Now is the time of year to consider making charitable contributions to help reduce tax liability. While charitable contributions don't help taxpayers who claim the standard deduction, those who itemize may benefit. Learn more by watching this short video:
Renewing Your ITIN? Here’s Where to Get Help
As the year-end draws near, taxpayers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number set to expire are encouraged to start the renewal process now. This will help to avoid delays at tax time. The IRS issues ITINs to people with a federal tax filing or reporting requirement who don’t have and cannot get a Social Security number.
Find help renewing an ITIN here:
Additional IRS Resources:
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service has opened the new registration and enrollment process for qualified taxpayers to receive the benefit of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) on an advance monthly basis during 2017.
Eligible taxpayers can have 72.5 percent of their qualified health insurance premiums paid in advance directly to their health plan administrator each month. Each payment made on their behalf to the health plan administrator lowers their out-of-pocket premium costs.
Taxpayers may be eligible to elect the HCTC only if they are one of the following:
Once the registration is complete and they are enrolled in the Advanced Monthly Payment HCTC program, the taxpayer must pay 27.5 percent of their health insurance premiums in advance to the HCTC program. Payments are due by the 10th day of each month and must be made through the US Bank Lockbox system. The HCTC program then adds the 72.5 percent advance portion of the HCTC and sends the full payment to the health plan or third party administrator each month.
For more information, including a helpful set of questions and answers, visit IRS.gov/HCTC.
WASHINGTON – As tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers about steps they can take now to ensure smooth processing of their 2016 tax return and avoid a delay in getting their tax refund next year.
The IRS reminds taxpayers to be sure they have all the documents they need, such as W-2s and 1099s, before filing a tax return. You may also need a copy of your 2015 tax return to make it easier to fill out a 2016 tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income amount from a prior tax return to verify their identity. Learn more about how to verify your identity and electronically sign your tax return at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. The IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns once the filing season begins.
Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), any Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) issued prior to 2013 or that haven’t been used for tax-years 2013, 2014 and 2015 will no longer be valid for use on a tax return as of Jan. 1, 2017. Individuals with expiring ITINs who need to file a return in 2017 will need to renew their ITIN. This process typically takes 7 weeks to receive an ITIN assignment letter, but the process can take longer - 9 to 11 weeks if taxpayers wait to submit Form W-7 during the peak filing season, or send it from overseas. Taxpayers who do not renew an expired ITIN before filing a tax return next year, could face a delayed refund and may be ineligible for certain tax credits. For more information, visit the ITIN information page on IRS.gov.
If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return, the IRS must hold your refund until February 15. This new law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. This change helps ensure that you receive the refund you are owed by giving the agency more time to help detect and prevent fraud.
The IRS always cautions taxpayers not to rely on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Though the IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, some returns are held for further review.
The easiest way to avoid common errors that delay processing a tax return is to e-file. E-file is the most accurate way to prepare a return and file. There are a number of e-file options:
With direct deposit, the refund goes directly into the taxpayer’s bank account. There is no risk of having the refund check stolen or lost in the mail. This is the same electronic transfer system used to deposit nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts. Direct deposit also saves taxpayer dollars. It costs the nation’s taxpayers more than $1 for every paper refund check issued but only a dime for each direct deposit made.
The IRS has a special page on IRS.gov with steps to take now for the 2017 tax filing season.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners today began the second year of their “Taxes. Security. Together.” campaign aimed at encouraging taxpayers to take stronger measures to protect their financial and tax data.
The campaign features a series of security awareness tax tips, a round-up of suggestions at the Taxes. Security. Together. web page and a one-page Publication 4524, Security Awareness for Taxpayers.
“These are common sense tips to help taxpayers ensure the security of their information,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The Security Summit partnership between the IRS, states and industry has made great strides but we need taxpayers to ensure their information is secure as well.”
The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax community came together in 2015 to combat tax-related identity theft as a coordinated partnership. But they immediately saw that one partner was missing: taxpayers.
The IRS and its partners need the help of all taxpayers. The Security Summit also needs the help of tax preparers and businesses to share information and help educate clients and employees about security measures. For example:
This just in from the IRS...
WASHINGTON – As tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service wants members of the military and their families to know about the special tax benefits available to them.
IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide, is a free booklet packed with valuable information and tips designed to help service members and their families take advantage of all tax benefits allowed by law. Here are some of those tax benefits.
The IRS has a special page on IRS.gov with Tax Information for Members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The new law makes it easier for the IRS to find and stop refund fraud. It also delays some taxpayer refunds. Those taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit won’t see refunds until Feb.15, at the earliest.
Here are some key points to keep in mind:
IRS Provides Special Relief to Encourage Leave-Based Donation Programs for Victims of Hurricane Matthew
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today announced special relief designed to support leave-based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Matthew.
Under these programs, employees may forgo their vacation, sick or personal leave in exchange for cash payments the employer makes, before Jan. 1, 2018, to charitable organizations providing relief for the victims of this disaster.
Under this special relief, the donated leave will not be included in the income or wages of the employees. Employers will be permitted to deduct the cash payments as business expenses.
This relief is similar to that provided following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014 and this summer’s severe flooding in Louisiana. Details of this relief are in Notice 2016-69, posted today on IRS.gov.
Information on other relief available to victims of Hurricane Matthew can be found on the disaster relief page of IRS.gov.
A new federal law, aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud, will accelerate the W-2 filing deadline for employers to January 31st.
New Jan. 31 Deadline for Employers
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new requirement for employers. They are now required to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by January 31st. The new January 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.
In the past, employers typically had until January 31st to provide employees with a W2 form and the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit their copies of these forms to the Social Security Administration. Now everything is due on January 31st.
From: IR-2016-143, Oct. 28, 2016