Happy New Year – Latest News

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope that everyone’s starting to get ready for the upcoming season….February is right around the corner.

I wanted to go over a few things as we start our final training push.

TaxSlayer.  TaxSlayer has made quite a few changes to both the federal and Massachusetts TY2017 software. You can find more specifics about the Massachusetts changes in Preliminary List of Changes we prepared for early January training. We know of two outstanding issues with the Massachusetts software (both have been reported to TaxSlayer):

  1. 2017 TaxSlayer is using the taxable amount of any 1099-R, not the gross amount when calculating total income for the Circuit Breaker Credit. Until this flaw is fixed, we should note the difference(s) between gross and taxable amounts and manually insert the total as a positive number on the TaxSlayer Circuit Breaker screen at the very bottom on the line labeled: Additions/Adjustments to Pensions and Annuities not Taxed in MA.
  2. Few of our taxpayers agree to pay the use tax or Safe Harbor use tax for purchases made outside Mass or on the Internet. If a taxpayer agrees to this tax, TaxSlayer does not use the Mass Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to calculate the tax. Instead it uses the Federal AGI, which can be larger than the Mass AGI because it includes income that is not taxable in Mass. Examples include Mass tax-exempt pensions and taxable social security on the Federal return. Until this flaw is fixed, look on the PDF of the Mass return to determine the Mass AGI and use the Form 1 instructions to determine the amount. Enter this amount manually in the State Section, Edit, Enter Myself, Tax. The use tax is entered on the next to the last line that is labelled Enter the amount of Use Tax Due.

Scope. We prepared a scope document for Massachusetts Tax-Aide volunteers to go along with the Tax-Aide Scope Manual. This will be included as section 3 (Scope) of the Massachusetts Resource Guide.

License Activation.  TaxSlayer is sending out activation emails. If you have any questions about what was ordered, please contact your District Coordinator first.

Consent Forms.  We expect to get guidance from National soon on how to handle the Global Carryforward consent forms incorporated into TaxSlayer 2017. Stayed tuned for additional information.

ACA.  Completing the ACA questions and forms (8962 and 8965) is still required. Massachusetts has not yet released their 2017 Lowest Cost Bronze Plan and Second Lowest Cost Silver Plan calculators. We will update those links when the online calculators are available.


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