IRS Mileage Rates for 2014

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates.  The charitable rate is based on statute.

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

About E-File Florida
E-File Florida helps individuals and small business owners to lower their tax bills and maximize their tax refunds. We actually enjoy getting to know our clients and have built a solid reputation of delivering excellent personal service while maintaining the highest level of integrity within the tax preparation industry. We welcome the opportunity to make you a Raving Fan!


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This Thing Called Time

February 27, 2012 1 comment

Honestly, it’s just crazy! The older I get, the faster life seems to run. I thought that it would slow down a little as the kids got older. I figured that not having to run after little ones would afford me a little more time and freedom. Although this is true in some respects, it just seems that life has picked up a velocity that keeps churning, spinning and pushing me to the brink of exhaustion. 

The beautiful balmy breeze in South Florida and brilliant sunshine taunt me as I yearn to spend a lazy day at the beach.  Scratch that. Did I say “day”? I really meant at least a month. Heck, I’ll take a day-who am I kidding? I KNOW I’m not the only one who feels this way, right?

Several years ago I asked a friend’s mother a question as I pondered this same dilemma that was plaguing me back then. She must have been in her mid 70’s when I asked her a series of probing questions concerning this warp speed that my life had taken on.

“WHEN-Please tell me when this will slow down? Will it slow down? Does it ever slow down?” I’ll never forget her response. She looked at me through her thick glasses and said, “Oh yes, dear. It does slow down.  After the grandchildren are all grown up, it starts to slow down a bit.”



Categories: Life Lessons

Do You Have To File A Tax Return This Year?

You are required to file a federal income tax return if your income is above a certain level, which varies depending on your filing status, age and the type of income you receive. However, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that some people should file even if they aren’t required to because they may get a refund if they had taxes withheld or they may qualify for refundable credits.

To find out if you need to file, check the Individuals section of the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov. You can use the Interactive Tax Assistant that is available on the IRS website. The ITA tool is a tax law resource that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions. You can also check with E-File Florida for guidance.

Even if you don’t have to file for 2011, here are six reasons why you may still want to:

1. Federal Income Tax Withheld

You should file to get money back if your employer withheld federal income tax from your pay, you made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax.

2. Earned Income Tax Credit

You may qualify for EITC if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money. EITC is a refundable tax credit, which means you could qualify for a tax refund. To get the credit you must file a return and claim it.

3. Additional Child Tax Credit

This refundable credit may be available if you have at least one qualifying child and you did not get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.

4. American Opportunity Credit

Students in their first four years of postsecondary education may qualify for as much as $2,500 through this credit. Forty percent of the credit is refundable so even those who owe no tax can get up to $1,000 of the credit as cash back for each eligible student.

5. Adoption Credit

You may be able to claim a refundable tax credit for qualified expenses you paid to adopt an eligible child.

6. Health Coverage Tax Credit

Certain individuals who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible for a 2011 Health Coverage Tax Credit. Eligible individuals can claim a significant portion of their payments made for qualified health insurance premiums.



About E-File Florida
E-File Florida helps individuals and small business owners to lower their tax bills and maximize their tax refunds. We actually enjoy getting to know our clients and have built a solid reputation of delivering excellent personal service while maintaining the highest level of integrity within the tax preparation industry. We welcome the opportunity to make you a Raving Fan!


Contact Us:
PH: (954) 583-8534
FAX: (954) 583-8557


Follow Us:
Like us on Facebook View our profile on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter


Categories: Strictly TAXES!

How Long Does The IRS Have To Audit Your Tax Return?

In our tax practice, we hear this question all too often: How long does the IRS have to question and assess additional tax on my tax return? For most taxpayers who reported all their income, the IRS has three years from the date of filing the returns to examine them. This period is termed the statute of limitations. But wait – as in all things taxes, it is not that clean cut. Here are some complications:

You file before the April due date – If you file before the April due date, the three-year statute of limitations still begins on the April due date. So filing early does not start an earlier running of the statute of limitations. For example, whether you filed your 2010 return on February 15, 2011 or April 15, 2011, the statute did not start running until April 18, 2011 (because the due date was changed due to a federal holiday in Washington, DC).

