Christina Villeneuve, CPA

Christina Villeneuve, CPA Tax Preparation and Tax Planning Services. Over 30 years experience!
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Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments - ReminderIf you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date f...
04/04/2019

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments - Reminder

If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the January 1 - March 31 quarter of the year is April 15th.

For payments made using IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments until 8PM EST, and for payments using a credit or debit card, payments can be made up to midnight on the due date.

If the due date for making an estimated tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the payment will be considered on time if you make it on the next day that's not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

Retirement Contributions - Did You Know?If you haven't already funded your retirement account for 2018, you may still do...
04/02/2019

Retirement Contributions - Did You Know?

If you haven't already funded your retirement account for 2018, you may still do so. You have until April 15, 2019 for contributions to a traditional IRA, deductible or not, and to a Roth IRA.

Your total contributions to all your traditional and Roth IRAs can't be more than $5,500 ($6,500, if age 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year, if your compensation was less than this dollar limit. Making a deductible contribution may help you lower your tax bill this year.

This IRA contribution limit does not apply to rollover contributions and qualified reservist payments.

Federal Tax Extensions - Did You Know?If you file for an extension on your federal income tax return, you have until Oct...
03/29/2019

Federal Tax Extensions - Did You Know?

If you file for an extension on your federal income tax return, you have until Oct 15th, 2019 file your taxes, but you still have to pay any taxes due by April 15th, 2019 to avoid penalty and interest charges.

Tax Related ID Theft - Did You Know?Tax related ID theft is when someone uses your information (name, SSN, etc.) to file...
03/25/2019

Tax Related ID Theft - Did You Know?

Tax related ID theft is when someone uses your information (name, SSN, etc.) to file a false tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. The number one thing you can do to prevent this type of ID theft is to file early and file electronically. The IRS is “first-come, first-served”, meaning whomever files first, electronically, will be the only electronic return accepted. All others for that SSN will be blocked and have to file manually. This can lead to big delays for your refund. Filing season began January 28 this year.

Second Home, Cabin, and Vacation Property Owners – Did You Know? If you own a second home or vacation property that yo...
03/21/2019

Second Home, Cabin, and Vacation Property Owners – Did You Know?

If you own a second home or vacation property that you live in only occasionally and rent out at other times, you might be able to deduct expenses you pay to maintain the property from your rental income. In addition, you might be able to classify the home as investment property instead of personal property, which offers multiple tax and estate-planning benefits.

In order to fully qualify to deduct expenses and/or designate the home or cabin as investment property, you must meet one of the following two requirements:

1. You use the property as a dwelling for no more than 14 days per year AND rent it out for at least 15 days per year.
2. You use the property as a dwelling for more than 14 days per year but not more than 10% of the number of days you rent it out. For example, if you rent out the home for 200 days a year, you may use it as a dwelling for up to 20 days.

Please note that under IRS rules, “using as a dwelling” includes not only using the home yourself, but also offering use of the home to friends, family, anyone with a financial interest in the property, or anyone who pays less than a fair rental price.

Tax Credits vs. Deductions - Did You Know?Tax credits directly reduce the amount of tax you owe, reducing the dollar amo...
03/19/2019

Tax Credits vs. Deductions - Did You Know?

Tax credits directly reduce the amount of tax you owe, reducing the dollar amount of your tax liability. If you receive a tax credit of $500, that lowers your taxes owed by $500. Tax credits can also be refundable such as the EITC and CTC where, if the credit is more than what you owe, you may receive a refund check.

Tax deductions reduce how much of your income is subject to taxes. If you made $60,000 in a tax year and got a $500 tax deduction, your tax bill would be calculated based on an income of $59,500.

Refund Amounts - Did You Know?If your refund amount is different than stated on the filed tax return, part or all of you...
03/15/2019

Refund Amounts - Did You Know?

If your refund amount is different than stated on the filed tax return, part or all of your refund may have been used to pay off (offset) past-due federal tax, student loans, state income tax or other past-due debts.

