The face of tax day has been changed by the state of the world. But what does this all mean for us as individuals? How is this going to affect how each of us is expected to pay our taxes?
Tax day truly means something very different than it has in all of its history now than ever before. This year, as of recent legislation, tax day has been moved from April 15th to July 15th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in very normal situations, this is a very stressful time for everyone. During this unknown and uncharted time, it has become very stressful at a whole new level for businesses, closed businesses, employees who have been temporarily laid off, and for everyone not knowing what to do next. The government and the IRS hoped that this 90-day extension would ease the stress of not having funds on hand to pay for your taxes by their original due date, due to the loss of your job or paycheck, all in hopes that by July 15th everything will have returned to normal. It's is a very optimistic hope and wish that it is, and all of us are hoping that by July all of this will have blow over, but who knows what could happen.
If you have already filed your taxes, we hope that your tax return is safely in your hands and has helped you through this difficult time. If you're planning to file and pay your taxes before the new July 15th deadline, the IRS is still processing paperwork and is ready to get your tax return back to you. But, if you still need more time, then you're in luck. Unlike a traditional extension, this is allowing filing and payment to be both sent in by July 15th. But, the IRS understands that you might be needing your return more than ever this year. This new deferment is just giving you a chance to take more time to file if you need it. All of us here at Hoods are ready to support our Goose Creek family through these new changes and to help guild, instruct and file for you. But, with all of the changes, do you know what this deferment means and who it applies to? Is this going to help you individually or not?
As of March 20th, the IRS made the official statement that federal income tax filing was moved to its new date of July 15th. Taxpayers are also able to defer federal income tax payments without any penalties and interest, no matter how much is owed. Thankfully this new deferment applies to all taxpayers. This means individuals, those who pay self-employment taxes, corporations, businesses, and trusts and estates. Everyone can benefit from these changes without any penalty. There is also limited paperwork that comes with this change. Unlike a traditional deferment, you do not need to let the IRS know that you're filing later. If you haven't filed by April 15th, the assumption will be made that you are going to be using the new due date as your official tax day. If you do decide to follow the new deferment, and July 15th is still not enough time, you can still ask for an additional extension. This is where the new paperwork comes in. If you need more time as an individual, you will need to file Form 4868, and businesses will need to file Form 7004. Outside of that, no new paperwork is needed!
Even with this extra relief, the IRS still recommends that you file as soon as possible, as the future is still very unknown. To help your financial situation and to get your return back to you as quickly as possible, they are taking no longer than 21 days to get your paperwork filed and refund to you. As we mentioned in past blogs, filing closer to the due date can cause your return to take up to 30 days if not longer to get back to you. This is no longer the case. The IRS is working harder and faster to help out where ever they can.
With the daily changes happening in our country, and the IRS being a vital key to keeping our government afloat in the days ahead, there could be a few bumps along the way with your taxes. Please be patient with them. We also recommend filing online if you were planning to do otherwise. All IRS workers have moved to remote work, and will no longer be accepting appointments in person. Hoods is still here to help you, but we suggest for all business to be done over the phone, through email, and other digital forms of communication for safety sake.
Tax time has never been more unique or shrouded with so many unknowns. During this time, if you have any questions or concerns, we continue to be your tax specialist in Goose Creek. We will get through this together, successfully get your taxes filed, and happily get your tax return back to you and your family. Continue to stay safe and stay at home!
Tax season is stressful for a multitude of reasons. One stress, in particular, might be more dangerous than you might realize. Scammers and hackers take advantage of this busy and stressful time to attempt to steal and take your personal information by posing as IRS or other government employees. One of the biggest things they've been coming after recently? Your social security.
We are under a month now from Tax Day, and I know we are all feeling that reality. We know that this might have been a particularly stressful time of year for you, but you just have to wait it out a little bit longer. Your tax return will be in your bank account before you know it. But as we are speeding towards the official end of 2019's tax season, there might be more than getting your paperwork in on time that you need to be concerned with. Hackers and scammers use this time of the year to prey on thousands of people to steal their personal information and gain access to their social security. I'm sure many of our readers have been experiencing a huge rate of unknown phone calls recently. That's not just because it's election season. Scammers and hackers have become some of the most dangerous and frightening intelligent criminals out there.
