Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Taxpayers Should do an End-of-Year Withholding Check-up

As the end of the year approaches, the IRS encourages taxpayers to consider a tax withholding checkup. When taxpayers take a close look to make sure the right amount of tax is withheld now, they can avoid an unexpected tax bill next year.

Here are five examples of taxpayers who would benefit from a withholding check-up:

• Taxpayers who received large tax refunds in past years

When a taxpayer has too much tax withheld from their paycheck, they pay too much tax during the year. They can change their withholding to have money upfront rather than waiting for a bigger refund.

• Taxpayers who owed taxes in years past

Taxpayers with too little tax withheld might owe money. Under-withholding can lead to both a tax bill and an additional penalty.

• People with a second job

This includes people who work in the sharing or ‘gig’ economy. Taxpayers who work more than one job should check the total amount of taxes they have withheld and make adjustments as necessary. This will ensure their withholding covers the total amount of the taxes they owe, based on their combined income from all their jobs.

• Taxpayers who make estimated tax payments

Some taxpayers make quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year. This includes self-employed individuals, partners, and S corporation shareholders.  If these taxpayers also work for an employer, they can often forgo making these quarterly payments by instead having more tax taken out of their pay.

 People with a new job

Taxpayers who start a new job should check their withholding to make sure they are having enough taxes withheld. Their total withholding should cover the income tax owed from their new and old jobs combined.

To make sure their employer withholds the right amount of tax, employees can adjust their Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. In many cases, this is all they need to do. The employer uses the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to be withheld from pay. This takes time, so taxpayers should make adjustments as soon as possible so the changes can take affect during the final pay periods of 2017.

The IRS has several resources that help taxpayers determine if they are having the right amount of tax withheld from their pay.
More Information:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

IRS has Resources for Veterans, Current Members of the Military

As the nation prepares to celebrate Veterans Day, the IRS reminds them that they may be eligible for certain tax benefits. There are also tax benefits that can affect current members of the military.

The IRS has resources for both these groups. The following tools will help military members and veterans navigate tax issues:

Resources for veterans
  • Frequently asked questions about veteran employment and retirement plan benefits. These include information about the re-employment of veterans and the restoration of retirement plan benefits.
  • The Resources for Disabled Veterans page features links to resources geared to this audience: ◦Where to get free help in preparing income tax returns.
    • Access to IRS forms and publications in formats accessible for people with disabilities.
Resources for current members of the military

  • The Tax Information for Members of the Military page on IRS.gov includes resources geared to several groups: ◦Current and former military personnel.
    • Those serving in a combat zone.
    • Disabled veterans.
  • Publication 3, Armed Forces Tax Guide covers special situations of active members of the Armed Forces, including: ◦Travel expenses of Armed Forces Reservists.
    • IRA contribution rules for members of the military serving in combat zones.
    • Rules for members of the Armed Forces deducting moving expenses.
  • The Tax Exclusion for Combat Service page highlights information for members of the military who serve in a combat zone.
  • The Notifying the IRS by E-mail about Combat Zone Service page includes information about the steps that someone serving in a combat zone follows to notify the IRS about their service.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Participating in the Sharing Economy Can Affect Taxes

In 2017, many taxpayers use their phones and computers to provide services and sell goods. This includes the use of sites and apps to rent a home to travelers, sell crafts, or to provide car rides. Taxpayers who do this may be involved in the sharing economy. Participating in the sharing economy may affect a person’s taxes. These taxpayers can visit the Sharing Economy Tax Center on the IRS website to find resources that can help them meet their tax obligations.

Here are six things taxpayers should know about how the sharing economy might affect their taxes:
Taxes. Sharing economy activity is generally taxable. This includes:
  • Part-time work.
  • A side business.
  • Cash payments received.
  • Income stated on a Form 1099 or Form W-2.  
Deductions. Some taxpayers can deduct their business expenses. For example, a taxpayer who uses a car for business use often qualifies to claim the standard mileage rate.

