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IRS Tax Tip 2013-10 Missing Your W-2? Here’s What to Do

It’s a good idea to have all your tax documents together before preparing your 2012 tax return. You will need your W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, which employers should send by the end of January. Give it two weeks to arrive by mail.

If you have not received your W-2, follow these three steps:

1. Contact your employer first. Ask your employer – or former employer – to send your W-2 if it has not already been sent. Make sure your employer has your correct address.

2. Contact the IRS. After February 14, you may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you have not yet received your W-2. Be prepared to provide your name, address, Social Security number and phone number. You should also have the following information when you call:

• Your employer’s name, address and phone number;

• Your employment dates; and

• An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld in 2012, based upon your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if available.

3. File your return on time. You should still file your tax return on or before April 15, 2013, even if you have not yet received your W-2. File Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, in place of the W-2. Use the form to estimate your income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. The IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information.

If you need more time to file you can get a six-month extension of time. File Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return. If you are requesting an extension, you must file this form on or before April 15, 2013.

If you receive the missing W-2 after filing your tax return and the information on the W-2 is different from what you reported using Form 4852, then you must correct your tax return. File Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to amend your tax return.

IRS Tax Tip 2013-06: How to Get IRS Forms and Publications

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IRS Tax Tips February 4, 2013

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The Internal Revenue Service provides free tax forms and publications on a wide variety of topics – from tax credits for individuals to a tax guide for small businesses.
Here are four easy ways to obtain tax forms and publications from the IRS:
On the Internet. You can get IRS forms and instructions quickly and easily by visiting the IRS.gov website 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They often appear online before they are available on paper. To view and download tax products, select “Forms and Pubs.”

By Telephone. Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time to order current or prior year forms and instructions or IRS publications. Hours of service in Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific Time. You will receive your order by mail, usually within 7 to 10 days.

In IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. There are Taxpayer Assistance Centers located across the country where you can pick up many IRS forms and publications. IRS offices also offer face-to-face help for taxpayers who want personal tax assistance.

To find the Center nearest to you, visit IRS.gov and click on “Help & Resources” and then “Contact Your Local IRS Office.” Select your state for a list of offices, as well as a list of services available at each office. You can also find a Center near you by using the “Office Locator” link, which allows you to search by using your zip code.

In Your Community. Many libraries and post offices offer free tax forms during the tax filing season. Some libraries also have copies of commonly requested IRS publications.

For additional information about free IRS tax products and services, see Publication 2053A, Quick and Easy Access to IRS Tax Help and Forms, and Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services.

Additional IRS Resources:

IRS Forms & Publications
Contact Your Local IRS Office
IRS Office Locator tool
Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services (PDF)
Publication 2053A, Quick and Easy Access to IRS Tax Help and Forms (PDF)
IRS YouTube Videos:
How to Get 1040 Forms – English | Spanish | ASL
IRS Tax Forms and Publications – English | Spanish | ASL
IRS Podcasts:
How to Get 1040 Forms – English | Spanish
Tax Forms and Publications – English | Spanish

Another Dreaded IRS Reporting Requirement Gets Interim Guidance Today. Health Coverage Reporting Requirement on Form W2

obama postcard

IRS

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

Well here it is, guidance on more reporting requirements.  If you are an employer providing health insurance coverage for your employees, Good For You.  And….. now the IRS wants to track it.  So add this to the long list of other reporting requirements dear business owners.  If you file 250 or more W2’s, starting in 2012 you will need to report employee health insurance premiums on Form w2.  Employers with less than 250 W2’s are exempt until further notice.  I guess there is always a small sliver of a silver lining.


WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued interim guidance to employers on informational reporting on each employee’s annual Form W-2 of the cost of the health insurance coverage they sponsor for employees. The IRS is also requesting comments on this interim guidance. The IRS emphasized that this new reporting to employees is for their information only, to inform them of the cost of their health coverage, and does not cause excludable employer-provided health coverage to become taxable; employer-provided health coverage continues to be excludable from an employee’s income, and is not taxable.

The Affordable Care Act provides that employers are required to report the cost of employer-provided health care coverage on the Form W-2. Notice 2010-69, issued last fall, made this requirement optional for all employers for the 2011 Forms W-2 (generally furnished to employees in January 2012). In today’s guidance, the IRS provided further relief for smaller employers (those filing fewer than 250 W-2 forms) by making this requirement optional for them at least for 2012 (i.e., for 2012 Forms W-2 that generally would be furnished to employees in January 2013) and continuing this optional treatment for smaller employers until further guidance is issued.

