Employers should be wary of ERC claims that are too good to be true

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was a valuable tax credit that helped employers that kept workers on staff during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the credit is no longer available, eligible employers that haven’t yet claimed it might still be able to do so by filing amended payroll returns for tax years 2020 and 2021.

However, the IRS is warning employers to beware of third parties that may be advising them to claim the ERC when they don’t qualify. Some third-party “ERC mills” are promising that they can get businesses a refund without knowing anything about the employers’ situations. They’re sending emails, letters and voice mails as well as advertising on television. When businesses respond, these ERC mills are claiming many improper write-offs related to taxpayer eligibility for — and computation of — the credit.

These third parties often charge large upfront fees or a fee that’s contingent on the amount of the refund. They may not inform taxpayers that wage deductions claimed on the companies’ federal income tax returns must be reduced by the amount of the credit.

According to the IRS, if a business filed an income tax return deducting qualified wages before it filed an employment tax return claiming the credit, the business should file an amended income tax return to correct any overstated wage deduction. We have been properly advising our clients who have received the ERC refunds.

Businesses are encouraged to be cautious of advertised schemes and direct solicitations promising tax savings that are too good to be true. Taxpayers are always responsible for the information reported on their tax returns. Improperly claiming the ERC could result in taxpayers being required to repay the credit along with penalties and interest.

ERC Basics

The ERC is a refundable tax credit designed for businesses that:

  • Continued paying employees while they were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or
  • Had significant declines in gross receipts from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2021 (or December 31, 2021 for certain startup businesses).

Eligible taxpayers could have claimed the ERC on an original employment tax return or they can claim it on an amended return.

To be eligible for the ERC, employers must have:

  • Sustained a full or partial suspension of operations due to orders from an appropriate governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19 during 2020 or the first three quarters of 2021,
  • Experienced a significant decline in gross receipts during 2020 or a decline in gross receipts during the first three quarters of 2021, or
  • Qualified as a recovery startup business for the third or fourth quarters of 2021.

As a reminder, only recovery startup businesses are eligible for the ERC in the fourth quarter of 2021. Additionally, for any quarter, eligible employers cannot claim the ERC on wages that were reported as payroll costs in obtaining Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness or that were used to claim certain other tax credits.

[Important] 2022 Tax Information Letter to Clients

Happy 2023!

We hope that you and your family are doing well.

We will be ready to send our 2022 Tax Organizer sometime next week and we want to send this email with a few important information to note for you to stay up to date and ready for this filing season upon us.

It’s been an interesting year with significant tax updates that will impact you. Here are some of the changes and issues you need to know about.

Tax return due dates:

  • Individuals must file returns by April 18, 2023, for the 2022 tax year;
  • Partnerships must file returns by the 15th day of the third month following the close of the taxable year (March 15 for calendar-year taxpayers);
  • C corporation returns are generally due by the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the taxable year (April 15 for calendar-year taxpayers);
  • S corporation returns will remain due by the 15th day of the third month of the taxable year (March 15 for calendar-year taxpayers); and
  • W-2s and 1099s must be filed by January 31, 2023, for the 2022 tax year.

Inflation Reduction Act: The Inflation Reduction Act was passed into law late last summer and contained numerous green energy credit provisions, including extended credits for clean energy vehicles (new and used) and energy-efficient home improvements. However, there are many more limitations for these credits, including income limitations and manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) limitations in the case of the Clean Vehicle Credit.

Be sure to consult our office before making any purchase where a salesperson asserts that you are eligible for a tax credit. It’s very possible that your individual income tax situation, of which the salesperson has no knowledge, will limit your credit.

Please provide us with receipts and purchase contracts for energy efficient home improvements made during 2022, such as new windows, doors, and skylights. If you aren’t sure if a home improvement you made qualifies for the credit, please ask.

Affordable Care Act: The IRS has issued new regulations that may allow more taxpayer to claim subsidies for purchasing health insurance through a state insurance exchange. These subsidies are also known as the Premium Tax Credit.

If you, as an employee, must pay any portion of your health insurance premiums or the health insurance premiums of your family members as payroll deductions, then we should discuss your options for purchasing health insurance through an exchange and whether you are eligible to claim the Premium Tax Credit for doing so.

