Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips

 
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 1

Tax Tips
        2018
 The News Reporter / Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 2

            Getting ready for tax season
   A new year not only brings a host of    while increasing the chances you
new opportunities, but it also brings      earn all of the credits and deductions
a host of familiar obligations. One        you deserve.
such obligation is paying taxes, which        • Examine past returns. Many
doesn’t have to be done until mid-         people have questions when filling out
April. But waiting until the last min-     their tax returns, but those who wait
ute with respect to taxes can make the     until the waning days of tax season
process even more difficult, and put-      to prepare their returns ignore those
ting it off certainly won’t help those     questions in an effort to make the fil-
people who vowed to stop procrasti-        ing deadline. When you start prepar-
nating in the new year.                    ing for tax season early, examine past
   Getting a headstart on tax season       returns and see if there are any ques-
can be beneficial in numerous ways,        tions you wanted to ask in the past that
not the least of which is avoiding the     you didn’t have time for. Write these
last-minute rush to file your return       questions down as you comb through
come the filing deadline. Even if you      your past returns and bring the ques-
have yet to receive your W-2 (which        tions to your tax preparer when the
you should have in hand by January         time comes. If you don’t plan on hir-
31), there are steps you can take to get   ing a professional to prepare your
ready for the coming tax season.           taxes, you can contact the IRS with
   • Gather your documents. Your           your questions, and the earlier you do
W-2 is likely not the only document        so, the more quickly you are likely to
you will need to prepare your tax re-      have your questions answered.
turn. Statements regarding your in-           • Take your time. When you decide       when working on your return and            early so that person has more time to
vestments, student loan payments,          to get an early start on your taxes, you   don’t succumb to any potential stress-     devote to your return. If you wait too
mortgage and a host of other docu-         allow yourself to take your time pre-      ors.                                       long, chances are the tax preparer will
ments might be necessary for you to        paring your return. This reduces the         • Consider hiring a professional.        be buried with many other customers’
fill out your return. You should start     likelihood of getting stressed when fil-   Starting early also gives you an op-       returns and won’t be able to devote as
receiving these documents in Janu-         ing your return. Many people get a bit     portunity to determine if preparing        much time to preparing your return
ary, so gather them as they come in        nervous when filing a tax return, but      your own return is too tall a task. If     as you would like.
and keep them in a convenient place.       that stress can be even greater if you     that’s the case, consider hiring a pro-      More information about getting
This will ensure you don’t get frus-       leave everything until the last minute.    fessional to prepare your return. If       ready for tax season is available at
trated when filling out your return        If you’re starting early, take your time   you decide to hire a professional, do so   www.irs.gov.

                                                                                                                           Large enough
                                                                       S. Preston Douglas                              to meet all your needs,
                                                                       & Associates, LLP                                  small enough to
                                                                                                                          know your name.
                                                                                                                            LUMBERTON
                                                                                                                         907 N. Walnut Street
                                                                                                                           910-739-7523
                                                                                                                       John L. Grissom, Jr., CPA

                                                                                                                        ELIZABETHTOWN
                                                                                                                         1103 W. Broad Street
                                                                                                                            910-862-3768
                                                                                                                           Phil W. Byrd, CPA

                                                                                                                             WHITEVILLE
               Jerry W. Brown, CPA                Julia Kinlaw, CPA            Jerry G. Savage, CPA
                                                                                                                          122 Memory Plaza
                 Phil W. Byrd, CPA               Culbert M. (Buddy)          Matthew S. McLean, CPA                         910-642-6692
             Deborah S. Grissom, CPA              McLean, Jr., CPA              Stephen Parker, CPA
                                                                                                                       Matthew S. McLean, CPA
             John L. Grissom, Jr., CPA         John D. Masters, CPA             Austin Eubanks, CPA
             J. Lee Grissom, CPA, CFE                                                                                  www.spdouglas.com
                                             Member: American Institute of CPA’s, NC Association of CPA’s

                           Working with our clients to achieve their financial goals since 1941
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 3

IRS statement on 2018                                                                                                          Tax returns
                                                                                                                                due April
filing season start date                                                                                                           17
   The Internal Revenue                                                                            those returns when             The filing deadline to submit 2017
Service       announced                                                                            received, it cannot is-     tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2018,
sthat the nation’s tax                                                                             sue related refunds         rather than the traditional April 15
season will begin Mon-                                                                             before mid-February.        date. In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sun-
day, Jan. 29, 2018 and                                                                             The IRS expects the         day, and this would usually move the
reminded       taxpayers                                                                           earliest EITC/ACTC          filing deadline to the following Mon-
claiming certain tax                                                                               related refunds to be       day — April 16. However, Emancipa-
credits that refunds                                                                               available in taxpayer       tion Day — a legal holiday in the Dis-
won’t be available be-                                                                             bank accounts or on         trict of Columbia — will be observed
fore late February.                                                                                debit cards starting        on that Monday, which pushes the na-
   The IRS will begin                                                                              on Feb. 27, 2018, if they   tion’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April
accepting tax returns                                                                              chose direct deposit        17, 2018. Under the tax law, legal holi-
on Jan. 29, with nearly                                                                            and there are no other      days in the District of Columbia affect
155 million individual                                                                             issues with the tax re-     the filing deadline across the nation.
tax returns expected to                                                                            turn. The IRS also re-         “The opening of filing season re-
be filed in 2018. The na-                                                                          minds taxpayers that        flects months and months of work by
tion’s tax deadline will                                                                           they should keep cop-       IRS employees,” Koskinen said. “This
be April 17 this year –                                                                            ies of their prior-year     year, we had a number of important
so taxpayers will have                                                                             tax returns for at least    legislative changes to program into
two additional days to                                                                             three years.                our systems, including the EITC re-
file beyond April 15.                                                                                Taxpayers who are         fund date, as well as dealing with
   Many software com-                                                                              using a tax software        resource limitations. Our systems
panies and tax profes-                                                                             product for the first       require extensive programming and
sionals will be accept-                                                                            time will need their        testing beforehand to ensure we’re
ing tax returns before                                                                             adjusted gross income       ready to accept and process more than
Jan. 29 and then will                                                                              from their 2016 tax re-     155 million returns.”
submit the returns                                                                                 turn to file electroni-        The IRS also has been working
when IRS systems open. Although the       of key tax processing systems in ad-     cally.                                      with the tax industry and state rev-
IRS will begin accepting both electron-   vance of the opening and to assess the     Taxpayers who are using the same          enue departments as part of the Se-
ic and paper tax returns Jan. 29, paper   potential impact of tax legislation on   tax software they used last year will       curity Summit initiative to continue
returns will begin processing later in    2017 tax returns.                        not need to enter prior-year informa-       strengthening processing systems to
mid-February as system updates con-         The IRS reminds taxpayers that,        tion to electronically sign their 2017      protect taxpayers from identity theft
tinue. The IRS strongly encourages        by law, the IRS cannot issue refunds     tax return. Using an electronic filing      and refund fraud. The IRS and Sum-
people to file their tax returns elec-    claiming the Earned Income Tax           PIN is no longer an option. Taxpayers       mit partners continued to improve
tronically for faster refunds.            Credit (EITC) and the Additional         can visit IRS.gov/GetReady for more         these safeguards to further protect
   The IRS set the Jan. 29 opening date   Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-      tips on preparing to file their 2017 tax    taxpayers filing in 2018.
to ensure the security and readiness      February. While the IRS will process     return.