Rentals. Special rules apply to a taxpayer who rents out a home or apartment, but who also lives in it during the year. Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes), has more information about these rules. Taxpayers can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant Tool. This tool is titled Is My Residential Rental Income Taxable and/or Are My Expenses Deductible? It walks a taxpayers through a series of questions to determine if their rental income is taxable.

Estimated Payments. Taxpayers can pay as they go, so they don’t owe. One way that taxpayers can cover the tax they owe is to make estimated tax payments during the year. These payments can help cover their tax obligation. Taxpayers use Form 1040-ES to figure these payments.

Payment Options. The fastest and easiest way to make estimated tax payments is through IRS Direct Pay. Taxpayers can also use the Treasury Department’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

Withholding. Taxpayers involved in the sharing economy as an employee might want to review their withholding from that job and any other jobs they might have. They can often avoid making estimated tax payments by having more tax withheld from their regular paychecks. These taxpayers can file Form W-4 with their employer to request additional withholding. They can also use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov. This tool helps determine if they are having too much or too little tax withheld from their income.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Get Ready for Taxes: Plan Ahead for 2018 Filing Season to Avoid Refund Delays

The Internal Revenue Service today advised taxpayers about steps they can take now to ensure smooth processing of their 2017 tax return and avoid a delay in getting their refund next year. This is the first in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. Additionally, the IRS has a special page on its website with steps to take now for the 2018 tax filing season.

Gather Documents

The IRS urges all taxpayers to file a complete and accurate tax return by making sure they have all the documents before they file their return, including their 2016 tax return. This includes Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, and Forms 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the Premium Tax Credit. Doing so will help avoid refund delays and the need to file an amended return later. Confirm that each employer, bank or other payer has a current mailing address.

Typically, these forms start arriving by mail in January. Check them over carefully, and if any of the information shown is inaccurate, contact the payer right away for a correction.

Taxpayers should keep a copy of their 2016 tax return and all supporting documents for a minimum of three years. Doing so will make it easier to fill out a 2017 return next year. In addition, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their 2016 return to properly e-file their 2017 return. Learn more about verifying identity and electronically signing a return at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return.

Renew Expiring ITINs

Some people with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) may need to renew it before the end of the year. Doing so promptly will avoid a refund delay and possible loss of key tax benefits.

Any ITIN not used on a tax return in the past three years will expire on Dec. 31, 2017. Similarly, any ITIN with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year. Anyone with an expiring ITIN who plans to file a return in 2018 will need to renew it using Form W-7.

Once a completed form is filed, it typically takes about seven weeks to receive an ITIN assignment letter from the IRS. But it can take longer — nine to 11 weeks -- if an applicant waits until the peak of the filing season to submit this form or sends it from overseas. Taxpayers should take action now to avoid delays.

Taxpayers who fail to renew an 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.

Refunds Held for Those Claiming EITC or ACTC Until Mid-Feb

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if direct deposit was used and there are no other issues with the tax return. This additional period is due to several factors, including the Presidents Day holiday and banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits. This law change, which took effect at the beginning of 2017, helps ensure that taxpayers receive the refund they’re due by giving the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.

As always, the IRS 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 require further review.

For a Faster Refund, Choose e-file

Electronically filing a tax return is the most accurate way to prepare and file. Errors delay refunds and the easiest way to avoid them is to e-file. Nearly 90 percent of all returns are electronically filed. There are several e-file options:
Use Direct Deposit.

Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a taxpayer’s bank account. There’s no reason to worry about a lost, stolen or undeliverable refund check. This is the same electronic transfer system now used to deposit nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits. Nearly four out of five federal tax refunds are direct deposited.

Direct deposit 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.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Taxpayers Can Explore Payment Options Any Time of the Year

The IRS understands that taxpayers who owe money need choices on how they can make payments to the agency. IRS offers three easy ways to pay taxes. Taxpayers can pay online, by phone or with their mobile device using the IRS2Go app. Any time of the year is a good time for taxpayers to explore these payment options.

