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Drawing of thief casting a fishing rod into a computer monitor illustrates blog: "Don’t Fall for These Two Common Holiday Scams!"

Don’t Fall for These Two Common Holiday Scams!

For most people, the holidays are a time of joy and good will. But for scammers, this is one of the best times of the year to look for victims. Here’s what you need to know to avoid being one. 

The Two Most Common Holiday Scams

According to the FBI, the two most common holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment scams.

In a non-delivery scam, a buyer pays online for goods or services advertised online, but they never get anything in return. 

On the other hand, a non-payment scam works the opposite way:  goods or services are provided but the seller never gets paid.

Other scams often found during the holidays include auction fraud (where a product is misrepresented on an auction website) and gift card fraud, where a person asks you to make a a payment or donation using a gift card. 

No matter what type of scam you happen to come across, the result is always frustrating. So, what to do to protect yourself?

How To Avoid Holiday Scams

As you can see from the description above, most holiday scams have an element in common: scammers almost always use either the telephone, a text message, or the internet to fish for victims. 

That bit of information gives you an advantage, as you already know where a scam attempt may come from. Here’s what you need to do to ward off scammers:

  • First of all, remember that if an offer or a discount you see online seems too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • Don’t open emails that seem suspicious (for example, the name of the sender is misplaced or the subject seems out of character).
  • Don’t click on any suspicious links and don’t download any attachments unless you are absolutely positive that they are legitimate.
  • Cybercriminals try to impersonate reputable websites by using internet domains that can be easily confused with legitimate ones, so pay close attention to a website’s address (for example, scammers may use www.bnak.com instead of www.bank.com)
  • Never wire money directly to a seller and never pay with gift cards. 
  • If you pay online using your credit card, check your statements regularly to catch any suspicious payments as soon as possible. 

Have Tax Questions? At JT Tax Services, We’ve Got Answers

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.We are located in Oxnard, California.Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Drawing of calendar with the word "Tax" illustrates blog: "When Are Taxes Due in 2023?"

When Are Taxes Due in 2023?

With New Year’s fast approaching, this is an excellent time to start asking questions such as “When are taxes due in 2023?” Keep reading to discover the answer to this and other useful tax facts.

When Are Taxes Due in 2023?

Most years, the due date for filing your tax return is April 15. However, April 15 2023, falls on a Saturday, so Tax Day 2023 will be on April 18, 2023, unless extended due to local state holiday. 

Once the date is announced officially, we’ll write a post about it, so make sure to check our blog and social media regularly over the next few months.

Remember that failing to file your return by the due date results in penalties and interests. Failure-to-pay penalties are 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that your return is late, up to 25% of your tax bill. 

 Early planning is the best way to simplify the tax filing process and avoid headaches. If you are already planning, props to you: you are ahead of the curve and in line for a smooth filing season.

What To Do if I Can’t File My 2022 Taxes on Time?

Although it may be a little early to know whether you’ll need more time to file your taxes next year, knowing your options is always a good idea. 

People who can’t file their tax return by the due date can request an extension. For example, taxpayers who requested an extension in 2022, got six additional months to file their return (October 15 instead of April 15).

There are two things to keep in mind when applying for an extension:

  • You have to request the extension before the original filing deadline
  • An extension to file is NOT an extension to pay. In other words, even if you request an extension, you still have to estimate and and pay your taxes by the original tax due date

Have Tax Questions? At JT Tax Services, We’ve Got Answers

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.We are located in Oxnard, California.Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Illustration of woman in front of calendar, clock, and tablet that reads "Tax."

Can Taxes Be Paid in Installments?

“Can taxes be paid in installments?” is a common question among people who face a particularly high tax bill. In today’s post, we answer this question and offer some tips for paying your taxes.

Can Taxes Be Paid in Installments?

Yes, if you can’t pay your taxes by the due date, you can set up a payment plan with the IRS to settle your tax bill in installments.

However, most people find it easier and less expensive to take advantage of other options, such as paying their taxes by credit card.

If you still want to pay your taxes in installments, the first thing to do is to contact the IRS to request a payment plan.

The good news is that, with some exceptions, the IRS is generally prohibited from levying and their time to collect is suspended while an installment agreement is pending.

