IRS Reminds Truckers: For Most, Highway Use Tax Return is due Aug. 31
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded truckers and other owners of heavy highway vehicles that in most cases their next federal highway use tax return is due Monday, Aug. 31, 2015.
The deadline generally applies to Form 2290 and the accompanying tax payment for the tax year that begins July 1, 2015, and ends June 30, 2016. Returns must be filed and tax payments made by Aug. 31 for vehicles used on the road during July. For vehicles first used after July, the deadline is the last day of the month following the month of first use.
Though some taxpayers have the option of filing Form 2290 on paper, the IRS encourages all taxpayers to take advantage of the speed and convenience of filing this form electronically and paying any tax due electronically. Taxpayers reporting 25 or more vehicles must e-file. A list of IRS-approved e-file providers can be found on IRS.gov.
The highway use tax applies to highway motor vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. This generally includes trucks, truck tractors and buses. Ordinarily, vans, pick-ups and panel trucks are not taxable because they fall below the 55,000-pound threshold. The tax of up to $550 per vehicle is based on weight, and a variety of special rules apply, explained in the instructions to Form 2290.
Moving Expense Deduction
If you move your home you may be able to deduct the cost of the move on your federal tax return next year. This may apply if you move to start a new job or to work at the same job in a new location. In order to deduct your moving expenses, your move must meet three requirements:
1. Your move must closely relate to the start of work. In most cases, you can consider moving expenses within one year of the date you start work at a new job location. Additional rules apply to this requirement.
2. Your move must meet the distance test. Your new main job location must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your prior job location. For example, let’s say that your old job was three miles from your old home. To meet this test, your new job must be at least 53 miles from your old home.
3. You must meet the time test. You must work full-time at your new job for at least 39 weeks the first year after the move. If you’re self-employed, you must also meet this test. In addition you must work full-time for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first two years at the new job site. If your tax return is due before you meet the time test, you can still claim the deduction if you expect to meet it.
See Publication 521, Moving Expenses, for more information about the rules.
If you qualify for this deduction, here are a few more tips from the IRS:
- Travel. You can deduct certain transportation and lodging expenses while moving. This applies to costs for yourself and other household members while moving from your old home to your new home. You may not deduct your travel meal costs.
- Household goods and utilities. You can deduct the cost of packing, crating and shipping your property. This may include the cost to store or insure the items while in transit. You can deduct the cost to disconnect or connect utilities at your old and new homes.
- Expenses you can’t deduct. You may not deduct:
- Any part of the purchase price of your new home.
- The cost of selling your home.
- The cost of breaking or entering into a lease.
See Publication 521for more examples.
- Reimbursed expenses. If your employer later pays you for the cost of a move that you deducted on your tax return, you may need to include the payment as income. You must report any taxable amount on your tax return in the year you get the payment.
Address change. When you move, make sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Post Office. To notify the IRS, file Form 8822, Change of Address.
Second Pinellas County scam targeting Florida corporate filings emerges
Margie ManningPrint EditorTampa Bay Business Journal
Tampa Bay Business Journal | 2015-08-11T06:55:00-04:00
A Tallahassee judge has issued a temporary injunction against three Pinellas County companies accused of defrauding Florida businesses.
The Leon County Circuit Court judge also froze the assets of the three companies — United Business Services Inc., United Certificate Services Inc. and Corporate Filing Services of Florida.
Jeremy Bauer and Travis Smith, who both have Clearwater addresses, used the companies to operate three scams, according to a statement from Attorney General Pam Bondi. The companies are accused of selling free government-issued materials, overcharging for optional business certificates and misleading business owners into paying for unnecessary annual minutes, the statement said.
Last week, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Consumer Protection issued a warning against a St. Petersburg company, Division of Corporate Services, which officials said was behind a nationwide campaign to trick business owners into paying for unnecessary and meaningless corporate services.
There’s no immediate indication whether the two cases are linked.
