While a pair of Senators may have been instrumental in ending the Social Security Administration’s policy of seizing taxpayer’s refunds for decades of SSA errors that led to overpayment of benefits, even to the parents of the taxpayer’s, the law allowing the seizures still remains as a law.

These seizures are possible because of a provision in the 2008 Farm Bill, which allowed the SSA to pursue claims owed to it for overpayments beyond what had previously been a ten (10) year statute of limitations on collections for debts owed to the government for debts, even IRS debts, that were ten (10) or more years old. However, it appears that the wording in the 2008 Farm Bill has effectively repealed the Statute of Limitations on Collections or the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED).

Every taxpayer who is under the impression that their decade old debt to the IRS is no longer enforceable, is in for a rude awakening. While the IRS may not hunt the taxpayer down to collect the old debt, the taxpayer’s refund on the current year tax return is fair game and will most likely be taken before the taxpayer even has a chance to touch the IRS check. So, do not spend that refund before you have it in your hands.

The 2008 Farm Bill was over 500 pages in length and the provision repealing the Statute of Limitations on Collections was most likely slipped in and over looked by the Congressmen and Senators voting this Bill into law. Who would think that a Farm Bill about farm animals would contain such a sweeping provision that would allow government collectors to run amok collecting decade’s old debts, even if the taxpayer did not owe the debt?

Every taxpayer in America should contact their Congressmen and Senators to ask for a Technical Correction to the 2008 Farm Bill Act removing the language in the Bill that would allow for the seizing of refunds for any debt which is ten (10) years old of older. Do it today, before a refund that you are expecting is seized by the IRS.

Advertisements

WASHINGTON, DC, (February 10, 2014) The IRS has announced a new, simplified method for determining the in-home office deduction that doesn’t require extensive record keeping, and a lot of people are looking forward to giving it a try. Sure, it’s easier than using the time-consuming “actual expense method” to determine the amount you can deduct for the business use of your home, but is it right for you?

Qualified business use of a portion of the home generally means:
• Exclusive and regular use as the main place where you conduct your business, or meet with customers, clients or patients.
• Regular use as a storage area for merchandise you sell, or product samples, if your home is the only place you conduct your business.
• Regular use in providing daycare services for children, the elderly or disabled persons.

The new optional deduction is a simple $5 per square foot of business use up to 300 square feet, for a maximum deduction of $1500. Period. If you choose to use the new simpler option, you can still deduct the full amount of your mortgage interest and property taxes as itemized deductions, without worrying about calculating the percentage based on the business use portion of the home. You won’t have to be concerned with tallying up the direct or indirect costs of utilities, repairs or maintenance expenses, either.

But, don’t be too quick to throw away the calculator until you determine if the simpler deduction is the best one for your situation. Cynthia Jeanguenat, EA, a federally licensed enrolled agent and tax specialist with Horizons Unlimited Tax and Business Services in Virginia Beach, VA is not touting the simplified method to her longtime clients. “We don’t want them to stop keeping track of their expenses! I compare this simplified office-in-home deduction to business vehicle expenses. If a taxpayer keeps good records, and uses their vehicle more than 50 percent for business, then it’s possible the actual vehicle expenses will exceed the standard mileage deduction; but if a taxpayer does not keep records for the maintenance, gas, repairs and insurance, but does record the business miles driven during the year, then they can take the standard cents-per-mile deduction. That may not be the better deduction, but if they don’t keep records, then that may be all they can qualify for.”

Jeanguenat feels the same about the office-in-home deduction of $1500. “If a taxpayer keeps good records, chances are they will get a better deduction using their percentage of actual expenses. If they keep few records, then the $5 per square foot may be their best choice.”

The simplified method took effect January 1, 2013. Taxpayers can elect to use the simplified method or standard method for any tax year. However, once you have elected a method for a tax year, you cannot later change to the other method for that same year. You may, however, use the simplified method for one taxable year and the standard method for a later taxable year. The simplified method doesn’t require you to file the form 8829 needed for the standard deduction. More information on the new home office rules is available on IRS.gov, search for Home Office FAQs.

