Talking Tax to Milwaukee

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Equifax Update

IRS Only Issuing IPIN To Confirmed Victims

In an earlier post, we had suggested applying for an IPIN if you were a victim of the Equifax breach. However, the IRS has now come out with a statement in regards to this issue. Presumably due to high volume, the IRS will only accept ID Theft Affidavits and issue IPIN’s if you can confirm that somebody is using your personal information. They will not issue you an IPIN if you were affected by the breach and you do not have proof somebody is using your information.

 

 The breach may include sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, date of birth addresses, and driver license numbers.  To determine if your information may have been compromised, please visit equifaxsecurity2017.com or call 1-866-447-7559, 6:00 a.m. – Midnight, CT.

 

Many of you are considering a “credit freeze”.  Before doing so, please know what this means:

What is a credit freeze?

Also known as a security freeze, this tool lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. That’s because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your file, they may not extend the credit.

Does a credit freeze affect my credit score?

No. A credit freeze does not affect your credit score.

A credit freeze also does not:

  • prevent you from getting your free annual credit report
  • keep you from opening a new account, applying for a job, renting an apartment, or buying insurance. But if you’re doing any of these, you’ll need to lift the freeze temporarily, either for a specific time or for a specific party, say, a potential landlord or employer. The cost and lead times to lift a freeze vary, so it’s best to check with the credit reporting company in advance.
  • prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.

Does a credit freeze stop prescreened credit offers?

No. If you want to stop getting prescreened offers of credit, call 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or go online. The phone number and website are operated by the nationwide credit reporting companies. You can opt out for five years or permanently. However, some companies send offers that are not based on prescreening, and your federal opt-out right will not stop those kinds of solicitations.

As you consider opting out, you should know that prescreened offers can provide many benefits, especially if you are in the market for a credit card or insurance. Prescreened offers can help you learn about what’s available, compare costs, and find the best product for your needs. Because you are pre-selected to receive the offer, you can be turned down only under limited circumstances. The terms of prescreened offers also may be more favorable than those that are available to the general public. In fact, some credit card or insurance products may be available only through prescreened offers.

Can anyone see my credit report if it is frozen?

Certain entities still will have access to it.

  • your report can be released to your existing creditors or to debt collectors acting on their behalf.
  • government agencies may have access in response to a court or administrative order, a subpoena, or a search warrant.

How do I place a freeze on my credit reports?

Contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies:

You’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.

How do I lift a freeze?

In a few states, credit freezes expire after seven years. In the vast majority of states, a freeze remains in place until you ask the credit reporting company to temporarily lift it or remove it altogether. A credit reporting company must lift a freeze no later than three business days after getting your request. The cost to lift a freeze varies by state.

If you opt for a temporary lift because you are applying for credit or a job, and you can find out which credit reporting company the business will contact for your file, you can save some money by lifting the freeze only at that particular company.

What’s the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert?

A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.

Three types of fraud alerts are available:

  • Initial Fraud Alert. If you’re concerned about identity theft, but haven’t yet become a victim, this fraud alert will protect your credit from unverified access for at least 90 days. You may want to place a fraud alert on your file if your wallet, Social Security card, or other personal, financial or account information are lost or stolen.
  • Extended Fraud Alert. For victims of identity theft, an extended fraud alert will protect your credit for seven years.
  • Active Duty Military Alert. For those in the military who want to protect their credit while deployed, this fraud alert lasts for one year.

To place a fraud alert on your credit reports, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies. A fraud alert is free. The company you call must tell the other credit reporting companies; they, in turn, will place an alert on their versions of your report.

 

 

We do everything to keep your information safe, but we recognize devastating events like this happen, and will continue to happen.  The procedures at the Internal Revenue Service only allow us to apply for an IPIN, a number to identify your tax filings as yours, when you are a victim of identity theft.  Please notify us should you determine your identity has been compromised with this Equifax breach or any other event.

Outdated AMT May Finally Be Eliminated

Last week, Forbes.com ran a series of articles about the pending tax reform known as “Tax Reform Week”. The articles consisted of submissions from guest bloggers about various topics involved with the proposed tax reform. Unfortunately, my article did not get chosen to be posted 🙁 . However, I figured I should share anyways.

amt-joke

 

The proposed tax reform that is in the current limelight has different angles to it which could affect a wide array of American taxpayers. One of the proposed issues involves the AMT. You may be asking yourself, what the heck is AMT? Is that the machine that dispenses money? Haha no, it actually does the opposite, it takes your money. AMT is an acronym for Alternative Minimum Tax.