Using a question-and-answer format, Notice 2011-28 also provides guidance for employers that are subject to this requirement for the 2012 Forms W-2 and those that choose to voluntarily comply with it for either 2011 or 2012. The notice includes information on how to report, what coverage to include and how to determine the cost of the coverage.

The 2011 Form W-2, prior IRS Notice 2010-69 deferring the reporting requirement for 2011, and Notice 2011-28 containing the new guidance are available on IRS.gov.

Picking Apart the IRS’ Top 10 Tax Time Tips

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

The IRS has started their seasonal “Tax Tip” campaign.   I do like these tips.  They cover many of the general questions that taxpayers ask.   In the interest of having a little fun, let’s pick apart Tax Tip 2011-01

  1. Start gathering your records – I agree.  Waiting to the last minute can cost you deductions.  Lost receipts or forgotten documents are the bane of tax preparation. Give yourself time to get it together before the filing deadline gets here.
  2. Be on the lookout for w-2 and 1099’s – well duh IRS, this kind of falls into item number 1 don’t ya think?  If you are owed a 1099 or W2, these are delivered or mailed to you by January 31, 2011. So if it’s March and you don’t have your forms, better start making some calls because something is wrong.
  3. Use free file – This option is cool, but a bit deceiving.  Free file is a great product to prepare your federal income return if your income is less than $58,001.  Free file is sponsored by brand name – for profit- tax software companies.  So keep in mind, you still pay for the use of the software when you prepare your state tax return (only the federal part is prepared for free).
  4. IRS e-file – Personally I like efiling.  It is convenient, fast, accurate, and paperless.  Besides, here’s a heads up,  E-file is mandatory for some taxpayers.  It’s a new age, time to get on the ball and accept modern technological advances.
  5. Consider other filing options – Yes there are other options – you could prepare your return yourself (not recommended).  And, if you qualify, there are ways to get your return filed that don’t cost money.  Consider checking out your local VITA program.  The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.
  6. Consider direct deposit – I still get taxpayers who want to have their refund checks mailed to them.  I can’t really get my head around this one.  Generally, there isn’t  a good reason to have a check mailed versus having your refund direct deposited.
  7. Visit the IRS website again and again – okay, lots of helpful information here.  No reason not to.  I say, do it.
  8. Remember to checkout IRS publication 17. Well, yes if you want to learn all about income tax by all means here is a publication that will help.  Helpful stuff includes:  a) What’s new for 2010,  b) Reminder, c) When you should file a return, d) When to paper file vs. efile, c) Yada yada yada
  9. Review! Review! Review! – Well ya check for mistakes.  But people really, if you’re not a tax expert, you really aren’t going to know if you blew it.  Might I suggest you have a tax professional review your return before you file.
  10. Don’t panic! – Unless you want too of course – or waited until the last minute.  When all else fails, the IRS says you can give them a call at 800-829-1040.

IRS Patrol: IRS Releases Draft W-2 Form for 2011; Announces Relief for Employers (Optional Reporting of the Cost of Health Coverage in 2011)

 

Engraving of the U.S. Treasury building in 1804.

engraving of the US Treasury building in 1804

 

Stacie says:  Doesn’t good news come in three’s?  Well here is good news number two for the day – the IRS announced that it will defer the new requirement for employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan.  The reporting is now optional in 2011.

WASHINGTON — The IRS today issued a draft Form W-2 for 2011, which employers use to report wages and employee tax withholding. The IRS also announced that it will defer the new requirement for employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan, making that reporting by employers optional in 2011.

The draft Form W-2 includes the codes that employers may use to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan.  The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that this relief is necessary to provide employers the time they need to make changes to their payroll systems or procedures in preparation for compliance with the new reporting requirement. The IRS will be publishing guidance on the new requirement later this year.

Although reporting the cost of coverage will be optional with respect to 2011, the IRS continues to stress that the amounts reportable are not taxable. Included in the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March, the new reporting requirement is intended to be informational only, and to provide employees with greater transparency into overall health care costs.

Finally a Tax Law Change That Will Make Our Lives Easier. Well, unless you are a stock broker or mutual fund company that is. 1099-B Reporting Expanded

Mutual fund

Mutual Fund

Stacie says: Good news for taxpayers who receive Forms 1099-B Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions.  Starting in 2011, these forms will include the cost or other basis information of stock and mutual fund shares sold or exchanged during the year.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.  Countless hours are spent each year by preparers and taxpayers alike trying to find the basis information on stock sales.  I have to say that this law change falls within one of my more favored.

