The IRS has announced that it is waiving the estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year. The relief, announced in IR-2019-03, is prompted by changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This waiver covers taxpayers whose total withholding and estimated tax payments are equal to or greater than 85% of their taxes owed. For waiver purposes only, this new relief lowers the 90 percent threshold to 85 percent. This means that a taxpayer will not owe a penalty if they paid at least 85 percent of their total 2018 tax liability. If the taxpayer paid less than 85 percent then they are not eligible for the waiver and the penalty will be calculated as it normally would be using the 90 percent threshold. Refer to Notice 2019-11 for further details. The waiver computation will be integrated into a future update of UltraTax/1040 including the revised Form 2210 once released by the IRS.
In order to help compile complete and accurate information to complete your return, here are some tips for an efficient tax return experience.
MUST receive prior to beginning-
• Organizer/Questionnaire: All questions must be answered “yes or no”. Please provide clarifying information where applicable.
• Signed Engagement Letter
• Reconciled QuickBooks bank accounts and password, if applicable
Commonly omitted items-
• K-1’s for publicly traded partnerships
• Cost basis for non-covered securities sold during the year
• Record of quarterly estimated payments made to Federal and State taxing authorities including dates and amounts *Don’t forget Q4 is paid in January 2019*
• Estimated value of donated items. If more than $500 please provide receipts
• Changes to contact information and dependents
SUBMISSION DEADLINE MARCH 1, 2019
The New W-4 Form
A: Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, is an IRS form that employees provide to their employers, to determine the amount of federal income tax to withhold from the employees’ paychecks. The form helps employees adjust withholding based on their personal circumstances, such as whether they have children or a spouse who is also working. The IRS recommends employees check their withholding any time their personal or financial information changes.
The Form W-4 relates to an employee’s federal tax withholding. State withholding is separate.
Has the IRS updated the W-4 form yet?
The IRS revised the Form W-4. The IRS also updated the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to help employees who wish to update their withholding in response to the new law or who start a new job or have other changes in their personal circumstances in 2018. In 2019, the IRS anticipates making further changes involving withholding What is a W-4?
Who needs to check their withholdings?
Employees should check their withholding at the beginning of each year or when their personal circumstances change. It’s even more important this year for people to do a “paycheck checkup” following the changes in the new tax law. With the new tax law, it’s especially important for certain people to check their withholding.
Among the groups who should check their withholding are:
• Two-income families.
• Retirees with pension income
• People working two or more jobs or who only work for part of the year.
• People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
• People with older dependents, including children age 17 or older.
• People who itemized deductions in 2017.
• People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.
• People with large tax refunds or large tax bills for 2017.
When personal circumstances change that reduce withholding allowances they are entitled to claim, including divorce, starting a second job, or a child no longer being a dependent, an employee has 10 days to submit a new Form W-4 to their employer claiming the proper number of withholding allowances.
Recommendations from your Tax Professional
• Complete a Paycheck Checkup
• Complete a new W-4
• Update Projections for 4th quarter estimates with YTD withholdings
• Call your tax professional with any questions!!