How business entities would obtain benefits from the suspension of tax compliance programs by the IRS?

How business entities would obtain benefits from the suspension of tax compliance programs by the IRS?

How business entities would obtain benefits from

the suspension of tax compliance programs by the IRS?

Tax Compliance programs by the IRS has been taking a series of steps related to tax legislation as an effort to alleviate the stress common people are facing due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The rapidly spreading COVID-19 has led to the reduction in sales, slowdown of businesses, people being laid off from their jobs and huge economic adversities. In such a chaotic situation, the IRS’s initiatives on the suspension of tax compliance would act as a boon for the taxpayers, especially for the business entities. 

How business entities would obtain benefits from the suspension of tax compliance programs by the IRS.One such major initiative taken by the IRS is the implementation of the “People First Initiative” which would help in providing relaxation to those business entities who are facing uncertainties related to their taxes.

People First Initiative

The People First Initiative includes the postponement of certain payments that are associated with the installment agreements and offers in compromise.According to IRS, these measures included under the People First Initiative would start from 1st April 2020 onwards and would continue up to July 2020.The major changes which have been included in the People First Initiative are the postponement of the payments which are related to the Installment Agreements, the Offers in compromise, Audits, and other enforcement activities.

Installment Agreements

  • The IRS has announced that it has suspended the existing installment agreements that were due in between 1st April and 15th July 2020. Those taxpayers who are not able to comply with the terms of the installment agreement can suspend their payments due during this period. The IRS would also not consider any installment agreement of this period as a defaulter. However, the interest would be accruing on the unpaid balances. 
  • Also, the IRS has made provisions by which taxpayers either individuals or business entities who would not be able to make payment for their federal taxes can take the help of the monthly payment agreement by the IRS.

 

Offers in Compromise (OIC)

  1. The taxpayers who have pending OIC can provide additional information for support till 15th July 2020. Without the consent from taxpayers, IRS would not be closing any OIC which is pending before 15th July 2020.
  2. Taxpayers who have accepted OICs can suspend their payments until 15th July 2020. However, interest would be levied on the accrued balances which are unpaid.

 

3.Those taxpayers who are delinquent in the filing of their tax return for the year 2018, the IRS would not issue an OIC as a defaulter for them.

 4.Any delinquent returns of the tax year 2018 must be filed by the taxpayers either before or on 15th July 2020.

Automated Liens

and

Levies

According to the regulations of the IRS, no new automatic liens and levies would be carried out till 15th July 2020.

 

Activities related

to field collection

  • All activities related to liens, levies and any seizures associated with a personal residence that are initiated by the field revenue officers will be suspended till 15th July 2020. 
  • The field revenue officers will, however, continue to perform seizures and similar activities for high-income non-filers whenever needed.

 

Passport Certifications to the State Government and Private Debt Collection

  1. For the seriously delinquent taxpayers, the IRS would provide Passport certifications to the State Government. This procedure has been suspended currently till 15th July 2020.
  2. Moreover, new delinquent accounts will also not be forwarded by the IRS to the other private collection agencies for working on them until 15th July 2020.

Field, Office and other correspondence audits

  1. Any in-person field, office or correspondence audits will not be carried on till 15th July 2020. There can be audits or examinations remotely by the examiners of the IRS. Taxpayers should also co-operate with the IRS and provide all information that is requested for faster tax processing. 
  2. There might be some situations in which the taxpayers might be interested in the examination or audit. If the audit or examination is beneficial for the parties and the required IRS personnel are available then the audits/examination can start.

 

 

Refund claims

The IRS would continue to work on the processing of the refund claims without making any in-person contact.

Earned Income Tax Credit and

Wage Verification Reviews

  • The taxpayers have time till 15th July 2020 for responding to the IRS that whether they qualify for the EITC or their income has to be verified. 
  • Through 15th July 2020, taxpayers will not be denied these credits if they have a failure in providing the requested information.

 

Independent Office of appeals

The Office of appeals would be continuing to work on their cases. There might be a conference which would be held by telephone or through videoconferencing. For all the cases of the Independent Office of appeals, the taxpayers should promptly respond to any request made for information.

