Wink Inc. Enrolled Agents America’s Tax Experts ®
Wink Tax Services
FAQ
Are There Deadlines for Filing Tax Returns? Yes there are many deadlines and some dates can be extended but many cannot be. Some common deadlines are: Form W-2 and 1099 Information forms - Must be mailed out by January 31st. 1099 Information form for investments, 1099-D, 1099-B - Mailed out by February 15th. Business Returns such as Form 1120, 1120-S - Due March 15th. Can be extended to September 15th, but one must file an extension by March 15th. Individual Returns such as Form 1040 - Due April 15th, most years. Can be extended to October 15th, but one must file an extension by April 15th. FBAR - Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCEN 114) reports due April 15th, most years. RMD - Required Minimum Distributions - April 1st of the year following age 72 Are penalties imposed for missing the tax filing deadline? Yes. If you do not file by the deadline, you might face a failure-to-file penalty. If you do not pay by the due date, you could face a failure-to-pay penalty. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty; so if you cannot pay all the taxes you owe, you should still file your tax return on time and pay as much as you can, then explore other payment options. The penalty for filing late is usually 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a return is late. This penalty will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. If you do not pay your taxes by the due date, you will generally have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month after the due date that the taxes are not paid. This penalty can be as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If you request an extension of time to file by the tax deadline and you paid at least 90 percent of your actual tax liability by the original due date, you will not face a failure-to-pay penalty if the remaining balance is paid by the extended due date. If both the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty apply in any month, the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty. However, if you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show that you failed to file or pay on time because of reasonable cause and not because of willful neglect. Am I required to file an amended return? No. Generally, you do not need to file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS will automatically make that correction. Also, do not file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms such as W-2s or schedules; the IRS normally will send a request asking for those. If there are other issues to report – including information received after the filing date and change of filing status, amongst many others – you must file Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return by mail (it cannot be e-filed) and attach all affected schedules and forms. Form 1040X must be filed within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. If applicable, be sure to also file an amended return with the state tax authority. Please contact us if you need assistance. Is a superseding return the same as an amended return? No. A superseding return is a return that is filed before the due date (including extensions) of an original return that has been previously submitted to the IRS. A superseding return thereby replaces an original return. In contrast, an amended return is one that is filed after the expiration of the original return’s filing period. If the tax liability is later adjusted due to an audit or an amendment, any resulting penalty will be computed based on the tax amount reported on the superseding (not the original) return. If a superseding return has not been filed, penalties resulting from an audit or amendment will be computed based on the tax liability reported on the original return. NOTE: The statute of limitations for assessments begins when an original (or superseding) return has been filed and does not re-start after an amendment is submitted. Claims for refunds of any overpayment must be submitted within three years from the time an original (or superseding) return was filed or the tax was paid, whichever is later. Why Should I Hire a Tax Preparer? Are There Deadlines for Filing Tax Returns? Very few people actually enjoy filing their own taxes. Even with the help of computer software programs, there is still a risk in understanding the complexities of our ever expanding tax system. In 1913 the first IRS Form 1040 was 1 page with 3 pages of instructions. According to Wolters Kluwer publishers of CCH the industry’s tax compilation total 74,608 pages as of 2014. In 2017 President Trump Signed into law another 1097 pages of changes with HR 1. The risk of running into problems still exists. In addition, computer software programs are not formulated to take into account your unique situation. Why risk answering a question wrong. We know the right questions. We are prepared, trained, and licensed with the IRS to take on complex tax issues. Why Should I keep good accounting records? The number one reason business’s fail is failure to keep accurate financial records. Your business idea, concept, structure, personnel, and location can all be excellent, but without good accounting, a business will fail. I have invested in a limited partnership from which I receive a large packet of K-1s at tax time. The packet includes a federal K-1 along with state K-1s for my state of residency as well as non-resident states. Can I ignore those out-of-state K-1s when preparing my return? No. Unless the partnership is filing a composite return and you are an eligible partner who has elected to participate in composite filing, you will receive the out-of-state K-1s. You must then file a non-resident return in each state if the respective state’s filing threshold as been reached. Are my returns required to be electronically filed? Yes. As per new IRS regulations, all individual income tax returns that we prepare for our clients must be electronically filed for tax year 2011 and beyond - Michigan’s e-file mandate has already been in place for a number of years. However, clients may independently choose to file on paper. If a client wishes to opt-out of the e-file program, they must provide Wink with a signed statement notifying me that they understand that electronic filing may provide a number of benefits (including an acknowledgment that the IRS received the returns, a reduced chance of errors in processing the returns and faster refunds). The statement must acknowledge that despite these benefits, the client nevertheless does not want to file electronically and will instead mail or otherwise submit his paper return to the IRS. Upon receipt of this signed statement, We will prepare Form 8948 Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically. This form must be attached to and submitted with the mailed paper returns. Of course, some returns are impossible to e-file for various reasons and are therefore exempt from the e-file requirement. Currently, the e-file mandate applies to returns using Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and 1041. What can I do if I do not receive a W-2? Employers are required to issue Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement annually by the end of January. You should allow an additional 2 weeks to receive it in the mail. However, if you have not received the form by mid-February, contact your employer and make sure that they have your correct address. You should file your tax return on or before April 15th, even if you have not received your W-2. Instead, use Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement in place of the W-2 to estimate your income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. The IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information. If you receive the missing W-2 after filing your tax return and the information on the W-2 is different from what you reported using Form 4852, you must correct your tax return by filing Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. (Alternatively, you may request a 6-month extension of time by filing Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return if you think that you will receive the elusive W-2 in the interim.) Do I have to file as an "independent contractor" if my employer incorrectly issued a 1099 to me? Yes. A worker who receives a Form 1099 - MISC / NEC attributing Nonemployee Compensation to them is presumed to be self- employed and "in business". As a result, they must attach Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business to his income tax return and pay both the employer and employee halves of the Social Security Tax (computed on Schedule SE Self-Employment Tax), as well as register as a "business" with the local tax authority. However, if the worker believes that his employment status has been misclassified and that he is in fact an employee who should have received a W-2 (instead of the offending 1099), they have two options: Agree with the way the business has classified him, file Schedules C and SE, and pay self-employment tax on the earnings, OR File Form SS-8 Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding. If Form SS-8 is filed, the IRS will determine if the worker should have been treated as an employee, subject to income and FICA tax withholding. The worker should weigh the pros and cons of filing Form SS-8 carefully. In the event of a favorable determination by the IRS, the worker will nevertheless remain liable for all federal and state income and one-half of the payroll taxes attributable to his earnings. The employer will be held liable for the other half of the FICA taxes along with a 100% penalty (!) and will likely be very unhappy with his now properly classified employee. As a result, it might be wise to file for reclassification only if the potential self- employment tax savings are significant and/or in cases in which the worker is unconcerned about burning his bridges with his employer and foregoing future job opportunities. Additional information (as well as Form SS-8) is available on the IRS website here. If you should decide to file, you must attach Form 8919 Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages to your income tax return to ensure that your Social Security account is properly credited for income earned (and taxes paid). NOTE: You will likely owe tax (plus penalties and interest) when filing your income tax return since the employer did not previously withhold the proper amount of federal, state and payroll taxes from your paycheck unless you proactively made quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year. Will the IRS allow an attorney-in-fact to act on a taxpayer's behalf with a Durable Power of Attorney? No. Many taxpayers create durable powers of attorney (DPOA) for estate planning or other purposes. DPOAs are commonly used to confer authority to make healthcare and financial decisions for an individual granting the power (known as the “principal”). A DPOA often becomes operative when the principal becomes incompetent or incapacitated and then remains in effect until the principal regains competence or dies. While all states and US possessions recognize a properly executed DPOA, the IRS generally does not. The tax authority, instead, requires taxpayers to sign Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, which must then be recorded with the IRS’s Centralized Authorization File (CAF). In the event that a taxpayer becomes physically or mentally incompetent and cannot sign Form 2848, an existing DPOA may only be used if the legal document contains all of the elements specified in IRS procedural regulations at 26 CFR §§601.501 – 601.509 (reprinted as IRS Publication 216, Conference and Practice Requirements.). Specifically, the DPOA must include the following: The taxpayer’s name, address, and taxpayer ID An employee plan number (if applicable) The name and address of the appointed representative A description of the matter(s) for which the representation is authorized that must include o (a) the type of tax involved o (b) the federal tax form number involved, o (c) the specific year(s) involved, and o (d) the decedent’s date of death in estate matters; and o A clear expression of the taxpayer’s intent regarding the scope of authority granted to the representative. Most DPOAs do not contain these elements and are, therefore, not accepted by the IRS. In limited circumstances, the defect(s) may be cured by submitting Form 2848 in conjunction with the DPOA if the attorney-in-fact completes the IRS form on behalf of the now- incompetent taxpayer and the DPOA authorizes the attorney-in-fact to handle federal tax matters. The attorney-in-fact is required to include a written statement, signed under penalty of perjury, verifying that the DPOA is valid under state law. If the DPOA does not in some manner authorize the attorney-in-fact to handle federal tax matters, then the best – or maybe only – option is for a conservator, guardian, or similar fiduciary to be appointed by a court to act for the incompetent taxpayer. Once appointed, the fiduciary may complete the necessary Form 2848. The fiduciary should also submit IRS Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship. What should I do if my tax refund was deposited to someone else's account? If you have not received your Direct Deposit Refund (DDR), you must wait at least 25 working days from the authorized date of the refund (seven days for e-file returns and eight weeks for paper-filed returns) before contacting the tax authority. The agent will verify that your return was filed and will ask you to fax a bank statement showing that the deposit was not made to your account. The IRS will then ask you to submit Form 3911 Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund (Form 3851 Taxpayer Affidavit of Misdirected Refund Deposit for the FTB) to start the replacement check process. The IRS then contacts the bank or financial institution where the misdirected refund was deposited requesting information on the account holder who received the misdirected refund. Once they receive the information from the bank or financial institution, a paper check refund will be issued to the correct taxpayer. What is an FBAR? An FBAR is short for Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts also known as Form 114 which is filed with FinCEN - Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a part of the US Department of Treasury but separate from the IRS.

