Author Archives: c11631804

Extension Deadlines

As of the writing of this post, it is mid-August and the tax extension deadlines are coming up quickly!

If you were not able to file your business or personal return timely, you had the opportunity to file for an extension of time to submit your return.

The extended deadline for personal tax returns is October 15th, which will come more quickly than you think.

The extended deadline for business returns (FYE 12/31) is September 15th. That is only one month away.

Your tax preparer will need all of your information as soon as possible in order to timely file your return. For most preparers, this will mean at least two weeks before the due date.

Please also keep in mind that, although you have an extension of time to file the return, you do not get an extension on the time to pay the tax. This means that any unpaid taxes from the original due date will continue to accrue interest and penalties until paid, regardless of when the return is filed.

For any further questions, consult your tax advisor…and get that information in today!

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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Advance Child Tax Credit Payments

UPDATE 07/22/21:
A quick public service announcement: The Child Tax Credit scams have already started. Remember, the IRS will not initiate contact through email or text, so do not click on any links or download anything you aren’t expecting.

Additionally, if you’d like to opt out of the advance, it may be easiest for you to set up an account with the IRS as opposed to other methods.

07/12/21:
The IRS is sending out some 2021 child tax credit payments in advance. These will be sent from July through December of 2021, up to half of the credit in total. If you have dependent children under 18 years of age, you are potentially eligible for a 2021 child tax credit of $3,000 ($3,600 for children under 6), therefore receiving monthly installments of $250 or $300, respectively. However, this will lower your tax credit on your 2021 tax return by the amount you receive in advance. Additionally, if your situation in 2021 is different enough from what it was in 2020, you may end up having to pay some or all of this credit back when you file your 2021 tax return.

If you have questions regarding these payments, you can find many resources at the IRS website here.

We would also love to talk with you regarding any changes you’ve had, and we can provide estimates if necessary.

 

-Adam Greene
Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
770-461-3684
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Of Taxes, Viruses and 2021

A quick update regarding this tax season and ongoing virus concerns…

First and foremost, we appreciate your business and look forward to working with you this year! We are flexible and will work with you to get your tax returns prepared in whatever way makes you most comfortable. We have a number of options available including the following:

  • You can drop off your information
  • Send your information in to us
  • Schedule a phone call or other remote appointment
  • And we are still available for traditional sit-down appointments as well

We will remain open and running strong throughout the tax filing season, but don’t expect any extensions this year. Congress has shown no indication of moving the deadline again like they did in 2020, so get your returns done as early as you can.

We have several resources available on our website, including quite a few tax organizers to help you get things ready. Just look under the “Resources” tab for these helpful items.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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Recovery Rebates

You may have noticed an extra $600 or more in your bank account recently. That’s because Congress passed several new measures into law, one of them being an additional advanced rebate, after the initial $1,200 payments that were sent out earlier in 2020. The bill provides a second round of payments to taxpayers of $600 per individual ($1,200 for married couples filing a joint return) plus $600 per qualifying child in 2020. This payment will be reduced as an individual’s income exceeds $75,000 for the 2019 tax year, reducing to zero when the income exceeds $99,000. For married, joint filers, this increases to $150,000 and $$198,000, respectively. For head of household, the numbers are $112,500 and $146,500.

The IRS has updated its rebate check tool, so you can check where yours may be here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

The initial $1,200 rebates will need to be reconciled on your 2020 tax return. You should have received, or will soon receive, a letter form the IRS stating what was sent to you; use this information, or give it to your tax preparer to report on your 2020 return. If you were sent too little, you will receive the difference with your return. For example, if you added a child in 2020 (i.e. birth or adoption), you are eligible for a little more than you may have received. If you were sent too much, you will not be required to pay it back.

Let us know if you have any questions!

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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Closing Out in 2020

The end of 2020 is fast approaching and we’re getting ever closer to December 31. We’d like to see you have a strong finish to 2020 so you will be well prepared for 2021, since having an accurate picture of what happened in the past will help you prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead. The following are a few considerations you may want to address in the next month:

  1. PPP Loans – If you received the Paycheck Program Program (PPP) loan, you will want to be sure that you get that loan forgiven if possible. For help in closing out this process, the SBA has put together a very helpful fact sheet that we have uploaded to our site here: PPP Loan Forgiveness Fact Sheet. Additionally, the SBA has updated their FAQ, available here. We are also available to help you complete this process and answer any questions you may have.
  2. As we move toward the end of the year, there may be some decisions you can make before December 31 to maximize your tax benefit. Most of these decisions have to do with timing – timing of larger purchases (i.e. equipment, vehicles, etc.), timing of invoices or receipts,  can make a difference;
  3. Perhaps 2020 has been a particularly difficult year for your business and you’ve had to shut your doors. What you may not realize is there can be more to closing out a business than just ceasing operations. Some of these details can have significant tax effects for the coming year, and we want you to have the best advantage possible, especially in difficult times.

Finally, you probably already know that you need a good tax preparer. You may know, as a business owner, that you need a good bookkeeper. And while we are proud to be able to be both of those things for you, you may not know the differences between these professions and accountants. Accountants will be able to go beyond the data input and analyze the data for you. Accountants use this information to come to certain conclusions that others may not see. Accountants can help you make sense of everything that happened and make better decisions moving forward. If you haven’t been taking advantage of your accountant’s skill set, get in touch with them/us today for a better year moving forward.

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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PPP Loan Forgiveness

Just a quick note…

The Treasury Department has provided the worksheet to apply for the PPP loan forgiveness. If you have received the PPP Loan to cover your payroll costs during the downturn, please take a look at the worksheet/application and let us know if you have any quiestions.

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/3245-0407-SBA-Form-3508-PPP-Forgiveness-Application.pdf

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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GA DOL and COVID-19

The Georgia Department of Labor has released this information that may be relevant to you as an employer in Georgia:

“In response to the recent development of COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. In accordance with Governor Kemp’s recommendation, the GDOL is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services.

Employers are required to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to the employee.”

More information can be found here: https://dol.georgia.gov/blog/new-information-filing-unemployment-partial-claims-and-reemployment-services

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

A quick update regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus:

First of all, we understand your concerns and will work with you to prepare your returns. Also, yes, we’re open and we will remain open throughout the tax filing season (now extended to July 15). And we are still making appointments for anyone who needs one. We are also still available for you to drop off your information to us for tax preparation.

If you have an appointment scheduled, we will proceed as normal. If you are not feeling up to making it out to us, you can always send us your information. Just give us a call beforehand so we know it’s coming.

[update as of 4/20/20] If you receive any emails saying you can check your stimulus payment or SBA loan status if you just “click here,” DO NOT CLICK. There are many scams going around right now trying to get your personal information, from emails to phone calls, even through the mail. Delete the emails, block the phone numbers and move on. You can find most all the information you need, including your payment status, at the IRS website, here:
https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments?fbclid=IwAR21ryb5B-RWPpkJRtYH7vEllwSXPBcyTH3uJAb5lclVohaxc2AbVM7Ga5A

[update as of 4/6/20] The IRS has provided some information regarding the stimulus payments, though there is still no word on exactly when the payments will be sent.
See here

[update as of 4/2/20] The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
“Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take an action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.
(via https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm967)

[update as of 4/1/20] Here is what we know as of today regarding the stimulus checks for those who have not needed to file in recent years:
We are still awaiting guidance on how the IRS will support filing ‘Simple Tax Returns.’
On Monday, March 30, the IRS indicated that those who normally aren’t required to file taxes will need to file a ‘simple tax return’ in order to get a stimulus payment. At this time, the IRS has not provided instruction on how this should be done. By filing these types of returns before you have IRS guidance, you may create more challenges for those taxpayers. We strongly advise preparers against creating small refund amounts by manipulating numbers on the return in order to e-file ‘simple tax returns.’
In addition, the IRS also indicated it would provide a web-based portal in the coming weeks for taxpayers to provide direct deposit information if they didn’t provide it on either their 2018 or 2019 tax return. This portal is not yet available. Taxpayers should be on alert for phishing scams that try to take advantage of this situation.
We will provide more information on how to file taxes for those who need a simple return as soon as we receive it.
(via http://kb.drakesoftware.com/site/browse/16671/filing-for-stimulus-money-simple-returns)

[update as of 3/25/20] Georgia has officially extended its income tax payment AND filing deadline to July 15. This extension is automatic and no further action is needed on the taxpayer’s part. The extension also applies to estimated taxes due on April 15. In addition, there is also a vehicle registration extension to May 15, 2020 for all that expire between March 16, 2020 and May 14, 2020. More information can be found at this link:
https://dor.georgia.gov/press-releases/2020-03-25/georgia-income-tax-and-tag-renewal-deadlines-extended

[update as of 3/20/20] According to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, the deadline to FILE has been extended by 90 days, along with the deadline to PAY. Any income tax payments due on April 15, 2020 (including estimated taxes) will now be due on July 15, 2020. No additional interest or penalties, or late filing penalties, will accrue until this date. More information can be found at this link: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/payment-deadline-extended-to-july-15-2020

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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When Should I expect My Refund?

Are you (like many Americans) starting to think about the upcoming tax season and when you’ll get your IRS income tax refund?

The tax reform law that took effect in early 2018 will still have an effect on many Americans, with the tax returns they file from January through April 15, 2020 affecting the amount of their refunds.

Several factors can determine when a taxpayer may receive their return, including:

  • When they file
  • If the taxpayer is claiming certain credits
  • Whether the return is e-filed or sent by mail
  • Whether the taxpayer has existing debts to the federal government

The income tax season generally starts in late January, when the IRS officially starts accepting e-filed and mailed-in tax returns. However, in recent years, the start of tax season has often been delayed until early February, due to significant December changes to the tax laws. Keep that in mind this year, since if Congress makes new tax laws in December, it will likely cause a delay at the IRS. (Note: Only a few items were changed: Some credits and deductions were extended into the new tax year. So, tax season should start in late January 2020.)

