R&G Brenner’s New Look

R&G Brenner Logos Over Time

We’ve updated our look this year!  Our old logo served us well over the last twenty years or so, but we felt it was time for a change. Over the course of the next year, we will be gradually phasing out our old green logo, and phasing in the new tricolor logo.  Most of our 27 locations will be co-branded with both so as to not completely confuse our clients.  We hope you like it as much as we do.  Please feel free to let us know how we can continue to improve our look–as well as our services–in the comments section or by contacting us here.

Here’s to a healthy & prosperous 2012!

Sincerely,

Benjamin K. Brenner, President

R&G Brenner Receives 2011 Best of Business Award

The Small Business Community Association (SBCA) has selected R&G Brenner Income Tax to receive the 2011 Best of Business award in the field of Income Tax Preparation for the NY Metro Area.  This is the second time that R&G Brenner has received this award.  Thanks to all of R&G Brenner’s hard working associates and staff who made this award possible.  And a special “thank you” goes out to all R&G Brenner clients.  Is is due to  your loyal patronage that R&G Brenner will be celebrating it 71st anniversary this year.  We hope to see you all again in 2012.

May you have a happy & healthy new year,

Benjamin K. Brenner, President

New R&G Brenner Midtown Office Location!

I am pleased to announce the location of our new Midtown Manhattan office!

162 East 46th Street (Near 3rd Avenue)

New York, NY 10017

(212) 682-7986  Fax (212) 687-8876

Located in the beautiful TIAA CREF building, this location is more convenient and will afford our clients the more personalized attention they deserve.  While it hurts to leave our old 2nd avenue location, we believe that this is the right move at the right time. Renovations are currently underway, however, if you require immediate assistance, our midtown representatives are temporarily working out of our Uptown Manhattan location. The midtown phone number is already being routed directly there. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2012!  

Happy Holidays,

Benjamin K. Brenner, President

October 17th Deadline for Tax Return Extensions Approaching

Oct. 17 is a key deadline for millions of individual taxpayers who requested an extension to file their 2010 tax returns. The IRS expects to receive millions of tax returns from taxpayers who used Form 4868 to request a six-month extension to file their returns.

Some taxpayers can wait until after Oct. 17 to file, including those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or other combat zone localities and people affected by recent natural disasters. More information is available in IRS Publication 17 (2010), Your Federal Income Tax.

If you filed an extension and need to submit a tax return before this deadline, please contact us as soon as possible so we may assist you.

Source: IRS.gov

Hurricane Irene & Tropical Strom Lee Tax Relief

The NY State Department of Taxation has extended tax deadlines for NY taxpayers living in regions that President Barak Obama has declared disaster areas inflicted by Hurricane Irene & Tropical Strom Lee.

The Counties affected by Hurricane Irene:

  • Albany, Bronx, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan,Ulster, Warren, Washington and Westchester

If you reside in the above counties, you are afforded the following tax relief:

  • Most Filings & Payments extended to: October 31, 2011
  • Witholding payments extended to September 12, 2011
  • Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (PrompTax) extended to: September 12, 2011

The Counties affected by Tropical Strom Lee:

  • Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga.

If you reside in the above counties, you are afforded the following tax relief:

  • Most Filings & Payments extended to: October 31, 2011
  • Witholding payments extended to September 22, 2011
  • Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (PrompTax) extended to: September 22, 2011

The relief also applies to taxpayers eligible for federal tax relief in counties in other states that are declared disaster areas because of this storm.  If you believe you qualify for tax relief or would like more information, please contact R&G Brenner today and we will assist you though this process.

Source: NYS Dept. of Taxation

IRS eases liability rule for spouse’s tax debt

The Internal Revenue Service is making it easier for some “innocent spouses” to escape liability for their husband or wife’s tax debt.

Under the law, taxpayers who file joint returns are generally liable for the tax debts of their partners. However, spouses who are unaware that their partners have underpaid federal income taxes or underreported their tax liability may qualify for relief from the IRS. The IRS had required innocent spouses to apply for relief within two years of the agency starting a collection action. But yesterday the IRS eliminated the two year time limit for some applications after lawmakers and advocates complained that many abused or divorced spouses may not become aware of IRS collection efforts for years. To qualify for relief, taxpayers must apply for an “innocent spouse” designation.

