Author Archives: Taxman

All first and second Economic Impact Payments have been issued

February 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – The IRS announced today that, as required by law, all legally permitted first and second round of Economic Impact Payments have been issued and the IRS now turns its full attention to the 2021 filing season.

Beginning in April 2020, the IRS and Treasury Department began delivering the first round of Economic Impact Payments within two weeks of the legislation. The IRS issued more than 160 million EIPs to taxpayers across the country totaling over $270 billion, while simultaneously managing an extended filing season. In addition, since Congress enacted the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, the IRS has delivered more than 147 million EIPs in the second-round totaling over $142 billion.

The legislation required that the second round of payments be issued by Jan. 15, 2021. While some second round Economic Impact Payments may still be in the mail, the IRS has issued all first and second Economic Impact Payments it is legally permitted to issue, based on information on file for eligible people.

Get My Payment was last updated on Jan. 29, 2021, to reflect the final payments and will not update again for first or second Economic Impact Payments.

Most people who are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit have already received it, in advance, in these two rounds of Economic Impact Payments. If individuals didn’t receive a payment – or if they didn’t receive the full amounts – they may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return. Eligibility for and the amount of the Recovery Rebate Credit are based on 2020 tax year information while the Economic Impact Payments were based on 2019 tax year information. For the first Economic Impact Payment, a 2018 return may have been used if the 2019 was not filed or processed.

Individuals will need to know the amounts of any Economic Impact Payments they received to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. Those who don’t have their Economic Impact Payment notices can view the amounts of their first and second Economic Impact Payments through their individual online account. For married filing joint individuals, each spouse will need to log into their own account.

To avoid refund delays, the IRS urges people to file a complete and accurate tax return. Filing electronically allows tax software to figure credits and deductions, including the Recovery Rebate Credit. The Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet on Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR instructions can also help.

The fastest way to get a tax refund is to file electronically and have it direct deposited – contactless and free – into the individual’s financial account. Bank accounts, many prepaid debit cards and several mobile apps can be used for direct deposit when you provide a routing and account number.

As always, please feel free to contact Tax On Wheels, LLC if you have questions or need assistance with your tax filing obligations. We can be reached at 803 732-4288.

Beware of ‘ghost’ preparers who don’t sign tax returns

February 6, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers to avoid “ghost” tax return preparers whose refusal to sign returns can cause a frightening array of problems. It is important to file a valid, accurate tax return because the taxpayer is ultimately responsible for it.

Ghost preparers get their scary name because they don’t sign tax returns they prepare. Like a ghost, they try to be invisible to the fact they’ve prepared the return and will print the return and get the taxpayer to sign and mail it. For e-filed returns, the ghost preparer will prepare but refuse to digitally sign it as the paid preparer.

By law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assists in preparing federal tax returns must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Paid preparers must sign and include their PTIN on the return. Not signing a return is a red flag that the paid preparer may be looking to make a fast buck by promising a big refund or charging fees based on the size of the refund.

Unscrupulous tax return preparers may also:

  • Require payment in cash only and not provide a receipt.
  • Invent income to qualify their clients for tax credits.
  • Claim fake deductions to boost the size of the refund.
  • Direct refunds into their bank account, not the taxpayer’s account.

The IRS urges taxpayers to choose a tax return preparer wisely. The Choosing a Tax Professional page on IRS.gov has information about tax preparer credentials and qualifications. The IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help identify many preparers by type of credential or qualification.

No matter who prepares the return, the IRS urges taxpayers to review it carefully and ask questions about anything not clear before signing. Taxpayers should verify both their routing and bank account number on the completed tax return for any direct deposit refund. And taxpayers should watch out for preparers putting their bank account information onto the returns.

Taxpayers can report preparer misconduct to the IRS using IRS Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If a taxpayer suspects a tax preparer filed or changed their tax return without their consent, they should file Form 14157-A, Tax Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit.

At Tax On Wheels, LLC, we proudly sign all our returns and we stand behind our work.  Please give us a call at 803 732-4288 if we can assist you with your tax filing needs.

Some Taxpayers Receive Stimulus Payments IRS releases tools for others

April 16, 2020

The following information is provided courtesy of the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP)

The first batch of economic stimulus payments have been deposited in taxpayer accounts. For those who have not received their payment the IRS has released a set of  tools to address questions about stimulus payments. The Social Security Administration recommends that for some people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—specifically those who have dependent children under the age of 17—it is to their advantage to go to this portal to ensure they also get the $500 per dependent payment. For those SSI recipients who do not have dependents, no further action is needed on their part. The IRS projects the payments for this group will go out no later than early May.

