April 24, 2014

IRS Tips

IRS Steps Up Audits For Small Businesses
February 17, 2011 by Jim Giuliano

The Internal Revenue Service has announced it’s going to increase the number of business audits. And here’s the kicker: It’s because the agency says it needs a little practice at the task.

The IRS just announced it’s rolling out its first National Research Program (NRP) in about 15 years this November. The agency says the reason for the program is to:

  • Improve agency compliance efforts, and
  • Better use existing resources.

For employers, this means a much greater chance of being audited over the next three years, because up to 2,000 companies could end up in the NRP over each of the next three years, IRS’s Anita Bartels told attendees of the American Payroll Association’s Annual Congress.

The selection process, which is already underway, is based on a statistical sample.

Rest assured, just because your firm gets audited doesn’t mean it did something wrong (e.g., file an incorrect return). Still, it can’t hurt to review now the four areas IRS says its examinations will focus on: worker classification, fringe benefits, nonfilers and officers’/directors’ compensation (especially S corporations).

IRS Tips

Tax Changes for Small Businesses

During 2010, new laws, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, created or expanded deductions and credits that small businesses and self-employed individuals should consider when completing their tax returns and making business decisions in 2011.

Health Insurance Deduction Reduces Self Employment Tax

With the enactment of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, self-employed taxpayers who pay their own health insurance costs can now reduce their net earnings from self-employment by these costs. Previously, the self-employed health insurance deduction was allowed only for income tax purposes. For tax year 2010, self-employed taxpayers can also reduce their net earnings from self employment subject to SE taxes on Schedule SE by the amount of self-employed health insurance deduction claimed on line 29 on Form 1040.

Taxpayers can claim the self-employed health insurance deduction if the insurance plan is established under their business and if any of the following are true:

  • They were self-employed and had a net profit for the year,
  • They used one of the optional methods to figure net earnings from self-employment on Schedule SE, or
  • They received wages from an S corporation in which the taxpayer was a more-than-2-percent shareholder.

During tax year 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, the self-employed health insurance deduction was claimed on 3.6 million tax returns, reducing taxpayers’ adjusted gross incomes by $21 billion.

IRS Tips

Top 10 Tax Time Tips For 2011

It’s that time of the year again. The income tax filing season has begun and important tax documents should be arriving in the mail. Even though your return is not due until April, getting an early start will make filing easier. Here are the Internal Revenue Service’s top 10 tips that will help your tax filing process run smoother than ever this year.

  1. Start gathering your records. Round up any documents or forms you’ll need when filing your taxes: receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support income or deductions you’re claiming on your return.
  2. Be on the lookout W-2s and 1099s you’ll need these to file your tax return.
  3. Use Free File Let Free File do the hard work for you with brand-name tax software or online fillable forms. It’s available exclusively at www.irs.gov. Everyone can find an option to prepare their tax return and e-file it for free. If you made $58,000 or less, you qualify for free tax software that is offered through a private-public partnership with manufacturers. If you made more or are comfortable preparing your own tax return, there’s Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic versions of IRS paper forms. Visit www.irs.gov/freefile to review your options.
  4. Try IRS e-file After 21 years, IRS e-file has become the safe, easy and most common way to file a tax return. Last year, 70 percent of taxpayers – 99 million people – used IRS e-file. Starting in 2011, many tax preparers will be required to use e-file and will explain your filing options to you. This is your chance to give it a try. IRS e-file is approaching 1 billion returns processed safely and securely. If you owe taxes, you have payment options to file immediately and pay by the tax deadline. Best of all, combine e-file with direct deposit and you get your refund in as few as 10 days.
  5. Consider other filing options There are many different options for filing your tax return.You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer.You may be eligible for free face-to-face help at an IRS office or volunteer site.Give yourself time to weigh all the different options and find the one that best suits your needs.
  6. Consider Direct Deposit If you elect to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, you’ll receive it faster than waiting for a paper check.
  7. Visit the IRS website again and again The official IRS website is a great place to find everything you’ll need to file your tax return: forms, publications, tips, answers to frequently asked questions and updates on tax law changes.
  8. Remember this number: 17 Check out IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax on the IRS website. It’s a comprehensive collection of information for taxpayers highlighting everything you’ll need to know when filing your return.
  9. Review! Review! Review! Don’t rush. We all make mistakes when we rush. Mistakes will slow down the processing of your return. Be sure to double-check all the Social Security Numbers and math calculations on your return as these are the most common errors made by taxpayers.
  10. Don’t panic! If you run into a problem, remember the IRS is here to help. Try www.irs.gov or call toll-free at 800-829-1040.

IRS Tips

IRS Kicks Off 2011 Tax Season with Deadline Extended to April 18; Taxpayers Impacted by Recent Tax Breaks Can File Starting in Mid to Late February
January 4, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service today opened the 2011 tax filing season by announcing that taxpayers have until April 18 to file their tax returns. The IRS reminded taxpayers impacted by recent tax law changes that using e-file is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds. Taxpayers will have until Monday, April 18 to file their 2010 tax returns and pay any tax due because Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Friday, April 15. By law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way
that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have three extra days to file this year. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 17 to file their 2010 tax returns.
The IRS expects to receive more than 140 million individual tax returns this year, with most of those being filed by the April 18 deadline.