Tax Tips

2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced

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The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations The business mileage rate decreased 3.5 cents per mile and the medical, and moving expense rates decrease 4 cents per mile from the 2015 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute. The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs. Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates. A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the …

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Taxpayer Bill of Rights Fact Sheet

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Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” takes the multiple existing rights embedded in the tax code and groups them into 10 broad categories, making them easier to find and understand. A list of your rights as a taxpayer and IRS obligations to protect them can be found in IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer (Shown Below).  It includes The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard. Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position. If you are notified by the IRS that your tax return has a mathematical or clerical error, you have 60 days to tell the IRS that you disagree. You should provide photocopies of any records that may help correct the error. Also, you may call the number listed on your notice or bill for assistance. If you are correct, we …

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Moving this Year? If You Receive the Premium Tax Credit, Report this Life Event

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If you moved recently, you’ve probably notified several organizations – like the U.S. Postal Service and utility companies – about your new address. You may have even notified the IRS about your address change.  If you get health insurance coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace, you should add one more important notification to your list: the Marketplace.

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Become a Tax Volunteer and Make a Difference in Your Community

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If you ever wonder how to make a difference and help people in your community, then becoming a tax volunteer may be just right for you. The IRS is looking for people who will provide free tax help in 2016. You will receive all the tax training you need so you can help others file their tax return. The IRS sponsors two programs that offer free tax help across the country. These are the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs. Many people know them by their initials. In 2015, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared more than 3.7 million tax returns at no cost for people with low-to-moderate incomes.

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Back-to-School Reminder for Parents and Students: Check Out College Tax Credits for 2015 and Years Ahead

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With another school year just around the corner, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded parents and students that now is a good time to see if they will qualify for either of two college tax credits or other education-related tax benefits when they file their 2015 federal income tax returns. In general, the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit is available to taxpayers who pay qualifying expenses for an eligible student. Eligible students include the taxpayer, spouse and dependents. The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides a credit for each eligible student, while the Lifetime Learning Credit provides a maximum credit per tax return. Though a taxpayer often qualifies for both of these credits, he or she can only claim one of them for a particular student in a particular year.  To claim these credits on their tax return, the taxpayer must file Form 1040 or 1040A and complete Form 8863, Education Credits.

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IRS Reminds Truckers: For Most, Highway Use Tax Return is Due August 31st

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The Internal Revenue Service today reminded truckers and other owners of heavy highway vehicles that in most cases their next federal highway use tax return is due Monday, Aug. 31, 2015. The deadline generally applies to Form 2290 and the accompanying tax payment for the tax year that begins July 1, 2015, and ends June 30, 2016. Returns must be filed and tax payments made by Aug. 31 for vehicles used on the road during July. For vehicles first used after July, the deadline is the last day of the month following the month of first use.

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IRS Issues New Reporting Guidance for Applicable Large Employers

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Some of the provisions of the health care law apply only to applicable large employers, which is generally those with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees. The law requires ALEs to file information returns in 2016 with the IRS and provide statements to their full-time employees about the health insurance coverage the employer offered. Monthly Tracking To prepare for the reporting requirements in 2016, applicable large employers should be tracking information each month of 2015, including: Whether you offered full-time employees and their dependents minimum essential coverage that meets the minimum value requirements and is affordable. Whether your employees enrolled in the self-insured minimum essential coverage you offered. Annual Information Reporting The first statements to employees must be provided by January 31, 2016, and the first information returns to the IRS must be filed by February 28, 2016, or March 31, 2016, if filed electronically. ALE members must file Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, and Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, with the IRS annually, no later than February 28 – March 31 if filed electronically – of the year immediately following the calendar year to which the return relates. ALE …

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Don’t Fall for New Tax Scam Tricks by IRS Posers

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Though the tax season is over, tax scammers work year-round. The IRS advises you to stay alert to protect yourself against new ways criminals pose as the IRS to trick you out of your money or personal information. These scams first tried to sting older Americans, newly arrived immigrants and those who speak English as a second language. The crooks have expanded their net, and now try to swindle virtually anyone. Here are several tips from the IRS to help you avoid being a victim of these scams:

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