Here’s what taxpayers should know about the new IRS Tax Withholding Estimator

Taxpayers who haven’t yet checked their withholding this year should do so ASAP. All taxpayers can do this by using the new mobile-friendly Tax Withholding Estimator. This new tool can be used by workers, as well as retirees, self-employed individuals and other taxpayers. It’s a user-friendly step-by-step tool to help taxpayers effectively adjust the amount of income tax they have withheld from wages and pension payments. This helps them make sure that they are paying the right amount of tax as they earn it throughout the year.

Here are some things people should know about the new tool:

Using the tool to do a Paycheck Checkup can help taxpayers avoid an unexpected year-end tax bill and possibly a penalty when they file their 2019 tax return next year.

The new tool allows taxpayers to separately enter pensions and other sources of income. Taxpayers who receive pension income can use the results from the estimator to complete a Form W-4P. They then give this form to their payer.

It’s important for anyone who had an unexpected tax bill or a penalty when they filed this year to do a checkup.

It’s also an important step for those who made withholding adjustments in 2018 or had a major life change.

The new Tax Withholding Estimator makes it easier to enter wages and withholding for each job held by the taxpayer and their spouse.

At the end of the process, the tool makes specific withholding recommendations for each job and spouse. It also clearly explains what the taxpayer should do next.

Those most likely to owe tax because they’ve had too little tax withheld include:
Those who itemized in the past but now take the increased standard deduction.
Two-wage-earner households.
Employees with nonwage sources of income.
Those with complex tax situations.
Share this tip on social media -- #IRSTaxTip: Here’s what taxpayers should know about the new IRS Tax Withholding Estimator.

Individuals with significant tax debt should act promptly to avoid revocation of passports

The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers to resolve their significant tax debts to avoid putting their passports in jeopardy. They should contact the IRS now to avoid delays in their travel plans later.

Under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the IRS notifies the State Department (State) of taxpayers certified as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt, which is currently $52,000 or more. The law then requires State to deny their passport application or renewal. If a taxpayer currently has a valid passport, State may revoke the passport or limit a taxpayer’s ability to travel outside the United States.

When the IRS certifies a taxpayer to State as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt, the taxpayer receives a Notice CP508C from the IRS. The notice explains what steps the taxpayer needs to take to resolve the debt. IRS telephone assistors can help taxpayers resolve the debt. For example, they can help taxpayers set up a payment plan or make them aware of other payment options. Taxpayers should not delay because some resolutions take longer than others.

Don’t Delay!
It’s especially important for taxpayers with imminent travel plans who have had their passport applications denied by State to call the IRS promptly. The IRS can help taxpayers resolve their tax issues and expedite reversal of their certification to State. When expedited, the IRS can generally shorten the 30 days processing time by 14 to 21 days. For expedited reversal of their certification, taxpayers will need to inform the IRS that they have travel scheduled within 45 days or that they live abroad.

For expedited treatment, taxpayers must provide the following documents to the IRS:

Proof of travel. This can be a flight itinerary, hotel reservation, cruise ticket, international car insurance or other document showing location and approximate date of travel or time-sensitive need for a passport.

Copy of letter from State denying their passport application or revoking their passport. State has sole authority to issue, limit, deny or revoke a passport.
The IRS may ask State to exercise its authority to revoke a taxpayer’s passport. For example, the IRS may recommend revocation if the IRS had reversed a taxpayer’s certification because of their promise to pay, and they failed to pay. The IRS may also ask State to revoke a passport if the taxpayer could use offshore activities or interests to resolve their debt but chooses not to.

Before contacting State about revoking a taxpayer’s passport, the IRS will send Letter 6152, Notice of Intent to Request U.S. Department of State Revoke Your Passport, to the taxpayer to let them know what the IRS intends to do and give them another opportunity to resolve their debts . Taxpayers must call the IRS within 30 days from the date of the letter. Generally, the IRS will not recommend revoking a taxpayer’s passport if the taxpayer is making a good-faith attempt to resolve their tax debts.

Ways to Resolve Tax Issues
There are several ways taxpayers can avoid having the IRS notify State of their seriously delinquent tax debt. They include the following:

Paying the tax debt in full,
Paying the tax debt timely under an approved installment agreement,
Paying the tax debt timely under an accepted offer in compromise,
Paying the tax debt timely under the terms of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice,
Having a pending collection due process appeal with a levy, or
Having collection suspended because a taxpayer has made an innocent spouse election or requested innocent spouse relief.
Relief programs for unpaid taxes
Frequently, taxpayers qualify for one of several relief programs including the following:

Payment agreement. Taxpayers can ask for a payment plan with the IRS by filing Form 9465. Taxpayers can download this form from and mail it along with a tax return, bill or notice. Taxpayers who are eligible can use the Online Payment Agreement system to set up a monthly payment agreement. Using the Online Payment Agreement system is cheaper and can save time.

