Thursday, February 27, 2014

National Insurance, a 100-year old charge on employers and employees, will be renamed “earnings tax”, the Chancellor has signalled.

Hass and Associates Accounting Tax Preparation  Goodbye National Insurance. Hello Earnings Tax

National Insurance, a 100-year old charge on employers and employees, will be renamed “earnings tax”, the Chancellor has signalled.
The change, which will be proposed in legislation to be published on Tuesday, is the first step towards merging income tax with National Insurance.
Ben Gummer MP, a rising star Tory backbencher who has been campaigning on tax transparency, will propose the change in a Commons Bill on Tuesday.
The plans have Treasury backing. A source told The Daily Telegraph that George Osborne, the Chancellor, “is attracted to the idea”.
Mr Gummer said: “I am very pleased the Government is interested in the idea. They have been very receptive to trying to make the tax system more transparent.

“This would be a really good step forward in making what the Government takes from taxpayers clearer and simpler.”
Mr Gummer said he hoped the name change would begin the process of merging National Insurance with Income Tax into one single charge.
He said: “The most important part is changing the name so in the public mind we can begin the two as the same, which they are. This is a first step.”
National Insurance, which is charged on top of income tax, was first introduced in the National Insurance Act by Lloyd George in 1913 as a way for workers and employees to contribute towards certain benefits, such as a state pension.
Unlike income tax, MPs are not allowed to vote on whether it should be levied every year. Instead they are only asked to approve level of the charge.

National Insurance rakes in billions every year for the Treasury. Anyone who is employed and earns between £149 and £797 a week pays 12 per cent of their income in National Insurance. A further 2 per cent is paid on all earnings over that level.
People who are self-employed pay National Insurance at a flat rate or as a percentage of the individual’s annual taxable profits.
Hass and Associates Accounting Tax Preparation Goodbye National Insurance. Hello Earnings Tax
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tax Benefits at Hass and Associates Accounting: Cal State Long Beach Accounting Majors Offer Free Tax Preparation

Jennfer Mae Formeloza is coordinating Cal State Long Beach’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, which offers free tax preparation to low- and moderate-income filers. 
LONG BEACH >> Football season is over and tax season is upon us.

Those looking for help can try a free tax preparation service offered by accounting majors at Cal State Long Beach through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

The outreach runs through March 28 at the university and offers income tax assistance to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, the disabled, elderly and those who speak limited English.

VITA is a cooperative effort with the Internal Revenue Service. Funded through the campus Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Society chapters, the program aims to help those who can’t afford to pay for tax preparation.

Campus officials said each year hundreds of tax returns are filed through the program, which has the added benefit of giving students valuable experience in accounting.

Sudha Krishnan, a professor in the Accountancy Department at CSULB and director of VITA, said the program gives students the opportunity to work with the public, something employers look for on resumes.

“It’s service back to society,” she said. “They learn how to give back and they learn to take that first step in their careers. Many of these students end up going to tax firms. They go out to work and they’ve taken that first step. They don’t need to be trained from scratch.”

Sixty student volunteers with IRS training and certification are available this year to prepare and electronically file basic income tax returns and foreign student tax returns. They can also ask questions or discuss concerns.

“Students have the opportunity to interact face to face with members of the community and make a direct impact,” said Jennifer Mae Formeloza, this year’s student VITA coordinator, in a news release. “Our profession is based on ethics. It takes a lot of trust to share something so personal, and that’s why I think this program helps students further understand their responsibilities to the public.”

VITA is designed for those who earned $51,567 or less in 2013. The program doesn’t do itemized or business tax returns.

To make use of the program, taxpayers should bring their wage, earnings and dividend statements, as well as proof of identification and their Social Security cards, including those of their spouses and dependents.

Clients are also encouraged to bring a copy of their federal and state returns from last year, if available. They will need to have their bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit. If filing taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

Those who used day-care should bring the provider’s business employer identification or Social Security number. Renters need to bring the rental dates and landlord’s name, address and phone number.

The CSULB VITA program operates out of Room 237 on the second floor of the College of Business Administration Building off Bellflower Boulevard. Volunteers prepare returns from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. The site will be closed on Monday, Feb. 17.

Walk-ins are welcome, and CSULB advises the public to use the metered parking in Lot 15, adjacent to the CBA Building. The cost is $2 per hour.

