Thank you for visiting our website. Our dedication to quality client service includes an informative firm website as we endeavor to provide the highest quality professional service and guidance.
Tax Season 2018 Income Tax Return Preparation
Your 2017 income tax returns are due Tuesday, April 17, 2018. We can promise to have your returns completed and back to you in time for filing, only if your organizer and tax information are in our office by Monday, March 6, 2018. Please plan to return your signed E-file authorization forms to us no later than Monday, April 16, 2018. Please E-mail or fax the forms if returning in April.
Organizers - Please complete this data organizer as thoroughly as possible. The better organized you are, the faster your income tax returns can be completed which, in turn, will reduce the preparation time and costs. Please let us know if you would like your original tax data returned to you. We are planning to use CCH ProSystems to process your 2017 income tax returns. We have used CCH Prosystems services for over thirty-five years and we have been very pleased with their confidential and professional processing of returns.
Check the Info Center Calendar for important due dates.
Portal Creation - The Portal is a web-based application that allows for the encrypted, bi-directional transmission and storage of electronic data. The Portal will continue to be our primary method of sending the Client Copy of your individual tax returns for your review in the upcoming tax season. We will continue to mail you hard copies of tax payment vouchers, estimated tax vouchers and E-file authorization forms. Please keep us informed of any changes to your email addresses.
Appointments - This year our staff will not be inputting your tax data during the in-office appointments. We are asking you to send in your completed organizer a minimum of 2 weeks prior to your appointment. During the tax appointment our tax staff can review the preliminary tax returns with you, answer questions and ask you for additional information. Tim will be available during the latter part of the tax appointment to do planning for 2018 and answer questions that may have come up during your tax appointment. We know this is a change for some of you, but we feel it will eliminate errors that can occur during a data input session. Please call our office if you have any questions completing the organizer.
Completing an Organizer - Please review your organizer carefully. Cross out any items that are pre-printed, but no longer apply to you (children filing their own returns, bank accounts, etc.). If you receive W-2's, 1099's, brokerage statements, K-1's, clip them to the appropriate pages in the organizer. There is no need to rewrite this information. The organizer is a guide for you to gather the paperwork we will need to prepare the return. Please keep your organizer until it is complete. If you always have a late K-1 however, send everything else and note what you are waiting for. If you upload data to your Portal, please let us know by email when everything is uploaded.
Important this year - We need your Driver License number in order to E-file.
E-Mail & Website - Jorstad Incorporated's website provides company information, financial tools such as loan amortization calculators, newsletters and other articles concerning financial and tax matters and a calendar of important due dates and deadlines. Please take a minute to tour our web site. All staff members have e-mail addresses which appear on the website. www.jorstad.com
New Tax Law in Effect for tax year 2018
Please note that at the end of 2017 a new tax law was enacted which introduced significant changes to the tax rules currently in effect through the end of 2017. The new law will be effective from January 1st, 2018 and future years subject to “sunset” provisions. The changes are substantial, and we will be e-mailing separately a more detailed analysis of the tax law changes so that you can review them and determine to what extent the changes may affect your specific tax situation.
Significant Tax Law Developments in 2017
State Driver License Number and Expiration Dates Required for E-Filing of State tax returns
Please note that due to the enhanced security measures being implemented by various taxing authorities we will need you to fill out the applicable driver license information section in the tax organizer. Starting with the current tax filing season most of the states have mandated that the applicable taxpayers’ driver’s license information is provided with the electronically filed tax return as an additional security measure. If you do not provide this information we will have to contact you and follow up which may result in a delay of the tax return completion.
Change in Filing Due Dates for Certain Entities as well as Foreign Bank Account Reporting
Please note that effective with tax year 2016 and subsequent tax year the original due date for filing of Form 1120S (S corporation tax return) and Form 1065 (Partnership and LLC tax returns) is March 15th. The Form 1065 was previously due by April 15th or next business day if the 15th fell on a Holiday. Conversely Form 1120 (C corporation tax return) is due by April 15th (for 2017 tax filing it is on April 17th due to Holiday) for calendar year C corporations while in prior years this tax return was due by March 15th.
Foreign Bank Account Reports are now due by April 15th (for 2017 it is April 17th due to Holiday) together with the individual tax return due date and taxpayers can request six months filing extension similarly to individual tax returns.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) - Provisions Affecting Personal Tax Liability for 2017
Please note that based on our experience in the last two tax filing seasons which handled the compliance related to carrying out the administration of the two major parts of the law as stated below, we want to emphasize that you provide to us the forms which are provided to you either by your health insurance provider or the Health Insurance Market place. These forms are Form 1095-A, 1095-B or 1095-C, as the case may be. Please make sure to enclose the applicable form with your tax package as the IRS will not process tax returns which do not adequately reconcile the health care cost premiums or advance credits received on such premiums and this will result in a potential delay of a refund or in some cases additional balance due.
Two major components of the ACA came into effect in 2014 and will continue to be in effect in 2017 and future years until and if Congress enacts a new law. These components of the ACA are administered through the 2017 personal income tax return filing and are as follows:
- Required health insurance coverage
- Premium assistance credit
Similarly to 2016 these components will be handled generally by preparing and enclosing a separate Form 8962 as part of your 2017 individual income tax return. In order for Jorstad Incorporated to be able to complete the reporting requirement correctly it is important for you to answer the questions related to your health care coverage in the questionnaire section of the Tax Organizer which is located in the beginning of the booklet. Furthermore, it is very important that you forward to our office as part of your tax reporting documentation Form 1095-B (Health Insurance) which you should receive from your health insurance provider similarly to other tax reporting forms which you receive from third-parties. In case you enrolled into a health insurance plan using Health Insurance Marketplace you will receive Form 1095-A (Health Insurance Marketplace Statement). Please enclose this form together with your other tax documents when providing your information to our office for tax preparation as this form is essential in assisting us with the reporting requirements related to the health insurance mandatory coverage and the premium assistance credit.
