Shbaita Tax Services

Shbaita Tax Services

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Renewing ITINs - Did You Know?

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are used for taxpayers who are required for U.S. tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but do not qualify to get a social security number.

If you use an ITIN, you should check if it expires this year. If it does, information about how to renew your ITIN can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/how-do-i-renew-my-itin. Keeping your ITIN current helps avoid tax refund and processing delays.

Taxpayers who have not used their ITIN to file a federal return at least once in the last three years will see their number expire Dec. 31, 2017. ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year.
2018 Healthcare Open Enrollment - Reminder

The 2018 Open Enrollment period for Marketplace health insurance started on November 1, 2017, and ends December 15, 2017. Plans will start January 1, 2018.

Once the Open Enrollment period is over, you will only be able to enroll if there's a qualifying life event for the Special Enrollment Period.

Enrollment can be done at https://Healthcare.gov, and a simple checklist of documents you'll need can be found here: https://marketplace.cms.gov/outreach-and-education/marketplace-application-checklist.pdf.
Work Clothes and Uniforms - Did You Know?

You may be able to deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes if they're required as a condition of your employment, and if the clothes aren't suitable for everyday wear.

Examples of jobs that may be able to deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothing are delivery workers, firefighters, health care workers, law enforcement officers, letter carriers, professional athletes, and transportation workers. Musicians and entertainers may also be able to deduct the cost of theatrical clothing and accessories that are not suitable for everyday wear.

Protective clothing such as safety shoes or boots, safety glasses, hard hats and work gloves may also be able to be deducted.
Retirement Contributions - Did You Know?

If you participate through your work in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan, the contribution limit for 2018 has increased from $18,000 to $18,500.

The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remains unchanged from 2017, at $5,500.
Teachers and Educators - Did You Know?

Eligible educators and teachers may be able to deduct up to $250 for qualified expenses. An eligible educator can be a kindergarten through Grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide that has worked for at least 900 hours in a school as determined under state law.

Qualified expenses can be fees for professional development courses, books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment and supplementary materials used in the classroom.
2018 Healthcare Open Enrollment - Did You Know?

The 2018 open enrollment period for Marketplace health insurance starts on November 1, 2017, and ends December 15, 2017. Plans will start January 1, 2018.

Enrollment can be done at https://Healthcare.gov, and a simple checklist of documents you'll need can be found here: https://marketplace.cms.gov/outreach-and-education/marketplace-application-checklist.pdf.
Reconstructing Records after a Disaster

In the event of a disaster, you might need to reconstruct records to prove their loss. Doing this may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance, or insurance reimbursement.

Here are 12 things you can do to help reconstruct your records after a disaster:

- You can get free tax return transcripts by using the Get Transcript tool on IRS.gov. You can also call 800-908-9946 to order them by phone.
- To establish the extent of the damage, you should take photographs or videos as soon after the disaster as possible.
- You can contact the title company, escrow company, or bank that handled the purchase of your home to get copies of appropriate documents.
- If you are a homeowner, you should review your insurance policy as the policy usually lists the value of a building to establish a base figure for replacement.
- If you've made improvements to your home, you should contact the contractors who did the work to see if records are available. If possible, you should also get statements from the contractors to verify the work and cost. You can also get written accounts from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
- For inherited property, you can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, you can contact the attorney who handled the trust.
- When no other records are available, you can check the county assessor's office for old records that might address the value of the property.
- There are several resources that can help you determine the current fair-market value of most cars on the road. These resources are all available online and at most libraries: Kelley's Blue Book, National Automobile Dealers Association, and Edmunds.
- You can look on your mobile phone for pictures that show the damaged property before the disaster.
- You can support the valuation of property with photographs, videos, canceled checks, receipts, or other evidence.
- If you bought items using a credit card or debit card, you should contact your credit card company or bank for past statements.
- If you don't have photographs or videos of your property, a simple method to help you remember what items you lost is to sketch pictures of each room that was impacted.
Job Search Expenses - Did You Know?

If you're currently looking for a new job in your current occupation, you may be able to deduct some related expenses even if you don't get a new job.

The below expenses may be tax-deductible:

- Costs of preparing and mailing your Resume
- Travel expenses including transportation, meals, and lodging
- Placement or employment agency fees

However, you would not be able to claim these expenses if you are looking for a job outside your current occupation, looking for a job for the first time, or had substantial time pass between your last job and the new one.

These must be itemized deductions and conditions such as a minimum threshold may apply.
Six Month Filing Extension Reminder.

