Archive for the ‘Tax Returns’ Category

Tax Returns- In Addition to My Basic Records, What Records Should I Keep? (Part 3)

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Following is a list of records to keep in addition to your basic income and expense records:

Medical and Dental Expenses – In addition to the medical expense records, you should keep records of transportation expenses that are primarily for and essential to medical care.  You should record in a diary gas and oil expenses directly related to your medical transportation.  If you don’t want to keep records of these actual expenses, you can keep a log of the miles you drive for medical purposes and use the standard mileage rate.  You should also keep records of any parking fees, tolls, taxi fares, and bus fares.

Mortgage Interest – If you paid mortgage interest, you should receive Form 1098, a Mortgage Interest Statement.  Keep this with your mortgage statement and loan information.

Moving Expenses – You may be able to deduct qualified moving expenses that are not reimbursed.  See IRS Publication 521 to see what expenses qualify and what records you need.

Taxes – Keep Form W-2 and Form 1099-R.  If you made estimated tax payments, you need to keep a copy of your checks.  If you received a refund of state income taxes, you need to keep Form 1099-G.  Keep mortgage statements, tax assessments or other documents as records of the real estate and personal property taxes you paid.  If you deducted actual state and local general sales taxes instead of using the state sales tax tables, you must keep you actual receipts showing general sales taxes paid.

Tips – You must keep a daily record to accurately report your tips on your return.  You can use IRS Publication 1244 to record your tips.

Afraid you may miss something?  We can help.

Call today.  Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Returns- In Addition to My Basic Records, What Records Should I Keep? (Part 2)

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Following is a list of records to keep in addition to your basic income and expense records:

Education Expenses- You should keep transcripts that show periods of enrollment and cancelled checks and receipts that verify amounts you spent on tuition, books, and other educational expenses.

Energy Incentives- If you want to claim one of the tax incentives for the purchase of energy efficient products, you must keep records to prove: when and how you acquired the property, the price of the property and that the property qualified for the credit.

Gambling Winnings and Losses- You must keep an accurate diary of your winnings and losses that includes the: date and type of gambling activity, name and address of the gambling establishment, and the amount you won or lost.  See IRS Publication 529 about gambling losses.

Health Savings Account and Medical Savings Account – For each qualified medical expense you pay with a distribution from your HSA or MSA, you must keep a record of the name and address of each person you paid and the amount and date of the payment.

Afraid you may miss something?  We can help.

Call today.  Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Returns- In Addition to My Basic Records, What Records Should I Keep? (Part 1)

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Following is a list of records to keep in addition to your basic income and expense records:

Alimony- If you receive or pay alimony, you must keep a copy of your written agreement (separation, divorce, support).

Business Use of Your Home – You may be able to deduct certain expenses connected with the business use of your home.  You need to keep records that show the part of your home that you use for business and the expenses related to that use.  This is not as easy as saying that you work at home.  See IRS Publication 587 on how to allocate expenses between business and personal use.

Casualty and Theft Losses- You must be able to prove that you had a casualty or theft.  Your records must be able to support the amount you claim.  For casualty loss, you need to prove: the type of casualty and when it occurred, the loss was due to the casualty and that you were the owner of the property.  For theft loss, you need to prove: when you discovered the property was missing, that it was stolen and that you were the owner of the property.

Child Care Credit- You must give the name, address, and taxpayer identification number for all persons or organizations that provide care for your child or dependent.

Contributions- You must keep records to prove the contributions you make during the year, cash, non-cash, or out-of-pocket expenses.

Afraid you may miss something?  We can help.

Call today.  Todd Courser 810-245-0813.

Tax Returns- What Kind of Records Should I Keep?

Friday, December 14th, 2012

It is important to keep all the documents used to determine your tax returns.  A record should be kept of your income and a record should be kept of your expenses which are being included in some way on your tax return.  Your records should be kept by year in a safe place.  When your tax return is completed, a copy of the return should be placed in a file with the information used to prepare the return and kept in a safe place.

If you choose to use electronic files, care should be taken to back up and protect these records.  If these are destroyed, you are still accountable for providing the IRS with the information.

Examples of the records to keep include-

Income- Form W-2, Form 1099, Bank Statements, Brokerage Statements, Form K-1

Expenses- Sales Slips, Invoices, Receipts, Cancelled Checks or other Proof of Payment, Written acknowledgement from qualified charities

Home- Closing Statements, Purchase and Sales Invoices, Proof of Payment, Insurance Records, Receipts for Improvement Costs,

Investments – Brokerage Statements, Mutual Fund Statements, Form 1099, Form 2439

We are here to help you use all your documents to your benefit.

Call today. Todd Courser 810-245-0813.

Have You Filed Your Tax Returns?

Friday, December 7th, 2012

There are many reasons that you need to file your tax return.  Many people don’t realize, if you don’t file, you can go to jail.  The IRS looks at this as a criminal offense.  They go after anyone who is avoiding doing or paying taxes.  The IRS has continued to get more aggressive in pursuing tax evaders.

Some people don’t file their tax return because they don’t have the funds for the taxes they owe.  It is better to file your tax return, pay what you can and make a deal with the IRS for the remaining amount.  This will keep you in compliance with the IRS and avoid levies being placed on your property.  If you don’t file, you will incur a penalty for not filing and still be incurring penalties on the amount that they think you owe.

