The very mention of Internal Revenue Service causes distress and fear for most people.  April 15th seems to approach quickly every year.  Tax season brings the stress of gathering information, uncertainty about refunds or tax burdens, and the challenge of navigating a complicated tax system.  You may forget a stock sale or a gambling win, potentially triggering a response from the IRS, demanding more money.  Even though tax season can be stressful, the reality is, if you are doing the right thing and presenting honest information, there is nothing to fear. There are many times the IRS wants more than they are entitled to.   

We take the stress out of taxes.  My office has been in Mesquite for 14 years.  Our goal is professional, accurate and courteous service.  Each of our clients is special and each tax situation is given thorough consideration.  To maximize efficiency, we participate in advance training by completing continuing education through the IRS every year. This is a voluntary program.  Each member of our team has qualified for the AFSP Certification from the IRS.   We offer a FREE consultation, FREE review of prior year tax returns, assistance with IRS problems, and a good cup of coffee while we work.  We were voted Best of Mesquite two years in a row and our team of professionals is ready to tackle your tax challenges!

Tax season brings with it many questions:

How will I handle stock sales?  The IRS receives information on total sales money you received. Your obligation is ONLY for the profit, so original cost and sale price must be reported on a Schedule D to determine if there is a loss or a gain.

How will I deal with a taxable jackpot?  Win can be claimed as a deduction if you itemize.

What can I itemize on my tax return?  Mortgage interest, taxes, mortgage insurance premiums, points, car tags, large purchase items sales tax, charitable contributions, union dues, all benefit you at tax time.

Medical insurance premiums, payments to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, chiropractors, labs, glasses, hearing aid costs, are deductible above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, or above 10% if you are younger than 65. Medical mileage to and from doctor, hospital or pharmacy is worth 23 cents a mile.

What if I own a business or get a 1099 as an independent worker?  It is very important to speak with your preparer in depth about the Schedule C deductions available, such as advertising, insurance, office expense and supplies. Rent and utilities are deductible if you maintain an office outside your home. Home office space, must be for office use only and is deductible by the percentage of space used in your existing home. Keep a record of business use of your vehicle, every mile has a 57.5 cents value for deduction.

Will I need to pay tax on my Social Security?  A large portion of Social Security income can be taxable, depending on other income amounts, including interest, dividends, retirements etc.  If Social Security is the only income, you do not need to file.  Social Security Disability and/or other disability insurance can be taxable under certain conditions.  If you receive disability money, be sure to discuss tax liabilities. You may be tax free in a state, but taxable on the federal level.

I just sold my home?  Your home for 3 of 5 years is a primary home sale. Keep records of original purchase price plus cost of all improvements. This becomes the basis of cost against sale price. As single, you can make a profit of $250,000 before paying capital gains – Married couples $500,000.  Property is cost plus improvements for basis against sales. All profit from property is subject to taxes.

Do I qualify for Earned Income Credit?  EIC is available on three children who have lived in the United States more than 6 months, have valid Social Security numbers, and meet the relationship and age test. Be aware of severe federal penalties if you claim a child who doesn’t belong to you.

What should I think about in choosing a tax professional?  Be sure whoever does you taxes is knowledgeable, has completed advanced education, is registered with the IRS and has a PTIN number.  Do not use a preparer who shows your return as self-prepared.  That means you did it yourself and the preparer has no liability for the content.

I hope this helped make you more knowledgeable about some common tax issues.   If you’d like more assistance with your tax situation, please call 702-346-2121, to make an appointment with Juel, Jennifer, Carrie or I, and we can help.  Stop by at 312 W. Mesquite, Suite 5, in the Mesquite Plaza, next to Dono’s Smokeshop and Los Lupes Restaurant.  Email us at or check out our Facebook page @ .Liberty tax photo

I am Barbara Maue-Knutson, owner of Liberty Tax Mesquite, and I appreciate the wonderful people who have been our loyal clients.  If you haven’t been in our office, stop by for a visit and see why so many people enjoy being part of our Liberty Tax Family.

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