WASHINGTON —  The Internal Revenue Service today issued final regulations under a law change that will require reporting of basis and other information by stock brokers and mutual fund companies for most stock purchased in 2011 and all stock purchased in 2012 and later years.  The reporting will be to investors and the IRS. This additional reporting will be optional for stock purchased prior to these dates.

“This important reporting change means investors will now receive the information they need to more easily and accurately report their gains and losses,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We will continue to work closely with stakeholder groups to ensure a smooth implementation of the new requirement, which reduces the recordkeeping and paperwork burden for millions of taxpayers.”

These regulations, posted today in the Federal Register, implement a provision in the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.  Among other things, the regulations describe who is subject to this reporting requirement, which transactions are reportable and what information needs to be reported. Besides providing numerous examples, they also adopt a number of comments and suggestions received since the proposed regulations were issued last December.

Form 1099-B, Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions, long used to report sales prices, will be expanded in 2011 to include the cost or other basis of stock and mutual fund shares sold or exchanged during the year. Stock brokers and mutual fund companies will use this form to make these expanded year-end reports.   The expanded form will also be used to report whether gain or loss realized on these transactions is long-term (held more than one year) or short-term (held one year or less), a key factor affecting the tax treatment of gain or loss. The expanded form, to be first used for calendar-year 2011 sales, must be filed with the IRS and furnished to investors in early 2012.

The IRS today also announced penalty relief for brokers and custodians for reporting certain transfers of stock in 2011.

The relief is described in Notice 2010-67, which was posted today on IRS.gov.

IRS Presents:Ten Things Tax-Exempt Organizations Need to Know About the Oct. 15 Due Date (This is a how to on keeping your exempt status)

 

IRS building on Constitution Avenue in Washing...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Stacie says: This tax tip is some particularly good information from the IRS for tax exempt organizations to help them keep their exempt status.   The time period to fix your delinquent Form 990 filings for years 2007, 2008 or 2009 will expire on October 15.  That’s just a few more days.  You are encouraged to take advantage and keep your tax exempt status.

A crucial filing deadline of Oct. 15 is looming for many tax-exempt organizations that are required by law to file their Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service or risk having their federal tax-exempt status revoked. Nonprofit organizations that are at risk can preserve their status by filing returns by Oct. 15, 2010, under a one-time relief program.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that most tax-exempt organizations must file an annual return or submit an electronic notice, with the IRS and it also requires that any tax-exempt organization that fails to file for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax-exempt status.

Here are 10 facts to help nonprofit organizations maintain their tax-exempt status.

  1. Small nonprofit organizations at risk of losing their tax-exempt status because they failed to file required returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009 can preserve their status by filing returns by Oct. 15, 2010.
  2. Among the organizations that could lose their tax-exempt status are local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations and their auxiliaries, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups designed to assist those with special needs and a variety of others.
  3. A list of the organizations that were at-risk as of the end of July is posted at IRS.gov along with instructions on how to comply with the new law.
  4. Two types of relief are available for small exempt organizations — a filing extension for the smallest organizations required to file Form 990-N, Electronic Notice and a voluntary compliance program for small organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.
  5. Small tax-exempt organizations with annual receipts of $25,000 or less can file an electronic notice Form 990-N also known as the e-Postcard. To file the e-Postcard go to the IRS website and supply the eight information items called for on the form.
  6. Under the voluntary compliance program, tax-exempt organizations eligible to file Form 990-EZ must file their delinquent annual information returns by Oct. 15 and pay a compliance fee.
  7. The relief is not available to larger organizations required to file the Form 990 or to private foundations that file the Form 990-PF.
  8. Organizations that have not filed the required information return by the extended Oct. 15 due date will have their tax-exempt status revoked.
  9. If an organization loses its exemption, it will have to reapply with the IRS to regain its tax-exempt status and any income received between the revocation date and renewed exemption may be taxable.
  10. Donors who contribute to at-risk organizations are protected until the final revocation list is published by the IRS.

Links:

One-Time Filing Relief for Small Organizations That Failed to File for Three Consecutive Years

Filing Relief – 990-N Filers

Filing Relief/Voluntary Compliance Program – 990-EZ Filers

IR-2010-101: Taxpayers Face Oct. 15 Deadlines: Due Dates for Extension Filers, Non-Profits Approach

YouTube Videos:

Small Tax-Exempt Orgs Revised Deadline: English

Time Is Running Out – Three Deadlines: English

The IRS Reminds Tax Exempt Organization Not to Screw Up Their Status

Audio File for Podcast: Don’t Throw Away Your Tax Exempt Status

Stacie says: “Don’t risk your tax-exempt status by not filing your information form.” 

