The early Presidential debates for the 2024 election cycle have begun, and one topic that’s expected to take center stage is the future of the U.S. tax code. Tax policy questions loom large, and the 46th person to serve as United States President – remember, Grover Cleveland was elected twice, non-consecutively – will have to grapple with some major tax issues.
Foremost among these are the expiring individual and business tax regulations brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and the growing deficits and national debt.
Unclaimed property refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for a period of one year or longer (depending upon state law). It is estimated that one out of ten Americans have unclaimed property or money floating around somewhere.
When we’re young and vibrant, we think that we’ll never grow old. We enjoy each day never thinking there might come a day when we’ll need help to get by. When we think of elder care, we might picture a nonagenarian in a wheelchair living in a nursing home telling stories to the compassionate caregiver sitting by her side. In truth, there is far more to the story than that.
Elder care planning has never been more important or more challenging than it is today. While generations once lived together in the family home for life, the empty nest dominates today’s world. Parents whose children have flown the coop to create their own households remain in their homes or move to a place where the sun shines 300 days a year. Many move to be close to their grandchildren but establish their own living space. Most enjoy their newfound freedom from the busy-ness of youth but it can eventually create challenges for them and their families.
By now you have probably gotten used to the provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that became effective January 1, 2018. But don’t forget, most of the tax changes made by the TCJA are not permanent and will expire (sunset) after 2025. This will have an impact on long range tax planning and will result in a mixed bag of tax increases and tax cuts. How it will impact individual taxpayers will depend upon which provisions of TCJA affect them. The following is a review of what will happen when TCJA expires if Congress doesn’t intervene.
The U.S. Tax Code is used for more than just collecting taxes. It is used by the Government as a means of providing lower-income individuals with social benefits such as the earned income tax credit, child tax credit and health care subsidies. It also is used to promote government-sponsored programs such as combating climate change through tax credits for electric vehicles, home solar installations, and home energy-saving improvements. As a result, the tax code has become quite complex and changes frequently. That is why getting tax advice from friends and relatives or off the internet can be risky and lead to misinformation and trouble with the IRS, or missing out on tax benefits. Here are examples of bad tax advice.
Summer has just arrived, and there is a tax break that working parents should know about. Many working parents must arrange for care of their children under 13 years of age (or any age if disabled) during the school vacation period. A popular solution — with a tax benefit — is a day camp program. The cost of day camp can count as an expense toward the child and dependent care credit. But be careful; expenses for overnight camps do not qualify. Also not eligible are expenses paid for summer school and tutoring programs.
If the qualifying child turned 13 during the year, the care expenses paid for the child for the part of the year he or she was under age 13 will qualify.
You think planning a wedding ceremony is complicated? Wait till you see the possible tax issues involved. If you are getting married this year, there is a long list of things you need to be aware of and plan for before tying the knot that can have a significant impact on your taxes. And there are a number of tax-related actions you should take as soon as possible after marriage.
Raising money through Internet crowdfunding sites prompts questions about the taxability of the money raised. Several sites host money-raising projects for fees generally ranging from 5 to 9%, including GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. Each site specifies its own charges, limitations, and withdrawal processes. The money raised may or may not be taxable depending on what the purpose of the fundraising campaign was.
Generally, individuals are required to file a tax return for a year if their income exceeds the standard deduction for their filing status for that year. But even if they are not required to file it may be beneficial to do so. They could be missing out on huge refunds.
Just because someone is not required to file a return does not mean they shouldn’t. Failing to file a return could end up leaving large sums of money on the table. Here are some examples.
Under federal law, taxpayers must pay taxes during the year as they earn or receive income, or they can find themselves falling victim to substantial underpayment penalties. Even worse, they may have spent the money, and when tax time comes are unable to pay their past taxes and spiral into financial distress.
To facilitate the pay-as-you-earn concept, the government has provided several means of assisting taxpayers in meeting that requirement. These include: