Monday, August 31, 2015

Filing an Amended Tax Return

From Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith CPAs, here are the Internal Revenue Services' Top 10 Tax Tips about Filing an Amended Tax Return

We all make mistakes so don’t panic if you made one on your tax return. You can file an amended return if you need to fix an error. You can also amend your tax return if you forgot to claim a tax credit or deduction. Men with big dogs won't show up at your door if you goof, but here are some tips to help you handle this sort of thing.

1. When to amend.  You should amend your tax return if you need to correct your filing status, the number of dependents you claimed, or your total income. You should also amend your return to claim tax deductions or tax credits that you did not claim when you filed your original return. The instructions for Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, list more reasons to amend a return.

Note: If, as allowed by recent legislation, you plan to amend your tax year 2014 return to retroactively claim the Health Coverage Tax Credit, see IRS.Gov/HCTC first for more information.

2. When NOT to amend.  In some cases, you don’t need to amend your tax return. The IRS usually corrects math errors when processing your original return. If you didn’t include a required form or schedule, the IRS will send you a notice via U.S. mail about the missing item.

3. Form 1040X.  Use Form 1040X to amend a federal income tax return that you filed before. Make sure you check the box at the top of the form that shows which year you are amending. Since you can’t e-file an amended return, you’ll need to file your Form 1040X on paper and mail it to the IRS.

Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows amounts from the original return. Column B shows the net increase or decrease for the amounts you are changing. Column C shows the corrected amounts. You should explain what you are changing and the reasons why on the back of the form.

4. More than one year.  If you file an amended return for more than one year, use a separate 1040X for each tax year. Mail them in separate envelopes to the IRS. See "Where to File" in the instructions for Form 1040X for the address you should use.

5. Other forms or schedules.  If your changes have to do with other tax forms or schedules, make sure you attach them to Form 1040X when you file the form. If you don’t, this will cause a delay in processing.

6. Amending to claim an additional refund.  If you are waiting for a refund from your original tax return, don’t file your amended return until after you receive the refund. You may cash the refund check from your original return. Amended returns take up to 16 weeks to process. You will receive any additional refund you are owed.

7. Amending to pay additional tax.  If you’re filing an amended tax return because you owe more tax, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible. This will limit interest and penalty charges.

8. Corrected Forms 1095-A.  If you or anyone on your return enrolled in qualifying health care coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should have received a Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. You may have also received a corrected Form 1095-A. If you filed your tax return based on the original Form 1095-A, you do not need to file an amended return based on a corrected Form 1095-A.  This is true even if you would owe additional taxes based on the new information. However, you may choose to file an amended return.

In some cases, the information on the new Form 1095-A may lower the amount of taxes you owe or increase your refund.  You may also want to file an amended return if:

 You filed and incorrectly claimed a premium tax credit, or
 You filed an income tax return and failed to file Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, to reconcile your advance payments of the premium tax credit.
Before amending your return, if you received a letter regarding your premium tax credit or Form 8962 you should follow the instructions in the letter.

9. When to file.  To claim a refund file Form 1040X no more than three years from the date you filed your original tax return. You can also file it no more than two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later than the three-year rule.

10. Track your return.  You can track the status of your amended tax return three weeks after you file with “Where’s My Amended Return?” This tool is available on or by phone at 866-464-2050.

Still have questions? Contact Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith at (502) 896-2999.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Freshly released income statistics

The Internal Revenue Service today announced the availability of Statistics of Income—2013, Individual Income Tax Returns Complete Report (Publication 1304). U.S. taxpayers filed almost 147.4 million individual income tax returns for tax year 2013, up 1.7 percent from 2012. The adjusted gross income less deficit reported on these returns fell $6.5 billion, which is a 0.1-percent decrease from the prior year.

The report is based on a sample drawn from the 147.4 million individual income tax returns filed for tax year 2013 and provides estimates on sources of income, adjusted gross income, exemptions, deductions, taxable income, income tax, modified income tax, tax credits, self-employment tax, and tax payments.

Classifications include tax status, size of adjusted gross income, marital status, age, and type of tax computation.

