Do I Need to File a Tax Return This Year?

You are required to file a federal income tax return if your income is above a certain level, which varies depending on your filing status, age and the type of income you receive. However, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that some people should file even if they aren’t required to because they may get a refund if they had taxes withheld or they may qualify for refundable credits.

To find out if you need to file, check the Individuals section of the IRS website at www.irs.gov or consult the instructions for Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ for specific details
that may help you determine if you need to file a tax return with the IRS this year. You can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant available on the IRS website. The ITA tool is a tax law resource that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions.

Even if you don’t have to file for 2011, here are six reasons why you may want to:

1. Federal Income Tax Withheld You should file to get money back if your employer withheld federal income tax from your pay, you made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax.

2. Earned Income Tax Credit You may qualify for EITC if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money. EITC is a refundable tax credit; which means you could qualify for a tax refund. To get the credit you must file a return and claim it.

3. Additional Child Tax Credit This refundable credit may be available if you have at least one qualifying child and you did not get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.

4. American Opportunity Credit Students in their first four years of postsecondary education may qualify for as much as $2,500 through this credit. Forty percent of the credit is refundable so even those who owe no tax can get up to $1,000 of the credit as cash back for each eligible student.

5. Adoption Credit You may be able to claim a refundable tax credit for qualified expenses you paid to adopt an eligible child.

6. Health Coverage Tax Credit Certain individuals who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible for a 2011 Health Coverage Tax Credit.

Eligible individuals can claim a significant portion of their payments made for qualified health insurance premiums.

For more information about filing requirements and your eligibility to receive tax credits please contact our office.

Gold’s Gym Open House Winners

Thank you to all who visited us at the Gold’s Gym Open House today in Foxboro, MA!!

We had a day long drawing and gave away FIVE (5) FREE TAX PREPARATION Gift Certificates.

Here is the official winners list:

Kim Whalen – Wrentham, MA
Patti Welsh – Mansfield, MA
Robin Hazerjian – Norwood, MA
Eric Diamond – Norfolk, MA
Tammy Borden – Wrentham, MA

Thanks to all who entered!

Also, a reminder not to forget about the $50 Discount we gave out to be used towards your Income Tax Preparation!! If you lost the coupon or simply misplaced it in the middle of all the great open house info you picked up, just mention the discount to us and you got it!

Call us at 800-560-4637 x 14 to book an appointment now!!

We also spoke to many people about all of our services – Life Insurance, Financial Planning, Estate Planning, Investments, Accounting, Payroll, and Income Tax Preparation for Individuals & Small Business. We offer many “Financial Strategies That Fit YOUR Needs!”

If we can be of assistance in any of these areas, do not hesitate to call or email us today!

Free Income Tax Preparation Giveaway!!

Free Income Tax Preparation Giveaway!!
Gold’s Gym Foxboro MA – Open House
Saturday, January 28th, 2012
8:00am to 2:00pm

Join NFS at the Gold’s Gym Open in house in Foxboro MA this Saturday from 8am-2pm. We will be giving away FIVE (5) FREE INCOME TAX PREPARATION Certificates!!! Other Door Prizes, Free Food, Free Drinks, Free Workouts, Kids Activities, Jumpy House, Face Painting, Temporary Tattoos & MORE!!!

IRS Warns of Tax Refund Delays

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Internal Revenue Service warned Thursday that tax refunds could be delayed a week this tax season because of new anti-fraud safeguards.

“The IRS has opened its filing season successfully this month, and refunds have started going out to many taxpayers,” the agency said in an email to tax professionals on Thursday. “As with the start of any tax season, there are system validations that occur requiring some fine-tuning of our systems. As part of this, some taxpayers will receive refunds approximately one week later than initial projections they may have received, but these are still in line with historical refund delivery times.”

The IRS noted that the one-week delay is related to the fine-tuning of IRS systems to adjust for new
safeguards that were put in place this tax season to provide for stronger protection against tax refund fraud.  The agency has come under heavy criticism for the increasing number of identity theft cases related to tax refunds, and it recently added more stringent measures.

The IRS said it is providing additional screening for fraud this year before issuing refunds, but the vast majority of taxpayers can still continue to expect to receive their refunds in a timely fashion.

The IRS also noted that the refund time frames provided by the “Where’s My Refund” tool on its Web site are projected time frames and are subject to revision. “Many different factors can affect the timing of the refund after the IRS receives the return for processing,” said the agency. “The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the revised refund dates.”

When the IRS announced the opening of the 2012 filing season, it advised taxpayers who electronically file and select direct deposit that they could see their refunds in as few as 10 days and 90 percent of refunds are provided within 21 days, the IRS added. Some taxpayers are getting refunds much faster, according to the agency, but at this time taxpayers should expect refunds to be issued as indicated in the original IRS guidelines.

By Michael Cohn, Accounting Today

Tax Tips for the Self-employed

There are many benefits that come from being your own boss. If you work for yourself, as an independent contractor, or you carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor, you are generally considered to be self-employed.

Here are six key points the IRS would like you to know about self-employment and self- employment taxes:

  1. Self-employment can include work in addition to your regular full-time business activities, such as part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular job.
  2. If you are self-employed you generally have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax. Self-employment tax is a Social Security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners. You figure self-employment tax using a Form 1040 Schedule SE. Also, you can deduct half of your self-employment tax in figuring your adjusted gross income.
  3. You file an IRS Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040.
  4. If you are self-employed you may have to make estimated tax payments. This applies even if you also have a full-time or part-time job and your employer withholds taxes from your wages. Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. If you fail to make quarterly payments you may be penalized for underpayment at the end of the tax year.
  5. You can deduct the costs of running your business. These costs are known as business expenses. These are costs you do not have to capitalize or include in the cost of goods sold but can deduct in the current year.
  6. To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.

For additional help with your small business, give us a call.

IRS Tax Tip 2012-16