The IRS also released the Get My Payment tool, which shows where and when the economic impact payment was delivered. An additional feature on Get My Payment gives eligible individuals an opportunity to provide their bank account information so they can receive their payment more quickly rather than waiting for a paper check. This feature will be unavailable if the economic impact payment has already been scheduled for delivery.

According to an IRS stakeholder liaison, as of mid-day April 15, more than 6.2 million taxpayers successfully received their payment status using the tool, and almost 1.1 million taxpayers successfully provided banking information, ensuring a direct deposit will be quickly sent.

In situations where payment status is not available, the tool will respond with “Status Not Available”. You may receive this message for one of the following reasons:

  • If you are not eligible for a payment
  • If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019
  • If you recently filed your return or provided information through the non-filers tool, your payment status will be updated when processing is completed
  • If you are an SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient, the IRS is working with your agency to issue your payment; your information is not available in this tool yet

In addition, an IRS liaison noted taxpayers should only access the tool one time per day. If they access it more than once per day, they will get locked out and possibly have no way to get back in the system. The Get My Payment tool is updated once daily, usually overnight.

To help you figure out how the stimulus payments are determined, we have two videos available on YouTube that discuss various taxpayer case studies relating to the economic impact payments — part 1 and part 2.

Here’s how much individuals will get from the Economic Impact Payments


April 14, 2020

Employed full or part time? Unemployed? A temporary or gig worker? Retired or disabled? Receive public benefits? Have no income? Most U.S. residents – under certain income levels – will receive the Economic Impact Payment if they are not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number.

Here’s how much the payments will be:

  • Eligible individuals will receive up to $1,200.
  • Eligible married couples will receive up to $2,400.
  • Eligible individuals will receive up to $500 for each qualifying child.

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment.

Payments will also be automatic for people who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits who don’t normally file a tax return. Those receiving these benefits who aren’t claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return or required to file a tax return are eligible for a $1,200 payment. However, people in this group who have qualifying children under age 17 will need to provide information using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool to claim the $500 payment per child.

The IRS encourages people to share this information with family and friends. Some people who normally don’t file a tax return may not realize they’re eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.

For additional and updated information, visit the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov.

More information:
Economic Impact Payment
Adjusted Gross Income
Economic Impact Payments e-Poster
Do I Need to File a Tax Return?
Whom May I Claim as a Dependent?
What Is My Filing Status?

If you need assistance with this information or any tax matter you may reach Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 for individual assistance.

#IRSTaxTip: Read this information on the IRS website https://go.usa.gov/xvKm8

IRS extends more tax deadlines to cover individuals, trusts, estates corporations and others

April 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — To help taxpayers, the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced today that Notice 2020-23 extends additional key tax deadlines for individuals and businesses.

Last month, the IRS announced that taxpayers generally have until July 15, 2020, to file and pay federal income taxes originally due on April 15. No late-filing penalty, late-payment penalty or interest will be due.

Today’s notice expands this relief to additional returns, tax payments and other actions. As a result, the extensions generally now apply to all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers qualify for the extra time. This means that anyone, including Americans who live and work abroad, can now wait until July 15 to file their 2019 federal income tax return and pay any tax due.

Extension of time to file beyond July 15

Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline can request an extension to Oct. 15, 2020, by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004. An extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes owed. Taxpayers requesting additional time to file should estimate their tax liability and pay any taxes owed by the July 15, 2020, deadline to avoid additional interest and penalties.

Estimated Tax Payments

Besides the April 15 estimated tax payment previously extended, today’s notice also extends relief to estimated tax payments due June 15, 2020. This means that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, can wait until July 15 to make that payment, without penalty.

2016 unclaimed refunds – deadline extended to July 15

For 2016 tax returns, the normal April 15 deadline to claim a refund has also been extended to July 15, 2020. The law provides a three-year window of opportunity to claim a refund.  If taxpayers do not file a return within three years, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. The law requires taxpayers to properly address, mail and ensure the tax return is postmarked by the July 15, 2020, date.

IRS.gov assistance 24/7

IRS live telephone assistance is currently unavailable due to COVID-19. Normal operations will resume when possible. Tax help is available 24 hours a day on IRS.gov.  The IRS website offers a variety of online tools to help taxpayers answer common tax questions. For example, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, and Tax Trails to get answers to common questions. Those who have already filed can check their refund status by visiting IRS.gov/Refunds.

Tax On Wheels, LLC is here to assist you. Please call us at 803 732-4288 if we can assist you in meeting your tax filing obligations.

Economic impact payments: What you need to know


IR-2020-61, March 30, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?
The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment?
IRS.gov/coronavirus will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?
Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?
For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?
The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on IRS.gov/coronavirus rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.

Please feel free to contact Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 if we can assist you with securing your economic stimulus payment.


 

IRS automatically waives estimated tax penalty for eligible 2018 tax filers

August 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is automatically waiving the estimated tax penalty for the more than 400,000 eligible taxpayers who already filed their 2018 federal income tax returns but did not claim the waiver.

The IRS will apply this waiver to tax accounts of all eligible taxpayers, so there is no need to contact the IRS to apply for or request the waiver.

Earlier this year, the IRS lowered the usual 90% penalty threshold to 80% to help taxpayers whose withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total 2018 tax liability. The agency also removed the requirement that estimated tax payments be made in four equal installments, as long as they were all made by Jan. 15, 2019. The 90% threshold was initially lowered to 85% on Jan 16 and further lowered to 80% on March 22.

The automatic waiver applies to any individual taxpayer who paid at least 80% of their total tax liability through federal income tax withholding or quarterly estimated tax payments but did not claim the special waiver available to them when they filed their 2018 return earlier this year.

“The IRS is taking this step to help affected taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “This waiver is designed to provide relief to any person who filed too early to take advantage of the waiver or was unaware of it when they filed.”

Refunds planned for eligible taxpayers who paid penalty
Over the next few months, the IRS will mail copies of notices CP 21 granting this relief to affected taxpayers. Any eligible taxpayer who already paid the penalty will also receive a refund check about three weeks after their CP21 notice regardless if they requested penalty relief. The agency emphasized that eligible taxpayers who have already filed a 2018 return do not need to request penalty relief, contact the IRS or take any other action to receive this relief.

For those yet to file, the IRS urges every eligible taxpayer to claim the waiver on their return. This includes those with tax-filing extensions due to run out on Oct. 15, 2019. The quickest and easiest way is to file electronically and take advantage of the waiver computation built into their tax software package. Those who choose to file on paper can fill out Form 2210 and attach it to their 2018 return. See the instructions to Form 2210 for details.

Because the U.S. tax system is pay-as-you-go, taxpayers are required by law to pay most of their tax obligation during the year, rather than at the end of the year. This can be done by having tax withheld from paychecks, pension payments or Social Security benefits, making estimated tax payments or a combination of these methods.

Like last year, the IRS urges everyone to do a “Paycheck Checkup” and review their withholding for 2019. This is especially important for anyone who faced an unexpected tax bill or a penalty when they filed this year. It’s also an important step for those who made withholding adjustments in 2018 or had a major life change. Those most at risk of having too little tax withheld include those who itemized in the past but now take the increased standard deduction, as well as two wage earner households, employees with nonwage sources of income and those with complex tax situations.

To get started, check out the new Tax Withholding Estimator, available on IRS.gov. More information about tax withholding and estimated tax can be found on the agency’s Pay As You Go web page, as well as in Publication 505.

As always, please feel free to contact Tax On Wheels, LLC at 803 732-4288 if we can be of assistance to you with any tax matter.

 

Individuals who need passports should promptly resolve IRS tax debt

February 27, 2019

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today reiterated its warning that taxpayers may not be able to renew a current passport or obtain a new passport if they owe federal taxes. To avoid delays in travel plans, taxpayers need to take prompt action to resolve their tax issues.

In January of last year, the IRS began implementing new procedures affecting individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” These new procedures implement provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The law requires the IRS to notify the State Department of taxpayers the IRS has certified as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt, which is $52,000 or more. The law also requires State to deny their passport application or renewal. If a taxpayer currently has a valid passport, the State Department may revoke the passport or limit ability to travel outside the United States.

When the IRS certifies a taxpayer to the State Department as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt, they receive a Notice CP508C from the IRS. The notice explains what steps a taxpayer needs to take to resolve the debt. Please note, the IRS doesn’t send copies of the notice to powers of attorney. IRS telephone assistors can help taxpayers resolve the debt, for example, they can help taxpayers set up a payment plan or make them aware of other payment alternatives. Taxpayers shouldn’t delay because some resolutions take longer than others, such as adjusting a prior tax assessment.

