Each year, many people get a larger refund than they expect. Some find they owe a lot more tax than they thought they would. If this has happened to you, review your situation to prevent a tax surprise. Did you marry? Have a child? Change in income? Life events can have a major impact on your taxes. Bring the taxes you pay closer to the amount you owe. Here are some tips to help you come up with a plan:

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 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, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business mileage rate decreased 3.5 cents per mile and the medical, and moving expense rates decrease 4 cents per mile from the 2015 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.

WASHINGTON — Following the emergence of new variations of widespread tax scams, the Internal Revenue Service today issued another warning to taxpayers to remain on high alert and protect themselves against the ever-evolving array of deceitful tactics scammers use to trick people.

 

These schemes – which can occur over the phone, in e-mails or through letters with authentic looking letterhead – try to trick taxpayers into providing personal financial information or scare people into making a false tax payment that ends up with the criminal.

 

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received reports of roughly 600,000 contacts since October 2013. TIGTA is also aware of more than 4,000 victims who have collectively reported over $20 million in financial losses as a result of tax scams.

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.

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.

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.

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,”

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.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Personal Assets to a Business

    If you have contributed personal assets, such as a computer or vehicle to your business, the lower of the fair market value or your cost basis of these assets qualifies as a business deduction, subject to depreciation limitations, beginning with the date of conversion.
Saturday, 15th December 2018
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Let the Sun Shine

    Certain solar-powered improvements are eligible for a tax credit

    You are allowed a credit for 30 percent of certain expenditures that increase the energy efficiency of your personal residence. Costs eligible for the credit include qualified solar electric property expenditures, qualified solar water heating property expenditures, and qualified fuel cell property expenditures. The credit is available for residential energy-efficient property placed in service in 2006, 2007, and 2008. There is no requirement that property be new to qualify. Read more ...

Personal Quick Tip

  • HSA Contributions

    Contributions to a health savings account (HSA) must be made by the due date of your tax return excluding extensions.