Important Deadlines Coming up

1. PPP Application Deadline 
The deadline to apply for a PPP loan is June 30, 2020. Beware of scammers offering a way to get a PPP loan. Find approved lenders on the SBA website by clicking on the link below:

https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find

2.  Tax filing Deadline
The 2019 tax filing and payment deadline is July 15, 2020. Penalties and interest will start accruing on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020.

If you have not filed your 2019 tax return, please mail in, drop off, email or fax your 2019 tax information as soon as possible. If you prefer to make an appointment with us to complete your taxes, please contact our office at 562-404-7996.

Lookout for Scams Targeting Your Stimulus Payments

Economic Impact Payments (Aka Stimulus Payments) have been delivered to many Americans via direct deposit and via U.S. Treasury check (starting last week).

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration anticipates criminals will engage in various attempts to intercept these payments, and/or steal sensitive taxpayer information.

As a reminder, here are some tips to avoid being a victim of these scams: 

1. The IRS will not call you, text you, or e-mail you to prompt you for more information as a prerequisite to getting an Economic Impact Payment. The primary mode the IRS uses to communicate is via U.S mail.

2. To check on the status of your Economic Impact Payment, please visit IRS.gov and click on “Get My Payment.” Do not use any other websites or services.

3.Do not share your personal information with anyone offering un-solicited help, whether claiming to be from the IRS or some other business or agency, offering to assist you with your Economic Impact Payment.

4. Do not share your online banking username or password with anyone.  The IRS does not need your online banking username and password in order to send your Economic Impact Payment.

After your Economic Impact Payment has been sent, the IRS will send you a letter confirming your payment.

Haven’t received your payment yet? Visit the Economic Impact Payments FAQ by clicking here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

Philip L. Liberatore, CPA remains committed to providing you with important information that pertain to your success.

Make a Tax-deductible Donation for Hurricane Disaster Relief

With Hurricane Dorian set to make landfall as a devastating storm on the east coast, the Dream Center response team is set to deploy at a moment’s notice.
The Dream Center has been responding to disasters all across the United States and around the world for over 10 years. Bringing aid to Texas, Florida, California and the East Coast with rescues, shelter, food, clothing, and restoration.

Dana and I are so blessed to be part of the efforts the Dream Center has established throughout the years and we’re excited to introduce the new Mobile Response Unit. This mobile response unit is ready for immediate deployment. In the field, this truck turns into a multi-purpose operations center allowing the team to assist Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue Teams, Mobile Feeding Programs, and Medical Teams.

We invite you to partner with us and make a tax-deductible donation to the Dream Center so that they can to continue the efforts of disaster relief response throughout the country. The truck is currently positioned in Florida and ready to move into Georgia and the Carolina’s to help those in need.

Your support is much appreciated! To donate click on the following link: https://www.dreamcenter.org/

Please contact [email protected] for more information

Is It Time for a Payroll Tax Checkup?

Article Highlights:

  • Tax Reform
  • Underpayment Penalties
  • W-4 Modifications for 2020
  • Withholding Estimator
  • Penalty Abatement

Was your 2018 federal tax refund less than normal, or – worse yet – did you actually owe tax despite usually getting a refund? If so, this was primarily due to the last-minute passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017. Because the law was only passed late in the year, the IRS did not have adequate time to adjust its W-4 form and the related computation tables to account for all of the changes in the law. Thus, even if your taxes were lower for the year, the lack of adjustments to the W-4 and payroll-withholding tables meant that you likely had lower withholding and higher take-home pay for 2018. The bottom line is that, because your withholding was lower than it should have been, either your refund was lower than normal or you actually ended up owing money instead of getting a refund.

This situation surprised many taxpayers, some of whom faced financial hardships because they depended on their federal refunds to cover other expenses, such as home property taxes.

Throughout 2018, the IRS issued nearly weekly warnings that the W-4 form and its corresponding withholding tables did not properly account for the tax reform’s changes, which caused the 2018 withholding amounts to be, in many cases, inappropriate. The problem was so widespread that Congress asked the IRS to waive underpayment penalties for taxpayers who ended up with a balance due but who had prepaid at least 80% of their 2018 tax liabilities. (Normally, taxpayers need to prepay 90% of their tax liabilities to avoid this penalty.)