Large inflation adjustments: Inflation was at its highest point in decades in 2022, which resulted in large inflation adjustments for the 2023 tax year for tax rate brackets, deductions, annual gift tax limitations, Social Security benefits, and retirement contribution limitations, just to name a few.

Be sure to provide your tax information to us as early as possible so that we can determine what effects these large inflation adjustments may have for you as we plan ahead for the remainder of 2023.

Property transactions: Did you sell any real estate this year? Be sure to provide copies of escrow statements, as well as the Loan Estimate form, the Closing Disclosure form, and California Form 593, Real Estate Withholding Tax Statement. We need these documents to properly prepare your return. If you can get them to us as early as possible, we can make sure we have everything we need, and make sure that any state withholding documentation is correct.

1099s and K-1s: If you received 1099s or K-1s from investments in 2022, we may extend your return in case these documents are corrected after the original filing deadline. We are seeing increasing numbers of corrected information returns, which require taxpayers to amend their original tax returns to reflect the corrected amounts. In some cases, the amounts are vastly different and can create additional costs in amending the tax returns and potential penalty problems.

1099-Ks: The filing threshold for 1099-Ks has dropped to $600 for 2022. If you receive income through a third-party settlement provider (such as a credit card company or even a mobile phone app like Venmo or Apple Pay, among many others) then you may receive a 1099-K for that income even if you haven’t in the past.

Be sure to provide a copy of any 1099-Ks you receive and let’s discuss the source of the income. In the case of mobile phone payment apps, if you designated your account as a business account, but receive payments for non-business items, then you may receive a 1099-K for income that should not be taxable to you. Do not ignore the 1099-K. The IRS will expect you to report the income. If the income was not received in exchange for goods and services then we can report the 1099-K in a way that ensures you are not taxed on it.

Foreign accounts: We must report overseas assets owned by businesses as well as individuals. The reporting requirements are increasing and the penalties for failure to report continue to be harsh. Not all foreign holdings must be reported. If, for example, you hold stock in a foreign company through a U.S. broker, those holdings do not have to be separately reported. However, if you hold any other types of foreign assets, including bank accounts and securities accounts, please let us know. If you have any doubt as to whether any of your assets are foreign, please discuss those assets with us. Again, this year we will need information on a business’ foreign holdings as well.

Please take extra care in preparing your organizer and documentation so we can do the best possible job to find new tax benefits that are hidden in the law and protect you from more aggressive audit programs and larger penalties.

We are indeed excited about working with you this year and please do not hesitate to contact us.

2023 Q1 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2023. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. If you have questions about filing requirements, contact us. We can ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines.

January 17 (The usual deadline of January 15 is on a Sunday and January 16 is a federal holiday)

  • Pay the final installment of 2022 estimated tax.
  • Farmers and fishermen: Pay estimated tax for 2022. If you don’t pay your estimated tax by January 17, you must file your 2022 return and pay all tax due by March 1, 2023, to avoid an estimated tax penalty.

January 31

  • File 2022 Forms W-2, “Wage and Tax Statement,” with the Social Security Administration and provide copies to your employees.
  • Provide copies of 2022 Forms 1099-NEC, “Nonemployee Compensation,” to recipients of income from your business where required.
  • File 2022 Forms 1099-MISC, “Miscellaneous Income,” reporting nonemployee compensation payments in Box 7, with the IRS.
  • File Form 940, “Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return,” for 2022. If your undeposited tax is $500 or less, you can either pay it with your return or deposit it. If it’s more than $500, you must deposit it. However, if you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time, you have until February 10 to file the return.
  • File Form 941, “Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return,” to report Medicare, Social Security and income taxes withheld in the fourth quarter of 2022. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter in full and on time, you have until February 10 to file the return. (Employers that have an estimated annual employment tax liability of $1,000 or less may be eligible to file Form 944, “Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return.”)
  • File Form 945, “Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax,” for 2022 to report income tax withheld on all nonpayroll items, including backup withholding and withholding on accounts such as pensions, annuities and IRAs. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the year in full and on time, you have until February 10 to file the return.

