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IRS issues standard mileage rates for 2019

IR-2018-251, December 14, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2019 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, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 58 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3.5 cents from the rate for 2018,
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 2 cents from the rate for 2018, and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate increased 3.5 cents for business travel driven and 2 cents for medical and certain moving expense from the rates for 2018. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

It is important to note that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses. Taxpayers also cannot claim a deduction for moving expenses, except members of the Armed Forces on active duty moving under orders to a permanent change of station. For more details see Notice-2019-02.

The standard mileage rate for business use 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 Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously. These and other limitations are described in section 4.05 of Rev. Proc. 2010-51.

Notice 2019-02, posted today on IRS.gov, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

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State officials warn businesses about ‘Workplace Compliance – Annual Report’ scam

From Fox 61:

HARTFORD – Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and Attorney General George Jepsen are warning businesses across Connecticut about a mailing being sent by “Workplace Compliance Services” purporting to be an official “Annual Report Instruction Form,” alleging that payment is required by Connecticut law.  Click link below for more detail:

 

State officials warn businesses about ‘Workplace Compliance – Annual Report’ scam

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Not too early: Here are steps taxpayers can take now to get ready to file their taxes in 2019

IRS Tax Tip 2018-175, November 13, 2018

The IRS reminds taxpayers there are steps they can take now to make sure their tax filing experience goes smoothly next year. Taking these steps will also help them avoid surprises when they file next year.

To help get people the information they need, the IRS just updated a special page on IRS.gov with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

Check withholding – do a Paycheck Checkup soon

Since employees typically only have one or two pay dates left this year, checking withholding soon is especially important. Because of the many changes in the tax law, refunds may be different than prior years for some taxpayers. Some may even owe an unexpected tax bill when they file their 2018 tax return next year. To avoid these kind of surprises, taxpayers should do a Paycheck Checkup to help  them decide if they need to adjust their withholding or make estimated or more tax payments now.

Gather documents

The IRS urges all taxpayers to file a complete and accurate tax return by making sure they have all the needed documents before they file their return. This includes their 2017 tax return and:

  • Year-end Forms W-2 from employers,
  • Forms 1099 from banks and other payers and
  • Forms 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the premium tax credit.

Taxpayers should confirm that each employer, bank or other payer has a current mailing address or email address. Typically, these forms start arriving by mail – or are available online – in January. Check them over carefully, and if any of the information shown is inaccurate, the taxpayer should contact the payer right away for a correction.

Taxpayers should keep a copy of any filed tax return and all supporting documents for at least three years. Also, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need the adjusted gross income amount from their 2017 return to properly e-file their 2018 return.

Choose e-file and direct deposit for a faster refund

Electronically filing a tax return is the most accurate way to prepare and file. Errors delay refunds, and the easiest way to avoid them is to e-file. Using tax preparation software is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. The software guides taxpayers through the process and does all the math. Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a taxpayer’s bank account. They don’t need to worry about a lost, stolen or undeliverable refund check.

More information:

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Beware of Tax Scams!

Consumer Alerts on Tax Scams

‪Note that the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

For more information on tax scams, please see Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. For more information on phishing scams, please see Suspicious e-Mails and Identity Theft.

Is it really the IRS calling?

Many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials – in person, over the telephone and via email. Don’t get scammed. We want you to understand how and when the IRS contacts taxpayers and help you determine whether a contact you may have received is truly from an IRS employee.

The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.

However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.

To understand how and when the IRS contacts taxpayers and determine if it’s truly the IRS see: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door.

Private Debt Collection

The IRS began a new private collection program of certain overdue federal tax debts selecting four contractors to implement it.

The IRS will always notify a taxpayer before transferring their account to a private collection agency (PCA). First, the IRS will send a letter to the taxpayer and their tax representative informing them that their account is being assigned to a PCA and giving the name and contact information for the PCA. This mailing will include a copy of Publication 4518, What You Can Expect When the IRS Assigns Your Account to a Private Collection Agency.

Only four private groups are participating in this program: CBE Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Conserve of Fairport, N.Y.; Performant of Livermore, Calif.; and Pioneer of Horseheads, N.Y. The taxpayer’s account will only be assigned to one of these agencies, never to all four. No other private group is authorized to represent the IRS.

 

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USES OF FINANCIAL REPORTS

Financial statements may be used by different stakeholders for a multitude of purposes. Owners and managers require financial statements to make important business decisions affecting its continued operations. Financial analysis is then performed on these statements, providing management with a more detailed understanding of the figures.

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