Showing posts from February, 2019

Offer-In-Compromise, One Size Does Not Fit All

        In our previous post, we discussed how the “Offer-In-Compromise” ( OIC ) program is available to help settle tax debt. However, companies often misrepresent how this program works, and what its requirements are. This is an area worth taking time to consider because there will probably be several Taxpayers with a greater than expected tax responsibility brought on by changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Now we will look at the actual details of this program.           First, there are different kinds of OIC filings . One applies to those who don’t think they owe the tax, another says that they can pay, but it will cause an undue hardship. Very few people use these options. The most popular choice is called “Doubt as to Collectibility”. This acknowledges the debt, but attempts to settle for a lower amount.           For this application to be successful, the Taxpayer must prove that they qualify for the OIC . They must prove the cost and value everything. This will

Being Patient with the IRS

         After having a partial Federal Government Shutdown that lasted for over 30 days, there was a lot of work that had piled up on many desks in the IRS . By some counts there were over 5 million pieces of mail that needed to be processed by employees when they came back to work. On top of that, their first day was the beginning of the most complicated Tax Season in recent history.           Some of this correspondence is related to audits, amended Tax Returns and criminal cases from last year. In addition, there is an unprecedented 1 hour and 30-minute wait time to talk to an IRS agent on the phone. All these employees are struggling to deal with current issues and past assignments that were neglected because of the Shutdown. The response may seem slow, but they are doing their best . Many factors have combined to make this one of the mist unusual Tax Seasons in history. If we all cooperate , we can get through it together.

How Does an Offer-In-Compromise Work?

         The “Offer-In-Compromise” ( OIC ) program is available to help people to settle their tax debts. This is a fact that is often advertised by different companies claiming to help people reach success in this way. The truth is that very few people are accepted into this program.           The basic viewpoint of the IRS is that most taxpayers can afford to pay their taxes, either with what they have, or on a payment plan. The OIC is only for those who will never pay off the debt within 10 years . That is considered the time limit for the IRS to collect. This is important to consider because with the changes to withholding limits brought on by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act , many people may unexpectedly owe the IRS when they file. In this situation, an OIC will not work. Our next post will start to explain the requirements for this program.

Getting A Balance on Withholdings

        Many people anticipate getting a large Tax Refund after filing their Tax Return. However, the IRS has run a very detailed campaign on Social Media trying to get the attention of Taxpayers and Tax Professionals over the past year. The goal was to create awareness of how certain features of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( TCJA ), would impact the income of employees. The IRS wanted everyone to check their withholding amounts to make sure they were correct. We are now starting to see why.           When the TCJA was applied last year, it adjusted the withholding tables for paychecks. The encouragement was to check and see how your paycheck was affected. Many saw an immediate increase in their take home pay and may not have seen the need to investigate further. As a result of that and the reduction of Federal income tax rates, some are finding out that they were underpaying on their taxes for a portion of 2018. The penalty for this will be waived if they paid 85% of their tax

How to Cause an Audit in 2019

         With the Federal Government open and the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) is fully staffed, at least until February 15, there is an understandable feeling among some to rush and file Tax Returns soon. While that may be the route some Taxpayers may choose, the IRS will continue to process what is presented with the same amount of scrutiny. This will be amplified with the application of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ( TCJA ).           For example, the IRS has always been known to take a closer look at Tax Returns that have large donation deductions . For this kind of donation to be of benefit, it must be itemized. That would only make sense if the itemization was greater than the Standard Deduction, which is $24,000 for Married Couples and $12,000 for Single Taxpayers. If the deductions are higher than others in the same income range, the IRS may take a closer look.           Unreported income. If there is a discrepancy between the information the IRS has for your income

Payroll Changes for 2019

          Every year always has some adjustments in the law when it comes to Small Business. This year is no exception. The biggest difference is with all news about the Federal Government Shutdown and trying to file Tax Returns with a temporarily opened IRS, these new rules might go unnoticed. If they do, that will end up costing a lot of money in fines that could have been put to better use. Here are a few changes to be aware of.           Minimum wage. On the Federal level, the minimum wage is still the same. However, 20 states increased their rates as of January 1. Still, other local cities or counties may have an even higher wage. This is something that every business owner must know. Medical coverage. At this time, companies with 50 or more full-time employees must provide health care coverage. Smaller companies have options to choose from and should do research on how those coverage options have changed. Employment law. This can cover a wide area of information. For exa