Five quick tips for individual taxpayers
Posted On: 2-2-2015 | Posted By: Kathy Graessle, CPA
Keeping up with tax changes is a full time-job – our job. For those who don’t revel in all the detail the way we do, we’ve assembled a brief list of tax notes individual taxpayers should consider for 2015.
- Missouri’s minimum wage increased to $7.65 as of January 1.Even if you don’t work for minimum wage, you might have a teenager at home who does. And, if you are a business owner, you should be aware that the increase means you must post a notice where all employees can read it. For more information on labor law poster requirements, read our recent article.
- Standard reimbursement for business miles driven is now 57.5 cents per mile. The reimbursement rate for medical or moving purposes is 23 cents per mile, and the rate is 14 cents per mile driven in service of a charitable organization.
- After you know the amount of federal and state tax you owe or will be refunded for 2014, consider adjusting your W-4 withholding if the amount is large in either direction. Significant life changes such as a new baby, a marriage or divorce, or retirement could have occurred since you filled out the last W-4, and you might need to better estimate your current tax liability.
- The residential renewable energy tax credit is available through the end of 2016, under current law. This is a 30% credit of the cost qualified expenditures such as solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems, geothermal heat pumps and fuel cells for residential homes. Labor costs and the cost of connecting the system to your home is included in the qualified expenditure amount. In addition, this is a refundable credit, so any amount of credit that exceeds your tax liability can be carried forward until 2016. If you are considering a renewable energy upgrade to your home, this credit can help defray some of the cost, but only through 2016 without congressional action.
- Last year, identity theft involving the fraudulent filing of tax returns was a significant problem, and this year will be no different. If a return is filed using your taxpayer ID, getting it straightened out can be time-consuming. You will not be allowed to file your return, or collect the refund, until the matter is settled. Complicating matters, the IRS is warning that budget cuts will reduce its ability to fight fraud and respond timely when fraud occurs. We recommend you beat the thieves to the punch by filing your return as soon as you can and letting your WK advisor know if you receive a notice from the IRS.
For additional guidance on any of these issues, contact your WK advisor at (573) 442-6171 or (573) 635-6196.