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ACA Deadline for all employers

Posted by Admin Posted on Aug 21 2013

Oct. 1, 2013 deadline to send employee notices

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all employers provide notice of "exchanges" or "marketplaces" to employees by Oct. 1, 2013, and to any new hires after this date within 14 days of the start date. All emloyees, regardless of full/part-time emloyment status, must receive the notice.

The notice should include the following:

  • Information on the existence of exchanges, a description of the services provided and how to contact and seek assistance from the exchange;
  • Notice that employees may be eligible for a premium tax credit or cost sharing reduction through the exchange if the employer?s plan does not meet minimum value;
  • Notice that employees may lose the employer contribution if they opt-out of group coverage to purchase coverage through the exchange.
Employers can use model notices or any other notice that meets the requirements, and can send them via mail or electronically. Model notices are broken into three parts: explanations, employer information and optional employer information to help employees understand their coverage choices. 

Minnesota law changes affect 2012 taxes for some individuals

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 21 2013

Minnesota law changes affect 2012 taxes for some individuals

ST. PAUL, Minn.: Minnesota has adopted most federal tax changes enacted by Congress for the 2012 tax year under a new law signed by Gov. Mark Dayton. The changes will provide $...18.5 million in tax benefits to Minnesotans.

Conforming to federal tax law also helps provide clear and consistent rules that help reduce taxpayer confusion and makes it easier to calculate and file state tax returns. Legislation enacted February 20, 2013, adopts all of the federal tax provisions enacted since April 14, 2011 that affect federal taxable income for tax year 2012, except:

  • The increased federal section 179 expensing is subject to an addback of 80 percent in the first year and a five-year recovery, as under current state law, and the additions related to the phase out of itemized deductions and personal exemptions, and the standard deduction for married taxpayers, which were enacted in 2011, are unaffected by this new law.

The new law eliminates the need for the 2012 Schedule M1NC, Federal Adjustments. It also eliminates the need to add back the federal educator expenses and college tuition and fees deductions on lines 16 and 37 of Schedule M1M, Income Additions and Subtractions, for tax year 2012. For taxpayers who have not yet filed their 2012 Form M1:

  • Do not complete Schedule M1NC. The schedule is now obsolete.
  • Do not complete lines 16 and 37 of Schedule M1M. This adjustment on the 2012 Minnesota return is no longer required of taxpayers who deducted educator expense or college tuition and fees on their federal return.
  • Use the Schedules M1NR, M1CD, M1ED, and M1MT, revised February 2013, if they are:
  • part-year residents or nonresidents
  • claiming the child and dependent care credit, or the K-12 education credit
  • reporting alternative minimum tax

For those taxpayers who have already filed their Minnesota return and included Schedule M1NC or reported an amount on Schedule M1M, lines 16 or 37:

  • Do not file an amended return.
  • The department will review filed returns that reported an amount on Schedule M1M, lines 16 and 37, and/or included Schedule M1NC, to determine if adjustments are required based on available information. When possible, the department will make needed adjustments, notify taxpayers of changes and send any additional refunds due.
  • Taxpayers will be notified if further action is required by them.

The new law, which applies only to the 2012 tax year, conforms Minnesota's income tax laws to most federal changes enacted through January 3, 2013.

For additional information including the most current forms, schedules and instructions go to the Minnesota Department of Revenue website at www.revenue.state.mn.us.

Minnesota Subtraction for K-12 Education Expenses

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 06 2013

If you have kids in K-12, you may be missing this state deduction.

http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/individuals/individ_income/Pages/Qualifying_Expenses_for_the_K-12_Education_Credit_and_Subtraction.aspx

Mortgage Insurance Premiums Box Missing

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 01 2013

The deduction for mortgage insurance could easily be missed this year.  The 2012 Form 1098 does not contain a box for qualified mortgage insurance premiums. This is likely due to the fact that the new tax bill was passed in January when mortgage companies were already in the process of issuing 1098s. The mortgage insurance premiums are deductible for 2012 and 2013, but you will need to let us know if you have them.

Form Availability

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 01 2013
The IRS has begun accepting e-filed individual tax returns and has posted all available forms and instructions. However, there are several forms that will not be available until mid-Feburary or March, including Form 8863, Education Credits.

Per Diem Look Up

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Jan 11 2013
If you travel for business and use per diems the GSA has a quick lookup site.
http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/110007

Records Destroyed by Fire No Excuse for No Proof

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 22 2012
The IRS disallowed all deductions claimed on three separate Schedules C because the taxpayer could not substantiate the claimed deductions. The taxpayer claimed that a fire in his house destroyed records and documents pertaining to the claimed deductions. The court noted that although it may estimate amounts, any estimations must have a reasonable ...evidentiary basis. If a fire destroyed his records, the taxpayer had the opportunity to reconstruct them in order to substantiate the claimed deductions. Since the taxpayer failed to reconstruct records in any meaningful manner, the court ruled the deductions were not allowed.

From The TaxBook News
Cross References ? Roumi, T.C. Memo. 2012-2, January 3, 2012
See More

IRS Releases the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 17 2012

The Internal Revenue Service issued its annual ?Dirty Dozen? list of tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=254383,00.html

 

Hate tracking mileage?

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 16 2012
There's an app for that! Both iPhone ans Android I think. The video is from 2010 so mileage rates aren't current but they are updated as they change.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikPioijoWvY

IRS Complains of Being Overworked

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Feb 07 2012

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her annual report to Congress, identifying the combination of the IRS? expanding workload and declining resources as the most serious problem facing taxpayers. The result, the report says, is inadequate taxpayer service, erosion of taxpayer rights, and reduced tax compliance. The advocate expressed her continuing concern that the IRS? expanding use of automated processes to adjust tax liabilities is causing harm to taxpayers and recommended that Congress enact a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Plan Now to Get Full Benefit of Saver's Credit

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Dec 22 2011

Low- and moderate-income workers can take steps now to save for retirement and earn a special tax credit in 2011 and the years ahead.

The saver?s credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 workers voluntarily contribute to IRAs and to 401(k) plans and similar workplace retirement programs. Also known as the retirement savings contributions credit, the saver?s credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply.

from e-News for Tax Professionals

 

Standard Mileage Rates For 2012

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Dec 12 2011

The IRS released standard mileage rates for use in 2012:

Business miles - 55½ cents per mile.
Medical or moving miles - 23 cents per mile
Charitable miles - 14 cents per mile.

Rather than using the standard mileage rates, taxpayers may instead use their actual costs if they maintain adequate records and can substantiate their expenses.

Pension Limits for 2012

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Nov 16 2011

401(k) & 403(b):
Maximum contribution - $17,000
Catch-up contribution (50 and older) - $5,500

SIMPLE or SIMPLE 401(k):
Maximum contribution - $11,500
Catch-up contribution (50 and older) - $2,500

SEP:
Maximum contribution - 25% of wages up to $50,000 or
20% of SE income after 1/2 SE tax up to $50,000

Traditional & Roth IRA:
Maximum contribution - $5,000
Catch-up contribution (50 and older) - $1,000

IRS Fresh Start Initiative

Posted by Liz Weaver Posted on Aug 31 2011

The IRS has made changes to its lien filing practices that will lessen the negative impact on taxpayers. The changes include:

  • Significantly increasing the dollar threshold when liens are generally issued, resulting in fewer tax liens.
  • Making it easier for taxpayers to obtain lien withdrawals after paying a tax bill.
  • Withdrawing liens in most cases where a taxpayer enters into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement.
  • Creating easier access to Installment Agreements for more struggling small businesses.
  • Expanding a streamlined Offer in Compromise program to cover more taxpayers.