Second Quarter Estimated Taxes Are Due Soon

The Second Quarter of 2014 is winding down and estimated taxes are due again.  If we prepared estimates for you, in the tax return packet we gave you, we provided pre-addressed envelopes and vouchers with the amount due.  Please make sure that your payments are mailed on or before June 16th.  They are also available here for download:

Federal Estimated Tax Vouchers 2014 CT Estimated Tax Vouchers 2014

As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have.

MaryJoWalker.com

Share

To Amend or Not Amend: Domestic Partnerships Have a New Question to Ponder

2014 marks a significant milestone in both cultural and clerical purposes – same sex couples are now required to file federal income tax returns that reflect their married status.

The changes in the tax law are the result of the monumental Supreme Court decision last June, which gave same-sex marriage two legal victories.  However, with the changes come confusion and lots of questions. Should previous returns be amended? Under the law, couples can choose to refile their last three tax returns using a married filing status — a potentially worthwhile move if it generates a nice refund. But how to approach that process? And there are other issues: Can you easily recover the extra taxes many you as an employee incurred when you bought health insurance for your spouse? And what do couples living in states that don’t recognize their unions need to know?

At MJW EA & Company LLC, Mary Jo is an Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor (an ADPA) and will be your guide through the odyssean sea of paperwork, questions, scenarios and options that are now available for same sex married couples. Schedule an appointment to come in and figure out what the best plan for you is. We are always here to help!

equality

Share

Your Average Wait Time Is…

A recent annual report to Congress from the National Taxpayer Advocate sites declining customer service (mostly due to budget cuts) as one of the major concerns for the IRS.

In fiscal year 2013, the IRS answered only 61% of calls from taxpayers who called wanting to speak with a customer representative.  The average wait was 17.6 minutes.

Here’s how the report describes steps the IRS is taking to improve the level of service on taxpayer phone calls:

“During the filing season (January through April), it will answer only “basic” tax law questions; it will not answer “more detailed” questions. After April, it will not answer any tax law questions (even basic ones), including from the millions of taxpayers who obtain filing extensions and prepare their returns later in the year. At the risk of vast understatement, it is a sad state of affairs when the government writes tax laws as complex as ours — and then is unable to answer any questions beyond “basic” ones from baffled citizens who are doing their best to comply.”

Have questions? MJW EA & Company LLC is here to answer basic, complex, simple, convoluted, easy, unusual and the occasional “Can I deduct my pet if I use it as a security system?” all year, with no average wait time. And with a smile.

MaryJoWalker.com

Share

Health Care, Investments and Phase Outs – Oh My: Changes to 2013 Tax Laws

In case you were wondering why this year was different than returns past, MJW EA & Company LLC wanted to shed some light on the changes that went into effect for the 2013 tax year:

  • The top tax bracket increased from 35% to 39.6%
  • The long-term capital gains rate was raised to 20% for couples who earn more than $450,000.
  • The Medicare payroll tax increased by 0.9 percentage point in 2013, but only for couples earning more than $250,000 and unmarried taxpayers earning more than $200,000. The increase applies to investment income, not just to wages.
  • There was also an additional 3.8% Medicare tax on “net investment income” for those couples earning more than $250,000. That includes long-term capital gains and qualified dividends on stock, income that until now was taxed at a maximum rate of just 15%. But it also includes other income that had been taxed at the same rate as earned income, including rent, royalties, interest and short-term capital gains.
  • Including the Medicare surcharge, the top rate on investment income (like interest and short-term capital gains (like interest and short-term capital gains) is now 43.4%.
  • There were a significant number of phase-outs that occurred in 2013, that were more than likely the culprit for our clients (please see the table below)

phase out tableMJW EA & Company LLC is, as always, available for strategizing with you to maximize your benefits.