You'll receive a notice from the IRS if such an offset occurs that will show the original tax refund amount, the offset amount, as well as the name, address and telephone number of the agency receiving the payment.

If you have not received your refund yet, you may check the status using the tool at: https://www.irs.gov/refunds.

New State Tax Filing Rules Under TCJA – Did You Know?Historically, many states have closely modeled their income tax r...
03/11/2019

New State Tax Filing Rules Under TCJA – Did You Know?

Historically, many states have closely modeled their income tax regulations after federal laws, allowing taxpayers to complete state returns very quickly after filing their federal forms. However, some states have not yet updated their forms and rules to comply with the sweeping federal tax code changes introduced under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). As a result, in addition to any impact it has on your federal taxes, the TCJA might significantly affect procedures for filing your 2018 state tax return.

You may need to provide additional information and documentation not required for your federal returns. You may also be able to claim deductions at the state level that are no longer allowed on IRS forms, or find that certain deductions created under the TCJA cannot be claimed on your state return.

Increased Standard Deduction for Seniors – Did You Know?If you were born before January 2, 1954, you may qualify to in...
03/08/2019

Increased Standard Deduction for Seniors – Did You Know?

If you were born before January 2, 1954, you may qualify to increase the standard deduction on your 2018 federal tax returns by as much as $1,600 (or $2,600 for joint filers). Because your standard deduction reduces your taxable income, a larger deduction means a lower tax bill.

Your eligibility for the increased standard deduction depends on your age, your spouse's age, your filing status, your citizenship/residency status, and other factors. A tax professional can help you determine whether you qualify, and show you how to claim the full deduction you are allowed.

Where's My Refund? - Did You Know?You can use the IRS 'Where's my Refund' (https://www.irs.gov/refunds) tool to check th...
03/06/2019

Where's My Refund? - Did You Know?

You can use the IRS 'Where's my Refund' (https://www.irs.gov/refunds) tool to check the status of your refund. The 'Where's my Refund' tool is updated once daily, usually overnight. Your status is generally available within 24 hours upon the IRS receiving your e-filed return and 4 weeks after mailing your paper return.

03/05/2019

Postcards were mailed today to all clients who still owe me their tax info

New Tax Bill Standard Deductions - Did You Know?For those that opt to take the standard deduction on their taxes rather ...
02/28/2019

New Tax Bill Standard Deductions - Did You Know?

For those that opt to take the standard deduction on their taxes rather than itemized deductions, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) increases the amount you can deduct until 2025, when the provision is set to expire.

The amount goes from $6,350 to $12,000 for single filers and from $12,700 to $24,000 for those filing jointly.

Taxpayer Bill of Rights - Did You Know?As a taxpayer, you have a set of ten fundamental rights that the IRS is obligated...
02/26/2019

Taxpayer Bill of Rights - Did You Know?

As a taxpayer, you have a set of ten fundamental rights that the IRS is obligated to protect.

They are:

1. The Right to be Informed.
2. The Right to Quality Service.
3. The Right to Pay No More Than the Correct Amount of Tax.
4. The Right to Challenge the IRS's Position and Be Heard.
5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum.
6. The Right to Finality.
7. The Right to Privacy.
8. The Right to Confidentiality.
9. The Right to Retain Representation.
10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System.

More information can be found in IRS Publication 1: Your Rights as a Taxpayer, available here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1.pdf.

Reduce Fees & Penalties - Did You Know?You should still file your taxes, even if you can't pay.In most cases, the failur...
02/22/2019

Reduce Fees & Penalties - Did You Know?

You should still file your taxes, even if you can't pay.

In most cases, the failure-to-file penalty can be 10 times more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So if you can't pay in full, you should file your tax return and pay as much as you can.

EITC and ACTC - Did You Know?If you're claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, both of whi...
02/20/2019

EITC and ACTC - Did You Know?