Statute of limitations

There would no disruption in the protection of the statute limitations by the IRS. The taxpayers are encouraged to co-operate with the IRS in extending those statutes whose expirations may be jeopardized. Otherwise, notes of deficiency would be issued by the IRS to protect the interests of the Government in the preservation of these statutes.

Conclusion

Hence, with these several changes being implemented by the IRS in the tax regulation the plight of the individual taxpayers and business entities would reduce by a considerable amount. With these tax relaxations and suspensions, business entities are sure to cope up with the losses that have been incurred due to the outbreak of COVID-19.  

References

https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/news/irs-suspends-certain-compliance-programs-due-to-covid-19/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2020/03/25/irs-will-ease-tax-payment-guidelines–limit-collections-activities-during-covid-19-crisis/#5a8cdb9c4dca

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2020/03/25/irs-eases-installments-due-slows-audits-sweeping-relief-puts-people-first/#2eb525c93855

https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/irs-suspends-key-tax-compliance-and-enforcement-programs-to-adjust-covid-19-effort

  

 

Is it possible to maximize your tax refunds?

Is it possible to maximize your tax refunds?

Is it possible to maximize your tax refunds?

Mostly, we think that when we have filed for our tax return and finally obtained our tax return brings an end to the entire procedure for the current year. There is nothing more to worry about or think about tax and tax returns throughout the year. However, even after receiving your tax return for the current year you can think about maximizing your tax refunds.

If you are interested in learning about how to maximize your tax refunds for the next year, then you can follow some simple tips. Let us have a look at these tips which can increase your tax refunds in the next year.

1.Deduction of education-related costs

There are numerous costs related to education that are deductible. In case you are the owner of a business or you are employed in an organization, you can try and deduct those education costs which are needed for improving your skills at the workplace. If you have an income that is less than $80,000 then you might be able to take up tuition and the fee deduction would amount up to $4,000 for the tuition, fees, and books.  For instance, if you and your family members are together pursuing a degree then you can take up an American Opportunity Tax Credit which is a maximum annual credit of $2,500 for each student provided your income is less than $90,000 and is less than $180,000 for married couples who would be filing tax jointly.

2.Deduction of expenses incurred in job-hunting

There are various costs associated with job hunting which can be reduced such as deduction of the cost incurred during travel for jobs, meals and telephone calls associated with job search, preparation of a resume, career counseling, payment made to employment agencies, etc. These expenses account for almost 2% of your annual income even if you are not going to change your job anytime soon in the future.  But, if it is your search or hunt for your first job then the expenses are unavoidable.

3.Take deductions available for business owners

When you are the owner of a business, you should keep a track of the business expenses and avail deductions that are available. Expenses like business dinners, mileage of the car, use of a computer, appointments, etc. can be used to increase your deductions available. You can also motivate your children to work in your business along with you. You can pay those wages for their jobs and as a result, they will not have to pay different varieties of taxes like other employees working with you.

1.Making investments in future

You should start investing in various plans such as 401(k), IRA, tax-advantaged avenues, employee stock purchase plans, etc. You should start contributing to these avenues as much as you can. If you are making smaller contributions now it would be helpful rather than making huge contributions at a time which is quite nearer to your retirement. By doing this now, you are saving now and also taking an initiative towards boosting your wealth also. This extra compounding will help increase your corpus for retirement.

2.Your own home

 Your tax refund can have a remarkable increase in the mortgage interest and property tax deductions. When you are purchasing your house, you must check the settlement statement of your house properly and find out the deductible items.  In your closing statement, you can find out different deductible items such as property taxes, prepaid interest, points, etc. When you are acquiring your own house, those points that are paid are deductible during that year. If there are any points paid for the refinancing of the loan, then they should be written off over the loan’s length. Again if you are refinancing, you must not forget to write off the remaining points from the previous loan.

3.Charity

 Charity can also get you some tax deductions such as donating clothes, household goods, linen, sports items, etc. Donation of books and magazines made to the library can also get you tax deductions. You can make a note of the donated items and can deduct these at the time of tax filing.

