Most people feel a sense of relief after filing their income tax returns each year. But even if you’ve successfully filed your 2022 return with the IRS, there may still be some issues to bear in mind. Here are three important things to know:
1. You can check on your refund. The IRS has an online tool that can tell you the status of your refund. Go to irs.gov and click on “Get Your Refund Status.” You’ll need your Social Security number, filing status and the exact refund amount.
2. You can file an amended return if you forgot to report something. In general, you can file an amended tax return and claim a refund within three years after the date you filed your original return or within two years of the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. So, if you file your 2022 tax return on April 18, 2023 (the due date for 2022 returns), you’d typically have until April 18, 2026, to file an amended return.
However, there are a few situations when you have longer to file an amended return. For example, the statute of limitations for bad debts is longer than the usual three-year time limit for most items on your tax return. In general, you can amend your tax return to claim a bad debt for seven years from the due date of the tax return for the year that the debt became worthless.
3. You can throw out some tax records. You should keep tax records related to your return for as long as the IRS can audit your return or assess additional taxes. The statute of limitations is generally three years after you file your return.
That means you can probably dispose of most tax-related records for the 2019 tax year and earlier years. (If you filed an extension for your 2019 return, hold on to your records until at least three years from when you filed the extended return.)
However, the statute of limitations extends to six years for taxpayers who understate their gross income by more than 25%.
You’ll need to hang on to certain tax-related records longer. For example, keep actual tax returns indefinitely so you can prove to the IRS that you filed legitimately. (There’s no statute of limitations for an audit if you didn’t file a return or you filed a fraudulent one.)
Keep records associated with a retirement account until you’ve depleted the account and reported the last withdrawal on your tax return, plus three (or six) years. And retain records related to real estate or investments for as long as you own the asset so you can prove your tax basis, plus at least three years after you sell it and report the sale on your tax return. (You may want to keep these records for six years if to be extra safe.)
Contact us if you have further questions about your refund, filing an amended return or record retention. We’re here all year!
Business Bartering Is Taxable
During these times of high inflation, many cash-challenged businesses have bartered for goods and services instead of paying dollars for them. If your company gets involved in such transactions, remember that the fair market value of goods that you receive is taxable income. And if you exchange services with another business, the transaction results in taxable income for both parties.
A couple of examples
Let’s say a computer consultant agrees to exchange services with an advertising agency. Both parties will be taxed on the fair market value of the services received. This is the amount they’d normally charge for the same services. If the parties agree to the value of the services in advance, that will be considered the fair market value unless contrary evidence exists.
In addition, if services are exchanged for property, income is realized. Say a construction company does work for a retail business in exchange for unsold inventory. The contractor will incur income equal to the inventory’s fair market value.
Many businesses join barter clubs that facilitate these transactions. Generally, these clubs use a system of “credit units” that are awarded to members who provide goods and services. The credits can be redeemed for goods and services from other members.
Bartering is generally taxable in the year it occurs. If you participate in a barter club, however, you may be taxed on the value of credit units at the time they’re added to your account — even if you don’t redeem them for actual goods and services until a later year.
By January 31 of each year, a barter club will send participants a Form 1099-B, “Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions,” which shows the value of cash, property, services and credits that they received from exchanges during the previous year. The IRS will also receive this information.
If you join a barter club, expect to provide your Social Security number or employer identification number. You’ll also be asked to certify that you aren’t subject to backup withholding. Unless you make this certification, the club will withhold tax from your bartering income.
So long as you’re aware of the federal and state tax consequences, business bartering transactions may be beneficial. Contact us if you need assistance or would like more information.