If you're claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, both of which are refundable credits, your refund will be released by the IRS starting from February 27, 2019. A refundable credit is one which gives you cash back even if you didn't pay any tax into the system during the year.

You may check the status of your refund at https://www.irs.gov/refunds.

Ordinary vs. Qualified Dividends – Did You Know? If you own stock, your dividend income may be classified as “Qualif...
02/14/2019

Ordinary vs. Qualified Dividends – Did You Know?

If you own stock, your dividend income may be classified as “Qualified Dividends” on the Form 1099-DIV you receive from the company. While ordinary dividends are taxed at your usual income tax rate, qualified dividends are taxed at the long-term capital gains tax rate, which is significantly lower in most cases. In fact, for lower-income taxpayers, the 2018 tax rate on qualified dividend income is 0%.

Historically, the tax rate on your qualified dividend income was directly linked to (but usually less than) your income tax rate. However, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created designated income brackets for the three qualified dividends tax rates (0%, 15%, and 20%). These brackets are independent of ordinary income tax brackets and will be adjusted for inflation annually. Therefore, the tax rate on your qualified dividends could change even if your income tax rate does not, or vice versa.

02/14/2019

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day! For my VA clients, the state loves you so much, you will each be getting $110 from them!

Protecting Against Tax Fraud - Did You Know?The IRS will never:- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payme...
02/11/2019

Protecting Against Tax Fraud - Did You Know?

The IRS will never:

- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer
- Demand that you pay the taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed
- Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement officers

If an IRS agent shows up, they will always provide two forms of official credentials: a pocket commission and a government identification card.

The IRS may also assign certain cases to private debt collectors, but only after giving you written notice. Any payment to the private debt collectors should be made payable to the U.S Treasury.

02/08/2019

You may be aware that VA is accepting tax returns, but not processing them. We may be approaching a resolution to the long, complicated saga of Virginia tax conformity for the 2018 filing season. A bipartisan agreement has been endorsed by the Administration to conform with the IRS Code allow the VA Dept of Tax to begin processing returns. However, we're not there yet. The emergency legislation must be approved by 80 of each chamber to go into effect. I have emailed my state senator and state representative again this afternoon to urge passing this legislation quickly. They convene again on Monday -- please contact your legislator to voice your support for conformity. 🙂

ABLE Accounts - Did You Know?Under the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA), starting in 2018, the annual contribution limit for ...
02/07/2019

ABLE Accounts - Did You Know?

Under the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA), starting in 2018, the annual contribution limit for Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts has been increased from $14,000 to $15,000.

You may also be able to claim the Saver's Credit for a percentage of your contribution to an ABLE account if you're the designated beneficiary.

The TCJA also allows eligible individuals with disabilities to put more money into their ABLE accounts, and roll in money from their 529 plan to their own or a family's ABLE account. The additional amount may be up to the lesser of the two amounts:
- The designated beneficiary's compensation for the tax year
- The poverty line for a one-person household. For 2018, this amount is $12,140 in the continental U.S., $13,960 in Hawaii, and $15,180 in Alaska.

Waived Penalty - Did You Know?In order to help taxpayers with the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IR...
02/04/2019

Waived Penalty - Did You Know?

In order to help taxpayers with the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS has announced that it is waiving the estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers who fell short of their taxes owed through income tax withholding and estimated tax payments for the 2018 tax year.

They are generally waiving the penalty for any taxpayers who paid at least 85% of their total tax liability, where the usual percentage threshold is 90% to avoid a penalty.

1099-MISC - Did You Know?For businesses, January 31st, 2019 is the deadline to file form 1099-MISC (non-employee compens...
01/31/2019

1099-MISC - Did You Know?

For businesses, January 31st, 2019 is the deadline to file form 1099-MISC (non-employee compensation over $600).

A Form 1099-MISC is required (with exceptions) for each person to whom you have paid during the year:

- At least $10 in royalties or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest.

