News

New Johnstown Office

posted Dec 26, 2013, 2:43 PM by John Hicks   [ updated Dec 26, 2013, 2:44 PM ]

Promero Consulting, LLC is pleased to announce the opening of their new office in Johnstown, OH. Effective January 2014, we will be located at:

86 W. Coshocton St.
Johnstown, OH 43031

Our new office is adjacent to The Hot Spot Coffee House.

In addition to the new address, please note our new office phone number, (740) 966-1072.

We look forward to seeing you at our new location

Changes for the 2013 Tax Season

posted Oct 22, 2012, 10:18 AM by John Hicks

Without congressional action, most of the tax rate reductions and exemptions enacted since the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 will expire. Consider the following examples of the changes that will occur at year-end if no action is taken:

  • Individual income tax rates will increase with the expiration of the changes made by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003;
  • The Federal estate tax exemption will revert from $5,120,000 to $1,000,000 per person. In addition, tax rates will increase to a maximum of 55% and the election to use a deceased spouse’s unused exclusion from estate tax will expire;
  • For married couples filing joint tax returns and qualifying widows and widowers, the alternative minimum tax exemption will revert from $74,450 to $45,000;
  • An additional 2% tax on self-employment income will occur due to the expiration of the Social Security tax relief enacted with passage of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012;
  • The option to fully expense the purchase of fixed assets (i.e. bonus depreciation) under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 168(k) will expire;
  • IRC section 179 deduction will be reduced from a maximum of  $139,000 to $25,000 and the phase-out threshold will be reduced from $560,000 to $200,000; and,
  • Many temporarily extended tax provisions will expire December 31, 2012, including but not limited to the increased dependent care credit, refundable credit for prior year minimum tax liability and exclusion from gross income for discharge of indebtedness on the principal residence.

In addition to expiring tax provisions, as a result of passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, the Medicare tax rate will change. For example, the Medicare tax rate on earned income exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 for couples filing a joint income tax return) will increase from 1.45% to 2.35%. In addition, net investment income will generally be subject to a 3.8% additional tax to the extent AGI exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 for couples filing a joint tax return) effective January 1, 2013. 

Ten Tips to Help You Choose a Tax Preparer

posted Jan 10, 2012, 7:46 AM by John Hicks   [ updated Oct 22, 2012, 10:23 AM ]

Many people look for help from professionals when it’s time to file their tax return. If you use a paid tax preparer to file your return this year, the IRS urges you to choose that preparer wisely. Even if a return is prepared by someone else, the taxpayer is legally responsible for what’s on it. So, it’s very important to choose your tax preparer carefully.

This year, the IRS wants to remind taxpayers to use a preparer who will sign the returns they prepare and enter their required Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).

Here are ten tips to keep in mind when choosing a tax return preparer:

1. Check the preparer’s qualifications. New regulations require all paid tax return preparers to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. In addition to making sure they have a PTIN, ask if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization and attends continuing education classes. The IRS is also phasing in a new test requirement to make sure those who are not an enrolled agent, CPA, or attorney have met minimal competency requirements. Those subject to the test will become a Registered Tax Return Preparer once they pass it. If your preparer signs your return using their Social Security Number, they are not in compliance with the IRS's PTIN requirements.

2. Check on the preparer’s history. Check to see if the preparer has a questionable history with the Better Business Bureau and check for any disciplinary actions and licensure status through the state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants; the state bar associations for attorneys; and the IRS Office of Enrollment for enrolled agents. In Ohio, you can check to see whether or not your preparer is a CPA by visiting https://license.ohio.gov/lookup/default.asp

3. Ask about their service fees. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.  Also, always make sure any refund due is sent to you or deposited into an account in your name.  Under no circumstances should all or part of your refund be directly deposited into a preparer’s bank account.

4. Ask if they offer electronic filing. Any paid preparer who prepares and files more than 10 returns for clients must file the returns electronically, unless the client opts to file a paper return.  More than 1 billion individual tax returns have been safely and securely processed since the debut of electronic filing in 1990.  Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file.

5. Make sure the tax preparer is accessible.  Make sure you will be able to contact the tax preparer after the return has been filed, even after the April due date, in case questions arise.

6. Provide all records and receipts needed to prepare your return. Reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts and will ask you multiple questions to determine your total income and your qualifications for expenses, deductions and other items. Do not use a preparer who is willing to electronically file your return before you receive your Form W-2 using your last pay stub. This is against IRS e-file rules.

7. Never sign a blank return. Avoid tax preparers that ask you to sign a blank tax form.

8. Review the entire return before signing it.  Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions. Make sure you understand everything and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it.

9. Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes their PTIN.  A paid preparer must sign the return and include their PTIN as required by law. Although the preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return.  The preparer must also give you a copy of the return.