As a tax professional, it is one of the most difficult tax laws to explain to taxpayers. How do I explain to somebody that they can no longer deduct their real estate taxes because their income is now too high? You can do a web search to read up on all the technical details about what AMT is and how it works, but let me put it in plain English. The AMT is a tax law that was created 50 years ago to prevent the wealthy taxpayers from using loopholes to avoid paying the proper amount of tax. If you make a certain amount of money, you must pay a certain amount of tax, regardless of your deductions. Back then, you were considered wealthy if you were a married taxpayer showing $200,000 on your tax return. The original law was intended to affect a couple hundred taxpayers that fell into this category. Fast forward to 2017, $200,000 per year is now considered middle class. The AMT never accounted for inflation, so if you make $200,000 you are still subject to the AMT. This tax law now affects over 30 million taxpayers! In 2013, they did finally begin to adjust the threshold for inflation, but it is still affecting way more taxpayers that it was originally intended to affect.

The tax reform proposes that the AMT be eliminated. I am in favor of the elimination of this proposal. At the very least, it is time to turn the AMT into the law that it was originally intended to be. The .001% of taxpayers that it was intended to affect has ballooned into 10%. Adjusting the AMT to affect the original percentage of taxpayers would move the current 30 million affected down to 3,000.

Eliminating the AMT will allow middle class taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money. Almost every tax law out there has been innovated over time. It is time to get rid of this ancient tax law that is no longer serving the purpose it was intended to do. Can you imagine if wages were the same today as they were in 1959? A large portion of the world would be living in poverty. The times have changed, the AMT has not. It is time to make the change.

 

Nicholas Hammernik, E.A.

Nick Hammernik is a tax adviser in Milwaukee, WI.

nhammernik@hammernikassoc.com

How The Equifax Hack Affects Your 2017 Tax Return

Equifax hack

The identity thieves are at it again. Are you surprised?! It is a continuous cycle that seems like it will never end. With today’s technology, it has become easier and easier for your personal information to be compromised. The latest hack is the Equifax hack. To date, it is estimated that it has compromised the personal information of 143 million people. If you’re doing the math, that is almost 45% of the U.S. population! If that number has you worried, you can verify if you were affected or not by visiting https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ and entering your data.

The Equifax hack could have exposed your name, social security number and date of birth. This information is the perfect formula for an identity thief to file a tax return under your SSN. While you should take the necessary steps to make sure your credit cards have not been affected, I am going to inform you what you need to do to prevent your 2017 tax return from being affected. Identity theft and the tax industry have been on a collision course for the past 3 years. I have written articles and even have done a radio segment on the topic, and I am not surprised that the tax industry has been a main target. There are billions of dollars to be had, and the identity thieves are going for those dollars. Listen to my radio segment to find out more about past and current IRS scams and ways to help protect your identity. http://wuwm.com/post/avoiding-scams-tax-filing-season

If you believe your identity has been compromised from the Equifax hack, there are steps in which you can take to make sure that your 2017 income tax return is not affected. Please give us a call to set up an appointment to get the necessary paperwork filed with the IRS. Taking the steps now will prevent you from having a headache to deal with at tax time. If someone files a tax return under you SSN, it could take MONTHS for you to actually receive your refund.

Call 414-545-1890 or email nhammernik@hammernikassoc.com and let us know that you want IRS identity protection. You do not have to be a current client for us to help you get this situation taken care of. Normally, this service costs $175, but because of this unfortunate hack, we are offering a promotion for $99. Give yourself the peace of mind that your tax return WILL NOT be filed by a criminal. This is a limited time offer until the end of September, act fast as demand will be high with over 40% of the Milwaukee and Wisconsin taxpayers being affected.

Experts warn of tax scams as deadline nears

free

h/t Waukesha Freeman

Experts warn of tax scams as deadline nears

Technology has offered new opportunities for fraud

By: DAVE FIDLIN – Special to The Freeman  April 1, 2017
BROOKFIELD — With weeks to go before the tax filing deadline, swaths of people motivated by deadlines will be handing over sensitive information to professionals to have documents drawn up.

Amid the flurry of activity, local professionals are cautioning people to be mindful of when and where they are giving out sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers and financial histories.

As with many aspects of life, electronic methods have increased the ease and efficiency in having tax documents prepared. But those same electronic methods have also presented a new series of opportunities for scammers.

“We don’t encourage people to send much information by email,” said Neil Keller, a partner-in-charge of tax services at Sikich LLP’s Brookfield office. “Emails can be intercepted very easily.”

In lieu of sending electronic copies of important documents by email, Keller said he recommends people send their data through a secure, encrypted file sharing service that has more safeguards up against scammers, hackers and other persons who might attempt fraudulent activity.

Enhanced technology also has eased scammers’ ability to access Social Security numbers, despite the litany of safeguards that are in place.

Nick Hammernik of West Allis-based tax services firm Hammernik and Associates said he has met with several clients in recent years that have fallen victim to identity theft. Scammers had fraudulently filed tax returns under the victims’ Social Security numbers and names.

While filing taxes at the last minute does not have any inherent penalties,

Hammernik said filing early in the tax season lessens a scammer’s ability to fraudulently use a victim’s Social Security number.

“Unfortunately, once a person’s Social Security number has been used fraudulently, they can’t file through the traditional method,” Hammernik said. “You have to fill out an identity theft affidavit, and the (Internal Revenue Service) issues you a PIN number.”

Because of its authority, Keller said people tend to be intimidated by the IRS. Scammers take advantage of this fear, he said, as evidenced by the prevalence of phone scams that have cropped up in recent years.

There have been widespread reports of scammers claiming to be with the IRS and demanding, over the phone, that sensitive information be furnished. Keller said he was the recipient of once such call recently.

“The most important thing people should know is the IRS operates a lot by mail,” Keller said. “They won’t be calling you over the phone for information, especially during a first attempt.”

Technology aside, Hammernik said it is important to remember some tried-and-true pieces of wisdom that were important long before computers took hold of everyday life.

“It’s important you are trusting who you are giving your tax returns to,” Hammernik said. “They should be a licensed professional.”

Keller said he encourages people to be mindful of where they store any physical paper copies of documents linked to tax preparation.

“Anything you don’t want should be shredded,” Keller said. “This is especially true if it has your Social Security number on it. Anything you do want should be kept in a secure place.”

 

ICYMI : Nick Hammernik Talks Tax Scams To Milwaukee

In case you missed the radio segment which aired earlier this week on 89.7 FM, I hopped on the radio recently to talk about past, current, and future tax scams. It is our goal to educate our clients and the public of ways to avoid becoming victim to such scams. As always, please contact our office is you ever have any questions about this topic.

Listen Here : http://wuwm.com/post/avoiding-scams-tax-filing-season

 

lake

h/t wuwm.com

Avoiding Scams This Tax Filing Season

BY MITCH TEICH

The often-dreaded April 15th deadline for filing tax returns to the federal and state governments is just under a month away. It’s a busy season for tax preparers – both professional and amateur.

But in the haste and the pressure many feel to get our taxes filed, it is also a season in which some of us could fall victim to scams or other fraud. The sophistication of tax scams has been on the rise for a few years now, according to tax consultant Nick Hammernik. 

“2014 tax season is when we really started to notice things happening,” he says. “During that time, we were getting tax returns that were being rejected by the electronic filing system with the IRS because the tax return was already filed under their Social Security Number, which pretty much means that someone got a hold of their Social Security Number and filed a phony tax return under their name.” 

Victims of this kind of scam do have recourse. Hammernik says they generally file a paper copy of their taxes with an identity theft affidavit and a copy of their legal identification. In response, the IRS issues them a pin number for the next time they file their taxes, and a different pin number for each additional year.

While Hammernik says issuing a pin number to everyone filing taxes may increase security, he admits that scammers would likely just start looking for ways to get hold of the pin numbers instead. Many scams depend on people being tricked by the scammers over phone or through email.

He warns that any financial information can be valuable to scammers and advises “to keep any financial records that you have, physical copies in a secure location, locked up. Electronic copies, you want to make sure that those are encrypted or stored in a secure location.” 

Scammers often gain access to your computer by viruses spread by links in emails. “Anything online that you think is suspicious, do not click on it, do not respond to it,” says Hammernik.

He suggests reporting any suspicious emails or phone calls by contacting the IRS directly at: phishing@IRS.gov.

 

Talking Tax Scams To Milwaukee

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Today, I was fortunate enough to record a radio interview on The Lake Effect Radio WUWM 89.7FM. The interview topic was on tax scams and how they effect everybody. We are always trying to educate our clients on the tax scams that are out there to protect them from being taken advantage of. I have wrote about these topics many times before, but educating the public about them can not happen enough.

