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income tax

Do You Need a Friend at the IRS?

If you need help dealing with the IRS, the Taxpayer Advocacy Service may be just the ticket. They’re really your only friend at the IRS.

IRS Penalties – 8 Facts You Need to Know

Just a few facts you should know about the IRS penalties that may apply to you if you do not file or do not pay your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Property Damage from Disaster

When you have a loss due to a federally-declared disaster, you may be eligible to deduct some or all of your loss on your tax return.

The Affect of Earnings on Your Social Security Benefit

How do current earnings impact your Social Security benefit? Surprisingly, the impact can be felt in several different ways,

How to Get Your Prior Year Tax Return Information From the IRS

If you need your information from a prior year’s tax return, here’s how the IRS suggests that you can get this information.

Avoid Errors In Your Tax Filing

Common errors in tax filing that you can avoid easily by paying attention to detail and using available software tools.

Your Appeal Rights at the IRS

If you’re in disagreement with a result that the IRS has given you, you need to know what rights you have for an appeal.

Avoiding the Underpayment Penalty with Form 2210 – Annualized Income

If you have sporadic income throughout the year, using Form 2210 to explain your annualized income may help avoid penalties.

What to do When You Receive a Notice From the IRS

What should you do when you receive a notice from the IRS? It’s important to pay attention to what they’re asking for, and take action.

Electronic Filing of Amended Tax Returns – Coming Soon!

The IRS recently announced that electronic filing of amended tax returns will be available later this summer!

The Net Investment Income Tax and How to Avoid It

The Net Investment Income Tax of 3.8% can reduce your overall investment income. This article explains the tax and how to avoid or limit the exposure.

Coronavirus Stimulus Check – 2020 Income Wrinkle

If you don’t qualify for a coronavirus stimulus check based on your 2018 & 2019 income, all is not lost. Depending on your 2020 income you may still get it.

Adjusting Your Withholding and Estimated Tax Payments

If you regularly have a large tax payment or large refund, you should review and adjust your withholding to be more efficient.

Taxation of Social Security Benefits

Do you know how taxation of Social Security benefits works? It’s complicated, but understanding this may help you plan income to reduce taxes.

Credits and Deductions

Let’s talk a little bit about tax credits and tax deductions. Both can be used to help reduce or avoid taxation but behave differently when it comes to doing so. Tax deductions are beneficial because help lower the amount of your income subject to taxation. Deductions may be either “above the line” or for AGI, or “below the line” or from AGI. The line in the sand in this scenario is of course, AGI (adjusted gross income). Above the line deductions are beneficial because they reduce gross income to arrive at AGI. A lower AGI may result in being able to take advantages of other benefits in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) such as being able to contribute to a Roth IRA and qualifying for additional tax credits (discussed below). Common above the line deductions include pre-tax 401(k) contributions, student loan interest, deductible contributions to a traditional IRA, HSA contributions, […]

How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund

You’ve filed your tax return and you should have a refund coming. How can you check the status of your tax refund? This article explains how.

Missing a W2? Here’s What to Do…

So – you’re all set to do your taxes.  And then… you realize you’re missing something.  One of your W2’s hasn’t shown up in the mail.  Maybe it was a short-term or a part-time gig, or maybe the business changed hands – or maybe it just got lost in the mail. Whatever the reason, you’re missing one of the documents that you need in order to prepare your tax return.  So what do you do? What Do You Do? Your employer is required to send your W2 earnings statement to you by February 1 for the prior year’s earnings. But sometimes things go awry, and you don’t receive the form. There are four steps to follow to retrieve the required information… Contact your employer – inquire if and when the W2 forms were mailed out.  It’s possible that the postal service returned it to your employer due to an incorrect […]

Taxation of Income, Capital Gains, and Interest

When you receive income, it’s likely going to be subject to taxation. However, the type of income will determine the specific tax treatment, and ultimately determine how much you get to keep. We can break income down into three basic types: ordinary income, capital gains income, and interest income. Here’s a breakdown of each. Ordinary Income – Ordinary income (OI) is income received that is subject to ordinary income tax rates. These tax rates are the rates individuals pay on incremental amounts of income. Rates can be as low as 10% and as high as 37%. Income typically subject to OI rates is income from your wages (W2, self-employment), taxable bond interest, taxable retirement income, and annuity income. Capital Gains Income – Capital gains income occurs from the sale of assets such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, real estate*, and other assets. Depending on how long the assets were […]

2018 Form 1040: Say hello to my little friend

Have you seen the 2018 Form 1040? It’s not quite the post-card we were promised, but it’s half the size of the old one. Not much has changed, though.

You can’t deduct IRA losses any more

Prior to 2018, you had the ability to deduct IRA losses from your income via Schedule A. As of the passage of TCJA, this deduction is no longer available.