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The Best Tax Deductions To Take Advantage of This Fall Season

A new season has come, but one thing that has remained the same is the best tax deductions that you don’t want to miss out on when filing your taxes. You’d be surprised at the number of common tax deductions, tax credits, itemized deductions, and self employment tax deductions that you have most likely overlooked in years past. That all changes TODAY! As you navigate through the final quarter of the year, use the best tax deductions to take advantage of this Fall season.
Woman excited about saving money on the best tax deductions this Fall season

The Best Tax Deductions To Take Advantage of This Fall Season

Buckle your seatbelts 🏎, because there are tons of easy tax deductions and credits that are about to blow your mind! If used correctly, these common tax deductions can help you save thousands on your taxes:

Homeowner Tax Deductions

  1. Mortgage insurance premiums
  2. Interest paid on your mortgage
  3. State and Local real estate taxes
Note: If you sold your home this year, you can deduct real estate taxes that were paid during the closing of the sold property.

Local & State Taxes

State income taxes or local and/or state sales taxes that you paid during the year can be deducted. For those that live in a state that does not have a state income tax, it is best to take advantage of the sales tax deduction.

Charitable Gifts

Donations to IRS-approved charities can be deducted up to 50% of your income. These gifts must be reported as itemized deductions and can include everything from writing a check to the cost of mileage used to deliver a tangible donation (food/clothes donation, etc.). You can even deduct the amount spent on having a neighbor watch your children while you drop these items off...shocking, right?!

Note: Donations greater than $250 made to an organization must have a written acknowledgment to receive the deduction.

Medical & Dental Expenses

If you have health insurance but continue to pay for medical or dental expenses out-of-pocket and they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, costs such as long-term care, chiropractor appointments, and other health-related expenses can be deducted.

Retirement

While contributions towards your 401(k) retirement are not considered tax-deductible, they can be used to decrease the amount of your taxable income, which could possibly shift you to a lower tax bracket and save you money in the long run.

Educators Expenses

Educators that spend their personal money on classroom supplies can deduct up to $250 on their taxes ($500 if you’re married to an educator - 😊).

Education/Student Loan Expenses

Good news! The money that you spend on paying off your personal, spouse’s, or child’s student loans can be deducted up to $2,500 (of the loan’s interest).

Job Search Expenses

Looking for a new job in the field that you currently work in? Expenses such as travel for interviews, resume editing fees, and employment agency fees can be deducted.

Note: This deduction does not apply to first-time job hunters.

Child/Dependent Care Expenses

Caring for a parent or child can be very expensive. When filing your taxes be sure to list expenses for medical supplies, nursing home care, and in-home care if the person you take care of qualifies as a dependent.

Jury Duty Pay

If you are required to report for jury duty and handed over your work pay to your employer (because they paid your salary while you served), your jury duty pay can be deducted from your taxable income.

Loss from Disaster

You can claim unreimbursed losses as itemized deductions per IRS guidelines for losses due to theft or disaster.

Wedding Expenses

Yep, you read correctly! If you host your wedding at a church, nonprofit, or historical site, you can write that fee off as a charitable donation.







More Itemized Deductions & Tax Credits

We told you there were a ton of deductions and credits! And that’s just the first set of them. Here are some more common tax deductions you can be on the lookout for this Fall season:
  • Legal Fees
  • Hobbies
  • Working Kids
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit
  • Adoption Credit
  • American Opportunity Credit
  • Lifetime Learning Credits
  • Elderly or Disabled Credit

Don’t Get Carried Away With Deductions and Miss Your Tax Deadline

With so many deductions and tax credits to take during tax season, it can be easy to let time slip
Married couple taking advantage of the best tax deductions during the Fall season
away and miss your tax filing deadline. That’s where ExpressExtension comes in handy! Sign up for a free account and receive an automatic 6-month extension to file and spend extra time racking up on all of the best tax deductions to take advantage of this fall season!