What if I don't have a Social Security Number?

Your Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique identification number assigned to U.S. citizens and resident aliens at birth or upon application. The SSN is required for tax reporting purposes and is used to identify each taxpayer, spouse and dependent on federal and state income tax returns. Certain individuals, such as non-resident and illegal aliens, are ineligible to obtain an SSN, but may nevertheless have a tax filing requirement. It is for this purpose that the IRS issues an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9. ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status. Individuals may not use the ITIN to work in the U.S., receive Social Security benefits, or claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. What is an ITIN (IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)? An ITIN is a nine digit number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who are required for U.S. federal tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but are NOT eligible to get a U.S. Social Security number (SSN). What is a Certified Acceptance Agent? A Certified Acceptance Agent is a person or an entity (business or organization) who, pursuant to a written agreement with the IRS, is authorized to assist individuals and other foreign persons who do not qualify for a Social Security Number but who still need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). A Certifed Acceptance Agent can certify original identity documents so that the original documents do not need to be sent to the IRS (in most cases). The Certified Acceptance Agent issues a Certificate of Accuracy (COA) for the submitted documents. Note who cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy (COA): 1. An Acceptance Agent (AA) cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. 2. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. 3. A Enrolled Agent (EA) cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. 4. A Notary Public cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. I have a foreign financial account. Do I have any special filing requirements? Yes. US citizens, residents [Green Card and VISA holders] and business entities have a filing requirement if they have signature authority over foreign financial accounts, including bank, brokerage, annuity or mutual fund accounts with a combined value over $10K. Each account must be valued separately at its highest value during the calendar year; the value must be converted to US currency using the applicable exchange rate on the last day of the year. The account values are then aggregated to determine whether the filing threshold has been met. Form TDF 90-22.1 ("FBAR") must be received by the US Treasury on or before June 30th each year – no extension is available. Penalties for failure to file are steep! In addition to FBAR reporting, certain taxpayers may be subject to additional reporting requirements. For example, Form 8938 Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets must be submitted to the IRS along with the taxpayer's income tax return if the taxpayer's foreign assets exceed specified thresholds: A domestic taxpayer must file if he has an interest in foreign financial assets with an aggregate value of either $50,000 on December 31st or $75,000 at any time during the year; married individuals must file if they exceed the thresholds of $100,000 and $150,000, respectively. For taxpayers residing abroad, the filing thresholds rise to either $200,000 on December 31st or $300,000 at any time during the year for single taxpayers; $400,000 and $600,000, respectively, for those filing jointly. Again, substantial penalties for non-compliance are assessed. Taxpayers may be subject to yet more reporting requirements if they received gifts or bequests from abroad; if they transported, transferred or received in excess of $10,000 during the year; if they transacted business with a foreign corporation, partnership or trust; or [heavens!] attempted to expatriate. I am a US citizen living and working abroad and am concerned about my US tax filing obligations. What issues may be of importance? This is a very broad question that can only be addressed generically on this page. Each taxpayer’s situation should be evaluated on an individual basis to determine the rules applicable to specific countries of residence, pertinent tax treaties, length of foreign stay, travel to and from the US, foreign currency and exchange issues, the established tax home, family matters and many other unique factors. Due to this complexity, US taxpayers living and working abroad should consult an experienced tax professional familiar with US tax law as well as a knowledgeable practitioner in the country of residence who can address local filing requirements. Typically, each professional is proficient with only one set of rules and so the taxpayer will probably have to engage several professionals to obtain the most comprehensive advice. For help with US tax matters, you may contact me for assistance. Meanwhile, allow me to outline common issues that US taxpayers living and working abroad might encounter: Foreign Retirement Accounts The lack of international conformity can be overwhelming. For example, US citizens living and working in the United Kingdom (UK) may invest in local pensions and retirement plans much in the same way they would if living in the US and contributing to a 401(k) or IRA; they may even be able to deduct or exclude up to $55K ($61K if over age 50) of qualified contributions [in 2018]. Similarly, US citizens living and working in Germany may take advantage of the German Pension System. In contrast, employee and employer contributions to a Swiss Pillar II pension account may not be deducted from US taxable income but the amounts contributed may later be withdrawn tax-free; in that way they are comparable to ROTH accounts. Employer contributions to Singapore’s Central Provident Fund must be included as wage income. Social Security Benefits Totalization agreements between the US and other nations help to mitigate the effects of double taxation. As a result, Social Security benefits are generally taxed only by the country of residence rather than by the country in which the benefits accrued. However, US taxpayers should note that only 26 countries have currently signed on. Tax Year Calendar year reporting is required by US tax authorities in contrast to many other countries. For example, the tax year in the UK ends in early April; the Australian tax year ends in June. As a result, US taxpayers should keep pay stubs and account statements to help determine precise amounts of income earned throughout the year rather than rely on foreign tax reporting documents. Tax Reduction Strategies Eligible US taxpayers may use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (“the exclusion”) and/or the Foreign Tax Credit (“the credit”) to help reduce their US tax obligations. The exclusion can be used to decrease taxable income; whereas the credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of tax owed. While the credit cannot be applied against foreign income that has already been excluded, a taxpayer may use the credit against foreign taxes paid on non-excluded income and may therefore use both the exclusion and credit to maximize the allowable tax benefits. The taxpayer may choose to use whichever vehicle offers the greater benefit. For example, it may be preferable for US citizens living in the UK to elect the credit rather than the exclusion since UK tax rates are generally higher than those in the US; the resulting excess tax credits can be carried forward and used to reduce US tax liabilities for up to 10 years. On the other hand, it may be preferable to use the exclusion for income earned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since qualified expats living and working in the kingdom are not subject to foreign taxation. Since the credit can only be claimed for taxes paid, US taxpayers should instead use the exclusion to reduce or eliminate the amount of income subject to US taxation. Similarly, low tax rates in Hong Kong (HK) will likely make the credit less attractive than the exclusion. But because housing costs are exceptionally high in HK, US taxpayers who keep careful records of rent, utility costs and residential parking may claim a deduction for those costs. And in Switzerland, A US taxpayer may claim a credit for cantonal and municipal income taxes. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) In addition to income tax filing requirements, US citizens may also have to report specified foreign accounts. Reporting criteria depend on the aggregate value of all accounts and whether taxpayers live in the US or abroad, as well as the tax filing status of single or married individuals. Additionally, taxpayers may be required to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). Australian Superannuation Funds, for example, are deemed to be reportable accounts on the FBAR. Employer contributions to such funds are includible as wage income and distributions in excess of employer contributions are taxable for US tax purposes.

I am a US citizen who has worked overseas and will soon receive distributions from a non-US pension plan.

Do I have any US reporting requirements?

Yes. Foreign pensions are generally subject to FBAR and 8938 reporting, and the income generated by the account is often taxable annually whether distributed or not. I urge you to seek legal counsel from an international tax law expert for any applicable tax treaty provisions, as well as a detailed analysis of the pension program to determine if the plan is subject to 8621 and/or 3520 reporting, not just in the current year but retroactively as well. Failure to file the requisite forms can lead to onerous penalties. Is my foreign pension plan eligible for the same tax-favored treatment afforded to US individual and employer-sponsored retirement plans? No. In general, foreign pensions are not deemed to be “qualified” plans and are therefore ineligible for the tax benefits granted to US- based accounts, including IRAs and 401(k) plans. Instead, employee contributions to foreign pensions are generally not tax- deductible, employer contributions are includible as taxable income in the year made, and the income earned in the foreign retirement account is taxable to the participant on an annual basis. At retirement, distributions are often subject to both foreign and US taxation, which means that many plan participants will have been subject to US taxation as income accrued and again as it is paid out (barring any protections afforded by applicable tax treaties). If I participate in my foreign employer's retirement account, am I subject to additional reporting requirements in the US? Yes. Foreign pensions are not typically deemed to be “qualified” retirement plans (comparable to familiar plans in the US) and are instead viewed as trusts by the IRS. As such, they are subject to the onerous reporting requirements applicable to passive foreign investment companies (PFICs), defined as entities that hold mainly passive assets or receive mainly passive income from interest, dividends, capital gains, rents, royalties and annuities. PFICs can include foreign mutual funds, money market accounts, pension funds, partnerships and other pooled investment vehicles such as REITs. The PFIC regime was created under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 in hopes of leveling the playing field between foreign and US-based mutual funds and closing a loophole that historically encouraged US taxpayers to shelter investments from taxation by heading offshore. The rules – intentionally complex and burdensome – require that each PFIC as well as its shareholders maintain accurate records of all transactions such as dividends paid and undistributed income, which must be allocated on a pro rata basis to each shareholder. The tax liability that results from distributions not actually but only deemed to have been made, may be deferred until the sale of the PFIC but interest charges on the unpaid tax will accrue in the interim. NOTE: Capital gains from the sale of the PFIC are taxed as ordinary income and realized losses are not deductible. Under limited circumstances, PFIC shareholders may elect to treat an eligible PFIC as a Qualifying Election Fund (QEF) or make a mark-to-market election to qualify for more favorable tax treatment. Form 8621 Information Return by a Shareholder of a Passive Foreign Investment Company or Qualified Electing Fund must be attached to a taxpayer’s timely filed individual, partnership or exempt organization income tax return (and sometimes filed even if a tax return is not required). Taxpayers who hold multiple PFICs must file separate Forms 8621 for each PFIC owned. Failure to file may suspend the statute of limitations with respect to the taxpayer’s entire return until the omission is corrected; potentially extending the statute for an unlimited period of time. Form 8621 is a complex 4-page form that requires specialized expertise – not held by most otherwise competent practitioners – and that even the IRS estimates will take more than 20 (!) hours to complete. Taxpayers are urged to consult an experienced international financial adviser and/or an expatriate tax specialist to not only assist with the arduous reporting obligations but to determine whether it might, in fact, be best to divest of the asset.