About Enrolled Agents
Enrolled agents (EAs) are America’s tax experts. They are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. While attorneys and certified public accountants are also licensed, only enrolled agents specialize exclusively in taxes. Enrolled agents are required to complete many hours of continuing education each year to ensure they are up-to-date on the constantly changing tax code and must abide by a code of ethics.

Tax Predictions for 2014

March 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC, (February 19, 2014) With Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) moving on to become US Ambassador to China, last year’s expectations for tax reform are out the window. The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), the association that represents the federally licensed tax practitioners who hold the highest credential awarded by the IRS, has released some prognostications for 2014.

1) The budget cuts Congress imposed on the IRS mean bad news for taxpayers. Levels of service at IRS, which weren’t that great anyway, will continue to deteriorate for taxpayers seeking answers and for tax professionals seeking assistance in representing clients in audits and collection actions. As National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said in her Annual Report to Congress, “If you are a tax professional trying to resolve a problem for a client, you have a 20-minute wait on the line inaptly named ‘Practitioner Priority Service.’”

2) Largely as a result of 1), the number of taxpayers paying to have their returns prepared will hit an all-time record high. Taxpayers are smart – they’re going to HIRE someone to spend the afternoon on hold with the IRS.

3) Identity theft losses will continue to grow: fraudulent filers will file early and walk away with other people’s refunds and phony emails from IRS will lure naïve taxpayers to sites where they will disclose personal and financial information. The agency will continue to siphon staff from other areas to assist affected taxpayers, yet any taxpayer hit with an ID theft related problem will face long delays in resolving the issue (see 1)).

4) Silver lining: the IRS back office will deliver the filing season. The agency will make its projected refund turnaround time (90 percent of refunds issued within 21 days of filing) and returns will be processed free of software troubles.

Meeting the Tax Deadline

March 16, 2014

How to Forge Ahead without the Documents You’ve Been Waiting For

Washington, DC (March 10, 2014)—Penalties for late filing of tax returns can be harsh, but what can you do if you haven’t received the information you need from your employer or others? If you are waiting for your Form W-2, mortgage interest statement, 1099 DIV or other documents that are necessary to complete your tax forms, it’s in your best interest to take action. IRS does not accept “failure to receive documents” as an excuse for failure to file.

 

If you haven’t received your W-2 form by January 31, it’s time to contact your employer. If it’s still not in your hands by February 14, you can turn to Uncle Sam for assistance. The IRS will be standing by to assist you at 800.829.1040 on that date and beyond. Before you make the call, be sure you have the following information at the ready: your Social Security number, dates of employment and your employer’s name, address and phone number. IRS will not only contact your employer, but it will also send you a Form 4852 (a substitute Form W-2) to fill out in case you don’t receive the Form W-2 in time to make the tax deadline.

 

In the old days, when the necessary tax documents didn’t arrive there was no choice but to call your financial institution and spend what seemed like an eternity waiting on hold to speak to a customer service representative about retrieving the missing document. The Internet has changed all that by allowing banks and mortgage lenders to post this information online. After you’ve established an online user name and password, most banks and mortgage lenders make the tax information you need available to you on their websites. Even if you accidentally tossed out some important tax documents along with the junk mail, you can easily access the numbers you need for your tax return.

 

If you find you just can’t get the documentation together in time, another option is filing an extension. This will delay your filing deadline until October 15, 2014. With the penalty for not filing a tax return or an extension a stiff five percent per month up to a maximum of 25 percent of the amount of tax due on the late-filed return, filing an extension is well worth the effort. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to file an extension for your state tax return.

 

Please note: taxpayers should not confuse the extra six months the extension provides for filing with a postponement on paying. You’ll still need to estimate the taxes you may owe and submit that amount prior to April 15, 2014 along with Form 4868. To avoid paying a penalty, you must pay at least 90 percent of what you estimate you owe, or 100 percent of your 2013 tax liability. If you don’t pay in full, you’ll wind up owing annual interest on the liability not covered.