You have different options to apply for a payment plan: you can do it online, by phone, or even by traditional mail. 

Once the IRS approves the installment agreement, you can choose to pay your monthly installments from your checking or savings account or by money order or debit/credit card (fees apply when paying by card).

What You Need To Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that there are application fees associated with setting up an installment agreement, although the fee may be reduced in some cases. 

Whether you decide to set up a payment plan or pay by other method such as credit card, remember that it’s better to pay as much as you can by the due date. This way you will limit any late payment fees and penalties. 

For answers to other common tax questions, check out our previous blogs, “Will the IRS Ever Go to Your House?,” and “Are Car Expenses Tax Deductible?

At JT Tax Services, We’ve Got Answers to Your Tax Questions

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California.Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Close-up of man using calculator illustrates blog: "Will the IRS Ever Go to Your House?"

Will the IRS Ever Go to Your House?

It’s a well-known fact that scammers love to pose as IRS agents to lure potential victims. With that in mind, it’s normal to ask “Will the IRS ever come to my home?” In today’s post, we provide the answer. 

Will the IRS Ever Go to Your House?

The answer is yes. At least in theory, the IRS can visit a taxpayer’s house during an investigation. However, remember that an IRS won’t demand any sort of payment without giving you the chance to appeal the amount.

According to the IRS, there are three main reasons why an agent may go to your house or business:

  • Audits
  • Collection
  • Criminal investigation

What You Need To Know

While it’s true that IRS agents can sometimes visit a home or business, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions.

Here are some useful pointers for dealing with a visit from the IRS.

In the case of audits, an IRS employee may visit your house if all other attempts to contact you fail. 

Remember that revenue agents carry two forms of identification, each displaying serial numbers and a photo of the employee:

  • An IRS-issued credential known as pocket commission
  • The HSPD-12, a government-wide standard form of identification for all federal employees

If a revenue agent visits you, you can ask to see both forms of identification. 

Red Flags To Be Aware Of

Some red flags that indicate that the person contacting you may be a scammer posing as an IRS agent include:

  • Demanding immediate payment without giving you the chance to appeal the amount
  • Contacting you by text message or social media
  • Asking you to pay by wire transfer or with gift card
  • Threatening to call the police or immigration authorities
  • Threatening to revoke your driver’s license
  • The supposed agent doesn’t inform you about your rights

If you believe that someone is try to impersonate an IRS agent or posing as the IRS, you can report them using the following methods:

Have More Tax Questions? JT Tax Services Is Here To Help!

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California.Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Image of man holding credit card and smartphone illustrates blog:"Can You Pay Your Taxes With a Credit Card?"

Can You Pay Your Taxes With a Credit Card?

Paying your taxes doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the IRS is constantly looking for ways to make it easier for you to settle your tax bill. But can you pay your taxes with a credit card? Keep reading to find out.

Can You  Pay Your Taxes With a Credit Card?

The short, simple answer is yes, credit card is one of the many methods available when it comes to paying your federal taxes. 

Here’s a handy breakdown of all the options at your disposal:

  • You can also ask your tax preparer to make an electronic funds withdrawal from a bank account.
  • Payments with credit cards are made through payment processors that charge a fee. In some cases, you can make the payment over the phone (visit link for payment processor fees and contact information). 
  • You can even pay your taxes in cash at a participating retail store ! Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay a fee of $3.99 and there’s a $1,000 payment limit per day. 

What To Do if You Can’t Pay Your Taxes

As you can see, there are plenty of options to pay your taxes. All you have to do is to choose the one that works for you.

However, some taxpayers face a more complex problem: they are not able to settle their tax bill. 

If you can’t pay your taxes, don’t worry. The IRS offers alternatives such as online payment plans and installment agreements. What really matters is to contact a tax pro as soon as possible, as failure-to-pay penalties can add up quickly.

Finally, remember that the payment information presented here applies to federal taxes only. State taxes have different deadlines and may utilize different payment methods.

Have Tax Questions? JT Tax Services Is Here To Help!

No matter how you prefer to settle your tax bill, at JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.We are located in Oxnard, California.Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Photo of man in car illustrates blog: "Are Car Expenses Tax Deductible?"

Are Car Expenses Tax Deductible?