WASHINGTON — A crucial filing deadline of May 17 is looming for many tax-exempt organizations that are required by law to file their Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service or risk having their federal tax-exempt status revoked. 

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 mandates that all non-profit organizations, other than churches and church related organizations, must file an information form with the IRS.  This requirement has been in effect since the beginning of 2007, which made 2009 the third consecutive year under the new law. Any organization that fails to file for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax-exempt status.

Form 990-series information returns are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s fiscal year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their fiscal year, which makes May 15 the deadline for those tax-exempt organizations. May 15 falls on a Saturday this year so the deadline this year is actually Monday, May 17.  Organizations can request an extension of their filing date by filing Form 8868 by the original due date. 

Absent a request for extension, there is no grace period from filing by the original due date.

Small tax-exempt organizations with annual receipts of $25,000 or less can file an electronic notice Form 990-N (e-Postcard). This asks for a few basic pieces of information. Tax-exempts with annual receipts above $25,000 must file a Form 990 or 990-EZ, depending on their annual receipts. Private foundations file form 990-PF.

Any tax-exempt organization that has not filed the required form in the last three years automatically will lose its tax exempt status effective as of the due date of the annual filing. Under the law, the IRS does not have discretion in this matter.

A list of revoked organizations will be available to the public on IRS.gov.

If an organization loses its exemption, it will have to reapply with the IRS to regain its tax-exempt status. Any income received between the revocation date and renewed exemption may be taxable.

For more information, see the Exempt Organizations: Status Revoked for not Filing Annual Returns or Notices page on this website; or the ABC’s for Exempt Organizations page.

IRS Presents: Six Important Facts about Tax-Exempt Organizations

Every year, millions of taxpayers donate money to charitable organizations. The IRS has put together the following list of six things you should know about the tax treatment of tax-exempt organizations.

  1. Annual returns are made available to the public. Exempt organizations generally must make their annual returns available for public inspection. This also includes the organization’s application for exemption. In addition, an organization exempt under 501(c)(3) must make available any Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return. These documents must be made available to any individual who requests them, and must be made available immediately when the request is made in person. If the request is made in writing, an organization has 30 days to provide a copy of the information, unless it makes the information widely available.
  2. Donor lists generally are not public information. The list of donors filed with Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, is specifically excluded from the information required to be made available for public inspection by the exempt organization. There is an exception, private foundations and political organizations must make their donor list available to the public.
  3. How to find tax-exempt organizations. The easiest way to find out whether an organization is qualified to receive deductible contributions is to ask them. You can ask to see an organization’s exemption letter, which states the Code section that describes the organization and whether contributions made to the organization are deductible. You can also search for organizations qualified to accept deductible contributions in IRS Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations and its Addendum, available at IRS.gov. Taxpayers can also confirm an organization’s status by calling the IRS at 877-829-5500.
  4. Which organizations may accept charitable contributions. Not all exempt organizations are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions include most charities described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and, in some circumstances, fraternal organizations described in section 501(c)(8) or section 501(c)(10), cemetery companies described in section 501(c)(13), volunteer fire departments described in section 501(c)(4), and veterans organizations described in section 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(19).
  5. Requirement for organizations not able to accept deductible contributions. If an exempt organization is ineligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, it must disclose that fact when soliciting contributions.
  6. How to report inappropriate activities by an exempt organization. If you believe that the activities or operations of a tax-exempt organization are inconsistent with its tax-exempt status, you may file a complaint with the Exempt Organizations Examination Division by completing Form 13909, Tax-Exempt Organization Complaint (Referral) Form. The complaint should contain all relevant facts concerning the alleged violation of tax law. Form 13909 is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Links:

IRS Presents: Four Steps to Follow If You Are Missing a W-2

Getting ready to file your tax return?  Make sure you have all your documents before you start. You should receive a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement from each of your employers.  Employers have until February 1, 2010 to send you a 2009 Form W-2 earnings statement. If you haven’t received your W-2, follow these four steps:

1. Contact your employer If you have not received your W-2, contact your employer to inquire if and when the W-2 was mailed.  If it was mailed, it may have been returned to the employer because of an incorrect or incomplete address.  After contacting the employer, allow a reasonable amount of time for them to resend or to issue the W-2.