Register Today

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How To Know Are Gifts Tax Deductible For Your Business

At some point in running or working in a business, you have most likely asked yourself, “are gifts tax deductible?” Showing kindness to employees helps to build strong morale within a company and motivates teams to work hard and accomplish goals with employee perks. Depending on the size of your team it can be quite costly to purchase office gifts, but what if these gifts could be included in your annual tax deductions list or were considered tax write offs? Take a coffee break and learn how to know are gifts tax deductible for your business.
Manager giving employee a gift after knowing are gifts tax deductible for your business

How To Know Are Gifts Tax Deductible For Your Business

Are gifts tax deductible over a certain value threshold? Sort of! Office gifts and employee perks vary based on business type and, ultimately, the business owner. Whether you own and operate your own business or want to give a token of appreciation to your team members as a team leader, there are some things you need to know about tax deductions and its relation to office gifts.

Team Member Gifts

When purchasing a gift(s) for an employee, ask yourself these questions:
  • Will this gift be taxable to my employee?
  • Can this gift be considered as a business expense?
The form and value of the gift you choose to give your employee will determine the answer to these questions. Gifts considered to taxable income to the employee are required to have federal and state income and payroll taxes withheld as the employer. Employment taxes, as well as federal and state unemployment taxes, must be paid on these amounts also.

Tangible Gifts

Gifts such as snacks, doughnuts, coffee, concert/event tickets (sports included), birthday, or holiday gifts that have a low fair market value will not be considered taxable income to employees. These are considered fringe benefits (too small to make accounting for it). However, no maximum dollar amount is specified by the IRS for excluding these types of fringe benefits from the taxable income of an employee, but no more than $25 of a gift can be deducted to any one person each year.

Ex: If you give an employee a gift that amounts to $100, you will only be able to claim $25 of that gift as a tax-deductible business expense.

Gift Cards/Certificates

These types of gifts are considered taxable income to employees since they basically can be used just like cash. The expense of this gift is fully deductible to the business, however, you will be required to withhold taxes from the employee’s pay.

Company Awards

Awards given to employees are not taxable income but should be limited. A deduction of up to $400 for the employee’s safety and/or service awards of tangible (personal) property can be taken each year by the employer for each employee.

Note: Service awards cannot be given to employees during their first five years of employment and no more often than every five years. Furthermore, you are not allowed to give safety awards to more than 10% of employees in the same year.

According to The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the following gifts cannot be included as tangible personal property:
  • Cash, gift cards, equivalents of cash, meals, vacations, lodging, sports tickets, theater tickets, bonds, stocks, or similar investments.

Keep Records of Your Gifts

The rule of thumb as a business owner is to always keep organized records of purchases, the amount you paid for gifts, and the purpose of the gift as it relates to your business. Having this documentation on hand will ensure that you get tax deductions for office gifts.

Team leader congratulating employee with office giftsIf you need additional time to gather your documents or file taxes for your business, easily file a tax extension with ExpressExtension. We provide information on how to quickly apply for an extension of time to file your Individual, Business, and Exempt Organization Income Tax Returns. The IRS doesn't require a reason to extend, and it's automatic! Create an account to today to prepare for your annual tax filings.

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How To Quickly Extend the September IRS 990 Tax Filing Deadline

In the wake of widespread attention on Hurricane Florence, you might have forgotten that the Form 990 tax deadline is quickly coming down the pipeline. Exempt organizations who operate on a fiscal tax year which runs from May 1 to April 30 were expected to complete a 990 tax return by the September 15 tax filing deadline. 😳  
Confused and shocked Form 990 filer for the September 990 Deadline


Take a deep breath! Since September 15 fell on a Saturday this year, you have until MIDNIGHT TONIGHT to file IRS Form 990 or Extension Form 8868 to avoid costly IRS penalties. If you need extra time to file, we have a little trick up our sleeve for filing an extension for taxes which will grant you an additional 6 months time to file. Get ready to learn how to quickly extend the September IRS 990 tax filing deadline in 3…2...1

How To Quickly Extend the September IRS 990 Tax Filing Deadline

Trust us, we completely understand how busy and difficult it can be running a nonprofit organization. Adding an unwanted tax filing deadline to your to-do list isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. This is where filing an extension for taxes comes in handy.