MaryJoWalker.com

Share

In Other News…

We have a new member of the team, Christine (check out our team page)!  One of Christine’s children has Prader Willi Syndrome.   Prader Willi Syndrome is a deletion of Chromosome 15 and therefore no cure will exist.  Early in life, the disorder will present with low muscle tone (Mac is just learning to sit up at 1 year old), failure to thrive to eat and developmental delays, as well as other symptoms.  Later on, she will wake up one day and never feel full.  She will do anything for food and eat anything.  Many children have eaten out of the trash or ingested things like coins because they are so hungry.  There are many more aspects of this disorder and research is ongoing.  There are amazing clinical trials in progress right now that will hopefully one day help with appetite control.

There is a fundraiser for Mackenzie and her PWS friends on Saturday May 17th at Middletown High School.  There will be a 5k walk, touch-a-truck, raffles, face painting, balloon animal artist, DJ and much more.  If you would like to attend, you can register online at the below link.  Your donation is tax deductible!

MJW EA & Company LLC is proudly supporting this cause!

http://onesmallstep.fpwr.org/dw/users/cjgeraci1/Middletown2014

http://www.middletownpress.com/events/20140402/durham-family-walking-in-hopes-of-cure-for-daughters-genetic-disorder

MaryJoWalker.com

Share

First Quarter Reports for 2014

Personal tax season may be over but, for small business owners, you know the deadline hits just keep on coming!  1st quarter sales and use and payroll returns are due on or by April 30th, 2014.

If you need help with your reports, we are here to assist you.  If we already prepare these for you, please be sure to get to us the information needed in advance of the deadline so that we can keep you on track.

sm bs acct

Share

Office Closing

In observance of Good Friday, the MJW EA & Company LLC office will be closed Friday, April 18th, 2014.

Thank you.

MaryJoWalker.com

Share

First Quarter Estimated Taxes

As the First Quarter of 2014 winds to a close, estimated taxes are due.  If we prepared estimates for you, in the tax return packet we gave you, we provided pre-addressed envelopes and vouchers with the amount due.  Please make sure that your payments are mailed by April 15th.  They are also available here for download:

Federal Estimated Tax Vouchers 2014 CT Estimated Tax Vouchers 2014

As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have.

MaryJoWalker.com

Share

“T” Minus Three and a Half Weeks

Our hours are extended for the remainder of tax season (for those of you counting, that’s three and a half weeks!) and we are now open as follows:

Monday through Thursday:  7.30a – 8p

Friday:  7.30a-5p

Saturday:  8.30a-5p

Sunday:  By appointment

For those of our clients who have already sent in, dropped off, mailed, fed-exed or hand-delivered your tax information to us, we will be calling or emailing soon to let you know your taxes are done.  The following does NOT apply to you.

If you HAVE NOT gotten us your complete tax information, the deadline for us to guarantee filing by the April 15th deadline is April 1st. If your information comes to us AFTER the 1st of April, we will try our very best to get a return done by April 15th, but we may have to file an extension.

MaryJoWalker.com

 

Share

New Scam Targets Connecticut Residents

Just in time for tax season, a scheme targeting taxpayers is being reported, specifically in Connecticut.  This new scam, like all the rest, involves spoofing to make the caller ID seem legit, uses “badge numbers” to identify IRS officers and preys on everyone’s fear during this time – owing the IRS.

Do not fall prey to this scam.  Here’s what the scammers do:

  • They call, give their name and badge number.
  • They inform victim that “the IRS has decided to sue you for intent to defraud the IRS. They looked at your 2008-2012 [tax] returns and decided that you have been willfully defrauding them.  They are going to sue you. They are going to put a lien on your house, garnish your wage, notify your employer. You’ll be jailed.”
  • Then the scammers say the victim can avoid the scenario if they pay the IRS immediately electronically.
  • If the victim hangs up, the phone rings again, this time showing 9-1-1 as the originating location.  At this point, the scammers will claim to be an officer and they threaten to come to the victim’s house and arrest them.

If you receive a call or calls like this, it is NOT the IRS. If you owe money to the IRS, first you get a notice in the mail, then a phone call.  You will NEVER be threatened with arrest nor forced to go out and buy a prepaid debit card and send money to the IRS.

So, what do you do if you get a phone call like this?  Connecticut State Police Officer Lt. Vance advises that you hang up and then call the police and report it immediately.

MaryJoWalker.com

Share