Unfortunately, this problem will not be solved in time for the 2019 returns. Despite the problems in 2018, the IRS is waiting until 2020 to implement a new W-4 and to revise the accompanying computations so as to accommodate the tax reform’s changes. As a result, the problem of insufficient withholding will persist for many taxpayers in 2019.

We are now over halfway through 2019, so it may be a good time to double-check your withholding and projected tax amounts in order to prevent another unpleasant surprise at tax time. If you are conversant with tax terminology, you can use the IRS’s newly updated withholding estimator to do so. This online tool helps you to determine whether your employer is withholding the right amount of tax from your paychecks. However, be careful, as the results are only as good as the information that you put into the withholding estimator. You also have to estimate your income for the year from various sources.

Regarding the underpayment penalty, there are two points to consider. First, if you filed early in 2018 you and had tax due, then you may have paid an underpayment penalty because you hadn’t prepaid enough tax through either withholding or estimated tax payments. As mentioned earlier, the IRS allowed a special exception to the underpayment penalty for those who prepaid at least 80% of their 2018 tax liabilities. However, it didn’t establish the 80% penalty waiver until well into March, so those who filed early may have paid a penalty that they did not end up being liable for. To determine if you paid a penalty, look at line 23 of your 2018 Form 1040. If there is an amount on that line but you met the 80% minimum for the underpayment exception, you will be receiving a refund from the IRS. The IRS announced on August 14th that they will be automatically refunding the penalty to all qualifying taxpayers. There is no need to contact the IRS to apply for or request the waiver.

Second, don’t count on the IRS again lowering the underpayment penalty for this year; it has given fair warning to taxpayers, who have had many months to review and adjust their tax withholding amounts. If you need to increase your 2019 withholding, you should do so soon; the end of the year will be here before you know it, and spreading out the adjustment over a longer period results in the least amount of pain in your budget.

If you are self-employed or otherwise pay an estimated tax, if you have a complicated return, or even if you would just prefer to have a professional perform your tax checkup, please give us a call to make an appointment.

2019 NEW YEAR TAX PLANNING LETTER

Dear Client,

We have just posted the 2019 NEW YEAR TAX PLANNING LETTER on our website. Here are headlines from the Letter. To read any of these articles, click HERE.

Will these new changes alter your 2019 tax plan?
Although it’s been a year since we’ve seen major tax legislation, there are a few big changes you may want to consider as you plan for the year ahead: CLICK HERE to continue reading.

Your top 3 go-tax moves

While you may find yourself overhauling your yearly tax strategy in light of new tax laws, there are three time-tested steps you can take to start your 2019 on the right foot: CLICK HERE to continue reading.

What’s New in 2019?
CLICK HERE to read to article.

Just click on the link below to read the full articles.
http://www.planningtips.com/4422/default.asp?tip_id=4422&co_id=42935&pg=1

March 2018 Online Advisor

We have just posted the MARCH 2018 issue of the ONLINE ADVISOR newsletter on our website. Here are a few headlines from that issue. To read any of these articles, click on the link at the end of this email.

ALERT: EXPIRED HOME AND EDUCATION TAX BREAKS REVIVED
Congress passed a federal budget bill in early February that temporarily revived several expired tax breaks for the 2017 tax year. Find out what’s included.

NEW TAX LEGISLATION REQUIRES PLANNING
With every simplification in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), there are many more tax issues that still require planning to realize extra tax benefits. Here are seven of them.

TAX CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESS STARTUPS
Complying with regulations and tax requirements can be tricky when it comes to startups. You can make it a little easier with this checklist of things you’ll need to consider.

Just click here to read the full articles.

October 2017 Online Advisor Released

We have just released the October 2017 issue of the Online Advisor and this month it’s packed with trending and emerging topics including “Tax Loss Harvesting Tips,” “Business Taxes—Time to Consider Section 179?” and “How to Fix Your Overfunded Account.” Get a glimpse of the articles are below and for full articles, just click on the link at the end of this article.

5 TAX-LOSS HARVESTING TIPS
If you’d like to get the most out of your financial portfolio, consider this tax strategy. Take a look at the best ways you can use losses to reduce short-term gains.