Additionally, some taxpayers must make quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year. This includes sole proprietors, partners, and S corporation shareholders who expect to owe $1,000 or more when they file. Individuals who participate in the sharing economy might also have to make estimated payments.

Here are four options for taxpayers who need to pay their taxes. They can:
  • Pay when they e-file using their bank account, at no charge from the IRS, using electronic funds withdrawal.
  • Use IRS Direct Pay to pay their taxes, including estimated taxes. Direct Pay allows taxpayers to pay electronically directly from their checking or savings account for free. Taxpayers can choose to receive email notifications about their payments. The IRS remind taxpayers to watch out for email schemes. IRS Direct Pay sends emails only to users who requested the service.
  • Pay by credit or debit card through a card processor for a fee. Taxpayers can make these payments online, by phone, or using their mobile device with the IRS2Go app.
  • Make a cash payment at a participating 7-Eleven store. Taxpayers can do this at more than 7,000 locations nationwide. To pay with cash, visit IRS.gov/paywithcash and follow the instructions.
  • Pay over time by applying for an online payment agreement. Once the IRS accepts an agreement, the taxpayers can make their payment in monthly installments.
For a full menu of payment options, taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/payments.

Additional IRS Resources:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Five Things to Know about Estimated Taxes and Withholding

With 10 million taxpayers a year facing estimated tax penalties, the IRS offers some simple tips to help prevent a surprise at tax time.

People pay taxes on income through withholding on their paycheck or through estimated tax payments. Taxpayers who pay enough tax throughout the year can avoid a large tax bill and penalties when they file their return.

Taxpayers should make estimated tax payments if:
  • The tax withheld from their income does not cover their tax for the year.
  • They have income without withholdings. Some examples are interest, dividends, alimony, self-employment income, capital gains, prizes or awards.
Here are five actions taxpayers can take to avoid a large bill and estimated tax penalties when they file their return. They can:
  • Use Form 1040-ES. Individuals, sole proprietors, partners and S corporation shareholders can use  this form to figure estimated tax. This form helps someone calculate their expected income, taxes, deductions and credits for the year. They can then figure their estimated tax payments.  
  • Use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov. This tool helps users figure how much money their employer should withhold from their pay so they don’t have too much or too little tax withheld. The results from the calculator can also help them fill out their Form W-4. Taxpayers whose income isn’t paid evenly throughout the year, can check Publication 505 instead of the calculator.  
  • Have more tax withheld. Taxpayers with a regular paycheck can have more tax withheld from it. To do this, they must fill out a new Form W-4 and give it to their employer. This is a good option for taxpayers who participate in a sharing economy activity as a side job or part-time business.  
  • Use estimated payments to pay other taxes. Self-employed individuals can make estimated tax payments to pay both income tax and self-employment tax. Self-employment tax includes Social Security and Medicare.  
  • Use Form W-4P. Generally, pension and annuity plans withhold tax from retirees’ payments. Recipients of these payments can adjust their withholding using Form W-4P and give it to their payer.
More Information:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

10 Million Taxpayers Face an Estimated Tax Penalty Each Year; Act Now to Reduce or Avoid it for 2017; New Web Page Can Help

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers assessed an estimated tax penalty for tax year 2016 that they still have time to take steps to reduce or eliminate the penalty for 2017 and future years.

To help raise awareness about the growing number of estimated tax penalties, the IRS has launched a new “Pay as You Go, So You Don’t Owe” web page. The IRS.gov page has tips and resources designed to help taxpayers, including those involved in the sharing economy, better understand tax withholding, making estimated tax payments and avoiding an unexpected penalty.

Each year, about 10 million taxpayers are assessed the estimated tax penalty. The average penalty was about $130 in 2015, but the IRS has seen the number of taxpayers assessed this penalty increase in recent years. The number jumped about 40 percent from 7.2 million in 2010 to 10 million in 2015.

