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Filing your taxes in 2014

CPA Scott Adair discussed some of the information taxpayers should consider as they prepare for the 2014 tax filing season Monday on News 8 at Sunrise.
CPA Scott Adair discussed some of the information taxpayers should consider as they prepare for the 2014 tax filing season Monday on News 8 at Sunrise.

Adair is the President-elect for the New York State Society of CPAs.

The Internal Revenue Service will open the 2014 filing season on January 31 and is encouraging taxpayers to use e-file or free file as the fastest way to receive refunds.  The original opening date was January 21, but that was delayed after the October 16 day federal government shutdown.  Online tax software programs like Turbo Tax will begin accepting returns on January 1 and hold them until the IRS system opens at the end of the month.

April 15 remains the tax filing deadline.  The IRS reminds taxpayers that anyone can request an automatic six-month extension using form 4868 to file their tax return.

Adair said the IRS has cut back on staff in recents years as it encourages taxpayers to utilize its website, irs.gov and its automated phone system for assistance.  The NYSSCPA will be conducting its annual tax hotlines - in partnership with daily newspapers across New York in February and March to answer questions as well.

Adair noted that several tax deductions are set to expire, including the ability for teachers to deduct expenses for classroom items and sales tax in states that don't have income tax (which does not include New York).

Calls for overhauling the federal and state codes continue.  Adair said that on the state level, Governor Andrew Cuomo has endorsed several new tax relief proposals that could potentially reduce business and property levies by $2 billion over three years.  The Governor's State Tax Relief Commission will consider other ideas when the new legislative session opens on January 8.  Among the proposals it will consider are a property tax "circuit breaker" that would provide a rebate for homeowners whose property taxes exceed a percentage of their income, lowering the corporate tax rate from 7.1 percent to 6.5 percent (for manufacturers upstate, the rate would be 2.5 percent, the lowest ever), and cutting the estate tax from 16 percent to 10 percent, while raising the size of the estate that could be taxed from $1 million to $5 million.

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