Jerry Jones CPA
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Get Ready for Taxes:

Get 2018 tax documents ready for upcoming filing season

The IRS reminds taxpayers to keep a copy of their past tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Certain key information from their prior year return may be required to file in 2019.

The IRS has recently updated its Get Ready page with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

Keeping copies of prior year tax returns saves time. Often previous tax information is needed to file a current year tax return or to answer questions from the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers claiming certain securities or debt losses should keep their tax returns and documents for at least seven years.

New IRS publication helps taxpayers Get Ready for tax reform

The IRS issued a new publication to help taxpayers learn about tax reform and how it affects their taxes. Taxpayers can access Publication 5307, Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families, on IRS.gov/getready.

The IRS is Warning Retirees of this Impending Tax Surprise

When the IRS repeatedly warns you of an impending tax bill, you should listen.

The tax agency has been on an awareness campaign all summer, telling filers that they may need to review and update their withholding at work to ensure they're paying the right amount of federal income tax.

Uncle Sam is now sending retirees a heads-up, too: Be sure you're withholding enough tax from your pension or annuity, or else face a nasty tax bill next spring.

 

This can be easier said than done.

Once older Americans have left the workplace, they begin drawing down income from a range of sources. This could include Social Security, pensions and retirement withdrawals.

The income tax picture also becomes more complex: While they were working, today's retirees were able to automatically pay their withholding with each paycheck.

Now, they'll need to write checks for estimated amounts to the IRS four times a year.

“With estimated tax payments, there’s the issue of making sure they actually paid the tax,” said Harjit Virk, a CPA and senior associate at Getzel Schiff & Pesce in Woodbury, New York

“Sometimes you have to send reminders when the payments are due,” he said.

Here’s how to simplify your tax payments so that you can get back to enjoying your retirement.

IRS Resources Can Help Small Businesses Better Understand How Tax Reform Affects Their Bottom Line

Small business owners can visit IRS.gov for a wide range of resources that will help them better understand tax reform. Last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes tax law changes that may affect small businesses’ bottom line.

Here are some resources available to help small business owners:

Tax Reform section of IRS.gov
This section of IRS.gov includes links to resources that will help businesses understand exactly how the law affects their bottom line.

Tax Reform Guidance
Includes links to resources with specific technical information about the law and how it applies to businesses. These resources include, regulations, revenue procedures, revenue rulings and notices.

Every retiree should make this tax move right now, according to the IRS

The IRS has a message for retirees: make sure you’re paying enough federal income tax. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of last December changed the income tax calculations for most filers, and employees aren’t the only ones who need to double check they’re withholding the right amount.

The GOP tax bill lowered the top individual rate to 37% from 39.6%, and the income brackets dropped slightly -– by about 3%, says Chris Baker, a certified financial planner at Oaktree Financial Advisors in Carmel, Indiana. This means that on average most retirees will likely see a decrease in tax liability and owe slightly less, although it varies by individual circumstances, he says.

Retirees who receive monthly pension income or annuity checks may well need to increase or lower the amount of taxes they pay. While most retirees prefer withholding taxes from each paycheck to give Uncle Sam his due, those who choose to receive the full amount in each check and then make estimated payments to the IRS must do so four times a year by the quarterly deadlines. The third quarter deadline was Sept. 17, and the next is Jan. 15, 2019.

Withholding too much from each check could result in an outsized refund while withholding too little could mean you owe the IRS next spring. “Make sure you don’t have a large balance due because it’s possible you could be penalized for underpaying your estimated tax,” says April Walker, lead manager for tax practice and ethics at the American Institute of CPAs.

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