                                 Refunds in 2018
  Choosing e-file and direct depos-       and ACTC.                                weekends or holidays, which can
it for refunds remains the fastest          The IRS expects the earliest           affect when refunds reach taxpay-
and safest way to file an accurate        EITC/ACTC related refunds to             ers. For EITC and ACTC filers,
income tax return and receive             be available in taxpayer bank ac-        the three-day holiday weekend
a refund. The IRS expects more            counts or on debit cards starting        involving Presidents’ Day may af-
than four out of five tax returns         on Feb. 27, 2018, if those taxpay-       fect their refund timing.
will be prepared electronically us-       ers chose direct deposit and there         The Where’s My Refund? tool
ing tax software.                         are no other issues with the tax         on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go phone
  The IRS still anticipates issuing       return. This additional period is        app will be updated with project-
more than nine out of 10 refunds          due to several factors, including        ed deposit dates for early EITC
in less than 21 days, but there are       banking and financial systems            and ACTC refund filers in late
some important factors to keep in         needing time to process deposits.        February. Taxpayers will not see
mind for taxpayers.                         After refunds leave the IRS, it        a refund date on Where’s My Re-
  By law, the IRS cannot issue re-        takes additional time for them           fund? or through their software
funds on tax returns claiming the         to be processed and for financial        packages until then. The IRS, tax
Earned Income Tax Credit or the           institutions to accept and depos-        preparers and tax software will
Additional Child Tax Credit be-           it the refunds to bank accounts          not have additional information
fore mid-February. This applies to        and products. The IRS reminds            on refund dates, so Where’s My
the entire refund — even the por-         taxpayers many financial institu-        Refund? remains the best way to
tion not associated with the EITC         tions do not process payments on         check the status of a refund.
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 4

 Scams targeting taxpayers                                                                      Help for taxpayers
  Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal infor-
                                                                                        The IRS reminds taxpayers they have offer free tax help to people who qual-
mation to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set
                                                                                     a variety of options to get help filing ify. Go to IRS.gov and enter “free tax
up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.
                                                                                     and preparing their tax return on IRS. prep” in the search box to learn more
  The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or
                                                                                     gov, the official IRS website. Taxpayers and find a nearby VITA or TCE site,
social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize
                                                                                     can find answers to their tax questions or download the IRS2Go smartphone
the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or
                                                                                     and resolve tax issues online. The Let app to find a free tax prep provider. If
knocking on your door.
                                                                                     Us Help You page helps answer most eligible, taxpayers can also locate help
                     IRS-Impersonation telephone scams
                                                                                     tax      ques-
  A sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immi-
                                                                                     tions, and
grants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to
                                                                                     the IRS Ser-
be IRS employees, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge num-
                                                                                     vices Guide
bers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller
                                                                                     links        to
ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
                                                                                     these      and
  Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly
                                                                                     other      IRS
through a gift card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest,
                                                                                     services.
deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the
                                                                                        Taxpay-
caller becomes hostile and insulting. Victims may be told they have a refund
                                                                                     ers can go
due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t
                                                                                     to IRS.gov/
answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
                                                                                     account to
     Consumer Alert: Scammers change tactics, once again
                                                                                     securely
  Some thieves have used video relay services (VRS) to try to scam deaf and
                                                                                     access      in-
hard of hearing individuals. Taxpayers are urged not trust calls just because
                                                                                     for mation
they are made through VRS, as interpreters don’t screen calls for validity. For
                                                                                     about their
details see the IRS video: Tax Scams via Video Relay Service.
                                                                                     federal tax
  Limited English Proficiency victims are often approached in their native
                                                                                     account.
language, threatened with deportation, police arrest and license revocation,
                                                                                     They       can
among other things. IRS urges all taxpayers caution before paying unexpected
                                                                                     view the amount they owe, pay online from a community volunteer. Go to
tax bills. Please see: IRS Alerts Taxpayers with Limited English Proficiency of
                                                                                     or set up an online payment agree- IRS.gov and click on the Filing tab for
Ongoing Phone Scams. Note that the IRS doesn’t:
                                                                                     ment; access their tax records online; more information.
     Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such
                                                                                     review the past 18 months of payment          The IRS also reminds taxpayers that
as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first
                                                                                     history; and view key tax return infor- a trusted tax professional can provide
mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
                                                                                     mation for the current year as filed. helpful information and advice.
     Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have
                                                                                     Visit IRS.gov/secureaccess to review          Tips for choosing a return preparer
you arrested for not paying.
                                                                                     the required identity authentication and details about national tax profes-
    Demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal
                                                                                     process.                                   sional groups are available on IRS.gov.
the amount they say you owe.
                                                                                        In addition,
     Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
                       Scams targeting tax professionals
  Increasingly, tax professionals are being targeted by identity thieves. These
                                                                                     70 percent of
                                                                                     the       nation’s Under New Management
                                                                                     taxpayers are
criminals – many of them sophisticated, organized syndicates - are redoubling
                                                                                     eligible for IRS
their efforts to gather personal data to file fraudulent federal and state income
                                                                                     Free File. Com-
tax returns. The Security Summit has a campaign aimed at tax professionals:
                                                                                     mercial       part-
Protect your clients; Protect yourself.
                                                                                     ners of the IRS
  Recent scams targeting the tax professional community include:
                                                                                     offer free brand-
  • Tax professionals warned of e-Services scam.
                                                                                     name software
  • Tax professionals warned of new scam to “Unlock” tax software accounts.
                                                                                     to about 100 mil-
                                                                                                                Looking for a new
  • A phishing scheme mimicking software providers targets tax professionals.
                                                                                     lion individuals
     Criminals target tax professionals to steal data such as PTINs, EFINs or
                                                                                     and       families

