The IRS has announced it will delay the start of tax season due to the Federal government shut-down.? The agency needs adequate time to program and test tax processing systems prior to the start of next tax season.
The earliest individual tax returns will be accepted is now January 28, 2014.? The filing deadline remains the same as April 15, 2014.
For more info, you can read the IRS press release here.
Reminder: If you filed a 6-month extension for your 1040/A/EZ, your deadline is next week, October 15, to file your 1040 return.
While most taxpayers get a refund when they file their taxes, some do not.??Here are?some?tips and options from The IRS if you owe federal taxes:
1. Tax bill payments. If you get a bill from the IRS this summer, you should pay it as soon as possible to save money. You can pay by check, money order, cashier?s check or cash. If you cannot pay it all, consider getting a loan to pay the bill in full. The interest rate for a loan may be less than the interest and penalties the IRS must charge by law.
2. Electronic Funds Transfer. It?s easy to pay your tax bill by electronic funds transfer. Just visit IRS.gov and use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. You may also use EFTPS to pay your taxes by phone at 800-555-4477.
3. Credit or debit card payments. You can also pay your tax bill with a credit or debit card. Even though the card company may charge an extra fee for a tax payment, the costs of using a credit or debit card may be less than the cost of an IRS payment plan. To pay by credit or debit card, contact one of the processing companies listed at IRS.gov.
4. More time to pay. You may qualify for a short-term agreement to pay your taxes. This may apply if you can fully pay your taxes in 120 days or less. You can request it through the Online Payment Agreement application at IRS.gov. You may also call the IRS at the number listed on the last notice you received. If you can?t find the notice, call 800-829-1040 for help. There is generally no set-up fee for a short-term agreement.
5. Installment Agreement. If you can?t pay in full at one time and can?t get a loan, you may want to apply for a monthly payment plan. If you owe $50,000 or less, you can apply using the IRS Online Payment Agreement application. It?s quick and easy. If approved, IRS will notify you immediately. You can arrange to make your payments by direct debit. This type of payment plan helps avoid missed payments and may help avoid a tax lien that would damage your credit.
Taxpayers may also apply using IRS Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. If you owe more than $50,000, you must also complete Form 433F, Collection Information Statement. For approved payment plans the one-time user fee is $105 for standard and payroll deduction agreements. The direct debit agreement fee is $52. The fee is $43 if your income is below a certain level.
6. Offer in Compromise. The IRS Offer-in-Compromise program allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. An OIC may be an option if you can’t fully pay your taxes through an installment agreement or other payment alternative. The IRS may accept an OIC if the amount offered represents the most IRS can expect to collect within a reasonable time. Use the OIC Pre-Qualifier tool to see if you may be eligible before you apply. The tool will also direct you to other options if an OIC is not right for you.
7. Fresh Start. If you?re struggling to pay your taxes, the IRS Fresh Start initiative may help you. Fresh Start makes it easier for individual and small business taxpayers to pay back taxes and avoid tax liens.
8. Check withholding. You may be able to avoid owing taxes in future years by increasing the taxes your employer withholds from your pay. To do this, file a revised Form W-4, Employee?s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer. The IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov can help you fill out a new W-4.
From IRS News:
Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural disasters are more common in the summer.? We encourage you to take a few simple steps to protect your tax and financial records in case a disaster strikes.
Here are five tips from the IRS to help you protect your important records:
1.?Backup Records Electronically.? Keep an extra set of electronic records in a safe place away from where you store the originals. You can use an external hard drive, CD or DVD to store the most important records. You can take these with you to keep your copies safe. You may want to store items such as bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies.
2.?Document Valuables.? Take pictures or videotape the contents of your home or place of business. These may help you prove the value of your lost items for insurance claims and casualty loss deductions. Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook, can help you determine your loss if a disaster strikes.
3.?Update Emergency Plans.? Review your emergency plans every year. You may need to update them if your personal or business situation changes.
4.?Get Copies of Tax Returns or Transcripts.? Visit IRS.gov to get Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to replace lost or destroyed tax returns. If you just need information from your return, you can order a transcript online.
5.?Help from the IRS.? The IRS has a Disaster Hotline to help people with tax issues after a disaster. Call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227 to speak with a specialist trained to handle disaster-related tax issues.? Or visit their website at IRS.gov and click on the ?Disaster Relief? link in the lower left corner of the home page.
You can also find help with the IRS videos and podcasts:
IRS YouTube Videos:
A vacation home can be a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home or boat. If you own a vacation home that you rent to others, you generally must report the rental income on your federal income tax return. But you may not have to report that income if the rental period is short.
In most cases, you can deduct expenses of renting your property. Your deduction may be limited if you also use the home as a residence.
Here are some tips from the IRS about this type of rental property.
? You usually report rental income and deductible rental expenses on Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss.
You may also be subject to paying Net Investment Income Tax on your rental income.
? If you personally use your property and sometimes rent it to others, special rules apply. You must divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use. The number of days used for each purpose determines how to divide your costs.
Report deductible expenses for personal use on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. These may include costs such as mortgage interest, property taxes and casualty losses.
? If the property is ?used as a home,? your rental expense deduction is limited. This means your deduction for rental expenses can?t be more than the rent you received. For more about this rule, see Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes).
? If the property is ?used as a home? and you rent it out fewer than 15 days per year, you do not have to report the rental income.
For more details on this topic, check out IRS Publication 527. It is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).