What to do if you receive an IRS Notice (#1, don’t panic)

The IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers each year. There are a variety of reasons why we might send you a notice. Here are the top 10 tips to know in case you get one. 1.    Don’t panic. You often can take care of a notice simply by responding to it. 2.    An IRS notice typically will be about your federal tax […]

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Affordable Care Act responsibilities for the individual starting in 2014. Deadline fast approaching.

As a tax accountant, I have received many questions from clients and friends about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It’s not as complicated as people think, but there are many scams and a lot of misinformation. Below is what you must do in order to be in compliance with the ACA for 2014 if you haven’t already. Pay attention to the details, because enrolling or […]

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I successfully signed up my daughter for Obamacare on healthcare.gov.

She is 29, single,  no dependents, eligible for a subsidy, and got a very comprehensive Silver level health insurance coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. I did this on Saturday morning Nov. 30, and the entire process took about 2 hours. The site is still clunky and wonky the way you navigate through the process.  I had to do things 2 and […]

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Legal same-sex marriages recognized by I.R.S.

Starting with the 2013 tax year, if you are in a legal same-sex marriage, you are married for federal tax purposes and must file a joint or separate return. You cannot use the Single filing status. You are in a legal marriage if you were legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages. Registered domestic partnerships and civil unions do not qualify. Once you […]

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Why having a mileage log (or not) could determine the direction of an IRS audit.

The business record you probably hate to maintain the most is the one record that may receive special attention in an IRS Audit: The mileage log on your vehicle. Once your IRS audit begins, early in the process, the IRS examiner will probably ask to see this record.  If the record is missing or lacking in substance, the Examiner may conclude that your other business […]

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Why you should NEVER throw away your tax returns.

The IRS has it wrong.  Here’s an excellent article explaining why you should never throw away your tax returns in accordance with the IRS guidelines. After 6 years, it wouldn’t be necessary to keep copies of checks, bank statements, cash receipts, etc, but I would keep copies of all source documents, such as Forms W-2, 1099’s 1098’s etc. along with the copy of the return. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/never-throw-away-tax-returns-101309448.html

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10 ways to become a victim of tax identity theft.

Below is a link to an excellent article in Forbes Magazine about tax identity theft. Please take a moment to read this article, and contact me immediately if you suspect a tax return has been falsely filed in your name and social security number. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mjd45kmig/10-ways-to-become-a-victim-of-tax-identity-theft/

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12 ways to build and maintain good credit in 2013 and beyond.

If you are in the market for a big ticket purchase – such as a house or a car – you know how a bad credit rating can either stop you in your tracks or cost you more in the way of higher interest rates or other unfavorable loan terms.  Your credit profile can determine interest rates and maximum limits of your credit cards and […]

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IRS delays processing of Education Credits until mid-February.

Yesterday, the IRS released a statement that the processing of Form 8863 will be delayed until mid-February. Form 8863 is used to claim two higher education credits — the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit – but the delayed start will have NO impact on taxpayers claiming other education-related tax benefits, such as the tuition and fees deduction and the student loan interest […]

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The Top Tax Myths (And What Happens When You Believe Them).

It’s getting to be that time of the year again. The time when Tax Day is fast approaching and you start hearing conflicting things from friends and family about what is—and what isn’t—okay when filing your taxes. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about various deductions, loopholes, and write-offs that can get you into hot water if you blindly follow someone else’s bad advice. […]

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