                                                                                                                  Accountant?
e-Service passwords.
                                                                                     with incomes of
  • Bogus email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal
                                                                                     $66,000 or less.
information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs).
  IRS warns tax preparers to watch out for new Phishing Scam; Don’t click on
strange emails or links seeking updated information
                                                                                        The
                                                                                     fillable
                                                                                                 online
                                                                                                  forms          Look no further!
                                                                                     provide        elec-
  Tax professionals should review Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer
Data, A guide for your business, which provides a checklist to help safeguard
                                                                                     tronic versions
                                                                                     of IRS paper
                                                                                                             We offer Accounting, Payroll
information and enhance security. See also: Identity theft information for tax
professionals.
                                                                                     forms to all tax-       and Tax Return Preparation
                                                                                     payers regard-
                    Soliciting form W-2 information from
                 payroll and human resources professionals
                                                                                     less of income             at competitive prices.
                                                                                     that can be
  The IRS has established a process that will allow businesses and payroll ser-
vice providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam cur-
                                                                                     prepared        and    If what you’re looking for is HONESTY, RELIABILITY
                                                                                     filed by people
rently making the rounds. If notified in time, the IRS can take steps to prevent
                                                                                     comfortable
                                                                                                               and ACCURACY with over 40 years of combined
employees from being victimized by identity thieves filing fraudulent returns
in their names. There also is information about how to report receiving the
                                                                                     with complet-           experience from a company that’s been in Columbus
                                                                                     ing their own
scam email.
                                                                                     returns.
                                                                                                                       County since 1990, give us a call!
  Report these schemes:
  • Email dataloss@irs.gov to notify the IRS of a W-2 data loss and provide
                                                                                        Vo l u n t e e r
                                                                                     Income Tax As-
                                                                                                                        910-642-8084
contact information. In the subject line, type “W2 Data Loss” so that the email
can be routed properly. Do not attach any employee personally identifiable in-
                                                                                     sistance (VITA)           2764 Old Pine Log Road, Whiteville
                                                                                     and Tax Coun-
formation.
                             Continued on page 12
                                                                                     seling for the
                                                                                     Elderly (TCE)      Mention this ad and get 10% Off
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 5

Seven smart uses for your tax refund
  You finished your tax returns and                                                                                        start on your child’s education.
discovered you’ll be receiving a nice                                                                                         5. Make an investment. Consider
refund. You’re not alone. The IRS                                                                                          putting your refund money to work
reports that the average American                                                                                          for you. Talk to your State Farm®
received a refund of nearly $3,000 in                                                                                      agent about your options.
2016. But before you start dreaming                                                                                           6. Improve your efficiency. Invest-
of a tropical vacation or a shopping                                                                                       ing in home improvements can pay
spree, consider how that money could                                                                                       off in reduced energy bills. For exam-
help you shore up your financial situ-                                                                                     ple, replacing an old refrigerator with
ation. Here are seven suggestions to                                                                                       a new ENERGY STAR®-rated unit can
consider.                                                                                                                  save you $200 to $1,100 over the life-
  1. Pay off credit card debt. Main-                                                                                       time of the appliance.
taining any balance—but especially                                                                                            7. Bolster your life insurance. If
the maximum—on a high-interest                                                                                             it’s been awhile since you reviewed
credit card costs you money every                                                                                          your insurance coverage, this may be
month. Pay off or cut down your bal-                                                                                       a prime opportunity. As life progress-
ance and, depending on your account                                                                                        es and your situation changes, you
balance, you could save hundreds of                                                                                        may find you’re underinsured. An in-
dollars in interest fees this year.                                                                                        surance agent can help you determine
  2. Boost your emergency fund.                                                                                            the level of coverage that’s right for
Experts recommend stashing the                                                                                             you. Agents cannot provide tax, legal,
equivalent of three to six months’                                                                                         or investment advice. Consult your
worth of income in an emergency                                                                                            tax, legal, or investment advisor re-
fund. If your account is low, has been                                                                                     garding your specific circumstances.
depleted or doesn’t exist yet, use your
refund to help cover your expenses in
an emergency.
  3. Ramp up retirement savings.
According to a poll by the Pew Re-        this may be the place to put your tax     4. Start or add to a college fund.
search Center, approximately 38 per-      refund. Depending on your situation,    Even if your kids are young, those
cent of U.S. adults are not confident     age and income level, contributing to   college tuition bills will be arriving
they’ll have the money to retire. If      a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA is an   before you know it! Seek out an edu-
you’ve gotten behind in your savings,     option worth looking at.                cational savings plan and get a head

                   Matt Walker
                     Agent
                    642-8206

                                                                          Jordan Carter
                                                                              Agent
                                                                            654-1100
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 6

Don’t forget finances when making resolutions
    When the time comes to make New         from every angle and determine if it’s   financial needs, such a practice needs      est rates on existing loans or credit
Year’s resolutions, the conventional        time to make some changes.               to change. No matter how much you           cards. If you have exercised financial
wisdom is to focus on weight. Such            • Resolve to be more liquid. A poll    trust this person, don’t fall into a trap   responsibility over the last 12 months,
wisdom is understandable, as many           from the                                                                where        paying down debts and paying all
people spend the holiday season in-         National                                                                one per-     bills on time, this is the perfect time
dulging in big meals and all the treats     Founda-                                                                 son acts     to negotiate lower rates and reap the
synonymous with having fun.                 tion for                                                                as your      rewards of your good behavior.
   While it’s acceptable to make            Credit                                                                  financial       • Don’t invest in anything you
healthy resolutions, a slimmer waist        C o u n -                                                               svengali.    don’t understand. Too often inves-
and a healthier diet should not be the      seling                                                                  Such an      tors get caught up in so-called expert
only goals for the year ahead. In light     f o u n d                                                               arrange-     forecasts and act impulsively based
of the last several years, it’s important   that    64                                                              m e n t      on the advice of some talking head
for men and women to make financial         percent                                                                 proved       they see on television or hear on the
resolutions for the year ahead, too. No     of Amer-                                                                v e r y      radio. Unfortunately, such “experts”
one can say with certainty when, or if,     i c a n s                                                               costly       aren’t always certified financial pro-
the economy will rebound, and men           would                                                                   to those     fessionals, and some might even have
and women should look at the New            need to                                                                 men and      ulterior motives for pushing certain
Year as a suitable time to make some        utilize a                                                               women        investments and shunning others.
financial resolutions for the future.       source                                                                  w h o        What’s more, few people know the
   • Reassess your investment plan.         o t h e r                                                               trusted      track record of these “experts,” so
Since 2010, the market has been up          t h a n                                                                 the likes    their advice should not be taken at
and down like a roller coaster. Those       their savings account to pay for a       of Bernie Madoff, a once-prominent          face value. A simple rule for the year
who have weathered the storm have           $1,000 unplanned expense. That per-      financier who turned out to be noth-        ahead should be to never invest in
no doubt witnessed big gains and            centage illustrates that most adults     ing more than a criminal mastermind         anything you don’t understand. If an
significant losses over the last few        just don’t have enough cash on hand.     orchestrating history’s largest Ponzi       investment opportunity seems worth-
years, and the turn of the calendar is      This year, resolve to be more liquid.    scheme. This year, if you haven’t done      while, do all of your homework to gain
a great time to reassess investments        Being more liquid enables you to more    so already, make sure your financial        a solid understanding of the opportu-
and possibly make some changes. Are         effectively handle emergencies, and it   advisor, money manager, custodian,          nity before investing any money.
you taking on more risk than you’re         also helps you avoid being forced to     and trustee are all different people.          Healthy resolutions go beyond a
comfortable with? Is your portfolio         sell investments at the wrong time.         • Negotiate lower rates. Use the         slimmer waist and a healthier diet.
too conservative? How well are you di-        • Shake things up. If you rely on      onset of the New Year as a chance           This year, resolve to get healthier fi-
versifying? Look at your investments        one individual to handle all of your     to negotiate newer and lower inter-         nancially as well.

                PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTING                                                                            Robin Harrelson,

                      & TAX SERVICE
                                                                                                                      Accountant

                2919 Pinelog Rd. • Whiteville, NC 28472
                                 (910) 642-3358
                       Mon-Fri 9AM-8PM; Sat 9AM-5PM
    COMPUTERIZED ACCOUNTING, TAX RETURN PREPARATION,INDIVIDUAL, SMALL
     BUSINESS, FARMERS, FEDERAL & STATE ELECTRONIC FILING & FAST REFUNDS
                              *Attention Clients, Taxpayers*
    Let us prepare your 2017 Income Tax Returns and be entered to win 3 $500 Visa gift                    Receive a check in our office upon approval from
    cards, plus we will be giving away at random, during tax season, several mystery gifts, to                    the IRS, with all fees withheld.
    be announced at the time of your preparation process at our office. It’s our way of saying
    thank you for your loyalty and trust in our experience preparing returns for over 25 years.                  ***Attention***
    Let a professional prepare your tax return with complete error checking and validation on                  If you have all your income
                            each and every return for 100% accuracy.
                                                                                                               forms (W2, 1099, etc.) and
                                                                                                               all your deductions you can

         $50 off
                                                                                                               come in to pre-process your
                                                                        Opening Day for                        information and have your
                                                                        Electronic Filing                        return ready to e-file on
                                                                        is January 29th.                               opening day.

     Tax Preparation                                                    Very Reasonable Rates with FREE NC Electronic Filing.
                                                                             It Pays To Seek A Tax Professional!
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 7

    Reasons to choose direct deposit for tax refund
  As taxpayers prepare for the Janu-       IRS Free File to prepare and e-file fed-    easy. With e-file, just follow the instruc-               parers.
ary 29 start of filing season, they        eral returns for free. Taxpayers who        tions in the tax software. For paper re-                    Taxpayers should deposit refunds
should consider a direct deposit of any    file a paper return can also use direct     turns, the tax form instructions serve                    into accounts in their own name, their
refunds due. It’s easy, safe, fast — and   deposit.                                    as a guide. Make sure to enter the cor-                   spouse’s name or both. Avoid making
the best way to get a refund. That’s why       • Is Secure. Since refunds go right     rect bank account and routing number.                     a deposit into accounts owned by oth-
80 percent of taxpayers choose it every    into a bank account, there’s no risk           • Has Options. Taxpayers can split a                   ers. Some banks require both spouses’
year.                                      of having a paper check stolen or lost.     refund into several financial accounts.                   names on the account to deposit a tax
  IRS Direct Deposit:                      This is the same electronic transfer        These include checking, savings,                          refund from a joint return. Taxpayers
  • Is Fast. The quickest way for tax-     system that deposits nearly 98 percent      health, education and certain retire-                     should check with their bank for direct
payers to get their refund is to elec-     of all Social Security and Veterans Af-     ment accounts. Use IRS Form 8888, Al-                     deposit rules.
tronically file their federal tax return   fairs benefits into millions of accounts.   location of Refund (including Savings                       There is a limit of three electronic
and use direct deposit. They can use          • Is Easy. Choosing direct deposit is    Bond Purchases), to deposit a refund in                   direct deposit refunds made into a sin-
                                                                                                           up to three accounts.                 gle financial account or pre-paid debit
                                                                                                           Do not use this form                  card. The IRS will send a notice and a
                                                                                                           to designate part of a                refund check in the mail to taxpayers
                                                                                                           refund to pay tax pre-                who exceed the limit.

                                                                                                            Tax Matters
                                                                                                                                                                                      Bookkeeping
                                                                                                                                                                                        Payroll
                                                                                                                                                                                          Tax
                                                                                                            We prepare returns for Individual, Small Business,
                                                                                                                S Corporation, C Corporation, All States
                                                                                                                                  Sales Tax Preparation & Filing
                                                                                                                  No extra charge for electronic filing
                                                                                                                          and direct deposit
                                                                                                                   Hours 10 am - 6 pm Mon thru Fri
                                                                                                                         Additional times by appointment
                                                                                                           Please feel free to call for an appointment or to discuss your situation
                                                                                                                711 N. Madison St., Whiteville near the Courthouse
                                                                                                                  Owner - Bonnie M. Etheridge Accountant

                                                                                                               910-640-0946

    McDaniel & Lennon, LLP
                                    Tax, Tax Planning, Accounting,
                                   Bookkeeping and Payroll Services

                                                                           6139 Haynes Lennon Highway                                        (by appointment only)
                                                                                  Evergreen, NC                                               928 S. Madison Street
                                                                                                                                                 Whiteville, NC
                                                                              Telephone: 910-654-5506
                                                                                 Fax: 888-655-7376                                       Telephone: 910-642-0000

                                                                                  C. Jan Lennon, CPA, Partner
                                                                                   Mary S. McDaniel, Partner

                        Professional service with a personal touch.
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 8

REFUND & DONE                                                                              TAX SEASON
                                                                                              SALE
YOUR KEY
  TO A
NEW HOME
Oldest and most trusted
     Home Dealer
Over 90 years combined experience helping home buyers!
   Singlewides, Doublewides and Modulars in stock                                 From left: Tammie Frick General Manager,
                                                                                Blair Page, Jenny Wright and Brad Walker

                                                                                  601 South Brown Street
                                                                                  Chadbourn, NC 28431
                                                                                  910-654-4128
                                                                                  oakwoodhomeschadbourn.com
                               Hours: Monday - Friday 9-6 Saturday 9-5

Personal Professional Services for Complex Issues
                                               • Advanced tax preparation services including multi-state requirements
                                               • Sophisticated planning for income, estate and gift taxes
    Terray F. Suggs, CPA                       • Estate and trust accounting and administration
                                               • Assistance with sales of business including tax planning issues

      Stan Bullock, CPA                        • Retirement planning including distributions from IRAs and qualified
                                                 plans
                                               • Planning for dispositions of real estate including like-kind exchanges
     Hugh Harrell, CPA                         • Advanced planning for charitable contributions including establishment
                                                 and operation of private foundations

Lauren Suggs Worley, CPA                       • Assistance with professional corporations, personal holding companies,
                                                 family partnerships, real estate investment partnerships, etc.
                                               • Financial statement preparation and attestation services
                                               • Business consulting services

      609 S. Franklin St., Whiteville, NC                         2005 Eastwood Road, Suite 100
                910-641-0105                                   Wilmington, NC 28403 • 910-256-4885
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 9

                                                                 W GREENE
                                                                                                                PLLC
                                                                 Certified Public Accountants and Consultants
                                                                       M. Wade Greene, CPA, CFE
                                                                         Lorna O. Greene, CPA, Sean P. Eames, CPA
                                                                Daniel D. Cataldi, Accountant, Maria L. Hyatt, Office Manager
                                                                          251 Washington Street, Whiteville, NC 28472
                                                                               P: 910.207.6564 • F: 910.207.6519