If you have yet to file IRS Form 990 for your tax-exempt organization, you can quickly complete tax extension Form 8868 by midnight and extend your 990 tax deadline to March 15, 2019. Here are the steps you need to take to extend the tax filing deadline:

Steps To File Tax Extension Form 8868

  1. Add organization's basic information such as name, EIN, address, and contact number
  2. Select the IRS form which you are applying for the tax extension
  3. Enter your organization's tax year period
  4. Choose your tax extension type and provide information for signing authority
  5. Review your return and fix any errors
  6. Pay and transmit to the IRS
Not hard at all, right? It takes just a few minutes to file a tax extension with ExpressExtension! Eliminate an unnecessary IRS penalty expense by creating a free account and filing IRS Extension Form 8868 by midnight.

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Some Of the Oddest Itemized Deductions On The Books

Teacher Tax expenses can be deducted from your tax return

From the child tax credit to claiming medical expenses...and quite a few odd things in between, to be honest, these are a handful of the oddest itemized deductions we as Americans can claim every spring.

Teacher Tax Expenses

The IRS, aware that teachers pay out of their own pockets more often than not, allows K-12 educators to deduct up to $250 for classroom materials. And while that pretty much amounts to seven Crayola 64-packs and enough tissues for half the year, it’s still nice to have, and the educator expenses deduction is a deduction whose threshold is easy as mud pie to meet.

Small caveat to the teacher tax deductions: This deduction number increases to $500 if the teacher is married filing jointly, and both spouses are eligible educators. However, this will not amount to any more than $250 each.

Child Tax Credit: The Babysitting Deduction

And while we’re talking about the kiddos, you can get a deduction for paying someone to watch them...so long as you were volunteering for a recognized charity while you left them. With a few more hoops, you can also qualify to itemize under the child tax credit to claim up to $3,000 of child care expenses if the child was under 13 years of age.

According to Intuit, so long as you were at school or work when the child was being watched, or (if you are married) both you and your spouse work and were at your job during the hours the child was cared for, the credit for this is 20-35% depending on your income.

To streamline itemizing the child tax credit, you’ll need the EIN of the child care provider and know the total amount you paid on hand at the time of filing.


Medical Expense Deduction

What tax deductions list would be complete without a medical deduction? While this is hardly one of the oddest itemized deductions out there, it is one you should be aware of, especially if you spend a lot of money on your health or lack thereof.

In order to deduct your medical expenses, they have to exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income before you can claim them as an itemized deduction. So if your adjusted gross income is $50,000, you need to have spent over $5,000 on medical expenses before you qualify to claim this tax deduction. The silver lining is that this minimum threshold to qualify is only based on your AGI (the number arrived at after the deductions on the first page of your tax return like alimony or student loan interest) and not your total income for the year.

If you’re self-employed,and therefore in charge of your own health insurance, you might be able to deduct 100% of what your premium costs. This will be taken off your adjusted gross income, though, not as an itemized deduction.

Money Loaned to Deadbeat Relatives

Now this can actually qualify as one of the oddest itemized deductions out there, and it certainly is one of the oddest on this tax deductions list. You can write off the total amount of money you loaned in good faith if you never got it back. Providing you documented this loan, it was indeed a loan and not a gift, and there truly is no hope of getting the money back, the IRS will let you write that money off as what is called a non-business bad debt. On their website, the IRS states that you must establish that you have taken steps to collect the debt. If you knew the person you loaned to wasn’t good for the money it is to be considered a gift and therefore you cannot write it off as a bad debt deduction.

