Your Personal Taxes
Tax News You Can Use
Federal Tax Deduction Amounts
Accounting & Taxes
About Our Staff
Comments on this
website are informational in nature and are not intended to
be interpreted as
specific tax advice. The comments cannot be used to avoid
taxes under the Internal Revenue Code or the regulations of other tax
authorities. Furthermore, this website is not intended, and should not be interpreted, to support
the promotion or marketing of any tax avoidance schemes.
Date last modified:
rob you of precious dollars. The IRS NEVER uses email or
telephone calls to tell individual taxpayers that they owe money and
must pay immediately. You are always entitled to representation
by a tax professional and/or attorney in
order to determine the validity of the "claim".
DO NOT respond to
these emails and DO NOT engage in conversation when a fraudster
calls. Also, protect your sensitive personal information so it
cannot be stolen and a false tax return filed in your name.
choose to donate all of their Oregon Kicker Refund to the Oregon
State School Fund. It will be considered a charitable
contribution on the 2016 return.
credits and deductions have been made permanent starting with the
2015 Tax filing season -- $250 deduction for educators' expenses,
state and local sales tax as an itemized deduction for those not
deducting state income tax, charitable giving directly from an IRA
and computer/technology costs now qualify as an education expense in
calculating the education tax credits.
the 2015 Tax Filing Year, Oregon no longer gives a credit to
taxpayers paying for Long Term Care Policies.
Form 40 Individual Tax Return will look very different starting with
the 2015 Filing Year. Many credits, additions and subtractions
will be on a separate schedule.
- Some high income
taxpayers will be subject to a 3.8 percent Medicare Surcharge
investment earnings. Households with incomes over $250,000 joint
filers, $200,000 singles filers and $125,000 married filing separate
will be assessed this tax on certain investment earnings.
- Taxpayers with wages and/or self-employment net income greater
than $200,000 single filers, $250,000 joint filers or $125,000 married
filing separate will be subject to a
Medicare tax. Employers cannot withhold
the extra tax unless the employee earns $200,000 or more in a calendar
year. Taxpayers can opt for additional federal withholding to
cover this surcharge.
- Generally, the
sale of personal residence
is not taxable if certain conditions are met. If the taxpayer's primary
residence has been used as
a rental, vacation or second home it has periods of "nonqualified use". Taxpayers may not be able to exclude
all the gain
from the sale of a residence that has periods of nonqualified use.
Some states tax home sales when the seller lives in another state.
- Debt Forgiveness/Cancellation can generate taxable income. Generally, this is reported on a 1099-C.
It is important to include this information on your tax return, even if
it turns out you don't have additional income to claim.
- Selling online (such as via Ebay)
is considered a taxable
activity. If you are a 'casual seller', meaning you sell
occasionally without intent to make a profit, you probably don't need
to report the activity. If you are a more active seller, selling items at a profit or you are selling collectibles, you
must report the income either as a hobby venture or a business.
Merchants will receive 1099-K forms reporting
payments/income received from third-party handlers.
- Barter and Trading for services and/or products
is considered taxable income and must be counted as such.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
help alleviate the burden of medical expenses and provide some tax
advantages. Only high deductible health insurance policies qualify.
- You can open a
Roth IRA for 2015 or contribute to
an existing one up until April 15, 2016. The maximum annual contribution is $5,500 per year;
after-tax dollars. Those over 50 can contribute an additional $1,000. Earnings on your Roth are federally tax-free if your
account has been open for five years and you are at least 59½ years
old. Contact Bill for more information on Roth IRAs.
- The Retirement Saver's Credit
offsets the cost of contributions to IRAs, 401(k) plans and
certain other retirement plans. The credit is figured as a percentage of the
qualifying contribution; the maximum credit is $1,000, $2,000 for married
filing joint. On 2015 returns, the federal tax credit applies to Individuals filing
as single with incomes up to $30,500; filing as head of household up to $45,750
and married couples up to $61,000. Other requirements are the taxpayer must be
18, not a full-time student and not claimed as a dependent on another person's
- For 2016, if you have a household employee, like a nanny or caregiver, you must report and pay payroll taxes
when gross wages exceed $2,000
- Oregon Residents can take advantage of a tax credit program to
encourage more energy-efficient homes. You must have a
special state certificate to claim the credit on your tax return.
For more information, instructions on how to get the mandatory
a list of eligible heating, air conditioning and water heating systems, go to:
Department of Energy - Conservation Division Residential Energy Tax Credits
. Appliances and cars no longer qualify for a state tax credit.
- Washington State residents do not pay individual
income tax. Businesses need to collect sales tax and fulfill other
reporting requirements. Visit the
Washington State Department of Revenue's website for more information.
If you are an Oregon-based business and conducting operations in Washington, you
may be subject to sales and excise tax reporting and payments.
- Absolutely, DO NOT ignore letters from the IRS or state revenue
agencies. Respond promptly, or seek professional assistance, when information
is requested. Procrastination can be costly because you can lose certain
rights and even potential refunds by missing key deadlines. Incorrect
mailing address is never accepted as a reasonable excuse, so be sure to keep
your mailing address current.
- If you are
chosen for a tax audit, it is important to realize you may need to prove some
or all of your tax deductions. If you file as Head of Household and/or
receive Earned Income Credit, you may need to show that your provided a home
to a dependent and/or supported a dependent. You may need to
provide records that substantiate the income you reported. Be sure
your records will stand up to scrutiny.
- Employer's wishing to provide non-taxable fringe benefits for their employees can reference
IRS Publication 15-B.
Links to More Tax Tips and Information
Rental Income and Expenses
Education Deductions and Tax Breaks
Tips for Sole Proprietors and Business Owners
Tax Filing Deadlines, Extensions and Quarterly
Life Planning in the 21st
Important Documents to Keep
Resources You Can Use
- You can download forms, publications and information
from the IRS website. Go to www.irs.gov
- For the Oregon Department of Revenue, go to
You should be able to access other states from the IRS website.