The tax industry is a prime target for criminals to attack. The first real threat to taxpayers came during the 2014 tax season when we began to notice that tax returns were being rejected by the e-file system due to a tax return already being filed under a social security number. To be honest, I am surprised that it took this long for tax returns to be the source of identity theft. Identity theft has been going on for years, but this was the first time it effected the tax industry. The IRS combated the issue by issuing PIN’s to those who’s identity had been compromised. We have seen a decline in the number of tax identity theft cases because of this, but it is still an issue.

The next real threat began in the summer of 2015. This is when we began receiving phone calls from our clients about phone calls that they were receiving from the IRS. We would get these phone calls almost daily, and you could tell some of our clients were really shook up by it. These scam phone calls threatened that if you didn’t pay tax that you owed, you would be put in jail. Since this time, the police have finally began to crack down on the call centers overseas that were conducting these calls. There has been a decline in the volume of call being made, but I know that they are not done.

The next phase of tax scams has shifted to e-mail. Not only are taxpayers being targeted, but tax professionals are also being targeted. As a taxpayer, never click on any link or respond to any e-mail that you are uncertain of. You can forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov. As tax professionals, we have received e-mails inquiring about our services. They are pretty easy to sniff out based on certain characteristics, so we have not fell subject to their attempt. Their end goal is to use our credentials to file a tax return or to try and hack into our database. All of our client information is kept in a secure, encrypted location. We keep up to date with all tax scams and take extreme precaution to ensure all client information is safe.

Criminal activity, and specifically scams are a never ending cycle. There is always going to be something that someone out there is going to try and exploit to make easy money. Hammernik & Associates will always be ahead of the curve in educating you about potential scams that are out their involving the tax industry.

Here are some key points to always remember….

Nick’s Tax Security Steps

  1. The IRS will never call you. They communicate via snail mail. Never give out any personal or financial information to somebody you do not trust over the phone.
  2. Refrain from sending personal and financial information via e-mail. E-mail has become an unsafe venue to send documents, as they can easily be intercepted. Make sure that if you do send something through e-mail that it is encrypted. The preferred method to send documents online is through a secure portal, which we have here at Hammernik & Associates.
  3. If you receive a suspicious e-mail, do not click on any links or reply to the message. Either immediately delete it, or report it to the IRS.
  4. If you don’t recognize a phone number that is calling you…don’t answer it. If it is something important, they can leave you a voicemail.
  5. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right to you, take precaution.
  6. Find somebody that you can trust to help you make sure you do not fall victim to a scam. We are staffed with Enrolled Agents, the highest credential awarded by the IRS to tax professionals, this means that we can talk to the IRS on your behalf. If you are not sure if it is really the IRS contacting you, let us handle it for you.
  7. Tax scams are a year-round cycle, they don’t just happen during tax season. We are here all year to answer any questions you have. Don’t be afraid to ask before giving out your information to anyone.

Here’s a link to the IRS website that provides info on how to report suspected tax fraud activity:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/how-do-you-report-suspected-tax-fraud-activity

The radio segment is set to air in the next couple of weeks. We will announce the day and time when it is known, and we will also post the audio when it becomes available.

 

Have a great weekend,

pa8a3326ccp

 

Nicholas Hammernik, EA

 

 

Your College Scholarship Might Be Costing You Tax Credits

college

College tuition has become one of the biggest sources of debt for those who choose to further their education at a University. It is the burden that one takes on for improving their knowledge and skill set to further their career. A way to reduce the amount of tuition that you pay is to apply for certain scholarships and/or grants. This is a great way to reduce the amount of student loans to pay off down the road.

However, when it comes to scholarships and grants, they may be reducing the amount of education credits that you are receiving on your tax return. Education credits are based upon the amount of tuition that was actually paid. Thus, tuition that was paid with scholarships and grants does not count. When reporting Form 1098-T (tuition tax form) you will report both the total tuition and total scholarships/grants. The amount that can be used towards education credits is tuition-scholarships/grants. The American Opportunity Credit is the most beneficial education credit out there. This credit can be up to $2,500 for students in their first 4 years of college. The amount of credit that you will receive is based upon the amount of eligible tuition expenses that you have. Many times students with scholarships will not be able to maximize this full credit, because their tuition expenses just aren’t enough to do so.

So, how do we get the full education credits that are available?