2. Contact the IRS If you do not receive your W-2 by February 16th, contact the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you must provide your name, address, city and state, including zip code, Social Security number, phone number and have the following information:

  • Employer’s name, address, city and state, including zip code and phone   number
  • Dates of employment
  • An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld, and when you worked for that employer during 2009. The estimate should be based on year-to-date information from your final pay stub or leave-and-earnings statement, if possible.

3. File your return You still must file your tax return or request an extension to file by April 15, even if you do not receive your Form W-2. If you have not received your Form W-2 by April 15th, and have completed steps 1 and 2, you may use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Attach Form 4852 to the return, estimating income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible.  There may be a delay in any refund due while the information is verified.

4. File a Form 1040X On occasion, you may receive your missing W-2 after you filed your return using Form 4852, and the information may be different from what you reported on your return. If this happens, you must amend your return by filing a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Form 4852, Form 1040X, and instructions are available on the IRS Web site, IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Links:

  • Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement (PDF 29K)
  • Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (PDF 123K)
  • Instructions for Form 1040X (PDF 43K)  

Extend The Due Date To Pay Your Corporate Income Taxes – A Good Reminder From a Past Post

Now is a good time to remind corporations to conserve cash flow if possible.  If you expect to have a net operating loss in 2010 but have taxable income in 2009, here is an opportunity to extend the due date of  the amount due with your 2009 corporate tax return.  This is another good post from the past.
 
By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
 

Do you have a profit in the current year, but because of certain economic conditions, or other factors you expect to have a net operating loss next year?

If the answer is yes, you may be able to delay payment of your corporate income taxes.

Yes – Really, you can delay payment of corporate income taxes if the right conditions exist.

Generally, if you request an extension of time to file your tax return, you are extending the due date of the return, but not the due date for paying your income tax. As corporate tax payers know, their income taxes are due in full by the 15th day of the third month following the corporation’s year-end.

However, you may be able to extend the due date for paying your corporate income taxes by filing Form 1138 Extension of Time for Payment of Taxes by a Corporation Expecting A Net Operating Loss Carry back.

In order to take advantage of this extension of time to pay your tax, you must also extend the due date of your corporate income tax return using Form 7004 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax. Payment is delayed [and therefore not deposited with Form 7004] because taxes that normally would be deposited will be reduced or possibly eliminated by the carry back of the net operating loss from the following year.

File the Form 1138 after the beginning of the tax year where you expect a net operating loss, but before the original due date of the tax return.

The extension for payment is in effect until the return for which the extension is requested is due to be filed – including extensions.

Note: Not all payments are extended. If you were required to make estimated payments throughout the year, these will most likely not be extended. Only payments that would be due after you file Form 1138 are extended.

IRS Patrol: Form 990 Schedules and Instructions for filing in 2010-11

The IRS has finalized the 2009 Forms 990, 990-EZ, schedules and instructions, for filing in 2010-11.  Learn about changes made to clarify and modify reporting requirements and find links to the new forms, schedules and instructions on IRS.gov.

IRS Patrol: The IRS Reminds Tax-Exempt Organizations of All Sizes to File the Form 990 on Time to Preserve Their Tax Exempt Status

[Stacie says: How awful would it be to mess up your tax exempt status because you didn’t file your information form on time?  Don’t let this happen to your organization.  Be sure to contact a qualified preparer to help you meet your obligation.]

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service [last week] reminded tax-exempt organizations to make sure they file their annual information form on time. In 2010 the tax-exempt status of any non-profit that has not filed the required form in the last three years will be revoked.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires that non-profit organizations that do not file a required information form for three consecutive years automatically lose their Federal tax-exempt status. This requirement has been in effect since the beginning of 2007.

A list of revoked organizations will be available to the public, as well as state charity and tax officials on this website.

If an organization loses its exemption, it will have to reapply with the IRS to regain its tax-exempt status. Any income received between the revocation date and renewed exemption may be taxable.

Small non-profit organizations with annual receipts of $25,000 or less can file an electronic notice, Form 990-N (e-Postcard). They will need only a few basic pieces of information to file:  the organization’s employer identification number, its tax year, legal name and mailing address, any other names used, an Internet address if one exists, the name and address of a principal officer and a statement confirming the organization’s annual gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less.

Tax-exempt organizations with annual receipts above $25,000 are required to file the Form 990 or the Form 990-EZ annually. Private foundations file Form 990-PF. Churches and integrated auxiliaries of churches are not required to file Form 990-series returns or notices.

Form 990-series returns and e-Postcards, are due by the 15th day of the 5th month after an organization’s tax year ends.

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