- At least $600 in rents, services performed by someone who is not your employee, prizes and awards.

- At least $600 in other income payments such as medical and health care payments, crop insurance proceeds, cash payments for fish (or other aquatic life) you purchase from anyone engaged in the trade or business of catching fish, generally, the cash paid from a notional principal contract to an individual, partnership, or estate, payments to an attorney, or any fishing boat proceeds.

- If you made direct sales of at least $5,000 of consumer products to a buyer for resale anywhere other than a permanent retail establishment.

01/31/2019

Congratulations to Mary Lou Lopez for being the first client to return her 2018 tax documents! She wins this year's prize! 😃

W-2 Deadlines - Did You Know?Businesses: January 31st, 2019 is the deadline for employers to issue W-2 forms to their em...
01/30/2019

W-2 Deadlines - Did You Know?

Businesses: January 31st, 2019 is the deadline for employers to issue W-2 forms to their employees.

If you are an employee: You should expect to receive your W-2 from your employer soon, if you have not received it already.

Child Tax Credit - Did You Know?Under the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) for 2018, a qualifying child must have a Social Se...
01/25/2019

Child Tax Credit - Did You Know?

Under the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) for 2018, a qualifying child must have a Social Security Number in order to claim the Child Tax Credit.

To be a qualifying child, they must be a citizen, national, or resident of the United States and must not have attained 17 years of age by the end of the tax year.

Per-Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits – Did You Know?If you have a child who was under the age of 13 throughout 201...
01/18/2019

Per-Child and Dependent Care Tax Credits – Did You Know?

If you have a child who was under the age of 13 throughout 2018 or who was under the age of 17 and requires assistance for self-care, you might be eligible to claim both the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

To qualify for the Child Tax Credit (also known as the “per-child credit”), you must have a child who was less than 17 years old throughout 2018, can be claimed as a dependent on your tax forms, and lived with you for at least six months of the year. The income limit at which a phase out of the credit begins was nearly quadrupled under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, to $200,000 ($400,000 for married filing jointly). The credit itself doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 per child.

The Dependent Care Tax Credit is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for expenses such as day care or home assistance needed for a dependent child under age 13 or incapable of self-care, with a maximum credit of $3,000 for one child.

Check with us to learn whether you can claim one or both of these credits.

Filing Season Start - Did You Know?The IRS has confirmed that it will begin processing returns on January 28th, 2019, an...
01/11/2019

Filing Season Start - Did You Know?

The IRS has confirmed that it will begin processing returns on January 28th, 2019, and provide refunds as scheduled despite the government shutdown.

The filing deadline for 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15th, 2019. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 17th due to public holidays in those states.

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments - ReminderIf you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date f...
01/04/2019

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments - Reminder

If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the September 1st - December 31st quarter of the year is January 15th.

For payments made using IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments until 8PM EST, and for payments using a credit or debit card, payments can be made up to midnight on the due date.

If the due date for making an estimated tax payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the payment will be considered on time if you make it on the next day that's not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

FSA Grace Period or $500 Carryover – Did You Know?If you are having difficulty using up the funds in your medical flex...
12/28/2018

FSA Grace Period or $500 Carryover – Did You Know?

If you are having difficulty using up the funds in your medical flexible spending account (FSA) before the end of the year, your employer might offer you relief from the “use it or lose it rule” through a grace period or carryover.

Under IRS regulations, employers that offer FSA plans can offer one (not both) of the following options for unused FSA funds:

• A 2.5-month grace period, which means you will have until March 15, 2019 to use up your 2018 FSA funds.
– OR –
• A carryover of up to $500 of your 2018 FSA funds into your 2019 FSA. The carried over amount will not count toward your maximum allowed contribution for 2019, and can be spent anytime during 2019.

Although the law does not require employers to offer either option, most employers do offer one or the other. Check with your employer's benefits expert to find out if an FSA grace period or carryover is available to you.

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
12/25/2018

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

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Leesburg, VA
20175

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