Employers Hiring Veterans by Year’s End May Get Expanded Tax Credit

IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2012-14

Employers planning to claim an expanded tax credit for hiring certain veterans should act soon, according to the IRS. Many businesses may qualify to receive thousands of dollars through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, but only if the veteran begins work before the new year.

Here are six key facts about the WOTC as expanded by VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

Hiring Deadline: Employers may be able to claim the expanded WOTC for qualified veterans who begin work on or after Nov. 22, 2011, but before Jan. 1, 2013.

Maximum Credit: The maximum tax credit is $9,600 per worker for employers that operate for-profit businesses, or $6,240 per worker for tax-exempt organizations.

Credit Factors: The amount of credit will depend on a number of factors. Such factors include the length of the veteran’s unemployment before being hired, the number of hours the veteran works and the amount of the wages the veteran receives during the first-year of employment.

Disabled Veterans: Employers hiring veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum tax credit.

State Certification: Employers must file Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit, with their state workforce agency. The form must be filed within 28 days after the qualified veteran starts work. For additional information about your SWA, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s
WOTC website.

E-file: Some states accept Form 8850 electronically.

Visit the IRS.gov website and enter ‘WOTC’ in the search field for forms and more details about the expanded tax credit for hiring veterans.

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IRS Expedites Charity Applications, Urges Use of Existing Charities

IR-2012-87, Nov. 6, 2012

WASHINGTON — As part of the administration’s efforts to bring all available resources to bear to support state and local partners impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced an expedited review and approval process will be offered for organizations seeking tax-exempt status in order to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The IRS also continues to encourage people to use existing organizations currently working on immediate aid efforts.

Organizations should apply for tax-exempt status by filing IRS Form 1023 and write at the top of the form “Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy.” The IRS will give such applications expedited attention and ensure they meet the legal requirements for tax exemption. Organizations seeking to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy that have already submitted an application can fax a request labeled "Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy" that includes the organization's name, Employer Identification Number, contact name and phone number to 513-263-4554 in order to be given the same expedited handling.

The IRS reminds people that existing charitable organizations, including churches and other places of worship, are frequently able to administer relief programs more efficiently than newly formed organizations, since they tend to already have fund-raising and distribution infrastructures in place.

The web site of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Government’s main Web portal at FirstGov.gov both offer lists of organizations that provide support to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The IRS anticipates new charities will form to address specific needs of disaster victims. The IRS will continually update its on-line search feature, Select Check, that allows taxpayers to determine if a charity has IRS-approved tax-exempt status.

In addition to Form 1023 for applying for recognition for tax exemption, the IRS also offers Publication 3833, Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations, which provides information about establishing a new charitable organization.


IRS Offers Tax Tips for “The Season of Giving”
IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2012-15

December is traditionally a month for giving generously to charities, friends and family. But it’s also a time that can have a major impact on the tax return you’ll file in the New Year. Here are some “Season of Giving” tips from the IRS covering everything from charity donations to refund planning:

· Contribute to Qualified Charities. If you plan to take an itemized charitable deduction on your 2012 tax return, your donation must go to a qualified charity by Dec. 31. Ask the charity about its tax-exempt status. You can also visit IRS.gov and use the Exempt Organizations Select Check tool to check if your favorite charity is a qualified charity. Donations charged to a credit card by Dec. 31 are deductible for 2012, even if you pay the bill in 2013. A gift by check also counts for 2012 as long as you mail it in December. Gifts given to individuals, whether to friends, family or strangers, are not deductible.

· What You Can Deduct. You generally can deduct your cash contributions and the fair market value of most property you donate to a qualified charity. Special rules apply to several types of donated property, including clothing or household items, cars and boats.

· Keep Records of All Donations. You need to keep a record of any donations you deduct, regardless of the amount. You must have a written record of all cash contributions to claim a deduction. This may include a cancelled check, bank or credit card statement or payroll deduction record. You can also ask the charity for a written statement that shows the charity’s name, contribution date and amount.

· Gather Records in a Safe Place. As long as you’re gathering those records for your charitable contributions, it’s a good time to start rounding up documents you will need to file your tax return in 2013. This includes receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support income or deductions you will claim on your tax return. Be sure to store them in a safe place so you can easily access them later when you file your tax return.

· Plan Ahead for Major Purchases. If you are making major purchases during the holiday season, don’t base them solely on the expectation of receiving your tax refund before the bills arrive. Many factors can impact the timing of a tax refund. The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days after receiving a tax return. However, if your tax return requires additional review, it may take longer to receive your refund.

For more information about contributions, check out Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. The booklet is available on IRS.gov or order by mail at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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For Release: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Contact: Geoffrey Gloak, 518-457-4242

Starting a Business? Tax Department Publication Provides Critical Information
Spells out rules and regulations; offers a list of state and NYC resources

If you’re starting a new business, or purchasing an existing one, there’s a publication you might want to add to your reading list – the “Tax Guide for New Businesses” (Publication 20) from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

This practical guide, freshly updated from cover to cover, provides basic information about New York State’s tax law and regulations for business of all sizes.

It highlights tax responsibilities related to sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. It spells out filing requirements for employers and provides guidance on sales tax, the Metropolitan Commuter transportation Mobility Tax, and miscellaneous taxes, such as fees on alcoholic beverages and dozens of other tax-related topics. It also provides information on New York City licenses, permits and taxes.

For the first time, the revamped publication includes embedded Web links. With just a click, these links take the reader directly to printable forms, complete instructions, and other essential Tax Department guidance. .

The document also helps taxpayers – and tax preparers – understand what records to keep, how long to keep them, and discusses certain accounting methods.

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayers currently have an Online Services account with the Tax Department, and this publication lists the rich variety of Online Services one can sign up for in a matter of minutes.

It concludes with a roster of New York State, New York City and federal service center contact numbers, such the US Small Business Administration.