February 15

Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2022. You can use the appropriate version of Form 1099 or other information return. Form 1099 can be issued electronically with the consent of the recipient. This due date applies only to the following types of payments:

  • All payments reported on Form 1099-B.
  • All payments reported on Form 1099-S.
  • Substitute payments reported in box 8 or gross proceeds paid to an attorney reported in box 10 of Form 1099-MISC.

February 28

  • File 2022 Forms 1099-MISC with the IRS if: 1) they’re not required to be filed earlier and 2) you’re filing paper copies. (Otherwise, the filing deadline is March 31.)

March 15

  • If a calendar-year partnership or S corporation, file or extend your 2022 tax return and pay any tax due. If the return isn’t extended, this is also the last day to make 2022 contributions to pension and profit-sharing plans.

Important Estimated Tax Payment Deadlines for Q4

As we are fully immersed in the holiday spirit, we want to make sure that you stay on top of your tax deadlines affecting your businesses as well as your personal taxes.

Here are the key deadlines we would like to remind you of:

December 15, 2022

If a calendar-year C corporation, pay the fourth installment of 2022 estimated income taxes.

For calendar-year S corporation, pay the fourth installment of 2022 California Franchise Tax Board estimated tax payment.

December 31, 2022

Establish a retirement plan for 2022 (generally other than a SIMPLE, a Safe-Harbor 401(k) or a SEP).

January 16, 2023

If you’re self-employed or have other income without any tax withholding, and you make quarterly estimated tax payments, this is the due date for your final quarterly payment for the 2022 tax year.

As our year-end is typically very hectic helping clients with their year-end tax planning and strategies, please reach out to us as soon as possible if you would like us to do the following:

  • Provide the payment vouchers using the safe harbor method, or
  • Need a projection to come up with more accurate payment amounts due if the 2022 tax year income is significantly different from 2021 (either up or down)

For our business clients, we have already reached out to them and reminded of the Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTET) if applicable. You still have time to take an advantage from it, so please reach out to us.

Encore is here to help you with more information about the filing requirements to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines.

How savings bonds are taxed

Many people have savings bonds that were purchased many years ago. Perhaps they were given to your children as gifts or maybe you bought them yourself. You may wonder how the interest you earn is taxed. And if they reach final maturity, what action do you need to take to ensure there’s no loss of interest or unanticipated tax consequences?

Interest deferral 

Series EE Bonds dated May 2005 and after earn a fixed rate of interest. Bonds purchased between May 1997 and April 30, 2005, earn a variable market-based rate of return.

Paper Series EE Bonds, issued between 1980 and 2012, are sold at half their face value. For example, you pay $25 for a $50 bond. The bond isn’t worth its face value until it matures. New electronic EE Bonds earn a fixed rate of interest that’s set before you buy the bond. They earn that rate for their first 20 years and the U.S. Treasury may change the rate for the last 10 years of the bond’s 30-year life. Electronic EE bonds are sold at their face value. For example, you pay $100 for a $100 bond.

The minimum ownership term is one year, but a penalty is imposed if the bond is redeemed in the first five years.

Series EE bonds don’t pay interest currently. Instead, accrued interest is reflected in the redemption value of the bond. The U.S. Treasury issues tables showing redemption values. Series EE bond interest isn’t taxed as it accrues unless the owner elects to have it taxed annually. If the election is made, all previously accrued but untaxed interest is also reported in the election year. In most cases, the election isn’t made so that the benefit of tax deferral can be enjoyed. On the other hand, if the bond is owned by a taxpayer with little or no other current income, it may be beneficial to incur the income in low or no tax years to avoid future inclusion. This may be the case with bonds owned by children, although the “kiddie tax” may apply.

If the election isn’t made, all of the accrued interest is taxed when the bond is redeemed or otherwise disposed of (unless it was exchanged for a Series HH bond in an option available before September 1, 2004). The bond continues to accrue interest even after reaching its face value but at “final maturity” (after 30 years) interest stops accruing and must be reported (again, unless it was exchanged for an HH bond).

