work if you are an employee.

You must itemize deductions when you file to claim these costs. So if you usually claim the standard deduction, think about itemizing instead. You might pay less tax if you itemize.

Here are some IRS tax tips you should know that may help you reduce your taxes:

Some Miscellaneous Deductions Are Subject To An AGI Limitation.  You can deduct most miscellaneous costs only if their sum is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. These include expenses such as:
  • Unreimbursed employee expenses.
  • Job search costs for a new job in the same line of work.
  • Some work clothes and uniforms.
  • Tools for your job.
  • Union dues. • Work-related travel and transportation.
  • The cost you paid to prepare your tax return. These fees include the cost you paid for tax preparation software. They also include any fee you paid for e-filing of your return.
Some Miscellaneous Deductions Are Not Subject To An AGI Limitation.  They include:
  • Certain casualty and theft losses. In most cases, this rule applies to damaged or stolen property you held for investment.  This may include property such as stocks, bonds and works of art.
  • Gambling losses up to the total of your gambling winnings.
  • Losses from Ponzi-type investment schemes.
There are many expenses that you can’t deduct. For example, you can’t deduct personal living or family expenses. You claim allowable miscellaneous deductions on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. For more about this topic see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. You can get it on IRS.gov/forms at any time.
Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:
IRS Podcasts:
For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Monday, July 20, 2015

Top 10 Tips About Tax Breaks For The Military

If you are in the U. S. Armed Forces, special tax breaks may apply to you. 

For example, some types of pay are not taxable. Certain rules apply to deductions or credits that you may be able to claim that can lower your tax. In some cases, you may get more time to file your tax return. You may also get more time to pay your income tax.

Here are the top 10 IRS tax tips about these rules:
  1. Deadline Extensions.  Some members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone some tax deadlines. If this applies to you, you can get automatic extensions of time to file your tax return and to pay your taxes.
  2. Combat Pay Exclusion.  If you serve in a combat zone, certain combat pay you get is not taxable. You won’t need to show the pay on your tax return because combat pay is not part of the wages reported on your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. If you serve in support of a combat zone, you may qualify for this exclusion.
  3. Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC.  If you get nontaxable combat pay, you can include it to figure your EITC. Doing so may boost your credit. Even if you do, the combat pay stays nontaxable.
  4. Moving Expense Deduction.  You may be able to deduct some of your unreimbursed moving costs. This applies if the move is due to a permanent change of station.
  5. Uniform Deduction.  You can deduct the costs of certain uniforms that you can’t wear while off duty. This includes the costs of purchase and upkeep. You must reduce your deduction by any allowance you get for these costs.
  6. Signing Joint Returns.  Both spouses normally must sign a joint income tax return. If your spouse is absent due to certain military duty or conditions, you may be able to sign for your spouse. In other cases when your spouse is absent, you may need a power of attorney to file a joint return.
  7. Reservists’ Travel Deduction.  If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves, you may deduct certain costs of travel on your tax return. This applies to the unreimbursed costs of travel to perform your reserve duties that are more than 100 miles away from home.
  8. ROTC Allowances.  Some amounts paid to ROTC students in advanced training are not taxable. This applies to allowances for education and subsistence. Active duty ROTC pay is taxable. For instance, pay for summer advanced camp is taxable.
  9. Civilian Life.  If you leave the military and look for work, you may be able to deduct some job search expenses. You may be able to include the costs of travel, preparing a resume and job placement agency fees. Moving expenses may also qualify for a tax deduction.
  10. Tax Help.  Most military bases offer free tax preparation and filing assistance during the tax filing season. Some also offer free tax help after April 15.
For more, refer to Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide. It is available on IRS.gov/forms at any time.
Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:
IRS Podcasts:
For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Applicable Federal IRS Rates For August, 2015

Revenue Ruling 2015-16 provides various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes including the applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted federal long-term rate, the adjusted federal long-term tax-exempt rate.

These rates are determined as prescribed by § 1274.  The rates are published monthly for purposes of sections 42, 382, 412, 1288, 1274, 7520, 7872, and various other sections of the Internal Revenue Code.
It will appear in IRB 2015-31 dated Aug. 3, 2015.

For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn

Five Tax Tips About Hobbies That Earn Income

Millions of people enjoy hobbies. They can also be a source of income. Some of these types of hobbies include stamp or coin collecting, craft making and horse breeding.

You must report any income you get from a hobby on your tax return. How you report the income is different than how you report income from a business.

There are special rules and limits for deductions you can claim for a hobby.