Are you a parent that claims your child as a dependent and they have a scholarship or grant?

We have strategies available to maximize that credit for you and get you a larger refund. If you are someone in this situation and have yet to file your tax return, please contact our office before doing so. If you have already filed your tax return, we can look into amending your tax return if we think changing things will benefit you.

Don’t leave an extra refund out there, call 414-545-1890.

 

Hey, Milwaukee…Tax Season Is Here!

 

When Will I Get My Tax Forms?

WHEN YOU CHECK THE MAIL AND GET YOUR W2'S | image tagged in taxes,golden ticket,w2 | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

As I am writing this post on January 20, 2017, the IRS officially opens the 2016 tax return filing in 3 days. Tax season is here, which means that it is time to gather all of your tax documents that are needed to prepare a tax return. So, when will you be receiving all of these forms? These dates are also important if you are a business owner and need to issue any W-2’s or 1099’s.

Form Due to Recipient E-file to IRS
1099-MISC Feb 1, 2016 Mar 31, 2016
1099-B
1099-S
1099-MISC boxes 8 or 14
Feb 15, 2016 Mar 31, 2016
Other 1099 Forms
W-2G
3921, 3922
Feb 1, 2016 Mar 31, 2016
W-2 Feb 1, 2016 Mar 31, 2016
  • Health Insurance Statements through the Marketplace (Form 1095-A) should be available in your online account by 2/1/17. This year, employers have until 3/2/17 to distribute health insurance statements (Form 1095- B or C) to their employees.
  • If you are involved in a Partnership or S-Corporation, when you receive your K-1 will depend on when the Partnership or Corporation decides to file their tax return. The filing due date is 3/15/17, but you may have to wait longer if they decide to file an extension.
  • Rule of Thumb: If you receive a document that you think may be pertinent to your tax return, keep it just in case! If you need a guideline to make sure you have all the documents you need, you can download our tax organizer.

Download Tax Organizer

Get Your Tax Return Won?

draper

Having a background in marketing, I always pay attention to commercials and all aspects involved in them. Some people may change the channel when commercials are on, but I enjoy analyzing them. Naturally, I am even more interested when I see commercials during tax season. I realize that these large corporations have a massive marketing budget, and in most cases they are trying to repeatedly beat a message into your mind. However, I have found some of these campaign messages laughable. Last year, Turbo Tax is the company that really gave me a chuckle. “You don’t need to be a genius to do your own taxes”. While this statement is true(BREAKING NEWS: I AM NOT A GENIUS), you don’t need to be a genius to do 99% of things in life. There is a difference between being a genius and being an expert in your field. Do you need to be a genius to repair your car? No, but you take it to a mechanic because they are experts in fixing cars. The alternative is trying to fix it on your own, and then you run the risk of creating more damage and wasting your time. You can apply this reasoning to almost everything in life that you opt to have someone professionally do for you. You can try to do your own taxes, but is it worth the time and also the risk of a) dealing with the IRS or b) missing out on a potential extra refund.

This year, H&R Block hands down takes the cake so far. They have cast Jon Hamm to be their spokesman in a bunch of just weird commercials. Their message is “Get Your Tax Return Won”. How does one get their tax return won? I suppose their message is to try and make consumers feel like they became a winner when they got their taxes done at H&R Block? In that case, you get your tax return “won” if it is prepared correctly. I would think that if you are hiring a professional to help you with your taxes, a correct tax return is assumed. Broadcasting that this is a big deal to them just misses the mark in my opinion. The truth is, you can’t win against the tax system when filing your tax return. The outcome is already decided at that time, there isn’t anything you can change besides contributing to an IRA. Winning your tax return takes a game plan, a game plan that must be executed before the end of the year.

Hammernik & Associates motto is “More Than Just A Tax Return”. This means that we aren’t just here to help you file your taxes, we are here throughout the year to help you execute that winning game plan. Your game has already been decided for 2016, do you think you won or loss? Now is the time to begin the game for 2017. Who will win, you or the IRS? The only true way to get your tax return won is to set up a game plan now!

end rant 🙂

 

Inauguration Day

trump-tax-return-300x300

Today is the day a new President steps into office.Whether you are in favor or not in favor, it is important to be prepared for what may come. When Donald Trump was elected President, I put together an e-book of what he would like to do with tax law. Some of these ideas may never come to fruition, some may come sooner than you expect, some may come in the future, and some may come in a modified form. As we always stress, it is important to prepare for what may come in the future. Take a look to see if any of these may effect you positively or negatively. Either way, we will be on top of tax law changes for you. Major tax planning may be needed to prepare for some of the changes, that is what we are here for!

