6 helpful tips for filling out your tax organizer

Filling out your tax organizer is one of the first steps in preparing for filing your taxes.

As a general rule, if anything has changed for you during the tax year, we need to know (Did you have a child? Do you pay for child care? Did you start paying tuition for your child? Did you purchase/sell a home or refinance your mortgage?). Although the LBL advisor you regularly work with may know about these changes, please note these changes in the organizer and provide any documents you received related to the changes. Providing this information in the tax organizer gives us the information we need to properly document everything on the tax return.

How to handle tax-related scams

UPDATE (Feb. 9, 2015): TurboTax software restarted the e-filing of state tax returns after temporarily stopping them because of reports of fraud.

Tax-related identity theft
Taxpayers are at an increased risk for phone and email scams related to the filing and status of their tax returns. In an attempt to obtain your tax refund, identity thieves use these methods to gain access to your Social Security number (SSN) and file a tax return under your name before you do. It is important to be on high alert for suspicious tax return notices involving either of these prevalent scenarios:

  • More than one tax return was filed using your SSN
  • You were paid by an employer you don’t know

Recognizing a scam
In the majority of cases, the IRS will not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text or social media, nor will they ask for personal or financial information through these outlets.

Standard mileage rates for 2015

The IRS has announced the standard mileage rates for business, medical and moving expenses will increase by 1.5 cents in 2015. The rate for charitable miles will remain the same as 2014. As of January 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for calculating the amount of deductible expenses are as follows:

  • 57 1/2 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical and moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Rates for 2014
In 2014, the IRS reduced standard mileage rates by .5 cents. The rate for charitable miles remained the same as 2013.

LBL promotions and new hires

Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP (LBL) is proud to announce the following recent promotions and new hires:

Clare Chisholm, CPA, CMA, joined the firm January 21 as a Director/Controller in the Internal Auditing department. Chisholm has several years of progressive accounting experience at national law firms. She specializes in strategic planning and management, financial and analytical reporting, and budgeting and forecasting. Chisholm earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Andrew Reckard, CPA, was promoted to a Manager in the Tax Department. Reckard joined LBL as an intern six years ago and specializes in small business taxes.

Accounting Today names LBL to 2014 Best Accounting Firms to Work For

UPDATE: LBL ranked 19th on the list of Accounting Today’s 2014 Best Accounting Firms to Work For in the medium size firm category. There were 44 companies in total in the medium size firm group.

LBL was recently named as one of Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work for 2014.

This is the first time LBL has been recognized on this national list. In November, Accounting Today will release the specific firm rankings. Over the past year, LBL has participated in two local and one national best places to work surveys and have been named to all three lists. This could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of our passionate, energetic and fun-loving employees.