Author Archives: Bernadette Raftery

Tax Reform is Confusing! Here is a Side by Side Comparison Part 1

Tax Reform is confusing to Many People.

Yes, tax reform is confusing; however, in this article we will make it easier to understand. This year has flown by so fast, and tax reform is in full swing. We decided to put together a side-by side comparison of the old and new law. All that is left to close this deal is filing that first tax return to the IRS. Below is an infographic to help you maneuver all the details behind Tax Reform. Below we will break down this very long infographic for you into pieces for an easier understanding. Are you ready? Continue reading

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We Have a New Corporate Tax Preparation Office!

Are You Looking for a New Corporate Tax Preparation Office?

About Worthtax Corporate Tax Preparers

Our new corporate tax preparation office is in Norwell, Massachusetts. While Joseph Cahill and Associates/Worthtax has multiple offices, to serve you better, in Dedham, Weymouth and Norwell, Massachusetts, our Norwell office is our new corporate tax hub.  Continue reading

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Boost Cash Flow With a Business Credit Card

Business owners must monitor cash flow to thrive. By staying proactive with cashflow strategies, you can drive more cash flow to your business. One way to boost cashflow is to use a business credit card when you make purchases and pay suppliers. Other than municipal payments, you can use your credit card to pay most bills without a penalty. Business card policies change from state to state so the information we provide here is based on our experience in Massachusetts. To extend payment terms you can use your business credit card’s grace period to your advantage, read below.  Continue reading

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November Tax Due Dates?

Now that the ghouls and goblins are soon to leave us, the November tax due dates are here. Read below for what a person’s or business’ tax responsibility may be for the month of November. Hopefully you will have something to be thankful for by the end of the month. If you are not ready for your tax deadlines,

Continue reading

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File Your Taxes In Less Than 1 Week!

We are not trying to stress you out, BUT you have less than one week to file your taxes. You have until April 18 to file your tax return. That’s one week away. These suggestions should help you reach the goal.

File an Extension

Yup, that is our first suggestion, unless you have all your information consolidated, just file an extension. You will automatically get six more months to complete your return. If you decide to go this route, remember that if you owe the IRS money, you still have to pay at least 90% of what you ow by April 18. This will allow you to dodge the Failure-To-Pay penalty.

The good news for our military? If you or a spouse are currently in an active combat zone, or you live overseas, you have to file by

Note that if you are in the military, have a spouse in an active combat zone, or live abroad there are are granted a deadline and payment extension. The IRS website states, “In general, the deadlines for performing certain actions applicable to his taxes are extended for the period of service in the combat zone, plus 180 days after last day in the combat zone. In addition to the 180 days, an extension period may include the 46 days that were left before the April 18th deadline when entered the combat zone.  During a 226-day extension period, assessment and collection deadlines will be extended, and will not be charged interest or penalties attributable to the extension period.” You can read more here.

You can file your taxes yourself, but there goes your weekend!

2016_04_14 Tax filingYou can, but keep in mind, it will be grueling. On average, according to the IRS, tax returns take an average of 13 hours to prepare and file. That’s almost 6.5 hour work days, four 3.25 hour days and if you start today, it will be almost 3 hours every night starting tonight!

First, find all the backup documentation for earnings (W2’s, 1099’s), proof of expenses, donations, 1095 form (health coverage), or whatever information you have to file, such as your 1098-T for student loan interest. Here is a full list of forms and publications that we have for your reference.

What? You don’t have your tax information?

You could look in every file you have or you can just call the place that issued the form. Some resources will have a website that you can download your forms too. If your employer or the person who hired you as a contractor emails the forms then you have the backup right online (provided you did not delete the link to access it). Also, Navient has a link you can download your student loan interest information from too (provided your loan is with the former Sallie Mae).

If you are not familiar with the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant you will be! It is a great tool. You can try and look up your tax questions there. Just plug in common keywords related to taxes and returns or scroll down the page and review the Topics by Category and select the link. You will be asked questions that should help you determine your specific tax need along with a solution.

We suggest next year, whenever something comes via email, print it right away and electronically file he document in an email folder. And, if you get something in the mail have one pocket folder that you can just file the information in and have ready for when you are about to file.

Before You Hit Submit to File Your Taxes

2016_04_14 Tax filingkeyboardDouble check all your information! Spelling of names, addresses, social security numbers, bank information, etc. It may be a good idea to have your spouse check the information while you quote it to avoid any typos or mistakes. You may know it by heart, but when you are looking at numbers and information for hours and then you are under pressure, mistakes can happen. Plus, do you really want to file an amended return?