Offer in compromise. Some taxpayers may qualify for an offer in compromise, an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the tax liability for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to determine the taxpayer’s ability to pay.

Guest Article by Harry Cline: How to Decide on Your best Senior Lifestyle Arrangement

How to Decide on Your Best Senior Lifestyle Arrangement
Age brings with it inevitable change. As we grow older, it sometimes becomes apparent that due to certain changes, we could use a little help to make the most of our golden years. If you’re trying to decide whether that means making some home modifications or moving to an assisted living situation, we’ve gathered some information to help you sort through the details.
Modifications Make the Difference
If you’re considering staying in your own home as you grow older, you aren’t alone. In fact, some statistics indicate about 90 percent of seniors like the idea of aging in place. However, if that is your goal, you should consider a house design that will support your efforts. Depending on your current abode, you might need to transition to a different home. Most traditionally styled homes require at least some modifications to boost accessibility for seniors.
Prioritizing Needs
When it comes to prioritizing changes, bathroom modifications often rank toward the top for seniors, and with good reason. According to NewsUSA, one in three seniors falls every year, and 80 percent of those falls occur in bathrooms. It’s a space that tends to be tight quarters and oftentimes is slippery. By better equipping your bathroom, you can greatly reduce your risk of falling. Installing a walk-in shower or accessible tub is a big perk, along with things like grab bars, a taller commode, and anti-slip flooring. To give you an idea of cost, homeowners in nearby Jacksonville typically pay between $5,318 and $11,891 for a bathroom remodel.
Beyond the Bath
While bathrooms can be particularly hazardous, there are other trouble spots in traditional homes that are worth addressing. For instance, extending anti-slip flooring (which starts around $3 per linear foot) to the rest of the home is a plus, and doorways should be wider than average so you can navigate comfortably if assistive equipment is used. At least one entryway should be free of steps, and throughout the home, you can add lighting to boost visibility. The ideal living arrangement would be on the ground floor as well, so you can eliminate climbing stairs.
Hiring Help
Many home modifications require a professional to complete, although you don’t necessarily need to hire a contractor. If you choose some simple, small changes, a handyman can often handle it for you. Some areas limit the size of the job a handyman can do, and bear in mind that while a handyman typically has a number of practical skills, they don’t necessarily have a professional license or the proper certifications.
A contractor, on the other hand, can take on bigger jobs, often has a specialty, and may have a team of helpers. When it comes to hiring someone, Forbes suggests having specific details prepared regarding the work you require. Then, ask around for recommendations, look at completed projects to see if you like the work, and interview each candidate carefully.
Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home Care
Many people are confused about assisted living care versus nursing home care. As explained by the National Caregivers Library, if you need a bit of assistance with daily basics, such as grooming, dressing, or eating, but you still live a generally independent life overall, an assisted living situation could be ideal for you.
Assisted living environments couple freedom with support; you have access to things like help with medications and bathing, but you are able to come and go as you please. There are often organized activities you are welcome to join, such as games, exercise groups, and crafts. For some people, it’s an ideal environment aimed toward comfortable, supported aging.
Nursing homes, on the other hand, provide a higher level of care. They are more for people recovering from a serious illness or injury or require around-the-clock assistance. Some medical services might include things like respiratory therapy, dialysis, and rehabilitative therapy.
Some of the changes that come with aging can challenge us. If it’s time to alter your living arrangement to meet those challenges, you have options. Both staying at home and assisted living are worth considering for optimal comfort and indepe
Harry Cline


IRS: Truckers should e-file highway use tax return by Sept. 3

The Internal Revenue Service today issued a reminder for owners of most heavy highway vehicles that the time to file Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, began July 1, 2019.

The highway use tax applies to highway motor vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. This generally includes large trucks, truck tractors and buses. The tax is based on the weight of the vehicle and a variety of special rules apply. These special rules are explained in the instructions to Form 2290.

In 2019, the IRS expects to receive almost 900,000 Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Returns. Though some taxpayers have the option of filing Form 2290 on paper, taxpayers with 25 or more taxed vehicles must e-file Form 2290.

