Foreign Accounts Call for Specific Reporting Requirements

14 05 2018

Foreign Accounts Call for Specific Reporting Requirements

In an increasingly globalized society, many people choose to open offshore accounts to deposit a portion of their wealth. When doing so, it’s important to follow the IRS’s strict foreign accounts reporting requirements. In a nutshell, if you have a financial interest in or signature authority over any foreign accounts, including bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds or trusts, you must disclose those accounts to the IRS and you may have additional reporting requirements.

To do so, your tax preparer will check the box on line 7a of Schedule B (“Interest and Ordinary Dividends”) of Form 1040 — regardless of the account value. If the total value of your foreign financial assets exceeds $50,000 ($100,000 for joint filers) at the end of the tax year or exceeds $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers) at any time during the tax year, you must provide account details on Form 8938 (“Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets”) and attach it to your tax return.

Finally, if the aggregate value of your foreign accounts is $10,000 or more during the calendar year, file FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) Form 114 — “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).” The current deadline for filing the form electronically with FinCEN is April 15, 2018, with an automatic extension to October 15.

Failure to disclose an offshore account could result in substantial IRS penalties, including collecting three to six years’ worth of back taxes, interest, a 20% to 40% accuracy-related penalty and, in some cases, a 75% fraud penalty. For further information, contact us.





Get an Early Tax “Refund” by Adjusting Your Withholding

14 05 2018

Get an Early Tax "Refund" by Adjusting Your Withholding

Each year, millions of taxpayers claim an income tax refund. To be sure, receiving a payment from the IRS for a few thousand dollars can be a pleasant influx of cash. But it means you were essentially giving the government an interest-free loan for close to a year, which isn’t the best use of your money.

Fortunately, there’s a way to begin collecting your 2018 refund now: You can review the amounts you’re having withheld and/or what estimated tax payments you’re making, and adjust them to keep more money in your pocket during the year.

Choosing to adjust

It’s particularly important to check your withholding and/or estimated tax payments if:

  • You received an especially large 2017 refund,
  • You’ve gotten married or divorced or added a dependent,
  • You’ve bought a home,
  • You’ve started or lost a job, or
  • Your investment income has changed significantly.

Even if you haven’t encountered any major life changes during the past year, changes in the tax law may affect withholding levels, making it worthwhile to double-check your withholding or estimated tax payments.

Making a change

You can modify your withholding at any time during the year, or even more than once within a year. To do so, you simply submit a new Form W-4 to your employer. Changes typically will go into effect several weeks after the new Form W-4 is submitted. For estimated tax payments, you can make adjustments each time quarterly payments are due.

While reducing withholdings or estimated tax payments will, indeed, put more money in your pocket now, you also need to be careful that you don’t reduce them too much. If you don’t pay enough tax throughout the year on a timely basis, you could end up owing interest and penalties when you file your return, even if you pay your outstanding tax liability by the April 2019 deadline.

Getting help

One timely reason to consider adjusting your withholding is the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act late last year. In fact, the IRS had to revise its withholding tables to account for the increase to the standard deduction, suspension of personal exemptions, and changes in tax rates and brackets. If you’d like help determining what your withholding or estimated tax payments should be for the rest of the year, please contact us.





Crooks Direct Taxpayers to IRS.gov to “Verify” Calls

14 05 2018
Crooks direct taxpayers to IRS.gov to “verify” calls

Photo: Rawpixel

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service warned of a new twist on an old phone scam as criminals use telephone numbers that mimic IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) to trick taxpayers into paying non-existent tax bills.

The IRS and its Security Summit partners – the state tax agencies and the tax industry – urge taxpayers to remain alert to tax scams year-round, especially immediately after the tax filing season ends. Even after the April deadline passes, the tax scam season doesn’t end.

In the latest version of the phone scam, criminals claim to be calling from a local IRS TAC office. Scam artists have programmed their computers to display the TAC telephone number, which appears on the taxpayer’s Caller ID when the call is made.

If the taxpayer questions their demand for tax payment, they direct the taxpayer to IRS.gov to look up the local TAC office telephone number to verify the phone number. The crooks hang up, wait a short time and then call back a second time, and they are able to fake or “spoof” the Caller ID to appear to be the IRS office calling. After the taxpayer has “verified” the call number, the fraudsters resume their demands for money, generally demanding payment on a debit card.

Fraudsters also have been similarly spoofing local sheriff’s offices, state Department of Motor Vehicles, federal agencies and others to convince taxpayers the call is legitimate.