For more information, e-mail

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hass Associates Accounting Tips for Preparing Taxes Online

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Market wired - Feb. 10, 2014) - Did you know?
Filing your taxes online is increasing in popularity as Canadians discover how fast, easy, and secure filing online really is. Last year, over 74% of Canadians filed their income tax and benefit return electronically. Are you ready to join them?

Get ready: following these steps will make filing your taxes easy!
·         Go to to find out about non-refundable credits you might be eligible for to reduce your taxes this year.

·         Gather all your information slips and receipts (T4s, T5s, etc.), as well as a copy of last year's return to use as a reference for this year. No need to send your receipts in with your return! If we need to see them, we will let you know.

·         Have your social insurance number and date of birth on hand.

·         Sign up for direct deposit to receive your refund faster and any benefit or credit payments owed to you, deposited directly into your bank account. Go to to learn how to sign up for direct deposit.

·         Make sure the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has your updated address and direct deposit information before you file. The fastest way to update both is by using My Account. To register for My Account, go to You can also use this service later to view your tax slip information, look up your RRSP deduction limit, and check the status of your refund or your Canada child tax benefit or GST/HST credit payments.

·         To file online, you need to complete your return using certified software or a certified web application. This may even help you identify benefits and credits that you may have missed if you filed on paper! The CRA has a list of software options-some that you have to buy and some that you can use for free-at

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hass Associates Accounting Tax Tips

Tax season is officially underway (Jan. 31 - April 15) and while it may be a painful process for some, delaying it can only bring a bigger headache.

John Ams, executive vice president for the National Society of Accountants (NSA) says whether you owe money or anticipate a refund, getting it done early can prove beneficial. If you are owed money, your chances of getting it faster are better when you file early. If you owe money, you will at least know how much you owe and can begin saving to pay for it, says Ams.

Anyone who hopes to file an extension should remember, it is only an extension of time to file your return, not an extension of time to pay. "You have to file the extension and the money you think you are going to owe. If you substantially underpay, you get a substantial underpayment penalty," Ams says. Taxes are due on April 15, period. And yes, the IRS does charge interest.

Here are seven reasons why you may want to file early:

1.       If you think you have a refund coming, filing early often makes your refund show up faster. In recent years, early filers have received refunds in 21 days. Taxpayers filing nearer the deadline day waited an average of 31 days.

2.       If you think you’ll owe taxes, you find out sooner how much you’ll owe. This gives you more time to save up money before the balance comes due. You may also file early and not pay the tax bill until the April 15 deadline – and you have until that date to arrange a payment schedule with the IRS.

3.       Your tax preparer has a lot more time – and energy – early in the tax-filing season to talk to you. If preparing your taxes is going to mean several meetings with your preparer and questions for them to answer or research, start ASAP. You also gain more time to correct any errors that crop up during preparation.

4.       Filing early forces you to organize such tax documents as your wage and earning statements (forms W-2, K-1, 1099-MISC and 1099-R) and your receipts for deductions and credits. The more time you have to put these documents in order the better you’ll feel about justifying deductions that the IRS often scrutinizes, such as those for home office space or charitable contributions.

5.       The last minute is no time to discover a wrinkle that complicatesyour tax situation. Nor is the last minute the time to make a hurried and careless mistake in your return – a mistake that could trigger an audit.

6.       About three out of 10 taxpayers still mail paper returns. Filing early spares you from the early-April crowds at the post office.

7.       Filing early reduces the risk of some identity thief filing in your name later in the season to steal a refund. Identity thieves can use yoru name and social security number to file a falsified return in your name and claim whatever credits they want to get a refund, says Ams. They may then have it sent to a P.O. Box and by the time you find out, they have disappeared.

If your return is not fairly simply, you may want to consult a tax professional for help. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels on complex issues, Ams says. If you need tax-preparation help this coming season, you can find a qualified tax preparer in your area, on the NSA website at Click on “Find a Professional” or call 800-966-6679. [Discover More]

You can also ask friends or relatives for recommendations, but be sure to find someone with expertise that matches your own financial situation, Ams says. Any tax preparer you use should have a professional tax identification number which he or she uses upon signing your return. You may also qualify for free tax preparation assistance. Click to read