Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

(773) 230-3800

Send me a message

Real Estate

Taxes Filed—Time to Chill? Not So Fast, Says IRS

RisMedia Consumer News - May 1, 2018 - 3:15pm

(TNS)—The April 18 federal tax-filing deadline has come and gone. Your taxes are paid, and maybe you already have your refund in hand. Nothing to do now but sit back and chill for eight months or so, right?

The Internal Revenue Service respectfully disagrees.

Given recent changes in tax tables created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, IRS officials are urging taxpayers to do a “paycheck checkup” and other double-checks, the better to avoid a possibly unpleasant surprise in early spring next year.

“The IRS is taking special steps to help taxpayers understand these tax law changes,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “We encourage people to do a paycheck checkup to help make sure they’re having the right amount of tax withheld for their unique personal situation. To help with this, the IRS has added and updated a variety of tools and information to help taxpayers.”

The IRS says taxpayers should start by determining how much money they want employers to withhold from their paychecks.

That can be done on the “Withholding Calculator” link on www.IRS.gov. Having too little tax withheld can mean a surprisingly high tax bill next year, and with the average refund topping $2,800, the IRS said some taxpayers might prefer to have less tax withheld up front and receive more in their paychecks.

Taxpayers can use the calculator to estimate their 2018 income tax. It compares that estimate to the taxpayer’s current tax withholding options. Some may wish to change their withholding with their employer. The IRS notes that it’s helpful to have a completed 2017 tax return with you when you visit the website.

Taxpayers who need to adjust their withholding will need to submit a new Form W-4, also known as an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to their employer. If an employee needs to adjust withholding, doing so as quickly as possible means there’s more time for tax withholding to take place evenly over the rest of the year. Waiting until later in the year means there are fewer pay periods to make the tax changes, which could have a bigger impact on each paycheck.

The IRS said the paycheck checkup is highly recommended for two-income families, people working two or more jobs, parents who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit, people who itemized deductions in 2017 and those who received either large tax refunds or large tax bills in 2017.

The IRS also has launched a series of “tax reform tax tips” at www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-reform. The periodic notices offer tax changes and other information in plain language.

For some, tax season goes on even now. That includes citizens who filed for an extension, others who did not file or pay what is owed, or those awaiting refunds. The IRS said it has help available for them, too.

There’s no penalty for filing a late return after the tax deadline if a refund is due. Penalties and interest only accrue on unfiled returns if taxes were not paid by April 18. IRS “Free File” is available through October 15 for incomes less than $66,000. To get more information to file electronically, visit www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.

If a federal return is filed more than 60 days after the April due date, the minimum penalty is either $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This means that if the tax due is $210 or less, the penalty is equal to the tax amount due. If the tax due is more than $210, the penalty is at least $210.

In some cases, taxpayers filing after the deadline may qualify for penalty relief. If there is a good reason for filing late, the IRS said taxpayers should attach an explanation to their returns. The IRS also noted that taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for penalty relief. The agency said a taxpayer will usually qualify for such relief if they haven’t been assessed penalties for the past three years and meet other requirements. For more information, do a “first-time penalty abatement” search on www.IRS.gov.

Still looking for your refund? Go to www.irs.gov/refunds, where multiple options are explained to check on your refund status.

Those who owe taxes can get information on payments or applying online for a payment plan at www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account.

The IRS said it routinely corrects math errors on returns and subsequently notifies taxpayers by mail. If a taxpayer discovers a major error or omission, however, the federal tax agency suggests consulting this site to determine if an amended return is necessary: www.irs.gov/help/ita/should-i-file-an-amended-return.

Finally, the IRS stressed that it never makes initial, unsolicited contact via email, text or social media on filing, payment or refund issues. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail. Any email that appears to be from the IRS about a refund or tax problem is likely a scam attempt. Don’t give out any key personal information in an email. The IRS wants those suspicious emails forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

©2018 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Taxes Filed—Time to Chill? Not So Fast, Says IRS appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

HUD Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

NAR Daily News Magazine - May 1, 2018 - 12:00am

The department has reached a settlement in three states over sexual harassment allegations and has developed an initiative to combat the problem...

Categories: Real Estate

Cities Offer Cash to Lure Relocation Buyers

NAR Daily News Magazine - May 1, 2018 - 12:00am

In towns facing a shortage of workers, some civic leaders are taking the unusual step of paying people to move there.

