Archive for the ‘Other tips and tidbits’ Category

Employee or Contractor?

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Employee or Independent Contractor

Clarifying the Home-Office Deduction

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Clarifying the Home-Office Deduction

Amending Your Tax Return

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Amending Your Tax Return (2)

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit for 2016

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit

Keeping a Mileage Log for Tax Purposes

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Keeping a Mileage Log for Tax Purposes

Tax Tips for Weddings

Monday, August 8th, 2016

If you are getting or have been married this calendar year, tax issues may arise.

Check out the following tips before completing your taxes… Tax Tips for Weddings

Hey Parents: Don’s Miss Out on These Tax Savers

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Children may help reduce the amount of taxes owed for the year.  If you’re a parent, there are several tax benefits you should look for when you file your federal tax return:

  • In most cases, you can claim your child as a dependent. You can deduct $4,000 for each dependent you are entitled to claim.  You must reduce this amount if your income is above a certain limit.
  • Child Tax Credit. You may be able to claim the Child Tax Credit for each of your qualifying children under the age of 17. The maximum credit is $1,000 per child.  If you get less than the full amount of the credit, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit.
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit. You may be able to claim this credit if you paid for the care of one or more qualifying persons.  Depending children under the age of 13 are among those who qualify. You must have paid for care so that you could work or look for work.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit. You may qualify for EITC if you worked but earned less than $53,267 last year. You can get up to $6,242 in EITC. You may qualify with or without children.
  • Adoption Credit. You may be able to claim a tax credit for certain costs you paid to adopt a child.
  • Education Tax Credits. An education credit can help you with the cost of higher education. Two credits are available.  The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit may reduce the amount of tax you owe. If the credit reduces your tax to less than zero, you may get a refund. Even if you don’t owe any taxes, you still may qualify. You must complete Form 8863, Education Credits, and file a return to claim these credits.
  • Student Loan Interest. You may be able to deduct interest you paid on a qualified student loan.  You can claim this benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions.
  • Self-employed Health Insurance Deduction. If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct premiums you paid during the year. This may include the cost to cover your children under age 27, even if they are not your dependent.

Aspen Allan and Associates can help you determine what tax savers you qualify for.

Reporting Health Coverage on IRS Tax Forms

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

While most taxpayers need to simply check a box on their tax return to indicate full health coverage for 2015, there are a few forms and specific lines on Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ that relate to the health care law.

The help navigate health coverage reporting, you should consider filing your return electronically.  Using tax preparation software is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return.  It guides you through the process and does the math for you.  There are a variety of electronic filing options, including free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File for tax payers who qualify, commercial software, and professional assistance.  Here is information about reporting Health Coverage:

Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions

  • Complete this form if you need to claim a coverage exemption on your return or report a Marketplace-granted coverage exemption.
  • Use the worksheet in the Form 8965 Instructions if you need to calculate the shared responsibility payment.

Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit

  • Complete this form to claim this credit on your tax return, and to reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit

Form 1095, Health Care Information Forms

  • If you enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, which will help complete Form 8692. Wait to file until you receive this form.
  • Your health coverage provider or your employer may furnish you with a Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, or Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. You do not have to wait to receive these forms before you file your tax return.

Form 1040

  • Line 46: Enter advance payments of the premium tax credit that must be repaid
  • Line 61: Report health coverage or enter individual shared responsibility payment
  • Line 69: Report net premium tax credit if the allowed premium tax credit is more than advance credit payments paid on your behalf

Form 1040-A

  • Line 29: Enter advance payments of the premium tax credit that must be repaid
  • Line 38: Report health coverage or enter individual shared responsibility payment
  • Line 45: Report net premium tax credit if the allowed premium tax credit is more than advance credit payments paid on your behalf

Form 1040-EZ

  • Line 11: Report health coverage or enter individual shared responsibility payment
  • Form 1040EZ cannot be used to report advance payments or to claim the premium tax credit

Call Aspen Allan and Associates or visit for more information about the Affordable Care Act as it relates to you 2015 filing.

How to Get a Copy of Your Prior Tax Year Tax Information

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

There may be many reasons that you would need a copy of your tax return from the prior year.  Transcripts are free and available for the most current tax year after the IRS has processed the return. You can also get them for the past three tax years.  If you don’t have your copy, the IRS can help.  Here are the types of transcripts to choose from:

  • Tax Return Transcript. A return transcript shows most line items from your tax return just as you filed it. It also includes any forms and schedules you filed with your return. However, it does not reflect changes made to the return after you filed it.  If you’re applying for a mortgage, most mortgage companies require a tax return transcript and participate in the IRS’s Income Verification Express Service program.  If you are applying for financial aid, you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA website to import your tax return information to your financial aid application.  In both of these cases, you won’t have to request a transcript directly from the IRS.
  • Tax Accountant Transcripts. This transcript shows any adjustments made by you or the IRS after you filed your return. It shows basic tax return data, like marital status, type of return, adjusted gross income and taxable income, and other transactions such as payments you made.

Here’s how to get a transcript:

  • Order Online. The fastest way to get a Tax Return or Account transcript is through the Get Transcript tool available on Although the IRS temporarily stopped the online viewing and printing of transcripts, Get Transcript still allows you to order your transcript online and receive it by mail.  Just click the “Get Transcript by Mail” button to have a paper copy sent to your address of record.
  • Order by phone. You can also order by phone at 800-908-9946 and follow prompts.
  • Order by mail. To order your tax return transcript by mail, complete mail and either

Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ.  Form 4506-T can also be used to request other tax records: tax account transcript, record of account, wage and income and verification of non-filing.

If you need an actual copy of your tax return, they are generally available for the current tax year and as far back as six years.  The fee per copy $50.  Complete and mail Form 4506 to request a copy of your tax return.  Mail your request to the IRS office listed on the form for your area.  If you live in a federally declared disaster area, you can get a free copy of your tax return.  Visit for more disaster relief information.

Plan ahead.  Delivery times for online and phone orders typically take five to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.  You should allow 30 days to receive a transcript ordered by mail and 75 days for copies of your tax return.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights.  Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on

Checklist for Determining if an Employer-Employee Relationship Exists

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Checklist for Determining an Employer-Employee Relationship