Archive for January, 2011

FASB moves toward reversing mark-to-market proposal

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has started taking steps toward allowing banks to continue to use an amortized cost to value many of the loans on their balance sheets rather than shifting to a “fair value” accounting method. Last year, the accounting standards board had proposed expanding mark-to-market accounting on bank loans. The banking industry had argued that the fair-value rules would hinder lending.

Read more » [The Wall Street Journal]

New Smartphone App Lets You Check Tax Refund Status

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The IRS unveiled a new smartphone app Monday that will allow taxpayers to check the status of their tax refunds and get other information about their tax returns.

The app, IRS2Go, can be downloaded for free on iPhones and Androids, the IRS said. Taxpayers will need to provide some basic information to check the status of their refund on the app. They’ll need to enter their Social Security number, which will be masked and encrypted for security purposes, the IRS said.

Read Full Article » [USA Today]

View App Website » [IRS]

For itemizers, IRS has set a tax-filing date of Feb. 14

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Taxpayers who claim itemized deductions will be able to file their federal tax returns starting Feb. 14, the IRS said Thursday.

While the tax-filing season began on Jan. 4, the IRS announced last year that taxpayers who itemize — which includes just about everyone who has a mortgage — would have to wait until at least mid-February to file.

Read Full Article » [USA Today]

Where To Keep Your Important Financial Records

Monday, January 24th, 2011

We all have financial records, whether they’re pay stubs, tax returns, or receipts that we’re using for tax write-offs. Although many of us are now using personal finance software, there still isn’t a one-stop solution to track all your finances. So, should you use online storage, or just keep hard copies?

There are no easy answers, but here are a few options to keep in mind.

Read Full Article » [Yahoo News]

How Long to Keep Tax Records

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

You can toss some supporting documents, but you’ll need to hang onto others for years. This is a great time of the year to get rid of outdated files and to organize your records in preparation for filing your tax return in the spring.

Read more» [Kiplinger]

Good News for Millions of Workers in 2011 – 2% decrease in Social Security withholding taxes

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Now that 2011 is here, there is a good news for millions of workers in the United States — more money in their paychecks. Thanks to the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, there has been a 2 percent decrease in Social Security withholding taxes. The short-term tax break has been referred to as the payroll tax holiday. Both self-employed individuals and employed workers will see the bump in their regular pay effective January 1, 2011.

Read Full Article » [Yahoo News]

IRS Audit Red Flags: The Dirty Dozen

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Here are twelve hot spots on your return that can raise the chances of scrutiny by the IRS.

Ever wonder why some tax returns are audited by the IRS while most are ignored? Well, there’s a whole host of reasons to this age-old question. The IRS audits only about 1% of all individual tax returns annually. The agency doesn’t have enough personnel and resources to examine each and every tax return filed during a year.

Read full article » [Kiplinger]

Taxpayers who itemize have to wait until February to file

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

IRS Kicks off 2011 Tax Season with certain Taypayers unable to start filing until mid-to-late February summary- Taxpayers who itemize on their federal tax returns will have to wait until at least mid-February to file, the IRS said Thursday. The delay is necessary because the IRS needs time to program its systems to accommodate tax breaks included in a compromise tax bill President Obama signed last week.

Read original article » [USA Today]

Rental Property Owners must issue 1099’s for certain 2011 expenses

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Update – President Signs Repeal of Expanded 1099 Requirements

Part of the recently passed Health Care Act contains a provision which will require rental property owners to start issuing 1099 forms for certain goods and services claimed as rental expenses. Starting in 2011, if an owner pays more than $ 600 per year to a single contractor or service provider the recipient (and the IRS) must be sent a properly completed 1099 form or the deduction may be disallowed.

View Document »

IRS 2011 Mileage Rates

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

The IRS just released the 2011 mileage rates to be used by employees, self-employed individuals and other taxpayers to compute deductible costs of operating an automobile (including vans, pickups and panel trucks) for business, medical, moving and charitable purposes.

View Document »