Source: newsday.com

Tax Filing Deadline Extended But Beware

The IRS has extended the deadline to submit your 2010 income tax returns to Monday 4/18/11.  New York State has also adopted the extended filing date and will accept 2010 tax returns as on time if electronically filed or mailed on or by Monday 4/18.

Rumor has it that a popular radio station in the New York area has given the wrong information and stated that NYS tax returns are due on the regular filing date, however this is incorrect.  Both Federal and NYS tax returns are due on the extended filing date for the current tax filing.

LATE FILERS BEWARE: The extended deadline only applies to the current tax year.  If you are filing a 2007 tax return that is due a refund you will only have until today 4/15/11 to submit it on time to receive your refunds.    The deadline is not extended on late tax returns so make sure to send in those tax returns and have them postdated today.

IRS Awards Whistleblower $4.5M

The IRS has implemented a rewards program for whistle-blowers that will get them a portion of the taxes administered from the case if they notify the IRS of a discrepancy.

An in-house accountant who raised a red flag about a tax lapse that his employer then ignored, leading him to tip off the IRS, has received $4.5 million in the first IRS whistleblower award.

The accountant’s tip netted the IRS $20 million in taxes and interest from the errant financial-services firm.

The accountant had notified the IRS a few years prior with his complaints ignored.  He continued to pursue the case with assistance and turned over the information to the IRS.

In the accountant’s case, the IRS did not deem the issues he raised complex. But the agency said the information he shared pointed out new questions for a routine IRS audit that was already under way.

This program has the potential to bring in a lot of revenue for the IRS and the informant is rewarded for their service to the agency.  They hope that the awards will make more tipsters talk.

Source:  FoxNews.com

Tax Refunds and Savings Bond Options

With large refund averages and an increase in the release of refunds the IRS has begun reminding taxpayers of their refund options.  They offer several options for depositing your refund, including a Saving Bond Option.

By March 4, the IRS had issued more than 52 million refunds worth $161 billion for an average refund of $3,070.

This year taxpayers can choose to split up their refund and purchase savings bonds in their or other individuals names.  In addition to this taxpayers may choose to direct funds from their refunds into many different types if savings accounts.

Refunds can be directed into bank accounts and other financial institutions where their mutual funds or retirement accounts are managed and to purchase U.S. Series I Savings Bonds. Taxpayers can choose to use a portion of the refund to buy up to $5,000 in low-risk savings bonds, which earn interest and protect owners against inflation.  The bonds must be purchased in $50 increments

Form 8888, Allocation of Refund must be filed along with your 1040 to choose one of these options.  Any excess funds that are not specifically allocated can be issued to the taxpayer by check.  It is important to weigh your options when receiving tax refunds because some of these options may be more lucrative for you than putting the money in a savings and may assist in long term financial growth.

Source:  IRS.gov

IRS Budget Talks: Will They Increase or Decrease

President Obama’s proposed budget for 2012 includes an increase in funding for the Internal Revenue Service enforcement efforts.  Though Republicans talk of decreasing the IRS budget, the President believes that increasing the enforcement efforts will bring in additional revenue and assist in closing the deficit.

Turns out, IRS agents make good on the investment, collecting $3 to $4 for every greenback spent tracking down money owed to the government.

Republicans however do not agree with the plan and would like to potentially cut the IRS budget.

The Republican spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year would strip the IRS of $600 million in funding — including $285 million from the agency’s enforcement budget. In addition to their fervor to cut spending, some Republicans want to starve the IRS of resources it needs to implement last year’s health care reform law.

The uncertainty is looming with the discussion falling on completely separate platforms.  There is no way to determine at this time which direction the budget will fall.

Over the last decade, the agency has sharply increased the number of audits, liens and property seizures it carries out. The IRS believes that such enforcement results in additional gains as more Americans pay their taxes out of fear of an audit.

If Obama’s budget were to make it through Congress, the IRS estimates that the increase in its enforcement budget would boost general revenue by more than $1.3 billion annually by 2014.

Republicans are arguing that the return rates are not checked and that the idea that increased enforcement will automatically increase revenue is not reliable.  All of this discussion about the budget is great but “what about the taxpayer”?  We are left in fear that either the budget will be increased and the boogie man will come knocking on our door or the budget will be decreased and jobs will be lost.

McKenzie says the effect is very real, because in the “dark recesses of every American mind” exists a healthy fear of an IRS audit.

Source:  CNNMoney.com