IRS employees at TAC offices do not make calls to taxpayers to demand payment of overdue tax bills. The IRS reminds taxpayers it typically initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

There are special, limited circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.

Even then, taxpayers will generally first receive several letters (called “notices”) from the IRS in the mail.

Note that the IRS does not:

  • Demand that you use a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS will not ask for your debit or credit card numbers over the phone. If you owe taxes, make payments to the United States Treasury or review IRS.gov/payments for IRS online options.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes. You should also be advised of your rights as a taxpayer.
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.

Taxpayers who receive the IRS phone scam or any IRS impersonation scam should report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at its IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting site and to the IRS by emailing phishing@irs.gov with the subject line “IRS Phone Scam.”





Free HRA Event – June 28th

22 06 2017

deadline

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) commonly referred to as a health reimbursement account, is an IRS-approved, employer-funded, tax-advantaged employer health benefit plan that reimburses employees for out-of-pocket medical expenses and individual health insurance premiums.

Group plans don’t always fit small businesses. We have a better solution.

find out more

Join us, and our partners, TASC, on June 28th for an HRA Event. Learn more about how these plans could save you money on your taxes.

 

Register today!

 

Event to Take Place:

Wed, June 28, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT

 

RBSK Partners PC

224 N Broadway Street

Greensburg, IN 47240

 





Save an average of more than $5,000 a year on your taxes!

16 06 2017

The key to these savings is the ability to declare medical expenses as a business expense rather than a personal deduction.

These plans enable qualified small business owners to deduct 100 percent of federal, state, and self-employment taxes for family medical expenses. If you are a farmer, realtor, trucker, or other small business owner, these plans may be able to help you and your family save thousands of dollars each year. Learn more about AgriPlan and BizPlan here.

Join us and TASC for the BizPlan and AgriPlan HRA Event to learn more about how this plan can save you money on your taxes.

BizPlan and AgriPlan HRA Event Details

Wed, June 28, 2017
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT

RBSK Partners PC
224 N Broadway Street
Greensburg, IN 47240

Directions + Map

Register Today!





So The Bank Wants a Financial Statement! Now what?

25 08 2016

Do you know the difference between an audit, a review or a compilation? Most business owners rely on CPAs to assist with determining what type of financial statement they need. Your banker or bonding company will often request a specific type of financial statement. If you would like an easy to read guide that describes the basics of financial statement preparation, RBSK Partners has a FREE Guide to Financial Statement Services: Compilation, Review and Audit. To get your FREE copy, simply go to the Assurance page of our web site. There are no forms to complete, just a link to the guide. Here is a shortcut to that page:  http://www.rbskpartners.com/assurance

Guide to Financial Statement Services





Tressler Receives Health Care Reform Certification

30 06 2016

RBSK Partners is pleased to announce that Lisa Tressler, CPA, a partner at RBSK, recently received a Health Care Reform Certification, by successfully completing nearly 30 hours of continuing professional education focused solely on the Affordable Care Act.

The program provides in-depth knowledge and helps practitioners develop expertise related to the legislative and tax implications of health care reform. This program arms practitioners with the knowledge and tools they need to ensure client compliance with health care reform legislation.

The passage of ACA has created new mandates for individuals and businesses. Tax practitioners face an obligation to provide their clients with information and advice on complying with the new mandates.

Applicable large employers are now required to offer affordable health coverage that provides minimum value to their full-time employees and their dependents. They need to know how to calculate which employees are included in their employee count, the options for the state exchanges, and the penalties that are assessed if they do not comply.  All of this information, including how to fill out the related tax forms, is fully covered by the Checkpoint Learning Health Care Reform Certificate Program.

“2015 was a key year for health care reform, with regulations taking effect for the first time and requiring strict attention from both businesses and individuals,” said Ken Koskay, CPA, CFP, and senior vice president of learning solutions with the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. “Participants in this certificate program are better suited to serve clients that need assistance with the Affordable Care Act.”

This certification provides practitioners with the expertise necessary to provide guidance to their clients on the Affordable Care Act, including employer and individual mandates, the net investment income tax, reporting requirements, understanding compliance, completion of forms and calculations, and health insurance marketplaces. It prepares professionals to consult with clients on health care reform issues – both tax and non-tax.

If you need assistance with any of the complexities introduced by the ACA, please call Lisa at 812-222-1510, or toll free at 800-676-7567.

LisaSM