20 Tax Write-Offs You Don’t Know About

As April 17 approaches, you might be wondering, “What can I claim on my taxes when it comes to tax breaks or deductions?” Because every tax return is different, there’s no easy answer to this complicated question. However, there’s a long list of tax deductions that can reduce your taxable income, and you should take every one to which you’re entitled because overlooked tax deductions are wasted opportunities.

From child care costs to mortgage interest to charitable donations to moving expenses, the IRS offers a lengthy list of tax write-offs that can reduce your taxable income, so read carefully and decide which ones you can take.

IRS Works to Help Taxpayers Affected by ITIN Changes; Renewals Begin in October

The Internal Revenue Service today announced important changes to help taxpayers comply with revisions to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program made under a new law. The changes require some taxpayers to renew their ITINs beginning in October.

Patty’s Income Tax ITIN Services >

The new law will mean ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will no longer be valid for use on a tax return unless renewed by the taxpayer. In addition, ITINs issued prior to 2013 that have been used on a federal tax return in the last three years will need to be renewed starting this fall, and the IRS is putting in place a rolling renewal schedule, described below, to assist taxpayers.

ObamaCare and Your Taxes: What You Need to Know

I received a phone call last week from the niece of a client who works as a waitress with an annual income of $18,000. Not able to afford professional tax preparation services, she had gone to the library to do her own taxes on the IRS Free File System. Really simple return. Single, no dependents, one W2. Files it electronically.  Takes five minutes to file. Then three weeks later she gets a letter from the IRS asking her to complete IRS Form 8962 Premium Tax Credit. She attempted completing the form using the complicated formulas and the tables provided in the instructions and became confused. Could I help her?

Sure! No problem! Piece of cake! Or so I thought.

A Property-Tax Trap

Some home buyers should brace themselves for sticker shock: not from the price of the house, but from the property-taxes they’ll pay when the deal closes.

Property taxes on a home valued at $420,200, the cities median home value, will set a California homeowner back $3,301 a year, according to Smart Asset analysis, based on Census Bureau data on rates and median home values.

Owe Back Taxes? Lose Your Passport

The roughly 8 million Americans who live abroad automatically get a couple additional months each year to file their taxes. Don’t expect them to be grateful.

Filing to the Internal Revenue Service from overseas is more confusing, complicated, and expensive than it is for Americans at home (and that’s saying something). Unlike almost every other country in the world, the U.S. demands its citizens pay taxes on all foreign income. They must file even if they have lived and worked abroad for decades, and even if they’re already paying hefty taxes to the countries where they reside.

Fearing Audit? Good Records Can Ease Pain.

The sigh of relief a business owner heaves after filing an income tax return may be quickly followed by an unsettling thought: What if I’m audited?

Owners dread an audit not just because they might get a big bill for unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. Audits can also be time-consuming and expensive, in some cases lasting months or even years, distracting owners from running their companies and requiring them to pay accountants or lawyers to deal with the government. But companies that keep good financial records can make the process easier.

The IRS audited less than 1 percent, or nearly 1.4 million, of the nearly 192 million tax returns filed in 2014. That included business and personal returns and audits conducted either by letter or in person, according to the most recent available IRS figures. The audits resulted in an additional $25 billion in taxes recommended by IRS agents, and more than $7 billion in refunds, the IRS says.

IRS Hacked… Again!

It ain’t easy being an American taxpayer.

The US Internal Revenue Service said last week that the number of records it lost in a 2015 data breach is higher than it previously thought. When the agency first announced in May 2015 that hackers had broken into its website and stolen tax transcripts, it said that about 100,000 people were affected. It bumped that number up to 334,000 last August, and now says the number of records stolen is actually 724,000.

And it gets worse. To protect the victims of the data breach from further harm, the IRS provided them with “Identity Protection PINs.” The PINs are secret codes those taxpayers now have to put on all of their tax returns, or the IRS won’t accept them. As long as they keep their PINs secret, they should be safe from fraud.

For this master plan to work, though, the IRS would also have to keep the PINs secret. Unfortunately, it seems the agency is having some trouble with that.

Security researcher and journalist Brian Krebs reported yesterday (March 1) that at least one of the PINs has been compromised. An accountant in South Dakota, Becky Wittrock, told Krebs she was assigned her PIN in 2014, after she was a victim of fraud. When she filed her tax return this year, she found out the PIN had already been used:

Wittrock said she found out her IP PIN had been compromised by thieves this year after she tried to file her tax return on Feb. 25, 2016. Turns out, the crooks beat her to the punch by more than three weeks, filing a large refund request with the IRS on Feb. 2, 2016.

Identificación víctima de robo: IRS logrado 10 banderas rojas en la declaración de impuestos falsa

Camp Hill, Pa (WHTM) – Lynda Gilfert de Hampden Township está en incredulidad sobre lo que recibió del IRS.

En 2014, se robaron las identidades del Gilferts ‘. Alguien presentó una declaración de impuestos falsa, literalmente, compuesta por los números y robó su reembolso. Lynda quería ver la evidencia.

“Estoy enojado porque el gobierno está perdiendo dinero el envío de personas reembolsos que no merecen ellos, ni siquiera derecho a ellos”, dijo. “Estoy enojado porque tenía que perder el tiempo, tomar tiempo de mi vida para tratar de corregirlo.”

El IRS dio a los ladrones más de $ 7,500, depositado directamente en una cuenta bancaria real. Lo peor es las señales de alerta en todo el retorno falso que el IRS no captó, 10 banderas rojas en absoluto; información que no coincide con las declaraciones anteriores del Gilferts ‘.

Los ladrones afirmaron dos excepciones en lugar de tres, utilizan la dirección incorrecta, los ingresos de $ 69.850 no era ni de lejos, y había una deducción IRA casi $ 6,000 los Gilferts nunca han tenido. También afirmaron deducciones detalladas de más de $ 30,000, no sólo una señal de alerta, pero algo que podría desencadenar una auditoría sobre la base de los ingresos.

More IRS tax accounts hacked

The taxpayer security hits keep on coming for the Internal Revenue Service.

One of the biggest security breaches to ever hit the federal tax agency was when hackers, using taxpayer information obtained elsewhere, broke into the “Get Transcript” tool. This online application lets people get copies of their prior tax filings.

Now investigators with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, have found “additional suspicious attempts” to access taxpayer accounts.

The TIGTA report released last week says around 390,000 additional taxpayer accounts could be compromised. Add those to the 334,000 accounts the IRS’ own internal investigation ultimately identified as at risk and that’s almost three-quarters of a million taxpayers whose personal info could be in the hands of identity thieves.

In addition, TIGTA found another 295,000 taxpayer transcripts were targeted, but the criminals weren’t able to get the accounts.