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Rent Paid Affidavit ? Who Needs One ? How To Get One

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 06 2013
From Minnesota Revenue:
When a renter is unable to obtain a Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP) from their landlord, the Department of Revenue offers an alternative that can be used to file for a Property Tax Refund called the Rent Paid Affidavit (RPA).  To use an RPA to apply for the refund, you will need to provide proof of payment in the form of receipts or cancelled checks for the rent you paid to the landlord.
You can order a 2012 RPA beginning March  15, 2013 by calling Taxpayer Assistance at (651) 296-3781.  The information you will need to provide to the representative will be the name, address and phone number of the landlord, the dates of your rental, the number of adults who lived there and the total amount of rent paid.  We will mail you two copies of the RPA.  Using an RPA requires you to file a paper return. You will need to mail your completed M1PR form, one copy of the RPA, and proof of payment.

Are your donations tax deductible?

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Jan 11 2013

You can use this link to check whether donations to organizations are tax deductible. It is also useful to make sure vulnerable adults aren't being scammed.


Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Jan 07 2013

This is major good news that I haven't heard this mentioned in the news so I wanted to highlight it.

Changes are made to the Alternative Minimum Tax to permanently index it to inflation and thus to avoid the annual "patch" that was previously required to prevent it from impacting middle-class families

Fiscal Cliff Compromise

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Jan 03 2013

On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8). The bill raises tax rates on income above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.

In addition, the temporary Social Security payroll tax reduction that was in effect for tax years 2011 and 2012 has expired. For paychecks dated in 2013 the employee Social Security rate returns to 6.2%.

2013 HSA Limitations

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Nov 29 2012

Limitations for Health Savings Accounts for 2013:
Deduction Limitation:
Self-only coverage - $3,250
Family coverage - $6,450

Annual deductible of HDHP (high-deductible health plan):
Self-only coverage - not less than $1,250
Family coverage - not less than $2,500

Annual out-of-pocket expenses for HDHP:
Self-only coverage - not more than $6,250
Family coverage - not more than $12,500

2013 HSA Limitations have been released

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on July 18 2012
Individual Self-Only - $3,250
Family Coverage - $6,250
Minimum Annual Deductible
Individual Self-Only - $1,250
Family Coverage - $2,500
Maximum Annual Out of Pocket:
Individual Self-Only - $6,250

Late Payment Penalty Abatement for Some Unemployed and Self-Employed

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Mar 23 2012

The IRS is giving unemployed people six extra months to pay their 2011 taxes due without penalty. This applies to wage earners who were jobless at least 30 consecutive days in 2011 or in 2012 up to the April 17 filing deadline. Self-employed taxpayers whose income in 2011 was at least 25% lower than in 2010 also get this same break. Couples with incomes over $200,000 and others with incomes exceeding $100,000 don't qualify. Filers owing over $50,000 are out of luck as well. File Form 1127-A with IRS by April 17 to request the extra time to pay. And keep in mind that interest will still be due on any unpaid balance. And more individuals will be able to pay their back taxes in installments without having to supply detailed financial information. IRS is doubling the threshold to $50,000 to use these streamlined installment procedures and is allowing six years for repayment. You'll have to agree to let the IRS debit your bank account monthly.

From Jennings Seminars

Missing W-2s?

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 14 2012

If you didn't receive a W-2 from an employer IRS advises the following steps:

1)  Contact employer to verify address
2)  If the W-2 is not received by February 14, 2012 contact the IRS and provide the employer's information, dates of employment and estimated wages and taxes withheld.
3)  File the 1040 by April 17, 2012 and attach Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2.
4)  Prepare an amended 1040 if the W-2 is eventually received and differs from the tax return numbers used.

Tax Tips For Job Seekers

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Aug 16 2011

Following are some tax tips for taxpayers seeking employment:

You can deduct employment and outplacement agency fees paid while looking for a job in your current occupation.

Amounts spent for preparing and mailing copies of resumes to prospective employers are deductible as long as you are looking for a job in your current occupation.

Travel expenses to another location in search of a job in your current occupation are deductible if the primary purpose of the travel is to look for a new job.

You should keep receipts for expenses and documentation of travel to substantiate job search expenses. Qualifying expenses are taken as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions, subject to the 2% AGI limitation.