 

Filing a tax return can be daunting and stressful without the advice and guidance of a tax expert. Enrolled agents are the only federally licensed tax practitioners with unlimited rights of representation before the IRS.

TIGTA’S JOB IS TO REVIEW ALL AREAS OF THE IRS TAX ADMINISTRATION AND PROVIDE SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT TO AVOID WASTE. 

DUE TO FINANCIAL RESTRAINTS, THE IRS IS STRUGGLING TO ANSWER TAXPAYER PHONE CALLS, WHICH IS THE PRIMARY RESOURCE MOST TAXPAYERS USE TO CONTACT THE IRS TO RESOLVE THEIR TAX ISSUES. THE IRS ANNOUNCED PLANS TO IMPROVE THE WAIT TIME FROM 14 MINUTES TO 12 MINUTES IN 2014.

 

THE CORRESPONDENCE INVENTORY OF THE IRS INCREASED BY 330 PERCENT FROM FY 2010 TO FY 2014, WHICH MEANS ALL THE LETTERS TAXPAYER’S SENT TO THE IRS WERE NOT ANSWERED OR TOOK MONTHS AND MONTHS OR EVEN YEARS TO GET A RESPONSE.

 

IN 2014, THE IRS DECIDED TO NO LONGER PREPARE TAX RETURNS, PROVIDE TRANSCRIPTS OR PROVIDE TAXPAYER’S WITH THE STATUS OF THEIR TAX REFUNDS. ONLY BASIC QUESTIONS ARE NOW BEING ANSWERED BY TELEPHONE ASSISTORS.

 

TAXPAYER’S VICTIMIZED BY IDENTITY THEFT ARE ON THE RISE.  SAMPLING OF 100 CASES REVEIWED BY TIGTA, TOOK THE IRS AN AVERAGE OF 312 DAYS TO RESOLVE THE CASE AND AN AVERAGE OF 277 DAYS FOR WHERE NO WORK WAS PERFORMED AT ALL TO RESOLVE THE CASE.

 

ANOTHER AREA OF THE IRS IN DECLINE ARE IMPROPER PAYMENTS. ACCORDING TO “THE IMPROPER PAYMENTS INFORMATION ACT OF 2002”, THE IRS AND ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES WERE SUPPOSE TO ESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF IMPROPER PAYMENTS WERE MADE EACH YEAR AND WHAT STEPS WERE TAKEN TO REDUCE IMPROPER PAYEMENTS. THE METHOD USED BY THE IRS FOR RISH ASSESSMENTS, WAS FLAWED. AS A RESULT THE ONLY AREA THE IRS HAS TRULY COMPARTMENTALIZED AS HIGH RISK IS THE EARNED INCOME TAX (EITC) PROGRAM. THERE HAS BEEN MORE PRESSURE ON TAX PREPARERS TO PROVE DUE DELIGENCE WITH REGARD TO RETURN REPORTING AND DOCUMENTS PROVING THE ELIGIBILITY OF DEPENDENTS FOR EITC.  EVEN WITH THE ADDED SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE, THE ESTIMATES REPORT IMPROPER PAYMENTS FOR EITC ROSE FROM $13 BILLION TO $15 BILLION IN FY 2013.

 

IN SEPTEMBER 2013, TIGTA REPORTED THAT IDENTITY THEFT HAD SIGNIFICANTLY RISEN AND THERE WAS AN INCREASE IN FILTERS TO PREVENT $2.5 BILLION IN FRAUDULENT TAX REFUNDS. EVEN WITH THOSE EFFORTS, THAT IS A 157 PERCENT INCREASE OVER THE NUMBER THE IRS LOCATED IN 2012.  THE IRS EXPANDED EFFORTS TO PUT LOCKS ON THE ACCOUNTS OF DECEASED TAXPAYER ACCOUNTS BY USING THE SS NUMBERS VERIFIED WITH THE SS ADMINISTRATION.

