Depending on your income, you might qualify for a tax credit of up to $1,000 for contributing to an IRA or other retirement plan. Don't overlook this "saver's credit" as an opportunity to both cut your 2013 tax bill and increase your retirement nest egg. You have until April 15, 2014, to make a 2013 IRA contribution that could qualify for the credit.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
If you provided more than half a parent's support in 2013, you may be entitled to a $3,900 dependency exemption. If other family members helped to provide support, you can use a "multiple support agreement" to decide who gets the exemption for 2013. Paying a caretaker or paying for a parent's medical expenses might qualify for a tax credit or deduction.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Health savings accounts (HSAs) allow taxpayers with high-deductible health insurance plans to set aside pretax dollars that can be withdrawn tax-free to pay unreimbursed medical expenses. You might find an HSA to be the right choice for you and your family. The 2014 contribution limit to an HSA is $3,300 for individuals and $6,550 for families, with a $1,000 catch-up contribution for older individuals.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The IRS reminds taxpayers that certain energy credits are still available. If you haven't already taken advantage of them, this may be the year to make energy-efficient improvements to your home. You may be entitled to a credit of 10% of the cost of certain energy-saving improvements such as insulation, windows, doors, skylights, and roofs. The credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500; the credit for windows is limited to $200. Not all energy improvements qualify, the IRS cautions taxpayers, so be sure you have the manufacturer's credit certification statement (usually available with the product's packaging or on the manufacturer's website).
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Thieves and con artists thrive during the holidays. All that good cheer, all those weary and distracted shoppers, all that money being spent - it's a fraudster's paradise. Here are a few tips to keep the bad guys at bay, whether you're shopping online or at your local mall.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Form 1099-K is a new information return sent to businesses by "payment settlement entities" reporting the amount of credit card and other electronic receipts that were processed for the business. The IRS also receives a copy of Form 1099-K and cross checks the reported amounts with the business's total income reported on its tax return. Where the numbers don't seem to make sense, the IRS sends notices to businesses telling them they "may have underreported gross receipts." Notices go on to say "This is based on your tax return and Form(s) 1099-K, Payment/Merchant Cards and Third Party Network Transactions that show an unusually high portion of receipts from card payments."
The IRS has sent thousands of letters labeled "Notification of Possible Income Underreporting" to small business owners. The notification project is ongoing as part of the IRS's campaign to deal with the "tax gap," the difference between taxes owed and taxes actually collected.
If you receive a notice, contact us immediately at (518) 798-3330 so that we can determine what response is required.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Even if you're not an investment expert, you're probably familiar with the term "diversification." Choose the right mix of investments to keep a balance between risk and return.