Author Archives: c06675329

Today’s Blog Has Gone to the Dogs!

Tax Dollars for Saving Paws Animal Rescue

As our tax season as come to an end, we are donating $873.75 to the fund-raising efforts of the new transport van for Saving Paws Animal Rescue!

Thank you to all those who help us help others in our community!

 

“Can I claim my dog as a Dependent?”

Believe it or not, I am asked this question more than just a few times not only during tax season but throughout the entire year. Although your dog or other furry family member may not qualify as a dependent, I found these blogs written by fellow Tax Pro’s to be quite interesting and in some cases very creative. Read them for yourself and let me know what you think.

Mark J Kohler deals with the question “Is My Pet a Tax Write-off?”.

 

I have also written about this topic in several past posts – beginning with “Doggie Deductions”.

Wisconsin Child Sales Tax Rebate

As long as we on are the topic of dependents, check out my last blog for the Wisconsin Child Sales Tax Rebate – Yes, this is for your “human” child dependents. You must apply between May 15 and July 2 to claim the $100 per child rebate.

 

 

Fun Doggie Events this Summer!

Finally, some local summer fun activities that you can enjoy with your furry family member.

May 20 – Bark in the Park, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 1:05pm – 4:05pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/122787595191369/

June 23 – Doggy Dip & Sip, The Watering Hole in Green Bay 10am – 3pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/1280195458791574/

 

As always, my favorite for any time of day or evening, the Outagamie County Dog Park a fantastic place to spend with furry friends.

 

Thank you for reading my blog,

Have a Wonderful Day!

Tina

 

 

Wisconsin Child Sales Tax Rebate – Claim May 15 – July 2, 2018!

Only in Wisconsin….Did you know you can claim a Child Sales Tax Rebate?

Yes, this is true! You may be eligible for a $100 rebate for Wisconsin Sales and Use Tax paid on purchases for raising a qualified child in 2017. Applications for the rebate will be accepted May 15, 2018 – July 2, 2018 by using one of the two following methods:

– Online at childtaxrebate.wi.gov. This will be available 24 hours per day/ 7 days per week, this method is the fastest and most convenient way to claim the rebate. Applications can be processed using a computer, tablet, or smart phone.

– Telephone at 608-266-KIDS (5437). This will be available Monday – Friday, 7:45am – 4:30pm, a customer service representative will file a rebate claim on your behalf. This option is available for those who do not have access to the internet or have issues using the online application. There may be significant wait times for a representative.

More information is available on the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website at this link – https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/FAQS/ise-ChildTaxRebate.aspx#1.

Thank you for reading my blog!

Tina

 

 

 

Community Events & Easter Activities in Appleton!

BABES Inc Hats Off Lip-Sync Challenge

Early Bird Registration Ends March 31!

 

BABES Inc Lip Sync Challenge and the Hats Off! 2018 Awards and Reception Event.

When: Friday, April 27, 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Where: The Radisson Paper Valley Hotel Ballroom in Appleton

Cost: Early Bird pricing $60 until March 31, $75 after, $450 for a table of 8. Seating limited. Reserve today!

 

Your SPECTACULAR evening includes:

Reception & Silent Auction

Chocolate Sale

Happy Hors of d’oeuvres Buffet

BABES Inc Lip Sync Challenge 3.0

Live Raffle

 

Reservations available online at http://www.babeshastoff.com

Check out Hats Off! Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1668023506830931/about/.

 

~ Prizes ~ Raffle Tickets ~ Purchase Here!

Purchase raffle tickets to be included in a drawing for the following 3 prizes:

Blue Harbor Resort, Sheboygan, 2-Night Stay

Fine Jewelry from Avenue Jewelers

Samsung 50” 4K Smart TV with 2-Year Warranty

Raffle Tickets are $20/each; 3 for $50; 5 for $80

Contact our office to purchase at 920-277-2991.  Raffle prizes are drawn the evening of the BABES Inc Hats Off! event.  Winner not need be present to win.

 

Easter Week Activities!

Easter Egg Hunt for your Dog!