Is it possible to appeal an assessment for increased Medicare premiums?

Yes. If you disagree with the notice issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) demanding that you pay a higher premium amount, you have the right to request an appeal in writing by completing Form SSA-561-U2 Request for Reconsideration. Your appeal will be considered only if you experienced one of these eight life-changing events: Death of Spouse Marriage Divorce or annulment Work reduction Work stoppage Loss of Income Producing Property Loss or reduction of pension income Receipt of employer settlement payment What are the continuing education requirements for tax professionals? The IRS mandates the following continuing education requirements for different types of tax professionals: Enrolled Agents: 72 hours every three years; including a minimum of 16 hours per year (2 of which must be on ethics) Annual Filing Season Program Preparers: 15 hours per year, including 2 hours of ethics, 3 hours of federal tax law updates and 10 hours of other federal tax law Attorneys and CPAs are not subject to these rules, but are required by state and professional licensing boards to take similar courses to maintain their licenses. In addition, non-signing return preparers supervised by Attorneys, CPAs, or Enrolled Agents are exempt from the continuing education requirement as are tax return preparers who do not prepare any Form 1040 series returns. Why is Wink Tax contacted? Clients frequently contact us for assistance in dealing with tax issues such as the following: 1. Pension or IRA distributions. 2. Significant change in income or deductions. 3. Job change. 4. Marriage. 5. Start-up or sale of business 6. Purchase or sale of a home or other real estate. 7. Retirement. 8. Divorce or separation. 9. Self-employment or contract work. 10. Large charitable contributions. 11. Children in college. 12. Tax Law Changes. 13. Foreign Bank Accounts and Investments. 14. IRS, State, Local tax notices. 15. And many more. Can you help me select a Financial Planner? Insurance Agent? Broker? Yes. Although there are many different types of planners, with different credentials, different areas of expertise and different methods of compensation, your selection will depend ultimately on the trust and rapport that you can establish with any given financial expert. Tax experts tend to focus their advice on tax-related matters, whereas financial planners tend to focus on the investment angle, and attorneys, of course, on the legal issues in question. Most advisors are not equally competent in all areas. Some planners are compensated on a fee basis, for example hourly or a flat rate for a professionally compiled plan. Others are transaction-oriented and will only be compensated if you implement the advice given with them. Although it might seem that one method would be better than another or that one would yield fewer potential conflicts of interest, I tend to believe that a good financial planner seeks to build successful long-term relationships with his clients; therefore, there immediate compensation becomes almost irrelevant as long as his ultimate goal is to do right by the client. That's of course, where your trust comes into play. Typically, it's best to work with a planner who has been referred by a friend, an associate or another professional upon whom you've come to rely. You have the right to interview the prospective planner—although you should not expect to have a long list of technical questions answered by the planner in your first meeting, you may certainly ask generic questions about his level of expertise, his experiences and his philosophies. If you're comfortable with what you hear, schedule a follow-up meeting. As my existing client, you have yet another alternative: Derrick! You know me as your tax advisor who has earned your trust and had the privilege of providing you with tax consulting and preparation services. However, what you may not have known is that I am also licensed Life Insurance Agent [life, accident, health and variable contracts], Registered Representative [annuities, investments, securites] and Registered Investment Advisor Representive [Fee based investment advisory services] and that I offer investment and insurance consulting services as well. I am able to draw on all my areas of expertise, including tax, finance, and law, I can provide you with comprehensive counseling and assist you with your investment, retirement and estate planning needs if you choose to engage these services. Note, these are optional services offered thru my other firm Wink Financial Services Inc. Languages? English is our primary spoken language but we have capacity in other spoken languages. We are familiar with many other countries tax systems/returns and are able to work with tax documents, tax returns and financial documents from many countries. Some returns we are familiar with include: Canada, China, England, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Spain, India, Pakistan, Hungary. Location? We accept clients regardless of location, we work with clients via In Person meetings, Video meetings, Phone meetings, Mail and Email. We utilize a secure encrypted file and messaging service which is HIPAA, GDPR, UETA, and ESIGN, PCI, CSA, FERPA, FINRA/SEC, NIST, and BBA compliant for privacy and data protection. For ITIN certification we can conduct the interview via Zoom or Skype or Teams. Confidentiality? Yes, we will treat your information with absolute confidentiality. Since your referral is typically from people you are acquainted with, you may be concerned that your personal or financial information will be discussed with them. We guarantee the confidentiality of all client information. We will never disclose your personal, financial, or business information with anyone without your express written permission. Also as we are licensed Enrolled Agents, you have confidentiality privilege in many situations such as audits and collection matters. Are We Accepting New Clients? Yes we are. While we have been in business over 30 years we have transitioned to the second generation and plan on expanding our clients for the next few decades. It makes us feel a little old, but we have the experience and energy for another 20 years. Referrals are the foundation of our business. We rely on satisfied clients as our primary source of new customers. We have clients in most states and many countries but not all continents, no one from Antarctica (yet…). Rewards? Appreciation? First of all, you have our gratitude. We truly value the confidence you have in us by referring family and friends. We also show our appreciation by offering some discounts: New Client Referral Discount $25 New Client Discount 1st Year - 20% off Military Discount - variable o 10% Reserve Duty o 25% discount Active Duty o 50% discount Combat Zone o 5% Veteran Discount o 15% or $50 USMC Veteran Discount - we support family. o 10% First Responder Family Discount extended family $25 per return Dependent Discount - variable o Income under $12,400 flat fee $10 to $20 o Income over $12,400 or multiple states 50% to 75% discount Please call us at (248) 816-1220 or 800-276-8319 to set up a free consultation. Or Book Your Consultation here: We service clients worldwide.
Wink Inc. | Enrolled Agents | 2701 Troy Center Dr, Ste 430 | Troy | Michigan | 48084 | Tel: 248-816-1220 | 800-276-8319 | Text: 248-800-6013|
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Wink Inc. Enrolled Agents America’s Tax Experts ®
Wink Tax Services
FAQ
Are There Deadlines for Filing Tax Returns? Yes there are many deadlines and some dates can be extended but many cannot be. Some common deadlines are: Form W-2 and 1099 Information forms - Must be mailed out by January 31st. 1099 Information form for investments, 1099-D, 1099-B - Mailed out by February 15th. Business Returns such as Form 1120, 1120-S - Due March 15th. Can be extended to September 15th, but one must file an extension by March 15th. Individual Returns such as Form 1040 - Due April 15th, most years. Can be extended to October 15th, but one must file an extension by April 15th. FBAR - Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCEN 114) reports due April 15th, most years. RMD - Required Minimum Distributions - April 1st of the year following age 72 Are penalties imposed for missing the tax filing deadline? Yes. If you do not file by the deadline, you might face a failure-to- file penalty. If you do not pay by the due date, you could face a failure-to-pay penalty. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty; so if you cannot pay all the taxes you owe, you should still file your tax return on time and pay as much as you can, then explore other payment options. The penalty for filing late is usually 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a return is late. This penalty will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. If you do not pay your taxes by the due date, you will generally have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month after the due date that the taxes are not paid. This penalty can be as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If you request an extension of time to file by the tax deadline and you paid at least 90 percent of your actual tax liability by the original due date, you will not face a failure-to-pay penalty if the remaining balance is paid by the extended due date. If both the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty apply in any month, the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty. However, if you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show that you failed to file or pay on time because of reasonable cause and not because of willful neglect. Am I required to file an amended return? No. Generally, you do not need to file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS will automatically make that correction. Also, do not file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms such as W-2s or schedules; the IRS normally will send a request asking for those. If there are other issues to report – including information received after the filing date and change of filing status, amongst many others – you must file Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return by mail (it cannot be e-filed) and attach all affected schedules and forms. Form 1040X must be filed within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. If applicable, be sure to also file an amended return with the state tax authority. Please contact us if you need assistance. Is a superseding return the same as an amended return? No. A superseding return is a return that is filed before the due date (including extensions) of an original return that has been previously submitted to the IRS. A superseding return thereby replaces an original return. In contrast, an amended return is one that is filed after the expiration of the original return’s filing period. If the tax liability is later adjusted due to an audit or