         Tax Planning & Preparation Services • Accounting and Payroll Services
               Audit and Assurance Services • Estate and Trust Planning
                     Litigation Support and Forensic Accounting
                                             Also Office in Carolina Beach, NC             www.greenecocpa.com

                     uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

                                                             Asset MAnAgeMent
                                                                                           Personal Investment Services
                M. Wade Greene, CPA                                                        Traditional and ROTH IRA
                Investment Advisor                                                         Rollovers/ROTH Conversions
                                                                                           College 529 Plans
                Sean P. Eames, CPA                                                         Tax Reduction Strategies
                Investment Advisor
                251 Washington Street
                                                                                           Business Investment Services
                                                                                           SEP/SIMPLE Retirement Accounts
                Whiteville, NC 28472                                                       Company 401(k) Plans
                P: 910.207.6564                                                            Profit-Sharing Programs

                                                                                    Securities offered through HD Vest Investment Services, Member SIPC
                                                                                        Advisory Services offered through HD Vest Advisory Services
                                                                                   6333 N. State Highway 161, Fourth Floor, Irving, TX 75038 (972)870-6000

W. Greene & Company, PLLC and Sovereign Asset Management are not registered broker/dealers or independent investment advisory firms.
Investment & Insurance Products: Are not insured by the FDIC or any federal government agency. Are not deposits of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate. May lose value.
Tax Tips 2018 - The News Reporter | Tax Tips
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 10

Taxpayer guide to identity theft BIG
   We know identity theft is a frustrat-      IRS records indicate you received         rently affected by identity theft, but

                                                                                                                                   LENDERS
ing process for victims. We take this       wages from an employer unknown to           you believe you may be at risk due
issue very seriously and continue to        you.                                        to a lost/stolen purse or wallet, ques-
expand on our robust screening pro-           What to do if your tax records            tionable credit card activity or credit
cess in order to stop fraudulent re-          were affected by identity theft?          report, etc., contact the IRS Identity

                                                                                                                                   CAN
turns.                                        If you receive a notice from IRS,         Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-
        What is identity theft?             respond immediately. If you believe         908-4490.
   Identity theft occurs when someone       someone may have used your SSN              How can you minimize the chance
uses your personal information such         fraudulently, please notify IRS im-                 of becoming a victim?

                                                                                                                                   MAKE
as your name, Social Security num-          mediately by responding to the name           Don’t carry your Social Security
ber (SSN) or other identifying infor-       and number printed on the notice or         card or any document(s) with your
mation, without your permission, to         letter. You will need to fill out the IRS   SSN on it.
commit fraud or other crimes.               Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039.         Don’t give a business your SSN just

                                                                                                                                   YOU
    How do you know if your tax               For victims of identity theft who         because they ask. Give it only when
     records have been affected?            have previously been in contact with        required.
   Usually, an identity thief uses a le-    the IRS and have not achieved a reso-         Protect your financial information.
gitimate taxpayer’s identity to                                                                  Check your credit report ev-
fraudulently file a tax return                                                                 ery 12 months.

                                                                                                                                   FEEL
and claim a refund. Generally,                                                                   Secure personal information
the identity thief will use a                                                                  in your home.
stolen SSN to file a forged tax                                                                  Protect your personal com-
return and attempt to get a                                                                    puters by using firewalls, anti-
fraudulent refund early in the                                                                 spam/virus software, update
filing season.
   You may be unaware that
                                                                                               security patches, and change
                                                                                               passwords for Internet ac-
                                                                                                                                   PRETTY SMALL!
this has happened until you                                                                    counts.
file your return later in the fil-                                                               Don’t give personal informa-
ing season and discover that                                                                   tion over the phone, through
two returns have been filed                                                                    the mail or on the Internet un-
using the same SSN.                                                                            less you have initiated the con-
   Be alert to possible identity                                                               tact or you are sure you know
theft if you receive an IRS no-                                                                who you are dealing with.
tice or letter that states that:                                                                 The IRS does not initiate
   More than one tax return for you         lution, please contact the IRS Identity     contact with taxpayers by email to
was filed,                                  Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free,     request personal or financial infor-
   You have a balance due, refund off-      at 1-800-908-4490.                          mation. This includes any type of
set or have had collection actions tak-        How can you protect your tax             electronic communication, such as
en against you for a year you did not                       records?                    text messages and social media chan-
file a tax return, or                         If your tax records are not cur-          nels.

        ID theft top 10 precautions                                                       9. Take three free. Review your
   Taking these 10 steps will greatly re-     6. Tweet responsibly. Use social
duce your risk of identity theft:           networks responsibly. Don’t announce        credit report annually; the report is
   1. Protect the trash. Shred any          location information, don’t friend          free.
documents with personal identifiable        strangers, learn the privacy controls         10. Eagle eye. Review every finan-
information, even junk mail! Don’t          of each application and use them.           cial, medical, and benefits statement
leave these documents where others            7. Lock it up. Paper or electronic,       you receive. Create a habit of review-
(e.g., roommates, service people) can       make it difficult to obtain your docu-      ing employment or other life-impor-
view them. Permanently erase data           ments. Lock your computer, phone, fil-      tant statements on a regular basis.
from old computers before you recycle       ing cabinet.                                  Meanwhile, make it as difficult
                                                                                        as you can for data thieves by using
them.                                         8. Don’t be obvious. Use non-obvi-
                                                                                        strong passwords. If they do crack
                                                                                                                                   If you need money
   2. Spot phish. Never click on links      ous passwords. Your mother’s maiden
you receive in unsolicited emails,          name or the last four digits of your        your defenses, give them nothing to        for taxes or any pur-
                                                                                        steal by following the rule of “Find it.
even if you are familiar with the orga-     Social Security number are TOO obvi-
                                                                                        Delete it. Protect it.”
                                                                                                                                   pose, we can help.
nization advertised. Instead, call them     ous.
or type in the URL in your browser.                                                                                                And we won’t give
   3. Defend the mailbox. Use secure                                                                                               you the run around
post office drops for sending impor-
tant and sensitive documents. Opt out                                                                                              or make you feel like
of free credit offers and junk mail.                                                                                               a nobody.
   4. Protect the number. Don’t carry
your Social Security card in your wal-
let or write your Social Security num-                                                                                             CARDINAL
ber on a check.
   5. Mum’s the word. Don’t give out
                                                                                                                                    FINANCE
personal information on the phone,                                                                                                 South Madison St.
through the mail, or over the Internet                                                                                                Whiteville
unless you are sure with whom you
are dealing.                                                                                                                           642-5174
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 11

      Where’s my refund?                                                                                                              Short on Cash?
                                                                                                                                   Get Your Money Fast!
   1. When to                                                                                                                                                              Refund Advance starts
                                                                                                                                                                         at $500, $1000, $1500, $2500
     check...                                                                                                                                                          Subject to Tax Software Completion
       -72 Hours after you e-file
  -4 Weeks after you mail your paper                                                                                                Ten clients can       Early Birds don’t
               return                                                                                                                                     forget W-2s, and
                                                                                                                                  win $100 each and insurance form 1095
                                                                                                                                   other free gifts.
 2. What you                                                                                                                           $50 to every new client that
                                                                                                                                   e-files with us and expects a check
    need...                                                                                                                                 Referrals: $40 each
        -Social security number
             -Filing status                                                                                                             IRS filing begins Jan. 29, 2018. We are open from
         -Exact refund amount                                                                                                      9 am - 8pm. IRS said that we are ready set to go, we will be
                                                                                                                                            set to go when the refund checks arrive!
                                                                                                                                      Let’s tax it up and get that money!
      3. How...
                                                                                                                                          S            eBONY TAX
                                    -Get your refund status at
                     Https://sa2.Www4.Irs.Gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.Jsp