10. Report abusive tax preparers to the IRS. You can report abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS on Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. Download Form 14157 from www.irs.gov or order by mail at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

(compiled from IRS Tax Tips)

Hicks earns CFE credential

posted Dec 1, 2011, 5:42 PM by John Hicks


Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Requirement

posted Dec 1, 2011, 5:38 PM by John Hicks

New regulations require all paid tax return preparers (including attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents) to apply for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) even if they already have one before preparing any federal tax returns in Tax Year 2011. PTINs that were obtained for the Tax Year 2010 season will expire on December 31, 2011. Some preparers will also soon need to pass a competency test and take continuing education courses.

Promero Consulting complies with the IRS PTIN requirement for the 2012 Tax Season.

E-filing required for 2011 Individual Income Tax Returns

posted Dec 1, 2011, 5:36 PM by John Hicks

Starting in 2011 many tax return preparers were required to e-file Federal income Tax Returns for Individuals. As of Jan. 1, 2012, the e-file mandate now requires tax return preparers who anticipate filing 11 or more returns in the Form 1040 series during the year must begin to file all individual income tax returns electronically.

Promero Consulting continues to be an Authorized e-File Provider for the 2012 tax season.

There's an app for that!

posted Jan 28, 2011, 4:56 AM by John Hicks   [ updated Jan 28, 2011, 5:01 AM ]


 

IR-2011-8, Jan. 24, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today unveiled IRS2Go, its first smartphone application that lets taxpayers check on their status of their tax refund and obtain helpful tax information.

"This new smart phone app reflects our commitment to modernizing the agency and engaging taxpayers where they want when they want it," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "As technology evolves and younger taxpayers get their information in new ways, we will keep innovating to make it easy for all taxpayers to access helpful information."

The IRS2Go phone app gives people a convenient way of checking on their federal refund. It also gives people a quick way of obtaining easy-to-understand tax tips.

Apple users can download the free IRS2Go application by visiting the Apple App Store. Android users can visit the Android Marketplace to download the free IRS2Go app.

"This phone app is a first step for us," Shulman said. "We will look for additional ways to expand and refine our use of smartphones and other new technologies to help meet the needs of taxpayers."

The mobile app, among a handful in the federal government, offers a number of safe and secure ways to help taxpayers. Features of the first release of the IRS2Go app include:

Get Your Refund Status

Taxpayers can check the status of their federal refund through the new phone app with a few basic pieces of information. First, taxpayers enter a Social Security number, which is masked and encrypted for security purposes. Next, taxpayers pick the filing status they used on their tax return. Finally, taxpayers enter the amount of the refund they expect from their 2010 tax return.

For people who e-file, the refund function of the phone app will work within about 72 hours after taxpayers receive an e-mail acknowledgement saying the IRS received their tax return.

For people filing paper tax returns, longer processing times mean they will need to wait three to four weeks before they can check their refund status.

About 70 percent of the 142 million individual tax returns were filed electronically last year.

 Get Tax Updates

Phone app users enter their e-mail address to automatically get daily tax tips. Tax Tips are simple, straightforward tips and reminders to help with tax planning and preparation. Tax Tips are issued daily during the tax filing season and periodically during the rest of the year. The plain English updates cover topics such as free tax help, child tax credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit, education credits and other topics.

Follow the IRS

Taxpayers can sign up to follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews. IRSnews provides the latest federal tax news and information for taxpayers. The IRSnews tweets provide easy-to-use information, including tax law changes and important IRS programs.  

IRS2Go is the latest IRS effort to provide information to taxpayers beyond traditional channels. The IRS also uses tools such as YouTube and Twitter to share the latest information on tax changes, initiatives, products and services through social media channels. For more information on IRS2Go and other new media products, visit www.IRS.gov.

IRS Announces 2011 Standard Mileage Rates

posted Dec 6, 2010, 5:09 PM by John Hicks   [ updated Dec 6, 2010, 5:26 PM ]

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2011 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
 
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
51 cents per mile for business miles driven
19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
 
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Independent contractor Runzheimer International conducted the study.
 
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
 
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

IRS Helps Small Employers Claim New Health Care Tax Credit; Forms and Additional Guidance Now Available on Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

posted Dec 2, 2010, 11:24 AM by John Hicks

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today released final guidance for small employers eligible to claim the new small business health care tax credit for the 2010 tax year. Today’s release includes a one-page form and instructions small employers will use to claim the credit for the 2010 tax year.
New Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, and newly revised Form 990-T are now available on IRS.gov. The IRS also posted on its website the instructions to Form 8941 and Notice 2010-82 , both of which are designed to help small employers correctly figure and claim the credit.
Included in the Affordable Care Act enacted in March, the small business health care tax credit is designed to encourage both small businesses and small tax-exempt organizations to offer health insurance coverage to their employees for the first time or maintain coverage they already have.
The new guidance addresses small business questions about which firms qualify for the credit by clarifying that a broad range of employers meet the eligibility requirements, including religious institutions that provide coverage through denominational organizations, small employers that cover their workers through insured multiemployer health and welfare plans, and employers that subsidize their employees’ health care costs through a broad range of contribution arrangements.