Cybercrime that uses emails and phone calls to extract highly personal information has become one of the most expensive crimes in the world. It's costing companies billions of dollars in stolen information and damages. These criminals are becoming smarter and more in tune with how they can disguise themselves to make strangers believe that they are companies, business, and official governing bodies that you can trust. The most disturbing is that they prey on groups of individuals who are most likely to fall for these scams, individuals who rely on their social security to live on. They can, and they do, attack almost anyone they can, but they are starting to focus more and more on groups of individuals who are unaware of this type of crime and who are the most unfamiliar with technology.
One of the largest groups being attacked are the elderly and retired. Scammers go right to the source calling direct personal home or cell phone numbers. These criminals pretend to be IRS, other government, or bank employees and are looking to bait their callers into giving them what they want or backing them into a corner and threatening them until they do. So what do these scams look like? They usually come in the form of a phone call or an email. Usually, it is a pre-recorded message stating that your social security account has been compromised or frozen. They can also threaten that there has been an issue with your taxes and filing them. Which during this time of year, is very believable. They will say that you either have to pay a certain amount of money to unlock or save the account, pay to prevent legal action, or pay to prevent the police from showing up and arresting you.
If a scammer calls you in real-time, they make the same accusations. Sometimes they go as far as giving you a case number and know just enough information about you or the family member they are trying to scam, that their case seems very legitimate. They then might begin asking for very personal information, like the last digits of your social security number or the bank account number you use when filing your taxes. If you put up any kind of fight or question these claims or refuse to answer questions, that's when it could start getting ugly. Threats could be thrown out that legal action will be taken, that the police will show up, or other harm could come to you and your family. That's when the baiting starts to happen. Once they begin to make threats, they will say the only way to protect your social security account or to fix these issues is to pay them in cash, to wire cash to them, pay them in gift cards, digital currency like bitcoin, or other strange ways.
When it comes to emails, the scammers can create emails that look official. They will create logos to place within the email, write a very convincing message that looks very professional, and create an email address that looks legitimate. The message will be very similar to that of the above-mentioned phone calls, and the only way to protect or stop these actions is to pay them in similarly strange ways and provide them with very personal information. If you receive any kind of phone call or email like this, hang up immediately and pay no mind to the email. Know right now, that if the IRS or the Government needed to get in touch with you, this is not how the process would go at ALL. You can now report these phone calls and emails online to the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. The administration is cracking down on these kinds of daily attacks, and are working hard to eliminate this threat.
All of that being said, know that your social security number cannot be suspended, revoked, blocked, or frozen. Personal information should, and would be, in front of or available to an actual government official if they needed it. They don't need it from you. If the social security offices do call or email you, you have the option of withholding answering anything until you physically call the office back and make sure that it is the social security office that you're dealing with and that there is a real issue. Call them at 800-772-1213 and go from there. Please make note that phone numbers can be spoofed to look as convincing as possible, so don't fall for any phone number. No actual government employee would ever ask you to wire money, send or pay in cash, or to buy them a gift card as a form of payment EVER. If you are ever threatened with arrest or legal action, this is not the government you are talking to, this is a scammer.
These phone calls and emails can be very scary and very convincing. Because these criminals are getting smarter by the day, they know exactly how to get just enough information and say all the right things to scare whoever they're talking to. If it does happen that you do become victim to a situation like this, do not be embarrassed and try to handle it yourself. Report it right away. Visit the website for the Office of the Inspector General (below), the IRS website, or your local police. Your local police will be able to direct you to the proper authorities to deal with these situations. Also, help your loved ones in these situations. Tell them about the possibilities of getting these types of calls and attacks. Prepare them for the situation, and walk them through how to handle it best. Keep them aware of these kinds of situations. Keep communication open about this situation, and keep your loved ones safe.
Tax season is already a stressful time. Add on some very convincing criminals, and some real damage could be done. Stay alert, stay aware, and protect yourself. We have included the website to report any phone calls or emails at the bottom of this blog. You can help stop these criminals and keep yourself safe. While tax season is coming to an end, remember that we are your premier service in Goose Creek to help you prepare and get through every tax season. You don't have anything to fear this season if you work with us. You're going to be in good hands.
Report any kind of abuse or potential scam to this website IMMEDIATELY!
Tax season is here, and for many of our clients, as you grow professionally and through your financial years, you come to discover more and more things finding their way onto your tax documents that you have to pay for. One of the most expensive things that you will depend on later in life is your retirement fund. Are you prepared to retire and are you aware of what you may or may not have to pay taxes on once you do?
February is here, and we are one day closer into tax season here in Goose Creek. We are here to provide the best tax preparation services to all of our current and new clients, so please don't hesitate to contact us this tax season! We are in full swing, and are prepared for what is going to be a very busy but very exciting tax season! With that being said, we are here to offer our clients at many stages of their lives help with their taxes. For those filing for the first time, for those filing for the first time as a married couple, and those filing for the first time after retiring. Just as you change through the stages of your life, how you pay your taxes will also change along with you.
