#TaxTipTuesday-Help prevent tax identity theft by filing early

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If you’re like many Americans, you might not start thinking about filing your tax return until close to this year’s April 18 deadline. You might even want to file for an extension so you don’t have to send your return to the IRS until October 16.

But there’s another date you should keep in mind: January 23. That’s the date the IRS will begin accepting 2016 returns, and filing as close to that date as possible could protect you from tax identity theft.

Why early filing helps

In an increasingly common scam, thieves use victims’ personal information to file fraudulent tax returns electronically and claim bogus refunds. This is usually done early in the tax filing season. When the real taxpayers file, they’re notified that they’re attempting to file duplicate returns.

A victim typically discovers the fraud after he or she files a tax return and is informed by the IRS that the return has been rejected because one with the same Social Security number has already been filed for the same tax year. The IRS then must determine who the legitimate taxpayer is.

Tax identity theft can cause major headaches to straighten out and significantly delay legitimate refunds. But if you file first, it will be the tax return filed by a potential thief that will be rejected — not yours.

Another important date

Of course, in order to file your tax return, you’ll need to have your W-2s and 1099s. So another key date to be aware of is January 31 — the deadline for employers to issue 2016 W-2s to employees and, generally, for businesses to issue 1099s to recipients of any 2016 interest, dividend or reportable miscellaneous income payments.

Delays for some refunds

The IRS reminded taxpayers claiming the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit to expect a longer wait for their refunds. A law passed in 2015 requires the IRS to hold refunds on tax returns claiming these credits until at least February 15.

An additional benefit

Let us know if you have questions about tax identity theft or would like help filing your 2016 return early. If you’ll be getting a refund, an added bonus of filing early is that you’ll be able to enjoy your refund sooner.

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#TaxTipTuesday-Key Deadlines for businesses and other employers

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Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2017. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements.

 
January 31
• File 2016 Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to your employees.
• File 2016 Forms 1099-MISC, “Miscellaneous Income,” reporting nonemployee compensation payments in Box 7 with the IRS, and provide copies to recipients.
• File Form 941, “Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return,” to report Medicare, Social Security and income taxes withheld in the fourth quarter of 2016. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time, you have until February 10 to file the return. Employers that have an estimated annual employment tax liability of $1,000 or less may be eligible to file Form 944,“Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return.”
• File Form 940, “Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return,” for 2016. If your undeposited tax is $500 or less, you can either pay it with your return or deposit it. If it’s more than $500, you must deposit it. However, if you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time, you have until February 10 to file the return.
• File Form 945, “Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax,” for 2016 to report income tax withheld on all nonpayroll items, including backup withholding and withholding on accounts such as pensions, annuities and IRAs. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time, you have until February 10 to file the return.

 
February 28
File 2016 Forms 1099-MISC with the IRS and provide copies to recipients. (Note that Forms 1099-MISC reporting nonemployee compensation in Box 7 must be filed by January 31, beginning with 2016 forms filed in 2017.)

 
March 15
If a calendar-year partnership or S corporation, file or extend your 2016 tax return. If the return isn’t extended, this is also the last day to make 2016 contributions to pension and profit-sharing plans.

#Payroll-New Due Dates

post-it-150262__180Did you spot the new due dates on the tax calendar? As you begin your January payroll preparation, take into account earlier due dates for two common information reporting forms.
Forms W-2 for 2016 are due January 31 for all copies. In the past, you had to provide Forms W-2 to your employees by January 31. Now the January 31 deadline also applies to copies submitted to the Social Security Administration.
The due date for filing all copies of 2016 Forms 1099-MISC with non-employee compensation in Box 7 is January 31, 2017. For these forms, the January 31 due date also applies to both paper and electronic filing.

Major tax deadlines for March

period-481478__180● March 1 – Due date for farmers and fishermen who chose not to make 2015 estimated tax payments to file 2015 tax returns and pay taxes in full to avoid underpayment penalties.
● March 15 – 2015 calendar-year corporation income tax returns are due.
● March 15 – Deadline for calendar-year corporations to elect S corporation status for 2016.
● March 31 – Payers who file electronically must submit 2015 information returns (such as 1099s) to the IRS.
● March 31 – Employers who file electronically must submit 2015 W-2 copies to the Social Security Administration.

 

 

Advantages of filing your tax return early

post-it-819682_640If you’re like many Americans, you may not start thinking about filing your tax return until the April 15 deadline (this year, April 18) is just a few weeks — or perhaps even just a few days — away. But there’s another date you should keep in mind: January 19. That’s the date the IRS began accepting 2015 returns, and filing as close to that date as possible could protect you from tax identity theft.
How filing early helps
In this increasingly common scam, thieves use victims’ personal information to file fraudulent tax returns electronically and claim bogus refunds. When the real taxpayers file, they’re notified that they’re attempting to file duplicate returns.
Tax identity theft can cause major headaches to straighten out and significantly delay legitimate refunds. But if you file first, it will be the thief who’s filing the duplicate return, not you.
Another key date
Of course you need to have your W-2s and 1099s to file. So another key date to be aware of is February 1 — the deadline for employers to issue 2015 W-2s to employees and, generally, for businesses to issue 1099s to recipients of any 2015 interest, dividend or reportable miscellaneous income payments.
An added bonus
Let us know if you have questions about tax identity theft or would like help filing your 2015 return early. An added bonus of filing early, if you’ll be getting a refund, is enjoying that refund sooner.

Be aware of these tax deadlines

 
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A new year means tax return filing season has arrived once again. Among the tax deadlines you may be required to meet in the next few months are the following:

 

 
● January 15 – Due date for the fourth and final installment of 2015 estimated tax for individuals (unless you file your 2015 return and pay any balance due by February 1).
● February 1 – Employers must furnish 2015 W-2 statements to employees. Payers must furnish 1099 information statements to payees. (The deadline for Form 1099-B and consolidated statements is February 16.)
● February 1 – Employers must generally file 2015 federal unemployment tax returns and pay any tax due.
● February 29 – Payers must file information returns (except Forms 1095-B and 1095-C) with the IRS. (March 31 is the deadline if filing electronically.)
● February 29 – Employers must send W-2 copies to the Social Security Administration. (March 31 is the deadline if filing electronically.)
● March 31 – Large employers must furnish Form 1095-C to employees.
● May 31 – Forms 1095-B and 1095-C due to IRS. (June 30 is the deadline if filing electronically.)

5 Major Tax Deadlines For March

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  • March 2 – Payers must file 2014 information returns (such as 1099s) with the IRS. (Electronic filers have until March 31 to file.)

  • March 2 – Employers must send 2014 W-2 copies to the Social Security Administration. (Electronic filers have until March 31 to file.)

  • March 2 – Farmers and fishermen who did not make 2014 estimated tax payments are required to file 2014 tax returns and pay taxes in full.

  • March 16 – 2014 calendar-year corporation income tax returns are due.

  • March 16 – Deadline for calendar-year corporations to elect S corporation status for 2015.