“NEW” IRS Collection Tactic

The IRS has sent us an interesting article that will affect many tax payers, we wanted to share this with you before the end of tax season.

Starting this month, the IRS will be using four private-sector collection agencies (PCA) to collect unpaid tax debts on the government’s behalf. This is authorized under a federal law that was enacted by congress in December of 2015. These are tax debts that are not currently being worked on and were assessed years ago. If a tax payer is being assigned to a private firm, there would have been multiple attempts to contact by the IRS in the past years.

  • How is this going to work?

The IRS will send an official letter to the tax payer and his or her tax representative informing them that they will be assigned to a PCA and will be given the name and contact information for the PCA. This mailing will also include a copy of Publication 4518 of what to expect.

Once your letter is sent, the designated private firm will send a letter to the tax payer with information that will assure that the transfer and all future collection calls are legitimate.

Important: The PCA are authorized to discuss payment options and payment agreements. However, all payments must be made directly to the IRS via check, or electronically. Never make a payment to a private firm or anyone besides the IRS or U.S Treasury. For more info on payment options, click here.

For a list of the agencies selected, visit this page.

  • Prepare for phone scams!

There will be scammers who jump at this opportunity to pose as PCA employees. It is important to know that these agencies will only be assigned if you owe money from previous tax years. You will be made aware about these PCAs before you hear from them.

The IRS or PCA will never:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment using a specific method such as prepaid card or wire transfer
  2. Threaten to call local police or other law-enforcement groups
  3. Demand payment without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed
  4. Ask for any credit or debit card numbers over the phone

You don’t need to wait for a call or letter from the IRS! It is important to always come forward and pay what you owe, or set up a payment plan. For a list of ways to take advantage of this, visit IRS.gov.Tax filing deadline is approaching soon! Business Resource Partners has an Enrolled Agent on staff who will directly represent you to the IRS if ever needed. We would be happy to prepare and file your business and personal taxes! Give us a call to set up an appointment (321) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 3711.

Need More Time to Pay Your Taxes?

Your taxes should always be filed on time regardless of whether or not you can pay what you owe. This prevents you from having to pay a penalty.
If you cannot pay your taxes in full by the April 18th deadline, here are four things you should know according to the IRS.
  1. File on time & pay as much as possible:

You have the option of paying online, by phone, or with the IRS2Go App. Visit this page for electronic payment options.

  1. Get Loan or use a credit card to pay the tax:

The interest and penalties by the IRS for failure to pay are higher than the interest rates of a bank or credit card company. For your credit card options, click here.

  1. Use Online Payment Agreement Tool:

Get ahead! Plan for your payments using the IRS Online Payment Agreement Tool. You may also file Form 9465 which is the Installment Agreement Request with your tax return. This allows you to set up a direct debit agreement and not have to worry about sending a check each month.

  1. Don’t Ignore a Tax Bill:

The IRS may take collection action when you ignore a tax bill. The best option is to call the number on the bill and talk about payment options.

Beginning in 2017, all taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from their prior year’s tax return to verify identity. To learn how to verify identity and electronically signing your return, visit this page.

For all your present and future tax needs, Business Resource Partners is more than happy to provide you with tax preparation and filing.  Our Enrolled Agent will directly represent you to the IRS if ever needed. Our office also offers Payroll Services, HR, Virtual office space, and more! Call us to set up your appointment at (321) 236-2771, or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont FL 34711.

Is Your Personal Information REALLY Protected?

Protecting your personal information such as social security number and finances is always important any time of year, but most importantly during tax time.
We found an article published on the IRS.gov website about protection specific to computers and we wanted to share some key facts.
The IRS says to treat your personal information like cash, don’t hand it out to just anyone. Much of your information can be taken and used to steal your identity and open new accounts. Be wary of websites or people asking for personal information claiming that it is necessary, many scammers will attempt just about anything to get this information from you.
What practical steps can you take to protect yourself better?
  1. Avoid Phishing Scams:
Scammers can pose as banks, credit card companies, IRS, or third party working for governing authorities. Different methods can be used to get your attention such as winning something, urgent personal information update requirements. Never open an attachment or link of a suspicious e-mail. These oftentimes contain malware and can harm or hack your computer and information.
  1. Protect Personal Data:
Do not carry your social security card with you or anything that may include this number. Do not include this number when filling out forms on paper or online. Scammers will ask you to include this number in documents even when it is not needed.
  1. Use Strong Passwords:
When creating or updating passwords to your online data, always use 10-12 characters. Try not to use common information such as important dates or names. Be as unpredictable as possible! Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and never send these through text or email. Always use a secure Wi-Fi network to prevent other networks from accessing your information.
  1. Use Security Software:
Always have security software installed on your computer. Most come with a pre-installed firewall, but it is important to have one that protects from viruses, Trojans, spyware and adware. Parents, use the parental control options and educate children about suspicious websites and emails.
  1. Back Up Files:
It is important to always save important documents such as tax returns, finances, etc into a removable USB as a back up. Have paper copies to help in the next year’s tax preparation and always keep track of where these are stored and who has access to them.
Business Resource Partners will help with your tax needs including preparation and e-filing. Time is almost out for tax filing! Give us a call or stop by our office to meet with one of our tax prep experts!

