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2018 Individual Tax Returns are due in 1 month and 27 days.

Website Changes

In anticipation of the current tax filing season, I have made several changes to my website. The main change is that I have added a [Taxes 2018] tab. This tab will contain most of the tools needed for my individual tax return clients.

Here is a quick video that highlights all the features of my website:

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Do You Have Tax Questions?

To help you get ready to file your 2018 tax returns, I have put together a collection of tax tips, newsletters, and a library of tax-related items. Here is how you may access them:

1. Weekly tax tips – follow me on Twitter (@jmoedecpa) or request a free subscription (email me at jmoede@jamesmoede.com and put Weekly Tax Tip in the subject line).

2. Monthly newsletter – you may sign up for a free subscription to my monthly newsletter: [Click Here]

3. Library – visit my [Library] tab to access a collection of tax and financial information.

Each taxpayer’s situation is unique. The above items are meant as a general guide. If you would like more information regarding your situation, please [CONTACT ME].

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Getting Ready For 2018 Tax Return Filing

Now that the tax season is underway, taxpayers a rushing to gather and organize their 2017 tax materials. One great way to do this is to scan the documents and save them to your computer. These pdf copies can be given to a tax preparer and originals kept safe and sound.

This can be done with relatively low cost scanning hardware (usually the scanning software is included with the hardware). There are even great scanning solutions for smartphones and tablets.

Here is a brief video tutorial on scanning documents and saving them on a computer.

Quick scanning tips/recommendations:

Scan in Black & White

Scan at 300 dpi (dots per inch)

Save the file as a .pdf

Use a free pdf reader (such as Acrobat Reader or Foxit Reader) to view your pdf files.

Back up your pdf files (three copies: 1. The original 2. A copy on a local usb drive 3. A copy stored offsite)

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New Form 1040

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Remember the big tax law change – The Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) that was signed in late 2017. Most of the provisions of that law will impact your 2018 tax return. The 2018 Form 1040 has been radically changed to conform to the new tax law. Here is a brief summary of some of the changes:

We are all in for a wild ride as we navigate the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years on a new Form 1040 with six new schedules. Now that the new Form 1040 is finalized, here are three main takeaways for this tax season:
  • The main form is shorter, but additional schedules will likely be required. The new Form 1040 may appear to be simpler, but the filing process is more complex. In fact, the instructions to help complete the new form checks in at 117 pages — 10 more pages than last year. Most of the same information from the previous year is still required, except now it’s spread over multiple schedules. Industry experts are planning for a 20 percent increase in tax prep time for this filing season.
  • Forms 1040A and 1040EZ are no longer available. If you previously filed with one of these forms, you will now be using the new Form 1040. In addition to learning the new form, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to add at least one of the new schedules to complete your tax return.
  • Filings could be delayed. Because of the vast changes in tax laws this year, additional IRS taxpayer guidance is expected throughout the filing season. Because of this, the U.S. Treasury Department put out a warning that there might be delays to the start to the filing season. The most recent government shutdown doesn’t help the situation. If the filing season starts late, tax season condenses and refunds could be delayed.

What can you do?

The best advice is to start preparing now. Grab last year’s tax return and create a checklist of documents you need to gather. Pull together receipts and other documentation. The more organized you are, the quicker and easier the process will be for you. Have questions? Call for help or to set up an appointment.

Each taxpayer’s situation is unique. The above items are meant as a general guide. If you would like more information regarding your situation, please [CONTACT ME].

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In 2019 you can put more money away for retirement. If you participate in a 401(k), 403(b), or most 457 plans – you may contribute up to $19,000. This is a $500 increase from the 2018 limit of $18,500. In addition, if you are age 50 or over, you may contribute an additional $6,000. This “catch-up” amount remains unchanged from 2018.

If you have an IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangement), you may contribute $6,000 in 2019. This is a $500 increase from the 2018 limit of $5,500. In addition, if you are age 50 or over, you may contribute an additional $1,000. This “catch-up” amount remains unchanged from 2018.

For additional information, please see IRS IR-2018-211

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