Most of those affected taxpayers can easily reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the penalty by increasing their withholding or adjusting estimated tax payments for the rest of the year. With a little planning, taxpayers can avoid the penalty altogether.

By law, the estimated tax penalty usually applies when a taxpayer pays too little of their total tax during the year. The penalty is calculated based on the interest rate charged by the IRS on unpaid tax.

How to Avoid the Penalty

For most people, avoiding the penalty means ensuring that at least 90 percent of their total tax liability is paid in during the year, either through income-tax withholding or by making quarterly estimated tax payments. Keep in mind exceptions to the penalty and special rules apply to some groups of taxpayers, such as farmers, fishers, casualty and disaster victims, those who recently became disabled, recent retirees, those who base their payments on last year’s tax and those who receive income unevenly during the year. For details, see Form 2210 and its instructions.

Taxpayers may want to consider increasing their tax withholding in 2017, especially if they had a large balance due when they filed their 2016 return earlier this year. Employees can do this by filling out a new Form W-4 and giving it to their employer. Similarly, recipients of pensions and annuities can make this change by filling out Form W-4P  and giving it to their payer.

In either case, taxpayers can typically increase their withholding by claiming fewer allowances on their withholding form. If that’s not enough, they can also ask employers or payers to withhold an additional flat dollar amount each pay period. For help determining the right amount to withhold, check out the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov.

Taxpayers who receive Social Security benefits, unemployment compensation and certain other government payments can also choose to have federal tax taken out by filling out Form W-4V and giving it to their payer. But some restrictions apply. See the form and its instructions for details.

For taxpayers whose income is normally not subject to withholding, starting or increasing withholding is not an option. Instead, they can avoid the estimated tax penalty by making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS. In general, this includes investment income —such as interest, dividends, rents, royalties and capital gains —alimony and self-employment income. Those involved in the sharing economy may also need to make these payments.

Tips to Make Estimated Tax Payments

Estimated tax payments are normally due on April 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15 of the following year. Any time one of these deadlines falls on a weekend or holiday, taxpayers have until the next business day to make the payment. Thus, the next estimated tax payment for the fourth quarter of 2017 is due Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.


The fastest and easiest way to make estimated tax payments is to do so electronically using IRS Direct Pay  or the Treasury Department’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). For information on other payment options, visit IRS.gov/payments. Taxpayers may also use Form 1040-ES to figure these payments. IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, is a resource on withholding and estimated payments.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Revised IR-2017-177: IRS Announces 2018 Pension Plan Limitations; 401(k) Contribution Limit Increases to $18,500 for 2018

This document provides a revised factor for adjusting a participant's high-3 compensation limitation under section 415(b)(1)(B) of the Code for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2018.   The revision is necessary due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ adjustment of the CPI-U for the months of July and August 2016, which are used in the calculation of the factor.  After taking into consideration the adjustments made by the BLS, the factor is 1.0197.

IRS Announces 2018 Pension Plan Limitations; 401(k) Contribution Limit Increases to $18,500 for 2018

The Internal Revenue Service today announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2018.  The IRS today issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2017-64.

Highlights of Changes for 2018

The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,000 to $18,500.

The income ranges for determining eligibility to make deductible contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), to contribute to Roth IRAs and to claim the saver’s credit all increased for 2018.

Taxpayers can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA if they meet certain conditions. If during the year either the taxpayer or their spouse was covered by a retirement plan at work, the deduction may be reduced, or phased out, until it is eliminated, depending on filing status and income. (If neither the taxpayer nor their spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, the phase-outs of the deduction do not apply.) Here are the phase-out ranges for 2018:
  • For single taxpayers covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $63,000 to $73,000, up from $62,000 to $72,000.
  • For married couples filing jointly, where the spouse making the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $101,000 to $121,000, up from $99,000 to $119,000.
  • For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $189,000 and $199,000, up from $186,000 and $196,000.
  • For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.
The income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $120,000 to $135,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $118,000 to $133,000. For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $189,000 to $199,000, up from $186,000 to $196,000. The phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

The income limit for the Saver’s Credit (also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $63,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $62,000; $47,250 for heads of household, up from $46,500; and $31,500 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up from $31,000.

