Tax Return Forget Me Nots

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Before you submit your tax documents to your accountant for completion of your tax return, take a look at the top 5 most commonly overlooked items below to make sure you’ve included everything:

1. Long term care insurance:  Missouri allows for a deduction from taxable income for a portion of your long term care insurance. Many other states allow a deduction or sometimes a tax credit for these premiums.  Although this is one of the questions in the full version of the organizer, because we are so conditioned that medical expense is limited to 10 % of AGI, we forget that the state may allow for some benefit of these itemized deductions. Long term care insurance should be included on your return to take full advantage of this opportunity.

2. Electronic 1099s:  Many brokerage firms now have the option of sending your 1099s directly to your CPA.  All firms are different, but you may be able to save our email address as your CPA in your brokerage online account and have the 1099s securely emailed to us when they are ready.

3. Business expenses and AMT:  The top marginal tax rate is now 39.6%.  This could mean you are out of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) now or will be in the near future.  While you were not deducting any unreimbursed business expenses while in AMT, now you could deduct them.  If you do not track and send them to us, you will not deduct them.  Remember to send us all business expenses (including mileage driven) with your tax documents so you are not missing out on these deductions.  Also, although there are a few states that do, most states do not have AMT so your expenses would be deductible on the state side even if you are still in AMT so go ahead and send everything to us even if you think you will be in AMT.

4. Non Cash Charitable Donations:  Donating items to charities such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill can save you substantial tax.  Websites such as www.itsdeductible.com and www.satruck.org/valueguide give the approximate values of used furniture, clothing, or appliances.  They make what used to be a difficult process, tracking values of donated items, easy and it will save you real money.  Many times, the values these websites give for items in good condition are higher then you may expect.

5. Charitable Mileage and Supplies:  If you use your vehicle for charitable organizations, you can deduct these miles as charitable donations.  If you purchase supplies on behalf of a charitable organization to use at an event, these are charitable donations.  There is a place on your organize for each of these items so remember to include them if they apply to you.

Thanks for allowing the HKA family to work with you again this year on your 2013 tax returns.  If you are not currently a client and wish to learn more about us and what we can do for you, please click here.

Are you ready for tax season? The IRS is not….

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The IRS has delayed the start of the 2013 tax return processing year.  The original date the IRS would begin processing income tax returns was January 21. The earliest tax returns will be processed is January 28, but they have the option of beginning as late as February 4.

What does this mean?  Normally when the Service delays the beginning of the tax season it goes glove and hand with a delay in the approval of tax forms.  If they won’t accept a return to process until January 28, it’s a good bet that the forms won’t be approved until then also.  This avoids any issue with someone filing a tax return too early. 

This delay will indeed trickle down to corporate and partnership returns.  Forms for those returns were not approved until the end of February 2013 for the 2012 tax return filing season.

 These backlogs create problems for the IRS as they will normally get a tremendous flow of returns in the remaining days of the tax season (the start date has been delayed, not the due date, that is still April 15 for 1040 filers).  This return flow outstrips their ability to process returns and historically leads to e-filing and paper filing delays and outages in their systems.

What should you do?  Get you information into us as soon as possible.  We can have your information loaded and ready to process for when the forms are approved and get your e-file refund back to you as soon as possible.