In general, the credit is available to small employers that pay at least half of the premiums for single health insurance coverage for their employees. It is specifically targeted to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations that primarily employ moderate- and lower-income workers.
Small businesses can claim the credit for 2010 through 2013 and for any two years after that. For tax years 2010 to 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible small businesses and 25 percent of premiums paid by eligible tax-exempt organizations. Beginning in 2014, the maximum tax credit will increase to 50 percent of premiums paid by eligible small business employers and 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible tax-exempt organizations.
The maximum credit goes to smaller employers –– those with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees –– paying annual average wages of $25,000 or less. The credit is completely phased out for employers that have 25 or more FTEs or that pay average wages of $50,000 or more per year. Because the eligibility rules are based in part on the number of FTEs, not the number of employees, employers that use part-time workers may qualify even if they employ more than 25 individuals.
Eligible small businesses will first use Form 8941 to figure the credit and then include the amount of the credit as part of the general business credit on its income tax return.
Tax-exempt organizations will first use Form 8941 to figure their refundable credit, and then claim the credit on Line 44f of Form 990-T. Though primarily filed by those organizations liable for the tax on unrelated business income, Form 990-T will also be used by any eligible tax-exempt organization to claim the credit, regardless of whether they are subject to this tax.

Starting in 2011, Many Paid Preparers Must e-File Federal Income Tax Returns for Individuals, Estates and Trusts

posted Dec 2, 2010, 11:20 AM by John Hicks

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today detailed how, starting Jan. 1, 2011, paid tax return preparers can comply with a new law that requires paid tax return preparers who meet the definition of “specified tax return preparer” under the new law to electronically file (e-file) federal income tax returns that they prepare and file for individuals, trusts and estates.
 
The e-file requirement will be phased in over two years.
Starting Jan. 1, 2011, paid preparers who prepare income tax returns for individuals, trusts and estates, such as Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and Forms 1041, and who reasonably expect to file 100 or more of these income tax returns in 2011 are specified tax return preparers required to file these returns electronically.
Tax return preparers who are members of a firm are specified tax return preparers and must electronically file the income tax returns they prepare and file if the firm’s preparers, in the aggregate, expect to file 100 or more of these income tax returns in 2011.
Starting Jan. 1, 2012, the 100-return threshold will be reduced to 11 or more income tax returns that the preparer, or the preparer’s firm in the aggregate, expect to file in 2012 for individuals, trusts and estates.
"Electronic filing is the safest, fastest and easiest way for taxpayers to file their tax returns. E-filing is good for the tax system, good for taxpayers and good for the tax preparation industry," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "This requirement reflects the realities of the modern world where technology has evolved to the point that everyone should be filing their tax returns electronically."
To comply with the new law, a tax return preparer who is subject to the electronic filing requirement and does not already provide e-file for clients must become an authorized IRS e-file provider, which means he, she, or the firm, if the preparer is a member of a firm, must obtain an electronic filing identification number (EFIN). It takes up to 45 days to obtain an EFIN so return preparers who have not started the process should start immediately.
Proposed regulations issued today detail the two-year phase-in plan and provide exclusions from the e-file requirement for undue hardship waivers approved by the IRS and for certain administrative exemptions. In addition, under the proposed regulations, the e-file requirement does not apply to an individual income tax return when a tax return preparer’s taxpayer-client chooses to have the return completed in paper format and the taxpayer-client, and not the preparer, will file the paper return with the IRS. A notice issued with the proposed regulations contains a proposed revenue procedure on undue hardship waivers and taxpayer choice statements to file in paper format.
Tax professionals and other interested parties have until Jan. 3, 2011 to submit comments regarding the proposed regulations and the notice of proposed revenue procedure. Final regulations will be published in early 2011, but will be retroactively effective as of Jan. 1, 2011, as described in the proposed regulations.
Advantages of IRS e-file
The e-file requirement for paid tax return preparers was approved by Congress in 2009, based on recommendations from the IRS, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Council. Numerous states already have a similar electronic filing requirement.
In 1998, Congress set a goal of having 80 percent of tax returns electronically filed. Last year, two of every three individual tax returns were transmitted through IRS e-file.
IRS e-file benefits taxpayers and tax return preparers. For the tax return preparer, it can mean a more efficient, productive business and fewer errors on the tax return. It is safe and secure. For taxpayers, it can mean faster refunds, the ability to file now and pay later and peace of mind that comes with a receipt acknowledgement.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of IRS e-file as a national program. And in those 20 years, IRS e-file has transmitted more than 800 million tax returns safely and securely.

1-10 of 11