  If you e-file, you can generally expect your refund in less than 21 days. There is no need
to call our toll-free number unless “where’s my refund?” Specifically indicates that you
                                                                                                                                                        Meredith Jeffries
should.                                                                                                                                                Manager ERO
                                                                                                                                           819 S. Madison St., Whiteville
                                    Information courtesy of irs.gov                                                                       910-642-5639 • Fax 910-642-0450

   Year-End Tax Tips To Help Boost Your Return
                                                                    By Mary B. Williamson, State Farm® Agent
   Take advantage of smart year-end financial moves that               3. Sell losing stock                                                accounts, the money can be withdrawn tax-free. The stipula-
  can help reduce your income tax liability when you file next         Sell losing stock before year’s end to deduct the capital losses    tion: The cash must cover educational expenses.
  spring. Bernard Kiely, CFP, CPA, dean of the National Associa-      against any capital gains you realized, and reduce your taxes         These are just five ways to help reduce your tax liability—
  tion of Professional Financial Advisors (NAPFA) University          on the money you earned from successful stock. Once you’ve           visit a financial planner for many more.
  School of Taxation, offers these tips:                              offset your capital gains, you, as an individual, can generally       State Farm® agents do not provide tax, legal or investment
   1. Donate to qualified charities and organizations                 use any excess losses to reduce ordinary income up to an             advice. Please consult a tax, legal or investment advisor in
   You can generally deduct contributions of up to 50 percent         annual limit of $3,000.                                              regards to your personal situation.
  of your adjusted gross income to qualified charities and orga-       Learn 10 facts about capital gains and losses.
  nizations if they’re made before December 31. Consider:              4. Focus on long-term capital gains                                  Before investing, consider the funds’ investment objectives,
   Donating stock. You can generally deduct the fair market            “A short-term capital gain is a stock or mutual fund you’ve         risks, charges and expenses. Contact State Farm VP Manage-
  value of donated stock.                                             bought and sold in less than one year,” says Kiely. Long-term        ment Corp (1-800-447-4930) for a prospectus or summary
   Using a community foundation. You direct the money, and            capital gains have are taxed at fixed interest rates. Short-term     prospectus containing this and other information. Read it
  the foundation pays it out over a period of years. You can gen-     capital gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. Use        carefully. AP2011/10/1024
  erally deduct the donation the year you paid the foundation.        the time now to evaluate your financial portfolio and shift           Investing involves risk, including potential for loss.
   Check out eight tips for deducting donations.                      more funds to investments that offer longer-term tax savings.         Securities and insurance products are not FDIC insured,
   2. Contribute to your 401(k)                                        5. Fund an education savings account                                are not guaranteed by State Farm Bank® and are subject to
   Add pre-tax money to your 401(k) before the end of the year         Many states allow residents to deduct contributions made            investment risk, including possible loss of principal.
  to reduce your taxable income.                                      to an education savings account. And with some types of               A 10 percent tax penalty may apply for withdrawals from tax-
                                                                                                                                           qualified products before age 59½.

                                                     Call Us For All Your Insurance Needs!
                                                     1011 N. J.K. Powell Blvd., Whiteville

                                                                             642-3753
                                                                    No One Takes Care of You
                                                                    Like A State Farm Agent.
    Mary Bullard Williamson
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 12
Scams                                     professionals.
                                             Surge in Email, Phishing and
                                                    Malware schemes
                                                                                    the official IRS web site. These emails
                                                                                    contain the direction “you are to up-
                                                                                    date your IRS e-file immediately.”
                                                                                                                                Fraudsters posing as Taxpayer
                                                                                                                                          Advocacy Panel
                                                                                                                                 Some taxpayers receive emails that
Continued from page 4
                                             Phishing (as in “fishing for infor-    These emails are not from the IRS.        appear to be from the Taxpayer Advo-
                                          mation”) is a scam where fraudsters         The sites may ask for information       cacy Panel (TAP) about a tax refund.
   • Email the Federation of Tax Ad-
                                          send e-mail messages to trick unsus-      used to file false tax returns or they    These emails are a phishing scam,
ministrators at StateAlert@taxad-
                                          pecting victims into revealing per-       may carry malware, which can infect       trying to trick victims into providing
min.org to learn how to report victim
                                          sonal and financial information that      computers and allow criminals to          personal and financial information.
information to the states.
                                          can be used to steal the victims’ iden-   access your files or track your key-      Do not respond or click any link.
   • Businesses/payroll service pro-
                                          tity.                                     strokes to gain information.                 If you receive this scam, forward it
viders should file a complaint with
                                             The IRS has issued several alerts        For more details, see:                  to phishing@irs.gov and note that it
the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint
                                          about the fraudulent use of the IRS         • Consumer Alert: IRS warns tax-        seems to be a scam phishing for your
Center (IC3.gov). Businesses/payroll
                                          name or logo by scammers trying to        payers, tax pros of new email scam        information.
service providers may be asked to file
                                          gain access to consumers’ financial       targeting hotmail users                      TAP is a volunteer board that advis-
a report with their local law enforce-
                                          information to steal their identity         • IRS warns seniors to beware of        es the IRS on systemic issues affect-
ment.
                                          and assets.                               calls by criminals impersonating the      ing taxpayers.
   • Notify employees so they may take
                                             Scam emails are designed to trick      IRS                                          It never requests, and does not have
steps to protect themselves from iden-
                                          taxpayers into thinking these are of-       • Phishing remains on the IRS           access to, any taxpayer’s personal and
tity theft. The FTC’s www.identity-
                                          ficial communications from the IRS        “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for       financial information.
theft.gov provides general guidance.
   • Forward the scam email to phish-     or others in the tax industry, includ-    the 2017 filing
ing@irs.gov.                              ing tax software companies. These         season
   • See more details at Form W2/SSN      phishing schemes may seek informa-          Unsolicited
Data Theft: Information for business-     tion related to refunds, filing status,   email claiming
es and payroll service providers.         confirming personal information, or-      to be from the
   Employers are urged to put proto-      dering transcripts and verifying PIN      IRS, or from a
cols in place for the sharing of sen-     information.                              related compo-
sitive employee information such as          Be alert to bogus emails that appear   nent such as
Forms W-2. The W-2 scam is just one       to come from your tax professional,       EFTPS, should
of several new variations that focus      requesting information for an IRS         be      reported
on the large-scale thefts of sensitive    form. IRS doesn’t require Life Insur-     to the IRS at
tax information from tax preparers,       ance and Annuity updates from tax-        phishing@irs.
businesses and payroll companies.         payers or a tax professional. Beware      gov.
   Tax professionals who experience       of this scam.                               For      more
a data breach also should quickly re-        Variations can be seen via text        infor mation,
port the incident to the IRS. See de-     messages. The IRS is aware of email       visit the IRS’s
tails at Data Theft Information for tax   phishing scams that include links to      Report Phish-
                                          bogus web sites intended to mirror        ing web page.

