IRS begins 2022 tax season; urges extra caution for taxpayers to file accurate tax returns electronically to speed refunds, avoid delays

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today kicked off the 2022 tax filing season with an urgent reminder to taxpayers to take extra precautions this year to file an accurate tax return electronically to help speed refunds.

IRS The start of this year’s tax season – which takes place earlier than last year’s February 12 opening – signals the IRS is now accepting and processing 2021 tax returns. More than 160 million individual tax returns for the 2021 tax year are expected to be filed, with most before the April 18 tax deadline.

Most taxpayers face an April 18 deadline this year due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC falling on April 15. Taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine will have an April 19 deadline due to Patriots Day; disaster victims have later filing deadlines in some locations.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig noted that taxpayers need to take special care this year due to several critical tax law changes that took place in 2021 and ongoing challenges related to the pandemic.

“IRS employees are working hard to deliver a successful 2022 tax season while facing enormous challenges related to the pandemic,” Rettig said. “There are important steps people can take to ensure they avoid processing delays and get their tax refund as quickly as possible. We urge people to carefully review their taxes for accuracy before filing. And they should file electronically with direct deposit if at all possible; filing a paper tax return this year means an extended refund delay.”

For most taxpayers who file a tax return with no issues, the IRS anticipates they will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically if they choose direct deposit – similar to previous years. Last year’s average tax refund was more than $2,800.

“There are simple steps that people can take that will help them navigate this challenging tax season,” Rettig said. “Filing electronically and using online resources instead of calling are just some of the steps that can help people avoid delays.”

“IRS employees will do everything possible with the available resources to serve taxpayers this year,” Rettig said. “We will work hard to deliver refunds quickly, serve as many people as possible and work to catch up on past tax returns affected by the pandemic. The IRS thanks you for filing your taxes, a critical part of helping our great nation.”

IRS tips for a smooth filing season:

Fastest refunds by e-filing, avoiding paper returns: Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year to avoid refund delays. If you need a tax refund quickly, do not file on paper – use software, a trusted tax professional or Free File on IRS.gov.

Avoid delays; file an accurate tax return: More than ever this year, the IRS urges people to make sure they’re ready to file an accurate tax return. An accurate tax return can avoid processing delays, extensive refund delays and later IRS notices.

Special care for EIP, advance Child Tax Credit recipients: The IRS also encourages caution to those people who received a third Economic Impact Payment or advance Child Tax Credit in 2021. Taxpayers should ensure the amounts they’ve received are entered correctly on the tax return. Incorrect entries when reporting these payments mean the IRS will need to further review the tax return, creating an extensive delay. To help taxpayers, the IRS is mailing special letters about the stimulus payments and advance Child Tax Credit payment amounts. People can also check the amount of their payments in their Online Account available on IRS.gov.

Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit refunds: By law, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February, though eligible people may file their returns beginning on January 24. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds from being issued.

Avoid phone delays; online resources best option for help: IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest option for help. IRS assisted phone lines continue to receive record numbers of calls, more than the agency can handle with its limited resources. Avoid delays: Check IRS.gov first for refund information and answers to tax questions. Establishing an Online Account on IRS.gov can also help taxpayers get information quickly. The Online Account feature has recently been expanded to allow more people to gain access.

Don’t normally file a return? Consider filing for CTC, other valuable credits: For people who don’t normally file a tax return and didn’t file a 2020 return or use the Non-Filers tool, they can still qualify for important credits they’re eligible for, including the Recovery Rebate Credit (stimulus payment), advance Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. The IRS encourages people in this group to file a 2021 tax return so they can receive all the credits for which they’re eligible.

Online options for free help; answers to common questions: Use IRS.gov to get answers to tax questionscheck a refund status or pay taxes. There’s no wait time or appointment needed — online tools and resources are available 24 hours a day.

