Category Archives: Tax Time

Indiana tax attorney

Get 2018 Tax Documents Ready for Filing Season Now

Indiana tax attorney

As tax season approaches, now is the perfect time to get your tax documents in order and make sure you have everything you need. One missing document could create confusion at the last minute, or even cause you to file your taxes past the deadline and pay penalties. We strongly advise our clients to get their tax documents together by December of the current year, so everything will be ready to go well before the filing deadline, usually in April of the next year for most people.

What Documents Do I Need to File My Taxes?

To file your taxes, the three most essential things you’ll need are your social security number, your tax documentation from the recent tax year and your W-2 forms from all employers you worked for this year. If filing jointly, you need all the same documentation for your spouse. Beyond that, you’ll also need the following documents, depending on your exact situation: 1099 forms for any contract work beyond $600, statements of income from any investments like stocks, bonds, dividends and interest, accounting records if you run a business or rent property, social security benefits forms and proof of any other benefits from unemployment, jury duty, gambling, prizes and medical savings accounts.

What if a Document is Missing?

If you lost last year’s return, request a free tax transcript from the IRS through the online portal and receive it in five to 10 days. By mail, it takes 30 to 75 days, depending on the level of detail you requested. If you need info as far back as six years, you may owe a $50 fee to the IRS per return requested. For other types of missing forms, it will depend on the organization involved. For a missing W-2 or 1099, contact your employer. It often takes them several weeks to generate and mail a new copy, so be prepared to wait. For proof of your investment income, contact the company that manages your investments. Prove social security benefits by contacting the Social Security Administration. For gambling and prizes, contact the company that administers the payout. If you run a business or rent property, you will be expected to provide records and may need the help of a tax attorney to sort out missing documents.

Why Does the IRS Need So Many Documents?

Tax-related documentation is used to prove your identity, prevent people from impersonating you and provide details the IRS needs to verify your tax burden. In a world that is increasingly paperless, you might find it frustrating that you’ll still need to deal with so much paperwork at tax time. However, many organizations now provide the information you need electronically, which makes things a little easier. For example, your employer may use an online vendor that can show you a picture of your W-2, even if you haven’t received it by mail. The online W-2 usually provides enough information to fill out your tax forms and proceed with filing. Also, keep in mind that the IRS recommends keeping all tax documents – whether printed or online – for seven years, and to dispose of old documents carefully by shredding.

What if Missing Documents Cause Me to Miss the Filing Deadline?

Don’t miss filing your taxes simply because you’re missing a document. If you pass the filing deadline, you could be assigned penalties and interest by the IRS. You could owe an additional 5% to 25% of your total tax due, a fee of $210 and additional escalating penalties depending on how late you file and the amount you owe. A business owner can rack up $100,000 in penalties for failure to pay on time. Instead, take the honest approach and notify the IRS about what’s going on. If you know in advance that you won’t be able to meet the deadline, file for an extension using IRS Form 4868. Or, if you later receive missing documents or realize something was omitted, file an amended tax return to keep yourself in good standing with the IRS. When in doubt, consult a tax attorney who can help you sort through your paperwork and keep things on track.

Dutton Legal Group – Indiana’s Tax Resolution Law Firm

The Dutton Legal Group helps the people and businesses of Indiana navigate ever-changing State and Federal tax codes. Our goal as experienced tax attorneys is to assist you in finding an immediate, cost-effective answer to your tax challenges. We provide a variety of tax services from balance resolution and return preparation to wage garnishment relief and audit assistance. Make Dutton Legal Group your next call at 1-800-334-0255 or send an email to request a free consultation. Trustworthy and affordable, for over 15 years.

2017 tax deadlines extensions

Consider Extension Deadlines for Filing 2017 Small Business Returns

2017 tax deadlines extensions

If you’re a small business, you may be focused on how the new tax laws will affect your company’s future tax returns. Meanwhile, the 2017 tax return deadline for individual filers and sole proprietor or single member LLC small businesses is looming. This year, the ubiquitous April 15 deadline was extended by two days (April 17, 2018). Other types of businesses would have had to meet 2017 tax deadlines earlier in 2018 or are subject to quarterly payments – so you may want to switch to extension mode and think about taking advantage of current tax breaks that will be phased out with your 2018 tax returns.

The type of tax entity a company is determines their tax deadlines. While converting to an LLC or S-Corporation may seem advantageous, it is prudent to weigh your options. If you are considering incorporating to take advantage of the new 2018 tax changes, you would need to meet tax deadlines earlier than those you may be used to meeting. Learn more about official federal income tax return due dates here and talk to a tax professional to determine what is the best move for your company.

What Deductions Could I Take on My 2017 Business Taxes?

After 2017, companies can no longer deduct entertainment as a business expense. They can still claim client meals. For example, if your sales staff takes a client to a baseball game, you can only claim the food eaten at the game. The game tickets will not be deductible. 

Can I Still Claim My Home Office for My Business?

After 2017, any room you claim as an office must be 100% dedicated to your company. It cannot be an office/guest room. The IRS is cracking down on individuals claiming an office is any space with a computer in it. Phone, internet and supplies must be solely for the function of the office. If you are a sole proprietor and work out of your home, seek the expertise of a tax professional to help you review what you can itemize on your 2018 tax return. With the new standard deductions, you may find itemizing is no longer beneficial.

In 2018, Will the Loss of Business Deductions Affect My Company?

Many of the eliminated deductions are those individuals claim on their 1040 Schedule A forms. Business owners file Schedule C forms. The new changes do not affect their deductions.

Should I Convert from a Sole Proprietor to an LLC?

If you are considering incorporating due to the loss of Schedule A itemized deductions, you may find limited benefits. Costs are involved in incorporating and maintaining an LLC. Tax deductions reduce your overall taxable income. They do not reduce your tax bill on a dollar per dollar basis.

Dutton Legal Group – Indiana’s Tax Resolution Law Firm

We know small business is big in Indiana. Dutton Legal Group helps the people and businesses of our state navigate ever-changing State and Federal tax codes. Our goal as experienced tax attorneys is to assist you in finding an immediate, cost-effective answer to your tax challenges. We provide a variety of tax services from balance resolution and return preparation to wage garnishment relief and audit assistance. Stop worrying about your company taxes and get back to business. Make Dutton Legal Group your next call at 1-800-334-0255 or send an email to request a free consultation. Trustworthy and affordable, for over 15 years.