an amendment, any resulting penalty will be computed based on the tax amount reported on the superseding (not the original) return. If a superseding return has not been filed, penalties resulting from an audit or amendment will be computed based on the tax liability reported on the original return. NOTE: The statute of limitations for assessments begins when an original (or superseding) return has been filed and does not re-start after an amendment is submitted. Claims for refunds of any overpayment must be submitted within three years from the time an original (or superseding) return was filed or the tax was paid, whichever is later. Why Should I Hire a Tax Preparer? Are There Deadlines for Filing Tax Returns? Very few people actually enjoy filing their own taxes. Even with the help of computer software programs, there is still a risk in understanding the complexities of our ever expanding tax system. In 1913 the first IRS Form 1040 was 1 page with 3 pages of instructions. According to Wolters Kluwer publishers of CCH the industry’s tax compilation total 74,608 pages as of 2014. In 2017 President Trump Signed into law another 1097 pages of changes with HR 1. The risk of running into problems still exists. In addition, computer software programs are not formulated to take into account your unique situation. Why risk answering a question wrong. We know the right questions. We are prepared, trained, and licensed with the IRS to take on complex tax issues. Why Should I keep good accounting records? The number one reason business’s fail is failure to keep accurate financial records. Your business idea, concept, structure, personnel, and location can all be excellent, but without good accounting, a business will fail. I have invested in a limited partnership from which I receive a large packet of K-1s at tax time. The packet includes a federal K-1 along with state K-1s for my state of residency as well as non-resident states. Can I ignore those out-of-state K-1s when preparing my return? No. Unless the partnership is filing a composite return and you are an eligible partner who has elected to participate in composite filing, you will receive the out-of-state K-1s. You must then file a non-resident return in each state if the respective state’s filing threshold as been reached. Are my returns required to be electronically filed? Yes. As per new IRS regulations, all individual income tax returns that we prepare for our clients must be electronically filed for tax year 2011 and beyond - Michigan’s e-file mandate has already been in place for a number of years. However, clients may independently choose to file on paper. If a client wishes to opt-out of the e-file program, they must provide Wink with a signed statement notifying me that they understand that electronic filing may provide a number of benefits (including an acknowledgment that the IRS received the returns, a reduced chance of errors in processing the returns and faster refunds). The statement must acknowledge that despite these benefits, the client nevertheless does not want to file electronically and will instead mail or otherwise submit his paper return to the IRS. Upon receipt of this signed statement, We will prepare Form 8948 Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically. This form must be attached to and submitted with the mailed paper returns. Of course, some returns are impossible to e-file for various reasons and are therefore exempt from the e-file requirement. Currently, the e-file mandate applies to returns using Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and 1041. What can I do if I do not receive a W-2? Employers are required to issue Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement annually by the end of January. You should allow an additional 2 weeks to receive it in the mail. However, if you have not received the form by mid-February, contact your employer and make sure that they have your correct address. You should file your tax return on or before April 15th, even if you have not received your W-2. Instead, use Form 4852 Substitute for Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement in place of the W-2 to estimate your income and withholding taxes as accurately as possible. The IRS may delay processing your return while it verifies your information. If you receive the missing W-2 after filing your tax return and the information on the W-2 is different from what you reported using Form 4852, you must correct your tax return by filing Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. (Alternatively, you may request a 6-month extension of time by filing Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return if you think that you will receive the elusive W-2 in the interim.) Do I have to file as an "independent contractor" if my employer incorrectly issued a 1099 to me? Yes. A worker who receives a Form 1099 - MISC / NEC attributing Nonemployee Compensation to them is presumed to be self- employed and "in business". As a result, they must attach Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business to his income tax return and pay both the employer and employee halves of the Social Security Tax (computed on Schedule SE Self-Employment Tax), as well as register as a "business" with the local tax authority. However, if the worker believes that his employment status has been misclassified and that he is in fact an employee who should have received a W-2 (instead of the offending 1099), they have two options: Agree with the way the business has classified him, file Schedules C and SE, and pay self-employment tax on the earnings, OR File Form SS-8 Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding. If Form SS-8 is filed, the IRS will determine if the worker should have been treated as an employee, subject to income and FICA tax withholding. The worker should weigh the pros and cons of filing Form SS-8 carefully. In the event of a favorable determination by the IRS, the worker will nevertheless remain liable for all federal and state income and one-half of the payroll taxes attributable to his earnings. The employer will be held liable for the other half of the FICA taxes along with a 100% penalty (!) and will likely be very unhappy with his now properly classified employee. As a result, it might be wise to file for reclassification only if the potential self-employment tax savings are significant and/or in cases in which the worker is unconcerned about burning his bridges with his employer and foregoing future job opportunities. Additional information (as well as Form SS-8) is available on the IRS website here. If you should decide to file, you must attach Form 8919 Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages to your income tax return to ensure that your Social Security account is properly credited for income earned (and taxes paid). NOTE: You will likely owe tax (plus penalties and interest) when filing your income tax return since the employer did not previously withhold the proper amount of federal, state and payroll taxes from your paycheck unless you proactively made quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year. Will the IRS allow an attorney-in-fact to act on a taxpayer's behalf with a Durable Power of Attorney? No. Many taxpayers create durable powers of attorney (DPOA) for estate planning or other purposes. DPOAs are commonly used to confer authority to make healthcare and financial decisions for an individual granting the power (known as the “principal”). A DPOA often becomes operative when the principal becomes incompetent or incapacitated and then remains in effect until the principal regains competence or dies. While all states and US possessions recognize a properly executed DPOA, the IRS generally does not. The tax authority, instead, requires taxpayers to sign Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, which must then be recorded with the IRS’s Centralized Authorization File (CAF). In the event that a taxpayer becomes physically or mentally incompetent and cannot sign Form 2848, an existing DPOA may only be used if the legal document contains all of the elements specified in IRS procedural regulations at 26 CFR §§601.501 – 601.509 (reprinted as IRS Publication 216, Conference and Practice Requirements.). Specifically, the DPOA must include the following: The taxpayer’s name, address, and taxpayer ID An employee plan number (if applicable) The name and address of the appointed representative A description of the matter(s) for which the representation is authorized that must include o (a) the type of tax involved o (b) the federal tax form number involved, o (c) the specific year(s) involved, and o (d) the decedent’s date of death in estate matters; and o A clear expression of the taxpayer’s intent regarding the scope of authority granted to the representative. Most DPOAs do not contain these elements and are, therefore, not accepted by the IRS. In limited circumstances, the defect(s) may be cured by submitting Form 2848 in conjunction with the DPOA if the attorney-in-fact completes the IRS form on behalf of the now-incompetent taxpayer and the DPOA authorizes the attorney-in-fact to handle federal tax matters. The attorney-in- fact is required to include a written statement, signed under penalty of perjury, verifying that the DPOA is valid under state law. If the DPOA does not in some manner authorize the attorney-in-fact to handle federal tax matters, then the best – or maybe only – option is for a conservator, guardian, or similar fiduciary to be appointed by a court to act for the incompetent taxpayer. Once appointed, the fiduciary may complete the necessary Form 2848. The fiduciary should also submit IRS Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship. What should I do if my tax refund was deposited to someone else's account? If you have not received your Direct Deposit Refund (DDR), you must wait at least 25 working days from the authorized date of the refund (seven days for e-file returns and eight weeks for paper-filed returns) before contacting the tax authority. The agent will verify that your return was filed and will ask you to fax a bank statement showing that the deposit was not made to your account. The IRS will then ask you to submit Form 3911 Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund (Form 3851 Taxpayer Affidavit of Misdirected Refund Deposit for the FTB) to start the replacement check process. The IRS then contacts the bank or financial institution where the misdirected refund was deposited requesting information on the account holder who received the misdirected refund. Once they receive the information from the bank or financial institution, a paper check refund will be issued to the correct taxpayer. What is an FBAR? An FBAR is short for Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts also known as Form 114 which is filed with FinCEN - Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a part of the US Department of Treasury but separate from the IRS.

