Minnesota Department of Revenue Launches New e-Services System

On October 3, 2011, the Minnesota Department of Revenue announced the launch of its new e-Services online system. This new system is replacing e-File Minnesota and will offer a wider variety of services to 400,000 business taxpayers. The new system was the product of at least four years of diligent work by the Department.

The new E-Services not only provides the ability for business taxpayers to file and pay their taxes, it also allows taxpayers to update their contact information, register new accounts, and send the department secured messages. In addition, business taxpayers will have the ability to view all account information in one location. They can now view their payment history, returns they have filed and all correspondence sent to them by the Department of Revenue.

The functionality being added provides more security flexibility to the business taxpayer. Businesses can create unique user ID’s and passwords which grant online access to tax practitioners and accounts they partner with.

Finally, e-Services will also allow self-service activities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Business taxpayers now have the ability to handle their tax needs online when it is convenient for them.

The transition to the new system will begin on October 17, 2011 and is currently projected to finish by mid-January of 2012. During the transition, groups of taxpayers will be added each Monday, until all 400,000 business taxpayers have access to e-Services.

Getting Prior Year Tax Information from the IRS

If you need to obtain certain prior year tax return information, it is possible to a copy of the actual processed return from the IRS. Often, however, the information you need may be contained in a tax transcript, which can also be obtained directly from the IRS.

Tax Return Transcript versus Tax Account Transcript

There are two types of tax transcripts: tax return transcript and tax account transcript.

A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not, however, reflect any changes made after the return was filed.

On the other hand, a tax account transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed. However, a tax account transcript reveals only the most basic data, such as marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income, is included in the transcript.

Obtaining Transcripts

There are three ways to order either type of transcripts: on the phone (800-908-9946), online (the IRS website), and by mail. If you choose to obtain your tax transcript by mail, you need to figure out which form you need to file.

1. 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ tax return transcript: you will need to complete and mail Form 4506T-EZ.

2. Business Forms and Other Individual Forms: you will need to complete and mail Form Form 4506T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

If you order online or by phone, you should receive your tax return transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives your request. Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail using Form 4506T or Form 4506T-EZ.

The IRS does not charge a fee for transcripts, which are presently available for the current tax year as well as the past three tax years.

Obtaining Actual Copy of a Previously-Processed Tax Return

If you need an actual copy of a previously processed tax return, it will cost $57 for each tax year that you order. You need to complete and mail (to appropriate address) Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Copies are generally available for the current year as well as the past six years. The general wait period is about 60 days.

Contact Us

If you have any tax questions, contact Sherayzen Law Office to discuss your case with an experienced Minneapolis tax attorney.

Tax Attorney St Paul | Who Must Wait to File 2010 Tax Return

While for most taxpayers, the 2011 tax filing season starts on schedule. Due to tax law changes enacted by Congress in December, however, some taxpayers need to wait until mid – to late February of 2011 to file their 2010 tax returns in order to give the IRS time to reprogram its processing systems. This is mostly due to the renewal of the three tax provisions that expired at the end of 2009 and were renewed by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act Of 2010 on December 17, 2010.

The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the recent tax law changes. Meanwhile, the affected taxpayers should not submit their returns until IRS systems are ready to process the new tax law changes; however, the affected taxpayers can start working on their tax returns. For taxpayers who must wait before filing, the delay affects both paper filers and electronic filers.

The most common types of taxpayers who may need to wait to file their tax returns include:

1. Taxpayers Claiming Itemized Deductions on Schedule A

Due to the tax law changes, anyone who itemizes and files a Schedule A will need to wait to file until mid- to late February. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses as well as state and local taxes. In addition, itemized deductions include the state and local general sales tax deduction that was also extended and which primarily benefits people living in areas without state and local income taxes.

2. Taxpayers Claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction

This is primarily concerns those taxpayers who claim their deduction on Form 8917. The deduction, which covers up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution, can be claimed by parents and students.

Note, however, that this delay does not concern those taxpayers who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit extended last month and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

3. Taxpayers Claiming the Educator Expense Deduction

This deduction is for kindergarten through grade 12 educators with out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250. The educator expense deduction is claimed on Form 1040, Line 23 and Form 1040A, Line 16.

Sherayzen Law Office can help you deal with and take advantage of the recent tax law changes. Call or e-mail Sherayzen Law Office to discuss your case with an experienced St Paul tax attorney!

Tax Filing Deadline Extended to April 18, 2011

On January 4, 2011, IRS extended the tax filing and tax payment deadline for individual taxpayers until April 18, 2011. The extension is made due to the Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, which falls this year on Friday, April 15, 2011.

Taxpayers who request an extension will have until October 17, 2011, to file their 2010 tax returns.

This year, the IRS expects to receive more than 140 million individual tax returns this year, with most of those being filed by the April 18 deadline.

The IRS also cautioned taxpayers with foreign accounts to properly report income from these accounts and file the appropriate forms on time to avoid stiff penalties. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman stated earlier that the IRS “will continue to focus on offshore tax compliance and people with offshore accounts need to pay taxes on income from those accounts.”

Sherayzen Law Office is an experienced tax law firm that has helped numerous clients in Minnesota and across the United States to bring their affairs, including proper reporting of foreign financial accounts, into full compliance with the U.S. tax laws.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office NOW to discuss your case with an experienced Minneapolis tax attorney!

Tax Lawyers Minneapolis | 7 Reasons To File Tax Return Even if You Do Not Have to Do It

In some case, you may want to file a tax return even though you do not have to. Here are the top seven reasons for this course of action for the tax year 2010.

1. Tax Refund. If federal income tax was withheld from your paycheck, you made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax, you may be entitled to a tax refund. You will only be able to get it if you file a tax return.

2. Making Work Pay Tax Credit. You may be able to take this credit if you had earned income from work. The maximum credit for a married couple filing a joint return is $800 and $400 for other taxpayers.

3. Earned Income Tax Credit (“EITC”). You may qualify for EITC if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money. Remember, EITC is a refundable tax credit; this means you could qualify for a tax refund.

4. Additional Child Tax Credit. This is also a refundable tax credit. It may be available to you if you have at least one qualifying child and you did not get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.

5. American Opportunity Tax Credit. The maximum credit per student is $2,500 and the first four years of post-secondary education qualify.

6. First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit. In order too qualify for the credit, you must have bought – or entered into a binding contract to buy – a principal residence located in the United States on or before April 30, 2010. If you entered into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, you must have closed on the home on or before September 30, 2010. The credit is a maximum of $8,000 or $4,000 if your filing status is married filing separately. If you bought a home as your principle residence in 2010, you may be able to qualify and claim the credit even if you already owned a home. In this case, the maximum credit for long-time residents is $6,500, or $3,250 if your filing status is married filing separately.

7. Health Coverage Tax Credit. Certain individuals, who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible for a Health Coverage Tax Credit. The credit is worth 80% of monthly health insurance premiums when you file your 2010 tax return.

If you have questions with respect to whether you should file your tax return, contact Sherayzen Law Office NOW and discuss your case with an experienced Minneapolis tax attorney!