27 Glen Street, Suite 12A, Stoughton, MA
Phone: 781-341-2255
 

News & Tips

 
Getting Ready For Your 2014 Tax Return and Beware of IRS Scam Calls

With just a few weeks left in 2014 it’s time to give some thought to last minute tax planning. Most of us don’t want to think about it given the attention we need to pay to the holidays but a little time now could translate into tax dollars saved.

To help you prepare here are some of the basic expenses that can be deducted as itemized deductions on Schedule A. If you have questions about these please give me a call at 781-341-2255.

Schedule A deductions include:

Medical expenses – Subject to a 7.5% exclusion if you or your spouse are 65 or older and ssubject to a 10% exclusion for those under 65.
Generally this includes any medical expense not covered by insurance such as:
  • Co-pays
  • Unreimbursed Hospital, Doctor or Nursing Home expenses
  • Dental expenses
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical insurance
  • Long term Care insurance
  • Doctor prescribed fitness programs
  • Travel to doctors and parking
Taxes:
  • Real Estate taxes
  • State income taxes withheld
  • Excise taxes
Interest:
  • Mortgage interest
  • Home equity interest
  • Points on a refinancing or new home purchase
  • Mortgage insurance (Not Homeowner’s Insurance)
  • Investment interest
Gifts and Donations – to qualified charities
  • All cash donations
  • Non-cash donations up to $500
  • Over $500 non-cash donations have special rules
Other Deductions: Subject to a 2% exclusion
  • Unreimbursed job related expenses (union dues, uniforms, tools)
  • Safety deposit boxes
  • Tax preparation fees
  • Investment fees
Other Deductions: Not subject to a 2% exclusion
  • Gambling losses (to the extent of winnings)
Beyond the basic deductions there are additional deductions for:
  • Qualified Education tuition and fees
  • Student loan interest
  • Teachers can deduct $250 in supplies expense
  • Self-employed health insurance
  • Moving expenses
  • IRA contributions
The IRS also gives you credits which can be very beneficial if you qualify. These include:
  • Qualified education tuition and fees
  • Child tax credits
  • Child Care credits
  • Earned Income tax credit
  • Adoption credit
  • Retirement savings contribution credit
 
 
Beware of IRS Scam Calls
 
 

To my friends and clients,

Over the last few weeks I have heard from several clients who have received threatening phone calls from individuals identifying themselves as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These are scam calls that often originate in foreign countries. Most calls target the elderly, foreign nationals or other individuals they believe can be intimidated and bullied into giving them a credit or debit card to pay a phony IRS bill. They will tell you that you owe money to the IRS and must pay immediately or else. They will go so far as threatening to send the police to your house to arrest you unless you make the payment right there on the phone. In some cases they actually have someone dressed as a police officer show up.
If you receive one of these calls:

  • Do not call them back or if you answer it
  • Do not give them information like bank account numbers or social security numbers
  • Do not pay them anything via a credit or debit card
  • If anyone does show up at your door (not likely but just in case) do not let them in and call your local police department

Remember, the IRS will NEVER call to demand money. If you owe money you will receive a letter.

Below is a document put out by the real Internal Revenue Service speaking to this issue and advising you on how to spot a scam call and what to do.

If you have any questions or concerns about this feel free to call me at
781-341-2255.

Paul

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls
Español
IR-2014-84, Aug. 28, 2014

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.

These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They may know a lot about you, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.
“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We have formal processes in place for people with tax issues. The IRS respects taxpayer rights, and these angry, shake-down calls are not how we do business.”

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill..
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

Additional information about tax scams are available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube and Tumblr where people can search “scam” to find all the scam-related posts.

 
 
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