 

IN JANUARY 2O13, THE IRS STARTED A NEW PROGRAM WHERE BANKS WERE ALLOWED TO REJECT DIRECT DEPOSIT REFUNDS BASED ON MISMATCHES BETWEEN THE ACCOUNT NAME AND THE NAMES ON THE TAX RETURN. THAT HELD UP THE TAXPAYER’S REFUNDS WHILE BEING REROUTED BACK TO THE IRS FOR VERIFICATION.

 

TIGTA INVESTIGATED NUMEROUS IRS EMPLOYEES AS WELL AS TAX PREPARER’S WHO MISUSED THEIR POSITIONS OF PUBLIC TRUST AND COMMITED IDENITY THEFT RELATED REFUND FRAUD.  IN FEBRUARY 2013, THE DEPARTEMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCED AN INVESTIGATION IN 32 STATES AND PUERTO RICO TO STOP IDENITY THEFT.  

 

IT IS BEST TO SEEK THE ADVICE OF A QUALIFIED TAX PROFESSIONAL LIKE AN ENROLLED AGENT, PARTICULARLY SPECIALIZING IN THE AREA OF TAX CONTROVERSY. WHEN YOU CAN’T GET AN ANSWER TO WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR TAX REFUND. IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT YOU WILL HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME GETTING AN ANSWER DIRECLTY FROM THE IRS, SINCE THEY ARE NOT ANSWERING THEIR MAIL QUICKLY AND PROPER TRAINING OF ASSISTORS IS ALSO DOWN. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE NOTICED AND WILL CONTINUE TO REAP FOR MANY MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME.

If you or your business are former clients of Taxmaster’s or J.K. Harris and feel you have no place else to turn, we can HELP.  We are REDD & GREAVES, P.C. a small local tax controversy firm located in Houston, Texas at 4801 Woodway, Suite 300 East, Houston, Texas  77056.  Yes, we have a brick and mortar location, so we are NOT just a voice over the phone.  While REDD & GREAVES, P.C. may be small, we can do what Taxmaster’s or J.K. Harris can do, as well, if not better.  Collis Redd and Janet Greaves actually work our cases and earn our retainer and have been doing so for the last thirty (30) years that we have been in practice.

REDD & GREAVES, P.C. has an excellent reputation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  Our website, at www. rhgeas.com, contains a few representative testimonials of our many satisfied Clients.  If you would like for us to start from where Taxmaster’s or J.K. Harris left off and proceed to resolve your problems with the I.R.S., please give us a complimentary, no obligation hour of your time so that we may have the opportunity to tell you what we can do for you, individually or your business, to make you one of our many relieved and happy Clients.

Please call (713) 947-9666 at your earliest convenience to talk to Collis Redd.

THANK YOU,

 

C. COLLIS REDD, EA

PRESIDENT AND CEO

Info@rhgeas.com

WASHINGTON, DC (February 16, 2011)—A recent informal poll of Enrolled Egents (Federally-Licensed Tax Practitioners) revealed many common misconceptions among taxpayers. At the top of the list were:

“I had a really big loss in the stock market this year, so I won’t owe any income taxes.” Deduction of capital losses against ordinary income is limited to $3,000. Also incorrect: “I traded some stocks and have a loss/didn’t make any money, so there’s no need to report those sales.”

“They paid me in cash and I don’t have to report that, right?” If it’s income, you must report it.

“I’m too young/too old to have to pay taxes.” Even your dependent high schooler has to file a return after earning income over $5,700. And, Uncle Sam may still be interested in your return after you’re dead. A personal representative of the decedent is required to file a tax return and the estate tax when due.

“If I didn’t receive a document about it, it’s not taxable.” A good preparer will provide you with a checklist that reveals missing documents, but too often taxpayers who are preparing their own returns or dealing with an unlicensed preparer will fail to include important information simply because they missed something in the mail, or because the document was never mailed.
 
“Income earned in a foreign country is not taxable.” Taxpayers are required to report all earned income to IRS, no matter where it was earned.

“You don’t have to report gambling income, and besides, I lost.” Gambling losses do not net out against income. For the non-professional gambler, income goes on page one of Form 1040; the losses go on Schedule A and are not subject to the 2% floor, but cannot be greater than the winnings. Therefore, the “net” sheets many casinos provide individual taxpayers are worthless.