Bondi’s office is still gathering information about the actions of United Business Services, United Certificate Services and Corporate Filing Services of Florida. Anyone who believes they were a victim of these scams or any other unfair or deceptive trade practices is asked to call (866) 9NO-SCAM.
If you paid for work-related expenses out of your own pocket, you may be able to deduct those costs. In most cases, you claim allowable expenses on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Here are six tax tips that you should know about this deduction.
1. Ordinary and Necessary. You can only deduct unreimbursed expenses that are ordinary and necessary to your work as an employee. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is appropriate and helpful to your business.
2. Expense Examples. Some costs that you may be able to deduct include:
- Required work clothes or uniforms that are not appropriate for everyday use.
- Supplies and tools you use on the job.
- Business use of your car.
- Business meals and entertainment.
- Business travel away from home.
- Business use of your home.
- Work-related education.
This list is not all-inclusive. Special rules apply if your employer reimbursed you for your expenses. To learn more, check out Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. You should also refer to Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.
3. Forms to Use. In most cases you report your expenses on Form 2106 or Form 2106-EZ. After you figure your allowable expenses, you then list the total on Schedule A as a miscellaneous deduction. You can deduct the amount that is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income.
4. Educator Expenses. If you are a K through 12 teacher or educator, you may be able to deduct up to $250 of certain expenses you paid for in 2014. These may include books, supplies, equipment, and other materials used in the classroom. You claim this deduction as an adjustment on your tax return, rather than as an itemized deduction. This deduction had expired at the end of 2013. A recent tax law extended it for one year, through Dec. 31, 2014. For more on this topic see Publication 529.
5. Keep Records. You must keep records to prove the expenses you deduct. For what records to keep, see Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.
With the May
15 filing deadline facing many tax-exempt organizations, the Internal Revenue
Service today cautioned these groups not to include Social Security numbers
(SSNs) or other unneeded personal information on their Form 990, and consider
taking advantage of the speed and convenience of electronic filing.
Form 990-series information returns and notices are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their tax year, making Thursday, May 15 the deadline for them to file for 2014.
Many Groups Risk Loss of Tax-Exempt Status
By law, organizations that fail to file annual reports for three consecutive years will see their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked as of the due date of the third required filing. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that most tax-exempt organizations file annual Form 990-series informational returns or notices with the IRS. The law, which went into effect at the beginning of 2007, also imposed a new annual filing requirement on small organizations. Churches and church-related organizations are not required to file annual reports.
No Social Security Numbers on 990s
The IRS generally does not ask organizations for SSNs and in the form instructions cautions filers not to provide them on the form. By law, both the IRS and most tax-exempt organizations are required to publicly disclose most parts of form filings, including schedules and attachments. Public release of SSNs and other personally identifiable information about donors, clients or benefactors could give rise to identity theft.
The IRS also urges tax-exempt organizations to file forms electronically in order to reduce the risk of inadvertently including SSNs or other unneeded personal information. Details are on IRS.gov.
Tax-exempt forms that must be made public by the IRS are clearly marked “Open to Public Inspection” in the top right corner of the first page. These include Form 990, 990-EZ, Form 990-PF and others.
What to File
Small tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts of $50,000 or less may file an electronic notice called a Form 990-N (e-Postcard), which asks organizations for a few basic pieces of information. Tax-exempt organizations with average annual receipts above $50,000 must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ depending on their receipts and assets. Private foundations file a Form 990-PF.
Organizations that need additional time to file a Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF may obtain an extension. Note that no extension is available for filing the Form 990-N (e-Postcard).
Check Tax-Exempt Status Online
The IRS publishes the names of organizations identified as having automatically lost their tax-exempt status for failing to file annual reports for three consecutive years. Organizations that have had their exemptions automatically revoked and wish to have that status reinstated must file an application for exemption and pay the appropriate user fee.
The IRS offers an online search tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check, to help users more easily find key information about the federal tax status and filings of certain tax-exempt organizations, including whether organizations have had their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked.