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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

IRS Announces Tax Filing Season & Certain Refund Delays



IR-2018-01, Jan. 04, 2018                                                                            
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits that refunds won’t be available before late February.

The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 29, with nearly 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018. The nation’s tax deadline will be April 17 this year – so taxpayers will have two additional days to file beyond April 15. 

Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 29 and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. Although the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns Jan. 29, paper returns will begin processing later in mid-February as system updates continue. The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds.

The IRS set the Jan. 29 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems in advance of the opening and to assess the potential impact of tax legislation on 2017 tax returns.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that, by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. While the IRS will process those returns when received, it cannot issue related refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years. Taxpayers who are using a tax software product for the first time will need their adjusted gross income from their 2016 tax return to file electronically. Taxpayers who are using the same tax software they used last year will not need to enter prior-year information to electronically sign their 2017 tax return. Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/GetReady for more tips on preparing to file their 2017 tax return.


April 17 Filing Deadline

The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2018, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 16. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation.

The IRS also has been working with the tax industry and state revenue departments as part of the Security Summit initiative to continue strengthening processing systems to protect taxpayers from identity theft and refund fraud. The IRS and Summit partners continued to improve these safeguards to further protect taxpayers filing in 2018.

Refunds in 2018

Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax software.
The IRS still anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers.
By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. This applies to the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC.
IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if those taxpayers chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return. This additional period is due to several factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits.

After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving Presidents’ Day may affect their refund timing.

The Where's My Refund? ‎tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone app will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers in late February, so those filers  will not see a refund date on Where's My Refund? ‎or through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so Where’s My Refund? remains the best way to check the status of a refund.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

MT Dept of Revenue Announcements for Income Tax Filing, Business Property & Livestock Reporting

Montana Department of Revenue has rolled out their new website and announced several cost saving measures that could impact the way you have traditionally completed your filings.

_____________________________________

*2018 Income Tax Filing Options*

 

No Printed Booklets
To save taxpayer dollars and administer tax law within state budget constraints, the Montana Department of Revenue no longer prints and distributes income tax booklets.

E-Filing Options

We encourage Montana income taxpayers to file electronically. People can visit revenue.mt.gov to find free e-filing options. New this year, Montana has joined the Free File Alliance, a coordinated effort by the IRS, state tax departments like the Montana Department of Revenue, and software vendors to offer free electronic filing options. This free electronic filing alternative replaces e-filing through the TransAction Portal (TAP) offered in previous years.

Download forms through MyRevenue

For taxpayers who prefer filing on paper, The department created a new website application called MyRevenue to help users easily find forms to download and print. MyRevenue provides a guided search, keyword search and a directory of all revenue forms and instructions. Users can access MyRevenue from the department's homepage at revenue.mt.gov.
For more information, visit revenue.mt.gov, call (406) 444-6900 or email DORCustomerAssistance@mt.gov.


*Personal Property (Business Equipment) Reporting*

Reporting forms will not be mailed this year and you will need to report your personal property (business equipment) online with TAP.

Personal property includes:
  • Business equipment
  • Mining and manufacturing machinery
  • Agricultural implements and equipment
  • Furniture
  • Fixtures
  • All other property not included in any other property class
Detailed lists of equipment by category can be found on the Personal Property Equipment List:
Furniture, Fixtures, and Miscellaneous Equipment
Heavy Equipment
Manufacturing and Mining Equipment
Farm and Ranch Equipment
Oil and Gas Equipment

Please note: Property that has been “depreciated out” for income tax purposes is still taxable for property tax purposes.
 
Reporting
Any property you own, possess, or control at midnight on January 1 is taxable for that year. Please report your personal property in our TransAction Portal before March 1 to avoid a penalty equal to 20% of the depreciated personal property value.

One of our employees might visit your business, agricultural operation, or field site to make sure our information is accurate and answer your questions. 

Paying Personal Property Tax
The elected county treasurer in each county bills and collects personal property tax. The Department of Revenue does not bill or collect personal property tax.
 
 
*Livestock Reporting Deadline March 1*
The Montana Department of Revenue will be mailing 2018 livestock reporting forms January 8, 2018, to livestock owners who need to meet upcoming reporting and payment deadlines.

About 18,500 livestock owners who reported last year will receive reporting forms. All livestock owners need to report by March 1, 2018, any livestock they own as of February 1. Livestock owners can file online at ReportYourLivestock.mt.gov or submit the hardcopy form.

"The department wants to make it more convenient for livestock owners to report their livestock and pay their fees," said Director Mike Kadas, Montana Department of Revenue. "The online system is efficient and secure, which makes it easier for livestock owners to do business in Montana."

Livestock owners who have not reported in the past need to report online or fill out a reporting form available from revenue.mt.gov or their local Department of Revenue office.

Livestock per capita fees are due May 31. Livestock owners who do not pay their per capita fees when they report will receive their bill in early May.

For more information, visit ReportYourLivestock.mt.gov or call us at (406) 444-6900.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Government Announces Reduced UCR Fees for Interstate Carriers

 (ATLANTA – January 5, 2018) – The federal government today announced reduced annual fees for commercial carriers required by law to participate in the Unified Carrier Registration Plan (UCR). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which has oversight of UCR, published the final rulemaking (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fees-unified-carrier-registration-plan-and-agreement). The new fees go into effect immediately.
 