“Income from my hobby can’t be taxable.” The operative word here is “income.” It’s taxable.

One of this year’s widest-spread misconceptions came in the wake of the IRS announcement that employers must now report medical insurance paid for employees. Duped by a viral email, taxpayers across the country mistakenly believe that medical insurance must now be reported as income and taxed. Not true. The expense will be reported on the W-2, and not added to income.

Finally, a lot of taxpayers hold misconceptions regarding paid preparers. The notion that all tax preparers do is fill out forms neglects the real value of a paid preparer: they keep up with myriad tax laws and regulations and have the expertise to know how to apply these rules for your benefit. And, no matter who prepares your taxes, you are the one who is legally responsible for what’s on your return, making it a doubly good idea to hire a licensed preparer. This brings us to one more misconception: that all return preparers are federally licensed. In fact, the only federally-licensed tax practitioners are Enrolled Agents (EAs), who must pass competency testing and a background check and complete annual continuing education requirements. To find an EA in your area, go to the “Find an Enrolled Agent” directory at www.naea.org.

About the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA): NAEA is a non-profit membership organization composed of tax specialists licensed by the US Department of the Treasury.  C. Collis Redd, EA and Janet N. Greaves, EA of REDD & GREAVES, P.C. are members of NAEA.  Both Mr. Redd and Ms. Greaves have passed a sixteen (16) hour exam administered by the IRS for the Department of the Treasury and proudly carry the EA credentials designating Collis and Janet as tax experts and licensing Mr. Redd and Ms. Greaves to practice in all areas of administrative tax law.

NBC Tax Hotline

This morning at 8:30 am CST, NAEA Panel of Experts Answered Tax Questions on the Today Show.  
NAEA’s segment on this morning’s The Today Show was more successful than ever and have shown interest in making this a yearly feature. Members of the expert panel are members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, Frank Degen, EA, USTCP; Sherrill Gregory, EA, USTCP; Jennifer MacMillan, EA; Sandra Martin, EA; David Mellem, EA; Diana Molina, EA; Jack Wood, EA; Ray LaLuna, EA and David Hatt, EA, president of NAEA.
Early estimates are that the panel of EA’s answered over 500 questions in a two hour period of time and NBC is already talking about next year. The panel answered difficult questions spontanously and NBC was overwhelmed by the number of email questions they received during the piece. Impressed by the Enrolled Agents’ expertise, they asked for the help of  the NAEA’s members to answer the emailed questions.
NBC Today Show hit a home run with this featured segment. If you have not seen the segment, cut and paste the link below in your brower and the piece will run after a few minutes.
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/29989285#29989285
 
Janet N. Greaves, EA
Redd & Greaves, P.C. 

Recently, a former client of Tax Masters came to our office for help to resolve their IRS tax matter and told us to check Ripoff Reports. We were surprised to find that so many clients of Tax Masters are disgruntled. At this point, we can only hope those who see this posting will contact us to give us an opportunity to help them end their IRS nightmare. We stand ready to serve those who will give us the chance. Even though, we do not have their Tax Masters file, there are ways to find out the status of a case with IRS.

 

 

We have experienced taxpayers looking for a change of tax professionals. It takes an initial meeting or telephone conference with us to determine what progress has been made on their case and what needs to be done to see the matter to conclusion. Understandably, people are mad at having paid money and feeling nothing was done, but we will able to get past that.  They will need to obtain the necessary funds for us to continue the work and see the IRS problem matter to ultimate resolution.

 

Since we have done this before, we are quite certain that we can help. For tax practitioners who have not done this before, it might seem overwhelming to pick up a case in the middle and know what has happened in the past and know what needs to be done in the future to bring the matter to a successful close. Because we have done this before, and, therefore, have experience, its not so overwhelming and we welcome the opportunity.

