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  • Learn about the services we offer.
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  • Link to a variety of news and other helpful sites.
  • Take Advantage of numerous tax tips.

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Visit often as additional news and helpful information will be continually added in an effort to serve you better.

 

Announcements

How to Receive our Monthly Newsletter

Do you like our "Weekly Tax Tips" would you like to receive our monthly e-mail newsletter distributed on the first Friday of each month. The newsletter covers a broad array of tax and financial information.

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Welcome to Our Client Portal

Starting October 1st, 2012, our clients can now log into to our secure client portal.

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News

Tax Season Opens As Planned Following Extenders Legislation

IR-2014-119, Dec. 29, 2014

WASHINGTON -- Following the passage of the extenders legislation, the Internal Revenue Service announced today it anticipates opening the 2015 filing season as scheduled in January.

The IRS will begin accepting tax returns electronically on Jan. 20. Paper tax returns will begin processing at the same time.

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New Standard Mileage Rates Now Available; Business Rate to Rise in 2015

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014 
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.

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Tips from IRS for Year-End Gifts to Charity

IRS YouTube Videos:
Year-End Tax Tips: English
Charitable Contributions: English | Spanish | ASL
Exempt Organizations Select Check: English | Spanish | ASL

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today reminded individuals and businesses making year-end gifts to charity that several important tax law provisions have taken effect in recent years. Some of the changes taxpayers should keep in mind include:

Rules for Charitable Contributions of Clothing and Household Items

Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. Clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better to be tax-deductible. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return.

Donors must get a written acknowledgement from the charity for all gifts worth $250 or more. It must include, among other things, a description of the items contributed.

Guidelines for Monetary Donations

A taxpayer must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity in order to deduct any donation of money, regardless of amount. The record must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, and bank, credit union and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the transaction posting date.

Donations of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document furnished by the employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.

These requirements for the deduction of monetary donations do not change the long-standing requirement that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. However, one statement containing all of the required information may meet both requirements.

Reminders

The IRS offers the following additional reminders to help taxpayers plan their holiday and year-end gifts to charity:

  • Qualified charities. Check that the charity is eligible. Only donations to eligible organizations are tax-deductible. Select Check, a searchable online tool available on IRS.gov, lists most organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. In addition, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations. That is true even if they are not listed in the tool’s database.
  • Year-end gifts. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2014 count for 2014, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2015. Also, checks count for 2014 as long as they are mailed in 2014.
  • Itemize deductions. For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction. This includes anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc.) exceed the standard deduction. Use the 2014 Form 1040 Schedule A to determine whether itemizing is better than claiming the standard deduction.
  • Record donations. For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, get from the charity, if possible, a receipt that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and a reasonably-detailed description of the donated property. If a donation is left at a charity’s unattended drop site, keep a written record of the donation that includes this information, as well as the fair market value of the property at the time of the donation and the method used to determine that value. Additional rules apply for a contribution of $250 or more.
  • Special Rules. The deduction for a car, boat or airplane donated to charity is usually limited to the gross proceeds from its sale. This rule applies if the claimed value is more than $500. Form 1098-C or a similar statement, must be provided to the donor by the organization and attached to the donor’s tax return.

If the amount of a taxpayer’s deduction for all noncash contributions is over $500, a properly-completed Form 8283 must be submitted with the tax return.

IRS.gov has additional information on charitable giving, including:

New YouTube Video Discusses Taxpayer Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today released a new YouTube video encouraging taxpayers to learn about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

The video, featuring IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, provides information to taxpayers about their rights under the nation’s tax laws.

“I’m pleased that we now have a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which lays out in plain language 10 fundamental rights included in our tax code,”

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IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.

Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams. 

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Tax Tips Small Business

Determining Qualified Business Expenses

Be sure to deduct every legitimate expense

Amounts you spend in the course of conducting business are generally deductible from the gross income of that business. This includes any start-up expenses. You can claim amounts spent for items ordinary and necessary in your trade or business as a deduction against your income. Otherwise, the amounts are amortized, depreciated, or expensed depending on the nature of the purchases.

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Small Business Quick Tip

Employer Provided Education

Employer-provided education assistance benefits of $5,250 provided under a written plan are excludable from wages. The education doesn't need to be job-related to qualify.
Sunday, 25th January 2015
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What is an Enrolled Agent and why should I care?

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Weekly Tax Tip

Tax Tips Personal

Summer Day Care

What expenses qualify for the childcare credit?

Parents who have children under the age of 13 are allowed a tax credit for childcare expenses paid so they can work. In the summer, many parents send their children to a structured day camp or an overnight camp for a week or two at a time. In most cases, the cost of sending your child to a camp of this nature does not qualify as a childcare expense, even if one of the reasons for sending the child is for care.

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Personal Quick Tip

Qualified Mortgage Insurance

In 2013, premiums that are paid or accrued for "qualified mortgage insurance" in connection with home acquisition debt on your residence are deductible as home mortgage interest.