Don’t leave out your furry family member this Easter! Some Easter Egg Hunt’s for your dog are:

March 31 10 Am- Noon, Brown County Dog Park, 1000 Pleasant Lane, Green Bay, WI

Cost $5 per dog

Easter Brunch

Apriil 1 10:30 Am – 2:30 PM, TimberRattlers Stadium, 2400 N Casaloma Drive, Appleton, WI

Tickets available at www.milb.com

 

May you & your family have a very, wonderful Easter Sunday!

Tina

2014 Tax Returns Must be Filed by April 17, 2018 to Receive a Refund! 4 Tips to Find Unclaimed Money!

2014 Tax Returns Must be Filed by April 17, 2018 to Receive a Refund. IRS Estimates $1.1 billion waiting to be refunded. IRS estimates $13,041,800 waiting to be refunded just to those in the State of Wisconsin!

 

Unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling about $1.1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2014 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

To collect the money, these taxpayers must file their 2014 tax return with the IRS no later than this year’s tax deadline, Tuesday, April 17.

In cases where a federal income tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a tax refund. If they do not file a tax return within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2014 tax returns, the window closes April 17, 2018. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by that date.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2014 tax refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2015 and 2016. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS or a state tax agency and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2014. Many low- and moderate-income workers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2014, the credit was worth as much as $6,143. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2014 were:

 

4 Tips To Find Unclaimed Money

 

Looking for additional information?  Remember to use our Resources tab on our website at www.integrityintaxllc.com!

We have a TON of great information & tools available such as our client worksheets, financial calculators, checklists, due dates, & much more!  Check it out & remember to sign up for our online newsletter!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Tax Updates For Your Reading Pleasure

Congress Passes Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018:  On 2/9/18, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, P.L. 115-123—the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Budget Act). In addition to funding the federal government through March 23, the Budget Act retroactively extends through tax year 2017 over 30 extender provisions. These include the deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses, the exclusion for cancellation of debt income on a principal residence, and various business tax credits. The Budget Act also provides tax relief to victims of natural disasters, particularly those affected by the California wildfires. From a procedural standpoint, the Budget Act requires the IRS to publish a simplified income tax return (Form 1040SR, to be available for tax years beginning after 2/9/18, for individuals who are age 65 or older by the close of the tax year. Other items are affected as well, such as user fees for installment agreements and certain costs associated with whistleblower awards. P.L. 115-123.

Foreign Reporting—2017 FBAR Filing Deadline Announced:  The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 changed the due date for filing FinCEN Form 114 [Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs)] to April 15 of the following calendar year, with a six-month extension to October 15 allowed. (Previously, the due date was June 30 of the following calendar year, with no extension allowed.) Recently, FinCEN announced that 2017 FBARs will be due on 4/17/18, which is the same date 2017 federal income tax returns are due. However, taxpayers who fail to file their FBARs by that date will be granted an automatic extension to 10/15/18—a specific request for extension will not be required. The announcement can be found at www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/shared/FBAR_Due_Date_Clarification_PD02-02-2018.pdf .

IRS to Reject 2017 Returns without Health Care Information Reported:  The IRS has said it will not accept electronically filed 2017 tax returns that do not report on the taxpayer’s compliance with the individual mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The IRS did not reject such returns for 2016 after the President issued an executive order that directed federal agencies to waive, defer, or delay the implementation of ACA provisions that imposed penalties or fees. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces the amount of the penalty, or Shared Responsibility Payment (SRP), to zero for months beginning after 12/31/18, but for 2017, the IRS says that it won’t consider an electronically filed tax return complete and accurate if the taxpayer does not report full-year coverage, claim an exemption, or report an SRP on the return. The IRS’s statement can be found at www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/aca-information-center-for-tax-professionals .

Procedure—Taxpayers Are Encouraged to Renew Expired ITINs:  The IRS is urging taxpayers with expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to renew them as soon as possible. During tax season, the ITIN renewal application process can take up to 11 weeks. ITINs are issued by the IRS to individuals with a tax filing or payment requirement who aren’t eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN). ITINs not used on a tax return at least once in the last three years are set to expire. Those with middle digits of 70, 71, 72 or 80 expired on 12/31/17, and those with middle digits of 78 or 79 expired on 12/31/16. Expired ITINs must be renewed if the taxpayer will have a filing requirement in 2018. Taxpayers who are now eligible for a SSN or have already obtained one, do not need to renew their ITINs, but should notify the IRS of their SSN and previous ITIN so their accounts can be merged. An ITIN can be renewed by filing Form W-7 with all required documentation. News Release IR 2018-18.

