Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15th - Tax Filing Deadline is Here!

Today is the filing deadline for your 2014 Individual Tax Returns and your 2014 Partnership Tax Returns! Today is also the deadline to file and pay your first quarter estimated tax payments.

If you haven't finished up your returns and you need to file an extension, come on in today to our office and we will take care of that for you...FOR FREE!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tips for Taxpayers Who Can't Pay Their Taxes on Time

If you find you owe tax after completing your federal tax return but can't pay it all when you file, the IRS wants you to know your options.

Here are four tips that can help you lower the amount of interest and penalties when you don’t pay the full amount on time.

1. File on time and pay as much as you can. Filing on time ensures that you will avoid the late filing penalty. Paying as much as you can reduces the late payment penalty and interest charges. For electronic payment options, see IRS.gov. If you pay by check, make it payable to the United States Treasury and include it with your return.

2. Consider getting a loan or paying by credit card. The interest and fees charged by a bank or credit card company may be lower than IRS interest and penalties. For credit card options, see IRS.gov.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Last-Minute Tax Tips for Procrastinators

It's April already. Are your taxes done? If your answer to the question is no, you are not alone. The Internal Revenue Service says as many as 25 percent of taxpayers file their returns the final two weeks before the filing deadline. The bad news for procrastinators is that they do not have the few extra days to get the job done as they have in the past with a weekend deadline and Monday Patriot's Day Holiday. The traditional tax return filing deadline is April 15 of each year, and April 15, 2015 comes a few days after Patriot's Day here in Massachusetts so you do not have extra days to timely file this year.

If you have not completed your taxes yet, here are some stress-relieving ideas:

Don't Procrastinate Anymore - Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the very last minute. Your return takes time to prepare and your preparer may need to request certain documents from you, which will take additional time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Federal Corporation Return Filing Deadline and Extensions


The deadline for filing federal calendar year corporation returns is rapidly approaching. These returns must be filed (e-filed or postmarked) by midnight (local time) on March 16, 2015, The deadline is the same for extensions.

Payment must accompany the return or extension if there are taxes due. An extension of time to file does not extend the time to pay taxes that are due.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How do I Apply for an employer identification number (EIN)?

Employers and other organizations must obtain an employer identification number (EIN) to identify themselves for tax administration purposes, such as starting a new business, withholding taxes on wages, or creating a trust. Entities apply for an EIN by filing IRS Form SS-4. Page two of the form advises whether an applicant needs an EIN.

Other entities that need an EIN include corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, state or local governments, and churches and other nonprofit organizations. Unincorporated entities (sole proprietorships) that establish a retirement plan or that file certain tax forms will also need an EIN for filing the relevant forms.

Application process

The IRS does not charge for obtaining an EIN and has sought to simplify the application process. Taxpayers may apply by mail, by fax, or online. International applicants may also apply by phone. In all cases, if the IRS determines that the applicant needs an EIN, the IRS will issue the EIN and transmit it to the taxpayer in the same manner as the application was made.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Focus on Tax Strategies

Taxes and inflation erode the return you make on your investment portfolio. If you are in a 30% tax bracket and inflation is 4%, you need to earn 5.7% to earn nothing.

Any effective plan to minimize your income taxes requires an ongoing effort on your part. That means you have to plan and make adjustments year-round, not just when you fill out your tax forms. Most tax preparers are just scorekeepers. They are reactive rather than proactive. You should work with a firm available throughout the year, not just one time a year.

There are three broad categories of tax-favored investments that reduce your income taxes. These are: “Tax-Exempt”, which offers income that is not taxed by the federal government; “Tax Deferred”, which defers taxes on accumulation until it is withdrawn; and “Tax Advantaged” instruments, which provide a tax credit against taxes.

Municipal bonds and Tax Free Money Market funds are two types of tax exempt vehicles.

The most popular tax-deferred investments are 401k plans, and IRA’s - both Traditional IRA’s and Roth IRA’s. Other tax-deferred alternatives are annuities, life insurance, and individual stocks and mutual funds.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Key Points to Know about Early Retirement Distributions

Some people take an early withdrawal from their IRA or retirement plan. Doing so in many cases
triggers an added tax on top of the income tax you may have to pay. Here are some key points you should know about taking an early distribution:

  1. Early Withdrawals.  An early withdrawal normally means taking the money out of your retirement plan before you reach age 59½.
  2. Additional Tax.  If you took an early withdrawal from a plan last year, you must report it to the IRS. You may have to pay income tax on the amount you took out. If it was an early withdrawal, you may have to pay an added 10 percent tax.
  3. Nontaxable Withdrawals.  The added 10 percent tax does not apply to nontaxable withdrawals. They include withdrawals of your cost to participate in the plan. Your cost includes contributions that you paid tax on before you put them into the plan. A rollover is a type of nontaxable withdrawal. A rollover occurs when you take cash or other assets from one plan and contribute the amount to another plan. You normally have 60 days to complete a rollover to make it tax-free.
  4. Check Exceptions.  There are many exceptions to the additional 10 percent tax. Some of the rules for retirement plans are different from the rules for IRAs. See IRS.gov for details about these rules.
  5. File Form 5329.  If you made an early withdrawal last year, you may need to file a form with your federal tax return. See Form 5329, Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts, for details.
  6. Use an authorized IRS e-file Tax Professional. Early withdrawal rules can be complex. IRS e-file is easiest and most accurate way to file your tax return. The tax professional that you use to e-file will pick the right tax forms, do the math and help you get the tax benefits you’re due. 

For more information or help on this topic, contact Northeast Financial Strategies at 800-560-4637.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

IRS Completes The "Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams for 2015

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service wrapped up the 2015 "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams today with a warning to taxpayers about aggressive telephone scams continuing coast-to-coast during the early weeks of this year's filing season.

The aggressive, threatening phone calls from scam artists continue to be seen on a daily basis in states across the nation. The IRS urged taxpayers not give out money or personal financial information as a result of these phone calls or from emails claiming to be from the IRS.

Phone scams and email phishing schemes are among the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams the IRS highlighted, for the first time, on 12 straight business days from Jan. 22 to Feb. 6. The IRS has also set up a special section on IRS.gov highlighting these 12 schemes for taxpayers.

"We are doing everything we can to help taxpayers avoid scams as the tax season continues," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Whether it's a phone scam or scheme to steal a taxpayer's identity, there are simple steps to take to help stop these con artists. We urge taxpayers to visit IRS.gov for more information and to be wary of these dozen tax scams."