The IRS is also continuing to delay processing by 2-3 weeks of income tax returns with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC), since these credits have often been abused. The additional time allows the IRS to verify that taxpayers qualify for the credits.

The below chart shows an estimated timeline for when a taxpayer is likely to receive their refund, based on the information we have now, and using projections based on previous years. If your IRS income tax refund is delayed, ask your tax professional, or simply use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website. Or download the IRS2Go app to check your refund status.

“When Will I Get My 2020 Income Tax Refund?”

IRS Accepts BetweenThese Dates ==== > Direct Deposit Sent(Or Check Mailed)

1/20/20- 1/24/2020— >   Friday 1/31/2020 * 

1/27/20- 1/31/ 20  — > Friday 2/7/20

2/3/20- 2/7/20   — > Friday 2/14/20 ** 

2/10/20- 2/14/20 — >   Friday 2/21/20 ** 

2/17/20- 2/21/20   — > Friday 2/28/20

2/24/20- 2/28/20 — >   Friday 3/6/20

3/2/20- 3/6/20   — > Friday 3/20/20 *** 

3/9/20- 3/13/20 — >   Friday 3/27/20

3/16/20- 3/20/20 — >   Friday 4/3/20

3/23/20- 3/27/20   — > Friday 4/10/20

* = IRS may delay tax filing season by one week or more due to changes in tax law.

** = Returns with EITC or CTC may have refunds delayed until late February to verify credits.

*** = Filing during peak season can result in slightly longer waits.

3/29/20- 4/3/20 — > Friday 4/17/20

4/6/20- 4/10/20 — >   Friday 4/24/20

4/13/20- 4/12/20 — >   Friday 5/1/20

4/20/20- 4/24/20 — >   Friday 5/8/20

4/27/20- 5/1/20 — >   Friday 5/15/20

5/4/20- 5/8/20 — >   Friday 5/22/20

5/11/20- 5/15/20 — >   Friday 5/29/20

5/18/20- 5/22/20   — > Friday 6/5/20

5/25/20- 5/29/20   — > Friday 6/12/20

6/1/20- 6/5/20 — >  Friday 6/19/20

IMPORTANT: If you file electronically (using an online tax program or preparer), the IRS will notify you of the actual date they “accepted” your return. This is often 1-3 days from the time you actually hit the “file” or “submit” button, and it is this date that you need to use for the above chart.

Taxpayers who mail a paper version of their income tax return can expect at least a 3-4 week delay at the front-end of the process, as the return has to be manually entered into the IRS system before it can be processed.

Be Safe – Hire a Professional

Taxpayers who use a professional, such as a CPA or EA, can ask that professional for the estimated date of their tax refund, and they can be more confident that their taxes have been properly (and legally) filed.

There are also apps for Apple, Android and other devices that help track refund status.

Other Notes:

In general, the IRS says that returns with refunds are processed and payments issued within 21 days. For paper filers, this can take much longer, however. The IRS and tax professionals strongly encourage electronic filing.

What If You Can’t File Your Income Taxes By April 15?

Taxpayers who don’t have all of the paperwork needed in order to file their taxes can easily file an extension form, “Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.” – This will give the taxpayer until October 15 to file their tax return. No reason or excuse is needed to receive this extension, and as the title states, it is automatically granted.

However, if a person will owe taxes, it is still their obligation to pay those taxes by April 15, even if they have requested an extension to file. A professional can assist with this. Those who are due a refund generally only need to file the extension request by April 15. Any tax professional and most do-it-yourself tax programs can perform this task.

[Tax refund chart from www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com]

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services
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Starting With A Strong Finish

As you head into a new year, you also have a lot of new opportunities for your business. But how do you know if you’re well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities? The best thing you can do for your business this coming year is to be sure you know how you finished up last year. Having an accurate picture of what happened in the past will help you prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead. In fact, spending a few hours on this now could make or save you thousands or more this year. Since you will need to have all this information together for preparing your taxes anyway, you should go ahead and get it done before getting too far into the new year.

If you haven’t been keeping up with your income, expenses, and other transactions throughout the year, it can be rather daunting to think about even where to begin. We have a very handy worksheet available here that will help you with the process. One particularly important area to be sure that you have an accurate accounting of is your business mileage and travel expenses for the year. We have a mileage log available here to help you with this, but there is more to consider than just how many miles you put on your vehicle during the year. For example, miles to and from your home are considered commuting miles and cannot be taken as a business expense, unless you meet a specific criteria. Also, you must substantiate certain travel and meals expenses in order to receive any tax benefit. You can read about some of the requirements in this same brochure, but your particular situation may vary. Come and see us to be sure you are staying compliant and receiving the full benefit available to you.

We hope that this coming year brings with it exciting new opportunities for you and your business. As always, we are available to help you in this process, as well as with the year ahead. Come in and see us!

 

-Heritage Accounting and Tax Services

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