You file after the April due date – The assessment period for a late-filed return starts on the day after the actual filing, whether the lateness is due to a taxpayer’s delinquency, or under a filing extension granted by IRS. For example, say your 2010 return is on extension until October 17, 2011 (October 15 falls on a weekend so the due date is the next business day), and you actually file on September 1, 2011. The statute of limitations for further assessments by the IRS will end on September 2, 2014. So the earlier you file those extension returns, the sooner you start the running of the statute of limitations.

If you want to be cautious you may wish to retain verification of when the return was filed. For electronically filed returns, you can retain the confirmation from the IRS accepting the electronically filed return. If you file a paper return, proof of mailing can be obtained from the post office at the time you mail the return.

You file an amended tax return – If after filing an original tax return you subsequently discover you made an error, an amended return is used to make the correction to the original. The filing of the amended tax return does not extend the statute of limitation unless the amended return is filed within 60 days before the limitations period expires. If that occurs, the IRS generally has 60 days from the receipt of the return to assess additional tax.

You understated your income by more than 25% – When a taxpayer underreports his or her gross income by more than 25%, the three year statute of limitations is increased to six years.

In determining if more than 25% has been omitted, capital gains and losses aren’t netted; only gains are taken into account. These “omissions” don’t include amounts for which adequate information is given on the return or attached statements. For this purpose, gross income, as it relates to a trade or business, means the total of the amounts received or accrued from the sale of goods or services, without reduction for the cost of those goods or services. In addition, any basis overstatement that leads to an understatement of gross income constitutes an omission.

You file three years late – Suppose you procrastinate and you file your return three years or more after the April due date for that return. If you owe money, you will have to pay what you owe plus interest and late filing and late payment penalties. If you have a refund due, you will forfeit that refund and perhaps get stuck with a $135 minimum late filing penalty. No refunds are issued three years after the filing due date.

10-year collection period – Once an assessment of tax has been made within the statutory period, the IRS may collect the tax by levy or court proceeding started within 10 years after the assessment or within any period for collection agreed upon by the taxpayer and the IRS before the expiration of the 10-year period.

Remember not to discard your tax records until after the statute has run its course. When disposing of old tax records, be careful not to discard records that prove the cost of items that have not been sold. For example, you may have placed home improvement records in with your annual receipts for the year the improvement was made. You don’t want to discard those records until the statute runs out for the year you sold the home. The same applies to purchase records for stocks, bonds, reinvested dividends, business assets, or anything you will sell in the future and need to prove the cost.

If you are behind on filing your returns and would like to get caught up, please contact E-File Florida. If you discovered you omitted something from your original return and would like to file an amended return, we can help with that as well.

Esther Hastings is President/CEO of E-File Florida, LLC located in Davie, FL. E-File Florida has been helping taxpayers and small business owners to maximize their tax refunds for over 19 years. E-File Florida firmly believes that the best way for anyone to legally and legitimately reduce their tax liabilities is to know the tax rules and how these rules pertain to their particular situation. “When you know the rules, then you are positioned to use them to your advantage!”

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Categories: Strictly TAXES!

Don’t Be The Victim of a Scam or ID Theft

The Internal Revenue Service is encouraging taxpayers to guard against being misled by unscrupulous individuals trying to persuade them to file false claims for tax credits or rebates.

The IRS has noted an increase in tax return-related scams, frequently involving unsuspecting taxpayers who normally do not have a filing requirement in the first place. These taxpayers are led to believe they should file a return with the IRS for tax credits, refunds or rebates to which they are not really entitled.

Most paid tax return preparers provide honest and professional service, but there are some who engage in fraud and other illegal activities. Unscrupulous preparers deceive people into paying for advice on how to file false claims. In other situations, identity theft is involved.

Taxpayers should be wary of any of the following:

  • Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on excess or withheld Social Security benefits.
  • Claims that Treasury Form 1080 can be used to transfer funds from the Social Security Administration to the IRS, enabling a payout from the IRS.
  • Unfamiliar for-profit tax services teaming up with local churches.
  • Homemade flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility.
  • Offers of free money with no documentation required.
  • Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.”
  • Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or Recovery Rebate Credit.
  • Advice on claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit based on exaggerated reports of self-employment income.
  • Promises of larger tax refunds
  • Emails from the IRS asking for anything! The IRS does NOT contact anyone by email.

