Month: June 2018

1099 or W-2?

There is always a constant misunderstanding of what forms need to be filed on a tax return when a company pays a worker to perform a service or labor under their company name. The two common forms are a W-2 or 1099-Misc. Most people who have worked for a franchise or a global named company have been given a W-2 at the end of each employment year. Because the W-2 is the most common form out of the two, business owners assume that the tax form W-2 is given to every worker but it is not always the case.

Filing a W-2

The tax form that needs to be filed can be one of the two but depends on the situation and status of the person through the eyes of the company. The tax form W-2 is for those who are an employee of the company. One of the key differences between the two tax forms is with a W-2 the business owner assumes the responsibility to deduct the taxes on the wages they are paying their employees and reports and pays the tax deducted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The deductions are composed of State Income Tax, Federal Income Tax, Social Security, and Medicare; comprised these are commonly referred to as payroll taxes. There is another consideration that needs to be made if the company controls the person’s schedule and it’s providing the workers with necessary tools and training to complete a task a specific way then the worker is classified as an employee, in which the company must report this income to the IRS and furnish it’s employee(s) with a W-2 form.

Filing a 1099-Misc.

A 1099-Misc. form is furnished to workers that are considered an independent contractor. These workers are not considered employees of the business, so the worker oversees calculating their own payroll tax and submitting their own income earnings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration on a quarterly basis. To be considered an independent contractor, the worker contributes its own time, completes task-based projects on their own ideas and styles, the worker provides him or herself with their own tools, materials, and other supplies to complete the task. Another consideration in filing a 1099-Misc. is that the worker needs to make more than $600 in one fiscal year or it is not necessary to provide them with a 1099-Misc.

Wrong Classification

The Internal Revenue Service has developed a new form for employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors by an employer. Form 8919, Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages, will now be used to figure and report the employee’s share of uncollected social security and Medicare taxes due on their compensation.

IRS: Tax-related Identity Theft

About 1 in every 16 people living in the United States has been a victim of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s identity information like their names, social security number (SSN), or credit card number without the other persons consent. USA today announced that “identity theft soared during 2016 and in fact, it has hit an all-time high.”

The issue of identity theft has been a focal point for the IRS(Internal Revenue Services) since tax payers have too many times been victims of tax-related identity theft and refund fraud. As you may have guessed, a tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return to benefit on a fraudulent refund. To stop these tax-related identity theft, the IRS has assigned more than 3,000 employees to work on identity theft-related issues, and provides its 35,000+ employees training on how to detect identity theft.

The IRS is working hard to prevent identity theft and has stopped 14.6 million suspicious returns and protected over $50 billion in fraudulent returns. One of the steps they take is by calling tax payers to verify some questions they have on tax returns or refund amounts. The doing of this process is not to alarm any tax payer of fraud but to be proactive, if any fraudulent act was taken. It might sound like a simply task but it is a very effective way to find out if theft has occurred.

What can you do as Taxpayer?

If you are an e-filer, do your research. Search the internet, find out if the website you are thinking to use, has not been hacked or is a scam to get your personal information. If you are not an e-filer, and use a tax consultant, make sure files can not be easily stolen or seen. Also, keep your information hidden from others who do not need to know your personal information.

On the IRS website, it states that red flags should go up if any of the following occur:

  1. More than one tax return was filed using your SSN
  2. You owe additional taxes, or refund offsets on years you have not filed.
  3. IRS records show that you have received wages from an employer you did not work for.

If you have been a victim of tax-related identity theft, contact the IRS.



Tax Planning for Retirement: Things to Remember

Many people look forward for the day they retire. This is the time when they can relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor. But, regardless of how you want to spend your retirement, having a good tax strategy and plan for retirement is a must.

It is important to understand that there are many potential tax events that can be triggered when handling your retirement assets and financial transactions. With the help of tax experts like TaxPM you should be able to optimize your tax strategy. In any case, you should take a few things into consideration.

Asset Protection

According to many experts in this area, if you want to improve your asset protection, you will have to diversify your retirement assets. Use different vehicles like investments and insurance products to keep your assets safe. You should also think about the tax laws and regulations that may eventually affect your sources of income.

Now let’s consider some of the sources of income generated by retirees.

401 (k)

As you are probably aware, a 401 (k) represent a retirement savings plan sponsored by your employer/s. (1) With its help, you can save and invest a part of your paycheck before the removal of taxes. But, you should keep in mind that 401 (k) distributions are completely taxable. This is quite logical because the contributions were made before taxation.

Roth IRA

When it comes to Roth IRA, you should know that there are no deductions for the contributions. In other words, they act as so-called after-tax funds. People are free to withdraw contributions from the plan at any point, however depending on age there are often taxes and/or penalties applied to the transaction. In other words, Roth IRAs could be a more flexible option compared to traditional IRA.


SEP IRA is the ideal solution for self-employed persons who want to make sure that their retirement plan will get them significant income in the future. It’s also good for sole proprietors. Many people use a SEP IRA to create tax-deductible contributions for the last year. It’s possible to change the amount you contribute at any time of the year.

Traditional IRA

Traditional IRA has deductible contributions, but only from current income. (2) So, when there are withdrawals of contributions at retirement, they are taxable as any ordinary income. The same goes for the income. Generally speaking, those who belong to the lower tax bracket can expect significant, permanent tax savings with Traditional IRA. Keep in mind that the income is taxed equally no matter what kind of origin it has – interest, dividends or capital gains.

Proper tax planning for retirement depends on your income, goals, qualified plans and tax filing status. Use professional advice whenever you are making a plan like this. TaxPM is here to help you.