When it comes to tax deductions, you want to take advantage of as many of them as possible. But are car expenses tax deductible? In today’s blog post, we answer this and other common questions about cars and tax deductions.

What Is a Tax Deduction?

Before we explain if car expenses are tax deductible, let’s take a closer look at what a tax deduction is.

Simply put, a deduction is an expense you can use to lower your taxable income. In other words, tax deductions help you save on taxes.

For example, donations to qualified charitable institutions are tax deductible.So if you earn $70,000 a year, and you make a $1,000 donation, then your taxable income for that year won’t be $70,000 but $69,000

Are Car Expenses Tax Deductible?

The simple answer is that car expenses are deductible — but only in some cases. Let’s see what this means. 

First off, you can write off your car-related expenses only in certain cases. If you use your vehicle only for personal purposes or to commute to and from work, then you probably won’t be able to claim your car expenses as a deduction on your car return.

However, if you can prove that you use your car for business purposes, then you can deduct some car expenses. 

Taxpayers who use their car for business have two options to deduct the expenses related to their vehicles:

  • Use the actual car expenses
  • Use the standard mileage rates set by the IRS

There are three categories of standard mileage rates: business, charitable, and medical/move. The rates are adjusted every year and you can check them on the IRS website (click here the 2022 standard mileage rates).

If you decide to use your actual car expenses, you have to keep an accurate records of expenses like:

  • Oil
  • Tires
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Business-related garage fees

If you have questions about the car expenses you can deduct or want to discover which deductions you qualify for, contact the experts at JT Taxes. We’ll be glad to answer all your questions and make sure you pay only the tax you owe. 

Have Tax Questions? JT Tax Services Is Here To Help!

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.We are located in Oxnard, California.

Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Photo of woman holding paper using calculator illustrates blog: "Can Taxes Be Filed After the Official Deadline?"

Can Taxes Be Filed After the Official Deadline?

In case it passed you by, Tax Day this year was on April 18. If you said “Oops!” after reading that, you’ll be interested in today’s blog: can you file your taxes after the official deadline? Keep reading to find out. 

Can Taxes Be Filed After the Official Deadline?

The short and simple answer is yes, you can file your tax return even after the official deadline has passed.

Ideally, you should always file and pay your taxes by the due date. However, even though taxes are a priority for most people, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in a situation when you can’t file on time. 

Here are some good reasons to file your taxes even if you missed the original deadline:

  • Avoid interests and penalties. These can add up fast, so filing and paying even a part of what you owe can make a big difference.
  • Claim your refund. In addition to giving you peace of mind, filing a past due tax return is als an opportunity to claim a refund 
  • Protect your social security benefits. If you are self-employed and don’t file a federal tax return, any self-employment income will not be reported to the Social Security Administration.
  • Avoid issues with loans. When you apply for a loan, most financial institutions will require you to provide copies of filed tax returns.

Filing Back Tax Returns

If you didn’t file your taxes on time, seek the assistance of a tax professional to file and pay as soon as possible. This will save you headaches and will limit any failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties.

It’s worth keeping in mind that there are no penalties for late filing if you are owed a refund. 

As always, remember that all this information refers to federal taxes. Local taxes have different rules and deadlines. 

If you need help filing a past due return, contact the IRS or get in touch with JT Tax Services. We’ll be glad to offer assistance and answer all your questions. 

Have Tax Questions? JT Tax Services Is Here To Help!

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.We are located in Oxnard, California.

Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Photo of person organizing documents illustrates blog: "Can You File Your Taxes Without a Social Security Number?"

Can You File Your Taxes Without a Social Security Number?

Filing an income tax return is mandatory if you make more than a  certain amount for the year. But can you file your taxes without a social security number? Keep reading to discover the answer. 

Can You File Your Taxes Without a Social Security Number?

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number assigned to all United States citizens and other residents for identification purposes, including tracking their income information.

Now, although the Social Security Number is one of the most common ways to identify an individual in the U.S., not  every person living in the country is eligible for one.

In those cases, people who are not eligible for a Social Security Number can use an Individual Tax Identification Number or ITIN. 

So, in short, the answer is yes, you can file your taxes without a Social Security Number by using an ITIN instead.

