Kim’s Fuss-a-Thon

Kim 200x200Kim Fourman, Certified Public Accountant, at Loggins Kern & McCombs shares some of her new year’s cheer on a recent post from her husband’s blog, Luke 1428.  Enjoy her post and get some great pointers for small businesses, here  January Fuss-a-Thon.

Thanks Kim!

Special Tax Benefits for Armed Forces Personnel

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If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the IRS wants you to know about the many tax benefits that may apply to you. Special tax rules apply to military members on active duty, including those serving in combat zones. These rules can help lower your federal taxes and make it easier to file your tax return.

Here are ten of those benefits: [Read more…]

Tips for Taxpayers Who Travel for Charity Work

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Do you plan to travel while doing charity work this summer? Some travel expenses may help lower your taxes if you itemize deductions when you file next year. Here are five tax tips the IRS wants you to know about travel while serving a charity.

  1. You must volunteer to work for a qualified organization. Ask the charity about its tax-exempt status. You can also visit IRS.gov and use the Select Check tool to see if the group is qualified. [Read more…]

Summer Job Tax Information for Students

When summer vacation begins, classroom learning ends for most students. Even so, summer doesn’t have to mean a complete break from learning. Students starting summer jobs have the opportunity to learn some important life lessons. Summer jobs offer students the opportunity to learn about the working world – and taxes.

Here are six things about summer jobs that the IRS wants students to know.

  1. As a new employee, you’ll need to fill out a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employers use this form to figure how much federal income tax to withhold from workers’ paychecks. It is important to complete your W-4 form correctly so your employer withholds the right amount of taxes. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov to help you fill out the form. [Read more…]

Tips to Start Planning Next Year’s Tax Return

For most taxpayers, the tax deadline has passed. But planning for next year can start now. The IRS reminds taxpayers that being organized and planning ahead can save time and money in 2014. Here are six things you can do now to make next April 15 easier. [Read more…]

Where’s my refund?

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The IRS provides some tips for people that filed their taxes and are wondering where their refund is. Your refund status is available to check with the IRS within 24 hours of submitting your e-filed return or 4 weeks after mailing in a paper return. The IRS does not recommend calling them but rather using this website to check on the status. You will need your social security number, filing status, and refund amount in order to check the status of your refund. The status of your refund only updates once a day so there’s no reason to check it more than once.

Beyond the Fiscal Cliff — Tax Seminar in Jonesboro, GA

Ben TeachingWe are pleased to announce a seminar entitled “Beyond the Fiscal Cliff” presented by Ben Loggins, CPA, open to the public regarding the new tax laws that were recently passed by Congress.

This seminar will be held on Thursday, January 10, 2013 from 8:00 to 10:00am at Arts Clayton in Jonesboro.  Refreshments will be served. Arts Clayton is located at 136 S. Main St. in Jonesboro.

There will be a nominal $10 per person charge to reserve your spot with all net proceeds donated to Arts Clayton.

Please contact Pam at our office at 770-478-7424 to reserve your spot.

Seminar Topics include:

  • The new Healthcare regulations on Medicare surtax
  • How to avoid the Individual Mandate Penalty
  • Employer Mandate strategies
  • A Discussion of the Affordable Care Act
  • Extenders Bill
  • 2013 Planning Strategies
  • Ideas to implement to lower your total tax liability
  • How to redirect your state tax dollars to help private schools in Georgia.

If you are unable to make this seminar, we’ll be presenting it again in Fayetteville on January 17th from 7:00 to 8:30pm.

FAQ about Backup Withholding

Here’s a very useful FAQ about backup withholding from the IRS. I wrote about backup withholding in relation to improper W-9 filing here.

What is a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)?

A TIN is one of the following four numbers.

  1.  A Social Security Number (SSN)
  2.  An Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  3.  An IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Aliens who do not have an SSN, and are not eligible to get one should get an ITIN. Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is used to apply for an ITIN.
  4.  An Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN). An ATIN is a temporary tax identification number issued for a child born in the U.S. An ATIN is used as an identifying number is the child is not eligible for an SSN.

When is a TIN considered missing or incorrect?

Missing TIN – We consider a TIN to be missing if it is not provided. We also consider a TIN to be missing if it has more or less than nine numbers or it has an alpha character as one of the nine numbers.
Example: Missing SSN: 123-45-678
Example: Missing SSN: 123-45-67899
Example: Missing EIN: 12- 345678P

Incorrect TIN – We consider a TIN to be incorrect if it is in the proper format but the name/TIN combination doesn’t match or can’t be found on IRS or SSA files.
Examples of Proper Format:
Correct SSN: 123-45-6789
Correct EIN: 12-3456789
[Read more…]

All About Taxes on Gambling Winnings

Here are some important things to remember regarding your gambling winnings —

1. It’s taxable.  All of it.  Your gambling winnings could be from things like lotteries, raffles, horse races, and of course, from casinos.  It includes cash and the fair market value of prizes like cars and trips.  Report it on the “other income” line on your 1040.

2. The losses are NOT fully deductible.  I know…bummer.  You can only claim the losses up to the amount of your winnings.  You can report your losses on Schedule A under “other miscellaneous deductions”.  Don’t reduce your winnings by your losses, you need to report your winnings in full and your losses up to the amount of your winnings.

3. You may receive a W-2G for your winnings.  If you win over a certain limit, then the payer is required to give you a W-2G.  Check your W-2G to see if any tax was withheld and make sure you include that on your return.

4. KEEP GOOD RECORDS! Especially if you are going to claim some losses.  You need to have receipts, tickets, or other documentation like a diary that records your losses and winnings.  Take a look at Publication 529 for what type of info you should keep track of.   Here is a link to a good video on record keeping as well.

Back-to-School Tax Tips

Back-to-School Tips for Students and Parents Paying College Expenses

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate going to college for the first time or a returning student, it will soon be time to head to campus, and payment deadlines for tuition and other fees are not far behind.

The IRS offers some tips about education tax benefits that can help offset some college costs for students and parents. Typically, these benefits apply to you, your spouse or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

  • American Opportunity Credit. This credit, originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is still available for 2012. The credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student and is available for the first four years of post secondary education at an eligible institution. Forty percent of this credit is refundable, which means that you may be able to receive up to $1,000, even if you don’t owe any taxes. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, course related books, supplies and equipment.
  • Lifetime Learning Credit. In 2012, you may be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses paid for a student enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for an eligible student.

You can claim only one type of education credit per student in the same tax year. However, if you pay college expenses for more than one student in the same year, you can choose to take credits on a per-student, per-year basis. For example, you can claim the American Opportunity Credit for one student and the Lifetime Learning Credit for the other student.

  • Student loan interest deduction. Generally, personal interest you pay, other than certain mortgage interest, is not deductible. However, you may be able to deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan during the year. It can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $2,500, even if you don’t itemize deductions.

These education benefits are subject to income limitations, and may be reduced or eliminated depending on your income.