Categories: Real Estate

Don’t Base Service Standards on Competitors

NAR Daily News Magazine - May 1, 2018 - 12:00am

Look at customer service models outside the real estate industry to develop strategies that clients will love.

Categories: Real Estate

Schools Ripe for Student Housing Investors

NAR Daily News Magazine - May 1, 2018 - 12:00am

Real estate investors have long sought properties near top universities, but developers are eyeing these colleges in hopes of the best returns.

Categories: Real Estate

Modify Your Approach to Luxury Clients

NAR Daily News Magazine - May 1, 2018 - 12:00am

Buyers and sellers in the high-end market require you to have a more nuanced way of providing service. Use these four tips to better help this...

Categories: Real Estate

Where Property Taxes Are Most Burdensome

NAR Daily News Magazine - May 1, 2018 - 12:00am

A new SmartAsset study locates the cities with property taxes that are costing the most in housing expenses.

Categories: Real Estate

5 Challenging Markets for Millennials

RisMedia Consumer News - April 30, 2018 - 3:27pm

Across the country, buyers are competing in what has been called the “harshest market yet“—but for millennials, the competition is fiercest in higher-income metros, according to an analysis by realtor.com®:

  1. San Jose, Calif.
    List Price (Median): $1,244,000
    Millennial Income: $109,800
    Millennial Population: 14.3 percent
  1. Seattle, Wash.
    List Price (Median): $553,000
    Millennial Income: $78,300
    Millennial Population: 15.4 percent
  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
    List Price (Median): $394,000
    Millennial Income: $67,800
    Millennial Population: 15.5 percent
  1. Minneapolis, Minn.
    List Price (Median): $283,000
    Millennial Income: $73,600
    Millennial Population: 13.8 percent
  1. Omaha, Neb.
    List Price (Median): $283,000
    Millennial Income: $63,500
    Millennial Population: 13.8 percent

Across the five markets, the economies are flourishing, and Gen Y is raking in more than the average millennial, who earns $59,800 yearly.

The issue?

“Millennials want to buy, but record-low inventory is making it extremely difficult,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “Our analysis shows millennials are facing challenges in both established markets such as San Jose and Seattle, as well as more recently popular areas like Omaha and Salt Lake City.”

The dearth of inventory is a nationwide problem, but intensified in the markets ranked. According to the analysis, there are 8 percent fewer listings nationally year-over-year, but across the five markets, there are 9 percent less—and though the age of inventory nationally is down 7 percent, in the five markets, age of inventory is down by double, roughly: 13 percent.

The paradox is pronounced in San Jose and Seattle, in that there are blinding-bright employment prospects, but severely short supply. In both cities, the demand from the influx of residents, including younger workers, is exceeding what the market has to offer. Both have above-average pay, but earnings are failing to keep pace with prices—and the challenges in the top two are manifesting in Minneapolis, Omaha and Salt Lake City, where burgeoning demand is impacting inventory.

According to Hale, however, millennials are undeterred.

“Despite the difficulties, first-timers are optimistic and more than willing to weather the challenges this spring has to offer,” Hale says.

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 5 Challenging Markets for Millennials appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

CFPB Fixes ‘Black Hole’ in Mortgage Rules

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

The agency has issued an amendment to the Know Before You Owe rules, attempting to provide greater clarity to borrowers when it comes to...

Categories: Real Estate

Fewer Commercial Deals Will Need Appraisals

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

Under a new federal provision, commercial property sales of $500,000 or less are exempt from the appraisal requirement.

Categories: Real Estate

Despite Buyer Demand, Contract Signings Fall

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

Healthy economic conditions may be sparking demand for home purchases, but lack of inventory is keeping buyers from being able to sign sales...

Categories: Real Estate

3 Ways to Beat Your Competition

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

With a tight market this spring, competition for listings and buyers will be fiercer among real estate professionals. So how can you show clients...

Categories: Real Estate

Affordable Cities Luring the Most Millennials

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

Millennials accounted for the highest share of home purchases last year compared to any other age group. Find out the places they’re calling...

Categories: Real Estate

Job Growth Strongest in West, South

NAR Daily News Magazine - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

Employment numbers help to buoy housing markets, and in these regions, single-family home construction is increasing as well. 

Categories: Real Estate