You may be one of the many taxpayers eligible for a refund from their 2018 tax return. Last December, tacked on to an Appropriations Act, Congress passed the long-awaited extenders bill. This bill had been lingering in Congress for about 2 years and extended several beneficial tax provisions that had expired after 2017. As a result, these provisions were retroactively extended to 2018 and most are continued through 2020. This opens the door to amending your 2018 return for a refund if any of the following provisions apply to you. Here are the retroactive tax benefits:Continue reading →
As of Tuesday, April 21st, the Senate has passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPP & HCE Act), a $484 billion package which will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. It is anticipated that this bill could pass the House as early as Thursday, and President Trump is expected to sign it into law soon after.Continue reading →
The IRS has finally started making those much anticipated Economic Impact Payments, aka “Recovery Rebates.” However, not everyone who was expecting one has received theirs, and some may not be the amount expected.
The Treasury first looked for a filed 2019 return when they began making the payments. If a 2019 return was not filed in time to catch the payment dates, they used the family makeup and income from the 2018 return if one was filed. If neither was filed, then they paid rebates to recipients of Social Security, SSI disability, survivors, Railroad Retirement and veterans’ benefits.Continue reading →
On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced it would be taking additional steps to support the US economy by providing up to $2.3 trillion in loans, including through the creation of a Main Street Lending Program. This program will support main street businesses by providing financing to lenders that make direct loans to these small to medium-sized companies.
As part of the response to the COVID-19 emergency, this lending facility is meant to support those SMBs who were in good financial standing prior to the pandemic, and who might not have access to broader capital markets or who don’t qualify for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).Continue reading →
If you are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 epidemic, you will be happy to know Congress, as part of the CARES Act enacted on March 27, has made it easier for you to access your retirement funds during this emergency.
Normally, withdrawals from traditional IRAs and qualified plans such as 401(k)s, self-employed pension plans (SEPs), tax sheltered annuities (TSAs), etc., are taxable when withdrawn and subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty if withdrawn before you turn age 59½.
For the rest of 2020, you will be able to tap those accounts for up to $100,000 and avoid the 10% penalty, although the distributions will still be taxable. To qualify, you, your spouse or a dependent must have been diagnosed with either SARS-CoV-2 or the COVID-19 virus or have been quarantined, lost your job, had your hours reduced or are unable to work due to lack of child care. To ease the taxes on these distributions, you can choose to have distributions taxed 1/3 in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Or, if your income is very low in 2020, it might be better to tax a distribution entirely in 2020. That is a decision that can be made when you file your 2020 tax return. You also have the option of paying the distribution back over a three-year period.Continue reading →
Taxpayers frequently ask what benefit is derived from a tax deduction. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer. The reason the benefit cannot be determined simply is because some deductions are above-the-line, others must be itemized, some must exceed a threshold amount before being deductible, and certain ones are not deductible for alternative minimum tax purposes, while business deductions can offset both income and self-employment tax. In other words, there are many factors to consider, and the tax benefits differ for each individual, depending on his or her particular situation.Continue reading →
Birth and Adoption Exception – The tax law provides for several exceptions to the early-withdrawal penalty, and Congress has added another one as part of the Appropriations Act of 2020 (SECURE Act). The new exception provides for penalty-free plan withdrawals for births or adoptions, for distributions taken from IRAs, qualified employer plans (such as 401(k)s) and government retirement plans after Dec. 31, 2019. However, the maximum aggregate amount of a qualified birth or adoption distribution by any individual with respect to any birth or adoption is $5,000, applied individually (so each spouse may separately receive $5,000 of qualified birth or adoption distributions).
A qualified birth or adoption distribution is one made during the one-year period beginning on the date when a child of the individual is born or when the legal adoption of an eligible adoptee by the individual is finalized. An eligible adoptee means any individual (other than a child of the taxpayer’s spouse) who has not attained age 18 or is physically or mentally incapable of self-support. In addition, such qualified birth or adoption distributions may be recontributed to an individual’s applicable eligible retirement plan, subject to certain requirements. But remember that if the withdrawn funds are not recontributed to the plan, the distribution will be taxable.Continue reading →
Your dependent child who worked during the year or had investment income, such as interest or dividends, may be required to file a tax return, depending upon the type and amount of the income. Years ago, to prevent parents from putting their investments in their children’s names to avoid or significantly reduce the tax on their investment income, Congress passed what is commonly referred to as the kiddie tax. The kiddie tax taxes children’s income in excess of a small allowance at the parent’s top tax rate.
More recently, as part of the 2017 tax reform, Congress modified the kiddie tax structure, so that the children’s investment income in excess of the small allowance ($2,200 for 2019) is taxed at the fiduciary tax rates*, which can very quickly reach the maximum tax rate. On the other hand, the tax reform virtually doubled the standard deduction (it is $12,200 for 2019 for someone using the single filing status), providing children with substantial tax-free income from working.Continue reading →
On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Appropriations Act of 2020, which included a number of tax law changes, including retroactively extending certain tax provisions that expired after 2017 or were about to expire, a number of retirement and IRA plan modifications, and other changes that will impact a large portion of U.S. taxpayers as a whole. This article is one of a series of articles dealing with those changes and how they may affect you.
For tax years 2007 through 2017, when taxpayers itemized deductions, they could deduct the cost of premiums for mortgage insurance on a qualified personal residence as home mortgage interest.
This deduction has been retroactively extended back to 2018 and through 2020. If you paid premiums for mortgage insurance in 2018 or were amortizing prepaid mortgage insurance premiums from an earlier year’s home purchase, you may be able to amend your 2018 return for a tax refund.Continue reading →
This is a question many taxpayers ask during this time of year, and the question is far more complicated than people believe. To fully understand, we need to consider that there are times when individuals are REQUIRED to file a tax return, and then there are times when it is to the individuals’ BENEFIT to file a return even if they are not required to file.Continue reading →