Upcoming Tax Season

As the year draws to a close, now’s an excellent time to review your current tax planning strategies to ensure they’re still meeting your needs and develop plans for 2018. It’s also a good time to take advantage of last-minute planning opportunities that could save you money now and in the coming year.

With all that in mind, please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss your tax situation so I can develop a customized plan. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the issues I am recommending clients consider as they begin their end-of-year review.

Tax identity theft is a significant threat. Our firm takes security very seriously, so we want to begin with a reminder that tax identity theft is a growing problem. With fraudsters becoming more sophisticated and large breaches happening so frequently, such as the Equifax incident which affected 143 million American consumers, tax identity theft remains a concern. Unfortunately, it can take many forms, so beware if you:

· Receive a notice or letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding a tax return, tax bill or income that doesn’t apply to you.

· Get an unsolicited email or other form of communication asking for your bank account number or other financial details or personal information.

· Receive a robocall insisting you must call back and settle your tax bill. Your first contact with the IRS will be through official correspondence by mail; they will not call you out of the blue. Also, the IRS does not demand immediate payment over the phone, threaten to arrest you or demand your credit or debit card number or that you use a certain payment method – such as a gift card – to pay your taxes.

If you receive any suspicious communications from the IRS, you can report the contact by filling out this IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting form or calling 800.366.4484. I also urge you to contact my office for advice whenever you receive a communication from the IRS or believe you might be a victim of identity theft.

Though changes may still occur, the ACA remains law for now, and taxpayers must abide by it. The ACA requires individuals to have minimum essential health insurance coverage. In 2017, the penalty for not having coverage is $695 per uninsured adult ($347.50 per uninsured child under 18), or 2.5% of household income during the filing period, with some penalty caps available.

The IRS charges penalties (and interest) if you don’t pay the appropriate amount of taxes throughout the year. We can help you calculate your projected income and required quarterly payments.

The alternative minimum tax (AMT) applies to many taxpayers, requiring them to add back certain non-taxable income and deductions they’ve taken. You’re allowed an exemption that somewhat reduces the AMT’s effects. That exemption rose in 2017 to $54,300 for single taxpayers and to $84,500 for married couples filing jointly.

I recommend you review your retirement situation at least annually and make revisions and adjustments as needed. That includes making the most of tax-advantaged retirement saving options.

With new leadership and strategic priorities, our nation is facing uncertainty regarding details of how our tax system will function in the coming years. The possibility of new tax rates, changes in deductions, credits, etc., creates anxiety for many taxpayers. We’re here to help you navigate any potential change and ensure you receive the most favorable tax treatment.

Please call my office at 802-8778-0990 or email me at diana@sheltratax.com to set up your year-end tax-season review.

Please inform me if you need a tax organizer to prepare your tax information for your 2017 tax return. I will send out organizers when requested. I have found that only a small percentage of you use the organizers.

I will be sending an engagement letter in a separate email. Please send back the letter signed.

Keep in mind our office moved a few months ago. The address is below. We are handicapped accessible and there is plenty of parking.

As always, planning ahead can help you minimize your tax bill and position you for greater success.