What Are Some Red Flags for an IRS Audit?

Goffstown Resident Inquires

Certain activity, even when legitimate can increase your risk for an IRS tax audit.  Some deductions can make an audit more likely including home office, business meals and travel, unreimbursed business expenses and alimony.  Errors in math on your return and not reporting taxable income, in the form of 1099s and W2s, are also all red flags.

A resident in Goffstown, NH was concerned about running the risk of an IRS audit.  He contacted Merrimack Tax Associates looking for suggestions to reduce that risk.

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How Long Should You Keep Tax Records?

Amherst Resident Looking to Spring Clean

According to the IRS, federal tax returns should be kept a minimum of three years.  The IRS only has three years to assess additional taxes, and taxpayers have three years to make additional claims.  Investment forms, such as retirement documents, should be kept at least seven years.  Bank statements and pay stubs should be kept for two years or more.

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Are Your Tax Withholdings Accurate?

Brookline Resident Finds Out the Hard Way

The amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck is a science, withhold too little and you get hit with a big tax bill.  Too much and you miss out on extra cash throughout the year.  For employees, the W-4 is what largely determines how much tax is held.  Factors that may make you want to revisit your tax withholding include a change in marriage status, dependents, home ownership, or a change in your spouse’s employment.

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Nashua, NH Resident Seeks Guidance

For non-cash donations that are worth less than $250, a receipt from the charity will suffice for record keeping, allowing you to deduct this on your taxes.  The receipt should contain a list of all items being donated, their condition and an estimated value for each.  For donations exceeding the $250 value you will need a written acknowledgement from the charity in addition to the receipt.

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Should I Itemize Deductions on My Tax Return?

Amherst, NH Tax Filer Wonders

By itemizing deductions on your tax return, you are choosing from the many individual tax deductions, instead of taking a flat-rate deduction.  In some cases, itemizing deductions can save you money on your taxes.  Deductions that can be itemized include medical expenses, property taxes, charitable contributions, mortgage interest and many more.

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If you won’t be able to get your paperwork filed by the April deadline, you will need to file a tax extension.  This will give yourself and your tax preparer more time to file, ensuring that there is no missing or inaccurate information.  It may work better for everyone’s schedule and by filing for an extension you will avoid any failure-to-file penalties from the IRS.

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Home improvements made during the same calendar year as selling the home can offer some tax relief from any profit made during the sale.  For 2019 there is also one big tax credit for adding energy efficient systems to your home, including solar, geothermal or fuel cell technologies.  Improvements done to a home office are also tax deductible.

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Hudson, NH Resident Wonders

Your tax bracket, which can change from year to year, is determined by your annual income.  The progressive income tax system we use means that the more money you earn the higher the tax bracket for this additional income.  This does not mean that you pay a higher rate on all of your income, but only that income which fall into subsequent tax brackets.            

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405 Daniel Webster Hwy
Merrimack, NH 03054
(603) 429-2009

Regular Hours

Sunday: Closed
Monday: 9AM-4PM
Tuesday: 9AM-4PM
Wednesday: 9AM-4PM
Thursday: 9AM-4PM
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed

Tax Season Hours (Feb 1 - Apr 15)

Sunday: Closed
Monday: 9AM-5PM
Tuesday: 9AM-5PM
Wednesday: 9AM-5PM
Thursday: 9AM-5PM
Friday: 9AM-4PM
Saturday: 9AM-2PM