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Points Professional Services, Inc.

Individual Income Tax Preparation Since 1978

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Our prices are based on the forms completed by us. There is no charge for telephone or in-person consultation for our clients.

 

It never ceases to amaze us how much some new clients have paid for income tax preparation by other small firms as well as by major national firms.

 

 

 

Free Electronic Filing

 

Electronic filing with or without direct deposit will be free. On joint tax returns both husband and wife must sign. With direct deposit refunds will be in your account (checking or savings) within 7 to 14 days. We do not offer rapid (24 to 48 hour) refunds which are actually loans, pending your actual refund. The so-called rapid refund is a very short term loan at a high interest rate. Times are tough enough. We will not be a party to that!

 

 

 

IRS Mandates Electronic Filing

 

Beginning with the 2012 filing season, paid preparers who file more than ten returns will be required to e-file.

 

When your return is electronically filed, you will normally receive your federal refund within 3 weeks. If you owe money for taxes, the return can be e-filed, and the payment can be electronically debited from your checking or savings account on the date you specify up to April 15th. You may also pay the IRS with your credit card.

 

 

 



Children of Divorced or Separated Parents 

 

If a dependent child lives with one parent and is claimed by the other parent, form 8332 must be attached to the income tax return of the non-custodial parent in the year the child is claimed.  The same form may be used by the custodial parent to revoke the authorization allowing a non-custodial parent to claim the child.

 



Beware of IRS Fraud! 


If you receive an e-mail or telephone call from the IRS, its is a scam. Do not provide any information. Do not open any e-mail from the IRS; hang up on a telephone call from the IRS. They only contact you by mail, and their envelope never has a postage stamp on it. It is always government permitted mail.


One of our long time clients, a retired law enforcement officer who has not had to file a tax return for the last 4 or 5 years, called to schedule an appointment because he received a telephone call from an "IRS Agent" demanding immediate payment of a past due amount of taxes from 3 years ago. The person demanded his bank account number or credit card number to settle the debt or his bank account would be frozen or seized.


Thankfully, he called us before giving out the information. He was extremely excited about this. It was not easy to convince him that he did not need to schedule an appointment, that this was a scam, and that he should nothing except to ignore it.




Identity Theft and Taxes



We have two clients who have been the victims of identity theft - one is a local law enforcement officer; another is an undercover Federal agent in Texas. In both cases, when their tax returns were filed, they received a letter from the IRS that their return had already been processed by the agency. 


How did this happen? It happens when your Social Security number is stolen. Consider this: every time you finance something-a car, a credit card, furniture, a house etc. your Social Security number is requested on the application for employment, from your bank to open a new account, from a hospital when you go through registration, from most doctors offices on your first visit, and on and on. If you are receiving medicare, your Social Security number is your medicare number.


Your Social Security number is literally all over the country.


The largest group of Social Security number thefts used on fraudulent tax returns have been in Florida, Georgia, and Washington D.C. Even the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been the victim of this type of fraud!




What to Do if You Are a Victim of Identity Theft


It may take months to resolve the issue with IRS. When it is resolved, the IRS will issue you a unique pin number to be used on your tax return. Your tax return will no longer be able to be filed without this number. Bring this number with you when you file. If you lose it, it will be very difficult to get a new one!


If you are the victim of identity theft, contact the following:


IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 ext. 245

FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 877-438-4338

File a local police report.

Contact the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax: 800-525-6285

Experian: 888-397-3742

Trans Union: 800-680-7289





 Employer Share of FICA Tax on Unreported Tips

 

Any worker who earns tips and does not report all tips to the employer should report the un-reported tips on form 4137 when the income tax return is completed, and the employer will have to pay their share of FICA tax on these tips.  IRS will bill them!

 

 

 

 Home Owner's Insurance Declaration Page

 

This is the one document most often forgotten by taxpayers when they come to our office for income tax preparation. This one document will result in additional state tax refund. It must be from the homeowner's policy -- not flood insurance and not from a separate wind and hail damage policy. Also it must be from the policy period beginning in 2016, even if it started in December of 2016. You receive this as part of your homeowner's policy. (This applies to Louisiana state income taxes only.)

 

 

 

 Louisiana Residents Only - School Tuition Deduction

 

There is a deduction for school tuition, books, supplies, and uniforms for grades K-12. Expenditures must be dated in 2016 (not 2015 for 2016 or must have a statement from the school on the school letterhead or other appropriate form indicating the amount of tuition allocated for 2016), and we need totals for each category separately. You must have receipts for these expenses.This deduction applies only to the state return, not the federal return.

 

 

 

 Business Mileage Records

 

If you claim business mileage, you should keep a log of business mileage on a daily basis as well as a record of where you went. You do not need to keep a record of all receipts for fuel and repairs; however if you are audited for mileage, the IRS may request some service records such as oil changes, mechanical repairs, tire purchases, etc. They can then use this to obtain a fair estimate of your mileage because your odometer reading is typically listed on service invoices. As you can see, it is not a good idea to embellish this information.

 

 

 

 Charitable Contributions

 

The IRS now requires a receipt for all cash charitable contributions--even for church and even if it is as little as $1.00. We never ask you for receipts, cancelled checks, or credit card statements which you can use, if audited, to prove your figures. That is one reason why you sign our disclosure form which clearly states that you have all necessary records and/or receipts for deductions claimed by you.

 

Donations to foreign charities are not deductible - only contributions to charities that are organized in the U.S. or established under U.S. law are deductible.

 

 

 

Can Church Contributions Be Disallowed If You Have a Receipt?

 

You should get a receipt or statement from your church for individual or annual contributions. Your receipt may be disallowed if it is dated after the date of your tax return or if it does not state on the receipt "that you have received no goods or services as the result of your donation". 

 

If you attend a charity dinner, the receipt must clearly state the value of the meal and the amount of the donation on the receipt or ticket. 

 

Buying a raffle ticket at a church fair or for the annual St. Jude "dream home" is not deductible because it is not a true donation since you have an opportunity to get something in return.

 

 

 

 

 Energy Credit

 

Only certain items meet the qualifications for the energy credit. We will not make a determination as to the qualification for credit on any item. That is left to you to determine. If audited you must be able to produce receipts to establish that the product meets the necessary qualification. For more information go to the energy star website at www.energystar.gov/taxcredits.

 

 

 

 

  Sale of Principal Home

 

There is no gain and no tax on the sale of your principal residence provided that you have occupied it as your principal residence for at least two of the last five years before the sale. The exclusion applies to a sales price of $250,000 maximum for a single filer or $500,000 for a married couple. If you receive a 1099S on the sale of your home, it must be reported on the tax return; however, we can reverse it.

 

 

 

 

Form 8822B

 

If you are self-employed or have an LLC which is filed on a Schedule C as part of your personal tax return and you have a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), you must file form 8822B if your address has changed since the EIN was issued.