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Tax Planning And Preparation Can Save You In The Long Run

Tax_Planning_and_Preparation_Can_Save_You_in_the_Long_Run

With today’s ever-changing economic climate, it’s imperative to have an expert in tax planning and preparation on your side. As everyone knows, tax laws are already complicated. But to make things worse, they still undergo frequent changes that could affect the way you do business, pay taxes, and file your year-end returns.

Many individuals and business owners believe they are well-equipped to handle their own tax planning and preparation. While some of them have the education and experience to handle it, the changing nature of tax codes makes it difficult to stay on top of it all.

That’s why professional and tax planning services are so helpful. Accounting firms and CPAs make it their full-time job to stay on top of the tax code and keep you out of trouble. They understand the laws and loopholes, and can take away the headache – and inherent risk – involved in doing your own taxes. A professional tax preparer can help you:

  • Relax — Doing their taxes is one of those things everyone dreads. At its best, it’s a tedious process – especially for businesses. At its worst, it can lead to audits, deficits, and legal nightmares. When you let the professionals handle your taxes, you know they’re done right. And that’s peace of mind.
  • Prepare — A professional accounting firm can keep your tax liability in mind as you do business throughout the year, so you don’t face unnecessary and unpleasant surprises on April 15th.
  • Save money — A lot of people and businesses hesitate to hire an accountant due to the expense. The truth is, it may cost less than you think to hire a qualified professional. If you’re receiving a return, many people will actually pay nothing “out of pocket” for the service. And most importantly, a certified tax preparer knows how to reduce your tax liability so you never pay more than you have to.
  • Save time — April 15th does’t have to loom large over your psyche like a clown with a chainsaw. People who hire a tax professional simply don’t have to worry. Just provide the necessary information and let them take care of the rest. No perusing tax manuals, searching for answers online, or waiting in line at the post office.

Filling your tax returns doesn’t have to cause indigestion. Hiring a professional accountant can not only take the worry off your shoulders, but could end up saving you fines, audits, and legal ramifications over the long run. It’s an investment that always pays off.

 

IRS Update: “Moving this Year? If You Receive the Premium Tax Credit, Report this Life Event”

IRS Update (see http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USIRS/bulletins/117ac27):

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IRS Tax Tips September 2, 2015

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Issue Number:    HCTT-2015-54

Inside This Issue


Moving this Year? If You Receive the Premium Tax Credit, Report this Life Event

If you moved recently, you’ve probably notified several organizations – like the U.S. Postal Service and utility companies – about your new address. You may have even notified the IRS about your address change.  If you get health insurance coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace, you should add one more important notification to your list: the Marketplace.

If you are receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit, it is particularly important that you report changes in circumstances, including moving, to the Marketplace. There’s a simple reason. Reporting your move lets the Marketplace update the information used to determine your eligibility for a Marketplace plan, which may affect the appropriate amount of advance payments of the premium tax credit that the government sends to your health insurer on your behalf.

Reporting the changes will help you avoid having too much or not enough premium assistance paid to reduce your monthly health insurance premiums. Getting too much premium assistance means you may owe additional money or get a smaller refund when you file your taxes. On the other hand, getting too little could mean missing out on monthly premium assistance that you deserve.

Changes in circumstances that you should report to the Marketplace include:

  • an increase or decrease in your income, including lump sum payments like a lump sum payment of Social Security benefits
  • marriage or divorce
  • the birth or adoption of a child
  • starting a job with health insurance
  • gaining or losing your eligibility for other health care coverage

Many of these changes in circumstances – including moving out of the area served by your current Marketplace plan – qualify you for a special enrollment period to change or get insurance through the Marketplace. In most cases, if you qualify for the special enrollment period, you will have sixty days to enroll following the change in circumstances. You can find information about special enrollment periods atHealthCare.gov.

The Premium Tax Credit Change Estimator can help you estimate how your premium tax credit will change if you experience a change in circumstance during the year.

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Failing to File 2014 Tax Returns Affects Advance Payments of Premium Tax Credit in 2016

In their August 7th e-Newsletter, the IRS announced that Failing to file 2014 tax returns will affect the advance payment of Premium Tax Credit. An excerpt from the newsletter is listed below. To view the full newsletter click here.


Remind your clients who received advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2014 that they should file their 2014 tax return as soon as possible this summer, even if they have an extension, to protect their eligibility for advance payments from their Marketplace in 2016. Depending on the situation the IRS is currently sending Letter 5591, Letter 5591A or Letter 5596 to taxpayers who received 2014 advance payments, but have not yet filed their tax return. The letters remind taxpayers of the importance of filing their 2014 federal tax return along with Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, as soon as possible. For more information, see Understanding your Letter 5591, Understanding your Letter 5591A, Understanding your Letter 5596 and the ACA What’s Trending page.

 

“Issue Number: 2015-31.” E-News for Tax Professionals 7 Aug. 2015. IRS.

IRS Tax Scam Warning: Don’t Fall for New Tax Scam Tricks by IRS Posers

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IRS Tax Tips August 12, 2015

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Issue Number:    IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2015-18

Inside This Issue


Don’t Fall for New Tax Scam Tricks by IRS Posers

Though the tax season is over, tax scammers work year-round. The IRS advises you to stay alert to protect yourself against new ways criminals pose as the IRS to trick you out of your money or personal information. These scams first tried to sting older Americans, newly arrived immigrants and those who speak English as a second language. The crooks have expanded their net, and now try to swindle virtually anyone. Here are several tips from the IRS to help you avoid being a victim of these scams:

  • Scams use scare tactics.  These aggressive and sophisticated scams try to scare people into making a false tax payment that ends up with the criminal. Many phone scams use threats to try to intimidate you so you will pay them your money. They often threaten arrest or deportation, or that they will revoke your license if you don’t pay. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests, sometimes through “robo-calls,” via phone or email. The emails will often contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or an email address for you to reply.
  • Scams use caller ID spoofing.  Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legit. They may use online resources to get your name, address and other details about your life to make the call sound official.
  • Scams use phishing email and regular mail.  Scammers copy official IRS letterhead to use in email or regular mail they send to victims. In another new variation, schemers provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment they make. All in an attempt to make the scheme look official.
  • Scams cost victims over $20 million.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has received reports of about 600,000 contacts since October 2013. TIGTA is also aware of nearly 4,000 victims who have collectively reported over $20 million in financial losses as a result of tax scams.

The real IRS will not:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount that you owe.
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not provide any information to the caller. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident.
  • You should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe taxes:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you if you do owe taxes.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.

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This message was distributed automatically from the IRS Tax Tips mailing list.Please Do Not Reply To This Message.

 

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