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Here’s Five Reasons to Use Direct Deposit for a Tax Refund

As taxpayers prepare for the January 29 start of filing season, they should consider a direct deposit of any refunds due. It’s easy, safe, fast — and the best way to get a refund. That’s why 80 percent of taxpayers choose it every year.

IRS Direct Deposit:

  • Is Fast. The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically file their federal tax return and use direct deposit. They can use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file federal returns for free.  Taxpayers who file a paper return can also use direct deposit.
  • Is Secure. Since refunds go right into a bank account, there’s no risk of having a paper check stolen or lost. This is the same electronic transfer system that deposits nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.
  • Is Easy.  Choosing direct deposit is easy. With e-file, just follow the instructions in the tax software. For paper returns, the tax form instructions serve as a guide. Make sure to enter the correct bank account and routing number.
  • Has Options. Taxpayers can split a refund into several financial accounts. These include checking, savings, health, education and certain retirement accounts. Use IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (including Savings Bond Purchases), to deposit a refund in up to three accounts. Do not use this form to designate part of a refund to pay tax preparers.

Taxpayers should deposit refunds into accounts in their own name, their spouse’s name or both. Avoid making a deposit into accounts owned by others. Some banks require both spouses’ names on the account to deposit a tax refund from a joint return. Taxpayers should check with their bank for direct deposit rules.

There is a limit of three electronic direct deposit refunds made into a single financial account or pre-paid debit card. The IRS will send a notice and a refund check in the mail to taxpayers who exceed the limit.

Additional IRS Resources:

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1099 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR SMALL BUSINESS CLIENTS

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that every business must file informational returns (Federal Form 1099) with the IRS for certain payments made during the calendar year. On or before January 31, 2017, you must file Form 1099-MISC for each person (including partnerships and limited liability companies and excluding corporations) to whom you paid the following: Read more

Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Enacted

Last year’s Pennsylvania budget included a 60-day tax amnesty window for delinquent Pennsylvania tax payers to become current on their taxes. Taxpayers who avail themselves of the new tax amnesty program will pay no penalties and only half of the interest that would otherwise have been due. This week the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue set the window for tax amnesty to be April 21 until June 19, 2017.

Taxes owed for 2011 through 2015 are eligible for the amnesty program, so 2016 tax liabilities are not covered by the program.

A new Pennsylvania tax amnesty program is coming. It was enacted as part of the state’s 2016–2017 budget process. Taxpayers with unfiled state tax returns or returns that need to be amended will be able to pay the tax and half of the interest they owe, with the balance of the interest and all penalties being forgiven. Depending on individual circumstances, there may be only a five-year look back with all prior year tax liabilities forgiven. The effective date has not yet been announced, but when it is there will be a 60-day window to take advantage of the program.

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IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Read more

PA’s New Hire Reporting Program?

Helpful Links for New Hire Reporting

About the New Hire Program

CWDSThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 along with Pennsylvania’s Act 58 of 1997 requires all employers to report certain information on their newly-hired employees to a designated state agency. As an employer, you are a key partner in ensuring financial stability for many children and families across the Commonwealth.

New Hire Reporting is designed to increase child support collections from non-custodial parents and parents who change jobs frequently, thus securing a better life for children. As an employer, your role of reporting newly-hired employees is critical to the success of the program. By reporting your newly-hired employees within 20 days of hire, you aid the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in speeding up the child support income withholding order process, locating non-custodial parents to expedite collection of child support and in many cases, establishing paternity.

The New Hire program has experienced not only significant increases in child support collections from non-custodial parents but also savings in unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation and public assistance programs through fraud detection. As a result, Pennsylvania is committed to this endeavor and expects continued diligence from the employer community to aid in this endeavor. For more information on this law, please visit the Pennsylvania State Law.

Employer Requirements

Employers doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must report the following employees:

New Employees: Employers must report all employees who reside or work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Employees should be reported even if they work only one day and are terminated or leave employment prior to the employer fulfilling the new hire reporting requirement. However, if the employee never earned wages he/she does not need to be reported.

Re-hires or Re-called employees: Employers must report rehires, or employees who return to work after not receiving wages for more than 30 calendar days. This includes being laid off, furloughed, separated, or terminated from employment for any reason. Examples of such employees include teachers, substitutes, seasonal workers, etc.

Temporary employees: Temporary agencies are responsible for reporting any employee who they hire to report for an assignment. Employees need to be reported only once; they do not need to be re-reported each time they report to a new assignment. They do need to be reported as a rehire if the worker has a break in service or gap in wages from the temporary agency.

 For more information visit the PA CareerLink Website

The Top 10 Overlooked Tax Deductions

The top 10 overlooked deductions Each year, thousands pay too much in taxes because they didn’t think of deducting job hunting expenses or donations to charity. Read this list before you file.

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Did you pay too much to Uncle Sam last year?

 Tax laws change ever year and staying current with those Federal, State, and Local tax laws are an integral part to ensure you are not overpaying your taxes. So how can you be assured that you are not overpaying taxes? If you are preparing your own tax returns using a tax software package, please keep in mind that software alone is not a substitute for understanding tax law. You should be spending many hours annually to stay current with all the tax law changes. If you are using a tax preparation service, make sure you fully understand the tax background and experience level of your preparer. Here are some good examples of questions to ask your preparer: Read more

Qualified Medical Expenses

Following is a list of qualified medical expenses that you can report on Form 1040 as a deduction. We don’t claim to include every conceivable deductible medical expense, but it’s a pretty hefty start! The expenses are listed in alphabetical order. For a complete list of qualified medical expenses, see IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses. Read more

How do home improvements affect your taxes?

One of the questions that tax preparers hear all the time is: “I added a sun room (added a deck, replaced the roof, caulked the bathtub—you fill in the blank). Can I take it off my taxes?” The short answer? “No.” Read more

ATM… What is it?

 Alternative Minimum Tax: Read more

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