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Tax Season Is Here! 7 Dates to Remember

Tax Season Is Here! 7 Dates to Remember

With the close of one year and the beginning of a new, that only means one thing; Tax Season is here! To avoid unwanted surprises, late refunds, or careless mistakes, you should start preparing now. Whether you handle this process on your own, or plan to have someone prepare your taxes, keep in mind of these important dates and deadlines, and mark your calendars so you don’t forget!

1. Start to Submit: January 2018

Although you can start filing your 2017 taxes any time after the first day of 2018, the IRS will not begin processing tax returns, paper or electronic, until IRS e-file goes live later in the month.  With nearly 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018, you should plan ahead to avoid unwanted surprises or late refunds.

2. E-File Goes Live: January 26, 2018

The IRS’s electronic submission portal E-file opens on the 26th, which is also when the IRS will start processing returns. Any paper returns that have been submitted before this date will be processed when E-file is live. Expect longer delays if you file your return on paper, because it takes longer for the IRS to process your paperwork.

3. W-2s and 1099-Misc Start to Arrive: January 31, 2018

Employers must send out or make their W2s available online no later than January 31st.  This same deadline also applies to the 1099-MISC form for non-employee compensation payments, such as those made to workers who work on a temporary basis. If you haven’t received any information by then, get in touch with supervisors or HR.

4. In Need of an Extension: File Before April 17th

You can file for an extension any time before the tax year deadline, up until the due date of April 17th. Keep in mind that when you receive an extension, you are still responsible for paying any estimated taxes you owe by the federal due date, or you can end up paying additional interest or late fees.

Federal & State Tax Year 2017 Deadline: April 17, 2018

It’s the big day! Though the regular filing deadline for your Tax Year is April 15, due to the 15th being on Sunday (and that Monday being the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day), Tax Day is on the following Tuesday.

Last Day to make 2017 IRA Contributions: April 17, 2018

If you have not maxed out your IRA contributions for 2017, you can make contributions to an IRA by April 17, 2018, to lower your 2017 taxable income!

1st Quarter 2018 Estimated Tax Payment Due: April 17, 2018

If you are self-employed or have other fourth quarter income that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes, make sure your payment is postmarked by April 17, 2018.

5. 2nd Quarter 2018 Estimated Tax Payment Due: June 15, 2018

If you are self-employed or have other second-quarter income that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes, make sure your payment is postmarked by June 15, 2018 tax deadline.

6. 3rd Quarter 2018 Estimated Tax Payment Due: September 17,2018

If you are self-employed or have other third-quarter income that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes, make sure your third quarter payment is postmarked by Sept. 17, 2018 tax deadline.

7. Extension Deadline: October 15, 2018

If you were approved for an extension by April 17th, your returns must be submitted and postmarked by October 15th. The same goes for individuals or resident aliens living abroad who were approved for an extension in June.

Our tax professionals here at Williams Accounting & Consulting will ask you simple questions about your life to help you claim the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your entries. Williams Accounting & Consulting will also ensure that we keep you abreast with all dates and payment.  If you have any questions regarding your 2017 Tax Returns, give us a call today!

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10 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

10 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions

Tax deductions and credits can save you tons of money at tax time, but many taxpayers miss them because they don’t realize things they do on a daily basis can lower their taxable income.  You have over three months before the tax filing deadline, and if you’re in need of motivation, we have 10 money-saving tax deductions (and credits) you don’t want to overlook this season. They just might motivate you to get started today!

  1. Education Expenses: Tuition is deductible for full-time students, but even casual learners can get a tax credit. Taxpayers taking a full course load and working toward a degree can receive education benefits through the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college expenses.The Lifetime Learning Credit of 20% of up to $10,000 of tuition and fees is available even if you aren’t pursuing a degree.
  2. Job Hunting Expenses: If you were looking for a job last year, you may be able to deduct the cost of travel, meals, resume preparation, postage, career counseling and employment agencies, to the extent that they exceed 2% of your income, even if you don’t end up changing jobs.
  3. Gambling Losses: Unlucky taxpayers should know that losses can be deducted if they itemize their deductions. Keep in mind that your losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported as taxable income. Be sure to collect documentation such as receipts, tickets and other records to support your losses.
  4. Personal Bad Debts: If your best friend borrows $10,000 from you and then skips town, you can deduct up to $3,000 of this non-business bad debt as a short-term capital loss on your tax return in the year the debt becomes uncollectible.
  5. Moving Expenses: Your moving expenses are tax deductible if you change jobs and the distance from your old residence to your new job site is at least 50 miles more than to your old job site, and you work at least 39 weeks during the year after the move.
  6. Party Expenses: The cost of parties are tax deductible if they are related to your business. If you rewarded your favorite customers with a party you may be able to take this tax deduction.
  7. Home Office: If you use part of your home regularly and exclusively to perform administrative or managerial activities for your business, you can claim a home office deduction for utilities, rent, mortgage interest, depreciation, cleaning and the like based on the square footage of your home used for your business.
  8. Points Paid on your Home Loan: If you paid points when you bought a home, they are deductible in that year. Points paid to refinance a loan must be written off over the length of the loan. If you refinance again, don’t forget to write off the remaining points in the year you refinance.
  9. Mileage Expenses: If you use your vehicle for business, whether you are self-employed or an employee, you can deduct your mileage (53.5 cents per mile in 2017). If you work at more than one job, the cost of traveling between job locations is tax deductible as well.
  10. Medical Costs: The cost of exercise equipment or purchasing and maintaining a spa or swimming pool can be tax deductible as medical expenses if your doctor recommends them in writing.

Our tax professionals here at Williams Accounting & Consulting will ask you simple questions about your life to help you claim the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your entries. Williams Accounting & Consulting will also check for more than 350 deductions and credits so that you can keep more money in your pocket! Get started now!