KS Dept of Labor Launches Updated Website for New Hire Reporting

Updated Website on New Hire Reporting
TOPEKA, Kan. – Federal and State law requires employers to report newly hired and re-hired employees in Kansas to the New Hire Directory within 20 days of the hire. The Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) has launched a new website to provide employers with detailed information about reporting new hires, including how to report online and other reporting options.

The new website, at http://www.dol.ks.gov/UI/newhires_BUS.aspx, includes information about the law and when and how to report every business’ new employee in Kansas. The website provides the required information about who must report, how it should be reported and how to get additional assistance when reporting.

Under the law, new hire reporting speeds up the child support income withholding order process, expedites collection of child support from parents who change jobs frequently and helps locate non-custodial parents to help in establishing paternity and child support orders. New hire reporting helps children receive the support they deserve. Employers serve as key partners in ensuring financial stability for many children and families. Information collected through the new hire directory is provided to the Kansas Department of Children and Families Child Support Services.

New hire reporting also allows states to reduce unemployment benefit and worker’s compensation overpayments and fraud.

*This post is provided by The Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, Inc.

What You Should Know if You Changed Your Name

Did you change your name last year? If you did, it can affect your taxes. All the names on your tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay your refund. Here’s what you should know if you changed your name:

  • Report Name Changes. Did you get married and are now using your new spouse’s last name or hyphenated your last name? Did you divorce and go back to using your former last name? In either case, you should notify the SSA of your name change. That way, your new name on your IRS records will match up with your SSA records.
  • Dependent Name Change. Notify the SSA if your dependent had a name change. For example, this could apply if you adopted a child and the child’s last name changed.

If you adopted a child who does not have a SSN, you may use an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number on your tax return. An ATIN is a temporary number. You can apply for an ATIN by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions, with the IRS. You can visit IRS.gov to view, download, print or order the form at any time.

  • Get a New Card.  File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, to notify SSA of your name change. You can get the form on SSA.gov or call 800-772-1213 to order it. Your new card will show your new name with the same SSN you had before.
  • Report Changes in Circumstances in 2015. If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace you may get advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2015. If you do, be sure to report changes in circumstances, such as a name change, a new address and a change in your income or family size to your Marketplace throughout the year. Reporting changes will help make sure that you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance and will help you avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

*This message was distributed automatically from the IRS Tax Tips mailing list. For more information on federal taxes please visit IRS.gov.

What You Should Know if You Get Tipped at Work

If you get tips on the job, you should know some things about tips and taxes. Here are a few tips from the IRS to help you file and report your tip income correctly:

  • Show all tips on your return.  You must report all tips you receive on your federal tax return. This includes the value of tips that are not in cash. Examples include items such as tickets, passes or other items.
  • All tips are taxable.  You must pay tax on all tips you received during the year. This includes tips directly from customers and tips added to credit cards. It also includes your share of tips received under a tip-splitting agreement with other employees.
  • Report tips to your employer.  If you receive $20 or more in tips in any one month, you must report your tips for that month to your employer. You should only include cash, check and credit card tips you received. Do not report the value of any noncash tips on this report. Your employer must withhold federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on the reported tips.
  • Keep a daily log of tips.  Use Publication 1244, Employee’s Daily Record of Tips and Report to Employer, to record your tips. This will help you report the correct amount of tips on your tax return.

For more on this topic, see Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income. You can get it on IRS.gov.

*This message was distributed automatically from the IRS Tax Tips mailing list.

Stay Vigilant Against Bogus IRS Phone Calls and Emails

Tax scams take many different forms. Recently, the most common scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. They use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try to steal your money. They may try to steal your identity too. Here are several tips from the IRS to help you avoid being a victim of these tax scams:

The real IRS will not:

  • Initiate contact with you by phone, email, text or social media to ask for your personal or financial information.
  • Call you and demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For example, telling you to pay with a prepaid debit card.

Be wary if you get a phone call from someone who claims to be from the IRS and demands that you pay immediately. Here are some steps you can take to avoid and stop these scams.

If you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident.
  • You should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your report.

If you think you may owe taxes:

  • Ask for a call back number and an employee badge number.
  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you.

In most cases, an IRS phishing scam is an unsolicited, bogus email that claims to come from the IRS. They often use fake refunds, phony tax bills, or threats of an audit. Some emails link to sham websites that look real.  The scammers’ goal is to lure victims to give up their personal and financial information. If they get what they’re after, they use it to steal a victim’s money and their identity.

If you get a ‘phishing’ email, the IRS offers this advice:

  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov. Then delete it.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on IRS.gov.

*This message was distributed automatically from the IRS Tax Tips mailing list.

