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Tax Tip of the Week | No. 350 | It is Better to Extend vs. Not Filing on Time April 13, 2016

Posted by bradstreetblogger in : Electronic Tax Filing, General, Tax Deadlines, Tax Planning Tips, Tax Tip, Taxes, Taxes , add a comment

Tax Tip of the Week | April 13, 2016 | No. 350 | It is Better to Extend vs. Not Filing on Time

Filing for Extensions

If you haven’t filed your tax return by now, you should probably consider filing for an extension.  It is a lot easier to file for an extension than it is to amend a return later for a mistake you made trying to rush your return to completion.  Even more costly is if the IRS finds a mistake you made and assesses underpayment penalties and interest.

To file for an extension, you simply need to submit Form 4868. After submitting this form, you now have until October 17, 2016 to timely file your return.  Note, however, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.  If you suspect you will owe some taxes, you must send a payment along with the extension.  This is true for your federal, state and city returns.

Ohio will automatically accept the federal extension. Some cities, however, require a special city extension form.  Also, some cities will not allow extensions if you only have W2 income.  Be sure to check with your work and/or resident cities before April 15th.

Another reason to file for extension is that some speculate your chances for an audit decreases for extended returns.  How? One of the methods the IRS uses to select a return for audit is to select a random sample of returns filed by April 15th (April 18th this year).   If your return is not in that sample—then you don’t get picked!

Editor’s Note:  One of the pledges I make to all my clients is that my personal return will be the last one filed each year. When my most procrastinating client’s return is filed on October 17th —-mine is right behind it!  And has been that way for nearly 20 years!

You can contact us in Dayton at 937-436-3133 and in Xenia at 937-372-3504.  Or visit our website.
Rick Prewitt – the guy behind TTW

…until next week.

TaxTip of the Week | No. 343 | Filing Status February 24, 2016

Posted by bradstreetblogger in : Electronic Tax Filing, General, tax changes, Tax Deadlines, Tax Planning Tips, Tax Preparation, Tax Tip, Taxes , add a comment

Tax Tip of the Week | February 24, 2016 | No. 343 | Filing Status

How Are You Going to File?

Some tips are worth repeating—-a reminder we offer every year:

If you were legally married on 12/31/15, the IRS considers you married for the entire year of 2015.

You now must decide if you are going to file as Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separately (MFS). Note, however, if you file MFJ it is an irrevocable election—you cannot go back and amend a MFJ return to a MFS return.

The primary reason to file MFS is to pay less tax.  This is particularly beneficial to save on the amount of Ohio taxes paid.  Another reason to file separately is to avoid joint liability. Each spouse who signs a joint return is responsible for the accuracy and tax liability on the return.

Many times, for example, in a second marriage situation we see couples who have a desire to maintain separate financial responsibilities.  While this is understandable, it could lead to paying several thousand dollars in additional taxes.  If you file MFS, you will lose the following:

–    Lost credits for child care, education credits, adoption credits and EIC
–    Student loan interest deduction, tuition and fees deduction, savings bond interest deduction
–    If one spouse itemizes, or takes the standard deduction, the other spouse must do the same.  (That is, one cannot itemize and the other take the standard deduction.)
–    A greater percentage of your Social Security benefits may be taxable
–    Your ability to contribute to traditional or Roth IRA will be greatly limited
–    Capital losses will be limited to a maximum of $1,500
–    Passive losses will be limited

Before filing your return you need to look at both MFJ and MFS to see which lowers your tax burden the greatest.

You can contact us in Dayton at 937-436-3133 and in Xenia at 937-372-3504.  Or visit our website.
Rick Prewitt – the guy behind TTW

…until next week.

The Government Doesn’t Want Your Check Anymore! | Tax Tip of the Week | No. 56 September 1, 2010

Posted by bradstreetblogger in : Electronic Tax Filing, Tax Tip , add a comment

Going Electronic in 2011

The Government doesn't want your checkConsistent with a Financial Management Service initiative announced in April, 2010, the IRS has issued proposed regulations to significantly increase the number of electronic transactions between taxpayers and the federal government. These proposed regulations would eliminate the use of coupons to make tax payments. Instead, payments starting after December 31, 2010 would need to be made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The proposed changes would affect both business and individual tax payers. Business owners would need to pay their corporate taxes, excise taxes and payroll taxes via EFTPS. Individual tax payers will need to use EFTPS to make any estimated quarterly tax payments. Per an IRS spokesperson, “Using EFTPS to make federal tax deposits provides substantial benefits to both taxpayers and the government. EFTPS users can make tax payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week from home or your office.”

Information on EFTPS, including how to enroll, can be found at www.eftps.gov.

Additional information can also be obtained by visiting:

* Pay Taxes Online: Publication 4132

* The Secure Way to Pay your Federal Taxes: Publication 966

We will keep you posted when the final regulations are written, but it looks like we are going to need to learn a new method for paying our federal taxes. As always, you can contact us in Dayton at 937-436-3133 and in Xenia at 937-372-3504. Or visit our web site. Rick Prewitt – the guy behind TTW …until next week.