Life Changing Events Can Impact Your Taxes

Throughout your life there will be certain significant occasions that will impact not only your day-to-day living but also your taxes. Here are a few of those events:

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Who Claims the Children You or Your Ex-Spouse?

Who Claims the Children You or Your Ex-Spouse?

If you are a divorced or separated parent with children, a commonly encountered but often misunderstood issue is who claims the child or children for tax purposes. This is sometimes a hotly disputed issue between parents; however, tax law includes some very specific but complicated rules about who profits from the child-related tax benefits. At issue are a number of benefits, including the children’s dependency, child tax credit, child care credit, higher-education tuition credit, earned income tax credit, and, in some cases, even filing status.

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Tax Issues That Arise When Converting a Home into a Rental

Tax Issues That Arise When Converting a Home into a Rental

There are many reasons to convert a home into a rental, such as to ensure that a prior home produces income and appreciation after the owner buys a new home; to maximize the tax benefits for an elderly person who can no longer live alone by delaying the sale of that person’s home; and to ensure that a home provides value when its owner takes a temporary job assignment in a different location. Some homeowners even mistakenly think that, when a home has declined in value, converting it into a rental can allow them to deduct that loss. Regardless of why an individual makes such a conversion, a number of tax issues come into play as a result of that decision.

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Disaster-Related Tax Losses May Be Less Than Expected

Disaster-Related Tax Losses May Be Less Than Expected

The late-2017 tax-reform package changed the rules for personal casualty losses, which now are only deductible if they occur in a federally declared disaster area. As a result, if a home is destroyed in a forest fire or other disaster within a declared disaster zone, the homeowner can claim a casualty loss on that year’s tax return.

However, if a home is destroyed as a result of a normal accident – or is destroyed in a natural disaster but lies outside of a disaster zone – the homeowner cannot claim a casualty loss. These rules may not be fair, but there is nothing that can be done about them (other than calling congressional representatives to indicate your displeasure). Currently, the rules are only in effect for the years 2018 through 2025. Because of these rules, you should also make sure that your home insurance coverage is adequate.

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September 2019 Individual Due Dates

September 2019 Individual Due Dates

September 1 – 2019 Fall and 2020

September 10 – Report Tips to Employer
If you are an employee who works for tips and received more than $20 in tips during August, you are required to report them to your employer on IRS Form 4070 no later than September 10. Your employer is required to withhold FICA taxes and income tax withholding for these tips from your regular wages. If your regular wages are insufficient to cover the FICA and tax withholding, the employer will report the amount of the uncollected withholding in box 12 of your W-2 for the year. You will be required to pay the uncollected withholding when your return for the year is filed.

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What Are the Tax Advantages of Homeownership?

Housing is a big expense for everyone. The choice generally involves either renting or purchasing – and financing that purchase with a home loan. This article explores the tax benefits and drawbacks that individuals should consider when deciding whether to buy a home.

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Personal Finance Tips for Recent College Graduates

Personal Finance Tips for Recent College Graduates

Congratulations! You’ve worked hard on your degree and are ready to move forward with your first job and other major life decisions. While your degree and this first job don’t necessarily set your life in stone, now is a crucial time to start making smart financial decisions to set you on the right course for the future.

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Watch Out for Those Fake IRS Letters

Watch Out for Those Fake IRS Letters

Every year, the vast majority of taxpayers file their returns with the IRS between the end of January and the April due date. However, the IRS does not just take taxpayers’ word regarding the information on their returns. For this reason, tax season is followed by “matching season,” when the IRS attempts to match the information on each taxpayer’s return with the information from the various returns that other entities (employers, financial firms, educational institutions, the insurance marketplace, etc.) have filed. The goal is to identify possible accidental oversights and intentional omissions.

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How to Write Off Worthless Stock

How to Write Off Worthless Stock

If you are like most investors, you occasionally will pick a loser that declines in value. Sometimes, a security can even become worthless when the issuing company goes out of business.

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Foreign Account Reporting Requirements (FBAR)

Foreign Account Reporting Requirements (FBAR)

U.S. citizens and residents with a financial interest in or signature or other authority over any foreign financial account need to report that relationship by filing FinCEN Form 114 if the aggregate value of the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the year. The due for 2018’s report was April 15, 2019, with an automatic 6-month extension to October 15, 2019. Failure to file can result in draconian penalties. Form 114 is filed electronically with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) BSA E-Filing System and not as part of the individual’s income tax filing with the IRS.

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