Thursday, March 16, 2017

YOU MAY BE ASKED FOR MORE INFORMATION IF YOU CLAIM CERTAIN CREDITS

Don't be surprised if you're required to answer additional questions this year if you claim the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) or American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER USING HRAS TO HELP EMPLOYEES WITH MEDICAL COSTS

A health reimbursement arrangement, or HRA, is a benefit plan you can offer to your employees to reimburse them for medical expenses that are not covered by an insurance plan.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

TAX RECORDS – WHAT YOU SHOULD KEEP

It's that time of year when you are getting ready to sort out last year's financial records and prepare for this year's recordkeeping. Do you know what you should keep and what can you throw away? Here are some suggestions.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

THE REAL DEFINITION OF "DEPENDENT" MAY SURPRISE YOU

Many people think of a "dependent" as a minor child who lives with you. This is true, but it's important to remember dependents can include parents, other relatives and nonrelatives, and even children who don't live with you.

Friday, March 3, 2017

WHO NEEDS AN "EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER"?

There are a few qualifications that determine if you need Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.


  • If you operate your business as a corporation or partnership.
  • If you file reports for employment taxes, excise tax, or alcohol, tobacco and firearms.
  • If you have one or more employees.
  • If you have a self-employed retirement plan.
  • If you operate as any of several other organizations.
If you need assistance, please contact our office at (518) 798-3330.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HOW TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT FROM AFFECTING YOU


The IRS has made great strides in protecting taxpayers from identity thieves, but you must still be diligent to protect your information.

Identity thieves can steal a taxpayer's personal information and use it to file a tax return claiming a refund under the taxpayer's name. Then when the taxpayer actually files a return, the IRS won't accept it and notifies the taxpayer that a return under his or her name and ID number has already been filed.

The IRS recommends that taxpayers should do the following in order to avoid becoming an identity theft victim:

  • Guard your personal information. Identity thieves can get your information by stealing your wallet or purse, going through your trash, or posing as someone who needs your information for a legitimate reason.
  • Watch out for IRS impersonators. Don't fall for phone calls, faxes, e-mails, or other contacts made by people claiming to be from the IRS. Do not respond to the message, open any attachments in an e-mail or click on any links.
  • The IRS recommends that you enter "phishing" in the search box at the top of its website (www.irs.gov) to get more information on avoiding tax scams. E-mail suspected scams to phishing@irs.gov.
  • Protect information on your computer. Protect your tax information with a password, and once you're finished with your tax data, take it off your hard drive.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

TAX PLANNING 2017: INFLATION ADJUSTED TAX NUMBERS


Each year, certain tax figures are adjusted for inflation. While most figures are unchanged versus 2016, there is more than a 7% increase to the maximum earnings subject to social security tax. Take note of these numbers for use in your 2017 planning.

  • The maximum earnings subject to social security tax in 2017 is $127,200. The earnings limit for those under full retirement age increases to $16,920 for 2017.
  • The "nanny tax" threshold remains $2,000 in 2017. If you pay household employees $2,000 or more during the year, you're generally responsible for payroll taxes.
  • The "kiddie tax" threshold remains $2,100 for 2017. If you have a child under the age of 19 (under age 24 for full-time students) who has more than $2,100 of unearned income, such as dividends and interest income, the excess could be taxed at your highest tax rate.
  • The maximum individual retirement account (IRA) contribution you can make in 2017 remains unchanged at $5,500 if you are under age 50 and $6,500 if you are 50 or older.
  • The maximum amount of wages employees can contribute to a 401(k) plan remains at $18,000, with an additional $6,000 if you are 50 or older. The 2017 maximum contribution for SIMPLE plans is $12,500 and an additional $3,000 if you are 50 or older.
  • The maximum you can contribute to a health savings account in 2017 is $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for families. The catch-up contribution if you're age 55 or older is $1,000.