News 1040_1

Serving Bullitt and Jefferson counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties in Southern Indiana.

The Kentucky Department of Revenue (DOR) Updates Security Verification

The Kentucky Department of Revenue (DOR) continues to implement tighter security measures in order to protect the identities of our taxpayers. DOR is committed to the safe processing of all tax returns.

 The return processing start date of February 26, 2018, will allow DOR more time to identify potential fraud. For three years, DOR has completed an initial screening of tax returns and has identified some as needing additional information. This verification is accomplished through the Identity Confirmation Quiz.

 A letter is sent advising the taxpayer that a short, 5-minute quiz must be taken and passed in order for DOR to continue processing their return. The letter will give specifics as to what the taxpayer should do to take the quiz. Taxpayers should not ignore these letters. The sooner the quiz is taken and passed, the quicker DOR can continue processing the return. Receiving this letter does not mean the taxpayer has been a victim of identity theft. It only means DOR wishes to verify the identity of the person filing before issuing a refund.

 If the taxpayer receives this letter and has not yet filed a return, he or she should access the quiz website noted on the identity confirmation quiz letter. From the website, they can check a new box that indicates they did not file the tax return or they may contact DOR by email at kyidquiz@ky.gov or by telephone at (502) 892-3399.
 

Edited from  IRS Newswire  IR-2018-29
 

Avoid the Rush: Visits to Taxpayer Assistance Centers Require Appointments

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that IRS offices provide service by appointment. However, most people can easily find answers to their tax questions on IRS.gov and avoid an in-person visit.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) – like the IRS telephone centers – experience peak demand in the days around Presidents Day.

Taxpayers can avoid the rush by first exploring IRS.gov. IRS studies show most taxpayers visit a TAC to make payments, ask about a notice or letter they received, check on refunds, get a transcript or obtain a tax form. Many of these issues can be resolved online without traveling to an IRS office.

The IRS suggests taxpayers first try these online options:

Some taxpayers also make in-person monthly or quarterly tax payments. Those payments can be made safely and easily online by using IRS Direct Pay or through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

Taxpayers seeking free tax preparation assistance should explore the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program for in-person help,.Taxhelp for the Elderly (TCE) i.e. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide or IRS Free File if they want to prepare their return themselves.

Service by appointment and toll-free phone options help to ensure that the IRS serves taxpayers who have no other option but to visit or call the IRS for assistance. Taxpayers who are unable to resolve their issue using online tools or the toll-free helpline and want to visit a TAC should schedule an appointment by calling the appointment line at 844-545-5640.

Taxpayers requesting services at TACs will be asked to provide valid photo identification and a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
 

Edited from the IRS Newswire –IR-2018-1

The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 29, with nearly 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018. The nation’s tax deadline will be April 17 this year – so taxpayers will have two additional days to file beyond April 15. 

Although the IRS will begin accepting both electronic and paper tax returns Jan. 29, paper returns will begin processing later in mid-February as system updates continue. The IRS strongly encourages people to file their tax returns electronically for faster refunds.

The IRS set the Jan. 29 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems in advance of the opening and to assess the potential impact of tax legislation on 2017 tax returns.

By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. While the IRS will process those returns when received, it cannot issue related refunds before mid-February. The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2018, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.    The IRS also reminds taxpayers that they should keep copies of their prior-year tax returns for at least three years..

April 17 Filing Deadline  

The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2018, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday – April 16. However, Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in the District of Columbia – will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2017. Under the tax law, legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation. NOTE: Louisvile area Tax-Aide sites will finish their service on Saturday, April 14.

Refunds in 2018

Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund. The IRS expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax software.

The IRS still anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers.

Refunds

By law the IRS cannot issue refunds before mid-February for tax returns that claim the EITC or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC. This change helps ensure taxpayers receive the refund they deserve and gives the agency more time to detect and prevent errors and fraud.

The IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting Feb. 27, 2018, if they chose direct deposit and there are no issues with the tax return.

The Where's My Refund? ıtool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone app will be updated with projected deposit dates for early EITC and ACTC refund filers in late February. Taxpayers will not see a refund date on Where's My Refund? ıor through their software packages until then. The IRS, tax preparers and tax software will not have additional information on refund dates, so Where’s My Refund? remains the best way to check the status of a refund.

Edited from    IRS Tax Tip 2018-04

Reasons to Use Direct Deposit for a Tax Refund

As taxpayers prepare for the start of filing season, they should consider a direct deposit of any refunds due. It’s easy, safe, fast — and the best way to get a refund. That’s why 80 percent of taxpayers choose it every year.