If you do, you can file online using a software package; however you should note fees to file online can be anywhere from $0 to $25 depending if it is a state return or an IRS return.

Call WorthTax (or another trusted professional)

Why put yourself through all the stress, when WorthTax can help? We can file your extension or your return for you. Call l Alex Franch, BS EA at 781.849.7200 right away so that he can schedule an appointment and/or file an extension if necessary. You can also schedule an appointment at one of Worthtax’s locations in Quincy, Weymouth and Dedham.

Sources and Resources:

2015 Tax Changes for Massachusetts
Tax Deadline is Rapidly Approaching
Massachusetts Tax Filing
April is a Very Busy Tax Month
Employer Relief: Affordable Care Act Reporting
Deadline Changes: Congress Did Something Right!
Statute of Limitations: How Long Am I On the Hook for a Tax Assessment?

 

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Massachusetts Tax Filing

Massachusetts tax filing applies if you work in Massachusetts

massachsuetts tax filingEvery individual resident of Massachusetts who earns or accumulates Massachusetts gross income over $8,000 must file a return of all the income. Income can be from a job you hold, interest earned on savings, social security, winnings from the lottery, or any other means that puts money in your pocket. It is all income regardless where it comes from. I know paying taxes on our hard-earned income stinks, but we all have to report it and file a tax return – state and federal.

Full year residents who earn or accumulate Massachusetts gross income over $8,000 during the taxable year must make a Massachusetts tax filing for their income tax return. Gross income is income earned prior to taxes being withheld. Residents must file Massachusetts Form 1 entitled Resident Individual Income Tax Return.

Nonresidents who work in Massachusetts or earn income though sources within Massachusetts must file income tax returns with Massachusetts if their income surpasses either $8,000 or the prorated personal exemption to which they are entitled. These are according to which is less. Nonresidents file Massachusetts Form 1 NR/PY entitled Nonresident/Part-Year Resident Individual Income Tax Return.

Part-year residents who obtain or accumulates Massachusetts gross income over $8,000 during the taxable year must file a Massachusetts income tax return. The form that part-time residents file is entitled Nonresident/Part-Year Resident Individual Income Tax Return or Massachusetts Form 1 NR/PY.

What if I Owe Money to Department of Revenue in Massachusetts?

April 19, 2016 is the Massachusetts tax filing deadline. File your taxes by that deadline regardless if cannot pay the amount due with my return. If you don’t have the total amount you owe on your return, you should try to pay 80% required so you can file an extension. If you cannot reach that amount, then pay what you can. When you file on before the deadline, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue you will not have to pay late filing penalties, but you will still have the interest and late payment penalties. However, even if you can’t pay the 80 percent, you are still must file on time. DOR will issue you a bill for the balance due, plus the interest and late payment penalty.

If the amount due is less than $5,000, you may arrange a payment option. To determine if you qualify, Worthtax can help you access and file the application accurately, without all the guess work. For other dollar amounts due, Worthax can give you tips on how to avoid collections. Keep in mind the Massachusetts can put a lien on your bank accounts and/or put a levy against your earnings. We can help you arrange a small payment agreement which may allow you to make monthly payments to meet your tax obligation.
Note: If you go with a payment agreement, interest and penalties will remain adding up on any portion of the balance outstanding.

No matter how you slice it when it comes to receiving or accruing income from a Massachusetts business or employer, you will have to file your taxes with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. There are alternatives for you to select from when you file your income taxes for Massachusetts. The fastest option for receiving your refund is to go with electronic tax filing. To get started, call Alex Franch, BS EA at 781.849.7200 for additional information. Worthtax is an ultra-convenient service that uses a triple-check accuracy system that will help you get your taxes completed and filed on time. Worthtax has locations in Quincy, Weymouth and Dedham.

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IRS Alerts Payroll, HR Professionals of Phishing Scheme

IRS Alerts Payroll and HR Professionals to Phishing Scheme Involving W-2s

phishing, scams, spoofing, warning, IDENTITY THEFTThis IRS alerts payroll and human resources professionals to beware of a phishing email scheme that claims to be from company executives. Why should this matter to you as a reader? You could work for a company that may have been scammed. The fake company email requests personal information on employees. This is part of a surge in other phishing email schemes. It has already claimed several victims in payroll and human resources offices.

