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IRS Waives Estimated Tax Penalty for 400,000 Taxpayers

Posted by IRS on Tue, Aug 20, 2019

The Internal Revenue Service last week announced it’s automatically waiving the estimated tax penalty for the more than 400,000 eligible taxpayers who already filed their 2018 federal income tax returns but did not claim the waiver.

Earlier this year, the IRS lowered the usual 90% penalty threshold to 80% to help taxpayers whose withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total 2018 tax liability. The agency also removed the requirement that estimated tax payments be made in four equal installments, as long as they were all made by January 15, 2019.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

Bitcoin Tax Rules: They’re Complex and Confusing

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Aug 13, 2019

Bitcoin has been around for nearly a decade. But the tax rules related to "virtual currency" are still evolving. In fact, some Bitcoin investors may be in for a surprise when they file their 2019 returns. Tax matters have become even more complicated because relevant provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect starting in 2018.

Here's what you should know about the brave relatively new world of virtual currency.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

2019 Tax Planning Strategies: The Top 5 Moves for Individuals

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jul 30, 2019

The summer months are a good time to brainstorm tax planning strategies. Some ideas will help cut your tax bill for the current year; others will allow you to minimize future taxes. Here are various short- and long-term strategies to consider. They factor in changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

Drive a Company Car? The New Tax Rules to Know

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jul 16, 2019

The free use of a company car is one of the best perks an employee may receive as part of a compensation package. But the benefit to the employee isn't completely "free" under current tax law. Essentially, personal use of a company car is treated as a taxable noncash fringe benefit, subject to income tax obligations.

The IRS just announced a key valuation amount for 2019.

The maximum value of an employer-provided vehicle (including cars, vans and trucks) first made available to employees for personal use in calendar year 2019 for which either the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule or fleet-average valuation rule may be used is $50,400. (IRS Notice 2019-34)

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Topics: Individual tax planning

Unhappy With Your Tax Refund? Adjust Your Withholding Now

Posted by IRS on Thu, Jul 11, 2019

With this year’s average tax refund around $2,700, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers they have options to control the amount of their take-home pay and the size of their tax refund by adjusting their tax withholding.

A Paycheck Checkup using the IRS Withholding Calculator can help taxpayers determine the right amount of tax they should have their employer withhold from their paychecks.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

Planned Gifts can be a Major Boon for Nonprofits

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 23, 2019

Is your nonprofit organization pursuing planned gifts? It should be. Research suggests that the average planned gift in the United States falls between $35,000 and $70,000 -- and the amount may increase with more Baby Boomers moving into retirement. Yet many nonprofits, especially small and medium-sized organizations, lack formal planned giving programs.

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Topics: Individual tax planning, Nonprofit Organizations

Lower Your 2018 Taxes: 5 Last-Minute Strategies

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Mar 19, 2019

It's almost Tax Day! But don't despair; there still may be time to make some moves that will save taxes for your 2018 tax year. Here are five tax-saving ideas to consider. 

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Topics: Individual tax planning

Divorcing Business Owners: Don’t Forget to Weigh the Tax Consequences

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Feb 19, 2019

Let's say divorcing spouses own part of the stock in a closely-held corporation. This may be one of their biggest marital assets, and often one spouse decides to buy out the other party's shares by transferring some assets in exchange for the stock. Before jumping headfirst into these transfers, it's important to consider the expected tax consequences.

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Topics: Individual tax planning, Business Valuation

IRS Waives Penalties for Many on 2018 Withholding, Estimated Tax Payments

Posted by IRS on Thu, Jan 17, 2019

The IRS this week announced it is waiving the estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year.

The IRS is generally waiving the penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 85 percent of their total tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. The usual percentage threshold is 90 percent to avoid a penalty.

This relief is designed to help taxpayers who were unable to properly adjust their withholding and estimated tax payments to reflect an array of changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the far-reaching tax reform law enacted in December 2017. 

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Topics: Individual tax planning, 2017 Federal Tax Reform

Estate Planning: How to Save Taxes using the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jan 10, 2019

Beneficial rules for the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax are currently in force, which may allow you to pass on assets to future generations without a federal tax bill.

GST Tax Basics

When it comes to arranging for gifts and bequests to loved ones, most planning strategies focus on avoiding or minimizing the federal gift and estate taxes. Rightly so. But there's one more piece to the puzzle. It's called the generation skipping transfer tax. The GST tax is intended to snare those who would try to foil the federal gift and estate tax system by transferring wealth to persons more than one generation younger than themselves (typically grandchildren).

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Topics: Individual tax planning, Estate and Trust Services

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