The UCR Act, established in 2005, requires motor carriers involved in interstate commerce, and other businesses subject to The Act, to submit annual fees based on fleet size to supplement funding for state highway motor carrier registration and safety programs.

The fee reduction for 2018, totaling about 9%, was based on a recommendation from the UCR Board of Directors following several years of higher than expected collections. “We’re pleased with the outcome of FMCSA’s rulemaking on this matter,” said UCR Board Chair Avelino Gutierrez, director of transportation at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. “And pleased that we could help deliver a cost reduction next year for our carrier partners.”


The Indiana Department of Revenue, which operates the national UCR online registration system on behalf of the UCR Board of Directors, expects to be ready to handle registrations later today. The Indiana site, which carriers based in any state may use to register, is here: www.ucr.in.gov. Several other states maintain their own UCR systems; at least some of these may require a few days before they accept 2018 registrations.


State enforcement of the UCR registration requirements commonly begins January 1. Since the 2018 registration has had to be delayed several months, however, the UCR Board is requesting states not to enforce until 90 days after the fees go into effect; that is, not until April 5, 2018. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the association of motor carrier enforcement agencies, has adopted this position.

About UCR The UCR Plan is the organization of state, federal and industry representatives responsible for developing, implementing and administering the UCR Agreement.  The UCR Agreement is the interstate agreement, developed under the UCR Plan, governing the collection and distribution of registration information and fees generated under the UCR Agreement.  


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

MT Motor Fuel Tax Refund Changes Effective January 1, 2018




The 2017 Montana legislature passed House Bill 466 which makes DIESEL purchased at the pump (within 50 miles of applicant’s agricultural operation) with a credit or debit card, eligible for a partial refund of the Montana tax to persons qualified for the refund based on agricultural use.  Because the refund application requires you to submit the original of the purchase, you will need to keep the receipt you print out from the pump.  Keeping the receipt will be a bit of a hassle, but will make a big difference on your refund.

MCA 15-70-430 allows an estimated (standard deduction) amount of fuel eligible for refund based on applicant’s agricultural income. The department may request state or federal income tax information from the applicant or the department of revenue to determine eligibility. To qualify, at least 30% of an applicant’s gross earned income must be from operations directly associated with farming and/or ranching.
**Effective January 1, 2018, credit or debit card purchases for diesel fuel are eligible for refund under the estimate allowed for agricultural use. Only credit or debit card purchases made within 50 miles of the applicant’s agricultural operation are eligible and receipts identifying the purchase as a credit or debit card transaction must be submitted with the application to support the claim.
MCA 15-70-432 requires that all applications for refunds be filed within 36 months of the date of purchase of the tax paid fuel.
MCA 15-70-434 allows the department 120 working days after receiving a refund claim to approve or reject it.

Agricultural use means use of gasoline and/or clear diesel, by a person who earns income while engaging in the business of farming or ranching and who files farm or income reports for tax purposes as required by the United States internal revenue service.

Gross Earned Agricultural or farm income
means all taxable income and wages, before expenses, a person or business receives from: cultivating, operating, or managing a farm for gain or profit, either as owner or tenant; operating a livestock, dairy, poultry, fish, fur-bearing animals, or horticultural commodities business; operating a feed yard for the fattening of cattle; operating a fruit or truck farm; operating an agricultural commodities business; operating a plantation, ranch, range, nursery or orchard; and sale of crop shares if the person materially participates in producing the crop.

"Gross earned Non-AG income" means all taxable income and wages, before expenses, a person or business earns from non-agricultural activity such as: Custom hire, fuel tax refunds, real estate rental, pasture/farm rental (unless you materially participate, and file taxes that confirm your material participation) and equipment rental.

To support your claim for refund, you must submit your original bulk delivery invoices, original or copies of your cardtrol statements, and/or original or copies of your credit and debit card receipts (diesel only) issued at the time of each purchase.

All information listed below is required on an invoice or receipt to be eligible for a motor fuel tax refund and must be filled out at the time of purchase and delivery. If any information is missing, the applicant may provide a copy of the corresponding billing statement with the original invoice/receipt that supports the missing information. No altered or corrected invoice/receipt will be accepted for refund purposes. Invoices/receipts altered in any way must be voided and a new invoice/receipt issued by the dealer. The name on the invoices/receipts must exactly match the name on the application. If there is any variance, the applicant must list alternate names and/or DBA information box on front page of refund form or the invoice/receipt will not be accepted. Each invoice, receipt, cardtrol statement and accompanying billing statement collectively must contain or show the following:
                a) name and address of seller;
                b) name or account number of purchaser;
                c) complete date of delivery or purchase;
                d) type of fuel; 
                e) number of gallons purchased; 
                f) price per gallon or total amount of sale; 
                g) Any person who requests a refund or credit of motor fuel tax must have satisfactory evidence that the Montana motor fuel tax was included in the total price paid. Examples: “All taxes included in the price or a breakdown of taxes charged”, etc.

For additional information, contact the Montana Department of Transportation http://www.mdt.mt.gov/   Operator: 406-444-6200