If you own EE bonds (paper or electronic), check the issue dates on your bonds. If they’re no longer earning interest, you probably want to redeem them and put the money into something more profitable.

Inflation-indexed bonds 

Series I savings bonds are designed to offer a rate of return over and above inflation. The earnings rate is a combination of a fixed rate, which will apply for the life of the bond, and the inflation rate. Rates are announced each May 1 and November 1.

Series I bonds are issued at par (face amount). An owner of Series I bonds may either:

  1. Defer reporting the increase in the redemption (interest) to the year of final maturity, redemption, or other disposition, whichever is earlier, or
  2. Elect to report the increase each year as it accrues.

If 2 is elected, the election applies to all Series I bonds then owned by the taxpayer, those acquired later, and to any other obligations purchased on a discount basis, (for example, Series EE bonds). You can’t change to method 1 unless you follow a specific IRS procedure.

State and local taxes

Although the interest on EE and I bonds is taxable for federal income tax purposes, it’s exempt from state and local taxes. And using the money for higher education may keep you from paying federal income tax on the interest. Contact us if you have any questions about savings bond taxation.

Inflation means you and your employees can save more for retirement in 2023

How much can you and your employees contribute to your 401(k)s next year — or other retirement plans? In Notice 2022-55, the IRS recently announced cost-of-living adjustments that apply to the dollar limitations for pensions, as well as other qualified retirement plans for 2023. The amounts increased more than they have in recent years due to inflation.

401(k) plans

The 2023 contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k) plans will increase to $22,500 (up from $20,500 in 2022). This contribution amount also applies to 403(b) plans, most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan.

The catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over who participate in 401(k) plans and the other plans mentioned above will increase to $7,500 (up from $6,500 in 2022). Therefore, participants in 401(k) plans (and the others listed above) who are 50 and older can contribute up to $30,000 in 2023.

SEP plans and defined contribution plans

The limitation for defined contribution plans, including a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan, will increase from $61,000 to $66,000. To participate in a SEP, an eligible employee must receive at least a certain amount of compensation for the year. That amount will increase in 2023 to $750 (from $650 for 2022).

SIMPLE plans

Deferrals to a SIMPLE plan will increase to $15,500 in 2023 (up from $14,000 in 2022). The catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over who participate in SIMPLE plans will increase to $3,500 in 2023, up from $3,000.

Other plan limits

The IRS also announced that in 2023:

  • The limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan will increase from $245,000 to $265,000. For a participant who separated from service before January 1, 2023, the participant’s limitation under a defined benefit plan is computed by multiplying the participant’s compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2022, by 1.0833.
  • The dollar limitation concerning the definition of “key employee” in a top-heavy plan will increase from $200,000 to $215,000.
  • The dollar amount for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a five-year distribution period will increase from $1,230,000 to $1,330,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the five-year distribution period will increase from $245,000 to $265,000.
  • The limitation used in the definition of “highly compensated employee” will increase from $135,000 to $150,000.

IRA contributions

The 2023 limit on annual contributions to an individual IRA will increase to $6,500 (up from $6,000 for 2022). The IRA catch-up contribution limit for individuals age 50 and older isn’t subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and will remain $1,000.

Plan ahead

Current high inflation rates will make it easier for you and your employees to save much more in your retirement plans in 2023. The contribution amounts will be a great deal higher next year than they’ve been in recent years. Contact us if you have questions about your tax-advantaged retirement plan or if you want to explore other retirement plan options.

Year-end tax planning ideas for individuals

Now that the tax filing season is all behind us and your taxes are filed, it’s a good time to start taking steps that may lower your tax bill for this year and next.

Team Encore is very grateful for your support during yet another brutally demanding tax busy season.

One of the first planning steps is to ascertain whether you’ll take the standard deduction or itemize deductions for 2022. Many taxpayers won’t itemize because of the high 2022 standard deduction amounts ($25,900 for joint filers, $12,950 for singles and married couples filing separately and $19,400 for heads of household). Also, many itemized deductions have been reduced or abolished under current law.

If you do itemize, you can deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI), state and local taxes up to $10,000, charitable contributions, and mortgage interest on a restricted amount of debt, but these deductions won’t save taxes unless they’re more than your standard deduction.