Looking for additional information?  Remember to use our Resources tab on our website at www.integrityintaxllc.com.  We have a plethora of information available such as our client worksheets, financial calculators, checklists, due dates, & much more!  Check it out & remember to sign up for our online newsletter!

Thank you for reading my blog!

 

 

It’s Here – Tax Season 2018!

Our Tax Season has begun!

IRS is officially accepting E-File Tax Returns beginning Jan. 29!

To Reserve an appointment call: (920) 277-2991; Email: tinak@integrityintaxllc.com

 

We have many NEW convenient methods for you to have your taxes prepared!

  • Appointments: We are currently booking appointments all day Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Evening appointments are also available on these days. Saturday appointments are available 10am – 4pm. Sunday appointments are available by appointment only.
  •  
  • Drop Offs: You can drop off/pick up your tax information at our office with no appointment!
  •  
  • Online: We can prepare your taxes for you from the comfort of your own home! Simply follow these 3 easy steps to get started:
  1. Send an email to request access to our Secure Client Portal to tinak@integrityintaxllc.com. We will then send you an email with access to our Secure Client Portal.
  2. Upload your tax documents, copy of driver’s license for primary taxpayer, copy of Social Security Card (or ITIN letter) for all dependents, and completed client interviews.
  3. Upon receiving your tax documents, we will send you an invoice for tax preparation services. Payment of invoice is required before tax preparation is started.

Attachments: We’ve attached worksheets for you to complete and assemble your tax information. All worksheets may not apply to your situation.   Use the worksheets that apply. We’ve also attached a copy of our privacy policies.

Added Bonus: We’ve attached a copy of the Tax Update’s Special Edition Newsletter as it highlights important changes with the passing of the New Tax Law.

Why Us? We support local animal rescues/shelters throughout the NE Wisconsin area! A portion of your tax return fee is contributed to pets in need. This year we are helping Saving Paws Animal Rescue in their purchase of an animal transport van. Thank you for helping us help others!

 

 

 

Additional Services We Offer:

New Tax Law Planning: The majority of tax returns will be changing for the next 8 years. We can help you determine the impact this New Law has on your tax return, plan with tax-saving techniques & strategies, and most of all, reduce your concerns and fears over what this New Law means for you. If you are a sole proprietor, small business, or have rental property, I definitely would like to meet with you mid-year to plan for the New Sec. 199A Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBI). This deduction could be huge for you & your business! Lack of planning could result in a lost 20% QBI Deduction!

ITIN Application & Tax Compliance of Foreign Individuals living in the US: Foreign Individuals who are not eligible for a SSN but have a tax filing requirement must apply for an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). Additionally, certain ITIN’s have expired at the end of the year and thus must be renewed before a tax return can be filed. When applying or renewing an ITIN, original documents such as a passport must be submitted to the IRS. However, we have an agreement with the IRS that enables us to verify your Foreign Status and Identity & issue a Certificate of Accuracy which is then sent to the IRS with your application rather than the original documents. No more sending original passports, driver’s license, etc to the IRS!

Estate/Trust Tax Returns: Are you the administrator/executor of an estate or trust? Have you experienced the loss of your spouse or parents? We will work with your legal counsel to prepare the Final 1040, Estate or Trust Form 1041 & 706 (if applicable).

Gift Tax Return: If you have gifted over the annual exclusion of $14,000, you may be required to file Form 709.

Payroll Processing: Would you like to outsource your small business payroll without the large fees? We are your local, convenient, and trusted payroll processing partner. We process your payroll timely, submit federal and state payroll taxes on your behalf, and prepare and file quarterly and year-end reports including issuing employee W-2’s and 1099’s.

Thank you for choosing Integrity in Tax & Accounting, LLC for your tax & accounting needs! We value each and every client and pride ourselves on providing quality service, superior knowledge, and year-round support to our clients!

Government is Shut-down….Tax Due Dates Remain!

