Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy New Year from ExpressIRSForms!

And a happy new year it will be, indeed!

A little birdy dropped the word yesterday that the filing deadlines for the new Affordable Care Act forms have been extended from their original dates.

(That birdy was the IRS, by the way, so it was a pretty reputable source on the matter.)

While this is pretty exciting news for some of you filers out there, don’t forget that the early bird gets the worm. Just because you have more time to file, that doesn’t mean things couldn’t go wrong at the last minute. Be sure to use this time wisely so you’re not scrounging around at the eleventh hour.

So what are the new dates? Recipient forms that initially had to be mailed out by February 1, 2016 now need to be mailed no later than March 31, 2016. If you’re paper filing, you would’ve initially had to have your forms to the IRS by February 29, but that deadline’s now May 31, 2016. E-filers will see their deadline extend from March 31 to June 30, 2016.

Keep in mind that this is only for the ACA forms 1094-B/C and 1095-B/C. This does not apply to 1099s, W-2s, or any other information returns which are still due on their regular deadlines. This deadline extension has also only been authorized for 2015 information returns, so future filings will need to be completed sooner in the year.

And another thing to keep in mind: the ExpressIRSForms offices will be closed New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If you need help during those times, we will be offering emergency email support. We’ll be back taking calls and live chats on Monday, January 4th at 9 a.m. EST.

See you next year!

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Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Tax Filing Deadlines

Welcome back, folks!

We hope you had a great holiday weekend and are looking forward to jumping right into your 2015 tax filings this Monday morning! Oh, who are we kidding? Any one of us would hit a snooze button to delay thinking about filing for at least another week in a heartbeat if we could.

Although, that’s not to say that you can’t: in the spirit of the holidays, we’ll let it slide if you want to put off looking at your filings until next year/week. But before you go popping the champagne early, keep in mind that you’ve got some deadlines coming up. So take a look at the dates below, think about the amount of forms you’ll need to file, and determine if it’s time to own up to the responsibility or if it’s time for a glass of bubbly:

March 31, 2016
March 31st is the date by which copies of the ACA forms you’re filing will need to be sent out to your recipients. Normally, this due date is scheduled for January 31st of the year following the year for which you’re reporting but the IRS has extended this deadline for the 2015 tax year.

May 31, 2016
If you’re paper filing your ACA forms, you’ll need to have them sent to the IRS by May 31st. The official wording of the rule is “the last day of February following the year for which you’re filing,” so in future years, this due date will be February 28th or 29th.

June 30, 2016
And for the e-filers: your ACA forms 1095 and 1094 will need to be transmitted to the IRS by 11:59 p.m. (your time zone) on June 30th. But even though you can literally wait until the last minute to e-file, we recommend giving yourself a few days (or hours at least) to file before the deadline so you can avoid any issues with heavy site traffic or computer errors. And remember: after 2016, this due date will be March 31st of each year.

So be sure to keep these dates in mind as the new year approaches. If you miss one you're required to meet, you could face some serious penalties. You know better than we do how long it’ll take you to complete those  Form 1099s, Form W-2s, or ACA forms (although you might want to knock some of your estimated time off - our name is ExpressIRSForms, after all), so we won’t tell you that you have to start now. But it couldn’t hurt, either.

And if you need any help along the way, give us a call at (704) 839-2270, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or send us an email anytime at!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays from ExpressIRSForms!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve from ExpressIRSForms!

Whether you celebrate your winter holidays in the next couple of days or at another time during December (or not at all), we hope your holiday season is filled with comfort and joy in the company of family and friends.

We invite you to take the next couple of days off from your taxes, because that’s what we’re doing too. Our offices will be closed tomorrow (12/24) and Friday (12/25), with phone and chat support resuming during office hours (9-6 EST) on Monday (12/28).

If you really, really need us, email support will be available throughout the weekend. You can reach us at during this time should you have an ExpressIRSForms-related emergency (if it’s the regular kind of emergency, call 911).

Happiest of holidays to you and yours! We’ll see you next week!

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Form 1099 FATCA Update for the 2015 Tax Year

Welcome to another blog post brought to you by ExpressIRSForms to prepare you for the 2015 tax filing year. We’ll keep this one short and sweet: with the shortest day of the year (tomorrow) falling on a short work week like this one, there isn’t time for much more than a quick update. Plus, there’s not that much information to divulge; it really is a quick update from the IRS this time (I know, who’d have thunk?).

