Work-job-career Feed

Work-related moving expenses are tax deductible. You don't even have to itemize. The claim is made as one of the adjustments to income, generally referred to as an above-the-line deduction, right on the long Form 1040. Vintage moving van | Alden Jewell via Flickr But don't think just because this is a relative easy tax write-off that the Internal Revenue Service will just give the claim a cursory glance. IRS examiners will be looking. Just as Giliard Schwartz. A really big move: The San Antonio, Texas, woman claimed $330,000 in moving expenses on her 2012 tax return. Instead of that... Read more →


The bad tax news is that your chances of being audited just went up a bit. The good tax news is that if you're looking for a job with the Internal Revenue Service, the agency is hiring hundreds of new enforcement agents. In an email sent to tax professionals last week, the IRS announced that it is accepting applications for a number of enforcement positions, potentially as many as 700, around the country. These will be the first significant hires in the enforcement area in more than five years. Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen, in a May 3 memo... Read more →


When most folks think holiday office party, they think Christmas. Here in Texas, though, Cinco de Mayo is a great day for an office party. Today is the commemoration of the Battle of Puebla in 1862. On that day 154 years ago, the Mexican military defeated the numerically superior French forces that, the year before, had invaded Mexico. Such an unlikely victory reminds all us Texans of how we did the same thing to Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836, securing the independence of the Republic of Texas. Plus, Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín, the man who led the... Read more →


Hey, May. You're supposed to be all about the flowers from last month's April showers. You can stop the rain and more any time now. Bluebonnets and more in a Central Texas field along the Willow City Loop. Photo by Kay Bell; art direction by the hubby. Yep, that old climatological adage is not quite accurate. May also brings plenty of showers. And hail. And tornadoes. That trend seems to be on track this year. Just two days into the month, and severe weather has moved from Central and flooded East Texas, where Houston was declared a major disaster area,... Read more →


You thought it was the perfect job. And it was. For a while. But it's time to move on because, like Jimmy McGill in AMC's "Better Call Saul," your way of doing business is just too flashy for your company's more staid culture. Good news. The Internal Revenue Service can help you find a new job ... as long as you follow the tax rules. Specifically, there are three requirements to write off your job hunting costs. 1. You must itemize. The costs related to finding another job are included in the "Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions" section of... Read more →


It's been one of those weeks that makes me totally understand exactly why the TGIF acronym was created. Blarghhhh! Arghhhh! TGIF! The only solace for Milton Waddams, brilliantly played by Stephen Root, in "Office Space" is his red stapler. Huffington Post has even more GIFs from Mike Judge's 1999 workplace documentary comedy. We've all been there, thinking, at least temporarily, that work sucks. That it's time to get a new job. That being out of work for a while wouldn't be so bad. Or maybe the unbearable cube farm circumstances are a sign that it's time to take that entrepreneurial... Read more →


The hubby and I get our medical insurance through his employer. Today we and several of his coworkers got our Form 1095-C in connection with our health care coverage. This is one of two new documents that employers are sending out to their workers in connection with the Affordable Care Act, or as many of us call it (fondly and otherwise), Obamacare. When one of the hubby's colleagues raised questions about the form, I suggested he send out a company-wide email blast with a link to my story on ACA forms. He declined. We now have a dinnertime discussion topic.... Read more →


The animal heralding March's arrival this tax-filing season is not a lion or a lamb, but a fish, or rather a phish. Yep, a new phishing scam has emerged, with tax crooks trying out a new scheme that targets payroll and human resources professionals. The Internal Revenue Service today issued an alert to the folks who handle employee data to be wary of a phishing email purporting to be from company executives seeking personal information on employees. I know it's thrilling -- or terrifying if your big boss is anything like The Donald (and I've also worked for a few... Read more →


Uber pitches itself to potential drivers as a way to make cash on your own terms. But one of the popular ride-sharing company's contractors this week found the driving effort was not so personal after all. This Uber driver's 1099-K earnings statement, issued to contractors so they can file their annual tax returns, was made available to other drivers in the ride-sharing company's system. 1099-K forms are the cousins to 1099-MISC statements that independent contractors receive. A Form 1099-K is used mainly to report credit and debit card payments and online transactions, rather than old-fashioned check payments. 1099-Ks also are... Read more →


I know all y'all are fixated on tonight's $1.5 billion Powerball drawing and that lottery jackpot's tax implications. But many of you -- including me! -- also must remember to meet the deadline for our final 2015 estimated tax payment. That's coming up on Friday, Jan. 15. Today's Daily Tax Tip has the skinny on paying estimated taxes. You also can read more about calculating these four extra tax payments here. Paying on untaxed income: Estimated tax payments are required when you get income, both earned (for example, self-employment as your main source of income or from side jobs to... Read more →