Other free options for help: IRS Free File is available to any person or family who earned $73,000 or less in 2021. Qualified taxpayers can also find free one-on-one tax preparation help around the nation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

2020 tax return still being processed? Tips to help with filing 2021 tax return: For people whose tax returns from 2020 have not yet been processed, they can still file their 2021 tax returns. For those filing electronically in this group, here’s a critical point. Taxpayers need their Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI, from their most recent tax return when they file electronically. For those waiting on their 2020 tax return to be processed, make sure to enter $0 (zero dollars) for last year’s AGI on the 2021 tax return. Visit Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return for more details.

April 18 tax deadline: The filing deadline is April 18 for most taxpayers; automatic six-month extensions of time to file are available for anyone by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

— Source: IRS.gov

Form 990 and Other IRS Tax Deadlines Pushed Back Until July 15, 2020

WASHINGTON [bdpatoday] — The IRS announced today that due to COVID-19, deadlines for any federal income tax filings and tax payments due from April 1 to July 14, 2020 have been postponed until July 15, 2020. BDPA Chapters and other IRS 501(c)(3) organizations normally filing on or before May 15th now have until July 15, 2020 for tax years ending December 31, 2019.

Of particular relevance to nonprofits, this relief applies to IRS Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 990-N, Form 990-PF, and Form 990-T. The deadlines for Form 4720 excise taxes filings, quarterly estimated tax payments on Form 990-W, Form 1065 partnership returns, and Form 1120-POL for political organizations have been similarly extended to July 15, 2020.

The extension of the deadlines until July 15, 2020 is automatic—nonprofits do not need to file any extension forms to qualify. However, those who need additional extensions beyond July 15, 2020 will be permitted to extend only until their original statutory or regulatory extension dates. Visit IRS FAQs for additional facts and deadlines.

[View Source | DWT, LLP]

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TECH & The Trump Presidency

Markets think a ‘Trillion-dollar’ technology and infrastructure stimulus may be imminent


WASHINGTON
(bdpatoday)—President-elect Trump’s victory signaled widespread uncertainty and discontent surrounding economic opportunities, something which CNBC states several technology executives recently suggested their technology eventually will help to address. For example, leaders at these companies reminded employees that eBay‘s marketplace empowers buyers and sellers, LinkedIn‘s tools help people connect or find jobs, and Apple‘s devices connect people.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reminded people in one of his LinkedIn posts that our world is witnessing democracy in action and linked to his company’s blog with recommendations for the next administration and the next Congress. According to CNET’s Marguerite Reardon, here is what little we may know about President-Elect Trump’s stand on a few important technology issues.

Net neutrality

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Net neutrality became a relatively big deal in our 2008 election, but little was said during this election cycle about last year’s policy.Net neutrality is the idea that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. This means our broadband providers, which control our access to the internet, can not block nor slow down services or applications we use via the web.

We know Trump is not a fan of the FCC’s current regulations. It is very possible that an FCC led by Republicans could eliminate all or part of the rules and strip the FCC of some of its authority. Should that happen, broadband providers could create so-called ‘fast lanes’ and pass charges to Internet companies, like Netflix, different rates to deliver content and their services. Loosening regulations around telecom likely will benefit broadband and wireless carriers. The NCTA, an Internet and Television Association which lobbies for the cable industry, said it is eager to work with President-elect Trump.

Industry consolidation and broadband

President-elect Trump also seems to have taken a populist view against mergers and acquisitions (M&As). That could spell trouble for big pending mergers, including AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of entertainment giant Time Warner. When that deal was announced last month, President-elect Trump vowed to block this merger if he was elected.  AT&T’s executives still like their chances of inking this deal if approved by the U.S., pointing to “investing in infrastructure” statements President-elect Trump recently made in his victory speech.

 

Encryption and cybersecurity

CNET reports the president-elect has only made vague statements about privacy and security, and downplayed Russia’s alleged hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Secretary Clinton’s campaign email servers. Nonetheless, when our Justice Department haggled with Apple over unlocking the iPhone of a terrorist suspect in

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the San Bernardino shooting, he then called for a boycott of Apple’s products. What he has said about cybersecurity is that there should be a review of US cyber defenses by a “Cyber Review Team.”