Weird Work Expenses

To clarify, these are not expenses you get to write off because your job is weird. Rather, these are things that seem incongruous, but are actually tenuously connected to your job. 

Odd itemized deductions: you can write off pet supplies if your business has a mouser or guard dogIf your business keeps a cat around to cut down on the mice population, or a dog to guard the storefront, you can deduct pet supplies as a business expense––so long as you can prove it. Don’t try to sneak in any personal pet expenses. Less commonly, if you can prove plastic surgery was required for your job, you may be allowed to deduct the cost of the procedure.

If you need more time to file your taxes to incorporate this information, let ExpressExtension help. We’re an IRS-authorized e-file provider, and we’re here to make sure you get the extensions you need so you can stay compliant.



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Life After Missing The 941 Tax Form 2018 Deadline

July 31st marked the end of a long month, but it also marked the tax filing deadline for 941 tax form 2018, which is used to report second-quarter employment taxes to the IRS. If you didn’t file in time, don’t panic. The tax filing deadline may have passed, but there is life after missing the 2018 Form 941 deadline. Here’s how to avoid more penalties and fees after filing your taxes late.

Life After Missing The 941 Tax Form 2018 941 Deadline

Since time is not your best friend right now, we’ll get straight to it. If you missed the Form 941 for 2018 deadline you need to file immediately with our sister product, TaxBandits!

No, this isn’t just a shameless plug–you really need to e-file your IRS Form 941 with them ASAP to avoid hefty IRS penalties. Penalties for filing taxes late start accumulating right after the missed deadline, and the only way to get on top of them is to stop them.

Curious as to what those penalties are? Let’s take a look…*brace yourself*

Failing to File

If you failed to file your 941 tax form 2018 by the July 31 tax filing deadline, your business will incur a penalty of 5% of the total tax amount due. You will continue to be charged an additional 5% each month the return is not submitted to the IRS, and this charge can continue for up to 5 months.

If, in addition to failing to file, you failed to pay your owed tax bill, you will initially be charged .5% of the unpaid tax amount. This fee will increase each month the payment remains unpaid. The penalty will increase to 1% ten days following the IRS notice of intent to levy.

Note: If you also failed to pay taxes owed or did not pay the amount in full, click here for more information on failure-to-pay penalties.

File Form 941 for 2018 TODAY to Avoid More Penalties

The longer you wait to file, the more you will have to pay!  😳 

Now that you know where to file Form 941, set aside some time today to complete your tax filing requirements. E-filing is quick and easy with TaxBandits. By providing a simplified, interview-style process, TaxBandits enables you to conveniently e-file and keep your penalties to a minimum. They even provide you with a Form 941 for 2018 Checklist to ensure you have everything you need to file properly.


If you have any questions or need assistance filing 941 tax form 2018, we are available by phone, live chat, and email, standing by ready to help!

File Form 941 for 2018 Now

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You Need To Know There is No Extension For 941 Payroll Tax

As an employer, you have likely completed your fair share of tax forms over the years. While you might be a pro at staying on top of your small business tax compliance, mistakes and life happen. You know that you can always receive an additional amount of time by requesting an IRS extension. However, is this the case for the 941 payroll tax form?

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Your second-quarter tax filing deadline for IRS Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return is July 31. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you need to know there is no extension for 941 payroll tax forms. But don’t worry! We are about to walk you through a quick “Master Class” of all things Form 941 so you can file by the Form 941 deadline.

You Need to Know There is No Extension For 941 Payroll Tax

IRS Form 941 Overview

IRS Form 941 is filed by employers and business owners to report employment taxes for their employees every quarter. Standard withholdings like federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare taxes are outlined on this form and submitted to the IRS.

Unlike other tax forms that are due once a year, Form 941 for 2018 has a total of four deadlines, which include:
  • First Quarter (January - March)
    Due April 30, 2018
  • Second Quarter (April - June)
    Due July 31, 2018
  • Third Quarter (July - September)
    Due October 31, 2018
  • Fourth Quarter (October - December)
    Due January 31, 2019

Looking For Where To Send Form 941?

