Gifts to Friends and Family

It always feels good to hook your friends and family up with gifts, but gifters beware. There are limits on how nice you can be before taxes become a factor. And it matters because federal gift tax rates ain’t no joke. They can reach as high as 40%. Connecticut is the only state that charges,…

IRS Provides Additional 2020 RMD Rollover Relief

Article Highlights: CARES Act Waiver of RMDs 60-Day Rollover Period Extension Further Rollover Relief RMDs in General Effect of Withholding on RMD Rollover One IRA Rollover per 12 Months Rule The CARES Act waived required minimum distributions (RMDs) from IRAs and employer plans such as 401(k)s for 2020. However, the CARES Act was not passed…

Government Keeping Your Refund?

Article Highlights: Bureau of the Fiscal Service Allowable Refund Offsets Disputing an Offset Injured Spouse Claim We all look forward to receiving our tax refunds, but what if you were expecting a refund and it never arrived?  It may be because you have outstanding federal or state debts—and not just tax-related debts.  The Treasury Department’s…

Charity Volunteer Tax Breaks

Article Highlights: Away-from-home travel Lodging and meals Entertaining for charity Automobile travel Uniforms Substantiation requirements If you volunteered your time for a charity or governmental entity during the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably qualify for some tax breaks. These rules actually apply to all charity volunteers not just COVID-19 volunteers. Although no tax deduction is allowed…

How Much You Really Pay In Taxes

Taxes seem like they are everywhere. That’s because they are. Look at your paystub or Box 2 of your W-2 and you will find the most expensive one. It is federal income tax. Down a bit further on the W-2 shows your state and local income tax withholdings. These are also significant amounts. I live…

Understanding Your Annual Social Security Letter

Article Highlights: Medicare B Premiums Medicare D Premiums Modified AGI 2020 Premiums Table Effect of Recreational Gambling Appealing the Social Security Administration’s Decision If you are receiving Social Security, then you have just recently received your annual letter from the Social Security Administration letting you know that your Social Security benefits for 2020 have increased…

Unique IRA Opportunities for 2020

Article Highlights: 2020 Tax Saving Opportunities Traditional IRA to Roth IRA Conversions Paying the Conversions Tax Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) 2020 RMD Waiver Coordinating Distributions with 2020 Income As bad as it has been financially for many individuals, 2020 does provide some unique tax opportunities for those who have traditional IRA accounts. These range from…

Did You Overlook Something on a Prior Tax Return?

Article Highlights: Repercussions of Incorrect Tax Returns Filing Amended Returns Statute of Limitations for Refunds Potential of Audit It is not uncommon to discover that an item of income was overlooked, a deduction was not claimed, or that an amended tax document was received after the tax return was already filed. Regardless of whether the…

Here’s What Could Happen If You Try to Short-Change the IRS

Article Highlights: Self-employed taxpayers Underreported income Unscrupulous tax preparers Phony deductions or credits Inflating the Earned Income Tax Credit Taking fake education credits Petty cheating Some refer to it as “creative accounting” or just “a little fudging here and there,” but if your tax return is missing some income that should have been reported or…

The IRS Is Issuing Some Stimulus Payments by Debit Card; Some Are Being Mistaken as Junk Mail and Thrown Out

Article Highlights: Junk Mail Stimulus Payment Debit Card If you are like most Americans, you receive tons of junk mail, which you tend to discard without ever reading. Well, if you haven’t already received your stimulus payment from the feds, maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to throw away those envelopes from unknown senders, at…