Individual Tax Services

Individual Tax Services

Personal Income Tax Filing

Who must file tax returns? In general – all US citizens and residents must file personal income tax returns on their worldwide income. What income is taxable? All income is taxable unless specifically exempted in the tax code. This is where the confusion and complexity begin.

The largest project most tax payers have to complete each year is their personal income tax returns. They agonize over the record keeping, tax planning, completing and submitting the forms. The IRS estimates that for the basic Form 1040, 16 hours would be required for all the steps. However, that doesn’t include any of the supplemental schedules and forms.

We recognize this project can be daunting. Especially due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act effective Jan 1, 2018. We seek to make all of this easier for our clients. As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), we remove the burden of preparing, reviewing, and submitting the forms. Whether you have a basic situation or a complex one, we have the expertise to assist you.

Estimated Income Taxes

One of the issues to keep in mind is the current year. As you are filing last year’s return you need to consider what is happening in the current year to be sure you are pre-paying the appropriate amount of income tax and not too much. If you have some of the following special circumstances, carefully estimating your current year income tax can save you penalties and excessive cash outlays:

  • Income which varies along the year such as self-employment
  • A second job, new job
  • New Marriage
  • Consulting work, bonuses or commissions
  • Required distributions from retirement accounts while still working

All of these can cause you to be underpaid if you are solely depending upon withholding by others to fully pay the required liability. None of the third parties will know all of your situation. They only withhold based upon the income from their source. As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), we consult with our clients to understand the big picture for their estimate tax burdens. Because then they are not caught unaware at year-end.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Cris Herrera, tax preparer at TTA Tax

We remove the burden of tax preparation and submitting tax forms, so you have more time for the things important to you. The most common forms we file are:

  • Form 1040 – Individual Income Tax Return
  • Schedule A – Itemized Deductions
  • Schedule B – Interest and Dividend Income
  • Schedule C – Profit or Loss from Business
  • Schedule D – Capital Gains and Losses with associated Forms 8949
  • Schedule E – Supplemental Income and Losses
  • Schedule F – Profit or Loss from Farming
  • Plus dozens of other forms and schedules

E-filing Income Taxes

We fully participate in the e-filing of personal income tax returns. Our software vendor sends the returns to the IRS and state(s) involved.

The benefits of e-filing are:

    • Confirmation that the return(s) were timely filed
    • Confirmation that the return(s) were accepted (typically within 24-48 hours)
    • Secure Filing
    • Faster processing particularly with direct deposit of any refund
    • Fewer individual eyes on your personal information
    • No depending upon careful data entry at the agency

Household Employees

Many consumers do not fully understand the ramifications and responsibilities when they hire a household worker. These can be day care help, medical care givers, gardeners, home organizers, home repair workers, personal assistants, etc. If a taxpayer hires one of these workers for their personal tasks, they are very likely going to be subject to the Household Employer rules.

If a taxpayer 1) Pays the employee compensation of $2,100 or more per year, or 2) Withholds Federal and/or state income tax from their wages they have responsibilities over and above paying the actual wage.

    • Responsible for paying Social Security and Medicare tax for the wages paid to the employee
    • Depending upon the amount of wages and timing, they may be required to file Federal and state Unemployment Taxes
    • In some cases, other local taxes and fees also apply
    • Required to file Form W2 and W3 at years end with the Social Security Administration
    • It is also beneficial to discuss this situation with your homeowner’s insurance provider to be sure they are adequately covered for ongoing risks
Gardner serving as a household employee.

These do not have to be burdensome, but they can sneak up on a person. Especially if they are ill and concentrating on other tasks. These rules do not apply if you hire an independent company for this work. So, if you call ABC Plumbing to fix the drain, pay the company and not the worker directly. This will protect yourself from looking like a household employer when you didn’t intend to do so. You’ll want to be sure anyone who does work in your home is fully licensed and bonded. You may want to request a certificate of insurance. Once there has been a problem, it’s too late.

Prior Year Taxes Not Filed

If you have fallen behind – yes it does happen – and you have not filed your current or former year’s tax return we can assist you. It is best to always file your return, even if you cannot pay the full amount due at the time. You will at least be on the record as filing the return. If you owe additional taxes at least you won’t have any late filing penalties. Or if you are behind more than one year you should generally prepare the taxes in order as there are several carryover computations which may apply to you in later years. If you had already filed the taxes out of order you may need to amend the later returns.

Amendments

Sometimes events subsequent to the tax year, or improved and refined reporting by others, change the amounts you reported as income or deduction. If this happens you would need to file an amended income tax return to correct the record. This could result in a balance due or a refund depending upon the particular circumstances. In general, you can only collect a refund if the amendment is filed within 3 years of the original due date of the return. For example – the 2017 tax returns were due 4/15/18. If your 2017 return needed to be changed you could claim a refund up to 4/15/21. There is no time limit for the filing of an amendment to record additional tax due.

Certified Public Tax Accountant serving Montgomery County since 1980

We offer tax preparation, tax and business planning, accounting & payroll support to individuals and businesses.
Our clients are located in Gaithersburg, Rockville, Clarksburg, and located around the country and overseas.

Certified Public Tax Accountant serving Montgomery County since 1980

We offer tax preparation, tax and business planning, accounting & payroll support to individuals and businesses. Our clients are located in Gaithersburg, Rockville, Clarksburg, and located around the country and overseas.

State Income Taxes

While our offices are in MD, we are qualified to prepare income tax returns in all states. If you move from one state to another you will likely have filing requirements in both states for the year of the move. Both spouses moving at different times complicates things. If you live in one state but have rental property or a small business in another state you will likely be liable to at least file in the non-resident state. You may or may not owe additional income tax, but most all states require a filing. Your resident state may grant a credit for some of the tax paid to the non-resident states. However, the rules vary state to state. Please consult with us regarding the specifics.

Audits & Examinations

No one likes the thought of being audited or examined by the Internal Revenue Service or a state agency. Audits are generally chosen based upon certain criteria in the given tax return. You don’t need to fear an audit if you have good records to support all the income and deductions claimed in the tax return. If you don’t have good records you should not claim the deduction in the first place. You should retain those records for at least 7 years following the given tax return.

Records Retention

People frequently asked “How long do I have to keep all this documentation?” There is no one perfect answer for all records and documentation. Some things you should keep indefinitely and some you can shred and dispose of relatively quickly. In the Downloads section of our website you can find our recommended records retention schedules for Individuals and Businesses. We are a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Montgomery County, Maryland.

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