IRS Revokes Nonprofit Tax Exempt Status

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made changes to the nonprofit tax exempt status of agencies that are not for profit in the 445 area who have not filed required tax forms for three consecutive years now. This move has made it impossible for donors to claim deductions on their federal income taxes 2010 for donations given to these organizations.

About 275,000 local agencies all over the country have been affected by this IRS policy move, though according to the federal agency most of these agencies are not operating. A list of the affected agencies is available on the revoked list at Representative Chuck Shumer’s website. However some of the agencies listed are operating and according to them, they have been filing all the paperwork required. So work needs to be done to clarify who is tax exempt and how has lost their tax exempt status.

Unpleasant Surprise

Among these agencies include the Plattekill Public Library, New Windsor Little League, University of Michigan, Woodstock Area Meals, George Washington University and the Islamic Center in Washington D.C. According to these agencies, they have been filing their returns and their tax forms are up to date. They were all surprised when they found themselves on the list.

Why the List is Necessary

The 2006 Pension Protection Act claims that these organizations earning less than $50,000 should file their tax information. Cleaning up the list will increase tax revenues during a time when the US government is in need of increased revenue to help balance spending.

Assisting Potential Donors

The revocation is supposed to eliminate agencies not in operation. Donors can have a clear picture of existing agencies. The IRS had made attempts to reach out to all agencies but most of the organizations claimed that they did not get any information. What is puzzling for organizations is that copies of tax forms can be found on the Guide Star website filed in 2009.

What are the Best Property Investment Options?

Some of the best options in the real estate and property investment markets today happen to be in rental, leasing and lease-to-own options, as there are a surplus of cheap homes all around the country, but the sales rates are still lagging behind.  This is due to a wide range of reasons, including the desire to avoid more debt, liability and expense, just to name a few.  The economy and housing markets are on the mend, although it is a slow mend, and the outcomes of these options are particularly beneficial to owners and tenants.

Lease-To-Own

The lease-to-own option, while at one time was a last-resort for most property owners, has proven one of the best ways to lock in a good price and gain a steady income from the property at the same time.  Many property holders have taken this route to cover the costs of holding a property, and today, it is very sound property investment advice.  These options have become very effective from regions in the Midwest and on the East Coast, that still have many cheap and foreclosed properties, but not many in a position to buy at the present time.  Utilizing the services of resources like Country Cottage Furniture to decorate properties for viewing with unfinished furniture NH, for example, are some of the better tactics for attracting tenants, as the first impressions are usually what determines their final decision.

Investment Companies

Property investment companies are some of the best options for investors not holding their own properties, but still wanting to take advantage of the property investment market.  These options not only allow for a broad range of investments, but also a diverse range as well, and this diversity is responsible for the added stability of these organizations.

Overseas Options

One of the most overlooked options in real estate investment today is the overseas property investment options that have been increasing steadily in popularity.  While some of the most lucrative commercial options, like Dubai, may be more than most individual investors are looking for, there are serious profits to be made in vacation homes and tourist rentals all over the world, and these are also particularly popular within the U.S. as well.

Green Tax Deductions

There are numerous ways in which you may recognize savings by way of green tax deductions. By making certain eco-friendly choices regarding your purchases or certain home modifications, you may be eligible for tax benefits while at the same time doing something good for the environment. Not only might the environment and your pocketbook be thanking you for your efforts, but you may be improving your home and lifestyle in the process. In many instances, you could be saving 30% of the cost of your purchases or up to a total tax credit of $1500, although certain purchases may … Read the rest

There are numerous ways in which you may recognize savings by way of green tax deductions. By making certain eco-friendly choices regarding your purchases or certain home modifications, you may be eligible for tax benefits while at the same time doing something good for the environment. Not only might the environment and your pocketbook be thanking you for your efforts, but you may be improving your home and lifestyle in the process. In many instances, you could be saving 30% of the cost of your purchases or up to a total tax credit of $1500, although certain purchases may not be governed by this limit.

