Year-round tax planning is for everyone. An important part of that is recordkeeping. Gathering tax documents throughout the year and having an organized recordkeeping system can make it easier when it comes to filing a tax return or understanding a letter from the IRS.

Good records help:

  • Identify sources of income. Taxpayers may receive money or property from a variety of sources. The records can identify the sources of income and help separate business from nonbusiness income and taxable from nontaxable income.
  • Keep track of expenses. Taxpayers can use records to identify expenses for which they can claim a deduction. This will help determine whether to itemize deductions at filing. It may also help them discover potentially overlooked deductions or credits.
  • Prepare tax returns. Good records help taxpayers file their tax return quickly and accurately. Throughout the year, they should add tax records to their files as they receive them to make preparing a tax return easier.
  • Support items reported on tax returns. Well-organized records make it easier to prepare a tax return and help provide answers if the return is selected for examination or if the taxpayer receives an IRS notice.

In general, the IRS, and the experts at Loeffler Financial Group suggest that taxpayers keep records for three years from the date they filed the tax return. Taxpayers should develop a system that keeps all their important information together. They can use a software program for electronic recordkeeping. They could also store paper documents in labeled folders.

Records to keep include:

  • Tax-related records. This includes wage and earning statements from all employers or payers, interest and dividend statements from banks, certain government payments like unemployment compensation, other income documents and records of virtual currency transactions. Taxpayers should also keep receipts, canceled checks, and other documents – electronic or paper – that support income, a deduction, or a credit reported on their tax return.
  • IRS letters, notices and prior year tax returns. Taxpayers should keep copies of prior year tax returns and notices or letters they receive from the IRS. These include adjustment notices when an action is taken on the taxpayer’s account, Economic Impact Payment notices, and letters about advance payments of the 2021 child tax credit. Taxpayers who receive 2021 advance child tax credit payments will receive a letter early next year that provides the amount of payments they received in 2021. Taxpayers should refer to this letter when filing their 2021 tax return in 2022.
  • Property records. Taxpayers should also keep records relating to property they dispose of or sell. They must keep these records to figure their basis for computing gain or loss.
  • Business income and expenses. For business taxpayers, there’s no particular method of bookkeeping they must use. However, taxpayers should find a method that clearly and accurately reflects their gross income and expenses. Taxpayers who have employees must keep all employment tax records for at least four years after the tax is due or paid, whichever is later.
  • Health insurance. Taxpayers should keep records of their own and their family members’ health care insurance coverage. If they’re claiming the premium tax credit, they’ll need information about any advance credit payments received through the Health Insurance Marketplace and the premiums they paid.

Contact Loeffler Financial Group for additional questions on recordkeeping or what additional paperwork you should keep on file. 717-393-7366.


Do’s and don’ts for taxpayers who get a letter or notice from the IRS

The IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers for a variety of reasons including if:

  • They have a balance due.
  • They are due a larger or smaller refund.
  • The agency has a question about their tax return.
  • They need to verify identity.
  • The agency needs additional information.
  • The agency changed their tax return. 

Here are some do’s and don’ts for taxpayers who receive one:

  • Don’t ignore it. Most IRS letters and notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. The notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and gives instructions on what to do.
  • Don’t panic. The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies generally contact taxpayers by mail. Most of the time, all the taxpayer needs to do is read the letter carefully and take the appropriate action. 
  • Do read the notice. If the IRS changed the tax return, the taxpayer should compare the information provided in the notice or letter with the information in their original return. In general, there is no need to contact the IRS if the taxpayer agrees with the notice.
  • Do respond timely. If the notice or letter requires a response by a specific date, taxpayers should reply in a timely manner to:
    • minimize additional interest and penalty charges.
    • preserve their appeal rights if they don’t agree.
  • Do pay amount due. Taxpayers should pay as much as they can, even if they can’t pay the full amount. People can pay online or apply for an Online Payment Agreement or Offer in Compromise. The agency offers several payment options.
  • Do keep a copy of the notice or letter. It’s important to keep a copy of all notices or letters with other tax records. Taxpayers may need these documents later.
  • Do remember there is usually no need to call the IRS. If a taxpayer must contact the IRS by phone, they should use the number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. The taxpayer should have a copy of their tax return and letter when calling. Typically, taxpayers only need to contact the agency if they don’t agree with the information, if the IRS request additional information, or if the taxpayer has a balance due. Taxpayers can also write to the agency at the address on the notice or letter. If taxpayers write, they should allow at least 30 days for a response.
  • Do avoid scams. The IRS will never contact a taxpayer using social media or text message. The first contact from the IRS usually comes in the mail. Taxpayers who are unsure if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on