Hence, tax refunds can be maximized by carefully keeping a note of the various deductibles that are available and those that have been availed by you. You can, later on, use these to maximize tax returns at the time of tax filing.

Save money by knowing your Tax Benefits for your Dependents

Save money by knowing your Tax Benefits for your Dependents

Save money by knowing your Tax Benefits for your Dependents

If you are a citizen in the US or you are paying tax in the US, you can be able to save a lot of money by claiming dependents on your payable taxes. If you are having children and other qualifying dependents that can be used to claim tax benefits, then you are saving a lot of money.Save money by knowing your tax benefits for your dependents.According to the tax laws in the US in the earlier times, for every qualifying dependent, you are qualifying to reduce your income which is taxable by $4050.

The major purpose behind this is significant savings and if you are successful in claiming multiple dependents those savings get accumulated and in turn, you save a good amount on taxes.

By claiming dependents, the scope for other credits such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, etc. arises which can be quite beneficial for you. However, the law for the reduction of taxable income by $4050 for every qualifying dependent is not valid since 2018. But there are a number of tax benefits which you can still claim for your qualifying dependents.

Who is a qualifying dependent for the tax benefit in the US?

There are two qualifying categories of dependents who qualify for being used to claim tax benefits. Both the dependents should satisfy the below-mentioned criteria for being able to be used to claim tax benefits.

  • The dependent must be a citizen of US, US resident, US national or a Canadian or Mexican resident.
  • You are not permitted to claim a dependent that is opting for a personal exemption for him and is claiming another dependent on his own tax form.
  • You are also not permitted to claim a dependent that is married and is himself filing a joint tax return.

Your qualifying children

  • You can claim tax deductions for your own children, your siblings or even your grandchildren as your qualifying dependents.
  • The child whom you are claiming should be below the age of 19 and should have lived with you for more than half a year.
  • The child should not be able to provide more than half of his own support and you should be the only person claiming him.

Your qualifying relative

You must be the only person claiming your relative and you must be providing more than half of the financial support for your relative in a year.

The taxable income of relatives must not be more than $4050.

Let us have a look at some of the tax benefits which you can claim for your dependent children and relatives.

Child Tax Credit

If you have a child who is below the age of 17 years, then you have a child tax credit of $2000 to be earned as a tax deduction. Married parents who are filing joint returns can claim this credit if their income threshold is $400,000. If you are a single parent then your income threshold has to be $200,000 for being eligible to claim this credit.

Child and Dependent Care Credit

 In the US, childcare is expensive in nature and if you are paying for the childcare of your dependent children i.e. who are below 13 years of age, then you are eligible to claim Child and Dependent Care credit. This credit here can be defined as a reduction in your payable tax expressed in dollar-to-dollar terms. This credit would range from 20% to 35% of the expenditure incurred by you for childcare and this percentage will depend on your income.

Earned Income Tax Credit

This is an additional credit which can be availed by you if you are claiming your dependents. This tax credit can be availed by you in case of your self-employment income or wages are lower than a particular income level. This tax credit will depend upon another factor i.e. the number of qualifying kids you have.

Tax Credit for dependent relatives

 You are eligible to claim a tax credit for those qualifying relatives who are dependent on you. This tax credit is non-refundable in nature and you can claim up to $500 for each qualifying dependent.

Hence, deductions on the qualifying dependents are an excellent tax-saving option in the US. By these deductions, you can save a good amount of money and also can get back the tax refunds if any.