 Copy of your tax return:
    How to get one                                                  You Get More For Your Tax Refund At
   If you need a copy of a pre-
viously filed and processed
tax return and all attach-
ments (including Form W-2),
                                  it was originally filed. Tran-
                                  scripts are generally avail-
                                  able for the current and past
                                  three years and are provided
                                                                                                              Murf’s Pawn
complete Form 4506 (PDF),         free of charge. The period in
Request for Copy of Tax Re-
turn, and mail it to the ad-
dress listed in the instruc-
                                  which you will receive the
                                  transcript varies from within
                                  five to ten business days from
                                                                                                                   Tax Refund Sale
tions, along with a fee for       the time the IRS receives your
each tax return requested.        request for the tax return or                                                    • Jewelry
The check or money order          tax account transcript.
for the fee should be made
payable to the “United States
                                     You can obtain a free tran-
                                  script on the IRS.gov website
                                                                                                                   • Guns
Treasury,” also enter your        by going to the Order a Tran-
SSN or EIN and “Form 4506
request” on your check or
                                  script page. Transcripts may
                                  also be ordered by calling
                                                                                                                   • Electronics
money order. Copies are gen-      800-908-9946 and following the
erally available for returns      prompts in the recorded mes-                                                     • Musical Instruments
filed in the current and past     sage, or by completing and
six years. Allow 60 calendar
days to receive your copies.
                                  mailing a request for a tran-
                                  script to the address listed in                                                  • Tools and more!
   Most needs for tax return      the instructions.
information can be met with          If you are a taxpayer im-                                                     Savings up to 60% off Retail
a computer printout of your       pacted by a federally declared
return information called
a “transcript.” A transcript
                                  disaster, the IRS waives the
                                  usual fees and expedites re-           We loan money on most anything of value

                                                                            Murf’s Pawn
may be an acceptable sub-         quests for copies of tax re-
stitute for an exact copy of a    turns for people who need
return by the U.S. Citizenship    them to apply for benefits or
and Immigration Services          to file amended returns claim-
and lending agencies for stu-     ing disaster-related losses.
dent loans and mortgages.         For additional information,
A “tax return transcript”         refer to Topic 107, or call the                           Mon. - Fri. 9 am - 7 pm • Sat. 9 am - 6 pm
will show most line items         IRS Disaster Assistance Hot-                       1134 S. Madison St., Whiteville • 640-3344
contained on the return as        line at 866-562-5227.
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 13

            How to manage personal debt
   As if anyone needs their memory         is more prudent than declaring for          car loan was small
jogged, debt is a substantial problem      bankruptcy, which will negatively           or      nonexistent
for men and women living in fully          impact an individual’s credit score         are likely saddled
developed countries. Estimates vary,       for years to come. Companies are of-        with a high-in-
but numerous surveys have indicated        ten willing to work with card holders       terest loan), work
the average American household has         about repayment plans that make it          to pay down that
more than $10,000 in credit card debt,     easier to pay down debt. But once an        balance as much
a figure that doesn’t include debt such    agreement is made, card holders must        as possible. Some-
as mortgages, car loans or student         make meeting the terms of that agree-       thing as simple as
loans.                                     ment their top priority.                    paying an extra
   What these figures illustrate is that      • Stop accruing bad debt. Using          $25 per month on a
even the most financially savvy debtor     a card wisely is the key to avoiding        $200 per month car
may be in a precarious position, one       unnecessary debt. When using credit         payment can re-
that, should an unforeseen layoff or       cards, do not use them for everyday         duce the length of
medical emergency occur, could turn        purchases like groceries or movie           time it takes to pay
disastrous in a relatively short period    tickets. This type of credit card usage     off that loan con-
of time. As a result, an individual’s      is habit forming, and it’s very easy for    siderably. Once a
ability to manage personal debt is of      card holders to quickly amass a large       high-interest debt
paramount importance, and the fol-         balance on their accounts for items         is paid off, move
lowing tips can help men and women         they could just as easily could have        on to the debt with
walking a financial tightrope address      paid for with cash. Keep in mind in-        the next highest interest rate.          terest card is one thing, but borrow-
their debt in a way that might help        terest will be charged on all balances        • Stop paying the bare minimum.        ing against property or a retirement
them get back on their financial feet.     not paid in full each month, so don’t       Paying just the minimum will barely      savings account is playing with fire.
   Applying your tax refund to these       make that cup of coffee or that pair of     cover the interest. That means the       With regards to borrowing against a
strategies may ease your personal          movie tickets cost even more by add-        principal will hardly disappear, and     401(k), the penalty to do so, not to men-
stresses.                                  ing interest to the overall cost.           the debt will be a seemingly impos-      tion the extra income tax such a with-
   • Eliminate bad debt. Not all debt         • Pay down high-interest debts           sible obstacle to overcome. Pay more     drawal will accrue, before retirement
is bad, but credit card debt is rarely     first. Always work to pay down high-        than the bare minimum each month,        is substantial. In addition, the value
good. Card holders with substantial        interest debt first while paying a little   even if it means making sacrifices       of those retirement savings will suffer
credit card debt should contact their      more than the minimum on low-in-            elsewhere.                               considerably as the interest earned
companies as soon as possible to see       terest debt. If a car loan came with          • Avoid borrowing from Peter           will be on that much less money until
if the company is willing to work          an especially high interest rate (hint:     to pay Paul. Transferring balances       the full amount is paid back to the ac-
with them on a repayment plan. This        borrowers whose down payment on a           from a high-interest card to a low-in-   count.

                                            The News Reporter
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                         Subscriptions available ~ Discounts for Seniors (65 and over) and Veterans
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The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 14

