Legislation signed into law earlier this year makes two new credits available to employers.

People who give to charities providing relief in Haiti can claim these donations on the tax return they are completing this season, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

[UPDATE] New regulations require all paid tax return preparers (including attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents) to apply for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). There are continuing education requirements and IRS will monitor the activities of all tax return preparers with PTIN's.

Major tax law changes continue to impact most taxpayers. New 2009 tax laws enacted to stimulate the economy are in addition to law changes enacted in 2008. Some of the broadest changes are outlined here for your review:

May 1 - June 25, 2009

 

The State of Connecticut will offer a tax amnesty program from May 1, 2009 through June 25, 2009. Applications for Connecticut Tax Amnesty will not be accepted prior to May 1, 2009.

The Connecticut Tax Amnesty Program, administered by the Department of Revenue Services, provides an opportunity for eligible taxpayers to pay their back taxes to the state while avoiding penalties and criminal prosecution. It also offers a reduction in interest.

Amnesty will be offered to any taxpayer owing Connecticut tax for any taxable period ending on or before November 30, 2008 either because the taxpayer:

  • failed to file a return for the taxable period, or
  • previously filed a return for the taxable period but underreported the amount of Connecticut tax.

Amnesty will not be offered on existing bills. Taxpayers already in a payment plan with DRS or who have received a tax bill from DRS cannot participate in amnesty for those periods.

A taxpayer may be ineligible for amnesty for either of the following reasons:

  • The taxpayer is currently under audit by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services; or
  • The taxpayer is a party to any criminal investigation or to any civil or criminal litigation involving the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.

Note: If a taxpayer is not eligible for tax amnesty for a particular Connecticut tax or for a particular taxable period, the taxpayer may still be eligible to apply for tax amnesty for another Connecticut tax or for another taxable period.

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2008. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

The rate will increase to 58.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2008. This is an increase of eight (8) cents from the 50.5 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2008, as set forth in Rev. Proc. 2007-70.

In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2008. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year.

The Internal Revenue Service has advised taxpayers that in most cases they will not have to do anything extra this year to get the economic stimulus payment in May.

"If you are eligible for a payment, all you have to do is file a 2007 tax return and the IRS will do the rest," said Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff.

The IRS will use information on the 2007 tax return filed by the taxpayer to determine eligibility and calculate the amount of the stimulus payments.

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 has created lots of questions among taxpayers. Please click on the link in the menu on the left of this screen for Frequently Asked Questions about the stimulus payments.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Thinking of Selling Your Corporation?

    Carefully review your options before making a decision

    When it come time to sell your corporation, you have two options. You can either sell the corporation stock or have the corporation sell the assets and distribute the proceeds. The tax implications of the two sales are very different. If you choose to sell the stock, you are the seller. The corporation is not affected by the transaction. The new owner steps into your shoes as the shareholder and takes over the existing corporation. If your share of the proceeds exceeds your basis in the stock, you'll have a capital gain to report on Schedule D.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Self Employed Health Insurance

    If you are a self-employed taxpayer, you may deduct 100 percent of your health insurance premiums from your income. The deduction for health insurance premiums does not reduce your self-employment tax, however.
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Cleaning Out Your Closets?

    Items you donate may not qualify for a deduction

    It used to be that you could take all your unused clothing and household items to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or thrift store and reap a nice charitable contribution deduction.

    Read more ...

Personal Quick Tip

  • Making Gifts

    Are you planning on making any substantial gifts? Talk to your tax preparer first. Gifts with values exceeding $14,000 must be reported to the IRS.