Tax Credit For Making Your Home More Energy Efficient!

If you made your home more energy efficient in 2016, you may qualify for a tax credit this year! We received this great article from the IRS and we wanted to share some main points that stood out. For this, and many more publications, visit the IRS.gov website.

Non-Business Energy Property Credit

  • This credit counts for 10% of the cost of qualified energy saving items. These items include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors, and certain roofs. It does not include the cost to install these items.
  • The credit amount for each type of property has a different dollar limit rather than a percentage. For example, any installation costs of high efficiency heating and air-conditioning, water heaters, or stoves that burn biomass fuel.
  • This credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500, only $200 of this limit may be used for windows.
  • The main home must be in the U.S and the non-business energy property credit is only available for existing homes.
  • Always have a written certification from the manufacturer that this product does qualify for the tax credit. This will usually be posted on the website. Always keep the original copy with your tax records and not attached to your tax return.
  • You may claim the credit on your 2016 tax return if you did not reach the lifetime limit in the past years.

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit:

  • This credit is 30% of the cost alternative energy installed in or on a home, including cost of installation.
  • Qualified materials include: solar hot water heaters, solar electric equipment, wind turbines, and fuel cell property.
  • If the credit is more than the tax owed, carry forward the unused portion of this credit to next year’s tax return. There is no dollar limit on the credit for most types of property.
  • The home does not have to be your main home unless the alternative energy equipment is qualified fuel cell property. The residential energy efficient property credit is for both existing home and homes under construction. It is available through 2016.

For Residential Energy Credits, use Form 5695.

Business Resource Partners offers more than just bookkeeping services. We provide tax preparation and filing for both personal and business tax returns. We have a specialized team who is here to help!

We have extended our business hours this tax season and we are ready to work around your busy schedule!

Call us at (321) 236-2771 or visit 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 34711.

 

What to be aware of when choosing a Tax Preparer:

With tax season already upon us, it is important to know who is preparing your taxes and what their qualifications are. They are responsible for your information and it is important to be conscious of the potential threats presented this time of year.

 

So, what are some things to consider?

 

  1. Qualifications: There are different qualifications depending on your needs. These include

Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Enrolled Agents, Annual Filing Season Program Participants, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents, and Enrolled Actuaries.

For more information on this, visit this page which breaks down each qualification and can help you better determine your needs this year.

 

  1. Check the History: Check the preparer’s license status as well as any disciplinary actions. For CPAs, check the State Board of Accountancy. For Attorneys, check the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, you can go to IRS.gov or email epp@irs.gov with the first and last name of the agent, a complete address if it is available, and the Enrolled Agent Number is available. It is recommended to include as much information as possible. For more information on this, visit the verification page.

 

  1. Ask about Service Fees: Avoid preparers who base their price on the percentage of your return or claim they can get you a bigger refund than the competition. Do not give them any tax documents or anything that would include your social security number.

 

  1. Ask for E-filing: Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file. The IRS has processed billions of e-files successfully and there is no reason why this should be impossible.

 

  1. Make Sure the Preparer is Available to You: You might need to contact your preparer after the April 18th due date. Don’t hire someone who is constantly on the move and will be difficult to get in touch with.

 

  1. Provide Records & Receipts: A good preparer will want to have all the necessary information in order to properly file your tax return such as total income, tax deductions, credits, etc. For example, do not rely on someone who only wants your last pay stub instead of a From W-2. This is again IRS e-filing rules.

 

  1. Never Sign a Blank Return: This may sound like a no brainer, but it is worth mentioning. Do not use a preparer who asks you to sign a blank return.

 

  1. Review Before Signing: If something is not making sense, ASK. You should feel completely informed and comfortable with any document you are signing. Always double check the bank Account and Routing number to make sure that it is yours. Always keep copies of everything.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Preparer signs and includes their PTIN: This is the preparer’s Preparer Tax Identification Number and they must include this in the document by law.

 

  1. Report any abusive behavior to IRS: Most preparers will be honest and provide excellent service, however, some are dishonest. To report any abusive or fraudulent actions, use Form 14157. If you suspect your return was changed without your consent, fill From 14157-A. These are available on gov any time.

 

As always, if you need any help with Tax Preparation and filing, Business Resource Partners is always here to help! We have our Accountant Michael, our Enrolled Agent Mythili, and our owner Lorrie who is a participant in the Annual Filing Season Program. Our front desk ladies Stephanie and Andrea would be happy to schedule appointments for your needs.Please contact us at (352) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont FL, 34711.