                                                      Renewal reminder for
                    Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINS)
  Taxpayers who use an Individual              with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will     renew their ITIN if they will have a      renew their ITIN.
Taxpayer Identification Number                 also expire at       the end of the          filing requirement. Other taxpayers            • Make an appointment at an IRS
should check to see if their number            year. These            taxpayers             with ITINs do not need to take any        Taxpayer Assistance Center.
expires this year. If it does, and they        should                  renew their          action.                                      Taxpayers with an ITIN that has
need to file a return in 2018, they                                      ITIN if they          To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must      the middle digits 70, 71, 72, 78, 79, or
should submit an application now                                           will have        complete a Form W-7 and submit re-        80 do have the option to renew ITINs
to renew their ITIN. Doing this                                             a     filing    quired documentation. There are           for their entire family at the same
helps avoid tax refund and                                                    require-      three ways to submit this informa-        time. They can renew together even
processing delays next                                                         ment         tion. Taxpayers can:                      if family members have an ITIN with
year. The IRS issues                                                            i      n       • Mail the package to the IRS ad-      other middle digits. Family members
ITINs to people who are                                                           2018.     dress listed on the Form W-7 instruc-     include the tax filer, spouse and any
not eligible for a Social                                                           Ad-     tions. The IRS will review the docu-      dependents claimed on the tax re-
Security number, but who                                                              di-   ments and return them within 60           turn.
need to file a tax return.                                                                  days.
  Taxpayers who have not                                                   tionally,                • Work
used their ITIN to file a federal
return at least once in the last
three years will see their num-
                                                                     taxpayers
                                                                 whose ITINs have
                                                             middle digits 78 or 79
                                                                                            with a Certi-
                                                                                            fied
                                                                                            tance
                                                                                                     Accep-
                                                                                                     Agent
                                                                                                                Jimmy O. mauldin, CPa
ber expire Dec. 31, 2017. ITINs                          that have expired should           to help them
                                                                                                                               Experienced, Professional
                                                                                                                               TAX PREPARATION
                                                                                                                                        We Can Help...
                                                                                                                   Bring in last year’s tax returns for a FREE,
                                                                                                                              no obligation review.

                                                                                                                              (910) 642-1868
                                                                                                                               928 S. Madison St., Whiteville

         Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co., P.A.
            P.O. Box 398, 1626 S. Madison Street, Suite 100,
                             Whiteville, NC
                            p 910.642.2109
                           fax 910.642.5958
               301 West King Street, Elizabethtown, NC
                 4024 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC
                 1543 S Lee Hwy, Cleveland, TN 37311
        Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co., P.A. provides a full
        range of accounting, audit, tax and consulting services
        designed to grow your business. If your company is
        looking to improve business operations, contact one of our
        CPA professionals to find out what we can do for you.

         Alan W. Thompson, CPA                                      Gregory Adams, CPA                                    R. Bryon Scott, CPA

                                                     www.tpsacpas.com                                                                  The CPA. Never
                                                                                                                                  Underestimate The Value.SM
                                                                 Member: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
                Certified Public Accountants                     North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 15

                  Last minute tax tips for late filers
  Preparing your tax return doesn’t need to                                                                         filed an extension and are estimating what
be hard or stressful. It just needs to be thor-                                                                     they owe should not lowball the IRS. If the
ough and accurate. Give yourself plenty                                                                             IRS finds you owe more than you’ve already
of time to work through the tax forms, and                                                                          paid, you will be subject to fines and penal-
you’ll have confidence in filing your taxes.                                                                        ties. A good rule of thumb when estimating is
Your 2017 tax return is due by Tuesday, April                                                                       to examine last year’s return. If you did not
17, 2018.                                                                                                           change jobs, purchase a home or earn sub-
  You can also request an automatic 6-month                                                                         stantially more or less money this year, you
extension of time to file, making your dead-                                                                        can base this year’s tax estimate on last year’s
line Oct. 15, 2018.                                                                                                 bill.
  In addition to taking full advantage of the                                                                          • Choose the standard deduction if pos-
added time, late-filing taxpayers should con-                                                                       sible. Many non-homeowners can simply
sider the following last minute tax tips as                                                                         choose the standard deduction as opposed to
well.                                                                                                               itemized deductions. Doing so can make it
  • File online. Filing online is quicker and,                                                                      much quicker to file a tax return. In general,
for those who file through the Internal Rev-                                                                        if finances are simple and not complicated,
enue Service Web site, it can even be free.                                                                         a standard deduction is the easiest and best
Men and women who are anticipating a tax                                                                            route to take.
refund should strongly consider filing online,                                                                         Everyone would like to spend less on taxes.
as e-filing generally gets people their refunds                                                                     Fortunately, the tax laws make it easy. You
much more quickly than filing through the                                                                           can reduce your taxable income through var-
mail. In addition, filing online can alert tax-                                                                     ious deductions, or reduce your tax liability
payers to any mistakes they might have made                                                                         through various credits.
on their returns.                                                                                                      Vi s i t
  • Don’t mistake a tax extension with an                                                                           the IRS
extension to pay your taxes. Men and wom-                                                                           Web site
en who file for a tax extension should know                                                                         at www.
that an extension still requires taxpayers to                                                                       irs.gov
estimate what they owe and send the IRS a                                                                           to learn
check by April 17. A tax extension is only an                                                                       the stan-
extension to finish the paperwork, not an ex-         tension request must be filed by April 17.                    d a r d
tension to pay. It’s important to know an ex-           • Make an accurate estimate. Individuals who have           deduc-

   Why is Tax Day April 17?
                                                                                                                    tions.

  The filing deadline to submit 2017 tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2018, rather than the tra-
ditional April 15 date. In 2018, April 15 falls on a Sunday, and this would usually move the filing
deadline to the following Monday — April 16. However, Emancipation Day — a legal holiday in

                                                                                                         HARPER’S
the District of Columbia — will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing
deadline to Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

    When can I file my previous
   year or late Federal tax return?
  There is no IRS deadline for overdue previ-        you will need to paper file your 2017 return).
                                                                                                         TAX SERVICE
ous year tax returns, but in order to claim a
tax refund for a certain year, you must file a
tax return for that year within 3 years of the
                                                       If you owe taxes and you file or efile late
                                                     without getting a tax extension, the IRS will
                                                     generally charge penalties based on the
                                                                                                          REFUND TRANSFERS
original due date. If you wait longer than 3
years, any tax refund is forfeit.
                                                     amount you owe. There are also penalties for
                                                     paying your taxes late, even if you got an ex-
                                                                                                              & E-FILE
  On the other hand, past due taxes do not           tension. However, the late filing penalties are      Easy Advance Loans-No Charge
disappear. If you owe taxes for a previous tax       more severe, so you should try to file on time         within 24 hours pending approval
year, the IRS may charge you late filing and         even if you owe taxes and can’t pay.
late payment penalties plus interest on taxes          If you owe taxes and are already late, you                 $1000-$1500-$2500
owed.                                                should file a tax return immediately and ex-            based on tax payers net refund
  After April 17, 2018, you can still prepare        plore your options to pay tax.
and efile a 2017 tax return on efile.com until         If you expect a tax refund and you file late,           We have netSpend cards
October 15, 2018 (after that date, the IRS will no   there is no real penalty other than the effective
                                                                                                          Stella and Chrystal Harper - OWNERS
longer accept 2017 returns electronically, and       delay of your refund.
                                                                                                          102 S. Lewis St., PO Box 762, Tabor City, NC
    When should I file my amended                                                                         910-653-3007 Office & Fax
     tax return (tax amendment)?
                                                                                                          910-653-2816 Home
                                                                                                          Hours: M-F 9am until, Sat 9am-2pm
  If an amended return results in you owing tax, there is no deadline for the tax amendment.              harperstax@centurylink.net
However, if you’re expecting a refund, you must file your return within 3 years of the original
tax return deadline in order to claim your refund. Tax Tip: Submit your 2017 Tax Return by               Serving Your Tax Needs Since 1992
April 17, 2018 to avoid penalties and interest!
The News Reporter | Tax Tips | 16

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