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2015 Taxes

Where do you go for tax help? Find you strategies here.

Keep Tax Records Safe and Secure - And Here's How Long to Keep Them Tax filing season is here, which means many of your clients will come face-to-face with years of old paperwork – and the question of “keep, shred, toss?” It’s a great time to organize tax records so that they’re easy to find in case they’re needed to apply for a loan, answer IRS questions or file an amended return.

Keep Tax Records Safe and Secure – And Here’s How Long to Keep Them

Tax filing season is here, which means many of your clients will come face-to-face with years of old paperwork – and the question of “keep, shred, toss?” It’s a great time to organize tax records so that they’re easy to find in case they’re needed to apply for a loan, answer IRS questions or file an amended return.

The IRS has some helpful guidance you can share with your clients on what records to keep and for how long. They should remember to:  

  • Keep copies of tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years.
  • Keep some documents up to seven years.
  • Keep healthcare information statements for at least three years. These include records of employer-provided coverage, premiums paid, advance payments of the premium tax credit received and type of coverage. 
  • And now is a good time to remind your clients to set up a system to keep tax records safe and organized. Tax records must support the income, deductions and credits claimed on returns. 

Your clients should have last year's return handy - here's why

As a part of IRS efforts to authenticate and protect taxpayer identity, the agency will require some taxpayers who e-file to enter their prior year’s Adjusted Gross Income or PIN and date of birth. That means it’s important for your clients to have a copy of last year’s return available. For more information, read Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. They can request a free transcript for the past three tax years with the ‘Get Transcript’ tool on IRS.gov

Make sure they keep records safe - but when it's time, shred or destroy 

Whether they consist of paper stacked in a shoe box, electronic files stored on a device or in the cloud, it’s important to remind your clients to safeguard all personal records, especially anything that lists Social Security numbers. Consumeraffairs.com recommends scanning paper and keeping records stored securely on a flash drive, CD or DVD. Kiplinger features tips for creating digital files from paper. 

It’s more important than ever for your clients to keep personal information out of the hands of identity thieves. That means no tossing records in the trash or recycling bin. Home paper shredders are often inadequate for large piles of paper, but many communities have professional, secure document shredding services. Some services will even come to your location. Check them out – The Mobile Shredding Association and the National Association for Information Destruction.

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Where do you go for tax help? Find you strategies here.

Whether you do your own taxes, use online tax software or meet with a trusted tax advisor to file your taxes for you, there are useful tax resources out there for everyone. As we enter into the final weeks of tax season, you may find that you have some questions, even if you already filed your taxes. What BenefitMall intends to do is provide you with a complete list of resources, websites and documents where you can go to find the answers to all your questions. Keep reading below to see what resource can best help you find a solution, and be sure to view the links for additional information.

2016 Tax Facts
Trying to figure out how much you may owe based on your income? Calculating your mileage for your business-related travel? Or, not sure how your FICA, Medicare or FUTA affects your taxes? BenefitMall’s easy-to-follow, organized 2016 Tax Facts chart is your go-to for tax information

2016 Notable Tax Due Dates 
While we may be entering into the last month of tax season, did you know there are tax due dates throughout the entire year? So before you scroll past this section, it’s definitely worth your time to make sure you don’t miss out on any important due dates. Here are just a few upcoming dates you should make note of, the rest can be found in the link provided above.

- March 31, 2016 – Businesses to file Forms 2290 and 730, pay taxes on vehicles first used in February and wagers accepted during February, electronically file Forms W-2, W-2G, 1098 and 8027, as well as 2015 electronic forms

- April 18, 2016 – Individuals file Forms 1040, 1040-A or 1040-EZ, partnerships file Form 1065, large partnerships file Form 1065-B, household employers file Form 1040 and corporations deposit first installment of 2016 estimated tax

- May 2, 2016 – Businesses file Forms 720, 730, and 2290, pay taxes on vehicles first used in March and wagers accepted in March, deposit FUTA tax, and employers file Form 941

HealthcareExchange.com
Looking for the latest news, opinions and resources regarding health care? HealthcareExchange.com is your one-stop-shop for anything and everything about health care, including how it will affect your taxes. Here are a few other topics on the site:

  • Expert resources
  • Weekly blog posts
  • Legislative alerts
  • Presentations
  • So much more.

BenefitMall’s dedicated government affairs team is very involved in health care legislation and lobbying efforts communicating on behalf of all our partners’ and clients’ needs.

Payroll Calculators
Test out BenefitMall’s calculators for all your payroll needs, especially as you tackle your taxes. With our calculators you can determine gross pay, withholdings, deductions, net pay after Social Security and Medicare, and more. Here are the payroll calculators we offer that can help you:

  • Salary Payroll Calculator
  • Hourly Paycheck Calculator
  • Gross Pay Calculator
  • W-4 Assistant
  • Bonus Calculator - Percentage
  • Bonus Calculator – Aggregate

Tax season is stressful, but we are here to make the process simpler. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us. We look forward to hearing from you.

To learn more about BenefitMall, contact us today! 

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