If you requested an extra six months in April to file your 2016 tax return, the deadline to file is coming up on Monday, October 16th.

If you live or work in an area affected by a disaster, you may have more time to file. Additional information can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations.
Charity Vehicle Donations - Did You Know?

Differing amounts can be deducted from a charity vehicle donation depending on the circumstances listed below.

If the organization sells the vehicle without using it significantly for charitable purposes or making material improvements, then your deduction is limited to the proceeds from the sale.

If the vehicle is transferred to a needy individual by the charity organization for less than fair market value, you may deduct the Fair Market Value even if it exceeds the sales proceeds.

If the vehicle is used significantly or materially improved by the charity organization, you may be able to deduct the fair market value as of the donation date.

Please note that if the vehicle's fair market value was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the fair market value to figure out the deductible amount. Other rules and exceptions may apply.
Hurricane Tax Relief - Did You Know?

The IRS has announced tax relief for people affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

For Hurricane Irma, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

More information on deadlines and covered areas can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-expands-tax-relief-to-victims-of-hurricane-irma-in-florida-extension-filers-have-until-jan-31-to-file.

For Hurricane Harvey, certain deadlines falling on or after Aug. 23, 2017 and before Jan. 31, 2018 are granted additional time to file through Jan. 31, 2018.

More information on deadlines and covered areas can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey-in-texas.
Equifax Data Breach - Security Measures

You may have heard of the data breach at Equifax that exposed the sensitive personal data of 143 million Americans. According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July.

As a precaution, the Federal Trade Commission recommends several steps below that you can take to help protect your data and help mitigate any identity theft issues:

- Check your credit report for free by visiting http://annualcreditreport.com and note any unauthorized or unrecognized activity that may indicate identity theft.

- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files that make it harder for someone new to open an account in your name. This will not prevent a thief from making changes to existing accounts in your name.

- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don't recognize.

- If you decide not to do a credit freeze, you can consider placing a fraud alert on your files. The alert warns creditors that you may be a victim of identity theft and they should verify that anyone looking for credit in your name is really you.

- File your taxes early. File as soon as you have the tax information needed before a potential scammer can.

More information and steps can be found at: https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.

Conroe TX. based Shbaita Tax Services​, has the expertise to provide you with the services that yo

Shbaita Tax Services updated their address. 05/15/2022

Shbaita Tax Services updated their address.

Shbaita Tax Services updated their address.

Timeline photos 11/29/2017

Renewing ITINs - Did You Know?

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are used for taxpayers who are required for U.S. tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but do not qualify to get a social security number.

If you use an ITIN, you should check if it expires this year. If it does, information about how to renew your ITIN can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/how-do-i-renew-my-itin. Keeping your ITIN current helps avoid tax refund and processing delays.

Taxpayers who have not used their ITIN to file a federal return at least once in the last three years will see their number expire Dec. 31, 2017. ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year.

Timeline photos 11/22/2017

2018 Healthcare Open Enrollment - Reminder

The 2018 Open Enrollment period for Marketplace health insurance started on November 1, 2017, and ends December 15, 2017. Plans will start January 1, 2018.

Once the Open Enrollment period is over, you will only be able to enroll if there's a qualifying life event for the Special Enrollment Period.

Enrollment can be done at https://Healthcare.gov, and a simple checklist of documents you'll need can be found here: https://marketplace.cms.gov/outreach-and-education/marketplace-application-checklist.pdf.

Timeline photos 11/15/2017

Work Clothes and Uniforms - Did You Know?

You may be able to deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes if they're required as a condition of your employment, and if the clothes aren't suitable for everyday wear.

Examples of jobs that may be able to deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothing are delivery workers, firefighters, health care workers, law enforcement officers, letter carriers, professional athletes, and transportation workers. Musicians and entertainers may also be able to deduct the cost of theatrical clothing and accessories that are not suitable for everyday wear.

Protective clothing such as safety shoes or boots, safety glasses, hard hats and work gloves may also be able to be deducted.

Timeline photos 11/08/2017

Retirement Contributions - Did You Know?

If you participate through your work in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan, the contribution limit for 2018 has increased from $18,000 to $18,500.

The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remains unchanged from 2017, at $5,500.

Timeline photos 11/01/2017

Teachers and Educators - Did You Know?

Eligible educators and teachers may be able to deduct up to $250 for qualified expenses. An eligible educator can be a kindergarten through Grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide that has worked for at least 900 hours in a school as determined under state law.

Qualified expenses can be fees for professional development courses, books, supplies, computer equipment (including related software and services), other equipment and supplementary materials used in the classroom.