$1 Billion Available!

The IRS has unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling more than $1 Billion for roughly 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2013 income tax return.

If you or someone you know did not file for taxes in 2013, you may be afraid to do so now for fear that you’ll be penalized or in legal trouble. Did you know there is no penalty for filing late if you are due a refund? You can still file a 2013 tax return with the IRS no later than this year’s Tuesday, April 18th deadline. There are an estimated 66,900 individuals who may be due 2013 refunds in Florida, totaling about $67,758.

The law usually provides most tax payers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. The unclaimed money becomes property of the U.S Treasury if the tax payer does not file a return within the three years. If you are filing a 2013 tax return this year, make sure you properly address mail and postmark the tax return by the April 18th date.

If you have not filed taxes for 2014 & 2015, your check for your 2013 refund may be held. The refund will be allocated to any debts such as a state tax agency, money owed to the IRS, child support, or student loans.

You could lose more than just a refund for the year of 2013 if you do not file your taxes. Low or moderate income workers may be eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). In 2013, this credit was worth as much as $6,044.

If you have questions about how to get forms for prior year’s tax returns, visit the Forms and Publications page on the IRS website. These forms are available to you at no charge.

If you are missing any forms such as W-2, 1098, 1099, or 5498 for the years 2013-2015, you should contact your employer, bank, or other payer. If you are unable to get these forms from a previous employer, you can use the IRS’s tool for Getting Your Transcript Online and obtain your Wage & Income Transcript. You may also file Form 4506-T to request a transcript of your 2013 income and use the information to file your tax return

If you need to file your 2013 or later tax returns, Business Resource Partners will gladly provide this service for you! Please call our office and schedule your appointment with our tax professionals at (321) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 34711.

5 Overlooked Business Tax Deductions for 2017

We found an awesome article written by Steve Nicastro, a staff writer at NerdWallet. We wanted to share his useful information with you for this, and future tax seasons. For his full article, visit Nerdwallet.com


If you fail to claim your small business tax deductions, you could be losing out on a good amount of money. Deductions are a legal way of reducing the amount of income from your business that is subject to tax.

How can I make sure I’m always on top of this?

Keep a record! Always save receipts, invoices, and any other documents. You can deduct salaries and wages, mortgage interest and taxes, office supplies, repairs and insurance, and depreciation of property. Here are 5 commonly missed deductions.

  1. Home Office Deductions:

If you have a room in your home that you regularly use as a place of business to deal with patients, clients, or customers, you may be able to claim a home office deduction on your income taxes. If you are also using the room as a place for guests to stay, this could disqualify you. For more information about this, visit Home Office Deduction.

  1. Carryovers:

Depending on how profitable your business was, you may be able to carry back the loss 2 years for a refund, or carry it forward up to 20 years to offset your future taxable income. This, however, has many moving parts and it is best to consult a tax professional to look at your specific circumstance. For more on this, the IRS provides comparison methods.

  1. Start-up Expenses:

You may deduct up to $5,000 in start-up costs, and $5,000 in organizational costs. However, both deductions phase out when your total start-up expenses reach $50,000. If you exceed the $50,000, no first-year deduction is allowed and you will need to amortize you costs over the next 180 months of operation.

  1. Losses & Bad Debts:

The IRS defines a bad debt as one that was acquired in your business and became partly or completely worthless. This can include loans to clients, suppliers, employees, distributors, and debts of an insolvent partner. They become bad debts only after you’ve tried to collect the amount due over a reasonable period and have taken the correct steps to do so.

  1. Tax, Legal & Educational Expenses:

Expenses that are necessary and directly related to your business such as fees paid to your accountant and lawyers are deductible. However, legal fees that are paid to acquire business assets are not deductible.

Business Resource Partners understand these and countless other tax prep necessities. Our tax professionals are happy to assist you now, and in the future with your business and tax needs.

Call us at (321) 236-2771 or visit 310 Almond Street Clermont FL, 34711.

We look forward to serving you!

What Do You Know About Capital Gains & Losses?

A capital asset can include inherited property or property someone owns for personal use or as an investment. When you sell a capital asset, the sale will result in either a capital gain or loss. Here’s a great article sent to us by the IRS.

Helpful facts: Capital Gains & Losses According to the IRS:

~Capital Assets: These include, home, car, stocks and bonds.

~Gains & Losses: A basis is what you originally paid for your asset. The Capital gain or loss is the difference between the basis and the amount you get when you sell the asset. For more details about inherited property, see IRS Publications 544, 550, & 551.

~Net Investment Income Tax: Taxpayers must include all capital gains in their income. If your income was above a certain amount, it may be subject to Net Investment Income. For more details on this, visit IRS.gov.