If you’re the type to read the General Instructions for Certain Information Returns PDF each year before you file, you probably already noticed the “What’s New” section. If you haven’t caught up on your IRS reading yet, however, here’s what you’re missing:

FATCA -- that’s the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act -- states new filing requirements be completed by certain foreign financial institutions (FFIs) beginning with 2015 tax year filings. So from now on, FFIs with a chapter 4 requirement to report a US account maintained by that FFI and held by a specified US person can fulfill this requirement by checking the box that says “FATCA filing requirement” on the 1099 form they’re filing.

The FATCA filing requirement box is now included on forms 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, and 1099-DIV that have been updated for the 2016 filing season. So if you’re an FFI and this chapter 4 requirement applies to you, be prepared to check an extra box on your 1099s.

Told ya that would be quick. And, as far as new IRS requirements go, it’s a pretty painless one. Now the new Affordable Care Act requirements, those are a different story (but we can help you with those, too).

If you need help with your 1099s, W-2s, ACA forms, or the e-filing process, feel free to reach out to us. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST through phone (704-839-2270) and live chat, and we have 24/7 email support for any emergencies.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ExpressIRSForms Presents: A Visit From Ace

As the World’s First E-Filing Superhero, Ace has an important and difficult task on his hands: it is his job to inform the world (well, the United States) of the IRS’s new Affordable Care Act forms and how to e-file them through his favorite website, (he’s not on the internet that much). But how could Ace inform all the taxpayers of America AND protect them from his arch-nemesis Confusion unless he expanded his reach beyond the city in which he became the greatest superhero ever? (His words.)

While Ace might have a heart of gold, his brain is more a shade of pyrite (with the exception of his ACA knowledge, of course). This is why, getting lost in translation, Ace bypassed the Land of IRS Forms and came instead to the site of ExpressIRSForms.

Once in the “land” of ExpressIRSForms, Ace went about his business of fighting off Confusion wherever she reared her disorienting head. He split up fights over whether the ACA or Obamacare was better and went from taxpayer to taxpayer, telling them the information they needed for the new forms. He even made a public service announcement to try to eliminate Confusion on a larger scale, but now he’s not so sure he had the broadcast set up correctly.

Using his detective-level sleuthing skills, Ace was able to find a way to get in touch with the ExpressIRSForms “government” and tell them all the things he needed to make sure their taxpayers knew before filing for the 2015 year.

After going into further detail about each form, 1095-B and 1095-C, Ace considered his job done and left the ExpressIRSForms office rather abruptly. As he left, however, he did have one final message for the taxpayers:

So if you find yourself bogged down by Confusion’s influence while e-filing, give one of Ace’s “sidekicks” a call here at ExpressIRSForms. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST for phone (704-839-2270) and live chat support. We’re also here 24/7 to help out via email at

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Marriage and Taxes

Depending on who you talk to, “marriage and taxes” may just be one step up from “death and taxes.” But we’re not those people; ExpressIRSForms hasn’t been around long enough to be that jaded yet.

While there are many wonderful and fun things about marriage, it’s important to know that tying the knot affects your taxes as much as it affects your living situation (and, you know, the rest of your life). But before we get started on the changes, it’s important to note that marriage is a time-honored tradition of love and companionship, not a tax break. It’s true you get some benefits from the IRS when you’re married, but those aren’t the benefits you should focus on when deciding to get hitched.

Filing Status
If you’re legally married on December 31, you’re considered legally married for the full year in the eyes of the IRS, which is probably good news for the procrastinating elopers out there. More importantly, this means that you must file your taxes for that year as either “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” Generally, filing jointly provides the most beneficial tax outcome for the majority of couples. Keep in mind though, that if you’re married and file a joint return, your income is combined, which could bump one or both of you into a higher tax bracket with a higher rate of tax imposed on your income.

Document Changes
In addition to your change in filing status, a few other changes will need to be made to make sure your tax filing is accurate. If you’re planning on filing jointly, it may be wise to change your Form W-4 on file with your employer to reflect your new status. Claiming an additional allowance and/or changing withholding to the “married” rate means that less taxes are withheld from your pay. If you changed your name when you got married, you’ll need to make sure you’ve notified the Social Security Administration (SSA). Your return is filed under your Social Security number, so to avoid any errors or mismatches, wait until the name change process is complete to file your tax returns.