Bunching, pushing, pulling

Some taxpayers may be able to work around these deduction restrictions by applying a “bunching” strategy to pull or push discretionary medical expenses and charitable contributions into the year where they’ll do some tax good. For example, if you’ll be able to itemize deductions this year but not next, you may want to make two years’ worth of charitable contributions this year.

Here are some other ideas to consider:

  • Postpone income until 2023 and accelerate deductions into 2022 if doing so enables you to claim larger tax breaks for 2022 that are phased out over various levels of AGI. These include deductible IRA contributions, child tax credits, education tax credits and student loan interest deductions. Postponing income also is desirable for taxpayers who anticipate being in a lower tax bracket next year due to changed financial circumstances. However, in some cases, it may pay to accelerate income into 2022. For example, that may be the case if you expect to be in a higher tax bracket next year.
  • If you’re eligible, consider converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA by year end. This is beneficial if your IRA invested in stocks (or mutual funds) that have lost value. Keep in mind that the conversion will increase your income for 2022, possibly reducing tax breaks subject to phaseout at higher AGI levels.
  • High-income individuals must be careful of the 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) on certain unearned income. The surtax is 3.8% of the lesser of: 1) net investment income (NII), or 2) the excess of modified AGI (MAGI) over a threshold amount. That amount is $250,000 for joint filers or surviving spouses, $125,000 for married individuals filing separately and $200,000 for others. As year-end nears, the approach taken to minimize or eliminate the 3.8% surtax depends on your estimated MAGI and NII for the year. Keep in mind that NII doesn’t include distributions from IRAs or most retirement plans.
  • It may be advantageous to arrange with your employer to defer, until early 2023, a bonus that may be coming your way.
  • If you’re age 70½ or older by the end of 2022, consider making 2022 charitable donations via qualified charitable distributions from a traditional IRA — especially if you don’t itemize deductions. These distributions are made directly to charities from your IRA and the contribution amount isn’t included in your gross income or deductible on your return.
  • Make gifts sheltered by the annual gift tax exclusion before year end. In 2022, the exclusion applies to gifts of up to $16,000 made to each recipient. These transfers may save your family taxes if income-earning property is given to relatives in lower income tax brackets who aren’t subject to the kiddie tax.

These are just some of the year-end steps that may save taxes. Contact us to tailor a plan that will work best for you.

Year-end tax planning ideas for your small business

Now is a good time to think about making moves that may help lower your small business taxes for this year and next. The standard year-end approach of deferring income and accelerating deductions to minimize taxes will likely produce the best results for most businesses, as will bunching deductible expenses into this year or next to maximize their tax value.

If you expect to be in a higher tax bracket next year, opposite strategies may produce better results. For example, you could pull income into 2022 to be taxed at lower rates, and defer deductible expenses until 2023, when they can be claimed to offset higher-taxed income.

Here are some other ideas that may help you save tax dollars if you act before year-end.

QBI deduction

Taxpayers other than corporations may be entitled to a deduction of up to 20% of their qualified business income (QBI). For 2022, if taxable income exceeds $340,100 for married couples filing jointly (half that amount for others), the deduction may be limited based on: whether the taxpayer is engaged in a service-type business (such as law, health or consulting), the amount of W-2 wages paid by the business, and/or the unadjusted basis of qualified property (such as machinery and equipment) held by the business. The limitations are phased in.

Taxpayers may be able to salvage some or all of the QBI deduction by deferring income or accelerating deductions to keep income under the dollar thresholds (or be subject to a smaller deduction phaseout). You also may be able to increase the deduction by increasing W-2 wages before year-end. The rules are complex, so consult us before acting.

Cash vs. accrual accounting

More small businesses are able to use the cash (rather than the accrual) method of accounting for federal tax purposes than were allowed to do so in previous years. To qualify as a small business under current law, a taxpayer must (among other requirements) satisfy a gross receipts test. For 2022, it’s satisfied if, during a three-year testing period, average annual gross receipts don’t exceed $27 million. Not that long ago, it was only $5 million. Cash method taxpayers may find it easier to defer income by holding off billings until next year, paying bills early or making certain prepayments.

