Employers planning to claim an expanded tax credit for hiring certain veterans should act soon, according to the IRS. Many businesses may qualify to receive thousands of dollars through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, but only if the veteran begins work before the new year.
Here are six key facts about the WOTC as expanded by VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.
1. Hiring Deadline: Employers may be able to claim the expanded WOTC for qualified veterans who begin work on or after Nov. 22, 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013.
2. Maximum Credit: The maximum tax credit is $9,600 per worker for employers that operate for-profit businesses, or $6,240 per worker for tax-exempt organizations.
3. Credit Factors: The amount of credit will depend on a number of factors. Such factors include the length of the veteran’s unemployment before being hired, the number of hours the veteran works and the amount of the wages the veteran receives during the first-year of employment.
4. Disabled Veterans: Employers hiring veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum tax credit.
5. State Certification: Employers must file Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit, with their state workforce agency. The form must be filed within 28 days after the qualified veteran starts work. For additional information about your SWA visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s WOTC website.
6. E-file: Some states accept Form 8850 electronically.
IRS Provides Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Sandy; Return Filing and Tax Payment Deadline Extended to Feb. 1, 2013
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Internal Revenue Service announced additional tax relief to affected individuals and businesses.
Following recent disaster declarations for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York will receive tax relief. Other locations may be added in coming days based on additional damage assessments by FEMA.
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting in late October. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 1, 2013 to file these returns and pay any taxes due. This includes the fourth quarter individual estimated tax payment, normally due Jan. 15, 2013. It also includes payroll and excise tax returns and accompanying payments for the third and fourth quarters, normally due on Oct. 31, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013 respectively. It also applies to tax-exempt organizations required to file Form 990 series returns with an original or extended deadline falling during this period.
The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply. The IRS automatically provides this relief to any taxpayer located in the disaster area. Taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get this relief.
Beyond the relief provided by law to taxpayers in the FEMA-designated counties, the IRS will work with any taxpayer who resides outside the disaster area but whose books, records or tax professional are located in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. All workers assisting the relief activities in the covered disaster areas who are affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization are eligible for relief. Taxpayers who live outside of the impacted area and think they may qualify for this relief need to contact the IRS at 866-562-5227.
In addition, the IRS is waiving failure-to-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after the disaster area start date and before Nov. 26, if the deposits are made by Nov. 26, 2012. Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
The tax relief is part of a coordinated federal response to the damage caused by the hurricane and is based on local damage assessments by FEMA. For information on disaster recovery, individuals should visit disasterassistance.gov.
The IRS wants to assure taxpayers, businesses and tax preparers that it is working aggressively to monitor the situation and provide additional relief as needed.
So far, IRS filing and payment relief applies to the following localities:
In Connecticut (starting Oct. 27): Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven, and New London Counties and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribal Nation located within New London County;
In New Jersey (starting Oct. 26): Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Union;
In New York (starting Oct. 27): Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester.
Whether you’re a recent graduate going to college for the first time or a returning student, it will soon be time to get to campus – and payment deadlines for tuition and other fees are not far behind. We want to remind students or parents paying such expenses to keep receipts and to be aware of some tax benefits that can help offset college costs.
Typically, these benefits apply to you, your spouse or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.
American Opportunity Credit
This credit, originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has been extended for an additional two years – 2011 and 2012. The credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student and is available for the first four years of post secondary education. Forty percent of this credit is refundable, which means that you may be able to receive up to $1,000, even if you owe no taxes. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, course related books, supplies and equipment. The full credit is generally available to eligible
taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is below $80,000 ($160,000 for married couples filing a joint return).
Lifetime Learning Credit
In 2011, you may be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses paid for a student enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for an eligible student, but to claim the credit, your modified adjusted gross income must be below $60,000 ($120,000 if married filing jointly).
Tuition and Fees Deduction
This deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000 for 2011 even if you do not itemize your deductions. Generally, you can claim the tuition and fees deduction for qualified higher education expenses for an eligible student if your modified adjusted gross income is below $80,000
($160,000 if married filing jointly).
Student loan interest deduction
Generally, personal interest you pay, other than certain mortgage interest, is not deductible. However, if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $75,000 ($150,000 if filing a joint return), you may be able to deduct interest paid on a student loan used for higher education during the year. It can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $2,500, even if you don’t itemize deductions.
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