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BANGOR It seems as if there are tax code changes every year. This year, there are changes to the tax penalties associated with the Affordable Care Act, adjustments to tax brackets for inflation, increases in standard deductions and personal exemptions and more. Students who are filing their taxes for the first time and experienced tax filers sometimes need a little guidance to complete this process in a timely and accurate manner.

In an effort to help anyone who needs assistance, aspiring accountants from Husson University's College of Business are donating their time to help others file the appropriate state and federal tax forms by this year's deadline. Individuals must have an income of less than $62,000 per year to quality for this free service.

Published in Press Releases
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 14:20

Maine's Best Tax Credit?

Emmys, Grammys, Tonys what awards should we give for great tax credits? The Creddys?

I may not have a good name for the award, but I have a great nominee the Maine Educational Opportunity Tax Credit.

What is the Maine Educational Opportunity Tax Credit?

It's a credit on your Maine tax return, reimbursing you for student loan payments made.

Published in Money
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 22:00

ABCs of healthcare reporting (01-13-2016)

Once again you'll be asked to verify if you and your tax household had minimum essential health coverage through the year. But new this year is an alphabet of forms! Fortunately, most people will not need these forms to do their taxes. Why is that fortunate? Well, this year some of these forms may be arriving well into tax filing season.

This year's healthcare forms are 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C.

Let's go through them one at a time.

Published in Money
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 11:49

ACA comes to your tax return

Welcome to 2015 - the first year when questions about whether you have health insurance will impact your federal tax return. A quick summary of the major impacts:

You will be asked if you have health insurance. You will be asked to confirm you had qualifying health insurance all year for yourself, your spouse and each dependent listed on your return. On the paper copy of returns, there's a simple checkbox near the end. How that checkbox gets filled in (or not) will vary depending on how your taxes are prepared, but you should expect questions about insurance. Qualifying health insurance is defined at irs.gov (search for 'minimum essential coverage'). Employer-sponsored, individual and government-sponsored plans all are acceptable plans.

Published in Money
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 21:50

Is it taxable?

Getting together with family and friends this holiday season? Why not play 'Is it taxable?' Ideally played with a charming host, flashing lights, curtains and lots of great prizes, 'Is it taxable?' can also be played just by asking the question, then giving the answer. This makes it handy for playing in the car or while waiting for lunch to be served. Answers are given right after the questions, because you spend enough time in December hunting for odd recipe ingredients, light timers and that gift you bought your dad sometime this summer.

Important instructions: before you begin, remind people that taxable means income which needs to be included on a tax return. Also the income amount shouldn't matter, so long as it's over 50 cents. I like to think of each of the examples as being $10,000, but if you prefer another number, go ahead.

Published in Biz
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 16:40

Where's my refund?

Where's my refund? You're not alone in wondering; the IRS site for checking on refunds cautions that heavy use may limit its availability.

Tax season has had an unusual start. Very few returns were accepted prior to Jan. 30. Returns requiring a depreciation form were not accepted until Feb. 11. Returns claiming educational credits were delayed until Feb. 14. Residential Energy credits and Adoption Credit returns weren't accepted until March.  

Published in Money
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 14:50

Tax questions everyone asks

Whether you've just gotten your first W-2 or have been filing for years, there are a few questions everyone asks.

Why did I get this 'Important Tax Form'? 

Every tax form you receive has also been sent to the IRS. Some forms, like W-2s and 1099s, list income you need to report.  Forms starting with '1098' or '5498' often list potential deductions. 

Published in Money
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:34

Remember the Maine (tax changes)

The Federal Tax Code and the impact of the fiscal cliff received most of the publicity recently. But Maine also has changes affecting your take home pay and 2012 tax preparation. Some of these changes affect everyone having taxes withheld. Others affect fewer filers, but can have a big impact on their Maine taxes.

Published in Money
Thursday, 13 December 2012 12:36

Stumbles ahead of the tax cliff

 Negotiations for the 'fiscal tax cliff' concern mostly 2013 tax rates, deductions and credits. But there are several stumbling blocks ahead affecting 2012 taxes; the taxes to be filed starting in January.

Published in Money
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 14:54

Sales tax can be taxing

Sales tax may not be the sexiest of business topics, but it's often the topic that causes the most confusion for business owners especially new ones. Take myself for example. I recently launched a new business making jewelry and accessories and selling them online. I assumed that because I was selling online only and didn't have a retail store in Maine that I would not have to collect sales tax. But I wasn't sure, so I called Maine Revenue Services in Augusta and they set me straight. Let me first say that they were very nice and helpful, and I would strongly recommend that if you have any questions call them!

It turns out that, because I live in Maine and do business in Maine, I do in fact have to collect sales tax on items shipped to Maine residents. If a Maine resident orders and wishes to have the product shipped to another state, I do not need to collect Maine sales tax. I thought to myself, 'I should know this stuff!' Then it occurred to me that if I was easily confused, there are likely many of you who are as well. So I set out to learn more.

Published in Local Business
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