Section 179 deduction

Consider making expenditures that qualify for the Section 179 expensing option. For 2022, the expensing limit is $1.08 million, and the investment ceiling limit is $2.7 million. Expensing is generally available for most depreciable property (other than buildings) including equipment, off-the-shelf computer software, interior improvements to a building, HVAC and security systems.

The high dollar ceilings mean that many small- and medium-sized businesses will be able to currently deduct most or all of their outlays for machinery and equipment. What’s more, the deduction isn’t prorated for the time an asset is in service during the year. Just place eligible property in service by the last days of 2022 and you can claim a full deduction for the year.

Bonus depreciation

Businesses also can generally claim a 100% bonus first year depreciation deduction for qualified improvement property and machinery and equipment bought new or used, if purchased and placed in service this year. Again, the full write-off is available even if qualifying assets are in service for only a few days in 2022.

Consult with us for more ideas

These are just some year-end strategies that may help you save taxes. Contact us to tailor a plan that works for you.

Middle Class Tax Refund Payments for Californians

Happy Friday!

Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR) payments have begun going out to Californian since last Friday.

These one-time payments up to $1,050 per household (based on 2020 California “adjusted gross income” on your tax return) aim at providing relief from rising inflation to eligible California residents.

An estimated 8 million direct deposits will start arriving in bank accounts from October 7 through November 14, and an estimated 10 million debit cards will be delivered from October 25 through January 15.

If the 2020 tax return was filed electronically and a tax refund was issued by direct deposit, then the payment will be made the same way. All others will be issued on debit cards.

You can check your eligibility and anticipated amount on this link.

For more information, please visit the Franchise Tax Board’s (FTB) Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR) website at taxrefund.ca.gov.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

An “innocent spouse” may be able to escape tax liability

When a married couple files a joint tax return, each spouse is “jointly and severally” liable for the full amount of tax on the couple’s combined income. However, in some cases, a married couple files a joint tax return and one spouse is unaware of all the income or delinquent tax liabilities of the other spouse. The spouse who is in the dark still must generally pay the tax bill even if the couple divorces or the spouse passes away. But there may be “innocent spouse” relief.

More often than not, we have worked on such cases and received great outcomes. The innocent spouses were left with unexpected tax liabilities after life-changing events such as divorce or spouse’s sudden passing. We received their sincere thank you for restoring their shattered lives and alleviating their financial burdens.  

Innocent spouse relief

To qualify, you must show not only that you didn’t know about the understatement, but that there was nothing that should have made you suspicious. In addition, the circumstances must make it inequitable to hold you liable for the tax. This relief is available even if you’re still married and living with your spouse.

In addition, spouses may be able to limit liability for any tax deficiency on a joint return if they’re widowed, divorced, legally separated or have lived apart for at least one year.

Election to limit liability

If you make this election, the tax items that gave rise to the deficiency will be allocated between you and your spouse as if you’d filed separate returns. For example, you’d generally be liable for the tax on any unreported wage income only to the extent that you earned the wages.

The election won’t provide relief from your spouse’s tax items if the IRS proves that you knew about the items when you signed the return — unless you can show that you signed the return under duress. Also, the limitation on your liability is increased by the value of any assets that your spouse transferred to you in order to avoid the tax.

An “injured” spouse

In addition to innocent spouse relief, there’s also relief for “injured” spouses. What’s the difference? An injured spouse claim asks the IRS to allocate part of a joint refund to one spouse. In these cases, an injured spouse has all or part of a refund from a joint return applied against past-due federal tax, state tax, child or spousal support, or a federal nontax debt (such as a student loan) owed by the other spouse. If you’re an injured spouse, you may be entitled to recoup your share of the refund.

Whether, and to what extent, you can take advantage of the above relief depends on the facts of your situation. If you’re interested in trying to obtain relief, there’s paperwork that must be filed and deadlines that must be met. We can assist you with the details.

Also, keep “joint and several liability” in mind when filing future tax returns. Even if a joint return results in less tax, you may choose to file a separate return if you want to be certain of being responsible only for your own tax.

Contact us with any questions or concerns.