Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Form 1127: An Extension of Time to Pay

A surprise tax bill can be more than inconvenient, it can be impossible to pay. Few people are aware of the IRS extension to pay. Form 1127 offers taxpayers the time needed to pay their taxes without a failure to pay penalty. You can read more here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Form 4868: Your Ticket to an Automation Tax Extention

If you are not able to file your taxes by April 15th, file IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File.

For Form 4868 to be valid, you must:
  1. File by April 15th.
  2. Estimate your tax liability with information you already have.
If you are out of the country on April 15th, you have until June 15th to file your extension.

Form 4868 is an extension of time to file, not an extention of time to pay. Interest, late payment, and late filing penalties still apply.

I published an in-depth article on this subject on HubPages. You can read the article here.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Amending a Tax Return

It happens to everyone from time to time. You file your tax return and a W-2 shows up in the mail or you realize you forgot to deduct your property taxes. All you need to do to fix the problem is amend the return.

There are times when you make no mistake, but still need to file an amended return. Foreign tax credits and deductions, net operating losses, bad debt, and worthless securities may require an amended tax return.

You have a limited time in which to file an amended return. In most cases, an amended return must be filed:
  1. Within three years of the due date, including extensions, of the original return, or
  2. Within two years of paying the tax.
You use form 1040-X to file an amended return. More details are available here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Protecting Your Family: Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage

I talk about uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage in my office on a regular basis. This misunderstood part of the auto insurance policy needs explaining.

The liability portion of your auto policy covers everyone else. In an accident, your liability limits of your auto insurance policy will pay others for injury or death. The uninsured/underinsured limits will pay you and your family for injury or death if the other guy has little or no insurance.

Due to wrongful death laws, I think auto policies should have a $1 million liability minimum. And if you cover everyone else for a million, you should cover you and your familiy for the same. My opinion.

You can read full details on uninsured motorist insurance coverage and accident claims here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Substantiation of Mileage

The IRS has a more strick set of rules for travel, entertainment, and listed property deductions. For a deduction of business miles, you must record the following information:
  • Date,
  • Where you went,
  • Who you saw,
  • The purpose of the trip, and
  • the miles.
The record must be recorded at or near the time of the event. All entertainment and travel deductions require a log with the information listed above.

For full details, read this article.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Roth Conversion Issues in Wisconsin Resolved.

The insanity has ended. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed 2009 Act 161 into law March 15, 2010. Wisconsin residents are now able to convert traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs without penalty, even if their adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000.

Also, Wisconsin residents have the option of paying all the tax on conversion in 2010 or half in each tax year of 2011 and 2012.

2009 Act 161 includes some provisions of the federal Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008. Details are available here.

Wisconsin taxpayers that made Schedule I adjustments on their 2008 or 2009 tax return should amend these returns to reflect the benefits of 2009 Act 161.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

5 Steps to Effective Weight Loss

I published an article today on HubPages. Check it out.

5 Steps to Effective Weight Loss

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tax Tips to Simplify Your Life

I have published over 50 articles this year, most of them on taxes. Blogs are suited for shorter nuggets of informations while an article dives deeper into the subject. Below are links to what I consider the best articles.

Starting and Building a Career in Tax Preparation/Accounting

An enrolled agent is a tax professional that can represent his client's before the IRS. Becoming an enrolled agent is hard work. Effective study skills are needed to pass the three part exam the first time. About a third do. I passed the first time and will share how I did it. Back when I took the exam (1992) it was four parts and there were no do-overs.

Enrolled Agent Training Made Easy

Best Enrolled Agent Software

Enrolled agents and CPAs are required to take a minimum level of continuing education (CE). This is a major expense that must be repeated each year. CE credits should increase the tax professional's skills and at a reasonable cost.

Online CPE Courses for CPAs

Cheap CPE for EAs

CPE Credits That Pay You

The CPE Credit: An Unsung Hero

Tax Help

There are so many ways to get in trouble with taxes. The rules continually change and the IRS audits tax returns daily. How can the average person manage the demands of 80,000 pages of tax code? Below is help for common tax problems.

Passive Activity Rules

The IRS Installment Agreement

How to Pay Back Taxes Owed

The IRS Audit Process and Procedures: A Survival Guide

Material Participation Rules and Passive Activities

The Real Estate Professional and the IRS

Winning IRS Appeals

5 Best Wisconsin Tax Attorneys Ranked

Choosing the Best Wisconsin Tax Attorney

How to Pay Taxes

5 Questions to Ask Your Tax Preparer

Filing YourTax Return With a Missing or Incorrect K-1

Easy Fix for Missing or Incorrect W-2s

Small Business and Bonus Depreciation

Roth Conversion Issues

The Non-Standard Standard Deduction

The Tax Deductible Roth IRA

There is enough reading listed here to keep you busy. Bookmark this page and refer back to articles when the need arises.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Due Dates

Most of you are familiar with the tax due date on April 15th for individuals.  However, calendar year corporations are due March 15th and calendar year non-profits are due May 15th. Now you know why your friendly accountant is harried in early March. The due date; it is always the due date.