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Act 89 Penn Dot Fee Increases Scheduled for July 1st
Ten Things to Know about Identity Theft and Your Taxes
Get to Know the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
Pennsylvania Property Tax/ Rent Rebate Program extended to Dec 31,2015
Affordable Care Act Information Reporting for Businesses with 50 or more Employees
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Act 89 Penn Dot Fee Increases Scheduled for July 1st

Certificate of title - $51
Recording a security interest on a certificate of
title - $24
PennDOT record of driver, registration, title or
security interest - $9
Certified copy of a PennDOT record - $23
(plus $9 for the record)
Annual certificate of inspection - $6
Semiannual certificate of inspection - $4
Transfer title and existing registration plate-$60

Ten Things to Know about Identity Theft and Your Taxes


Learning you are a victim of identity theft can be a stressful event. Identity theft is also a challenge to businesses, organizations and government agencies, including the IRS. Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.
Many times, you may not be aware that someone has stolen your identity. The IRS may be the first to let you know you’re a victim of ID theft after you try to file your taxes.
The IRS combats tax-related identity theft with a strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. The IRS is making progress against this crime and it remains one of the agency’s highest priorities.
Here are ten things to know about ID Theft:
1. Protect your Records. Do not carry your Social Security card or other documents with your SSN on them. Only provide your SSN if it’s necessary and you know the person requesting it. Protect your personal information at home and protect your computers with anti-spam and anti-virus software. Routinely change passwords for Internet accounts.
2. Don’t Fall for Scams. The IRS will not call you to demand immediate payment, nor will it call about taxes owed without first mailing you a bill. Beware of threatening phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS. If you have no reason to believe you owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484.
3. Report ID Theft to Law Enforcement. If your SSN was compromised and you think you may be the victim of tax-related ID theft, file a police report. You can also file a report with the Federal Trade Commission using the FTC Complaint Assistant. It’s also important to contact one of the three credit bureaus so they can place a freeze on your account.
4. Complete an IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit. Once you’ve filed a police report, file an IRS Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit. Print the form and mail or fax it according to the instructions. Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper.
5. Understand IRS Notices. Once the IRS verifies a taxpayer’s identity, the agency will mail a particular letter to the taxpayer. The notice says that the IRS is monitoring the taxpayer’s account. Some notices may contain a unique Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) for tax filing purposes.
6. IP PINs. If a taxpayer reports that they are a victim of ID theft or the IRS identifies a taxpayer as being a victim, they will be issued an IP PIN. The IP PIN is a unique six-digit number that a victim of ID theft uses to file a tax return. In 2014, the IRS launched an IP PIN Pilot program. The program offers residents of Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C., the opportunity to apply for an IP PIN, due to high levels of tax-related identity theft there.
7. Data Breaches. If you learn about a data breach that may have compromised your personal information, keep in mind not every data breach results in identity theft. Further, not every identity theft case involves taxes. Make sure you know what kind of information has been stolen so you can take the appropriate steps before contacting the IRS.
8. Report Suspicious Activity. If you suspect or know of an individual or business that is committing tax fraud, you can visit Internal Revenue Service WEBSITE and follow the chart on How to Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity.
9. Combating ID Theft. Over the past few years, nearly 2,000 people were convicted in connection with refund fraud related to identity theft. The average prison sentence for identity theft-related tax refund fraud grew to 43 months in 2014 from 38 months in 2013, with the longest sentence being 27 years. During 2014, the IRS stopped more than $15 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft. Additionally, as the IRS improves its processing filters, the agency has also been able to halt more suspicious returns before they are processed. So far this year, new fraud filters stopped about 3 million suspicious returns for review, an increase of more than 700,000 from the year before.
10. Service Options. Information about tax-related identity theft is available online. We have a special section on Internal Revenue Service Website devoted to identity theft and a phone number available for victims to obtain assistance.

Get to Know the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

If you are a small employer, you might be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, which can make a difference for your business. To be eligible for the credit, you must:

-have purchased coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program - also known as the SHOP marketplace
-have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees...
-pay an average wage of less than $50,000 a year
-pay at least half of employee health insurance premiums
For tax years beginning in 2014:

-The maximum credit increases to 50 percent of premiums paid for small business employers and 35 percent of premiums paid for small tax-exempt employers.
-To be eligible for the credit, you must pay premiums on behalf of employees enrolled in a qualified health plan offered through a Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace or qualify for an exception to this requirement.

