Monthly Archives: March 2014

Worried About Tax Return Fraud? File Early!

Don’t Let Fraudsters Have Your Refund

With security breaches happening every day at major retailers, identity theft and fraud is likely on your mind, and stolen credit isn’t your only risk.

stop fraudIn an increasingly common scam, identity thieves use victims’ personal information to file fraudulent tax returns electronically and claim bogus refunds.  When the real taxpayers file their returns, they’re notified that they’re attempting to file duplicate returns.  It can take months to straighten things out, causing all sorts of headaches and delaying legitimate refunds.

You can reduce your chance of becoming a victim by filing your return as soon as possible after you receive your W-2 and 1099s.  If you file first, it will be the thief who’s filing the duplicate return, not you.

Check your bank information and credit card accounts frequently and consider signing up for credit monitoring to keep yourself from becoming a victim.

If you’d like to file your tax return early this year, call Jim Komos at 216-831-7171 or email him at jkomos@cp-advisors.com.  We’d be happy to help.  Let us know if you have questions about protecting yourself from tax return fraud and identity theft.  We have a Certified Fraud Examiner on staff to assist with any fraud questions you may have.

You may also be interested in:

Tax Deduction: Is My Parent a Dependent?

Tax Filing Deadlines – Don’t Miss Them

More Ways to Cut Your Tax Bill

summer camp2Tax Break:  Summer Day Camp

The passing of Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer.  Although the kids might still be in school for another week or two, summer day camp is rapidly approaching for many families.  If yours is among them, did you know that sending your child to day camp might make you eligible for a tax break?

Day camp is a qualified expense under the child and dependent care credit, which is worth 20% of qualifying expenses (more if your adjusted gross income is less than $43,000), subject to a cap.  For 2014, the maximum expenses allowed for the credit are $3,000 for one qualifying child and $6,000 for two or more.

Be aware, however, that overnight camp costs don’t qualify for the credit.  Additional rules apply.

There’s still time to get substantiation for 2013 donations

To support a charitable deduction, you need to comply with IRS substantiation requirements.  This generally includes obtaining a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the charity stating the amount of the donation, whether you received any goods or services in consideration for the donation, and the value of any such goods or services.

“Contemporaneous” means the earlier of 1) the date you file your tax return, or 2) the extended due date of your return.  So if you made a donation in 2013 but haven’t yet received substantiation from the charity, it’s not too late – as long as you haven’t filed your 2013 return.  Contact the charity and request a written acknowledgement.

Jim Komos is the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Tax Department.  He has experience in all facets of taxation for individuals, closely held businesses, their owners, and key personnel.  Contact him at 216.831.7171 or jkomos@cp-advisors.com.

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