How Now, W-4?

Your old W-4 form, which determines how much federal and state tax is withheld from your paycheck, might be yesterday’s news now. Federal tax reform is taking effect this year, and it promises to revamp tax returns with higher standard deductions, new tax brackets, boosts in Child Tax Credits and cuts in deductions, among other alterations. That could bring good or bad news for individual returns, depending on your circumstances. Clearly, some taxpayers will want to tweak their W-4s to avoid withholding too much – or, worse, too little – of their income for Uncle Sam before Tax Time. Do … Continue reading

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Wisconsin Shares The Wealth!

The Badger State is expecting a budget bonanza of almost $400 million, and the government now is returning a chunk of it to the state’s families! Taxpayers can claim a rebate of $100 for each dependent child, but they’ll have to act fast. Claims must be filed on or before July 2. The give-back, which is called the “Child Sales Tax Rebate,” is meant to offset state sales and use taxes on purchases made in 2017 for raising a child, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue announced. The child must be age 18 or younger on Dec. 31, 2017. Taxpayers just … Continue reading

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A Taxing Change For Some Road Warriors And Studious Workers

Employees who drive their own cars on the job for their companies no longer can expect Uncle Sam to pick up the tab for those miles. Their employers — maybe. But not the federal government. The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put the brakes on unreimbursed business mileage. Let’s be clear about this. The IRS still allows deductions for driving on business. In fact, the IRS raised the mileage rate for 2018 by a penny from last year; it’s now 54.5 cents a mile.  But, although employers and proprietors can claim mileage as a normal business expense, their employees … Continue reading

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Tax Deadline Can Be Extended – Automatically!

Has time slipped away too quickly this tax season? Are you still sorting receipts and furiously figuring out the numbers for your 2017 tax return? The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t accept “I’m too busy” as an excuse for procrastinating on a tax return. But the government does give taxpayers six more months to file the paperwork. An extension can be filed online or by mail. Better yet, it’s automatically approved. The IRS won’t ask you why you need it. BUT – and it can be a big “but” – the IRS still expects you to estimate income and pay any … Continue reading

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Hey, Partners!

Here’s an important alert for your 2017 tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service wants annual returns for partnerships and S Corporations to be filed a month earlier than returns for individual taxpayers. The due date for partnerships and S Corporations reporting on calendar tax years is Thursday, March 15. It applies if you’re filing a Form 1065 (U.S. Return of Partnership Income) or Form 1120S (U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation). Partnerships had been due on April 15th, but the IRS moved up the deadline to March from the standard April date beginning last season for 2016 returns. If … Continue reading

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More Credits Where Credits Are Due

Minnesota’s Legislature has given state taxpayers a bunch of tax credits and subtractions from income that they can start using on 2017 returns. Most apply to special situations. Nonetheless, many Minnesota taxpayers – who now are starting to fill in the blanks on their 2017 returns — are going to like these NEW tax breaks when their refunds arrive! Here are some to note: • Social Security Benefit Subtraction – This is one with fairly broad effect. Minnesotans who receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits can take as much as $3,500 off their income if filing as an individual, … Continue reading

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We’re On The Clock! Tax Season Opens Today (1/29)

Those W-2s and 1099s probably have been landing in your mailbox – or computer – for a couple of weeks or so. Now, taxpayers are able to fill in their returns and fire them off to the Internal Revenue Service. Today is the first day of the filing season for individual taxpayers. to pay income taxes or file for a refund! We’ll all have until April 17 this year to pay income taxes or file for a refund! The filing deadline once again has been pushed back a couple of days because of a holiday in the nation’s capital. The … Continue reading

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In a Hurry To File This Year?

If you’re among the eager taxpayers who just can’t wait to send in their tax returns – and, probably, collect their refunds — Jan. 29 is the opener. That’s when the Internal Revenue Service says it will start accepting an estimated 155 million returns for 2017 from individual taxpayers. But many businesses already can send in their 2017 tax forms, although that is not very well known. The IRS began accepting electronic filings from corporations, partnerships, trusts, non-profit organizations, etc., on Jan. 8, 2018, says Drake Software, maker of professional tax preparation software, in an announcement. Of course, there may … Continue reading

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Last Minute Tax Moves For 2017

Tax reform has dominated our national mindset lately. But, we’re still wrapping up the 2017 tax year, and few, if any, changes to tax codes are likely to take effect this year. So, what can you do now  to minimize federal and state taxes on your upcoming 2017 return? Here are some savvy steps to take no later than Dec. 31 with tax reform in mind, from Eric and the National Association of Tax Professionals: Personal taxes Income timing – Defer flexible income into 2018, if possible. Many taxpayers will benefit from lower tax brackets next year. Itemized deductions – Load … Continue reading

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Online crooks working a complex scam!

Once again, the Internal Revenue Service is warning the taxpaying public about a dangerous deception by cyber scammers. This one is particularly sophisticated, but it also is simple to foil. The Web criminals have been sending fake tax forms about life insurance using the names of tax preparers. The objective? To reach into the clients’ life insurance policies or annuities and steal money. With enough information, a nefarious somebody could take out loans or even clean out the value of an annuity. The IRS alert has a few tip-offs to watch for: • The subject line of the scam emails … Continue reading

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