Posts Tagged "Tax Help"

Answers to commonly asked tax questions

Posted on Mar 7, 2018

With all of the headlines about the changes to tax law, you probably have lots of questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions taxpayers have this year. I’m hearing about a lot of changes to 2018 taxes. What should I do? A. You’re right, there are a lot of changes in 2018 due to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), including to the income tax brackets. The simple answer to the question “What should I do?” is to not make any major changes until you finish filing your 2017 taxes. Once you understand your 2017 tax obligation, you are in a better position to plan for 2018. However, there are a few things you can start thinking about now. Depending on where you fall in the new income tax brackets, you may want to consider ways to lower your taxable income. This could include increasing your contributions to 401(k) retirement accounts or health savings accounts (HSAs). You’ll also want to make sure your employer has adjusted your federal tax withholding so that you don’t have to wait to receive a large refund (or tax bill) next year. You can review the IRS withholding calculator using your latest pay stub data to make sure the changes are accurate. What is the penalty amount if I didn’t have health insurance in 2017? A. The penalty per adult is calculated as the greater of either $695 or 2.5 percent of your yearly household income, up to a maximum of $3,264 for individuals or $16,320 for a family of five or more. Note that the penalty is still in place for tax years 2017 and 2018. The TCJA eliminates the penalty for 2019 through 2025. Is Social Security taxed? A. It depends. You won’t pay tax on more than 85 percent of your Social Security income, but how much gets taxed depends on your income bracket. If your combined income is less than $25,000 for the year, you won’t pay tax on Social Security income. When is the last day to do my taxes? A. Technically, Tuesday, April 17. But don’t wait until the last minute. Ask for help to get started now, or to file an extension so you have time to complete your tax return later. The sooner you file, the sooner you can get your refund. It usually takes about three weeks to arrive from the date you file. Also, remember you need to keep most tax related documents for at least three years, so don’t toss your paperwork after you file. The IRS contacted me, what should I do? A. Ask for help. There are numerous scammers who impersonate the IRS during tax season. The real IRS will never contact you via social media, email or text message. In addition, an IRS agent will not contact you over the phone unless you first receive official correspondence in the mail. If you have received a notice in the mail, immediately ask for help to determine how to proceed. These are just a few of the questions people have during tax season. If you have more, don’t forget to bring them to your 2017 filing appointment. Gilliland & Associates, PC is a full-service CPA firm specializing in tax planning for individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. We are based in Falls Church, VA and also service clients in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA. Gilliland & Associates is known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws. We help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. You can connect with us on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and...

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New way to use your tax refund

Posted on Feb 23, 2010

If you’re receiving a tax refund this year, you can use it to buy U.S. savings bonds from the IRS. Here are the details. * You may purchase up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I savings bonds. * The total amount of bonds you purchase must be a multiple of $50. Any refund over the specified bond purchase amount must be deposited into another financial account, such as a checking or savings account. * Bonds will be issued in your name. If you’re married and file a joint return, the bonds will be issued in the names of both spouses. * The bonds will be sent to you by mail. * You select this option when filing your 2009 return by using Form 8888, “Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account.” * Form 8888 gives instructions on selecting this option and specifying the amount of refund you want to use to buy savings...

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It’s tax time again: Some reminders

Posted on Jan 12, 2010

* Deduction reminders With the ever-changing tax law, it’s easy to lose track of what’s deductible from one year to the next. Don’t overlook these deductions available for your 2009 return: * Sales tax paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price for a new vehicle. * Choice of deducting sales taxes paid in 2009 or state and local income taxes paid. * Educator’s deduction of up to $250 for classroom supplies purchased. * Deduction for college tuition and fees. * Additional standard deduction of up to $500 ($1,000 for couples) for real estate taxes paid. Various restrictions and income limits usually apply. * IRA contributions Make contributions as early in 2010 as you can. If you didn’t reach the 2009 contribution maximum last year, designate 2010 contributions as being for 2009 until you reach the dollar limit or April 15. Then you can deduct these contributions on your 2009 return for a quicker tax benefit. * Check your children’s income Your children may be required to file a 2009 income tax return, too. Generally, a 2009 return is required if the child had wages of more than $5,700, self-employment earnings over $400, or investment income (such as dividends, interest, or capital gains) over $950. If your child had both earned and investment income, other thresholds apply. Also, if your child is due a refund, a return must be filed to get it. * Charity recordkeeping The law has strict recordkeeping requirements for deducting charitable contributions. For cash contributions under $250, you must have a bank record such as a cancelled check, credit card record, or receipt from the charity. For donations of $250 or more, a receipt from the charity must be obtained before filing your return. * Your tax refund If you’re among the many taxpayers who get a large tax refund this year, do yourself two favors: (1) invest the refund instead of spending it, and (2) adjust your withholding for 2010 so your money can be invested for you rather than the government. Extension request: For most people, the deadline for filing a 2009 individual income tax return is April 15, 2010. If you cannot file your return on time, be sure to file an extension request with the IRS by this date. You must pay any tax due by the April 15 deadline to avoid penalties and interest, but an extension gives you until October 15, 2010, to file your...

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Welcome to Gilliland & Associates, PC.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010

Your full-service CPA firm based in Virginia dedicated to your financial success. Known for our superior knowledge and aggressive interpretation and application of tax laws, we help you keep more of your earnings by finding you the lowest possible tax on your business or personal tax return. For your business or for you personally, Gilliland & Associates, PC offers you personalized professional service. We take a proactive role in guiding you toward financial growth, and we are responsive to your inquiries. Whether you need annual tax preparation, tax planning, financial planning, or auditing and accounting services, you can count on Gilliland & Associates, PC to provide you with professional, profitable...

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