The deadline to file Form 2290 and pay the tax is Sept. 3, 2019, for vehicles used on the road during July. Truckers have the additional time since the normal deadline of Aug. 31 falls on a Saturday this year and Monday, Sept. 2, is a federal holiday.

The IRS encourages all owners to take advantage of the speed and convenience of e-file and paying any tax due. There is no need to visit an IRS office because the form can be filed and any required tax payment can be made online. Filers can use a credit or debit card to pay the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax. Visit for a list of IRS-approved e-file providers and to find an approved provider for Form 2290 on the 2290 e-file partner’s page.

Generally, e-filers receive their IRS-stamped Schedule 1 electronically minutes after filing. They can then print the Schedule 1 and provide it to their state department of motor vehicles, without visiting an IRS office.

For those who want face-to-face service, all IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers now operate by appointment and taxpayers can call 844-545-5640 to schedule one. See the Taxpayer Assistance Center page on for details.

The IRS will host a webinar, “Understanding Form 2290-Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax,” Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Pre-register for this free 60-minute webinar. Closed captioning is available. Tax professionals can earn one continuing professional education credit for attending.

For more information about the highway use tax, visit the Trucking Tax Centerat


Two Ecstatic Clients Debt Forgiven in February 2019


Case 1:Dear Mr. Taxpayer,

We have accepted the offer in compromise you signed and dated on 06/6/2018. The acceptance date is the date of this letter and acceptance is subject to the terms and conditions on the enclosed form .... " This client had a balance of $168,297.30. IRS accepted $9,364.00 ---- WOW! Tax payer paid 20% (1,872.80) down with initial application and agreed to pay remaining balance within 1 year of acceptance.


Case 2:Dear Mr. Taxpayer,

We have accepted the offer in compromise you signed and dated on 07/23/2018. The acceptance date is the date of this letter and acceptance is subject to the terms and conditions on the enclosed Form .... " This client had a balance of $30,625.66. IRS accepted $4,397.00 ---- Ecstatic!

Taxpayer chose monthly installments payments of $183.21 for 24 months. Both clients just happen to be in the Trucking Industry. Our slogan is, "Let us ERASE your DEBT".15174348

Should You Create an LLC For Your Rental Property?

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure. You can create an LLC by yourself, with a partner, or with a group. If you own an LLC you are a “member” of the LLC.

LLC’s are regulated at the state level, so the process of creating an LLC will differ state-by-state. This article will provide an overview of benefits of creating an LLC and how to create an LLC. We strongly recommend doing state-specific research to further understand how to create an LLC in your state (and the specific fees and costs).

What are the Benefits of Creating an LLC?

There are four benefits of creating an LLC for your rental property.

  1. Limit Your Personal Liability: If you own your property as an individual and someone files a lawsuit against you, then your personal assets are at stake. However, if you create an LLC, then the only assets at stake are those owned by the LLC. In other words, your rental property is the only asset at stake and not your personal finances.
  2. Keep Your Rental Properties Separate From Each Other: In addition to separating the rental property from your personal assets, you should also separate your rental properties from each other. If you own multiple properties, you can “insulate” each property from liability claims by setting up separate LLCs for each property. If you have all of your properties under separate LLCs, then if someone files a lawsuit pertaining to one of your properties, then the rest of your properties will not be affected by the lawsuit. This effectively separates and protects each of your properties.
  3. Pass-through Taxation: Pass-through taxation is a benefit of individual-owned businesses. Normally, a corporation is taxed directly on its profits and owners are taxed again when they make income from their business. With an LLC, you get the benefit of the company’s income “passing through” to you as the business owner. Essentially, all income made by your LLC (your rental property) will flow through to your individual income tax return. This minimizes the amount of money taken out of your income for taxes.
  4. Easily Separate Business and Personal Expenses-When you create an LLC, you should create a separate bank account for your LLC. That way, your personal expenses are separated from business expenses. This makes it easier to claim business expenses when it comes time to do your taxes. It will be visually clear to you when you check your bank statements which expenses are business and personal.

Who Should Create an LLC?

Any landlord can benefit from creating an LLC. Whether you have one property or several, you will benefit from pass-through taxation and protecting your personal liability.

LLCs can be especially helpful if there are multiple owners of a property. When you create an LLC, you’ll create an operating agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each member of the LLC. This can help you seamlessly manage the property and protect each member of the LLC in case of legal trouble. (

2018 Tax Highlights

Watch this video for 2018 tax updates!