Government has shut-down. However, tax due dates remain effective.  Thus, employers and small businesses should continue to file their W-2’s and 1099’s by Jan. 31, 2018.  Individuals should file tax returns and pay any tax owed by April 17, 2018. An extension can be filed which automatically extends the due date to file your tax return by six months. However, any tax owed is still due on April 17, 2018. If tax due is not paid, penalties and interest may be applied.

The IRS anticipates that 35,076 employees, or 43.5% of the total employee population, will be retained during the shutdown.  These employees have roles that include:

  • Processing of returns with payments
  • E-filing
  • Mailing tax forms
  • Appeals (statutory deadlines will not be changed)
  • Call centers (only during filing season)
  • Civil and criminal tax cases
  • Certain communications to taxpayers
  • Active criminal investigations
  • IRS.gov

Some of the roles of IRS employees that will more than likely be put on hold due to the government shutdown are:

  • No tax refunds issued
  • No processing of non-disaster relief transcripts
  • No processing of forms 1040X, amended returns
  • No non-automated collections
  • No audit or examinations (some exceptions apply)
  • No whistleblower office activity

Important Due Date Reminders:

Jan. 31 – W-2 and 1099 must be issued to employees/independent contractors & filed with appropriate government agency.

Mar. 15 – Partnership (Form 1065) and S-Corporation (Form 1120-S) tax returns are due.  Schedule K-1 is to be issued to each partner/shareholder.

Apr. 17 – Individual (Form 1040) and Corporate (Form 1120) tax returns are due.  Any tax owed from 2017 tax year is due to avoid penalties and interest.

As always, thank you for reading my blog!

Tina

 

 

 

Some Highlights of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act for Individuals

Yes, we know the standard deduction has doubled, the personal exemption is gone, and tax rates for corporations have decreased. But what about all the other stuff buried within those 500+ pages of tax law? Here are some provisions for individuals, some of which have become common to many taxpayers such an unreimbursed employee expenses.

Did you Know: The reason that many of the individual provisions expire on Dec. 31, 2025 is due to the Byrd rule, which states Senators are to stop legislation if it has the potential of significantly increasing the federal deficit beyond a 10-year period.

  • Contributions to 529 plans for “qualified higher education” include tuition at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school, up to a $10,000 limit per tax year. This appears to be permanent.
  • Unreimbursed employee business expenses are no longer deductible. So if you incur a lot of expenses for your job that are not reimbursed by your employer, no tax deduction applies. This expires Dec. 31, 2025.
  •  More middle-income taxpayers will be eligible for the Child Tax Credit due to the higher phase-out which begins at $400,000 MFJ and $200,000 Single taxpayers.
  •  Child Tax Credit continues to apply to dependents until 17, however dependents older & non-child dependents, may be eligible for $500 non-refundable credit. This expires Dec. 31, 2025.
  •  Moving Expenses reimbursed by the employer are no longer excluded from gross income, except for Members of the Armed Forces. This expires Dec. 31, 2025.
  •  Moving expense deduction is eliminated, except for Members of the Armed Forces. So if you move more than 50 miles for work, this is no longer tax deductible. This expires Dec. 31, 2025.
  • Alimony is no longer a deduction for the payor for divorce or separation agreements dated after Dec. 31, 2018. The receiving ex-spouse does not include alimony as income. Rather the paying ex-spouse is taxed at their applicable rates for alimony.
  • Capital gains remain much the same.
  • Re-characterization to undo a contribution to a Roth IRA is no longer possible.
  • Inflation will be calculated using the chained CPI-U (Consumer Price Index for all urban customers). In theory, the chained CPI grows at a slower pace because it takes into account a consumer’s ability to substitute between goods in response to changes in relative prices. This is permanent.

And many, many more provisions are included, some of what maybe haven’t gotten read yet. I particularly like that Members of Congress cannot deduct living expenses when they are away from home. Previously, they were allowed to deduct up to $3,000 of living expenses when they were away from home (such as expenses connected with maintaining a residence in Washington, D.C.) in any tax year.

Friday, I will discuss business changes in the tax reform that affect small business owners.

As always, thank-you for reading my blog.