The health insurance provision as modified administratively at the end of 2013 means that individuals (U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents “green card” holders), with few special exceptions, have to enroll in a qualified health insurance plan by January 31, 2017. Individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage are subject to the following penalty(s) per uninsured household adult: 2017 – the greater of $695 or a 2.5% penalty of the amount of household income that is over the threshold amount of income required for income tax return filing. Maximum penalty is $2,085 per person, for not maintaining the compliant ACA minimum coverage.
Please note that there are provisions which provide for health insurance subsidies (cost assistance) to taxpayers below certain modified gross income thresholds. For 2017 the income threshold amounts are for singles below $48,284, married couples below $64,960, family of three below $81,680, family of four below $98,400, family of five below $115,120, family of six below $131,840, family of seven below $148,560, family of eight below $165,280 and for family larger than eight the threshold amount increases by $16,720 for each additional household member. There are numerous calculators available online and there is a wealth of online resources offered by various health insurance providers, as well as the specific State administered Health Insurance Marketplace which in California can be obtained by visiting: https://www.coveredca.com/. The web address will be different for different states and some states do not administer their health exchanges so in such cases you can visit; https://www.healthcare.gov/ .
Please note that during the processing of the 2017 tax returns the Internal Revenue Service will be matching the items of health insurance paid, and if applicable advance premium assistance received, as reported on the tax return with amounts reported to the IRS by the insurance providers or the applicable health care Marketplace. Therefore, please make sure to provide to us any copies of Form 1095-A or 1095-B. You should receive Form 1095-A by January 31, 2018 and 1095-B or 1095-C as applicable by March 31, 2018. Please note that if you had full coverage for the entire year with a health insurance provider and were not eligible for premium assistance generally you will not be receiving these forms and these issues do not affect your tax return.
50% Bonus Depreciation and IRC Section 179 expensing for certain qualified Business Property
At the end of 2015 Congress passed the “Tax Extenders” legislation which re-instituted bonus depreciation for qualified newly acquired qualified business property and placed in service during the tax year. Consequently, during 2017 tax year businesses, including sole proprietorships, can utilize the 50% immediate write off on newly acquired qualifying business property, if the property is purchased as new and placed in service during 2017, but before September 28, 2017. This write-off is available only for tangible business property with tax depreciation life of 20 years or less. Please note that pursuant to the new tax law the bonus depreciation is increased to 100% of the price and the qualifying property can be new (first use) or used property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017. Please note that there is an overall limitation for this write off in the case of business autos with gross loaded weight of less than 6000 lbs.
Congress made permanent the amount of qualifying tangible personal property placed in service in 2015 and future years which can be expensed using IRC Section 179. The expensing amount in tax year 2017 under this provision is up to $510,000. This amount represents the aggregate cost of the qualifying property (New or Used) placed in service between January 1 and December 31, 2017. Please note that this amount applies only on the federal tax return and many states do not conform to this expanded expensing rule and instead default to only $25,000 of expensing option, as is the limit for California income tax purposes.
Continued Expanded Tax Basis Reporting by Brokers and Enhanced Consolidated Form 1099 from Brokers
2011 was the first tax year in which your stock broker or equity account custodian had to provide specific stock tax basis information to you, as well as a copy to the IRS. The mandatory basis reporting initially applied only to stocks purchased in 2011 and future years. This information will be provided on the redesigned Form 1099B which you will be receiving from your broker for stock sales in 2017. Starting in 2016 the securities which are covered by such tax basis reporting requirement have expanded to include effectively all investment instruments available on the publicly traded markets so your 2017 composite tax statement should include the cost basis of essentially all trades executed during the year. This mandate was not in existence prior to 2011 so please review the tax basis information reported by your broker. Please note any corrections, if applicable, when submitting the information to our office for tax preparation. Furthermore, note that depending on the instruments your account is invested, in your broker / financial advisor will be providing a very detailed Consolidated Form 1099 which contains significant amount of essential information for the preparation of the tax return. Please make sure to submit to us all of the received forms and pages from such forms as provided from your investment advisor on all of your investment accounts. Copies of each of these forms are electronically submitted to the IRS and any accidental omission of information from these
forms on your tax return will likely result in a matching notice by the IRS after the filing of the tax return.
Expanded reporting of Foreign Bank Accounts
The IRS is continuing to emphasize the disclosure / reporting requirement for US Citizens having signature authority on foreign bank account(s). Please be aware that you have to disclose bank or securities account information for account(s) on which you have signature authority if the highest maximum aggregate balance on all such accounts during the year exceeds $50,000. In order to properly disclose such account(s) please provide to us the name of the institution(s) with the applicable address and account number as well as the highest maximum account balance during the year on such account(s). Furthermore, please provide the amount of any applicable interest or dividend income or capital gain / loss recognized during the year on such account(s). Please note that this is an additional reporting requirement starting in 2011 and the information has to be enclosed with the tax return. The previously applicable separate reporting for foreign bank account(s) with an aggregate value of $10,000 or more still applies.
Jorstad Inc. Staff Contact Information & Billing Rates
These are standard billing rates, higher rates may apply to special projects