In some cases, nonexistent Social Security refunds or rebates have been the bait used by the con artists. In other situations, taxpayers deserve the tax credits they are promised but the preparer uses fictitious or inflated information on the return, which results in a fraudulent return.

Flyers and advertisements for free money from the IRS, suggesting that the taxpayer can file with little or no documentation, have been appearing in community churches around the country. Promoters are targeting church congregations, exploiting their good intentions and credibility. These schemes also often spread by word of mouth among unsuspecting and well-intentioned people telling their friends and relatives. Promoters of these scams often prey upon low-income individuals and the elderly.

They build false hopes and charge people good money for bad advice. In the end, the victims discover their claims are rejected or the refund barely exceeds what they paid the promoter. Meanwhile, their money and the promoters are long gone.

Unsuspecting individuals are most likely to get caught up in scams. The IRS is warning all taxpayers, and those who help others prepare returns, to remain vigilant. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If your social security number has been fraudulently used on a tax return other than your own, we recommend that you contact your local police department and file a report. We also strongly urge you to call the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experion and Trans Union) and issue a fraud alert on your file.  Doing this will prompt them to contact you when an attempt is made to fraudulently open a new credit account without your knowing.  Lastly, you should alert the IRS that your identity has been stolen by filing IRS form 14039.

Above all, remember that the IRS does not initiate taxpayer contact by e-mail. Whenever you receive an unsolicited or dubious solicitation that includes you providing your SSN, bank account number or other financial information, be skeptical. These scam artists can make communication look and sound like it is legitimate. When in doubt, call this office. Don’t let yourself be a victim of these scams.

Feel free to contact E-File Florida if you have any questions or concerns regarding scams or ID theft. We are here as a resource to you!

Categories: Strictly TAXES!

New Mileage Rates for 2011 July-Dec

The IRS has increased the mileage rate deduction from .51 cents to 55.5 cents per mile beginning  July 1, 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business purposes.

The IRS made this special adjustment in recognition of the crazy gas prices that we are all paying at the pump. They normally update and adjust the mileage rates only one time per year~usually announced  in the fall for the upcoming calendar year.

The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.

The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations  is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Mileage Rate Changes

Purpose Rates 1/1 through 6/30/11    Rates 7/1 through 12/31/11 
Business 51 55.5
  Medical/Moving 19 23.5
Charitable 14 14
Categories: Strictly TAXES!

Knowledge and Wisdom

Let’s get something straight here. I’m not a silver-haired (I admit it, I DO hit the bottle once in a while-hair color, for those of you wondering) elderly woman who has lived enough life to give the younger generation great morsels of wisdom. I hope to get to that place one day, but for now I will settle for what little I do know.

A retired friend once said this to me,” Knowledge and Wisdom are not the same.” I have pondered that little statement many times. I agreed with it when I first heard it and I agree with it now~even more so.

What good does it do to go to college, graduate school and beyond if you fail to apply wisdom with the knowledge you receive?  What’s the difference? Knowledge is the attaining of facts. I can go to school and become an outstanding surgeon with the proper training. Wisdom, or the lack of it, will dictate how I use that training. I could go on to do wonderful things and help save lives. I could also go off and use that medical knowledge for unethical, inhumane atrocities. This is a very basic comparison that I’m laying out for you.

I’ve seen, too often, where many will attain great knowledge and degrees only to use their new status in life as a pedestal to look down on others. Big mistake. Wisdom would say otherwise. Any time you give more value to things (knowledge included) rather than the relationships in your life, you make a grave error. It is my opinion that the relationships that we foster, for good or for bad, are what give us the most satisfaction or dis-satisfaction in life. We are all wired for relationship. When we don’t have good ones, we ache deep inside. When we have healthy ones, life seems to be good~even through difficult circumstances.

If you’re not careful, you could mistakenly confuse wisdom with knowledge. I don’t believe they’re even distant cousins! When used together though, wisdom and knowledge can give birth to some wonderful life-long legacies.

Just my opinion.

Categories: Life Lessons
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