Exemptions and Standard Deduction
If you file jointly as a married couple, you get to claim two personal exemptions (one for each of you) on the tax return instead of one. Additionally, a dependent exemption is allowed for each child claimed as a dependent on the tax return. Filing jointly, you also have the highest standard deduction allowed on a tax return. For 2015, single taxpayers and married taxpayers filing separately are allowed a standard deduction of $6,300 whereas married couples filing jointly are allowed $12,600. However, once you’re married and own a home, many people find that it’s more advantageous to itemize their deductions rather than claim the standard deduction.

The Affordable Care Act
One day a blog post will go by where we don’t mention the Affordable Care Act, but today is not that day. With the ACA, you’re eligible to receive an advance tax credit to help pay your health insurance premiums if you purchase insurance through a Marketplace. If you or your new spouse receive advance payments of this credit, you should report your marriage (and any moves or change in income or family size) to the Marketplace so they can adjust your advance credit payments if necessary.

Whether you’re wrapped up in newlywed bliss or secretly loving that you’re now the cranky old married couple of the neighborhood, it’s important to remain informed when you file your tax returns. At ExpressIRSForms, we’re here to help in any way we can with the e-filing process. Just send us an email 24/7 at You can also live chat us or give us a call Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, at (704) 839-2270.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

E-Sign Form W-9 With ExpressIRSForms

You may have noticed that ExpressIRSForms now offers e-signing for Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. Now you may be wondering exactly what Form W-9 is, whether or not you need to file it, or even why we said “e-sign” instead of “e-file.” Well if you’re wondering any of those things, this blog is for you.

Purpose of Form W-9
From W-9 is used by individuals or entities who are required to file an information return (like a W-2 or 1099) with the IRS; the W-9 is used to obtain the correct taxpayer identification number (TIN) needed for the specific return they’re filing. The TIN needed is usually a social security number (SSN), individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), or employer identification number (EIN). By using Form W-9 to obtain a correct TIN, payers can report on an information return the amount paid to each payee (employee, contractor, recipient, etc.) as accurately and smoothly as possible.

Who Needs to File?
Technically, Form W-9 is never filed with the IRS. Instead of providing information to the IRS, it was created to provide information to those filing with the IRS. Anyone who needs to file a W-2, 1099, or other information return but doesn’t have the TIN for the payee for whom the return is filed needs to submit a Form W-9 to that payee. The payee then fills out Form W-9, signs it, and returns it to the payer. The payer (usually an employer) then keeps the W-9 on file to use for filings of future information returns.

E-Signing Form W-9
Form W-9 used to come in a giant stack of paperwork that had to be filled out at the beginning of each job you started, contracted work you began, or investment you made. It still might these days, but there is an electronic alternative many payers are choosing to utilize. One such electronic alternative is ExpressIRSForms. Rather than passing out or mailing paper W-9 forms, you can use ExpressIRSForms to securely email a W-9 to your recipient. Once they’ve filled it out and e-signed it, you’ll be notified by email, and the form will be updated in your ExpressIRSForms account. You can then save a PDF of this form to your computer or print a hard copy for your records.

Form W-9 has joined the growing lineup of forms offered by ExpressIRSForms, which includes 1099s, W-2s, Affordable Care Act Forms, and correction and extension forms. Take a look at today to see how we can help you in the upcoming filing season! And if you need any help along the way, we’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST by phone at (704) 839-2270 or by live chat through our website. We also provide 24/7 customer service through email at

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Year-End Tax Strategies

December is busy enough without having to worry about the tax deadlines looming just around the New Year corner, but you might want to consider taking the time to look over what you’ll be filing before January. There are a host of tax-related decisions that need to be made by December 31st or else they won’t be applicable to your 2015 tax returns when it comes time to file.

Take a look at some of these year-end tax strategies to see how to make the most out of your 2015 return:

Consider Deferring Income
If you’re self-employed and have had a particularly good year, it might make sense to defer some of that income until 2016 to reduce 2015’s tax burden. Just wait until late December to issue invoices instead of early in the month, ensuring you won’t receive payment (or have to pay taxes on that income) until next year. Similarly, if you’re getting a big year-end bonus, you may be able to ask your boss to delay that until after January so that you don’t take the tax hit on your income until 2016.