-The credit is available to eligible employers for two consecutive taxable years. Even if you are a small business employer who did not owe tax during the year, you can carry the credit back or forward to other tax years. Also, since the amount of the health insurance premium payments is more than the total credit, eligible small businesses can still claim a business expense deduction for the premiums in excess of the credit. That’s both a credit and a deduction for employee premium payments. There is good news for small tax-exempt employers, too. The credit is refundable, so even if you have no taxable income, you may be eligible to receive the credit as a refund so long as it does not exceed your income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability. Refund payments issued to small tax-exempt employers claiming the refundable portion of credit are subject to sequestration. Finally, if you can benefit from the credit even if you forgot to claim it on your 2014 tax return; there’s still time to file an amended return. Generally, a claim for refund must be filed within three years from the time the return was filed or two years from the time the tax was paid, whichever of such periods expires later. For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid for small business employers and 25 percent of premiums paid for small tax-exempt employers such as charities. You must use Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, to calculate the credit. For detailed information on filling out this form, see the Instructions for Form 8941. If you are a small business, include the amount as part of the general business credit on your income tax return. If you are a tax-exempt organization, include the amount on line 44f of the Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return. You must file the Form 990-T in order to claim the credit, even if you don't ordinarily do so.

Pennsylvania Property Tax/ Rent Rebate Program extended to Dec 31,2015

Affordable Care Act Information Reporting for Businesses with 50 or more Employees

Businesses that have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees will be required to file information returns about health care coverage with the IRS for all of their full-time employees regardless of whether they provided health insurance to them during 2015.
Under the Affordable Care Act, these businesses are considered Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and they must file a Form 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage) for each full-time employee and Form 1094-C (Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns) to the IRS no later than February 28, 2016 for calendar year 2015. They must also send all employees a copy of Form 1095-C by January 31, 2016.
Businesses that file 250 or more Form 1095-Cs are required to file them electronically with the IRS.

Stop Reimbursing for Health Insurance by June 30

It's common practice for small employers to reimburse or pay health insurance premiums for individual policies. If they continue to do so, they may be subject to an excise tax of $100 per day, per employee. Notice 2015-17 provides transitional relief from the $100 per day per employee excise tax for small employers. The IRS will not assess any penalties for reimbursement arrangements for 2014 through June 30, 2015. After June 30, 2015, the IRS states they may start assessing penalties.

Social Security Benefits and Your Taxes

If you receive Social Security benefits, you may have to pay federal income tax on part of your benefits. These IRS tips will help you determine whether or not you need to pay taxes on your benefits. They also explain the best way to file your tax return.
Form SSA-1099. If you received Social Security in 2014, you should receive a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, showing the amount of your benefits.

Only Social Security. If Social Security was your only income in 2014, your benefits may not be taxable. You also may not need to file a federal income tax return. If you get income from other sources you may have to pay taxes on some of your benefits. Tax Formula. Here’s a quick way to find out if you must pay taxes on your Social Security benefits: Add one-half of your Social Security to all your other income, including tax-exempt interest. Then compare the total to the base amount for your filing status.

If your total is more than the base amount, some of your benefits may be taxable. Base Amounts. The three base amounts are: $25,000 – if you are single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child or married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse for all of 2014 $32,000 – if you are married filing jointly $0 – if you are married filing separately and lived with your spouse at any time during the year

Tax Tips about Reporting Foreign Income

1. Report Worldwide Income. By law, U.S. citizens and residents must report their worldwide income. This includes income from foreign trusts, and foreign bank and securities accounts.
2. File Required Tax Forms. You may need to file Schedule B, Interest and Ordinary Dividends, with your U.S. tax return. You may also need to file Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. In some cases, you may need to file FinCEN Form... 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. See IRS DOT GOV for more information.
3. Review the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. If you live and work abroad, you may be able to claim the foreign earned income exclusion. If you qualify, you won’t pay tax on up to $99,200 of your wages and other foreign earned income in 2014. See Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, for more details.
4. Don’t Overlook Credits and Deductions. You may be able to take a tax credit or a deduction for income taxes you paid to a foreign country. These benefits can reduce your taxes if both countries tax the same income.
 5.Tax Filing Extension is Available. If you live outside the U.S. and can’t file your tax return by April 15, you may qualify for an automatic two-month extension of time to file. That will give you until June 16, 2015, to file your U.S. tax return. This extension also applies to those serving in the military outside the U.S. You will need to attach a statement to your return explaining why you qualify for the extension.