BUSINESS TAX: TIME TO CONSIDER SECTION 179?
Are you thinking about depreciating business assets? Find out more on how Section 179 works and whether or not using it is a good move to make this tax season.

HOW TO ACE THE FAFSA
A recent change makes the FAFSA available Oct. 1. Learn the common mistakes students make when filling it out and the best ways to avoid them.

HOW TO FIX YOUR OVERFUNDED ACCOUNT
Overfunding happens. Find out how and what steps you can take to fix the problem with your IRA or 401(k).

Just click on the link below to read the full articles.

www.planningtips.com

Phil Liberatore, CPA, Discusses the Deplorable Weaknesses of the IRS

Between 2011 and 2016, a shocking approximation of 9,176 IRS employees were investigated for not completely paying their taxes. Alternatively, 99 percent of employees investigated for not fully paying taxes continue to work there, and only 74 of the agency’s workers were terminated, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

Phil Liberatore of Liberatore CPA rebukes this type of behavior, stating that “the IRS is at the heart of the bureaucratic mess in Washington. The US Inspector General’s findings of IRS employees within the IRS with unpaid tax bills and tax cheats is the tip of the iceberg. The agency doesn’t hold its own employees to the same standards as the US taxpayer.”

Liberatore goes on to assert, “in our over 30 years of experience, we have witnessed firsthand the organizational nightmare in the IRS. Many of our clients will come in with notices showing they owe huge sums to the IRS, and it turns out they were errors in the IRS’s calculations.” Liberatore has a zero-tolerance policy on the little time they set aside for their fellow hardworking citizens, which further invalidates their reliability and overall accuracy. He claims, “Compounding the problem is the terrible customer service the US taxpayers are forced to deal with. The agency has cut its walk-in office locations and wait-times on the phone are excessively long. The US taxpayers deserve better.”

Although the IRS has many flaws and deficiencies that are hindering them from accurately serving the American people, Liberatore is optimistic that there is still a chance to improve. He articulates that “the agency is long overdue for reform which will bring accountability to the IRS, and hold them to the same standards as everyone else in the US.”

Phil and his team at Liberatore CPA will be closely monitoring this problem and provide updates as they become available.

JULY 2017 Online Advisor just published

We have just posted the JULY 2017 issue of the ONLINE ADVISOR newsletter on our website. Here are a few headlines from that issue. To read any of these articles, click on the link at the end of this email.

TAX-FREE INCOME

Paying taxes may not be something many of us look forward to, but it’s nice to know that some areas of tax law still benefit taxpayers. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the benefits that apply to your situation.

REAP THE BENEITS OF HIRING YOUR CHILD FOR THE SUMMER

It’s summertime and most teenagers are eager to make some money. Make sure you understand the tax benefits of hiring your child to work for your company.

HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO RETIRE?

The statistics regarding retirement preparedness in the U.S. are staggering. The vast majority of Americans have saved very little towards retirement. Learn three actions you can take to better prepare for your golden years.

ZOMBIE PAYER – KEEP YOUR AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS IN CONTROL

It’s becoming so common to use automatic payments to pay for the products and services we use, that we risk becoming zombie payers. Paying attention to your bills will help you maintain control of your finances.

Just click here to read the full articles.

 

A great read…Check out our June 2017 On Line Advisor

We have just posted the JUNE 2017 issue of the ONLINE ADVISOR newsletter on our website. Here are a few headlines from that issue. To read any of these articles, click on the link at the end of this email.

KEEP YOUR AUDIT FEARS IN CHECK

Many people worry about being audited by the IRS. Learn why your chances of being targeted for an audit are now lower than they’ve been in years.

DONATE STOCK TO LOWER YOUR TAX BURDEN

Learn why donating stock, rather than writing a check, to a charity can have greater tax benefits.

IS YOUR BUSINESS WAVING A RED FLAG AT THE IRS?

The chances that your business will be audited by the IRS are pretty low, but it’s still wise to know what triggers business audits so you can avoid them whenever possible.

DON’T OVERLOOK CURB APPEAL

If you’re considering putting your house on the market, take a look at the exterior appearance of your home. Sprucing it up could help you raise your asking price.

Just click here to read the full articles.