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:

  • New Job. When you start a new job, you must fill out a Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, and give it to your employer. Your employer will use the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to withhold from your pay. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to help you fill out the form. This tool is easy to use and it’s available 24/7.

  • Estimated Tax. If you earn income that is not subject to withholding you may need to pay estimated tax. This may include income such as self-employment, interest, dividends or rent. If you expect to owe $1,000 or more in tax, and meet other conditions, you may need to pay this tax. You normally pay it four times a year. Use the worksheet in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure the tax.

  • Life Events. Check to see if you need to change your Form W-4 or change the amount of estimated tax you pay when certain life events take place. A change in your marital status, the birth of a child or the purchase of a new home can change the amount of taxes you owe. In most cases, you can submit a new Form W–4 to your employer anytime. 

  • Changes in Circumstances. If you are receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit, it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

For more see Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. You can get it on IRS.gov/forms at any time.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Electing to Expense the Cost of Your Business Assets

    Section 179 deduction limits increase

    The IRS allows taxpayers the option of either depreciating some assets over a specified number of years or deducting all or a portion of the cost in one year. The expense election, commonly referred to as the Section 179 deduction, is made in the year the asset is placed in service. The benefit is a large deduction in the current year that is not reduced even if the asset is placed in service late in the tax year.

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Small Business Quick Tip

  • SS Wage Base

    The Social Security wage base increases to $118,500 in 2016. This means that you are no longer required to withhold social security tax for employees after meeting this threshold. However, you are required to withhold Medicare taxes regardless of the amount of wages paid.
Thursday, 17th January 2019
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Charitable Remainder Trusts

    Reduce your estate by gifting property

    There are many ways to contribute to a charitable organization. You can write a check, donate property, or give of your time. If you're planning for retirement, you might want to consider making a gift of a future interest in your property by establishing a charitable remainder unitrust or annuity trust. These trusts allow you to contribute the property and retain an income stream.

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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.