Don’t worry about finding the Form 941 mailing address for 2018––E-file instead! E-filing Form 941 for 2018 is simple when you have the necessary information on hand and file with our sister product, TaxBandits. Here is what you will need to complete your second-quarter tax filings:
  • Your Name, EIN, and Address as the Employer
  • Total Number of Employees
  • Social Security & Medicare Taxes
  • Deposit Made to the IRS
  • Monthly/Semiweekly Tax Liability
  • Signing Authority Information
  • Form 8453-EMP or Online Signature PIN
Note: If you don’t already have an online signature PIN use Form 8453-EMP instead.

Form 941 Instructions 2018 

Follow these steps and you will have your quarterly filing completed in no time:

Wait...There Really Isn’t An Extension?!

“Well if you don’t know, now you know!”

Yes, there really is no extension of time to file IRS Form 941. Failing to file Form 941 for 2018 by the second-quarter deadline on July 31 will result in some pretty expensive penalties from the IRS that I’m sure you would like to avoid. Bookmark and share this blog with other employers to help them stay tax compliant.

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How To Get Started on The 2018 IRS Form 941

We have officially entered into the third quarter of the year which means the beloved second quarter 941 Form 2018 filing deadline is around the corner. If you like to stay ahead of the game and handle your tax filings early, we have the information you need to get started on the 2018 IRS Form 941 before the deadline. 

How To Get Started on The 2nd Quarter 941 Form 2018 Deadline

What is 2018 IRS Form 941 & When is it Due?

The Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return, commonly known as IRS Form 941, is used by business owners and employers to report employment taxes. Unlike other annual tax forms, Form 941 must be filed four times a year (quarterly).

The 2018 IRS Form 941 second quarter filing is due by midnight on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, and covers the months of April, May, and June.

What You Need to File Form 941 for 2018

Required Information & Details

To begin your 2nd quarter 941 Form 2018 filing, you will need to provide basic employer details, which includes your name, EIN, and address. You probably know two out of those three off the top of your head. 😆

Here’s the other information (Employment Details) you will need to complete your quarterly filing:

Online Signature PIN

Whenever you file Form 941 online, you are required to verify your identity through an online signature PIN or Form 8453-EMP. Using an online signature PIN allows you to instantly e-sign your form every time you file and makes the process much simpler. Here’s how you can apply for your FREE Online Signature PIn using our sister product, TaxBandits:
  • Click here to Apply Now for your 94x PIN
  • Enter your basic employer information, such as the business name, type, EIN, and address.
  • Enter the information required for a signing authority.
  • Authorize your PIN request and send it to the IRS.
Once you have been approved the IRS will send you a 10-digit PIN. To activate this PIN, you must sign and return a statement acknowledging that you received the PIN from the IRS within 10 days.

Note: If you do not receive your online signature PIN by the Form 941 deadline you can use Form 8453-EMP to e-sign and complete your 941 return.

How To File Form 941 Online

Filing 941 Form 2018 and meeting the second quarter deadline is much easier than you may think; especially when you file with TaxBandits. Here’s what you will need to do to file: 

  1. Sign in or Create your TaxBandits account
  2. Select “Form 941”
  3. Enter employer details
  4. Choose the appropriate tax year/quarter
  5. Follow Interview-Style Process
  6. Enter the deposit made to the IRS
  7. Enter your deposit schedule and tax liability
  8. Enter the online signature PIN or complete Form 8453-EMP
  9. Review, pay and transmit your form directly to the IRS. 

Ready, Set, GO!

The race to deadline day on July 31st has already begun. Use the information you’ve learned in today’s blog to get started on your second quarter 2018 IRS Form 941. There is no extension for quarterly tax filings so be sure to create a free account with our sister product TaxBandits and start filing today!

File Form 941 Online Today!

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