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Friday, February 14, 2020

Protect Yourself Against Fraudulent Tax Filings


With tax filing season now open, we encourage you to protect yourself against fraudulent tax return filings. Identity theft is on the rise and the best way to ensure against being the victim of a fraudulent tax filling is to apply for an Identity Protection PIN with the IRS. This unique PIN is assigned by the IRS following an identity verification process. It must then be included on your tax return in order for the return to be processed. 

If you do find yourself a victim of a fraudulent tax return filing, report it to the IRS, file your legitimate tax return on paper and check your credit rating to confirm the extent of the identity theft. Unfortunately this scenario is all to real and at minimum, will delay the receipt of your refunds. Identity theft can be a difficult and time consuming process to resolve, so protect yourself with the IP PIN. Learn more and apply at irs.gov

Thursday, February 6, 2020

2020 UCR Registration Period to Open Soon

***IMPORTANT NOTICE*** 

FMCSA Announces Final Rulemaking for 2020 UCR Fees
2020 Registration Period to Open Soon

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced on its website fees for the 2020 Unified Carrier Registration Plan (UCR):  https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/fees-unified-carrier-registration-plan-and-agreement.

PLEASE NOTE:  UCR fees for the 2020 registration period will only become effective upon publication in the Federal Register.  We expect this to occur within the next few days.  Of course, UCR will make a new announcement when the 2020 fees are officially published in the Federal Register.

UCR Registration at www.ucr.gov
The UCR National Registration System (www.ucr.gov) will be ready to handle registrations when the final rulemaking is published.  For support or questions, call 1-833-UCR-PLAN or send an email to helpdesk@ucr.gov.

Recommended Enforcement Timing
State enforcement of the UCR registration requirements commonly begins January 1.  But since the opening of the 2020 registration period was delayed several months, UCR is requesting states delay enforcement until May 1, 2020.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Direct deposit fastest way to receive federal tax refund


IRS YouTube Videos: Direct Deposit for Your Tax RefundEnglish
WASHINGTON — With tax season beginning soon, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that choosing to have their tax refund directly deposited into their checking or savings account is the fastest way to get their money.
It’s simple, safe and secure. Taxpayers can also get their refund deposited into one, two or three different accounts, if desired.
Eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by using direct deposit. The IRS uses the same electronic transfer system to deposit tax refunds that is used by other federal agencies to deposit nearly 98% of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.
Direct deposit also avoids the possibility that a refund check could be lost or stolen or returned to the IRS as undeliverable. And it saves taxpayer money. It costs more than $1 for every paper refund issued, but only a dime for each direct deposit.
Easy to use
A taxpayer simply selects direct deposit as the refund method when using tax software or working with a tax preparer, and then types in their account and routing number. It’s important to double check entries to avoid errors.
The IRS reminds taxpayers they should only deposit refunds directly into accounts that are in their name, their spouse’s name or both if it’s a joint account.
Split refunds
By using direct deposit, a taxpayer can split their refund into up to three financial accounts, including a bank or Individual Retirement Account. Part of the refund can even be used to purchase up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bonds.
A taxpayer can split their refund by using tax software or by using IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (including Savings Bond Purchases), if they file a paper return. Some people use split refunds as a convenient option for managing their money, sending some of their refund to an account for immediate use and some for future savings.
No more than three electronic tax refunds can be deposited into a single financial account or prepaid debit card. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will receive an IRS notice and a paper refund will be issued for the refunds exceeding that limit.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

IRS opens tax filing season for individual filers on Jan. 27


The IRS announced that 2019 tax filing season will open on January 27th. Although many tax software programs allow you to input and submit your tax returns before this date, no returns or refunds will be processed until then. So, don't get in too much of a rush to file... make sure you have received all the necessary income and expense reporting forms so that you can avoid overpaying, or dealing with correspondence or amended returns down the line.


IR-2020-02, January 6, 2020
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service confirmed that the nation's tax season will start for individual tax return filers on Monday, January 27, 2020, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2019 tax year returns.
The deadline to file 2019 tax returns and pay any tax owed is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the traditional April tax deadline.
"As we enter the filing season, taxpayers should know that the dedicated workforce of the IRS stands ready to help," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We encourage taxpayers to plan ahead and use the tools and information available on IRS.gov. The IRS and the nation's tax community are committed to making this another smooth filing season."
The IRS set the January 27 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems and to address the potential impact of recent tax legislation on 2019 tax returns.
While taxpayers may prepare returns through the IRS' Free File program as well as many tax software companies and tax professionals before the start date, processing of those returns will begin after IRS systems open later this month.
"The IRS encourages everyone to consider filing electronically and choosing direct deposit," Rettig said. "It's fast, accurate and the best way to get your refund as quickly as possible."
Filing electronically flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. Taxpayers can get free help preparing and filing taxes through IRS Free File online or free tax help from trained volunteers at community sites around the country. The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they don't have to wait until January 27 to start their tax return or contact a reputable tax preparer.
In addition, IRS tax help is available 24 hours a day on IRS.gov, the official IRS website, where people can find answers to tax questions and resolve tax issues online. The Let Us Help You page helps answer most tax questions, and the IRS Services Guide (PDF) links to these and other IRS services.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a Happy New Year from all of us at Gardner & Billing! May 2020 bring you health, happiness and hope. 
Our office will close at noon today and reopen 
with regular hours on Thursday, January 2nd.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Get Ready for Taxes: What to do before the tax year ends Dec. 31

WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers there are things they should do now to get ready for the tax-filing season ahead.

Charitable Contributions

For most taxpayers, Dec. 31 is the last day to take actions that will impact their 2019 tax return. For example, those who plan to itemize deductions should know that charitable contributions are deductible in the year made. Donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2019 count for the 2019 tax year, even if the bill isn’t paid until 2020. Checks to a charity count for 2019 if they are mailed by the last day of the year.

Retirement Plans and Contributions
Taxpayers who are over age 70 ½ are generally required to take distributions from their individual retirement accounts and workplace retirement plans by the end of 2019. However, a special rule allows those who reached 70 ½ in 2019 to wait until April 1, 2020, to receive them.

Most workplace retirement account contributions should be made by the end of the year, but taxpayers can make 2019 IRA contributions until April 15, 2020. For 2019, the basic limit for 401(k) contributions is $19,000, plus another $6,000 for those who are at least age 50.

For 2019, total contributions to all traditional and Roth IRAs cannot exceed $6,000, or for taxpayers age 50 and older, $7,000. Taxpayers should check IRS.gov for more information about contribution limits, as well as cost-of-living adjustments affecting pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019.

Update address to Ensure You Receive All Necessary Tax Forms

Taxpayers who moved during 2019 should tell the US Postal Service, employers and the IRS. Notify the IRS by mailing IRS Form 8822, Change of Address, to the address listed on the form’s instructions. Taxpayers who purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace should also notify the Marketplace when they move out of the area covered by their current plan.

For name changes due to marriage or divorce, notify the Social Security Administration so the new name will match IRS and SSA records. Also notify the SSA if a dependent’s name changed. A mismatch between the name shown on a tax return and SSA records often causes refund delays.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Broadus Christmas Stroll

Join us on Friday, December 6th 
for the Broadus Christmas Stroll! 
 
Catch the sites and sounds of Who-Village outside on the big screen, then come inside for food, fun and crafts with Who-ville characters from 2-7pm! 
Plus, bid in our annual Christmas wreath auction to benefit the Kid’s Food Bag Foundation.