In order to make a deal with the IRS, all past tax returns need to be filed.  Have you put off doing your tax returns in the hope no one would notice?  Are you embarrassed that you got to this point?  You aren’t alone.  We see this everyday.  We can help you get in compliance with the IRS.  Come see us today!

Call Todd Courser 810-245-0813

TaxMasters filing for bankruptcy – Don’t expect a T. V. pitchman to solve your tax problems

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

During my 17 years of being in business, I have seen many of these “Tax Resolution” shops go out of business.  I have had to fix problems from frustrated clients when they came to me, after they have left these firms. We have helped former JK Harris and Taxmasters clients, where the clients have stated that these folks were good at taking their money but really poor at dealing with their problems.  In many cases, there are problems encountered when trying to handle an IRS issue and usually by the time the client becomes a client he has far more issues than resources to deal with those issues. I tell clients “all these problems didn’t happen overnight and it will take time, money and effort to get your life back on track but we will get it back on track.” Many times the client is fighting both the IRS and other creditors.  In those cases, we are second to none in helping the client see all his options within the IRS, at the state level and finally through the bankruptcy courts, when that makes sense. Bankrutpcy is never a first option, but sometimes when a client has a multitude of issues, it makes the most economic sense. Using the tools we have, we work with clients to try and eliminate the vast majority of their debts.

If you owe the IRS or state money and want a good assessment of what can be done, then give us a call to set up a consultation and get your life back on track. I have clients who have flown here to see me and have worked out settlements for clients across the country.  Let me help you!

Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Trust Tax Returns – Get a good accountant to handle it!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Most people who are listed as Trustee on an estate plan have no idea what this will mean when they are called upon to deal with wrapping up the affairs of a deceased loved one. The creation of a trust will create an administrative responsibility that may go on for years and years after the loved one is gone. The trust holds the assets that are placed in it and disperses those assets according to the terms set down in the trust. These assets will at times produce income that is then taxable and will have to be claimed on an annual tax return form, 1041. If you find yourself in this situation, consult a professional who is well versed in trust tax returns and be prepared to pay the person well to make sure the details are all dealt with correctly. Once you, as Trustee, disburse the assets to the beneficiaries, it can be difficult to go back and ask these individuals to return the funds to pay the taxes.  The Trustee has the authority to deal with the issues related to the income, assets, liabilities and distributions.  However, the Trustee also has the responsibility and legal obligations as well.

Need help?  Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Unfiled Tax Returns

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Even if you feel you cannot pay your taxes, it is important to file all delinquent tax returns. The IRS will eventually notice and pursue you with penalties and interest. The IRS will not negotiate with you until you have filed your past and current tax returns and are in the process of paying your current tax bill. If you intentionally don’t file your tax returns, it is a federal crime. The IRS does not need to negotiate with you and actions such as wage levying will continue.

We can file your past tax returns. We have the knowledge and experience to help you. By letting us do a thorough tax return, you may find that you end up owing less money than you originally thought. In few cases, the IRS may even end up owing you money. If you are able to claim a refund, you must do so within three years or the money becomes the property of the U. S. Treasury.

Be assured that if you do not file, the IRS will catch up to you, even if it takes years. Their database keeps improving. They will find you. If you do not file, the IRS will file a substitute return. They will estimate amounts and give you no deductions. They will add penalties and interest. Your tax bill will be higher than if you had us prepare your tax return. If you do receive a substitute return, come and see us. We still may be able to help.

Many clients are concerned about going to jail because they have not filed tax returns. The IRS would prefer to help people get back on track, but they will investigate cases that they feel involve criminal violations. If you voluntarily file and make an honest effort to file a return with income from legal sources, you are more likely to be able to negotiate with the IRS, and they will be less likely to prosecute you.

Our final word is file all your tax returns. Besides it being a federal crime, it can also effect buying or refinancing a house, getting student loans, getting credit, receiving Social Security benefits and receiving Medicare. The IRS can seize your assets, such as bank accounts, Social Security benefits and retirement accounts. Don’t let this problem grow until it’s impossible to fix.

If you have unfiled tax returns or are having trouble with the IRS call for a consultation today. Todd Courser 810-245-0813

Tax Preparation Business – H and R Block

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Many people are not aware that I began my practice in the tax preparation business 16 yrs ago.  At one time we had nearly 1,100 tax clients, over 100 accounting clients, and 60 to 70 payroll clients. Most tax preparation practices have seen a drop in client volume, including both H and R Block and Jackson Hewitt – there is just a change in how this business operates. With the changes in the tax preparation business and the advent of more computer programs, we now only do about 600 tax preparation clients and much of our accounting business has fallen away due to the changing economy here in Michigan. The interesting thing is that although we do far less in the number of clients on the accounting/tax preparation side of our practice versus the legal practice, we are doing far more in IRS tax problem resolution.  So our accounting/tax practice has not gone away but has shifted from preparing documents to resolving more and more tax problems that exist for our clients. As more people do their own tax returns and fail to meet the needed regulatory requirements, we are called upon to bridge the gap between an overbearing and uncaring government that is bent on collecting to the point of destroying. So if you are in the position of having an unresolved tax problem with the IRS or with the state, you need to make it an absolute priority to correct it.  These problems don’t go away and they only grow worse over time, adding interest and penalties.  These types of problems can and do destroy businesses, families, and both mental and physical health.  We are here to assist you in getting your life back on track.  Don’t hesitate, call my office (Todd Courser 810-245-0813).