Tina

Tax Law is Here – Have you read it?

 

 

 

 

…said No Taxpayer EVER!

                Luckily, We Do!!

 Well, I’m sure by now you have heard of the new Tax Law that became effective January 1, 2018. This new law makes a plethora of changes to the tax code, some permanent and some that will expire on December 31, 2025. Fortunately, tax returns prepared in early 2018 for tax year 2017 will generally not be affected by the new law.

Simplification of the Tax Code? Perhaps, for some individuals. However, for those with small businesses such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, S-Corporation, Estate, & Trust, there is a deduction known as the 199A “Qualified Business Income Deduction” under which a non-corporate taxpayer that has qualified business income is allowed to deduct:

  1. The lesser of: (a) the “combined qualified business income amount” of the taxpayer, or (b) 20% of the excess, if any, of the taxable income of the taxpayer for the tax year over the sum of net capital gain and the aggregate amount of the qualified cooperative dividends of the taxpayer for the tax year; plus
  2. The lesser of: (i) 20% of the aggregate amount of the qualified cooperative dividends of the taxpayer for the tax year, or (ii) taxable income (reduced by the net capital gain) of the taxpayer for the tax year.

The “combined qualified business income amount” means, for any tax year, an amount equal to: (i) the deductible amount for each qualified trade or business of the taxpayer (defined as 20% of the taxpayer’s QBI subject to the W-2 wage limit; see below); plus (ii) 20% of the aggregate amount of qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership income of the taxpayer for the tax year.

The 20% deduction is not allowed in computing adjusted gross income (AGI), but rather is allowed as a deduction reducing taxable income.

Limitations. Except as provided below, the deduction cannot exceed the greater of:

  1. 50% of the W-2 wages with respect to the qualified trade or business (“W-2 wage limit”), or
  2. The sum of 25% of the W-2 wages paid with respect to the qualified trade or business plus 2.5% of the unadjusted basis, immediately after acquisition, of all “qualified property.” Qualified property is defined as meaning tangible, depreciable property which is held by and available for use in the qualified trade or business at the close of the tax year, which is used at any point during the tax year in the production of qualified business income, and the depreciable period for which has not ended before the close of the tax year.

Tip: Item # 2 above is expected to benefit people who own businesses with large real estate holdings but have few actual employees.

Tip: Because of the threshold amounts, certain married taxpayers may find it beneficial to file separate returns.

Consultations are available upon request by contacting 920-277-2991. A non-refundable fee of $85.00 is required to reserve an appointment time.

Watch our Blog and FaceBook page for upcoming workshops!

Monday, I will post highlights from the new Tax Law that have not been widely discussed in the media & some useful tips!

As always, Thank you for reading my blog!

Tina

 

Tax Season Announced! Begins Jan. 29, Ends Apr. 17!

Tax Season Begins January 29!

The Internal Revenue Service announced the tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. While the IRS will process those returns when received, it cannot issue related refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.    The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are using a tax software product for the first time will need their adjusted gross income from their 2016 tax return to file electronically. Taxpayers who are using the same tax software they used last year will not need to enter prior-year information to electronically sign their 2017 tax return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option.

We Are Accepting Clients! To schedule your tax appointment, call Tina at 920-277-2991 or email at tinak@integrityintaxllc.com.

This year, a portion of tax fees collected, will be donated to Saving Paws Animal Rescue for the fundraising of a transport van!

Follow Saving Paws on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/SavingPawsAnimalRescue/.

 

Tax Deadline April 17!

The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2018, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 16. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.

IMPORTANT: Taxpayer’s not able to file their tax returns by April 17, 2018 can file for an extension. However, the extension is extra time to file the tax return, NOT pay the tax due. Any tax due must be submitted by April 17, 2018 to avoid penalties and interest.

 

Tax Refunds!

Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax software.

The IRS still anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers.

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. This applies to the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC.

IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if those taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return. This additional period is due to several factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits.

After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving Presidents’ Day may affect their refund timing.

The Where’s My Refund? ‎tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone app will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers in late February, so those filers  will not see a refund date on Where’s My Refund? ‎or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so Where’s My Refund? remains the best way to check the status of a refund.