Here are five basic tax tips you should know if you get income from your hobby:
  1. Business versus Hobby.  A key feature of a business is that you do the activity to make a profit. This differs from a hobby that you may do for sport or recreation. There are nine factors to consider when you determine if you do the activity to make a profit. Make sure you base your decision on all the facts and circumstances of your situation. Refer to Publication 535, Business Expenses to learn more. You can also visit IRS.gov and type “not-for-profit” in the search box.
  2. Allowable Hobby Deductions.  You may be able to deduct ordinary and necessary hobby expenses. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted for the activity. A necessary expense is one that is helpful or appropriate. See Publication 535 for more on these rules.
  3. Limits on Expenses.  As a general rule, you can only deduct your hobby expenses up to the amount of your hobby income. If your expenses are more than your income, you have a loss from the activity. You can’t deduct that loss from your other income.
  4. How to Deduct Expenses.  You must itemize deductions on your tax return in order to deduct hobby expenses. Your costs may fall into three types of expenses. Special rules apply to each type. See Publication 535 for how you should report them on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.
  5. Use IRS Free File.  Hobby rules can be complex. IRS Free File can make filing your tax return easier. IRS Free File is available until Oct. 15. If you make $60,000 or less, you can use brand-name tax software. If you earn more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. You can only access Free File through IRS.gov.
You can get Publication 535 on IRS.gov/forms at any time.
Additional IRS Resources:
For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ten Things To Know About Identity Theft And Your Taxes


Identity theft is a challenge to businesses, organizations and government agencies, including the IRS. 

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.


Many times, you may not be aware that someone has stolen your identity. The IRS may be the first to let you know you’re a victim of ID theft after you try to file your taxes.
The IRS combats tax-related identity theft with a strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. The IRS is making progress against this crime and it remains one of the agency’s highest priorities.
Here are ten things to know about ID Theft:

1. Protect your Records.  Do not carry your Social Security card or other documents with your SSN on them. Only provide your SSN if it’s necessary and you know the person requesting it. Protect your personal information at home and protect your computers with anti-spam and anti-virus software. Routinely change passwords for Internet accounts.

2. Don’t Fall for Scams.  The IRS will not call you to demand immediate payment, nor will it call about taxes owed without first mailing you a bill. Beware of threatening phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS. If you have no reason to believe you owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484.

3. Report ID Theft to Law Enforcement.  If your SSN was compromised and you think you may be the victim of tax-related ID theft, file a police report. You can also file a report with the Federal Trade Commission using the FTC Complaint Assistant. It’s also important to contact one of the three credit bureaus so they can place a freeze on your account.

4. Complete an IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit.  Once you’ve filed a police report, file an IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit.  Print the form and mail or fax it according to the instructions. Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.

5. Understand IRS Notices.  Once the IRS verifies a taxpayer’s identity, the agency will mail a particular letter to the taxpayer. The notice says that the IRS is monitoring the taxpayer’s account. Some notices may contain a unique Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) for tax filing purposes.

6. IP PINs.  If a taxpayer reports that they are a victim of ID theft or the IRS identifies a taxpayer as being a victim, they will be issued an IP PIN. The IP PIN is a unique six-digit number that a victim of ID theft uses to file a tax return. In 2014, the IRS launched an IP PIN Pilot program. The program offers residents of Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C., the opportunity to apply for an IP PIN, due to high levels of tax-related identity theft there.

7. Data Breaches.  If you learn about a data breach that may have compromised your personal information, keep in mind not every data breach results in identity theft.  Further, not every identity theft case involves taxes. Make sure you know what kind of information has been stolen so you can take the appropriate steps before contacting the IRS.

8. Report Suspicious Activity.  If you suspect or know of an individual or business that is committing tax fraud, you can visit IRS.gov and follow the chart on How to Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity.

9. Combating ID Theft.  Over the past few years, nearly 2,000 people were convicted in connection with refund fraud related to identity theft. The average prison sentence for identity theft-related tax refund fraud grew to 43 months in 2014 from 38 months in 2013, with the longest sentence being 27 years.   During 2014, the IRS stopped more than $15 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft.  Additionally, as the IRS improves its processing filters, the agency has also been able to halt more suspicious returns before they are processed. So far this year, new fraud filters stopped about 3 million suspicious returns for review, an increase of more than 700,000 from the year before.

10. Service Options. Information about tax-related identity theft is available online. We have a special section on IRS.gov devoted to identity theft and a phone number available for victims to obtain assistance.

For more on this Topic, see the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.
Additional IRS Resources:
IRS YouTube Videos:
IRS Podcasts:
For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt.

Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

Review-Like-Follow Us On Twitter Review-Like-Follow Us On Google-Plus Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn Review-Like-Follow Us On Yelp Review-Like-Follow Us On LinkedIn