What if I don't have a Social Security Number?

Your Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique identification number assigned to U.S. citizens and resident aliens at birth or upon application. The SSN is required for tax reporting purposes and is used to identify each taxpayer, spouse and dependent on federal and state income tax returns. Certain individuals, such as non-resident and illegal aliens, are ineligible to obtain an SSN, but may nevertheless have a tax filing requirement. It is for this purpose that the IRS issues an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9. ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status. Individuals may not use the ITIN to work in the U.S., receive Social Security benefits, or claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. What is an ITIN (IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)? An ITIN is a nine digit number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who are required for U.S. federal tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but are NOT eligible to get a U.S. Social Security number (SSN). What is a Certified Acceptance Agent? A Certified Acceptance Agent is a person or an entity (business or organization) who, pursuant to a written agreement with the IRS, is authorized to assist individuals and other foreign persons who do not qualify for a Social Security Number but who still need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). A Certifed Acceptance Agent can certify original identity documents so that the original documents do not need to be sent to the IRS (in most cases). The Certified Acceptance Agent issues a Certificate of Accuracy (COA) for the submitted documents. Note who cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy (COA): 1. An Acceptance Agent (AA) cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. 2. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. 3. A Enrolled Agent (EA) cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. 4. A Notary Public cannot issue a Certificate of Accuracy - original documents must still be submitted to the IRS. I have a foreign financial account. Do I have any special filing requirements? Yes. US citizens, residents [Green Card and VISA holders] and business entities have a filing requirement if they have signature authority over foreign financial accounts, including bank, brokerage, annuity or mutual fund accounts with a combined value over $10K. Each account must be valued separately at its highest value during the calendar year; the value must be converted to US currency using the applicable exchange rate on the last day of the year. The account values are then aggregated to determine whether the filing threshold has been met. Form TDF 90-22.1 ("FBAR") must be received by the US Treasury on or before June 30th each year – no extension is available. Penalties for failure to file are steep! In addition to FBAR reporting, certain taxpayers may be subject to additional reporting requirements. For example, Form 8938 Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets must be submitted to the IRS along with the taxpayer's income tax return if the taxpayer's foreign assets exceed specified thresholds: A domestic taxpayer must file if he has an interest in foreign financial assets with an aggregate value of either $50,000 on December 31st or $75,000 at any time during the year; married individuals must file if they exceed the thresholds of $100,000 and $150,000, respectively. For taxpayers residing abroad, the filing thresholds rise to either $200,000 on December 31st or $300,000 at any time during the year for single taxpayers; $400,000 and $600,000, respectively, for those filing jointly. Again, substantial penalties for non-compliance are assessed. Taxpayers may be subject to yet more reporting requirements if they received gifts or bequests from abroad; if they transported, transferred or received in excess of $10,000 during the year; if they transacted business with a foreign corporation, partnership or trust; or [heavens!] attempted to expatriate. I am a US citizen living and working abroad and am concerned about my US tax filing obligations. What issues may be of importance? This is a very broad question that can only be addressed generically on this page. Each taxpayer’s situation should be evaluated on an individual basis to determine the rules applicable to specific countries of residence, pertinent tax treaties, length of foreign stay, travel to and from the US, foreign currency and exchange issues, the established tax home, family matters and many other unique factors. Due to this complexity, US taxpayers living and working abroad should consult an experienced tax professional familiar with US tax law as well as a knowledgeable practitioner in the country of residence who can address local filing requirements. Typically, each professional is proficient with only one set of rules and so the taxpayer will probably have to engage several professionals to obtain the most comprehensive advice. For help with US tax matters, you may contact me for assistance. Meanwhile, allow me to outline common issues that US taxpayers living and working abroad might encounter: Foreign Retirement Accounts The lack of international conformity can be overwhelming. For example, US citizens living and working in the United Kingdom (UK) may invest in local pensions and retirement plans much in the same way they would if living in the US and contributing to a 401(k) or IRA; they may even be able to deduct or exclude up to $55K ($61K if over age 50) of qualified contributions [in 2018]. Similarly, US citizens living and working in Germany may take advantage of the German Pension System. In contrast, employee and employer contributions to a Swiss Pillar II pension account may not be deducted from US taxable income but the amounts contributed may later be withdrawn tax-free; in that way they are comparable to ROTH accounts. Employer contributions to Singapore’s Central Provident Fund must be included as wage income. Social Security Benefits Totalization agreements between the US and other nations help to mitigate the effects of double taxation. As a result, Social Security benefits are generally taxed only by the country of residence rather than by the country in which the benefits accrued. However, US taxpayers should note that only 26 countries have currently signed on. Tax Year Calendar year reporting is required by US tax authorities in contrast to many other countries. For example, the tax year in the UK ends in early April; the Australian tax year ends in June. As a result, US taxpayers should keep pay stubs and account statements to help determine precise amounts of income earned throughout the year rather than rely on