One of the year-end tax tips that I've been talking about in recent days is to defer income, such as a workplace bonus, into the next year. That will give you 12 months to figure out how to handle the taxes on the added income. However, I don't think the employees of Hilcorp Energy Co. will be deferring the $100,000 each received this year. Big reward for goals met: The privately held oil and gas exploration and production company gave every one of its 1,399 workers the hefty cash thank you for helping the company achieve its five-year goals earlier... Read more →


Last week's jobs report for October was surprisingly good. The unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, its lowest level since 2008 and half of the 10 percent rate in the wake of the financial crisis. If predictions are correct for seasonal hires this year, even more workers could be having a merrier than usual Christmas. Businesses in San Antonio are following the national trend in hiring for the holiday season. Click image to see KSAT-ABC's report. But that holiday joy could be dashed at tax filing time if you don't pay attention to how you are classified by your temporary... Read more →


Fall has arrived. That means in addition to leaves changing colors, some folks will be changing their workplace benefits. Yep, the open season for employer-provided options is or about to be underway in offices across the country. One of the most popular benefits is the tax-favored flexible spending account, usually referred to as an FSA. As the latest Weekly Tax Tip details, these worker accounts offer tax-saving ways to cover some child care or health care costs. The key to both accounts is knowing your, and your family's, needs and then managing the accounts carefully. Putting away pre-tax dollars: Both... Read more →


I grew up in Texas. West Texas, to be specific, where independence is, in large part because of the vast distances between towns, not just a concept but a necessity. So it's no surprise that labor unions essentially were nonentities in my early life. That said, I grew up appreciating the value of unions. My dad, an oil field worker his whole life, made sure my brother and I knew that labor unions are to be valued by all workers, regardless of whether they belong to one. Sally Field won her first Oscar for her portrayal of title character Norma... Read more →


More teenagers are working this summer. There aren't any jobs out there for young workers. Employers are struggling to find teens to work at traditional summer jobs. Google "teens and jobs" and you'll find all three of those reports on seasonal youth employment. So just what is the youth employment situation for the summer of 2015? Great, good or terrible depending on where you and your teenage live and the type of work you and your youngster are seeking. The ebb and flow of youth jobs: The Pew Research Center recently looked at what's happened over the years to the... Read more →


Many workers, me among them, enjoy being independent contractors. Businesses also like these arrangements. It relieves them of having to pay the employer's portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes, state unemployment and workers' compensation insurance. Plus, there are no workplace benefits to cover. All those costs of hiring a person as a full-time employee can, by some estimates, increase a company's payroll costs by 30 percent or more. So it's not surprising that sometimes companies improperly categorize theirs workers as contractors when they really treat them as employees. Uber, the popular transportation option available contracted via its smartphone app,... Read more →


Answers like these are why I so love Jeopardy. The correct question is, of course, "What is self-employed?" I really wish Alex Trebek would have accepted the total tax response, "Who gets 1099 forms?" But I suspect contract killers and those who hire them don't want any paper trail. We sole proprietors and freelancers with less criminal leanings, however, have piles of 1099s. And with the tax-filing deadline less than two weeks away, it's a good time to offer my fellow small business owners some tax tips on that and other facts of independent contractor life. Not being one to... Read more →


Everybody puts on the dog for St. Patrick's Day, even sartorially conscious and/or wannabe Irish pooches. Dog dolled up for St. Patrick's Day. Photo by Michael Shehan Obeysek via Flickr. But the special green suit you bought just for today is not tax deductible unless being a leprechaun is your job. Apparel is deductible as a miscellaneous itemized expense only if it is ordinary and necessary to your line of work. Normal business attire doesn't apply: Before you get too jazzed about a possible new deduction in connection with your 9-to-5 at the cube farm, note that the Internal Revenue... Read more →


Life. It just keeps keeping on (if we're lucky!). For most of us, our day-to-day activities fall into a predictable routine. Sometimes, though, the daily route detours. That's what happened yesterday, as the hubby had an unexpected day off. So I took time off, too, to enjoy the down time with him ... not, as he jokingly -- I'm pretty sure he was joking! -- said, to make sure he didn't have too much fun! Click image to watch a video of Ferris Bueller's sage advice about enjoying a day off. And that meant that I didn't get around to... Read more →


The U.S. economy finally appears to be on an upward track. That's good news for the millions of folks who took serious financial hits during the persistent recession that began in 2008. Things were so bad back then that even the Internal Revenue Service decided to lend a helping hand. In 2009, the IRS showed its more compassionate side to taxpayers facing financial challenges, which included having difficulty paying their tax-due balances. The IRS committed to being more flexible in working with taxpayers having trouble paying Uncle Sam because of factors related to the weak economy. Thus began the Fresh... Read more →