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IRS issues proposed regulations on new 20 percent deduction for passthrough businesses

IR-2018-162, Aug. 8, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations today for a new provision allowing many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts and S corporations to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income.

The new deduction -- referred to as the Section 199A deduction or the deduction for qualified business income -- was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. Eligible taxpayers can claim it for the first time on the 2018 federal income tax return they file next year.

The deduction is generally available to eligible taxpayers whose 2018 taxable incomes fall below $315,000 for joint returns and $157,500 for other taxpayers. It’s generally equal to the lesser of 20 percent of their qualified business income plus 20 percent of their qualified real estate investment trust dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership income or 20 percent of taxable income minus net capital gains.

Deductions for taxpayers above the $157,500/$315,000 taxable income thresholds may be limited. Those limitations are fully described in the proposed regulations.

Qualified business income includes domestic income from a trade or business. Employee wages, capital gain, interest and dividend income are excluded.

In addition, Notice 2018-64, also issued today, provides methods for calculating Form W-2 wages for purposes of the limitations on this deduction. More information in the form of FAQs on Section 199A can be found on

Taxpayers may rely on the rules in these proposed regulations until final regulations are published in the Federal Register.


Oct. 15 Tax-filing Extension Deadline Approaches for Millions of Taxpayers

The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers who requested the six-month filing extension to double check their tax returns and file on or before the mid-October deadline. IRS e-file and Free File are excellent filing options and are still available.

More than 14 million taxpayers filed for an extension in 2018 and, although Oct. 15 is the last day for most people to file, some may have more time. They include:

Members of the military and others serving in combat zone localities still have more time. They typically have until at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to both file returns and pay any taxes due.

Taxpayers in several disaster area localities who already had valid extensions now have more time to file. Currently, taxpayers in parts of California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas qualify for this relief. For details, see the disaster relief page on However, like other extension filers, these taxpayers were required to pay what they owed by April 18, which was this year’s filing deadline for 2017 tax returns.


Recordkeeping and Adjusted Gross Income

As a reminder, taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax returns and supporting documents for a minimum of three years. It’s more important than ever for taxpayers to have prior-year tax returns available as the IRS made changes last year to protect taxpayers and authenticate their identity. To authenticate their identities, taxpayers will need to enter either of two items: their prior-year AGI or their prior-year self-select PIN and their date of birth. If married filing jointly, both taxpayers must authenticate their identities with this information.

Extension filers should also plan ahead if they are using a software product for the first time as using an electronic PIN is no longer an option.

Those who lack access to their prior-year tax returns can go to and use Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail to get last year’s AGI. (



Things You Should Know about Filing Late and Paying Penalties

Don’t Make this Critical Mistake!!

I can’t tell you the number of taxpayers that have mistakenly filed their return late because they anticipated they would owe a balance and not have the ability to pay the balance in full. The most important thing is to file a timely return, including extensions. By filing a timely return, taxpayers will potentially save 25 PERCENT in additional penalties.

To keep interest and penalties to a minimum, you should file your tax return and pay the tax as soon as possible. Here are some facts that you should know.

1. Two penalties may apply. One penalty is for filing late and one is for paying late. They can add up fast. Interest accrues on top of the penalties.

2. Penalty for late filing. If you file your 2015 tax return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is $205 or, if you owe less than $205, 100 percent of the unpaid tax. Otherwise, the penalty can be as much as five percent of your unpaid taxes each month up to a maximum of 25 percent.

3. Penalty for late payment. The penalty is generally 0.5 percent of your unpaid taxes per month. It can build up to as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.

4. Combined penalty per month. If both the late filing and late payment penalties apply, the maximum amount charged for the two penalties is 5 percent per month.

5. File even if you can’t pay. Filing on time and paying as much as you can will keep your interest and penalties to a minimum. If you can’t pay in full, getting a loan or paying by debit or credit card may be less expensive than owing the IRS. If you do owe the IRS, the sooner you pay your bill the less you will owe.

6. Payment Options. Explore your payment options on our website at For individuals, IRS Direct Pay is a fast and free way to pay directly from your checking or savings account. The IRS will work with you to help you resolve your tax debt. Most people can set up a payment plan using the Online Payment Agreement tool on

7. Late payment penalty may not apply. If you requested an extension of time to file your income tax return by the tax due date and paid at least 90 percent of the taxes you owe, you may not face a failure-to-pay penalty. However, you must pay the remaining balance by the extended due date. You will owe interest on any taxes you pay after the April 18 due date.

Call David Jones at 904.406.9364 or email me at

D Jones Professional Services