Seven Tips to Help You Determine if Your Gift is Taxable

If you gave money or property to someone as a gift, you may wonder about the federal gift tax. Many gifts are not subject to the gift tax. Here are seven tax tips about gifts and the gift tax.

1. Nontaxable Gifts. The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The following are not taxable gifts:...
Gifts that do not exceed the annual exclusion for the calendar year,
Tuition or medical expenses you paid directly to a medical or educational institution for someone,
Gifts to your spouse (for federal tax purposes, the term “spouse” includes individuals of the same sex who are lawfully married),
Gifts to a political organization for its use, and
Gifts to charities.
2. Annual Exclusion. Most gifts are not subject to the gift tax. For example, there is usually no tax if you make a gift to your spouse or to a charity. If you give a gift to someone else, the gift tax usually does not apply until the value of the gift exceeds the annual exclusion for the year. For 2014 and 2015, the annual exclusion is $14,000.
 3. No Tax on Recipient. Generally, the person who receives your gift will not have to pay a federal gift tax. That person also does not pay income tax on the value of the gift received.
4. Gifts Not Deductible. Making a gift does not ordinarily affect your federal income tax. You cannot deduct the value of gifts you make (other than deductible charitable contributions).
5. Forgiven and Certain Loans. The gift tax may also apply when you forgive a debt or make a loan that is interest-free or below the market interest rate.
6. Gift-Splitting. You and your spouse can give a gift up to $28,000 to a third party without making it a taxable gift. You can consider that one-half of the gift be given by you and one-half by your spouse.
 7. Filing Requirement. You must file Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, if any of the following apply:
You gave gifts to at least one person (other than your spouse) that amount to more than the annual exclusion for the year.
You and your spouse are splitting a gift. This is true even if half of the split gift is less than the annual exclusion.
You gave someone (other than your spouse) a gift of a future interest that they can’t actually possess, enjoy, or from which they’ll receive income later.
You gave your spouse an interest in property that will terminate due to a future event.

What to Know about Late Filing and Late Paying Penalties

April 15 was the tax day deadline for most people. If you are due a refund there is no penalty if you file a late tax return. But if you owe tax, and you failed to file and pay on time, you will usually owe interest and penalties on the tax you pay late. You should file your tax return and pay the tax as soon as possible to stop them. Here are eight facts that you should know about these penalties.

1. Two penalties... may apply. If you file your federal tax return late and owe tax with the return, two penalties may apply. The first is a failure-to-file penalty for late filing. The second is a failure-to-pay penalty for paying late.
2. Penalty for late filing. The failure-to-file penalty is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. It will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
3. Minimum late filing penalty. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty for late filing is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.
4. Penalty for late payment. The failure-to-pay penalty is generally 0.5 percent per month of your unpaid taxes. It applies for each month or part of a month your taxes remain unpaid and starts accruing the day after taxes are due. It can build up to as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
5. Combined penalty per month. If the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty both apply in any month, the maximum amount charged for those two penalties that month is 5 percent.
6. File even if you can’t pay. In most cases, the failure-to-file penalty is 10 times more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So if you can’t pay in full, you should file your tax return and pay as much as you can. Use IRS Direct Pay to pay your tax directly from your checking or savings account. You should try other options to pay, such as getting a loan or paying by debit or credit card. The IRS will work with you to help you resolve your tax debt. Most people can set up an installment agreement with the IRS using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS DOT GOV 
7. Late payment penalty may not apply. If you requested an extension of time to file your income tax return by the tax due date and paid at least 90 percent of the taxes you owe, you may not face a failure-to-pay penalty. However, you must pay the remaining balance by the extended due date. You will owe interest on any taxes you pay after the April 15 due date.
8. No penalty if reasonable cause. You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show reasonable cause for not filing or paying on time. There is also penalty relief available for repayment of excess advance payments of the premium tax credit for 2014.