Download “Trump Tax”

 

Once you think you have all your tax documents, give us a call to schedule your appointment…we’re waiting!

 

Until next time,

Nicholas Hammernik, EA

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My Financial Past, Present & Future

scrooge

With the holiday season upcoming, we thought it would be a great idea to compare your finances to the classic Christmas tale, “A Christmas Carol”. The main plot for this story is the life of one, Ebenezer Scrooge. The ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ takes Scrooge back in time to remind him of how his life used to be and the way he used to act. The ‘Ghost of Christmas Present’ gives Scrooge a synopsis of his current daily life. Finally, the “Ghost of Christmas Future’ takes Scrooge into the future and shows him how his life will look in the future if he keeps living the same way he is in the present. So, let’s see how this compares to your financial situation…

My Financial Past, Present & Future

  • Your Financial Past:

    • Hammernik & Associates helps taxpayers recover from mistakes that they may have made in their past. If information was accidentally not reported on a prior tax return, or if a tax return was not filed correctly, we are able to file an amended tax return for up to 3 years.
    • What if you receive a letter from the IRS saying that they want to make changes to a prior tax return, or they want to audit your tax return? As Enrolled Agents, we are able to address these situations for you. We are able to correspond with the IRS on your behalf so that you don’t need to personally speak to them at all!
    • The IRS is on your back for past taxes that you owe them. They have the power to place liens on your accounts and start taking the money that you owe them. Hammernik & Associates is able to represent you and get you back on the right track. We will work with the IRS agent to remove any liens, get a payment plan in place, and get you on the road back to financial freedom.
  • Your Financial Present:

    • The tax code is always changing, and may be in store for another overhaul in the new presidency. Hammernik & Associates is always studying and taking classes to keep up with all tax law changes. Have the peace of mind that you are receiving all the credits and deductions that you deserve and are reducing your tax liability.
    • Stay compliant. We will help make sure the tax return that you are submitting is compliant with IRS standards to avoid future problems.
    • Set a game plan now for the next year. Maybe you did not take advantage of tax planning this year and it cost you some money, don’t make the same mistake again for the next year. Get a game plan set up now that will help you in the future.
  • Your Financial Future:

    • You cannot change the present (your tax return when it is filed) if you don’t plan for the future. Be proactive with your tax planning. There may be strategies available that can save you money at the end of the year by taking actions throughout the year.
    • If you expect changes in your life that may effect your financial situation, plan for them now!
    • Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. What are you going to change? It’s your future, make it great.

 

My Financial Past, Present & Future is the basis around our Year End Newsletter which is set to hit our client’s mailboxes next week. If you would like to view an electronic version of the newsletter, it can be viewed on the homepage of hammernikassoc.com. Also available there, you will find our tax organizer if you want to get a head start on gathering up all of your tax documents.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

…Tax Season Is Coming.

 

Tax Filing Season Dates You Need To Know

neon-open-signirsefile

2017 Filing Season Begins January 23rd

The IRS has announced that it will begin accepting electronically filed tax returns on January 23rd, 2017. What does this mean for taxpayers? You can have your tax return prepared earlier than the 23rd if you have all of your documents, however, the tax return cannot be submitted until 1/23/17.

Note: There is no advantage to trying to file a tax return earlier than this by mail, it will not get filed any earlier than the 23rd.

Tax Filing Deadline is April 18th

Typically when you think of the last day to file a tax return, you think April 15th. However, the Tax Gods blessed us with 3 extra days this year! Yay…

This year, April 15th falls on a Saturday. This results in having to move the day to the next business day, which is Monday. However, Monday the 17th is a legal holiday in Washington D.C., Emancipation Day. Therefore, Tuesday the 18th is the last day to file a tax return without an extension to avoid late filing.

Reminder: Refunds To Be Delayed

As I blogged about a couple of months ago, the IRS is delaying certain refunds until February 15th. If you file for certain credits on your tax return, your refund will be delayed to allow extra time to verify the credits that are claimed. The IRS is warning that these refunds may be delayed until February 27th based on workflow. Plan accordingly.

It is always important to plan ahead for your tax return filing. Identity theft is not dead, and a good way to combat it is to file as early as you can. Once you are confident you have all the necessary documents needed to file a tax return, schedule your appointment to come in!

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