foreign tax reporting documents. Tax Reduction Strategies Eligible US taxpayers may use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (“the exclusion”) and/or the Foreign Tax Credit (“the credit”) to help reduce their US tax obligations. The exclusion can be used to decrease taxable income; whereas the credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of tax owed. While the credit cannot be applied against foreign income that has already been excluded, a taxpayer may use the credit against foreign taxes paid on non-excluded income and may therefore use both the exclusion and credit to maximize the allowable tax benefits. The taxpayer may choose to use whichever vehicle offers the greater benefit. For example, it may be preferable for US citizens living in the UK to elect the credit rather than the exclusion since UK tax rates are generally higher than those in the US; the resulting excess tax credits can be carried forward and used to reduce US tax liabilities for up to 10 years. On the other hand, it may be preferable to use the exclusion for income earned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since qualified expats living and working in the kingdom are not subject to foreign taxation. Since the credit can only be claimed for taxes paid, US taxpayers should instead use the exclusion to reduce or eliminate the amount of income subject to US taxation. Similarly, low tax rates in Hong Kong (HK) will likely make the credit less attractive than the exclusion. But because housing costs are exceptionally high in HK, US taxpayers who keep careful records of rent, utility costs and residential parking may claim a deduction for those costs. And in Switzerland, A US taxpayer may claim a credit for cantonal and municipal income taxes. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) In addition to income tax filing requirements, US citizens may also have to report specified foreign accounts. Reporting criteria depend on the aggregate value of all accounts and whether taxpayers live in the US or abroad, as well as the tax filing status of single or married individuals. Additionally, taxpayers may be required to file a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). Australian Superannuation Funds, for example, are deemed to be reportable accounts on the FBAR. Employer contributions to such funds are includible as wage income and distributions in excess of employer contributions are taxable for US tax purposes.

I am a US citizen who has worked overseas and will

soon receive distributions from a non-US pension

plan. Do I have any US reporting requirements?

Yes. Foreign pensions are generally subject to FBAR and 8938 reporting, and the income generated by the account is often taxable annually whether distributed or not. I urge you to seek legal counsel from an international tax law expert for any applicable tax treaty provisions, as well as a detailed analysis of the pension program to determine if the plan is subject to 8621 and/or 3520 reporting, not just in the current year but retroactively as well. Failure to file the requisite forms can lead to onerous penalties. Is my foreign pension plan eligible for the same tax- favored treatment afforded to US individual and employer-sponsored retirement plans? No. In general, foreign pensions are not deemed to be “qualified” plans and are therefore ineligible for the tax benefits granted to US-based accounts, including IRAs and 401(k) plans. Instead, employee contributions to foreign pensions are generally not tax-deductible, employer contributions are includible as taxable income in the year made, and the income earned in the foreign retirement account is taxable to the participant on an annual basis. At retirement, distributions are often subject to both foreign and US taxation, which means that many plan participants will have been subject to US taxation as income accrued and again as it is paid out (barring any protections afforded by applicable tax treaties). If I participate in my foreign employer's retirement account, am I subject to additional reporting requirements in the US? Yes. Foreign pensions are not typically deemed to be “qualified” retirement plans (comparable to familiar plans in the US) and are instead viewed as trusts by the IRS. As such, they are subject to the onerous reporting requirements applicable to passive foreign investment companies (PFICs), defined as entities that hold mainly passive assets or receive mainly passive income from interest, dividends, capital gains, rents, royalties and annuities. PFICs can include foreign mutual funds, money market accounts, pension funds, partnerships and other pooled investment vehicles such as REITs. The PFIC regime was created under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 in hopes of leveling the playing field between foreign and US- based mutual funds and closing a loophole that historically encouraged US taxpayers to shelter investments from taxation by heading offshore. The rules – intentionally complex and burdensome – require that each PFIC as well as its shareholders maintain accurate records of all transactions such as dividends paid and undistributed income, which must be allocated on a pro rata basis to each shareholder. The tax liability that results from distributions not actually but only deemed to have been made, may be deferred until the sale of the PFIC but interest charges on the unpaid tax will accrue in the interim. NOTE: Capital gains from the sale of the PFIC are taxed as ordinary income and realized losses are not deductible. Under limited circumstances, PFIC shareholders may elect to treat an eligible PFIC as a Qualifying Election Fund (QEF) or make a mark-to- market election to qualify for more favorable tax treatment. Form 8621 Information Return by a Shareholder of a Passive Foreign Investment Company or Qualified Electing Fund must be attached to a taxpayer’s timely filed individual, partnership or exempt organization income tax return (and sometimes filed even if a tax return is not required). Taxpayers who hold multiple PFICs must file separate Forms 8621 for each PFIC owned. Failure to file may suspend the statute of limitations with respect to the taxpayer’s entire return until the omission is corrected; potentially extending the statute for an unlimited period of time. Form 8621 is a complex 4-page form that requires specialized expertise – not held by most otherwise competent practitioners – and that even the IRS estimates will take more than 20 (!) hours to complete. Taxpayers are urged to consult an experienced international financial adviser and/or an expatriate tax specialist to not only assist with the arduous reporting obligations but to determine whether it might, in fact, be best to divest of the asset.