At Loeffler Financial Group, we always recommend to bring us the letter or notice, or email/fax the IRS letter or notice to us.  We will review to help guide you, and also to ensure that it is a real, legit notice from the IRS. Our firm is open 12 months out of the year and handle IRS notices and letters for clients. Give us a call today if you have received a letter and are unsure how to best handle it.



The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax. Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through Loeffler Financial Group. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until Oct. 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.


The IRS, and Loeffler Financial Group recommend individuals who are expected to receive a refund, to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days. You can follow your refund status at WHERE’S MY REFUND?

This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn’t subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.


The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.

Contact Loeffler Financial Group today to file your tax return, or schedule your in-person or virtual appointment here.

Want to learn more helpful tips on taxes, tax planning, and your financial future? Head to our blog to learn more!


Frequent tax law changes have made the tax code very complicated; only the informed taxpayer can take advantage of tax-cutting opportunities that remain.

Here are some suggestions you should consider if you’re interested in cutting your taxes.

1. Reduce your consumer debt. The interest you pay on consumer debt is not deductible. Consider shifting consumer debt to a home-equity loan (where available and not to exceed $100,000) to maintain deductibility for the interest. Don’t rush into anything, however. Consider loan origination costs and points you may have to pay. Also, realize that if you can’t make the payments on the home-equity loan, you could lose your house.

2. Rehabilitate an old building. One tax break that may be attractive to you is the credit for rehabilitating old buildings – either commercial or certified historic structures. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, consider investing in partnerships that rehabilitate old structures.

3. Watch for AMT liability. The alternative minimum tax (AMT) is the one you pay when too many tax preference items reduce your regular tax below a certain amount. If you use preference items to reduce your taxes – such as accelerated depreciation, private activity bond interest, etc. – you may want to shift income and deductions to keep the alternative minimum tax from applying to you.

4. Time any change in marital status with a view to minimizing taxes. Among the areas that could be affected are deductibility of IRA contributions, lost itemized deductions, and a shift to a different tax bracket. You might be able to cut your tax bill by delaying or accelerating a marriage or divorce.

5. Contribute to a retirement plan. Retirement plans are still an excellent tax shelter. Consider a a retirement account strategy to reduce your self-employed income, even part-time or in a second business. If you’re an employee, find out if your company has a 401(k) or other plan and make contributions to it. If you qualify, you should also consider an IRA.

6. Use your vacation home wisely. If you own a second or vacation home, find out whether you get a better tax break by treating the property as a second residence or as a rental property. The number of days you personally use the home is crucial, so get details immediately.

7. Avoid the “kiddie” tax. Check the income of any children under the age of 19 (24 for full-time students). Unearned income beyond a certain amount will be taxed at your highest rate. Shifting investments or making other adjustments may be appropriate.

8. Make your hobby a business. If you’re making money from a hobby, turn your hobby into a business so that you can write off your expenses. You must be able to demonstrate that you engaged in the activity for a profit. To do that, conduct the activity as a business. Keep records, and get a separate bank account for the activity. The IRS will expect your sideline business to show a profit in three out of five years, or you’ll have to prove your profit motivation in order to deduct losses.

9. Don’t overlook medical deductions. If you help to support an elderly relative who lives in a nursing home for medical reasons, the cost of the nursing home may qualify for the medical deduction. If you make improvements to your home for medical reasons, the cost of such improvements are medical expenses to the extent the improvements do not increase the value of your home. That includes such things as widening doorways for wheelchair use or modifying the home to accommodate an individual with a medical problem.

10. Take the child care credit if you qualify. If you pay for child care services while you work or go to school, you may qualify for the child care credit. The credit is allowed only for children under the age of 13. You must report on your tax return the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of the care provider.

There are other tax-cutting strategies in addition to those mentioned here. If you would like assistance in selecting tax-saving strategies that make the most sense in your situation, please call Loeffler Financial Group at 717-393-7366 and we can assist with any questions or concerns you may have!