 

 

 

NRI with Green Card in the US, what not to forget while filing your taxes this year

NRI with Green Card in the US, what not to forget while filing your taxes this year

NRI with Green Card in the US, what not to forget while filing your taxes this year

The income tax system that currently in motion in the United States of America, requires corporation, trusts, estates and individuals to pay taxes. If you are an NRI, you must also pay taxes to Uncle Sam. Irrespective of whether you are filing your taxes for the very first time or have been doing it for years, here are a few things that you must not forget.
  • Reporting Foreign Assets (Form 8938)

The IRS introduced Form 8938 a few years ago to get additional information regarding foreign assets of their citizens. The Form 8938 or Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets should be filed along with their taxes. This form requires taxpayers to disclose additional information regarding their interests and investments in foreign financial assets. With the help of this form, the IRS can identify the non-compliance of its taxpayers. Your financial assets such as pension plans, mutual funds, insurance policies, ULIP plans and bank account balances must be declared as a part of Form 8938. The form is quite exhaustive, to say the least. You can get in touch with the company handling your finances or banker to get these details.
  • Global Income

The IRS outlines its residents and citizens (PIO, OCI or NRI) to pay taxes on their global income and not only the income generated in the US. Anyone who has stayed in the US for at least 31 days in a fiscal year and 183 days in the previous three years, gets the tag of a US resident. If you qualify, you must declare your global income. Global income includes any salary that you receive in India, either for consultation or freelancing. Income in the form of interests or dividends earned on bank deposits or other securities. Income generated from rent received on a property, agricultural income or capital gain on the selling of assets, all qualify. You will be taxed on all of these in the US. While income from agriculture is tax-free, it will be taxed in the US. However, if you have paid taxes in India for any of these incomes, you can claim for the foreign tax credit as per the DTAA.
  • Employee Stock Option Plan

Employee Stock Option Plan or ESOP is something that you must not forget in your tax filing. The IRS considers the granted value of ESOPs when a taxpayer opts for the same. The total ESOP compensation must be added to the gross income. If you had exercised a similar option in India and have paid relevant taxes, you can opt for tax credit while filing your tax return.
  • Form 8621

The IRS requires all its citizens and residents to declare their foreign investments such as mutual funds and private equities in the tax return. These investments come under the purview of the Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC). To summarize, according to the PFIC, a taxpayer must declare all such investments and any gains that they earn out of them. These gains must be declared and appropriate taxes paid. In the event that you fail to do so or did not receive any gains from them, the final sale value would be divided for the number of years and calculated. For instance, if you haven’t received any distributions over 5 years and you gain a total of $200, it would be considered as $40 for each year. Being on the top of these will help you from coming under the scrutiny of the IRS. And of course, sets yoo up for a smoother tax filing season.
5 Things that a COUPLE be mindful of when FILING TAXES

5 Things that a COUPLE be mindful of when FILING TAXES

5 Things that a COUPLE be mindful of when FILING TAXES?

The decision to marry someone usually revolves around love and compatibility. Finance is an aspect that we don’t know usually bring into the equation. However, Filing Taxes is an aspect that ought to get additional attention, since it comes with tax implications.

You can be a smart couple and save thousands of dollars in a financial year by taking a few key decisions related to taxes. Here are the top 5 things that you need to be mindful of when filing taxes.

Filing Status

Of the many decisions that a new couple has must take, the first one comes down to choosing between the following filing types:

  • Married filing jointly
  • Married filing separately

Needless to say, each type has its pros and cons. Let’s assess the benefits of filing jointly first.

  • On filing together, couples can enjoy lower tax rates since their income is combined and then the taxes are calculated.
  • It brings in a sense of responsibility as well since both the individuals must sign the filing.
  • You get access to a wider range of benefits as per the tax codes.

However, there are a few scenarios and conditions where you would want to file separately. Such as:

  • If a spouse is involved with business and the other partner does not want to be involved with the same.
  • In the event that a spouse is expecting refunds, filing separately will not jeopardize the refunds as well.

Possibly Lower Taxes

As already mentioned in the above, couples filing jointly can benefit from lower tax rates due to the combination of income. Couples with varying income levels can benefit from it. However, the benefits just do not end with lower taxes. You can opt for several tax credits as well. Here is a couple of them.

  • Lifetime learning credit
  • Adoption expense credit

If one spouse itemizes their tax filing, the tax code considers the standard deduction of the other spouse as $0. This ensures that the couple together itemizes and does not miss out on deductions.

Gift Taxes Exemption

Another advantage of filing for taxes jointly comes in the form of gift taxes exclusion or exemption. Here is how it works.