New Law Renews IRA Transfers to Charity for 2014; Owners Must Act by Dec. 31

The Tax Increase Prevention Act extends the provision that allows certain IRA owners to make tax free distributions to charity. The extension applies for the 2014 tax year. This means if the law applies to you, the deadline to complete your transactions is Dec. 31. Here are some key points about the extension:

  • If you are an IRA owner age 70½ or older you have until Dec. 31 to make a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD.
  • A QCD is direct transfer of part or all of your IRA distributions to an eligible charity. You may transfer up to $100,000 per year.
  • You may exclude the distributed amounts from your income. You can claim this benefit regardless of whether you itemize your deductions. If you do exclude the QCD from your income, you can’t also deduct it as a charitable contribution on Schedule A if you do itemize.
  • You can count your QCDs in determining whether you meet the IRA’s required minimum distribution.
  • The provision had expired at the end of 2013. The new law is retroactive for 2014. This means any eligible QCD in 2014 will qualify.
  • Not all charities are eligible. For example, donor-advised funds and supporting organizations are not eligible recipients.

**This message was distributed automatically from the IRS Tax Tips mailing list. For more information on federal taxes please visit IRS.gov.


If you still have questions about whether or not this law applies to you, or how
it may affect your return, feel free to contact us by Dec 31st.

Email: info@mccpas.com     Phone: (913)239-9130     Fax: (913)239-0520

President Signs 2014 Tax Extenders – Money In Your Pocket!

If you hadn’t heard by now, Congress passed a temporary extenders bill Dec. 16, which was signed into law by the President today. The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 retroactively extends for one year (to Dec. 31, 2014) all the provisions that expired last year. So yes, that means those very same provisions will expire in just a few weeks, leaving the question of longer term extensions to the new Congress.

Immediately following the election, there was speculation that Congress may not take action before the end of year. However, in recent days Congress made considerable progress to the point where we stopped asking ‘if’ and focused more on “what, when and for how long”.

There has been extensive coverage in the press on the passage of this legislation, including articles in the Journal of Accountancy, Washington Post, and Reuters. If you are looking for a summary of the provisions impacted by the legislation, we suggest you check out CCH’s Special ReportCongress Passes Extenders Package, ABLE Act; Cuts IRS Budget” available online for free.

The larger question is what impact this will have on filing season. The Tax Girl blog (written by Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes) suggested that this bill will delay the start of filing season, even though it merely extended existing provisions and did not result in significant forms delays or other operations changes to IRS. She observed, “The IRS Commissioner has not yet announced a start date to the 2015 season: I would expect a late January to early February date.” Many were already anticipating another challenging filing season, perhaps the most difficult season the profession has seen in many years.

Compounding the problem is that a separate bill passed by Congress on Dec. 13 cut the IRS budget by nearly $346 million. Last September, the AICPA recommended Congress fully fund the IRS, stating that “we believe that proper funding of the IRS’s budget is essential to the IRS’s ability to carry out its mission,” which includes providing assistance to taxpayers and tax practitioners. These additional cuts to the IRS budget could mean even longer wait times when calling IRS, additional delays in responses to inquiries and issuance of administrative guidance, as well as a further slowdown in the release and update of tax forms and instructions.

This serves as a great reminder to our members of the need to plan ahead to anticipate the impact these types of slowdowns could have on their practice. Consider planning your client communications in advance to overcome messages in the mainstream press that clients may hear about your workload or availability. Do you have a defined procedure and process for managing extensions, since you may be filing more this year than ever before? Now, more than ever before, CPAs need to plan for and adapt processes, workflow and office procedures to ensure a smooth busy season.


**This announcement taken from AICPA Exclusive Tax Section member communication.

Six IRS Tips for Year-End Gifts to Charity

Many people give to charity each year during the holiday season. Remember, if you want to claim a tax deduction for your gifts, you must itemize your deductions. There are several tax rules that you should know about before you give. Here are six tips from the IRS that you should keep in mind:

  1. Qualified charities. You can only deduct gifts you give to qualified charities. Use the IRS Select Check tool to see if the group you give to is qualified. Remember that you can deduct donations you give to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies. This is true even if Select Check does not list them in its database.
  2. Monetary donations. Gifts of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. You must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return. This is true regardless of the amount of the gift. The statement must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, or bank, credit union and credit card statements. If you give by payroll deductions, you should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document from your employer. It must show the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.
  3. Household goods. Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. If you donate clothing and household items to charity they generally must be in at least good used condition to claim a tax deduction. If you claim a deduction of over $500 for an item it doesn’t have to meet this standard if you include a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return.
  4. Records required. You must get an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. Additional rules apply to the statement for gifts of that amount. This statement is in addition to the records required for deducting cash gifts. However, one statement with all of the required information may meet both requirements.
  5. Year-end gifts.  You can deduct contributions in the year you make them. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2014. This is true even if you don’t pay the credit card bill until 2015. Also, a check will count for 2014 as long as you mail it in 2014.
  6. Special rules. Special rules apply if you give a car, boat or airplane to charity.

    **This message was distributed automatically from the IRS Tax Tips mailing list. For more information on federal taxes please visit IRS.gov.

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