Heating a Cooling Options

Before you run out and buy a new addition to your HVAC system, you should ensure the product you want to purchase falls within the guidelines of the green tax deduction requirement by visiting www.energystar.gov.  Items such as biomass stoves (stoves that burn biomass fuels), certain hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, air conditioning units, furnaces, and boilers could be included in the tax deduction, but you don’t want to spend a bundle of cash on a new unit only to realize that it isn’t eligible for the deduction you were expecting. Furthermore, installations of items such as solar panels and wind turbines which actually generate energy for your home can qualify for up to a 30% federal tax credit.

Home Improvements

There are a variety of home improvements for which you may be eligible when it comes to tax deductions. Work to improve heating and cooling efficiency through fixing cracks and aging seals in your home and the replacement of insulation are simple ways of reducing energy costs in your home while possibly making yourself eligible for a tax deduction in the process.

You may also realize tax savings in the form of energy efficient window replacement, door replacement, roof replacement, other energy loss reduction repairs or modifications, and even the installation of solar panels.

New Homes

Tax breaks are not limited to the renovation of dated homes.  If you’ve built a new more energy-efficient home before January 1st you may be eligible for tax incentives. According to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, if you’ve build a new home that is 50% more in energy savings over the minimum standard you could qualify for a $2000 tax credit.  Those homes which achieve just 30% more energy savings over the standard are still eligible for $1000 tax credit.

Conclusion

Tax deductions can be a great benefit for making environmentally friendly decisions. However, it is important that you fully understand how these deductions apply to you and your situation and ensure that you are making the proper purchases and eco-friendly modifications to meet the guidelines to be eligible for these deductions. It might be helpful to visit the Energy Star website at www.energystar.gov to learn more about available tax credits and terms. If you are still unsure whether the improvements or purchases you are interested in making will result in tax benefits, you may want to consult a tax professional before committing yourself and your money.

Sources:

U.S Environmental Protection Agency. U.S. Department of Energy. Improve Your Home’s Efficiency & Earn Tax Credits. November 16, 2010. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index. December 24, 2010.

Anastacio Mindiola is an accomplished attorney and business owner. His company helps home and business owners protest property taxes in Houston and the surrounding counties. For more information on how you can lower your property taxes visit http://www.republicpropertytax.com.

  • Final Days to Donate for Tax Deduction (doyourpart.com)

Exemptions and Dependents 101

Exemptions and Dependents 101

When preparing your federal 2009 tax return for filing, make sure to know the basic rules about exemptions and dependents. Understand what happens when someone claims you as a dependent or how exemptions affect your return. Your refund will be affected by all these conditions.

To begin with, when someone claims you as a dependent you may still need to file a return. Depending on your income, your filing status, special tax situations, or Advanced Earned Income you will need to file a return to the IRS. Check Publication 501 for exact details about … Read the rest

Exemptions and Dependents 101

When preparing your federal 2009 tax return for filing, make sure to know the basic rules about exemptions and dependents. Understand what happens when someone claims you as a dependent or how exemptions affect your return. Your refund will be affected by all these conditions.

To begin with, when someone claims you as a dependent you may still need to file a return. Depending on your income, your filing status, special tax situations, or Advanced Earned Income you will need to file a return to the IRS. Check Publication 501 for exact details about when you must file.

Exemptions are yourself and your dependents and they reduce your tax bill. The standard exemption is $3,650 but can be phased out when your income reaches certain levels. Now if you are being claimed as a dependent by someone else and you discover that you need to file a return, you cannot take the personal exemption.

Your spouse’s exemption will be claimed on your joint filing and could be claimed on your Married Filing Separate return. If your spouse did not earn any income during the tax year and is not claimed as a dependent by their parents, you can claim them on your separate return.

Other groups that cannot be claimed on your return include non US citizens, resident aliens, and residents of Mexico and Canada. The only exception is for an adopted child where you should consult your tax professional to see if they qualify.