Six Reasons to E-file your Taxes in 2017

Are you one of the few tax filers who still file a paper return? If so, now may be the best time to
switch to e-file. Last year almost 150 million taxpayers filed their taxes electronically. They chose to e-file because it’s the fastest and safest way to file.

Here are the top six reasons why you should file electronically in 2017:

  1. Accurate and Easy. IRS e-file is the best way to file an accurate tax return. The tax software helps you avoid mistakes by doing the math for you. It guides you through each section of your tax return. It is much easier than doing your taxes by hand and mailing paper tax forms.
  2. Safe and Secure. IRS e-file meets strict security guidelines. It uses modern encryption technology to protect tax returns. The IRS has processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed tax returns to date. This year, the IRS is working with states and tax industry leaders to protect your tax return from identity theft refund fraud. This new effort has put strong new safeguards in place to make tax filing safer than ever before.
  3. Convenient and Often Free. You can ask your tax preparer to e-file your tax return. Most paid preparers are required to file their clients’ returns electronically.
  4. Faster Refunds. In most cases, e-file helps get your refund faster. That’s because there is nothing to mail and your tax return is virtually mistake-free. The fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit into your bank account. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
  5. Health Care Tax Reporting. IRS e-file can help with tax provisions of the health care law. The software will walk you through the lines on the tax forms that relate to the Affordable Care Act.
  6. Payment Options. If you owe taxes, you can e-file early and set up an automatic payment on any day until the April 18 deadline. You can pay electronically from your bank account with IRS Direct Pay. You also have many other options to pay, including electronic funds withdrawal or payment by debit or credit card. Visit IRS.gov/payments for details.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

Of course, here at Northeast Financial Strategies we offer FREE E-File with every eligible return on both Federal and State returns. Contact our office for help today!


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Tax Filing Season is Here! Free Organizers & Discounts from NFS!

WRENTHAM, MA – Tax Season is HERE!! Some people hire a tax professional and some people choose to do it themselves – either way – NFS has an option for you!!

No matter where in the world you are, NFS can help you to prepare your US Federal and State Income Tax Returns. In person, by mail or email, we are here to help! With pricing less than most national chains, we can prepare your taxes and maximize your refund or minimize your balance due if you are one of those folks who has to pay.

All new clients receive a $30 DISCOUNT (Coupon Below) and existing clients should inquire about other discounts that may be available to them. NFS also offers free Income Tax Organizers for you to save time & money!

For those deciding to do it themselves, we offer an option to prepare your own returns directly from our Do It Yourself Online Tax Prep Website with FREE (1040EZ) & Affordable options & in most cases less than the “Boxed Software” or other popular online tax prep websites!!

Do-It-Yourself Tax Filing

If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, feel free to drop me an email jeff@nfsnet.com or give me a call toll free at 800-560-4NFS x 14.


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2017 Tax Filing Season Now Open

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service said this week that it successfully started accepting and processing 2016 federal individual income tax returns on schedule. More than 153 million returns are expected to be filed this year.

People have until Tuesday, April 18, 2017 to file their 2016 returns and pay any taxes due. The deadline is later this year due to several factors. The usual April 15 deadline falls on Saturday this year, which would normally give taxpayers until at least the following Monday. However, Emancipation Day, a D.C. holiday, is observed on Monday, April 17, giving taxpayers nationwide an additional day to file. By law, D.C. holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 to file.

“Following months of hard work, we successfully opened our processing systems today to start this year’s tax season,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Getting to this point is a year-round effort for the IRS and the nation’s tax community. The dedicated employees of the IRS look forward to serving taxpayers this filing season, and I want to thank all of the tax and payroll community for their hard work that makes tax time smoother for the nation.”

The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to get tax refunds this year. Last year, 111 million refunds were issued, with an average refund of $2,860.

Refund Delays

A law change now requires the IRS to hold refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. Under this change required by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC. Even though the IRS will begin releasing EITC and ACTC refunds on Feb. 15, many early filers will still not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27. The additional delay is due to several factors, including weekends, the Presidents Day holiday and the time banks often need to process direct deposits.

This law change gives the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud. Beyond the EITC and ACTC refunds and the additional security safeguards, the IRS anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible a particular return may require additional review and take longer. Taxpayers are reminded that state tax agencies have their own refund processing timeframes that vary, and some states may make additional reviews to ensure their refunds are being issued properly. Even so, taxpayers should file as usual, and tax return preparers should submit returns as they normally do.

Use e-File

The IRS expects more than 80 percent of returns to be filed electronically. Choosing e-file and direct deposit remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.

Protecting Taxpayers from Identity Theft-Related Refund Fraud

The IRS continues to work with state tax authorities and the tax industry to address tax-related identity theft and refund fraud. As part of the Security Summit effort, stronger protections for taxpayers and the nation’s tax system are in effect for the 2017 tax filing season.

The new measures attack tax-related identity theft from multiple sides. Many changes will be invisible to taxpayers but will help the IRS, states and the tax industry provide new protections. New security requirements will better protect tax software accounts and personal information.

Renew ITIN to Avoid Refund Delays

Many Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) expired on Jan. 1, 2017. This includes any ITIN not used on a tax return at least once in the past three years. Also now expired is any ITIN with middle digits of either 78 or 79 (Example: 9NN-78-NNNN or 9NN-79-NNNN). Affected taxpayers should act soon to avoid refund delays and possible loss of eligibility for some key tax benefits until the ITIN is renewed. An ITIN is used by anyone who has tax-filing or payment obligations under U.S. tax law but is not eligible for a Social Security number.

It can take up to 11 weeks to process a complete and accurate ITIN renewal application. For that reason, the IRS urges anyone with an expired ITIN needing to file a return this tax season to submit their ITIN renewal application soon.