Other interesting stats include:

  • High-Income Tax Returns for 2012. For 2012, there were more than 5 million individual income tax returns with an income of $200,000 or more, accounting for almost 4 percent of all returns for the year. The total number of returns with incomes of $200,000 or more increased by almost 12 percent compared to the total number of returns at that income level for 2011.
  • Foreign-Controlled Domestic Corporations, 2012. Although foreign-controlled domestic corporations made up just over one percent of all corporate Federal income tax returns filed for tax year 2012, they accounted for about 16 percent of all corporate receipts – $4.7 trillion and held more than 14 percent of corporate assets – about $12.3  trillion. 
If you'd like to learn more about these or any other tax-related subjects, contact Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith at (502) 896-2999 or visit us online at

Monday, August 24, 2015

Taypayer Bill of Rights

If you've never seen this before, it's certainly worth reviewing again as we plow our way toward 4th Quarter. Brought to you by the tax professionals at Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. Know your rights and understand the nation's obligations to protect them.

The Right to Be Informed
Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.

The Right to Quality Service
Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard
Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.

The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.

The Right to Finality
Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

The Right to Privacy
Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.

The Right to Confidentiality
Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. Taxpayers have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information.

The Right to Retain Representation
Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.

The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith at 502-896-2999.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Is your small business growing?

That's the thing about small business. It's either growing or its dying!
If you're among the lucky ones - we all know it isn't just "luck" - your accounting needs are going to be changing as quickly as your business is growing.
That's why you should seek out the advice of one of Louisville's leading accounting firms, Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith.
They can help you plan the right financial strategies you're going to need to make sure your business is ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
Do something good for your business. Call Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith today. 502-896-2999.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Health Care Law Tax Provisions in Video

Employers and health coverage providers now have access to recorded webinars from IRS about the Affordable Care Act’s employer provisions and related tax requirements. If you are a business owner, tax manager, employee benefits manager, or health coverage provider, you can access and review these videos anytime to better understand how the health care law may affect your organization.

Each of the following ACA videos on the IRS Video Portal provides about 40 minutes of detailed information on the specific tax provision mentioned in the title.

Learn about determining applicable large employer status, payments, and transition relief for 2015.

Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage Information Reporting Requirements for Applicable Large Employers (37 minutes)
Learn about employer-sponsored health coverage information reporting requirements for applicable large employers, including:

  • who is required to report
  • what information the law requires you to report
  • how to complete the required forms

Information Reporting Requirements for Providers of Minimum Essential Coverage (35 minutes)
Learn about the information reporting requirements for providers of minimum essential coverage, including employers that provide self-insured coverage.  Learn about:

  • who is required to report
  • what information the law requires you to report
  • how to complete the required forms

View the recorded webinars in the IRS Video Portal using one of the following tabs: Businesses, Tax Professionals, Governments and Non-Profits. After clicking on one of these tabs, simply select “Affordable Care Act” from the list of topics on the left side of the screen, and you will see a list of recordings about these and other ACA topics.

In addition to videos about the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act on the IRS Video Portal, there is a wide range of videos on other tax topics for individuals, businesses and tax professionals.

For more information about the Affordable Care Act visit or call your Louisville Tax Professionals at Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith, PLLC at 502-896-2999.

Friday, August 14, 2015

IRS's Summertime Tax Tips

Straight from the horse's mouth - assuming the IRS is the horse - on this beautiful Friday in the Bluegrass State! If you owe tax, the IRS offers safe and easy ways to pay. Check with Neikirk, Mahoney & Smith CPAs at 502-896-2999 if you have questions or need any help.