Highlights of Limitations that Remain Unchanged from 2017
  • The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remains unchanged at $5,500. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000.
Detailed Description of Adjusted and Unchanged Limitations

Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. Section 415(d) requires that the Secretary of the Treasury annually adjust these limits for cost of living increases. Other limitations applicable to deferred compensation plans are also affected by these adjustments under Section 415. Under Section 415(d), the adjustments are to be made following adjustment procedures similar to those used to adjust benefit amounts under Section 215(i)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) is increased from $215,000 to $220,000. For a participant who separated from service before Jan. 1, 2018, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) is computed by multiplying the participant's compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2017, by 1.0197.

The limitation for defined contribution plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) is increased in 2018 from $54,000 to $55,000.

The Code provides that various other dollar amounts are to be adjusted at the same time and in the same manner as the dollar limitation of Section 415(b)(1)(A). After taking into account the applicable rounding rules, the amounts for 2018 are as follows:

The limitation under Section 402(g)(1) on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in Section 402(g)(3) is increased from $18,000 to $18,500.

The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C), and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) is increased from $270,000 to $275,000.

The dollar limitation under Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i) concerning the definition of key employee in a top-heavy plan remains unchanged at $175,000.

The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a five year distribution period is increased from $1,080,000 to $1,105,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the five year distribution period is increased from $215,000 to $220,000.

The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee under Section 414(q)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $120,000.

The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(i) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan other than a plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over remains unchanged at $6,000. The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(ii) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over remains unchanged at $3,000.

The annual compensation limitation under Section 401(a)(17) for eligible participants in certain governmental plans that, under the plan as in effect on July 1, 1993, allowed cost of living adjustments to the compensation limitation under the plan under Section 401(a)(17) to be taken into account, is increased from $400,000 to $405,000.

The compensation amount under Section 408(k)(2)(C) regarding simplified employee pensions (SEPs) remains unchanged at $600.

The limitation under Section 408(p)(2)(E) regarding SIMPLE retirement accounts remains unchanged at $12,500.

The limitation on deferrals under Section 457(e)(15) concerning deferred compensation plans of state and local governments and tax-exempt organizations is increased from $18,000 to $18,500.

The limitation under Section 664(g)(7) concerning the qualified gratuitous transfer of qualified employer securities to an employee stock ownership plan is increased from $45,000 to $50,000.

The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations concerning the definition of “control employee” for fringe benefit valuation is increased from $105,000 to $110,000. The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(iii) is increased from $215,000 to $220,000.

The dollar limitation on premiums paid with respect to a qualifying longevity annuity contract under Section 1.401(a)(9)-6, A-17(b)(2)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations is increased from $125,000 to $130,000.

The Code provides that the $1,000,000,000 threshold used to determine whether a multiemployer plan is a systemically important plan under Section 432(e)(9)(H)(v)(III)(aa) is adjusted using the cost-of-living adjustment provided under Section 432(e)(9)(H)(v)(III)(bb). After taking the applicable rounding rule into account, the threshold used to determine whether a multiemployer plan is a systemically important plan under Section 432(e)(9)(H)(v)(III)(aa) is increased for 2018 from $1,012,000,000 to $1,087,000,000.

The Code also provides that several retirement-related amounts are to be adjusted using the cost-of-living adjustment under Section 1(f)(3). After taking the applicable rounding rules into account, the amounts for 2018 are as follows:

The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for married taxpayers filing a joint return is increased from $37,000 to $38,000; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) is increased from $40,000 to $41,000; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $62,000 to $63,000.

The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit for taxpayers filing as head of household is increased from $27,750 to $28,500; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) is increased from $30,000 to $30,750; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $46,500 to $47,250.

The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit for all other taxpayers is increased from $18,500 to $19,000; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) is increased from $20,000 to $20,500; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $31,000 to $31,500.

The deductible amount under Section 219(b)(5)(A) for an individual making qualified retirement contributions remains unchanged at $5,500.

The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(i) for determining the deductible amount of an IRA contribution for taxpayers who are active participants filing a joint return or as a qualifying widow(er) increased from $99,000 to $101,000. The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(ii) for all other taxpayers who are active participants (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) increased from $62,000 to $63,000. If an individual or the individual’s spouse is an active participant, the applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(iii) for a married individual filing a separate return is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0. The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(7)(A) for a taxpayer who is not an active participant but whose spouse is an active participant is increased from $186,000 to $189,000.


The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(I) for determining the maximum Roth IRA contribution for married taxpayers filing a joint return or for taxpayers filing as a qualifying widow(er) is increased from $186,000 to $189,000. The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(II) for all other taxpayers (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) is increased from $118,000 to $120,000. The applicable dollar amount under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(III) for a married individual filing a separate return is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

IRS Has Options to Help Small Business Owners

Small business owners often have a running list of things to do. These include deadlines, sales calls, employee issues, banking, advertising – and taxes. The IRS can help with the last one.

Here are seven resources to help small businesses owners with common topics:
  • Looking at the Big Picture: The Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center brings information on IRS.gov to one common place.
  • Organizing Tasks: The IRS Tax Calendar for Businesses and Self-Employed helps  owners stay organized. It includes tax due dates and actions for each month. Users can subscribe to calendar reminders or import the calendar to their desktop or calendar on their mobile device.
  • Searching for Topics: The A-to-Z Index for Business helps people easily find small business topics on IRS.gov.
  • Getting Information by Email: Small business owners can sign up for e-News for Small Businesses. The free, electronic service gives subscribers information on deadlines, emerging issues, tips, news and more. 
  • Watching Videos: The IRS Video Portal  offers learning events and informational videos on many business topics.
  • Finding Forms: The Small Business Forms and Publications page helps business owners find the documents they need for the type of business they own. It lists tax forms, instructions, desk guides and more.
  • Meeting in Person or Online: Small business workshops, seminars and meetings are held throughout the country. They’re sponsored by IRS partners that specialize in federal tax topics. Topics vary from overviews to more specific topics such as retirement plans and recordkeeping.
More Information:


Friday, October 20, 2017

IRS Announces 2018 Inflation Adjustments for 50 Tax Items

The IRS on October 19 announced inflation adjustments for more than 50 tax provisions, including tax rate tables.

The standard deduction, estate exclusion, and AMT exemption level will increase in tax year 2018, the IRS said in Revenue Procedure 2017-58 and a related news release, IR-2017-178.

In tax year 2018, married taxpayers filing jointly can take a standard deduction of $13,000—an increase of $300, the IRS said. For single taxpayers and married taxpayers filing separately, the standard deduction will rise to $6,500 from $6,350. The standard deduction for heads of households will increase to $9,550 from $9,350.

A 39.6 percent tax rate will apply to single taxpayers with incomes of more than $426,700 ($480,050 for couples filing jointly)—an increase from the 2017 levels of $418,400 and $470,700 respectively, the IRS said. The 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent rates and tax thresholds for 2018 are provided in the revenue procedure, it said.

A basic exclusion of $5.6 million applies to estates of decedents who die in 2018, a $102,100 increase from tax year 2017, the IRS said.

The alternative minimum tax exemption level is $55,400 and will begin to phase out at $123,100; for couples filing jointly, the exemption amount is $86,200 with a phaseout beginning at $164,100, the IRS said.

The personal exemption for tax year 2018 is also $100 higher at $4,150, but will begin to phase out with adjusted gross incomes of $266,700 ($320,000 for married couples filing jointly) and completely phases out at $389,200 ($442,500 for married couples filing jointly).

IR 2017-178 is available at here.