Tax Year Organizers: Keep an Eye Out for the E-mail

Our only automated delivery method for organizers this year will be via the portal, though we will still make hard copies available to our clients by special request.

You should keep an eye on your inbox for an e-mail with a link to the portal where you can retrieve your organizer. If you do not have an e-mail on file with us, or would prefer to receive a hard copy mailed to you, you will need to call our office at (781) 337-8788 to make the request.

As always, we are happy to accommodate hard copy requests, but bear in mind that this may cause a delay in receiving your organizer, and consequently in processing your return.

Deductible Mileage Rates Increase for 2019

The optional standard mileage rates taxpayers use in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes are going up for 2019. Keep in mind, though, that there are also new rules to consider under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and not everyone can deduct these expenses.  

Notably, for self-employed business owners there will be an increase to 58 cents per mile for cars, vans, pickups, or panel trucks used for business.The IRS has issued Notice 2019-02, available here, which details all of the new rates.

The notice also provides the amount taxpayers must use in calculating reductions to basis for vehicle 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.

An overview of the recently issued notice, including eligibility limitations and can be found on the official IRS website here.

IRS: Tax Filing Season Won’t Be Delayed by Government Shutdown

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According to Ken Corbin, the commissioner of the IRS’s Wage and Investment division, the IRS will start the tax filing season on time in spite of the agency being shut down as Congress negotiates a government funding deal.

“The start of the filing season hasn’t yet been announced, but the agency is ‘tracking very well’ for it to begin in late January or early February, as is typical,” said Corbin. The agency will announce a start date after it has completed testing all systems in compliance with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. When the government shuts down, “the agency can still have ‘critical staff’ work to complete tasks required to launch the filing season,” he said.

If anything should change, we’ll be sure to keep you informed.

2019 MA Vehicle Rentals Will Support Police Training

Starting January 1, 2019, if you rent a vehicle in Massachusetts you might notice a small but unexpected addition to your bill. In July of 2018 Governor Baker signed into law Bill H.4516, “An Act Relative to the Municipal Police Training Fund,” that, in part, adds a two-dollar surcharge to short-term vehicle rentals in the state.

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The proceeds from the vehicle rental surcharge will go to support the efforts of the Municipal Police Training Committee, which is responsible for setting standards and conducting trainings for local police, UMass police, and state environmental police.

Vendors are being notified of this new surcharge, which they will be required to add to rentals of passenger cars, trucks, vans, and trailers, but only for contracts with a duration of more than 12 hours, but less than 30 days.

You can visit the Mass.gov website here if you are interested in learning more.

The Potential Tax Reform Timing Glitch

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Let’s face it: Taxes are complicated. That’s why so many people hire professionals to assist in the process. Ironically, this year’s tax season headaches started for the IRS shortly after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year. While many are anticipating a simpler process moving forward, the sheer amount of documentation that must be updated to comply with new and existing rules is anything but simple for the agency that regulates it.Imagine all the different forms, guides, systems and software the IRS uses that have to be changed and checked before April 15th, 2019. The article linked below discusses how, even though the IRS didn’t waste any time setting up a plan to get the revisions done as quickly as possible, the complex nature of the overall task is pushing deadlines. 

What does this mean for you? It could mean that the filing window gets delayed. And while that may be frustrating for early filers who count on quick returns, it’s also a reminder that an undertaking this massive—that affects literally every taxpayer in the country—requires special attention. And that may take some extra time.Read more about the details here: http://www.fool.com/taxes/2018/11/18/why-the-2019-tax-season-could-get-off-to-a-rocky-s.aspx