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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The IRS Is Cracking Down on Cryptocurrency Tax Transactions

The IRS Is Cracking Down on Cryptocurrency Tax Transactions

The IRS announced in late July 2019 that it is ramping up its campaign to ensure that taxpayers with cryptocurrency transactions report these transactions on their income tax returns – and report them correctly – by sending “educational” letters to approximately 10,000 taxpayers who either didn’t report their crypto-transactions or may have reported them incorrectly.

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Receiving Tips Can Be Taxing

Receiving Tips Can Be Taxing

Anyone who collects tips must include those tips in their taxable income. This requirement is not limited to waiters and waitresses; it applies to anyone who collects tips, including taxicab, Uber, Lyft, and similar drivers; beauticians; porters; concierges; and delivery people.

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August 2019 Individual Due Dates

August 2019 Individual Due Dates

August 12 – Report Tips to Employer

If you are an employee who works for tips and received more than $20 in tips during July, you are required to report them to your employer on IRS Form 4070 no later than August 12. 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 You Need to Know about Student Loan Interest

What You Need to Know about Student Loan Interest

If you are considering borrowing funds to finance your college education or that of your spouse or children, it is important that you understand that the student loan interest deduction is not limited to the interest paid on government student loans. In fact, virtually any loan interest will qualify as long as the loan proceeds are used solely for qualified higher-education expenses (that is, it is a sole-purpose loan). However, the maximum interest that is deductible each year is $2,500. Thus, in addition to government student loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans from unrelated parties, and even credit cards can be used if they otherwise qualify. Pension plan loans and loans from related parties do not qualify.

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Small Business Owners May Qualify for a Home-Office Deduction

Small Business Owners May Qualify for a Home-Office Deduction

“Home office” is a type of tax deduction that applies to the business use of a home; the space itself may not actually be an office. One of the following must apply to be able to deduct home office expenses.

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Does Your Tax ID Number Need to be Renewed?

Does Your Tax ID Number Need to be Renewed?

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), just about 2 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are set to expire at the end of 2019.

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