Tax Brackets, Deductions, and Exemptions for 2016

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

More than 50 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules, and other tax changes are adjusted for inflation in 2016. Let's take a look at the ones most likely to affect taxpayers like you. The tax rate of 39.6 percent affects singles whose income exceeds $415,050 ($466,950 for married taxpayers filing a joint return), up from $413,200 and $464,850, respectively. The other marginal rates--10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent--and related income tax thresholds--are found at IRS.gov. The standard ... Read More

10 Tax Breaks Reauthorized for Tax Year 2015

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

Congress finally took action in late December and passed a tax extender bill formally known as the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH), which was then signed into law. Retroactive to January 1, 2015, many tax provisions were made permanent while others were extended through 2016 or 2019. Let's take a look at some of the tax provisions most likely to affect taxpayers when filing their 2015 tax returns. 1. Teachers' Deduction for Certain Expenses Primary and ... Read More

The IRS WON’T Call You Out of The Blue: Beware of Scammers

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

This was posted to a CPA mailing list we follow: The IRS scammers were in full force last week in our small corner of the universe. By noon on Thursday, they had called my house twice, I had 6 calls to the office with scared clients, and the 911 operators received 25 calls from very worried people. That afternoon I had more anxious callers. Yesterday, at church, I had a line of folks asking me if they should come to … Read More

Hold On to Your Tax Returns

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

You should always keep a copy of your tax return for your records. You may need copies of your filed tax returns for many reasons. For example, they can help you prepare future tax returns. You’ll also need them if you have to amend a prior year tax return. You often need them when you apply for a loan to buy a home or to start a business. You may need them if you apply for student financial aid. If … Read More

Recordkeeping for Charitable Contributions

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

You must keep records to prove the amount of any cash and noncash contributions you make during the year. Which records you must keep depends on the amount you contribute and whether they are cash or property contributions. New recordkeeping requirements were established for all contributions made after January 1, 2007. You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep as a record of the contribution, bank records (such as a cancelled check or bank statement … Read More

IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams

Brian SingletonBlog, Watch Your Wallet

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS. Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams. “There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the … Read More

IRS Helps Financially Distressed Taxpayers

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

The Internal Revenue Service kicked off the 2009 tax filing season by announcing a number of new steps to help financially distressed taxpayers maximize their refunds and speed payments while providing additional help to people struggling to meet their tax obligations. Taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of several new tax credits and deductions this filing season. Further, the IRS announced a major enhancement to the Free File program that will allow nearly all taxpayers to e-file for free and … Read More

IRS Warns Taxpayers of New E-mail Scams

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

The IRS continues to issue warnings on new e-mail scams. New e-mail scams appear almost monthly and the IRS wants taxpayers to know that these e-mails are scams and what taxpayers should do (and not do) if they receive a questionable IRS e-mail. First, taxpayers should know that the IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information. Further, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information … Read More