New AGI requirement for e-file

All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a tax filing software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

Filing Assistance

The IRS reminds taxpayers that a trusted tax professional can provide helpful information about the tax laws. A number of tips about selecting a preparer and information about national tax professional groups are available on IRS.gov.

The IRS urges all taxpayers to make sure they have all their year-end statements in hand before filing. This includes Forms W-2 from employers and Forms 1099 from banks and other payers. Doing so will help avoid refund delays and the need to file an amended return.

Please contact our office for help with all of your tax filing needs.

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IRS Sets Rules for 1099’s

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires you to report certain payments you make as part of your business (including rental properties) to both the payee and IRS.  There are new tax law changes regarding 1099-MISC forms that we felt you needed to be made aware of.

If you paid anyone $600 or more during 2016, you and/or your business may need to issue Form 1099-MISC to the individuals or businesses that you paid.  This memo will explain your requirements and the penalties for not following the new regulations.  We will also explain the costs to engage Northeast Financial Strategies Inc. to prepare these forms for you.

When is a 1099-MISC Required?

You are required to report on Form 1099-MISC when payments are made in the course of your trade or business.  This business can be from general business, farming, rentals or any trade or business in which you own with intent to operate for gain or profit.

You must file a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, for each person or entity to who you have paid during the year that is not a Corporation.

  • At least $10 in Royalties
  • At least $600 in 
  1. Rents
  2. Services (the dollar amount includes parts and materials)
  3. Prizes and Awards
  4. Other Income Payments
  5. Barter Income
  6. Medical and Health Care Payments
  7. Crop Insurance Proceeds
  8. Cash payments for fish you purchase from anyone engaged in the trade or business of catching fish
  9. Any fishing boat proceeds
  10. Gross proceeds of $600 or more paid to an attorney (no exception for corporation)

Generally you do not have to issue a Form 1099-MISC for non-employee compensation paid to a corporation.  Payments to corporations are reported only if they are for medical, veterinary, health care, legal or fishing activities.

If the following four conditions are met, you must generally report a payment as non-employee compensation.

*You made the payment to someone who is not your employee (in other words, you didn’t issue them a W-2);
*You made the payment for services or for rent in the course of your trade or business.  This also includes payments made by nonprofit organizations;
*You made the payment to an individual, partnership, LLC, estate and in some cases, a corporation; and
*You made total payments to the payee of at least $600 during the calendar year.

Example: If a meat shop business paid a self-employed plumber, Jones Plumbing, $750 for labor and materials to repair and replace floor drains, it would have to issue a Form 1099-MISC to Jones Plumbing.  If Jones Plumbing is listed as Jones Plumbing LLC, then a 1099-MISC is still required. However, if the plumber is Jones Plumbing Inc., no 1099 is required.  If you are not sure, then it is always better for you to issue the 1099.

What should be included on a Form 1099?

The following information is required by IRS for the processing of the 1099.

  • The payee’s full name.
  • The social security number or Employer Identification Number.
  • The legal address of the individual or business.
  • The dollar amount, including labor and material, paid to the payee.

All of this information is obtained from a completed form W-9.  We have enclosed one for you that can be photocopied and used.  Original W-9’s are not required; photo copies will not be accepted. Our office recommends that you ALWAYS obtain a completed Form W-9 from any new contractor or business BEFORE you issue them a check.

Why should I mess with filing these forms, after all, I am just a very small business?  This is a huge hassle!

With the passing of what is termed the PATH Act by Congress, there have been significant changes made to the issue of 1099’s.  These are the law changes.

  1. All 1099’s must be completed and mailed to both the payee and the Internal Revenue Service no later than January 31, 2017.
  2. The penalty for NOT filing a required 1099 is $100 per form.  This means if you have four subcontractors that you paid and you fail to issue 1099’s, your penalty is $400.
  3. The penalty for Intentional Disregard is $250 per payee.  In other words, you received this letter and you decided it was too much of a hassle; you will be fined $1,000 for the same four subcontractors.
  4. Any expenses on your tax return that required a 1099 to be issued, such as rents and subcontractors, will be disallowed if you fail to file the proper 1099’s.
  5. There is a check box on all business schedules that ask if you are required to file any 1099’s and if you are, did you do so.  If our office prepares your taxes, we will answer this question honestly.  Failures on anyone’s part to not answer this question honestly is considered Fraud under the Internal Revenue Code.

Can Northeast Financial Strategies Inc. prepare and file these forms for me?

We are able to prepare all Form 1099’s for you and this year!

In order to complete these forms:

1. Please provide us with a complete list of anyone needing a 1099 form. The following information is required:
a. Name as it appears on the payments you made
b. Address of the payee
c. Social Security number or Employer Identification Number of the payee
d. Total amount you paid to them during 2016
e. Type of payments made, such as payment for services, rents, etc.
2. We will complete 1099 projects in the order they are received at our office.
3. If the package of data you send to us is not complete, we reserve the right to not begin work until the full package is received.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 800-560-4637.  Anyone on the NFS team can answer your questions about 1099-MISC filing requirements.

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IRS Standard Mileage Rates Starting January 1, 2017

Instead of using the business portion of the actual expenses of operating a vehicle, IRS permits taxpayers to use a standard mileage rate.  The rates have now been released for travel on or after January 1, 2017.

Business rate is 53.5 cents per mile (down from 54 for 2016).  The depreciation portion of this rate is 25 cents per mile (up from 24 for 2016).

Charitable rate is 14 cents per mile and is set by Congress therefore will not change until Congress makes such a change.

Medical and moving rate is 17 cents per mile (down from 19 for 2016).

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