Archive for April, 2013

Now Is The Best Time To Begin Preparing Your 2013 Tax Return

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The exclusive purpose for the information which is provided from this website is to disseminate information, and not to provide tax advice.

This is the best time of the year to start preparing for your 2013 tax return.  The new 2013 tax laws have already been signed in to law, you already know which  problems that you had in preparing your 2012 tax return, and by starting now you can avoid going through the same agony in 2014.  You should also avoid using the Scarlett O’Hara approach from “Gone With The Wind” – “Tomorrow’s another day!”   You could also think about the old adage – “Bad medicine is best when taken in small doses!”

The United States uses a pay-as-you-go approach for your annual tax liability.  You are expected to have on deposit with the U.S. Treasury one fourth of your annual income tax liability each quarter.  This requirement can be fulfilled using several methods such as payroll withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments, backup withholding etc. 

Organizing your records throughout the year is always important.  Having your tax return records easily accessible after December 31st will diminish your stress and reduce the time required to assemble these important documents.

Perhaps this is the time to begin using a tax professional to assist you in the preparation of your tax returns and to advise you regarding opportunities to reduce your tax liability.  The U.S. Congress has succeeded in passing income tax laws that are more difficult to comprehend and require an extensive degree of technical knowledge.  You should ask the tax preparer for an estimate of the cost for the preparation of your 2012 tax return.  Then divide the estimated cost by the total actual number of  hours which you spent accumulating records, extracting data, and preparing your tax return.    What was your conclusion?

If you will be changing your marital status in 2013, contact a CPA or tax attorney as soon as possible.  The Internal Revenue Service tests your marital (filing) status as of December 31st every year.  This is especially important if you plan to be divorced, marry, or separate.  Your final divorce decree or separation agreement does not supersede the provisions of the income tax laws!  If you are living in a “community property state” this task is even more important.  Additional information can be obtained from IRS Publication 504 (“Divorced or Separated Individuals”) or using this link:  (more…)

Important Information on Late Filing and Late Payment Penalties

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The exclusive purpose for the information which is provided from this website is to disseminate information, and not to provide tax advice.

It is not possible to determine the number of taxpayers who do not fully understand all of  the requirements to ensure that your quarterly estimated  tax payments, annual tax liability, and filing deadlines have been fulfilled.  The tax system for the United States is based on a “pay-as-you-go” expectation.  Among the key provisions that affect all of us are:

1.  The Department of the Treasury requires that all taxpayers deposit one fourth of their annual income tax liability each quarter;

2.  The annual tax liability can be fulfilled in several ways, i.e. payroll withholding from wages, voluntary tax withholding from lump sum payments (sales of investments, withdrawals from retirement plans, etc) or through quarterly estimated tax deposits ( and;

3.  IRS Form 2210 is required to be completed and filed if you have not met the quarterly and annual requirements.  However, there are “safe harbor rules” and exceptions which could provide you with a waiver ( ) of the tax penalties and interest;

4.  While you may request an automatic six-month waiver of the tax return filing deadline, this waiver does NOT extend the deadline date for the payment of  your annual income tax liability.    (more…)