IRS Direct Deposit:

  • Is Fast. The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically fileᅠtheir federal tax return and use direct deposit. They can use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file federal returns for free.  Taxpayers who file a paper return can also use direct deposit.  
  • Is Secure. Since refunds go right into a bank account, there’s no risk of having a paper check stolen or lost. This is the same electronic transfer system that deposits nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.
  • Is Easy.  Choosing direct deposit is easy. With e-file, just follow the instructions in the tax software. For paper returns, the tax form instructions serve as a guide. Make sure to enter the correct bank account and routing number.  
  • Has Options. Taxpayers can split a refund into several financial accounts. These include checking, savings, health, education and certain retirement accounts. Use IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (including Savings Bond Purchases), to deposit a refund in up to three accounts. Do not use this form to designate part of a refund to pay tax preparers.
  • Taxpayers should deposit refunds into accounts in their own name, their spouse’s name or both. Avoid making a deposit into accounts owned by others. Some banks require both spouses’ names on the account to deposit a tax refund from a joint return. Taxpayers should check with their bank for direct deposit rules.

Important Changes for 2017

Due Date is Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Standard Deduction if not itemizing:

  • $12,700  Married filing jointly or Qualifying  Widow(er)
  • $9,350    Head of Household
  • $6,350     Single or Married filing separately 

Retirement Savings Contribution Credit Income Limits Increased

  • MAGI must not be more than $31,000 for Sngl, MFS or QW; $46,500 for HH, $62,000 MFJ

Maximum Earned Income Credit Increased

  • $6,318 with 3 or more children; $5,616 with two, $3,400 with one, $510 with no children.

Earned Income Amount Increased for Eligibility

  • $48,340 ($53,930 if MFJ) with three or more qualifying children children
  • $45,007 ($50,597 if MFJ) with two
  • $39,617 ($45,207 if MFJ) with one
  • $15,010 ($20,600 if MFJ) with no children

Investment Income Limited

  • Taxpayers whose investment income is more than $3,450 cannot claim the EIC

Standard Mileage Rates

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business, 17 cpm for medical or moving; 12 cpm for charitable org

Itemized Medical Deductions

  • All taxpayers now subject to a 10% AGI threshold

Education Benefits Being Phased Out

  • American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, and Student Loan Interest all have new amounts subject to being phase out.

Eligible Long-Term Care Premium Limits Increased

  • Qualified premiums up to amounts shown may be shown  as medical expenses on Schedule A
  • $410 age 40 or under; $770 age 41-50; $1,530 age 51-60; $4,090 age 61-70; $5,110 over age 70

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

  • Maximum exclusion now $102,100

Health Savings Account (HAS)  Deduction

  • Self-only coverage deduction limit is $3,400 for single and $6,750 for family

Deduction Amount and Modified AGI Limit for Traditional IRA Contributions

  • Maximim IRA deduction remains at $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 or over) if no plan at  work.
  • If covered by a retirement plan at work, deductions are phased out based on income.

PATH Act provisions that have expired and no longer available:

  • Exclusion  from  gross income of residential indebtedness
  • Mortgage insurance premiums deductible as qualified residence Interest
  • Credit for non-business energy property (residential energy credit)

Note: There may be additional  changes made by Congress up until the end of the year.
 

Some Refunds Delayed in 2018 

The IRS wants taxpayers to be aware of several factors that could affect the timing of their tax refunds next year. Due to a December 2015 law, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. Under the change required by Congress in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, the IRS must hold the entire refund – even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC. 

This law change, which went into effect in 2017, helps ensure that taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the IRS more time to help detect and prevent fraud.


IRS Tax Tip 2017-57  

What Taxpayers Can Do Now Before Filing Their Return in 2018

While taxpayers will not start filing their tax returns for a few months, there are a few things they can do to make the process easier next year. Here are two things that could affect the 2017 returns they will file in 2018.  

  • Report name changes. Recently married or divorced taxpayers who change their name should notify the Social Security Administration. They should also notify the SSA if a dependent’s name changed.  Taxpayers need to do this so that when the taxpayer files next year, the new name on the tax return matches A mismatch between the name shown on their tax return and the SSA records can cause problems in the processing of their tax return and may even delay their tax refund.
  • Renew Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. Taxpayers who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number should check to see if their number expired in 2016 or will expire this year. If so, and they need to file a return in 2018, they should apply now to renew their ITINto avoid certain disallowed tax credits and processing delays next year. Taxpayers who have not used their ITIN to file a federal return at least once in the last three years will see their number expire Dec. 31, 2017. Additionally, ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year. Only taxpayers with expiring ITINs need to take any action. To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must complete a Form W-7and submit required documentation. No tax return is required when submitting an application to renew.

Tax-Aide is looking for Volunteers

We are looking for compassionate and friendly individuals to join our volunteer team. Training is provided as well as support to help you learn new skills, and you will get a great feeling from helping those in need.

Volunteers fill a variety of roles:

Counselors work with taxpayers directly by filling out tax returns.  If you have no previous experience, you’ll get the training you need and will also receive IRS certification.

Client Facilitators welcome taxpayers, help organize their paper work, and manage the overall flow of service.

