Social Security Retirement Age

Traditionally, the full retirement benefit age was 65. While early retirement was available at 62 (80% of full benefit amount). Currently, the full benefit age is 66 for people born in 1943-1954, and will gradually rise to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

Early retirement benefits will continue to be available at age 62, but will be reduced more. When the full-benefit age reaches 67, benefits taken at age 62 will be reduced to 70% of the full benefit and Social Security Retirement Benefits first taken at age 65 will be reduced to 86.7% of the full benefit.

IRS Raises Threshold for Tangible Property Expensing

The IRS has simplified record-keeping/paperwork requirements for small businesses by raising the threshold for deducting certain capital items from $500 to $2,500. This change affects businesses that do not maintain an applicable financial statement (audited financial statement). It applies to amounts spent to acquire, produce or improve tangible property that would normally qualify as capital items.

The new threshold takes effect starting with the 2016 tax year. As a result, small businesses will be able to immediately deduct many expenditures that would otherwise need to be spread over a period of years through annual depreciation deductions. The new $2,500 threshold applies to any such item substantiated by an invoice. In addition, the IRS will provide audit protection to eligible businesses by not challenging use of the new threshold in tax years prior to 2016.

For taxpayers with an applicable financial statement, the small-dollar threshold is still $5,000.

New Bill Modifies Tax Code to Allow Passport Revocation

The IRS may be able revoke, deny or limit the use of your passport if they consider you as having a seriously delinquent tax debt of $50,000 or more.

Think of it like a federal parking ticket… failure to pay might result in suspension, requiring you to pay the debt for reinstatement/renewal.

Unlike bills which have yet to pass Congress, this one is about to become law as part of H.R.22 (Page 418; Section 32101), which has already passed the House and Senate. If it passes Congress (as expected), it will add section 7345 “Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies” to the tax code.

Sedona Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax Simplification (AZ TPT)

The following information was provided by Karen Daines, Assistant City Manager.

City of SedonaThe State of Arizona and its Cities and Towns continue to work together to achieve the goal of simplifying the manner in which taxpayers report and pay their Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT). We want to ensure that there is a smooth transition in reporting and paying all TPT transactions, directly to the State of Arizona. Working toward this end, the Arizona Department of Revenue is requiring all State TPT taxpayers to renew their licenses with the Department and continue to renew their licenses with the appropriate City. Both the State and the Cities are committed to making this transition as easy as possible. We are confident these changes will make it easier for Arizona businesses to report their State, County and City TPT taxes.

The City of Sedona is Returning to the State Collection System Effective January 1, 2016

The City of Sedona is returning to the state collection system effective January 1, 2016. Starting with your January 2016 reporting period due February 2016, you will use the state tax form TPT-1 to file and submit with payment to the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR).

For TPT reporting periods prior to January 2016 use the Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS) tax form. This includes the tax return for reporting period December 2015 due in January 2016. Mail the RDS tax return and payment to RDS.

State TPT Annual License Renewal is Due January 1, 2016

Every business licensed with the Arizona Department of Revenue is required to renew their Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) license. The license for both the State and the program Cities is valid for one calendar year and must be renewed by January 1st every year. If you receive an Arizona TPT Renewal form, please follow the instructions for completing and mailing of the form. There is no fee for renewal of your State TPT or City of Sedona TPT license. If you are currently licensed and you do not receive a TPT renewal form by December 31, 2015, or if you require assistance with your renewal form please call the TPT Simplification Hotline at (602) 542-5027.

If you are not currently licensed with Arizona, you will need to complete an Arizona Joint Tax Application Form JT-1 to apply for a TPT license before engaging in business. The fee for a new TPT license or for locations not currently licensed with Arizona is $12.00 for each location plus any applicable city license fees.

Transaction Privilege Tax Changes and Forms

Effective January 1, 2015, there were changes to TPT Legislation affecting prime contracting, residential rental, filing frequency, due dates, audits, business codes and deduction codes. This information is available at Application and reporting forms and instructions are available at Or, you may call the TPT Simplification Hotline at (602) 542-5027.

2015 Standard Mileage Rates for Cars, Vans, Pickups and Panel Trucks

Standard mileage rates are used for calculating deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical and moving purposes.

Effective January 1, 2015

  • 0.575 per mile for business miles driven
  • 0.23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 0.14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

You can always calculate the actual costs of using your vehicle rather than using standard mileage rates outlined above.

IRS Early Interaction Initiative for Payroll Tax Deposits

It is in your best interest to stay on top of payroll taxes now more than ever. The Internal Revenue Service will start notifying business by by mail when noticeable declines in deposit frequency occur. These notifications will request explanations about decreases in your business’ deposit activity. The IRS will also be pursuing collections against businesses that have completely missed deposits. Businesses with previous delinquencies and complicated cases will continue to be handled by fields agents.

State of Arizona Tax Recovery Program: Pay Past-Due Taxes Without Penalties!

Arizona will be offering an opportunity for those who qualify who live, work, or do business in Arizona to pay any back taxes owed to the state without penalty, interest or criminal prosecution from September 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015. Applications must be filed or postmarked and paid in full by Monday, November 2, 2015 (since October 31, 2015 falls on a Saturday) in order to qualify for the Tax Recovery Program.

Call (928) 282-3684 to see if you qualify for AZ Tax Recovery!

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Alert: Unauthorized Access to Taxpayer Transcripts

Following the hacking incident involving the IRS’s Get Transcript web application discovered in May, the IRS conducted an extensive review to assess whether other suspicious activity occurred. The IRS has identified more questionable attempts to obtain transcripts using sensitive information. As a result, the IRS is moving immediately to notify and help protect these taxpayers.

The IRS will begin mailing letters in the next few days to about 220,000 taxpayers whose “Get Transcript” account information was potentially accessed by unauthorized parties. As an additional protective step, the IRS will mail letters to approximately 170,000 other households alerting them that their personal information could be at risk even though identity thieves failed in efforts to access the IRS system.

If you receive one of these letters – do not worry! They will typically include additional details about credit monitoring and other steps. At this time, no action is needed by people outside of the affected groups.

The IRS is taking a wide variety of actions to protect taxpayers beyond the mailings, including offering taxpayers free credit protection as well as Identity Protection PINs.

The Get Transcript service remains unavailable. You may order transcripts using the Get Transcript by Mail service.

Contact us if you have any questions.



Sterling Financial Services Voted Business Benefactor of the Year!

Arizona Community Foundation of SedonaFor Immediate Release from the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona…

Sterling Financial will be recognized as Business Benefactor of the Year for its significant investments in local youth. Principal Marc Sterling has mentored and provided internships for more than 300 Red Rock High School students and helped dozens find jobs. As a workforce development project, he purchased Zainey’s Yogurt, where local students work in all roles from management to cashier. His example motivates employees to be involved in leadership roles at area nonprofit organizations.

Sterling Financial Services, LLC is thrilled to be selected for such a prestigious award. We look forward to giving back to our community wherever and whenever possible.

Meet and Greet in Village of Oak Creek (Food and Drinks)

We are hosting a Meet & Greet on tomorrow, August  20th from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at 56 W Cortez Dr, Suite A, Sedona (Get Directions).

There will be snacks and refreshments and you’ll be able to meet Marc, Chapin and most of our team!

So stop by and introduce yourself. We’d love to meet you!