When a taxpayer no longer has a seriously delinquent tax debt, because they paid it in full or made another payment arrangement, the IRS will reverse the taxpayer’s certification within thirty days. State will then remove the certification from the taxpayer’s record, so their passport won’t be at risk under this program. The IRS can expedite the decertification notice to the State Department for a taxpayer who resolves their debt, has a pending passport application and has imminent travel plans or lives abroad with an urgent need for a passport.

A taxpayer with a seriously delinquent tax debt is generally someone who owes the IRS more than $52,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest for which the IRS has filed a Notice of Federal Tax Lien and the period to challenge it has expired or the IRS has issued a levy.

Before denying a passport renewal or new passport application, the State Department will hold the taxpayer’s application for 90 days to allow them to:

  • Resolve any erroneous certification issues,
  • Make full payment of the tax debt, or
  • Enter a satisfactory payment arrangement with the IRS.

Ways to Resolve Tax Issues

There are several ways taxpayers can avoid having the IRS notify the State Department of their seriously delinquent tax debt. They include the following:

  • Paying the tax debt in full,
  • Paying the tax debt timely under an approved installment agreement,
  • Paying the tax debt timely under an accepted offer in compromise,
  • Paying the tax debt timely under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice,
  • Having requested or have a pending collection due process appeal with a levy, or
  • Having collection suspended because a taxpayer has made an innocent spouse election or requested innocent spouse relief.

Relief programs for unpaid taxes

Frequently, taxpayers qualify for one of several relief programs including the following:

  • Payment agreement. Taxpayers can ask for a payment plan with the IRS by filing Form 9465. Taxpayers can download this form from IRS.gov and mail it along with a tax return, bill or notice. Some taxpayers can use the online payment agreement to set up a monthly payment agreement.
  • Offer in compromise. Some taxpayers may qualify for an offer in compromise, an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the tax liability for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to decide the taxpayer’s ability to pay. Taxpayers can use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool to help them decide whether they’re eligible for an offer in compromise.

Subject to change, the IRS also will not certify a taxpayer as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt or will reverse the certification for a taxpayer:

  • Who is in bankruptcy,
  • Who is deceased,
  • Who is identified by the IRS as a victim of tax-related identity theft,
  • Whose account the IRS has determined is currently not collectible due to hardship,
  • Who is located within a federally declared disaster area,
  • Who has a request pending with the IRS for an installment agreement,
  • Who has a pending offer in compromise with the IRS, or
  • Who has an IRS accepted adjustment that will satisfy the debt in full.

For taxpayers serving in a combat zone who owe a seriously delinquent tax debt, the IRS postpones notifying the State Department of the delinquency and the taxpayer’s passport is not subject to denial during the time of service in a combat zone.

For more on these procedures and the law visit IRS.gov. The IRS first announced this matter in IRS news release IR-2018-7 on Jan. 16, 2018.

If you need help resolving an IRS tax debt issue, give us a call at 803 732-4288 to see how we can help.

The SCDOR to begin accepting Tax returns on Monday, January 28, 2019.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) and the IRS will begin accepting Individual Income Tax returns on Monday, January 28, 2019.
The SCDOR is encouraging taxpayers to file electronically. “It’s faster, more accurate, and the safest method of filing,” said SCDOR Director Hartley Powell. “Last year, 89% of South Carolinians filed electronically. We hope to exceed that number this year.”
Five things to know for the 2019 filing season:
  1. Filing electronically is the fastest and most secure way to file.
  2. Processing your return and refund is expected to take 6-8 weeks.
  3. Fighting fraud to protect taxpayer dollars is our priority.
  4. State and federal returns are due April 15, 2019.
  5. Check your refund status at dor.sc.gov/refund.
Filing electronically saves you time and money, plus:
  • Automatic calculations reduce the chance of errors;
  • Systematic checkpoints ensure your return is complete before submission; and
  • We receive your return sooner.
Expecting a refund? Processing may take 6-8 weeks.
We will begin processing returns February 4 to allow employers to meet the January 31 W2 submission deadline. Return and refund processing is expected to take 6-8 weeks from February 4 or the date you file, whichever is later. This allows time for the SCDOR to use all available tools to check for fraud and protect your refund. “We’re going to make every effort to issue refunds as quickly and securely as possible, so the right taxpayer ends up with the right refund amount,” said Powell.
Make sure you have all W2s, 1099s, and other withholding information before filing your return because year-end pay stub information may not match what your employer reports to the SCDOR. When the information you provide does not match your employer’s information, it slows down your return and refund.
Stay informed:
Find more resources for the tax season at dor.sc.gov/iit. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest news, tax tips, and available taxpayer resources.