Pay Your Taxes Now
Believe it or not, you get a deduction on your taxes just for paying your taxes. This includes property taxes as well as estimated state taxes that can be deducted on a federal tax return. If you prepay your estimated taxes before April, you can deduct that tax payment in some situations.

Donate to Charity
Any charitable giving must be done by the end of the year to be claimed on your tax returns. This means you may need to plan ahead on any donations you’re making to ensure they’re done by New Year’s Day. But procrastinators rejoice: you can claim any donations made by credit card as late as 11:59 p.m. on December 31st. As long as your receipt shows processing before midnight, you can claim the donation in tax year 2015.

Sell Your Bad Investments
Referred to as “loss harvesting,” selling a bad investment to offset profits from a good investment can make a lot of sense. The IRS calculates capital gains on a net basis year to year, so if you have one investment that made $10,000, you can avoid paying taxes on the profit if you have $10,000 in losses elsewhere to zero it out. Considering capital gains taxes can be as high as 39.6% for top earners, selling underperformers can be a powerful way to keep more of your profits from good investments.

Take Your RMDs
If you’re 70.5 years or older, the government requires you to start drawing down your tax-sheltered retirement plans like an IRA via required minimum distributions (RMDs) each year. If you don’t withdraw this minimum amount, you may take a hefty penalty of as much as 50% on the sum you should have withdrawn. Make sure you consult your tax professional or consult the IRS website for more details on your specific RMD figure to prevent leaving money on the table. RMDs vary based on age and how much you have saved.

Bonus Tip
Is your company planning a holiday party this year? Head on over to the ExpressExtension blog to find out how you can write off the money you spend on a holiday party as an entertainment expense!

For more tax tips or any help in your e-filing process, feel free to contact the ExpressIRSForms support team, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We’re available by phone (704-839-2270) and live chat through our website Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. We also offer 24/7 assistance through email at

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Movies Available on Netflix this December

December is finally here! With Halloween and Thanksgiving out of the way, the real holiday season can now be celebrated in full force!

Traditions are a big part of celebrating this month. Whether you’re making the same trek over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house or creating some new traditions of your own, you can take part in our new tradition to share the holiday-themed movies streaming on Netflix so that you can have a month filled with holiday cheer!

During our last holiday special, we featured horror movies available to stream to celebrate Halloween. Now, grab your family or some friends, a cozy blanket, and relax and feel the love this December! Funny, heartwarming, and maybe a little scary at times (who wasn’t terrified of ghost-Marley from A Christmas Carol as a kid?), these movies are sure to put you in the holiday spirit:
12/1: Love Actually (2003)
12/2: Saving Santa (2013)
12/3: I’ll Be Home for Christmas
12/4: A Very Murray Christmas
12/5: Happy Christmas (2014)
12/6: Prince of Egypt (1998)
12/7: One Magic Christmas
12/8: Get Santa (2014)
12/9: The Radio City Christmas
        Spectacular (2007)
12/10: A Christmas Carol (1938)
12/11: Hook (1991)
12/12: Dear Santa (2011)
12/13: While You Were
          Sleeping (1995)
12/14: Bad Santa (2003)
12/15: Fitzgerald Family
          Christmas (2012)
12/16: Planes, Trains, and
          Automobiles (1987)
12/17: The Muppet Christmas
          Carol (1992)
12/18: Christmas with the
          Kranks (2004)
12/19: Ernest Saves Christmas
12/20: 12 Dates of Christmas
12/21: White Christmas
12/22: The Legend of Frosty
          the Snowman (2004)
12/23: Scrooged (1988)
12/24: The Nightmare Before
          Christmas (1994)
12/25: Mickey’s Once Upon a
          Christmas (1999)
12/26: Bridget Jones’ Diary
12/27: Santa Buddies (2009)
12/28: Snowmen (2010)
12/29: Serendipity (2001)
12/30: The Ref (1994)
12/31: Trading Places (1983)

Are any of your holiday favorites listed above? Personally, I’m a little disappointed National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation isn’t available to stream, but c’est la vie! At any rate, A Very Murray Christmas shouldn’t disappoint.

And when you’re not in the middle of a movie, if you have any questions or need help e-filing, you can contact the friendly ExpressIRSForms support team at our office located in Rock Hill, SC. You can call (704) 839-2270, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or send us an email 24/7 at

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