Planning for your retirement is one of the most important things you can start doing once you start working in the professional world. You'll be paying for your retirement your whole professional career, and it will most likely be one of the most expensive things you'll ever pay for. There are no loans, no short cuts, so you will have to save and work for it. As overwhelming and difficult as this can be at times, the sooner you can start, the better your years of retirement will be. In honor of that, we will be dedicating this two-part blog to the pros and cons of having a 401(k) versus a Pension, and what that will mean come tax season once you are thinking of retiring and once you do retire!
The days of working for a company for 40 plus years and retiring with an amazing pension, health benefits, and security are becoming things of the past. Today, the 401(k) is dominating the world of the retirement plan. A 401(k) is a plan that was specifically designed to help you save for retirement and was created almost by accident! The 401(k) that we know today started its journey in 1978 with the creation of the Revenue Act passed by Congress that year. This Act was added to the Internal Revenue Code, Section 401(k), and it allowed employees to avoid paying taxes on deferred compensation. in 1980, a gentleman by the name of Ted Benna, benefits consultant of the Johnson Companies, was trying to come up with a way to have a more tax-friendly option for companies to provide retirement programs based on this new 401(k) idea. He came up with the incredible idea that allowed employees to save pre-taxed money in a retirement plan that the employer would then match and put back into the plan as well. This was the birth of the modern-day 401(K) plan, and The Johnson Companies were one of the first to provide these new benefits to their employees.
In the very beginning, the original section of the 401(K) in the Internal Revenue Code, did not allow stand-alone accounts to be created and to be funded by salary reductions. Mr. Benna pushed the IRS to change this idea, and they followed through. Those employees who now decided to partake in a 401(k) could now use their deferred income to make investments and not be taxed on any gains. By 1982, 401(k)s were being offered by thousands of companies, and they are commonplace for most companies today.
There are many benefits 401(k) programs give to business owners and employers, and many of these benefits are why pensions are becoming an endangered species.
The benefits a 401(k) can offer to the employee are also very positive.
Right away in just these two short lists (they could be much longer, this is just an overview), you can see how a 401(k) can be such a relief on your taxes now, and it won't be an issue on your taxes or even something you have to worry about until you start pulling money out of it. But even though there are some wonderful benefits to a 401(k) there are still some cons.
Don't be overwhelmed with these cons. When deciding on your future, especially your financial future that could affect your taxes, you need to be aware of both sides of the coin. It is good to remember that what you pay into your 401(k) can help reduce the liability rate on your taxes every year and can help with tax withholding during every one of your pay periods.
You have a lot on your plate right now when it comes to tax season, so for those who aren't taking money out of their 401(k) this year, it's one less thing you have to worry about when filing. For those who are just starting to use their 401(k) plan as retirement or in a situation based on need, this tax season might be a little different for you. But don't worry, we are here to help. We hope this information has enlightened you a little more on 401(k) plans, and one of the many options available to you for retirement. In our next blog, we will be exploring pension's and what kind of taxes you may or may not be facing with those. Until then, we are Hood's Tax and Accounting Service, here to help you with all of your tax needs in Goose Creek, SC!
Tax season is here, and we are ready to tackle it head-on. With all the anxiety that tax season can bring, we wanted to give you something to look forward to.
We are inching closer to tax day by the minute, and it's time to stay focused and not get overwhelmed with what's to come. We are here to help you with all of your needs from now until it's over. So please do not hesitate to visit us! Make sure you and your family members are ready and prepared for tax day, and get everything filed on time. The last thing we want is to have you accrue late fees or other issues down the line with the IRS. To ease any worry or pain, we wanted to share with you when you should be expecting your 2020 tax refund. Everyone loves a refund, right? A refund is what so many of our clients look forward to every year, and we can't blame them. They are like little (or hopefully bigger than you expected) consolation prizes for getting your taxes done on time and done properly. As we've discussed in some of our recent blogs, the tax reform laws that started to take effect in 2018 will affect your tax refunds through 2020 and it will affect how much you could potentially be getting back in those refunds. Many factors determine when you receive your refund, some of them depend on you while others will depend on the government and the IRS.
On Your Plate
We are here to help you, bring you peace of mind, and get your refund money back in your pocket as quickly as possible. With this knowledge, it's easy to see that we can help skip some serious wait time and help you avoid worry for this tax season, and the many seasons to come. So until next time, keep this information in mind, stay organized, and visit us to help get your taxes filed on time!
