Important News for Rental Property Owners

February 19, 2015

Do you own rental property? Do you have repairs, maintenance, supplies, building or leasehold improvements for your rental property (residential or commercial) and/or your business? Do these expenses exceed $500.00? (Don’t forget those individuals owning the property but renting/leasing it to their corporation. This applies to you, too).

Within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is (are?) hiding new Revenue Procedures that may require you to file a Form 3115 or an annual “election” or both for 2014. If required, this must be completed BEFORE your tax return can be finalized. This new regulation addresses the issue as to whether or not you can deduct or depreciate certain expenses-it is a change in “treatment” of these expenses. This is the largest change to affect “small taxpayers” in almost 30 years.

According to IRS instructions it takes 20 hours to learn about the law, 39 hours for recordkeeping and 24 hours to prepare Form 3115. So…if you should decide to go at it on your own, you can search the Tangible Property Regulations on the IRS site, but my fear is that most people are just not aware of it. It appears that the most popular tax preparation software just recently added it to its questionnaire but there’s still a lot of confusion around it. The smart thing to do is to use an Enrolled Agent to prepare your taxes – such as yours truly – especially this year!

If you know of any tax “do-it-yourselfers”, please pass this link along to them – they may not even be aware of the new regulations!

Several accounting and tax organizations are working hard to get IRS to reduce and/or change this new burden. Some relief has been granted. Do you know what that is or if you qualify?


National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson on IRS Budget Cuts

January 19, 2015

 

 

IRS’s diminished service expectations for FY 2015 are as follows:

  1. The IRS is unlikely to answer even half the telephone calls it receives, and levels of service may average as low as 43%.
  2. Taxpayers who manage to get through are expected to wait on hold for 30 minutes on average and considerably longer at peak times.
  3. The IRS will answer far fewer tax-law questions than in past years. During the upcoming filing season, it will not answer any tax-law questions except “basic” ones. After the filing season, it will not answer any tax-law questions at all, leaving the roughly 15 million taxpayers who file later in the year unable to get answers to their questions by calling or visiting IRS offices.
  4. Tax return preparation assistance has been eliminated.

Clearly, the value that a tax expert adds this year is even higher than it has been in the past. Taxpayers will have a very difficult time reaching the agency.

(the above was reprinted from an article addressed in the National Association of Enrolled Agents member newsletter)

As an Enrolled Agent, our firm is uniquely experienced to assist you in all areas of tax filing. Please let us know how we can help.


Affordable Care Act and Your Tax Return

January 19, 2015

Among all the rules and regulations surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) one thing is for sure: nobody has been prepared for the impact it has on your tax return.

The ACA can add 5 or more forms/schedules to the preparation of your tax return. Which in turn, adds to the complexity and sheer volume of the additional reporting required.

Due to the additional education, software upgrades and time necessary to input these new requirements in to your tax return, this just may be the year you should seek out an Enrolled Agent to prepare your return.

I cannot address whether or not any “off-the-shelf” software will ask you all the right questions. I cannot address whether or not you will be able to follow along the new forms you will be receiving and input those correctly.

What I CAN address is that we do not depend (even with our professional software) on our computer to prepare the most complete and accurate return on your behalf. This takes years of experience and training.

Please let us know if we can answer any questions for you.


2015 Tax Filing Season to begin January 20, 2015

January 19, 2015

For those of you may recall the 2014 tax filing season being delayed in the wake of the government shutdown, this filing season seems to be on schedule.

As posted on the IRS home page, http://www.irs.gov, the 2015 tax filing season is set to begin on January 20, 2015.

You can avoid having to file twice by not filing early. Please remember…filing a paper return prior to this date will only delay the processing of your return and it would most likely be returned to you.


Scores of Gay Couples Wed In Central Florida (Orlando Sentinel)

January 19, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 marked a spot in Florida’s history as same-sex marriage became legal. Many gay & lesbian couples were able to marry. Congratulations!

As an Enrolled Agent & tax professional for over 35 years I feel an obligation to remind these newlyweds that they must now consider the tax ramifications. In addition to applying for health insurance, writing new wills, checking investment portfolios beneficiaries, etc you may wonder if filing a joint return is your best option. While most times it is, you no longer have the option to file single.

Returns must be filed using either the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status.

Be sure to ask your Enrolled Agent to calculate your return both ways so that you may make an informed decision.

Better yet…call us. We will gladly assist you.


Florida Society of Enrolled Agents Practice Management Workshop

November 7, 2014

I recently facilitated and presented and 2 ½ day workshop for the Florida Society of Enrolled Agents at a seminar titled Practice Management Workshop.  I received the highest rating 5 out of 5.  Below are some additional comments.

  1. “Great mediator for the learning process. Gave us great real life examples and also contributed a lot of best practices answers.”
  2.  “GREAT JOB!”
  3.  “Awesome!”
  4.  “Great Facilitator, kept things moving and on topic without being overbearing/impolite.”

More information about  Linda D Smith, Enrolled Agent, FATP, ATA, ABA, CDFA, CFR

Federally Authorized Tax Practitioner
Accredited Tax Advisor, Accredited Business Accountant,
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit/Civil, Family & County Mediator

ATI Professional Services Inc
Accounting-Tax-Mediation Services-Taxpayer Representation
Orlando, FL 32803
407-896-1553
407-898-1458 (fax)
www.atipro.com


2014 Tax Filing Season Delayed

October 30, 2013

The 2014 tax filing season will be delayed one to two weeks in the wake of the government shutdown, as posted on the IRS home page www.irs.gov.

The government shutdown occurred during the peak season for getting systems caught up on programming, testing and deployment. The earliest the IRS will begin accepting and processing 2013 returns is January 28, 2014. The latest day to start is February 4, 2014. Be watching for any change in this date sometime during December, 2013.

Filing a paper return prior to this date will only delay the processing of your return further. IRS will NOT accept any “early” filed returns and they will most likely be retuned to the Taxpayer.