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SECURE Act Mostly Improves Retirement, Tax Planning for Individuals

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jan 21, 2020

The new federal SECURE Act is intended to expand opportunities for individuals to increase their retirement savings and to simplify the administration of retirement plans.

Here are some changes that are most likely to affect individuals, including some that aren't related to retirement savings.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

10 Renewed Tax Breaks for Individuals Taxpayers in 2020

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jan 9, 2020

A recent spending package signed into law by President Trump on December 20 retroactively resurrects and/or extends several key tax breaks through 2020. It also provides tax relief for victims of federally declared disasters.

Here are ten breaks that can benefit eligible individuals.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

Congress Extends Some Key Individual, Business Tax Benefits

Posted by Andrew Desiderio on Mon, Dec 23, 2019

Just in time to avoid a government shutdown, the federal government last week approved new spending bills that extend and change some important tax benefits for both businesses and individuals.

Here’s a look at some of the key changes from the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. These will go into effect right around the two year anniversary of the passage of the sweeping Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Individual tax planning

IRS: Delinquent Taxpayers Could Expect Unannounced Visit

Posted by Tony Deutsch on Thu, Dec 5, 2019

The IRS has announced its agents will be conducting unannounced in-person meetings with delinquent business and individual taxpayers.

The IRS routinely conducts these face-to-face visits, it said in an announcement last month. The primary purpose of these visits is to make contact with taxpayers with a previously known tax issue that wasn’t resolved through mail contact, the agency said.

These meetings are scheduled in areas with a limited number of available revenue officers due to declining IRS resources. The first face-to-face contact from a revenue officer is almost always unannounced.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Individual tax planning

2019 Charitable Contributions: The Tax Reform Deduction Rules to Know

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 3, 2019

Do you plan on making contributions to charity this year? If you're in a giving mood, you may be rewarded with sizeable charitable deductions on your tax return.

But the tax law is fraught with numerous twists and turns, so you must be careful to navigate the rules.

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Topics: Individual tax planning, Nonprofit Organizations

2019 Year-End Strategies to Reduce AGI

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Nov 14, 2019

Reducing your current-year adjusted gross income is usually a tax-smart idea. Here are 10 ways to reduce your AGI (and modified AGI) over the short and long run.

Closeup on AGI

AGI equals all taxable income items minus selected deductions for such items as deductible IRA and retirement plan contributions and alimony payments required by pre-2019 divorce agreements.

Lowering your AGI reduces your taxable income for the year and your exposure to unfavorable AGI-based provisions. For example, lowering AGI can increase the amount of Social Security benefits that you can receive federal-income-tax-free and increase your allowable higher education tax credits.

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Topics: Individual tax planning

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

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