There are many loose ends you need to tie up at the end of any year for your personal taxes and those of your small business. You also need to be staying on top of the many changes coming your way in 2020 taxes. You might have more work ahead of you, so it's better to be prepared now for what is quickly heading your way.
You've made it through the holidays and all the celebrations that go along with them, both in your job and with your families. As tax season approaches for the 2019 fiscal year, you need to start thinking about a few new changes that you'll be seeing sooner rather than later, along with tying up a few loose ends.
In this blog, we won't be discussing all of the changes that are heading your way. We will just be touching on some of the most important. You will see changes in the W-4 form in 2020, in State withholding, Federal W-2s and State Deadlines, ACA Compliance from the State, and in Gig Economy and worker classification.
Changes with W-4 Forms
In 2020 you're going to see changes with the IRS W-4 tax form. They have changed the form and given it a bit of a facelift. The changes include calculations for income tax withholding. There is a new form that has been added for the head of the household as well. The new form eliminates withholding allowance. As an employee, you will just adjust your withholdings by putting your tax information on your W-4 forms. This will include non-wage income, full-year deductions, and any child or any other dependent tax credits. If you own a small business or are getting a new job in the year to come, filling out tax papers will be much different than previous years. Since you probably don't know all of your tax information off the top of your head, and you probably won't be carrying around copies of last year's tax refund, take more time filling out the paperwork. If you are a business owner, allow your employee to take it home. Ask your new employer for a private space to call home or your tax professional to fill out all the information. If you are happy with your current withholdings at your job now, you will not need to fill out the w-4 form again. If you need to change anything for your future taxes, you will have to fill out the new paperwork.
The new W-4 paperwork could affect state tax withholdings. Many states are still trying to figure out how to work with these new changes, so you or your small business won't be the only one trying to follow along. You will need to prepare for these changes by the end of next year, as their decisions on how to deal with these new changes will also affect how you file your taxes. The main issue many states are dealing with right now is the fact that there is no longer a box for allowances on the federal tax forms. Different states are picking different ways to handle the situation. One option that might become the norm is taking the focus away from income tax and shifting to pay-roll taxes. This might not be a very fun solution for many of us, but be prepared. When it's time to do taxes and paperwork for 2020, make sure to pay attention to the choices your state has made to deal with the W-4 changes.
Federal W2s and State Deadlines
In 2020 the tax rate will remain the same for employees and employers, at 6.2%. Medicare tax rates will also stay the same as they were in 2019. The IRS has now moved up the W-2 submission deadline to January 31st. They have done this to continue the fight against tax fraud and identity theft. Most states will now require electronic W-2 filing from your employers. Many states have also increased the penalties for late filings of W-2 forms. Be very aware of these due dates. These fees can add up very quickly and become very costly.
The good news for you, if you're feeling overwhelmed for next year's tax season, is that we are here to help you keep up to date on these changes. We are here to help you understand them, help guide you through them, and prepare for them. These charges vary from small differences to ones that will affect you on a state and federal level. Just like any tax law changes, the new ones we will be seeing in 2020 will evolve into others. So don't get too comfortable. Stay connected, educated, and ready for the unexpected.
This season is meant for celebrating, and no matter how you celebrate it can be overshadowed by the fear that tax season is getting closer. But fear not, we have the perfect gift you can give yourself to make this tax year and the years to come pain-free with more celebration in store for you!
The holidays are here, and with a rush of mistletoe and delicious treats, in comes the last fiscal quarter of 2019. We've made it, and that in itself is a reason to celebrate. While we sit here enjoying a mug of holiday cheer, we can't help but start to think of tax season. We are about to put this year to sleep and tuck it in to the IRS come April. But come January 21st, the IRS will start taking e-file returns, which means getting your tax return back even sooner! There is one more step you can go about doing to make your tax holiday season even better. That is to gift yourself with hiring a Tax Professional!
Perhaps you've done your taxes for the last handful of years. That's amazing, ambitious, and very time-consuming. We understand your hesitation in hiring someone to help you with your taxes. It does cost money. But in the spirit of giving, we want to pass along five of the top reasons why you should consider hiring a tax professional to do your 2019 taxes!
In five easy steps, this can be the best holiday yet. Fill your mug up with holiday cheer and settle into the last few weeks of the holiday. Don't fear tax season. 2020 is going to be an excellent year, just you wait! From all of us at Hoods, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.