You cannot deduct job search expenses if there is a substantial break between the end of the last job and the time you begin looking for a new job. Also, expenses for taxpayers searching for a job for the first time are not deductible.

Information is from The TaxBook

Adoption Tax Credit

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Aug 16 2011

The Affordable Care Act increased the amount of the credit to as much as $13,170 and made it refundable.

Taxpayers who adopt a child in 2010 or 2011 may qualify for the credit if qualified expenses relating to the adoption, or an attempted adoption, were paid.

The adoption credit begins to phase out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income of more than $182,520 in 2010 and is fully phased out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income of more than $222,520.

The IRS has indicated that inflation adjustments may be made for 2011 to the phaseout amount, as well as to the maximum credit amount.

Information is from The TaxBook.

Quickbooks R8 Update

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Aug 10 2011

Quickbooks R8 update has some problems. If you have not loaded it - don't. If you have, the problems are sporadic and not affecting everyone but can be as serious as not being able to use the program. We have R8 and have not had any problems to date. R9 should be coming soon to correct the issues.

Contributions To College Savings Accounts

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on July 20 2011

Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, the owner of the account or a person authorized to contribute to the account such as a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, or uncle of the beneficiary is allowed the subtraction from income for up to $3,000 of the amount the person contributed to the college savings account or tuition expense program if the beneficiary of the account is the owner's or authorized person's child, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece, or nephew.

IRS Sends 200,000 Balance Due Notices by Mistake

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Mar 18 2011

Due to a computer processing glitch, the IRS mailed 200,000 CP-14 balance due notices to taxpayers who filed electronically. These notices told the taxpayers that their balance was due by April 15, even if they had already designated automatic withdrawal from their bank accounts.

These notices were not to be processed in the middle of tax season, and instead should have been processed after the database had been updated to account for direct debit payments.

The IRS has stated that if a taxpayer consequently pays twice using direct debit and check, the IRS will automatically issue a refund for any overpayment.

It is important to note that not all taxpayers have received a Notice CP-14 in error. If the bank account listed on the tax return was listed incorrectly, a taxpayer would receive this notice.

Last Chance For 2007 Refunds

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Mar 03 2011

Refunds totaling more than $1.1 billion may be waiting for nearly 1.1 million people who did not file a federal income tax return for 2007, the Internal Revenue Service announced. However, to collect the money, a return for 2007 must be filed with the IRS no later than Monday, April 18, 2011.

Change in WI Treatment of HSAs

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 23 2011

Wisconsin adopted the federal treatment of health savings accounts (HSAs) for Wisconsin. Wisconsin treatment of HSAs will be the same as the federal treatment, effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011.

Basically this means if you contribute on your own you will get a deduction. If you contribute pre-tax or your employer contributes for you, it will no longer be added to taxable income.

IRS E-filing

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 10 2011

IRS will begin accepting tax returns with itemized deductions and other delayed forms after 11 am Eastern time next Monday.

When Does a Dependent Need to File a Return?

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Jan 12 2011

A dependent has to file a return if the dependent has:

1)  Only earned income (W2s, 1099s etc) and the total is more than $5,700

2)  Only unearned income (interest, dividends etc) and the total is more than $950

3)  Both earned and unearned income and the totalincome is more than $5700 or the unearned income is more than $300

Delayed Filing For Some Taxpayers

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Jan 04 2011

Following last week's tax law changes, the Internal Revenue Service announced Monday that taxpayers affected by three recently reinstated deductions need to wait until mid- to late February to file their individual tax returns. In addition, taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A will need to wait until mid- to late February to file as well.

You can still bring all your return in and have it prepared at your usual time but we may have to delay the actual e-filing.  The IRS will announce specific dates in the near future.


Bush Tax Cuts Extended

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Dec 20 2010

President Obama signed into law the $858-billion tax package that will extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans for two years, extend unemployment insurance for the next 13 months, enact a one-year payroll tax holiday in 2011, set the estate tax at 35 percent for properties valued over $5 million and extend a number of stimulus-related tax incentives for another year.

We may finally have tax rates for 2011!

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Dec 17 2010

Congress has passed the compromise bill and the President is expected to quickly sign it into law .