The IRS announced that it will provide relief from estimated tax penalty for farmers and fishermen unable to file and pa their 2012 taxes by March 1 due to the delayed start for filing tax returns.
Normally, farmers and fishermen who choose not to make quarterly estimated tax payments are not subject to a penalty if they file their returns and pay the full amount of tax due by March 1. A taxpayer qualifies as a farmer or fishermen for tax-year 2012 if at least two-thirds of the taxpayer's total gross income was from farming or fishing in either 2011 or 2012.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act, H.R. 8 permanently extends provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001 and Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (with some modifications targeting the wealthiest Americans with higher taxes). It also permanently takes care of Congress's perennial job of patching the AMT and temporarily extends many other tax provisions that had lapsed.
Here is a quick summary of the act's tax features:
The IRS issued proposed regulations concerning the 0.9% Medicare surtax, which takes effect next year (REG-130074-11). The proposed regulations contain guidance for employers and individuals on the implementation of the tax, including the requirement to file a return reporting the tax, the process for employers to make adjustments of underpayments and overpayments of the tax, and the processes for employers and employees to file claims for refund for an overpayment of the tax.
Late on Friday, the IRS announced various tax relief measures for individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy in named counties located in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Various tax filing and payment deadlines starting due dates in late October are postponed until Feb. 1, 2013. The IRS also announced it is willing to work with any taxpayer who resides outside the disaster area but whose books, records or tax professional are located in affected areas.
May be of minor consequence to those recovering from Sandy but the IRS has eased some tax filings. Workers who receive storm-related compensation from their employers will not face a tax liability. These payments can include a range of expenses, including funeral costs, which are not already covered by insurance. There are no additional IRS forms to fill out for the tax relief. Additionally, taxpayers who need cash quickly for storm repairs can borrow from 401 retirement savings in certain circumstances without the usual penalties.
The IRS is implementing new procedures to stop the flow of wrongly issued refundable tax credits. The Treasury's inspector general for tax administration found that $2.3 billion in refundable credits was mistakenly issued. (I am sure this is no reflection on how the administration of Obama Care will be.) The IRS has said it would develop a screening method to ensure that a taxpayer's history would be available when considering a refundable credit claim.
The Internal Revenue Service has issued several recent consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. The IRS periodically alerts taxpayers to, and maintains a list of, phishing schemes using the IRS name, logo or Web site clone.
In June 2012, the IRS disclosed the voluntary offshore collections total to date. This follows the conclusion of two amnesty programs in 2009 and 2011. A direct quote from the IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman “We continue to make strong progress in our international compliance efforts that help ensure honest taxpayers are not footing the bill for those hiding assets offshore. People are finding it tougher and tougher to keep their assets hidden in offshore accounts.”
Based upon the provisions of the new healthcare law passed in 2010, the Medicare tax will increase for employees and self-employed individuals starting on January 1, 2013. The 2010 Health Care Bill is aimed at taxpayers that make over $ 200,000.00 in 2013 and file as single and $ 250,000.00 and file as joint on their tax returns. The tax is 0.9 percent on wages or self-employment income over those threshold amounts. Self-employed individuals will have to increase their estimated tax payments to cover the additional tax starting April 15th 2013.
On Friday, Aug.17, 2012, Central Tax Bureau of Pennsylvania (Centax) issued a press release announcing that they signed a mutual cooperative agreement with H.A. Berkheimer to transition all contracts with existing tax collection committees (TCCs) for Act 32 compliance and other municipal contracts.
For Act 32 compliance, Centax currently has 12 clients. Berkheimer has been appointed to seven of those and Keystone has been appointed to one.
Counties affected include:
• Armstrong - chose Berkheimer
• Beaver - chose Berkheimer