Technology Coordinators manage computer equipment, ensure taxpayer data is secure, and provide technical assistance to volunteers.

Leadership and Administrative volunteers make sure program operations run smoothly, manage volunteers, and maintain quality control.

Speak a second language? Bilingual speakers are needed in all roles, especially dedicated interpreters who can assist other volunteers.

Introductory and review training is provided for all volunteers beginning in November.  Detailed face-to-face classes will meet in January. All tests are “open book”. Much of the training is available “on line ” so internet access is needed by all volunteers.

Those interested in learning more can find general information at www.aarp-tax-aide-lou.org, via phone 502-394-3443 or via email to LouTaxAide@gmail.com. Persons outside the Louisville Metro area will be referred to their nearest District Coordinator.

From the IRS Newswire Issue Number:    IR-2016-51

Tax Time Guide: Check Refund Status Online With Where’s My Refund?

When Will I Get My Refund

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service  reminded taxpayers that they can quickly check the status of their tax return and refund through “Whereメs My Refund? on IRS.gov.

Taxpayers who have not yet received their refunds can use “Whereメs My Refund? on IRS.gov or on the smartphone application IRS2Go to find out about the status of their income tax refunds.

Initial information will normally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives the taxpayer’s e-filed return or four weeks after the taxpayer mails a paper return to the IRS. The system updates only once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check more often.

So far, taxpayers have used Where’s My Refund? more times this year, an increase of nearly 35 percent over last year at this time.

Taxpayers should have their Social Security number, filing status and exact refund amount when accessing Where’s My Refund?” Those without Internet access can access this tool by calling 800-829-1954, 24 hours a day.

IRS Tax Tip 2016-44

Tax Refund Offsets Pay Unpaid Debts

If you can’t pay your taxes in full, the IRS will work with you. Past due debts like taxes owed, however, can reduce your federal tax refund. The Treasury Offset Program can use all or part of your federal refund to settle certain unpaid federal or state debts, to include unpaid individual shared responsibility payments. Here are five facts to know about tax refund offsets.

1. Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, or BFS, runs the Treasury Offset Program.

2. Offsets to Pay Certain Debts. The BFS may also use part or all of your tax refund to pay certain other debts such as:

    • Federal tax debts.
    • Federal agency debts like a delinquent student loan.
    • State income tax obligations.
    • Past-due child and spousal support.
    • Certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state.

3. Notify by Mail. The BFS will mail you a notice if it offsets any part of your refund to pay your debt. The notice will list the original refund and offset amount. It will also include the agency that received the offset payment. It will also give the agency’s contact information.

4. How to Dispute Offset. If you wish to dispute the offset, you should contact the agency that received the offset payment. Only contact the IRS is your offset payment was applied to a federal tax debt.

5. Injured Spouse Allocation. You may be entitled to part or the entire offset if you filed a joint tax return with your spouse. This rule applies if your spouse is solely responsible for the debt. To get your part of the refund, file Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. If you need to prepare a Form 8379, you can prepare and e-file your tax return for free using IRS Free File.

Health Care Law: Refund Offsets and the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment

While the law prohibits the IRS from using liens or levies to collect any individual shared responsibility payment, if you owe a shared responsibility payment, the IRS may offset your refund against that liability.

 

NEED HELP?

Tax-Aide offices are open February 1 - April 15.  Tax-Aide does not have copies of your return – see below for further information.

For assistance in the interim, please contact your local IRS or State Department of Revenue office.  Their address and phone numbers are listed in the blue pages of the phone book.

Taxpayer Advocate Service operates independently of all other IRS Offices and reports directly to Congress. It protects taxpayers’ rights and ensures that all taxpayers are treated fairly, and that they know and understand their rights under the IRS’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  For additional information, go to taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or contact the Louisville office at 502-912-5050 or 877-777-4778.


Where’s my KY Refund?

If several weeks have passed since you filed your KY return and you haven’t received your refund, you can check about the status in any of three ways:

www.revenue.ky.gov

(502) 564-1600 (Automated Line)

(502) 564-4581 (Live Representative)

You will need you Social Security number and the exact amount of the refund.


Copies of Prior Year Returns

Back copies of previously-filed tax returns and all attachments, including Forms W-2, can be requested by filing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return.  Alternatively, transcripts showing most line items on these returns can be ordered on-line, by calling 1-800-908-9946 or by using Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript  or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return


Like To Volunteer?

To learn more about volunteering with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, check out the rest of the web site and then register on the “Contacts” tab. Most volunteers are involved for only the 10-11 week tax season each year – a great short-term commitment!

You may prefer to call 502-394-3443 or e-mail loutaxaide@gmail.com.  Your contact will then be referred to the District Coordinator in your area of KY or Southern Indiana.  Out of state inquiries will be forwarded to the appropriate state leaders for further contact and information.

 

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