206 Pettit Avenue Bellmore, NY 11710

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tax Benefits for Members of the Military

May is National Military Appreciation Month!

The IRS wants you to know about the many tax benefits available to members of the military and their families.

  1. The Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program partners with the military to provide free tax preparation to service members and their families at bases in the USA and around the world.
  2.  If a service member prepares their own return the IRS provides free electronic filing using the IRS Free File program.
  3. Combat pay is partly or fully tax free.
  4. Service members stationed abroad have until June 15th to file their federal income tax return.  Those serving in a combat zone have even longer to file their returns.  They have until 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file.
  5. Eligible unreimbursed moving expenses are deductible.
  6. Reservists whose duties take them more than 100 miles from home can deduct their unreimbursed travel expenses even if they don’t itemize their deductions.
  7. Low and moderate income service members often qualify for additional tax benefits such the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  8.  Low and moderate income service members who contribute to an IRA can often claim the retirement savings contributions credit. 

Feel free to call our office to find out more information!

By: Chris Murphy, Senior Accounting Manager

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who Else Is Using Your Identity?

These days it seems like everyone knows someone who has had their credit card hacked, been scammed over the phone or computer.  Even the IRS is grappling with the issue of fraud and identity theft.  According to the IRS, identity theft tax refund fraud is its number one fraud.  This happens when someone steals an individual’s personal information, files a fraudulent tax return using someone else’s social security number and has the refund deposited into their own account.  Often, the victim is unaware of what happened until they try to file their own tax return.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Year-End Tax Tips

1.      Review your portfolio.  Consider taking a loss if you have substantial capital gains.

2.      Max out your retirement plan contributions.  2014 maximum IRA contribution is $5,500 (plus $1,000 if age 50 or over).  2014 maximum 401(k) contribution is $17,500 (plus $5,500 if age 50 or over).

3.      Consider contributing to a 529 Plan if you have children or grandchildren.  For example, New York allows a deduction up to $5,000 (or $10,000 for married filing joint filers) for contributions made by an account owner to an account belonging to New York’s 529 College Savings Plan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deduction Series: Job Hunt Expenses

Are you considering a new job in your current line of work?  If so, the costs associated with your job hunt may reduce your income taxes!

In order to qualify, expenses must be incurred while searching for a job in the field in which you are currently employed.  You may deduct job search costs that are in excess of 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), and you must itemize your deductions when you file your income tax return.

Among the costs you can deduct are:

Resume Costs – Includes the cost of preparing, printing and mailing your resume.

Placement Agency Fees – Includes agency fees you pay while looking for a job in same occupation.
Travel and Transportation Expenses – Includes expenses for travelling to a new area to look for a job in your current field.  The trip must be for the primary purpose of looking for a job.  You should track your time and make sure that your time was primarily devoted to your job search to ensure the travel costs qualify.   If you use the standard mileage rate to compute your auto expenses, the 2014 rate is 56 cents per mile.

Honorine M. Campisi, CPA

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Back to School: Study These College Tax Breaks!

If you or your dependents are attending college this fall, you may be eligible for some help from the government in the form of a tax credit.  Discussed below are the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the more limited Lifetime Learning Credit which are available for qualifying taxpayers who pay tuition and other college expenses for themselves or their dependents.  Also ask your CPA about a deduction for student loan interest paid during the year.  In addition, many states (including New York) offer college tuition credits or deduction from income, as well as tax deductions for contributions to qualified 529 plans.