 

We realize that former clients of Tax Masters feel that they have been “burned” and would certainly want to check out anyone they deal with in the future. We welcome that scrutiny. The President and CEO of Redd & Greaves, P.C. has been representing taxpayers in tax controversy matters for 30 years. In that period of time hundreds of clients have been served and the BBB record for Redd & Greaves, P.C. shows only one complaint. The one person who filed a complaint with BBB has also posted a complaint at this website, Ripoff Report. In thirty years of practice, one person retained us with every intention of allowing us to complete the work and then sue us for a refund of his retainer by claiming he never signed the engagement agreement and never intended to do so. However, we think our record of thirty years with one complaint speaks for itself. We are proud of that record.

 

If the former clients of Tax Masters can find one BBB compliant within acceptable limits, we welcome you to contact us for an opportunity to discuss your IRS problems in a no obligation meeting or telephone conference. We are licensed to represent taxpayers in every state in the U.S.A., so no matter where you are we can help.

 

There is life after the IRS and we would like to help you get there. We have many satisfied clients that are sleeping well at night because their IRS matters are behind them.

 

We welcome you to check out our website at www.rhgeas.com for more information about us, biographies on the shareholders and a map to our location. Also, you may check our blog at reddgreavespc@wordpress.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

C. Collis Redd, EA

President & CEO

Redd & Greaves, P.C.

8866 Gulf Freeway, Suite #340

Houston, TX  77017

 

Office phone: (713) 947-9666

Office fax: (713) 947-7753

Email: info@rhgeas.com

 

 

Recently, a former client of JK Harris came to our office for help to resolve their IRS tax matter and told us to check Ripoff Reports. We were surprised to find that so many clients of JK Harris are disgruntled. At this point, we can only hope those who see this posting will contact us to give us an opportunity to help them end their IRS nightmare. We stand ready to serve those who will give us the chance. Even though, we do not have their JK Harris file, there are ways to find out the status of a case with IRS.

 

 

We have experienced taxpayers looking for a change of tax professionals. It takes an initial meeting or telephone conference with us to determine what progress has been made on their case and what needs to be done to see the matter to conclusion. Understandably, people are mad at having paid money and feeling nothing was done, but we will able to get past that.  They will need to obtain the necessary funds for us to continue the work and see the IRS problem matter to ultimate resolution.

 

Since we have done this before, we are quite certain that we can help. For tax practitioners who have not done this before, it might seem overwhelming to pick up a case in the middle and know what has happened in the past and know what needs to be done in the future to bring the matter to a successful close. Because we have done this before, and, therefore, have experience, its not so overwhelming and we welcome the opportunity.

 

We realize that former clients of JK Harris feel that they have been “burned” and would certainly want to check out anyone they deal with in the future. We welcome that scrutiny. The President and CEO of Redd & Greaves, P.C. has been representing taxpayers in tax controversy matters for 30 years. In that period of time hundreds of clients have been served and the BBB record for Redd & Greaves, P.C. shows only one complaint. The one person who filed a complaint with BBB has also posted a complaint at this website, Ripoff Report. In thirty years of practice, one person retained us with every intention of allowing us to complete the work and then sue us for a refund of his retainer by claiming he never signed the engagement agreement and never intended to do so. However, we think our record of thirty years with one complaint speaks for itself. We are proud of that record.

 

If the former clients of JK Harris can find one BBB compliant within acceptable limits, we welcome you to contact us for an opportunity to discuss your IRS problems in a no obligation meeting or telephone conference. We are licensed to represent taxpayers in every state in the U.S.A., so no matter where you are we can help.

 

There is life after the IRS and we would like to help you get there. We have many satisfied clients that are sleeping well at night because their IRS matters are behind them.

 

We welcome you to check out our website at www.rhgeas.com for more information about us, biographies on the shareholders and a map to our location. Also, you may check our blog at reddgreavespc@wordpress.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

C. Collis Redd, EA

President & CEO

Redd & Greaves, P.C.

8866 Gulf Freeway, Suite #340

Houston, TX  77017

 

Office phone: (713) 947-9666

Office fax: (713) 947-7753

Email: info@rhgeas.com