~Deductible Losses: You can deduct capital losses on the sale of investment property. You cannot deduct losses on the sale of a property you have for personal use.

~Limit on Losses: If your capital loss is more than your gains, you may deduct the difference on your tax return. Loss is limited to $3,000/yr, or $1,500 if married but filing separately.

~Carryover Losses: If your total net capital loss is more than the limit mentioned above, you may carry it over to next year’s tax return.

~Long & Short Term: If you hold the property for 1 year or less, it is short-term.

~Net Capital Gain: Ultimately, if your gains are more than your losses, you have a net capital gain. If your long-term gains are more than your long-term losses, the difference is a net long-term capital gain. If the net long-term capital gain is more than the short-term capital loss, you have a net capital gain.

~Tax Rate: This depends on your income. The Max on a net capital gain is 20%. Most fall between a 0%-15%. However, a 25%-28% can apply to certain types of net capital gain.

~Forms to File: You will often need to file Form 8949, and Schedule D with your tax return. For more on this, visit the Schedule D Instructions.

It is important to keep a copy of your tax returns. If you are using a software product for the first time, you may be required to include your Adjusted Gross Income from the prior year’s return to confirm your identity. To learn more about this, or how to electronically sign a tax return, visit this Validation Info Page.

Business Resource Partners has tax professionals on staff who know the ins and outs of tax prep requirements, we would be happy to assist you in your 2016 and future tax needs!

Call (321) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 34711.

IRS Warns of Video Relay Scam Targeting Deaf & Hearing Impaired

We’ve uncovered some IRS scams & myths this tax season, it’s amazing what others will come up with in attempt to steal money. Today, we are covering Video Relay Scam (VRS) that target deaf and hard of hearing.

Video Relay Services are oftentimes used as a video telecommunication service that allows individuals to communicate over video telephones with hearing people in real time, via a sign language interpreter. The problem is VRS interpreters do not scan calls for validity, so it is up to you to always confirm that the person calling is who they say they are.

If you or someone you know is deaf or hard of hearing receives a VRS call claiming to be the IRS, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. The IRS Will Never:

~Demand immediate payments or specific ways on how to pay (wire transfer, prepaid card, etc). The IRS will not call about taxes owed without first mailing an official letter.

~Threaten to call local police if you do not pay immediately.

~Demand payment without the opportunity to ask questions or appeal amount charged.

~Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

   2. Receive a Suspicious Call or Know Someone Who Did?

~If you or someone you know is deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 through VRS. They will be able to answer any questions including payment issues.

~If you received a call but know you don’t owe money and have not received an official IRS letter, report the incident right away. You can call the Treasury Inspector at (800) 366-4484.

~You may also file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant. If it involves impersonating the IRS, include the phrase “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Our team at Business Resource Partners is happy to help with your tax preparation! Mythili, our Enrolled Agent, will be able to directly represent you to the IRS if any issues arise. For a full list of our awesome staff, visit our About Us section.

Call us at (321) 236-2771 to schedule an appointment, or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont FL, 34711.

Four Common Myths Involving Tax Returns According to the IRS

If you’ve logged on to any sort of social media lately, you may have seen posts, articles, blogs, or videos about tax returns and common actions you can take to “get your refund sooner”, “get more in return”, etc. These claims are myths regarding tax returns. We mentioned some things to look out for when choosing a tax preparer in our previous blog, now we tackle some myths behind your returns.

Here are four common myths:

  1. Delayed Refunds

Per the IRS website, over 90% of returns are issued in less than 21 days! There are always exceptions to this which can include, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). However, these are usually only held until mid-February. Other reasons for any delays are simply for security reasons such as building of security to protect from identity theft and refund fraud.

  1. If I call the IRS or my Tax Preparer, I’ll get an official refund date.

The best way to stay updated on the status of your return is to access “Where’s My Refund?”, or through your Mobile App.

  1. If I order a Tax Transcript, I’ll know my refund date for sure.

The information on a transcript does not reflect the timing on your refund. You can refer to this transcript for mortgages, student and small business loan applications, and help with tax prep. For a status update, always refer to “Where’s My Refund?”.

  1. “Where’s My Refund” is wrong, it doesn’t have my deposit date.

Projected deposit dates for EITC & ACTC are a few days after Feb. 15 and they will not see a refund date until then. Refunds will not start arriving into cards or accounts until Feb. 27 if there are no issues with the processing and banking. Delays can sometimes depend on banks and the processing or large quantities of people receiving refunds. Keep in mind that President’s Day weekend may also cause delays because some banks to not process payments on holidays and weekends.

For this full article as well as many great resources from the IRS, please visit the IRS Website.

As always, Business Resource Partners is here to assist with all of your tax prep needs! We have a staff that is more than qualified to prepare your 2016 taxes and we would love to service you or your business.

Please call us at (321) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont FL 34711.