  • Currently, the annual federal exclusion for gift taxes is $14,000 per spouse.
  • If you are filing jointly, you can combine this exclusion.
  • You can use this clause to strategically move assets to loved ones or between both of you.

Cap LessMarital Deduction

This is one of the most understated benefits of filing taxes together as a couple. Though none of the couple’s plans for this, it is good to have feature. Surviving spouses have access to the unlimited marital deduction which allows them to transfer assets to their name. This might not seem that significant early on but gains a lot of momentum as the year’s pass.

Tax Credit

The child tax credit is one of the most alluring credit systems for married couples who want to file jointly. Here are the benefits.

  • The IRS allows couples to reduce their net taxable income by $1,000 for every qualifying child.
  • Factors such as relationship, age, dependent status, residence, citizenship and support decide whether your child is qualifying or not.
  • You can claim the benefits if your child is less than 17 years old, lives with you for more than half of the year and is related to you either by blood, adoption or marriage.

Given the fact that in 2015, 141.2 million taxpayers declared earnings to the tune of $10.14 trillion as adjusted gross income, resulting in taxes worth $1.45 trillion, it is essential that you are aware of the above.

Tips for NRI’s to become compliant with FATCA and the IRS

Tips for NRI’s to become compliant with FATCA and the IRS

Tips for NRI’s to become compliant with FATCA and the IRS

The first step towards becoming compliant to any norm is to be aware of what it is. FATCA or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act came into existence some years ago to counter tax evasion by taxpayers.
As per the tax code, any individual who is a resident of the USA is a green card holder or a citizen of the USA, must pay taxes. To extend it further, taxpayers need to declare their global income and pay appropriate taxes on the same.
There are quite a few high-profile tax evasions in the past, which forced the IRS to take corrective measures.

Approaches of FATCA

There are two primary approaches that FATCA takes. Firstly, it expects US taxpayers to provide details of their foreign income. If they own any kind of assets outside the USA, they must report them to the IRS. By filing Form 8938, you can provide all the necessary details to the IRS.
The second approach involves foreign financial institutions providing information regarding assets of individuals. The institutions need to provide information regarding financial accounts, the assets or accounts that individuals hold in different countries.

How to get FATCA Compliance

You must do the following steps to be compliant with FATCA.
– A simple declaration that mentions your PAN details.
– The country of your birth.
– The country of your current residence.
– Your nationality.
– Your current occupation.
– Your annual income.
– And whether or not you are a politically exposed individual or not.
– For individuals who have paid taxes in any part of India, they need to provide a tax identification number.

What should be reported

The following are certain conditions in which an NRI needs to report their earnings as per FATCA to the IRS. Financial institutions also need to report the same to the IRS as well.
– If the total value of the income is less than $50,000 at the end of the fiscal year, there is no need to report the same. However, if the amount has exceeded $75,000 at any point in the year, the amount must be reported to the IRS.
– The above threshold is for individuals staying in the USA. For the ones who stay outside of the USA, the threshold values are even higher.
– The threshold levels differ for single tax filers and married tax filers as well.
– This declaration of income includes mutual funds and other financial accounts.
Outcomes of Non-compliance
The consequences of non-compliance of FATCA differs depending on the account types. You might have to face any of the following, depending on the kind of holdings.

– Bank Account

The IRS had offered a deadline of 30thApril 2017 to present a self-signed certificate. In the event of failure of presenting the same, the accounts would be frozen.
In simple words, the financial institution would forbid the account holder from making any financial transactions.

Mutual Fund Investors

A similar deadline was introduced for mutual fund accounts as well. As is the case with the bank accounts, the mutual fund accounts would also be blocked if they are non-compliant with FATCA. Being blocked doesn’t allow individuals to do any sort of transactions on the accounts.

NPS

NPS account holders also need to get the FATCA compliance done. The lack of which will deem their accounts blocked.
You need to download the form and self-sign it and send the same to NSDL-CRA to get the certification done.
The IRS is quite serious when it comes to tax evasion. If your financial accounts aren’t already FATCA compliant, it is high time you get them done.