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E-News - January 29, 2019 - Individual Income Tax Filing Season Officially Begins, Tax-Related Identity Theft Protections in Michigan, and more

by MICPA | Jan 30, 2019   ()

Treasury: Individual Income Tax Filing Season Officially Begins
Effective immediately, Michiganders can start filing their 2018 tax year state individual income tax returns online or submit paper forms through the mail. All individual income tax returns must be e-filed or postmarked by Monday, April 15. “All systems are operating as normal,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, who oversees Treasury’s Tax Administration program. Last year, more than 4.2 million Michigan taxpayers e-filed, which is 83 percent of state income tax filers.
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Tax-Related Identity Theft Protections in Michigan
To protect Michigan taxpayers, the state Treasury Department continues to implement security measures to stop tax-related identity theft. As a result, some individual income tax returns may be selected for identity confirmation. If an individual income tax return has been selected for identity confirmation, the taxpayer will receive a letter from Treasury asking them to confirm their identity by completing a short online quiz or submitting paperwork. A phone option is available for those individuals who need additional assistance. After a taxpayer confirms his or her identity, their tax refund will be issued in about a month.
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IRS Kicks Off 2019 Tax-Filing Season as Tax Agency Reopens
The IRS opened the 2019 tax-filing season on Monday as the agency started accepting and processing federal tax returns for tax year 2018. The IRS expects the first refunds to go out in the first week of February and many refunds to be paid by mid- to late-February like previous years.
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Paid Preparer’s Checklist Expands to Include Head-of-Household, Other Tax Credit Questions
The IRS expanded Form 8867, Paid Preparer’s Due Diligence Checklist, for 2018 individual income tax returns to include questions for both head-of-household filing status and the credit for other dependents, reports the Journal of Accountancy. For 2017 tax returns, this form needed to be included by the preparer on any Form 1040 that claimed the earned income tax credit, the American opportunity tax credit, and/or the child tax credit.
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Statutory Employees and the QBI Deduction
Regular employees are not permitted to claim the 20 percent deduction for qualified business income, but statutory employees are, according to the Sec. 199A regulations. The Journal of Accountancy explains who might qualify for this valuable deduction.
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How Local SEO Is Important to Accounting Firms
It’s estimated that 59 percent of internet searches are now performed with local intent and about half of all mobile searches are conducted to find information about a local business including hours of operation or directions. Why is this important to accountants and CPAs? The answer is simple: individuals and businesses are seeking service providers within their geographic area (city, town or state) to help them solve their tax, accounting and business issues. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics can help move the needle on your firm’s efforts.
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How Advisers Can Help Couples Who Retire at Different Times
The majority of couples experience discordant retirement, in which one partner is retired and the other is not. This presents an opportunity for advisers to demonstrate value, says Wealth Management.
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Financial Satisfaction Drops for the First Time in 2 Years
Market volatility has taken a bite out of Americans’ personal financial satisfaction. With a reading of 30.9, the AICPA’s fourth quarter 2018 Personal Financial Satisfaction Index (PFSi) declined for the first time in seven quarters, ending its five-quarter run of consecutive record highs. The unfavorable fourth quarter wiped out 24 percent of the index’s gains from the three prior 2018 quarters. This is only the fourth time the index has decreased since climbing from an all-time low of -42.0, set in Q3 2011. Even with the decline, the PFSi is still very solidly in positive territory, and relatively close to recent record highs.
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If You Have a Brain, You Have Bias
What is unconscious bias? Who has it? What triggers it? Can you correct it and, if so, how? In the most recent episode of the Go beyond disruption podcast, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants sat down with Khalil Smith, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at the NeuroScience Institute for answers.
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Members in Government: Are You Attracting the Right Talent?
Find out how public-sector organizations around the world are keeping up with evolving hiring needs in this CGMA report, Improving government performance through effective talent management.
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Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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