Timeline photos 10/23/2017

2018 Healthcare Open Enrollment - Did You Know?

The 2018 open enrollment period for Marketplace health insurance starts on November 1, 2017, and ends December 15, 2017. Plans will start January 1, 2018.

Enrollment can be done at https://Healthcare.gov, and a simple checklist of documents you'll need can be found here: https://marketplace.cms.gov/outreach-and-education/marketplace-application-checklist.pdf.

Timeline photos 10/18/2017

Reconstructing Records after a Disaster

In the event of a disaster, you might need to reconstruct records to prove their loss. Doing this may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance, or insurance reimbursement.

Here are 12 things you can do to help reconstruct your records after a disaster:

- You can get free tax return transcripts by using the Get Transcript tool on IRS.gov. You can also call 800-908-9946 to order them by phone.
- To establish the extent of the damage, you should take photographs or videos as soon after the disaster as possible.
- You can contact the title company, escrow company, or bank that handled the purchase of your home to get copies of appropriate documents.
- If you are a homeowner, you should review your insurance policy as the policy usually lists the value of a building to establish a base figure for replacement.
- If you've made improvements to your home, you should contact the contractors who did the work to see if records are available. If possible, you should also get statements from the contractors to verify the work and cost. You can also get written accounts from friends and relatives who saw the house before and after any improvements.
- For inherited property, you can check court records for probate values. If a trust or estate existed, you can contact the attorney who handled the trust.
- When no other records are available, you can check the county assessor's office for old records that might address the value of the property.
- There are several resources that can help you determine the current fair-market value of most cars on the road. These resources are all available online and at most libraries: Kelley's Blue Book, National Automobile Dealers Association, and Edmunds.
- You can look on your mobile phone for pictures that show the damaged property before the disaster.
- You can support the valuation of property with photographs, videos, canceled checks, receipts, or other evidence.
- If you bought items using a credit card or debit card, you should contact your credit card company or bank for past statements.
- If you don't have photographs or videos of your property, a simple method to help you remember what items you lost is to sketch pictures of each room that was impacted.

Timeline photos 10/12/2017

Job Search Expenses - Did You Know?

If you're currently looking for a new job in your current occupation, you may be able to deduct some related expenses even if you don't get a new job.

The below expenses may be tax-deductible:

- Costs of preparing and mailing your Resume
- Travel expenses including transportation, meals, and lodging
- Placement or employment agency fees

However, you would not be able to claim these expenses if you are looking for a job outside your current occupation, looking for a job for the first time, or had substantial time pass between your last job and the new one.

These must be itemized deductions and conditions such as a minimum threshold may apply.

Timeline photos 10/03/2017

Six Month Filing Extension Reminder.

If you requested an extra six months in April to file your 2016 tax return, the deadline to file is coming up on Monday, October 16th.

If you live or work in an area affected by a disaster, you may have more time to file. Additional information can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations.

Timeline photos 09/28/2017

Charity Vehicle Donations - Did You Know?

Differing amounts can be deducted from a charity vehicle donation depending on the circumstances listed below.

If the organization sells the vehicle without using it significantly for charitable purposes or making material improvements, then your deduction is limited to the proceeds from the sale.

If the vehicle is transferred to a needy individual by the charity organization for less than fair market value, you may deduct the Fair Market Value even if it exceeds the sales proceeds.

If the vehicle is used significantly or materially improved by the charity organization, you may be able to deduct the fair market value as of the donation date.

Please note that if the vehicle's fair market value was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the fair market value to figure out the deductible amount. Other rules and exceptions may apply.

Timeline photos 09/21/2017

Hurricane Tax Relief - Did You Know?

The IRS has announced tax relief for people affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

For Hurricane Irma, affected individuals and businesses will have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.

More information on deadlines and covered areas can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-expands-tax-relief-to-victims-of-hurricane-irma-in-florida-extension-filers-have-until-jan-31-to-file.

For Hurricane Harvey, certain deadlines falling on or after Aug. 23, 2017 and before Jan. 31, 2018 are granted additional time to file through Jan. 31, 2018.

More information on deadlines and covered areas can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey-in-texas.

Timeline photos 09/13/2017

Equifax Data Breach - Security Measures

You may have heard of the data breach at Equifax that exposed the sensitive personal data of 143 million Americans. According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July.

As a precaution, the Federal Trade Commission recommends several steps below that you can take to help protect your data and help mitigate any identity theft issues:

- Check your credit report for free by visiting http://annualcreditreport.com and note any unauthorized or unrecognized activity that may indicate identity theft.

- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files that make it harder for someone new to open an account in your name. This will not prevent a thief from making changes to existing accounts in your name.

- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don't recognize.

- If you decide not to do a credit freeze, you can consider placing a fraud alert on your files. The alert warns creditors that you may be a victim of identity theft and they should verify that anyone looking for credit in your name is really you.

- File your taxes early. File as soon as you have the tax information needed before a potential scammer can.

More information and steps can be found at: https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.

Timeline photos 08/31/2017

Fake Charity Scams - Did You Know?

In the light of the ongoing events of Hurricane Harvey, the IRS has issued a warning about possible fake charity scams.

While there has been an outpouring of support across the country, you should be aware of criminals that take advantage of this by impersonating charities to get money or private information.

You can avoid potential charity scam artists by following the tips below:

- Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. The IRS has a tool here for checking exempt organizations: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/search-for-charities.
- Don't give out personal financial information like Social Security Numbers, or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords to anyone who solicits a donation.
- Avoid giving or sending cash. For security and tax record purposes, the IRS recommends contributing by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the donations.
- IRS publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov, lists the tax rules that apply to making legitimate tax-deductible donations. It also provides details on what records to keep.

Timeline photos 08/25/2017

Taxpayer Bill of Rights - Did You Know?

As a taxpayer, you have a set of ten fundamental rights that the IRS is obligated to protect.

They are:

1. The Right to be Informed.
2. The Right to Quality Service.
3. The Right to Pay No More Than the Correct Amount of Tax.
4. The Right to Challenge the IRS's Position and Be Heard.
5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum.
6. The Right to Finality.
7. The Right to Privacy.
8. The Right to Confidentiality.
9. The Right to Retain Representation.
10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System.

More information can be found in IRS Publication 1: Your Rights as a Taxpayer, available here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1.pdf.

Timeline photos 08/18/2017

Scammers and IRS Impersonation - Did You Know?

The IRS has issued another alert that scammers are continuing to contact taxpayers. Among the most common are phone calls and fake emails. Thieves use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try and steal money from taxpayers.

Any first contact from the IRS will usually come in the mail.

Please note that the IRS will never:

- Call to demand immediate payment using specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying
- Demand payment of taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone

For information on how to report scams or phishing attempts, visit http://IRS.gov/phishing.

Timeline photos 08/11/2017

Selling Your Home - Did You Know?

If you're selling your home, you may qualify to exclude all or part of any gain from the sale of your main home from your income.

In order to claim the exclusion, for the last five years, you need to have owned the home for at least two years, and lived in it as your main home for at least two years.

If there is a gain from the sale, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain or $500,000 on a joint return in most cases. However, if a main home sells for less than its original purchase price, there are no gains to deduct.

Please note that exceptions may apply for certain cases, please check with us if you have any questions.

Timeline photos 08/05/2017

Gambling Income - Did You Know?

All income from gambling must be reported to the IRS and are taxable. However, if you are eligible to itemize your deductions, you may be able to deduct your losses up to the amount of your winnings.

This can include winnings and losses from: lotteries, raffles, horse and dog races, casino games, poker games, and sports betting.

The IRS recommends keeping a gambling diary as well as receipts tracking:

- The date and type
- Name and address of the places
- Amount won and lost

Timeline photos 07/28/2017

Tracking Tips - Did You know?

For those that work in summer or other jobs that include tipping, the IRS recommends keeping a tips diary so that tips can be accurately reported on your tax return, to your employer, and as proof of tip income.

The IRS provides a Form 4070A (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f4070a--2005.pdf) that can be used as a tip diary, or you can use a notebook to note down for the record:

- Cash tips you get directly from customers or from other employees.

- Tips from credit and debit card charge customers that your employer pays you.

- The value of any noncash tips you get, such as tickets, passes, or other items of value.

- The amount of tips you paid out to other employees through tip pools or tip splitting, or other arrangements, and the names of the employees to whom you paid the tips.

Timeline photos 07/25/2017

Is Alimony Deductible?

Alimony is a series of payments made to a former spouse after a divorce. It is taxable to the recipient and deductible for the payer. For a payment to be considered alimony:

- It must be paid in cash
- It must be paid pursuant to a written divorce or separation agreement
- It cannot be designated as other than alimony (i.e., child support)
- It must terminate upon the death of the recipient
- It cannot be paid to a member of the same household
- It cannot be paid to a spouse with whom the taxpayer is filing a joint return

Telephone

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1135 Grand Central Parkway Ste 208
Conroe, TX
77304

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 3pm

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