The PATH Act explained by GSACPA

The path act

According to the IRS, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act was enacted in 2015. This act extends to various aspects that taxpayers should be aware of, including changes to legislation that regulate taxes and extending some laws that would have expired. The act aims to protect taxpayers against fraud. It includes provisions that may affect the taxpayer credits of individuals and businesses. This guide will take a look at those aspects. The path act

What taxpayers need to know about the PATH Act 

The PATH Act extends expired tax laws and introduced new regulations to reduce fraud and to ensure that Americans get the correct refunds from the IRS. The PATH Act now addresses regulations governing Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Although the act may not change the amount of your return or when you receive your refund, it does ensure that certain tax credits are monitored more closely.

The most important aspect to recognize is that the PATH Act will not change how you complete your tax return. Although early filers may experience some delays, these delays afford the IRS opportunities to counteract possible tax fraud.

Key aspects of the PATH Act

Under the Act, some taxpayers who file early for Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) or Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) may receive their refund later. These taxpayers could have to wait until after the 15th of February to receive a refund. The delay allows the IRS to verify information that can help to reduce tax fraud. All pending refunds should be released from the 15th of February, so if you don’t receive your refund within 4-6 weeks after the 15th of February, you may want to visit the IRS website to find out about the delay. 

The Act has retroactively extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This is a credit for employers who hire workers from target groups faced with barriers to employment. 

If you’re still unsure about any part of the PATH Act, or if you need more tax tips, visit our website or reach out to talk to a tax expert about your tax refund. 

Tax Tips for Summer Jobs from Georgen Scarborough

When you think of your summer job, or if you’re starting as an entrepreneur, taxes might not be at the top of your priority list, so here are tax tips that you need to keep in mind. This guide from Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC will help you to make the most out of your summer earnings without getting into hot water with the taxman.

Tax Tips for Summer Jobs and Entrepreneurs from Accounting Service Experts summer

Understand your type of income 

How your income is classified will have a significant effect on your taxes, so it is essential to understand whether you are self-employed, or if a business or company actually employs you. 

There are many forms of self-employment, including being an independent contract worker that performs services such as babysitting, cleaning services, dog walking and many more. Skilled workers such as writers, photographers and designers can also be self-employed as freelancers. The basic premise of self-employment is that you have the power to decide on work you accept, clients you want to work with and the terms of the contract. 

If you’re self-employed, your income will be reported on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (profit or loss from business). Self-employed taxpayers can claim business expenses that you may not even be aware of, and that differ from industry to industry. That is precisely why you need the services of a certified public accountant who knows the rules and understands the laws surrounding tax expenses and claims for different industries. 

If you are an employee of a business, your employer will deduct tax from your paycheck, instead of you having to pay estimated taxes to the IRS every year. 

Reporting Income 

Regardless of your employment status (whether you are self-employed, or employed by a company), you will have to report income from all sources on your tax return. There is a threshold for income that you need to cross before you start paying taxes, but even if you don’t cross the limit, you still need to file a tax return. When reporting your income, remember to include income from any side jobs, self-employment opportunities as well as formal employment. 

A source of income that is often overlooked is barter income. This is a form of income where you are paid in goods or services in exchange for the work that you do. For example, if you spend time teaching someone’s child to swim, and they give you a gift card to get your car washed at their car wash business, it is considered income from self-employment and needs to be reported. 

File your tax return 

You should always file a tax return, no matter your income. Sometimes, your income won’t exceed the minimum gross that is set for filing requirements, but even in such an event, you may still want to file if taxes have been withheld from your pay. Your tax return may entitle you to claim money back, or it generates a tax refund if you’re eligible for a refundable tax credit such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the American Opportunity Tax Credit. 

Although you need not know all the tax rules, if you are self-employed or an independent contractor, you need to keep a record of your income and expenses such as mileage, and materials purchased to perform your job. To make it simple, use a service such as QuickBooks so your information can be exported at tax time.

For more tax tips and information on your summer job taxes, contact accounting service experts, Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC. today.

Child Tax Credit 2019: How to Qualify

child tax credit

As most parents in the USA are now aware, the dependency exemption of $4,050 has been eliminated. Thankfully, though, it is still possible to apply for various tax benefits and credits if you have children or dependents in your care. One of those benefits is the Child Tax Credit. Interested to know if you qualify to receive it? We have got all the facts below:

What Are the Qualifying Criteria? 

There are only four qualifying criteria when it comes to the Child Tax Credit for the tax year of 2019:

  1. You need to have at least one child in your care who is under the age of 17 at the endchild tax credit of the calendar year.
  2. You need to earn less than $400,000 per annum if you are filing jointly with your spouse OR less than $200,000 per annum if you are single and filing individually. 
  3. You need to have provided at least half of the child’s support over the course of the last year.
  4. The child needs to have lived with you for a period of at least six months over the course of the last year (there are some exceptions to this rule).

How Much Is the Child Tax Credit Worth for the Tax Year of 2019? 

You can get up to $2,000 per qualifying dependent child through the Child Tax Credit. Seeing that it is a tax credit rather than a deduction, it reduces your taxes dollar-for-dollar. Furthermore, up to $1,400 of the Child Tax Credit is refundable. In other words, it can take your tax bill right down to zero and you will still have the opportunity to get a refund on anything left over. child tax credit

If you have dependents living with you who are over the age of 17 but that still qualify as dependents (usually as a result of a disability), there is a $500 non-refundable credit that you can obtain via the Child Tax Credit benefit

Be sure to get in touch with the Certified Public Accountants at Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC, if you have any further questions about the Child Tax Credit and how to qualify. 

Having Dependents Has Significant Tax Benefits

child tax credit

Are you aware of the fact that having dependents still has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars in tax, despite the elimination of the dependency exemption of $4,050? It is true! Below, we provide you with some expert insight into the different tax benefits that you can continue to take advantage of going forward. 

Child Tax Credit 

Tax credits are different from tax deductions in that they reduce your taxes dollar-for-dollar. The great news is that while the dependency exemption is no longer in existence, the Child Tax Credit has been

child tax creditdoubled and is now $2,000 in total. You should qualify for this credit if you are the caregiver of one or more children under the age of 17, and if you and your partner’s income threshold is $400,000 (if you are married and filing jointly). If you are single, the income threshold currently sits at $200,000.

Child and Dependent Care Credit 

There is no doubt that working parents will all agree that childcare takes a massive chunk out of their earnings. Luckily, many of these parents are eligible to receive the Child and Dependent Care Credit. The only criteria are that you are employed or actively in search of a job and your child(ren) and/or dependents are under the age of 13child and dependent care credit or are disabled in some way. With this credit, you will also receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction of between 20% to 35% (depending on your annual income) of $3,000 ($1,050) for one child or $6,000 ($2,100) for two or more children.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) 

If you earn less than a certain amount and you have children in your care, you may qualify to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. For the tax year 2019, the credit ranges from $6,557 for three or more children down to $529 with no children.

earned income tax credit

Would you like more information regarding tax benefits in the USA? Then it is time to book an appointment with the Certified Public Accountants at Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC. Contact us today!