This spoofing email, a type of phishing scam, has name of the company executive, a CEO or CFO. The impersonator of the executive sends an email to a company payroll office employee requesting a list of employees and information including SSNs. In response to the email, the HR and Payroll representatives send payroll data, which includes employee’s information from the Form W-2. As most may know, W-2s have Social Security numbers and other personal information, which is just enough for a cyber thief to steal an identity, possibly yours!

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen states,

“This is a new twist on an old scheme using the cover of the tax season and W-2 filings to try tricking people into sharing personal data. Now the criminals are focusing their schemes on company payroll departments… . If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees, check it out before you respond. Everyone has a responsibility to remain diligent about confirming the identity of people requesting personal information about employees.”

There are several cases that are already before the IRS Criminal Investigation for review. These include people who have been tricked into sharing SSNs with what turned out to be cybercriminals. These scam artists use the stolen personal information to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

The IRS Alerts Reveal Some Email Details:

  • Kindly send me the individual 2015 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.
  • Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary) as at 2/2/2016.
  • I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2015, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

One Month Until the End of tax season.

There have been other reports of scams targeting a wider tax community. The IRS warned there has been a 400 percent surge between phishing and malware events so far this tax season. As a result, the IRS has renewed a broader consumer alert for e-mail schemes.

The emails are drafted to deceive taxpayers into believing these are official communications from the IRS. Not just the IRS, but others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. The phishing schemes ask taxpayers about a wide range of topics, asking information related to refunds, filing status, confirming personal information, ordering transcripts and verifying PIN information.

Could You Be Caught in a Phishing Scam?

WorthTax, as well as any viable tax business, would NEVER ask you personal tax information. First, because if you  are our client and you would have already provided that information to us. If you believe your are being tricked into giving sensitive and personal information over, call Alex immediately at 781-849-7200. Worthtax has a Tax Identity Theft program ready to assist you in any three of our tax offices located in Quincy, Dedham or Weymouth.

The IRS, state tax agencies and tax industry are engaged in a public awareness campaign – Taxes. Security. Together. We are strongly encouraged to do more to protect personal, financial and tax data. Also visit Publication 4524 for other ways to protect yourself.

Read more articles about Tax Identity Theft:

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Phishing Scams and Tax Scams Part 1 of 4

Phishing ScamsPhishing scams (pronounced “fishing”) is the attempt to acquire sensitive information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is done by someone sending an email to a user. They falsely claim to be a genuine business you may be familiar with. Do not be fooled, it is attempt to scam you into providing private information that will be used to steal your identity and possibly your tax refund.

Such information includes, but is not limited to: usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money). There is even an email scam claiming to be the IRS. It is probably the most likely way you would least suspect to be hooked, when it comes to identity theft.

How Is Phishing Possible?

All of us say, “I would NEVER give out my private information.” We believe you, not knowingly. However, you could get dubbed into giving out. Phishing scams are typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging. Communications claim to be from popular social websites, auction sites, popular paid apps,  banks, online payment processors or your own in-house IT administrators, are commonly used to lure you.

Phishing e-mails are designed to entice you to visit a fake website. Of course, this is done by fear tactics. “Your account has been compromised.” As the owner, you are asked to update details about your personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers. This is information that a legitimate organization already has. The notice directs users to a fake website and enter details there. The website is designed to look and feel almost identical to a legitimate one. It is set up ONLY to steal your information. And these scammers are so nice, they even provide links for your convenience. DO NOT click on the links, as they may lead you to a bogus website with malware on it.

In the meantime, imagine trying to file your return and it gets rejected because the IRS has it already filed. You attempt to get a copy of the return but can’t because you don’t have the ID of the other unfortunate taxpayer who was used as the other spouse on the return. All the while, the scammers are enjoying your stolen refund freely.

Are You Concerned About Phishing Scams, Tactics and Your Taxes?

Our best advice to you is if you get an email from someone that you do know, or the email subject line does not sound right, delete it. Do not open it! Don’t open attachments, and if you did open it by mistake, do not click on the links.

At Worthtax, we want you to be aware of the tactics behind phishing scams, especially when it comes to your tax refunds. If you have not received your refund, and you believe you may have become a victim of tax identity theft, visit our Tax Identity Theft Information Center or call Alex Franch, BS EA at 781.849.7200. He can help you with the paper work involved to restore your right identity with the IRS. We have locations in Quincy, Weymouth and Dedham.

Other Tax Identity Theft Help Articles:

 

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