Summertime tax payment tips:

  • Pay your tax bill.  If you get a bill, you should pay it as soon as you can. You should always try to pay in full to avoid any additional charges. See if you can use your credit card or to get a loan to pay in full. If you can’t pay in full, you’ll save if you pay as much as you can. The more you can pay, the less interest and penalties you will owe for late payment. The IRS offers several payment options on 
  • Use IRS Direct Pay.  The best way to pay your taxes is with IRS Direct Pay. It’s the safe, easy and free way to pay from your checking or savings account. You can pay your tax in just five simple steps in one online session. Just click on the “Payment” tab on You can now use Direct Pay with the IRS2Go mobile app.
  • Get a short-term payment plan.  If you owe more tax than you can pay, you may qualify for more time, up to 120 days, to pay in full. You do not have to pay a user fee to set up a short-term full payment agreement. However, the IRS will charge interest and penalties until you pay in full. It’s easy to apply online at If you get a bill from the IRS, you may call the phone number listed on it. If you don’t have a bill, call 800-829-1040 for help.
  • Apply for an installment agreement.  Most people who need more time to pay can apply for an Online Payment Agreement on A direct debit payment plan is the hassle-free way to pay. The set-up fee is much less than other plans and you won’t miss a payment. If you can’t apply online, or prefer to do so in writing, use Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. Individuals can use Direct Pay to make their installment payments. For more about payment plan options, visit
  • Check out an offer in compromise.  An offer in compromise, or OIC, may let you settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. An OIC may be an option if you can’t pay your tax in full. It may also apply if full payment will cause a financial hardship. Not everyone qualifies, so make sure you explore all other ways to pay your tax before you submit an OIC to the IRS. Use the OIC Pre-Qualifier tool to see if you qualify. It will also tell you what a reasonable offer might be.
  • Change your withholding or estimated tax.  If you are an employee, you can avoid a tax bill by having more taxes withheld from your pay. To do this, file a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer. The IRS Withholding Calculator tool on can help you fill out the form. If you are self-employed you may need to make or change your estimated tax payments. See Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals for learn more.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

IRS Offers Tips for Starting a New Business

When you start a business, a key to your success is to know your tax obligations. You may need to not only know about tax rules but also on rules payroll tax.

Here are five tips IRS tax that can help make your business off to a good start.

Business structure. Need early to decide what type of structure will choose for your business.

Business tax. There are four general types of business taxes. These are: income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise duties. In most cases, the types of taxes you pay your business depends on the type of business structure that you set. You may have to make payments of estimated taxes. If you do, use IRS Direct Pay to pay. It's fast, easy and secure way to pay for your checking or savings account so.

Employer Identification Number (EIN). You may need to get an EIN for federal tax purposes. Visit to find out if you need it and to apply online.

Method of accounting. An accounting method is a set of rules used to determine when to report income and expenses. You must use a consistent method. The two most common are the cash method and accrual method. Under the cash method, you generally report income and expenses deducted in the year they are received or paid. Under the accrual method, you generally report income and deduct expenses in the year in which the gains or incurred. This is true even if the income is earned or paid the expense in a year later.

Employee health care. The health tax credit for small businesses helps small businesses and tax-exempt organizations to pay for the health care coverage they offer their employees. A small employer is eligible for the credit if you have fewer than 25 employees working full time, or a combination of full time and part time. The maximum credit is 50 percent of the premiums paid by small business employers and 35 percent of premiums paid by small tax-exempt employers such as charities.

The provisions of the shared responsibility of the employer of the Health Care Act Affordable affect employers who employ at least a certain number of employees (usually 50 full-time employees or a combination of full- and time partial). These employers are called large employers applicable (ALE).

ALEs must offer minimum essential coverage for full-time employees (and their dependents), or potentially make a payment dela shared responsibility of the employer to the IRS. The vast majority of employers fall under the threshold number of employees of ALE and, therefore, not subject to the provisions of shared responsibility of employers.

Employers also have the responsibility to report the information in relation to the minimum essential coverage offered or provided to full-time employees. Employers must send reports to employees and the IRS about new forms that the IRS created for this purpose.

Get all the tax bases of starting a business on in the Small Business Center and the Center for self-employment taxes.

IRS Removes Automatic W2 Extensions

The Internal Revenue Service has issued final and temporary regulations removing the automatic 30-day extension of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series, with the exception of Form W-2G, in an effort to combat tax-related identity theft, starting in 2017, according to an article in Accounting Today by Michael Cohn.

They are doing this to fight identity theft.

If you'd like to read the entire article, click here.