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Get Ready for Taxes: Get 2018 tax documents ready for upcoming filing season

WASHINGTON --The IRS reminds taxpayers to keep a copy of their past tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Certain key information from their prior year return may be required to file in 2019.

This is the fifth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers Get Ready for the upcoming tax filing season. The IRS has recently updated its Get Ready page with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

Keeping copies of prior year tax returns saves time. Often previous tax information is needed to file a current year tax return or to answer questions from the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers claiming certain securities or debt losses should keep their tax returns and documents for at least seven years.

Use a tax return to validate identity

Taxpayers using tax filing software for the first time may need their adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from their prior year’s tax return to verify their identity. Learn more at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. Those who need a copy of their tax return should first check with their software provider or tax preparer. Taxpayers can also obtain a free tax transcript from the IRS, or for a fee, order a copy of their tax return.

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Get Ready for Taxes: Here's how the new tax law revised family tax credits

WASHINGTON – More families will be able to get more money under the newly-revised Child Tax Credit, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

This is the third in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. Additionally, the IRS has recently updated a special page on its website with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the tax reform legislation passed in December 2017, doubled the maximum Child Tax Credit, boosted income limits to be able to claim the credit, and revised the identification number requirement for 2018 and subsequent years. The new law also created a second smaller credit of up to $500 per dependent aimed at taxpayers supporting older children and other relatives who do not qualify for the Child Tax Credit.

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Ways the IRS may contact you

Everyone should know how the IRS contacts taxpayers. This will help people avoid becoming a victim of scammers who pretend to be from the IRS with a goal of stealing personal information.
Here are some facts about how the IRS communicates with taxpayers:

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Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Paycheck Changes by February

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today released Notice 1036, which updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018 reflecting changes made by the tax reform legislation enacted last month. This is the first in a series of steps that IRS will take to help improve the accuracy of withholding following major changes made by the new tax law.

The updated withholding information, posted today on IRS.gov, shows the new rates for employers to use during 2018. Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than Feb. 15, 2018. They should continue to use the 2017 withholding tables until implementing the 2018 withholding tables.

Many employees will begin to see increases in their paychecks to reflect the new law in February. The time it will take for employees to see the changes in their paychecks will vary depending on how quickly the new tables are implemented by their employers and how often they are paid — generally weekly, biweekly or monthly.   The new withholding tables are designed to work with the Forms W-4 that workers have already filed with their employers to claim withholding allowances. This will minimize burden on taxpayers and employers. Employees do not have to do anything at this time.

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Standard Mileage Rates for 2018 Up from Rates for 2017

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2018 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, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate and the medical and moving expense rates each increased 1 cent per mile from the rates for 2017. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

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Tax Tips Small Business

  • Automobile Expenses

    Which is better - deducting the standard mileage rate or actual expenses?

    With the fluctuating cost of gas, it might be a good idea to revisit which tax deduction is the most beneficial - claiming 54.5 cents per mile (2018) or your actual vehicle expenses. Claiming the standard mileage rate is easier. All you have to do is keep track of your business miles and multiply them by the current rate. In addition to the standard mileage rate, you may also deduct the costs for parking and tolls. Plus, if you are self-employed, you can deduct the interest paid on your car loan.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Like Kind Exchange

    If you are disposing of property used in your business, you may want to consider a like-kind exchange to defer the taxable gain on the sale.
Thursday, 18th April 2019
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Weekly Tax Tip

18 April 2019

Weekly tips to help you better understand tax and financial situations.

Tax Tips Personal

  • Job Search Expenses May Lower Your Taxes

    Summer is often a time when people make major life decisions. Common events include buying a home, getting married or changing jobs. If you're looking for a new job in your same line of work, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for some of your job hunting expenses.

    Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about deducting these costs:

    Read more ...

Personal Quick Tip

  • IRA Contribution Deadline

    If by year-end you haven't contributed funds to your 2016 IRA, or if you've put in less than the maximum allowed, don't worry. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April due date for filing your tax return for 2016 not including extensions. You can contribute up to $5,500 to your IRA each year. If you are age 50 or older, you are allowed to contribute an additional $1,000.