Is it possible to appeal an assessment for increased

Medicare premiums?

Yes. If you disagree with the notice issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) demanding that you pay a higher premium amount, you have the right to request an appeal in writing by completing Form SSA-561-U2 Request for Reconsideration. Your appeal will be considered only if you experienced one of these eight life-changing events: Death of Spouse Marriage Divorce or annulment Work reduction Work stoppage Loss of Income Producing Property Loss or reduction of pension income Receipt of employer settlement payment What are the continuing education requirements for tax professionals? The IRS mandates the following continuing education requirements for different types of tax professionals: Enrolled Agents: 72 hours every three years; including a minimum of 16 hours per year (2 of which must be on ethics) Annual Filing Season Program Preparers: 15 hours per year, including 2 hours of ethics, 3 hours of federal tax law updates and 10 hours of other federal tax law Attorneys and CPAs are not subject to these rules, but are required by state and professional licensing boards to take similar courses to maintain their licenses. In addition, non- signing return preparers supervised by Attorneys, CPAs, or Enrolled Agents are exempt from the continuing education requirement as are tax return preparers who do not prepare any Form 1040 series returns. Why is Wink Tax contacted? Clients frequently contact us for assistance in dealing with tax issues such as the following: 1. Pension or IRA distributions. 2. Significant change in income or deductions. 3. Job change. 4. Marriage. 5. Start-up or sale of business 6. Purchase or sale of a home or other real estate. 7. Retirement. 8. Divorce or separation. 9. Self-employment or contract work. 10. Large charitable contributions. 11. Children in college. 12. Tax Law Changes. 13. Foreign Bank Accounts and Investments. 14. IRS, State, Local tax notices. 15. And many more. Can you help me select a Financial Planner? Insurance Agent? Broker? Yes. Although there are many different types of planners, with different credentials, different areas of expertise and different methods of compensation, your selection will depend ultimately on the trust and rapport that you can establish with any given financial expert. Tax experts tend to focus their advice on tax- related matters, whereas financial planners tend to focus on the investment angle, and attorneys, of course, on the legal issues in question. Most advisors are not equally competent in all areas. Some planners are compensated on a fee basis, for example hourly or a flat rate for a professionally compiled plan. Others are transaction-oriented and will only be compensated if you implement the advice given with them. Although it might seem that one method would be better than another or that one would yield fewer potential conflicts of interest, I tend to believe that a good financial planner seeks to build successful long-term relationships with his clients; therefore, there immediate compensation becomes almost irrelevant as long as his ultimate goal is to do right by the client. That's of course, where your trust comes into play. Typically, it's best to work with a planner who has been referred by a friend, an associate or another professional upon whom you've come to rely. You have the right to interview the prospective planner—although you should not expect to have a long list of technical questions answered by the planner in your first meeting, you may certainly ask generic questions about his level of expertise, his experiences and his philosophies. If you're comfortable with what you hear, schedule a follow-up meeting. As my existing client, you have yet another alternative: Derrick! You know me as your tax advisor who has earned your trust and had the privilege of providing you with tax consulting and preparation services. However, what you may not have known is that I am also licensed Life Insurance Agent [life, accident, health and variable contracts], Registered Representative [annuities, investments, securites] and Registered Investment Advisor Representive [Fee based investment advisory services] and that I offer investment and insurance consulting services as well. I am able to draw on all my areas of expertise, including tax, finance, and law, I can provide you with comprehensive counseling and assist you with your investment, retirement and estate planning needs if you choose to engage these services. Note, these are optional services offered thru my other firm Wink Financial Services Inc. Languages? English is our primary spoken language but we have capacity in other spoken languages. We are familiar with many other countries tax systems/returns and are able to work with tax documents, tax returns and financial documents from many countries. Some returns we are familiar with include: Canada, China, England, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Spain, India, Pakistan, Hungary. Location? We accept clients regardless of location, we work with clients via In Person meetings, Video meetings, Phone meetings, Mail and Email. We utilize a secure encrypted file and messaging service which is HIPAA, GDPR, UETA, and ESIGN, PCI, CSA, FERPA, FINRA/SEC, NIST, and BBA compliant for privacy and data protection. For ITIN certification we can conduct the interview via Zoom or Skype or Teams. Confidentiality? Yes, we will treat your information with absolute confidentiality. Since your referral is typically from people you are acquainted with, you may be concerned that your personal or financial information will be discussed with them. We guarantee the confidentiality of all client information. We will never disclose your personal, financial, or business information with anyone without your express written permission. Also as we are licensed Enrolled Agents, you have confidentiality privilege in many situations such as audits and collection matters. Are We Accepting New Clients? Yes we are. While we have been in business over 30 years we have transitioned to the second generation and plan on expanding our clients for the next few decades. It makes us feel a little old, but we have the experience and energy for another 20 years. Referrals are the foundation of our business. We rely on satisfied clients as our primary source of new customers. We have clients in most states and many countries but not all continents, no one from Antarctica (yet…). Rewards? Appreciation? First of all, you have our gratitude. We truly value the confidence you have in us by referring family and friends. We also show our appreciation by offering some discounts: New Client Referral Discount $25 New Client Discount 1st Year - 20% off Military Discount - variable o 10% Reserve Duty o 25% discount Active Duty o 50% discount Combat Zone o 5% Veteran Discount o 15% or $50 USMC Veteran Discount - we support family. o 10% First Responder Family Discount extended family $25 per return Dependent Discount - variable o Income under $12,400 flat fee $10 to $20 o Income over $12,400 or multiple states 50% to 75% discount Please call us at (248) 816-1220 or 800-276-8319 to set up a free consultation. Or Book Your Consultation here: We service clients worldwide.
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Wink Inc. Enrolled Agents | 2701 Troy Center Dr, Ste 430 | Troy | Michigan | 48084 | Tel: 248-816-1220 | TF: 800-276-8319 | Text: 248-800-6013 |