STEM education

Experts who have reviewed President-elect Trump’s economic agenda suggest that deficits will explode, which could eventually lead a Republican Congress to slash budgets. This could mean heavy cuts to funding for science programs and education, which runs counter to the tech industry’s call for more tech-savvy workers in today’s digital age and software-defined ecosystems.

hscc-se16eMoreover, President-elect Trump publicly supported views that are not backed by the scientific community. He has repeated unfounded connections between vaccinations and autism and dismissed reports of climate change as a myth perpetuated by the Chinese to undermine our economy.

He appealed to voters in coal country by supporting energy policies that encourage the use of more fossil fuels and downplayed investments in renewable energy, like solar. Donald Trump also has said he would “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, the United Nations deal to curb greenhouse gases and fund adaptations to climate change, which worries many scientists.

H-1B visas and immigration

Immigration has been one of the hallmark issues of President-Elect Trump’s campaign, but most of his suggested policies center on what his administration would do to reduce illegal immigration. When it comes to legal immigration of skilled workers, he wants to increase pay for people holding H-1Bs as part of a plan to steer more opportunities to unemployed native and immigrant workers. This due largely in part some still consider H-1B visa holders a much cheaper source for highly skilled and technical labor for domestic U.S. corporations.

Tax policy

The biggest boost to the tech industry may ultimately come from President-elect Trump’s plans to lower corporate tax rates encouraging corporations to repatriate two trillion dollars of foreign profits parked overseas and reinvest their money in the United States.

stem-bdpaCNET reports there’s a good chance that money could be invested in the U.S., said Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). But this is not a given. In the past, when the US allowed American companies to bring in profit earned overseas, we had hoped these firms would hire more workers. Instead, most of the money went to executives and shareholders.

President-elect Trump also has called for high import taxes on products, which could drive up prices for consumers on tech goods. Last January, Trump stated in one of his stump speeches, “We are going to get Apple to build computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.” Declining to comment on Trump’s statements at that time, Apple designs its products at its Silicon Valley headquarters, but uses a Chinese contractor to build them. If Apple products were manufactured in the US, the price of an iPhone could rise to as much as $900 per unit to offset worker wages versus the $650 cost of an iPhone today.

Could slashing corporate taxes to provide workforce development and mentor-protégé incentives help train more college, vocational tech, and high school students to build computers  and mobile devices with original equipment manufactures (OEMs) in the U.S.? Greg Autry, an entrepreneur researcher, predicts a shift away from the traditional start-up model, where young engineers develop a new product, get it financed and move the manufacturing overseas. He argued a Trump administration would create a regulatory and tax-friendly environment conducive to the tech sector.

“Companies like Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures Apple products will be able to expand production in the U.S. through automation,” Autry said. He added that more automation—the so-called ‘boogie man’ often described as robots stealing human jobs—would actually be a boon for OEMs and U.S. manufacturing.

“We’ve dealt with automation since the 19th century,” Autry said. “What automation does is create a lot more products for us to enjoy at a lower cost, and we get more people working more efficiently creating more products.”

Apparently, almost half of the national electorate voted along those lines—the promise of more jobs.

— Sources: cNET, CNBC, PBS, and the White House
Photo:  whitehouse.gov

Congress enacts permanent ban on State and Local Internet Taxes

Commerce, Retail, and points-of-sale:  On-line vs. Brick-and-Mortar

by Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
Journal of Accountancy

WASHINGTON—Congress on Thursday passed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, H.R. 644, which would make permanent the “moratorium on states and localities taxing Internet access or placing multiple and discriminatory taxes on internet commerce” (Conference Report, p. 231).
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The Senate passed the bill on a 75–20 vote. It had been passed by the House of Representatives in December and now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.  Learn  more

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