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Tax Season 2017

It's time to start working on your 2016 tax returns and there are some changes this year we wanted to share with you. First I'll cover some of the new features we are working on to help make filing your taxes a little easier this year:
  1. E-sign E-file forms - For the first time this year we will have the capability to send your e-file forms for electronic signature. Hopefully this will eliminate some of the back and forth of sending these forms and having you print, sign, then scan or fax or mail them back to us before we can file the returns. This year will be a trial run of this service and the IRS has made it rather complex for security purposes so we'll have to work out the kinks as we move along. Please be patient with us.
  2. New Portal Design - Technically the portal redesign was published last year but the finishing touches were put in place over the past year. It now works much better from all devices through the website www.clientaxcess.com. There is also an app you can download to your phone or tablet. Just search for CCH Client Axcess in your app store to download.
  3. Electronic Organizer - While most of you will still prefer the PDF or paper copy of the organizer we've already sent you, our software company has upgraded the electronic organizer we first tested two years ago. This online version of the organizer allows you to answer the questions and upload documents directly into the appropriate section of the organizer. If you are interested in testing this out just let me know (chris@lkbenson.com).
Now let's cover some of the bigger tax changes effective for the 2016 tax year:
  1. Due dates and extension periods for various business returns changed for this year. Even if you don't have a business return to file, this could impact you if you receive a K-1 from a partnership:
    • Partnership returns are now due March 15th instead of April 15th.
    • C Corporations are now due April 15th instead of March 15th.
    • S Corporations are still due March 15th.
  2. If you or your kids plan to claim an education credit or deduction, you need to have a Form 1098-T from the school. The IRS will no longer allow you to claim this deduction if a Form 1098-T was not filed by the school. 
  3. Some states, including New York, are requiring taxpayers to include their Driver's License number with their filed returns in order to help combat fraudulently filed returns. Regardless of where you live it would be helpful for you to include this information with your tax information this year. There is a spot in the tax organizer or you can just include a copy of your drivers license for us.
  4. This isn't new but it's the most common reason we see clients receiving notices so it is worth emphasizing. Please include a documentation of any and all estimated tax payments you make throughout the year
  5. The business mileage rate is 54 cents for 2016, down from 57.5 cents.
  6. The medical mileage rate is 19 cents for 2016, down from 23 cents.
  7. Many other exemption amounts have increased slightly due to inflation.
If you have any questions about these or other tax-related items feel free to contact me or Rosemary (rosemary@lkbenson.com) at any time. 
The views expressed represent the opinions of L.K. Benson & Company and are subject to change.  These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person.

Please see Additional Disclosures more information.