What Is an ITIN?

As we mentioned earlier, the term ITIN stands for Individual Tax Identification Number. 

An ITIN is a tax processing number that the IRS issues to people who are required to file a tax return but don’t have a Social Security Number.

While you can have an ITIN regardless of your immigration status, you should keep in mind that an ITIN does NOT:

  • Authorize work in the U.S.
  • Provide eligibility for Social Security benefits
  • Qualify a dependent for Earned Income Tax Credit Purposes

How To Know if You Need an ITIN

You need an Individual Tax Identification Number if the following applies to you:

  1. You don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN)
  2. You have a requirement to file a tax return
  3. You belong to one of the following categories:
  • Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
  • U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
  • Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
  • Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
  • Nonresident alien student, professor or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception

Have Tax Questions? Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Photo of grandparents smiling illustrates blog: "Taxes: Can I Claim My Parents as Dependents?"

Taxes: Can I Claim My Parents as Dependents?

A common question about taxes and the IRS is if a person can claim their parents as  dependents. In this post, we answer this question and provide some useful facts you need to know. 

What Is a Dependent?

A dependent is a person other than yourself or your spouse who depends on your income and qualifies you to claim a dependency exemption.  

This means that when you claim someone as a dependent on your tax return, you can get some deductions that lower your tax bill or may even entitle you to redeem a credit for a tax return. 

The basic rule for dependents is that you can only claim as a dependent a person who is either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative.

In the next section, we’ll see what this means if you want to claim your parents as dependents.

Can I Claim My Parents as Dependents?

With that being said, can you claim your parents as dependents?

The answer is yes. According to the IRS, some common examples of dependents include a child, stepchild, brother, sister, or parent.

If you are planning to claim your parents as dependents,there are some rules to remember. 

First off, the gross income of each parent must be less than $4,300 and you must provide half of the person’s total support for the year.

Finally, you can’t claim as dependent a person who can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

So for example, if one of your brothers or sisters has already claimed your parents as dependents, you cannot claim them as dependents on your tax return. 

If you’re still not sure if you can claim your parents as dependents, use the IRS online assistant Whom May I Claim as a Dependent? (just click on the link to open the assistant).

Have Tax Questions?Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services

At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

Photo of confused woman looking at her smartphone illustrates blog: "Beware of Pandemic-Related Scams!"

Beware of Pandemic-Related Scams!

Not even the pandemic can slow down criminals, who never cease to look for ways to lure unsuspecting victims. That’s why in today’s post, we talk about pandemic-related scams and give you tips on how to avoid them. 

Pandemic-Related Scams: What You Need To Know

Scammers are experts at taking advantage of confusing situations to rob people of their money or personal information. The pandemic is no exception to this perverse rule. That’s why we encourage you to be on the lookout for the scams described below. 

Economic Impact Payments Tax Refund Scams

Scammers use Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) as an excuse to try to trick you into sharing your personal information. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • The IRS has already issued all Economic Impact Payments. If you didn’t get yours or received less than the full amount, you may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 or 2021 tax return. 
  • The IRS will NEVER initiate contact by phone, email, text, or social media, asking you to provide personal information such as your Social Security number.

Fake Employment Offers

The pandemic has caused shifts in the labor market and some people are urgently looking for a job. Scammers take advantage of jobseekers by using social media to persuade them to share their personal information under the guise of a job offer.

  • Never share your personal information (such as social security number, passwords, or bank accounts) through social media messages.
  • Among other things, criminals can use your information to file a fraudulent tax return and get a fraudulent refund. 

Fake Charities

This is a classic scam, and criminals have been quick to adapt it to the pandemic. If you plan to make charitable donations, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • If a person tries to pressure you into making a donation quickly, that’s a huge red flag and one of the hallmarks of a scam.
  • Before making a donation, ask the person for the exact name of the charity as well as the address of its website. Then verify all those details online. 
  • NEVER, under any circumstances, make a donation using gift cards or by wiring money. 

Need Help With Your Taxes? Contact JT Tax Services

At JT Taxes, we have made it our mission to take the stress of tax filing off your hands so you can focus on what matters most to you. We maximize your refund and help you stay compliant with all applicable rules and laws.We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our wide array of tax services.

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