Business Feed

The Great Resignation created by folks deciding not to return to their jobs after extended COVID-19 absences has led to a lot of new businesses. That means there a many new bosses out there, most of them dealing with a different part of the Internal Revenue Service for the first time. As business owners, they potentially face new types of taxes. Exactly which taxes depend largely on how their new company is established. That's why selection of a business entity is a major tax decision. Business entity options: As part of 2021's National Small Business Week, sponsored annually by the... Read more →


Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash In 2019, the Internal Revenue Service received nearly 156 million tax returns. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the number of 1040s filed hit 169.7 million. The increase continued in 2021 with the IRS receiving 169.1 million returns, and into 2022, when 164.3 returns were sent to the tax agency. The main reason for the 2020-2022 filing spikes was the coronavirus-related financial help — economic impact payments and increased advance Child Tax Credit amounts — that the IRS was tasked with delivering. Many, OK most, of those millions who hadn't filed before 2020... Read more →


Every filing season, eager taxpayers, most of them expecting a refund, send their returns to the Internal Revenue Service as soon as they can. For most it works out OK. Others, however, discover on their own, or learn from the IRS, something just not quite right, and costly, on their Form 1040. It works the other way, too. In some instances, folks submit a return without claiming a tax break that would have saved them dollars. The IRS isn't going to tell you about that! The best way to make sure you enter all the data that the IRS wants,... Read more →


It's official. The Internal Revenue Service today announced that it will begin accepting and processing 2022 tax year individual returns on Monday, Jan. 23. The IRS also has a date for taxpayers eligible to use its Free File service. It opens for no-cost business tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 13. Seven companies are participating this year. With the announcement of these tax season 2023 dates, the official filing kickoff calendar is complete. Today, Jan. 12, is the start of the agency's business e-filing season. On hold for just a little longer: Word on the official processing date also is good news for... Read more →


We're just a couple of weeks into this new year, and I've received three 1099s and a donation thank-you letter. I am not alone. Official tax forms and statements are filtering into mail boxes, both curbside and electronic, across the country. The exact tax-related documents differ from taxpayer to taxpayer, but we all share one thing. We need them in order to accurately fill out annual tax returns. They include W-2 forms for folks with wage-paying jobs, 1099-NECs for freelancers, and 1099-MISC and DIV documents for those who have investment earnings. It is, after all, called an income tax. But... Read more →


Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR The first work week of 2023 is in the books. How many miles did you drive for business purposes? If you're using your personal vehicle to conduct business you need to know. And if the number is to satisfy an Internal Revenue Service examiner's question about your mileage deduction, you need to be exact. The IRS can disallow questionable guesstimates, meaning your tax deduction could end up being zero. The U.S. Tax Court has backed up the agency when taxpayers don't keep adequate records. To help you avoid that unwanted tax reversal, here are some do's... Read more →


It's ready, set, go for tax season 2023, at least for business taxpayers. The IRS has announced a start date for these filings. (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio) We have a start date for the Internal Revenue Service's 2023 tax filing season! Stop cheering all you tax early birds who've already got your personal returns ready to go. This is not for you. Thursday, Jan. 12, is the day that the IRS will begin accepting electronically filed business returns. That's a few days later than in 2022. Last year, business filers got the jump on the rest of us on Jan.... Read more →


The tax year is over. Long live the tax year. Taxes are, if nothing else, persistent. Sure, there are a few (or more) changes every year, even if it's only inflation adjustments. But even in years when the changes are negligible, they are back, starting to add up on the first of every January. That's why 2023 is the first By the Numbers honoree of this new year. The transition from an old to a new tax year is also the focus of this post. It's a look at six tax matters that affected or at least fascinated us in... Read more →


Drivers faced plenty of challenges in 2022, notably the dramatic jump this year in fuel prices. That prompted the Internal Revenue Service in June to hike 2022's optional standard mileage rates for the last six months of the year. Now the IRS has bumped up the business rate again as part of its annual adjustments to a variety of tax laws. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, the standard optional mileage rate for a car (or van, pickup or panel truck) used for business purposes will be 65.5 cents per mile. That's up 3 cents from the midyear increase that applies... Read more →


Back in the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic when companies and workers were struggling due to health-related shutdowns, they were given a bit of a tax reprieve. The Trump Administration on Aug. 8, 2020, issued executive memo that called for the deferral of the payroll tax portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax that goes toward Social Security. The White House argued that the move would put more money into workers' hands, give employers some financial breathing room, and keep the economy moving during the initial coronavirus closures. There was a lot of political consternation about the... Read more →


December 1998 was hectic. The hubby was in California, getting onboarded for his new job, which actually would be in Florida. Our cat and I were in suburban Maryland, finishing up packing for our move to the Sunshine State. Most of that packing was done from 7 p.m. into the early morning hours, as I was still commuting to my job in downtown Washington, D.C., during the day. I had planned to quit so I could focus on the move, which was scheduled for early in the new year. However, a heads-up from a buddy in my company's Human Resources... Read more →


Photo by cottonbro studio Italian retailers prefer cash transactions. That helps explain why the country ranks near the bottom in Europe in digital payment adoption, and is among the 30 most "cash dependent" major economies in the world, according to the latest Cash Intensity Index (ICC). This ranking, measures the effect of cash usage on the Gross Domestic Product in 95 countries around the world. The currency preference also is why Italian business owners are cheering the 2023 draft budget proposed by new far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The new government's fiscal plan includes a measure to permit stores, taxis... Read more →


UPDATE, Nov. 5, 2022, 10:25 p.m. CDT: The Houston Astros win game 6 by a 4-1 score and are 2022 World Series Champions! Houston Astros mascot Orbit hopes to trade in his extra-large regular season cap tonight for a 2022 World Series Champion one. (Photo by Kay Bell) The Houston Astros will play what fans, including me, hope is their last game of the 2022 Major League Baseball season tonight in Minute Maid Park. If they beat the Philadelphia Phillies, they get to hoist the World Series trophy in front of their hometown fans. Some H-Town businesses, however, might be... Read more →


The United States' tax system depends on voluntary compliance by taxpayers. But Uncle Sam is no fool. He and his tax collectors are believers of the adage "trust, but verify." The Internal Revenue Service also follows up on that verification with penalties when it finds taxpayers — and the professionals we pay to take care of our taxes — aren't fulfilling our tax responsibilities on our own. The most severe punishments come via criminal tax prosecutions. The IRS also employs civil actions to get due taxes. And many of us are familiar with the various fines and fees that are... Read more →


Gig work is the preferred employment life for millions. They enjoy being their own boss. There's the freedom to take as many or as few assignments as desired. You can do the jobs the way you want and during the hours you choose. There's no commuting. Sometimes, however, clients try to control contractor workers a bit too much. When that happens, the workers could in fact be employees, not contractors. They'd lose some of the freedom mentioned earlier, but as employees, they would be entitled to workplace benefits, including health care, paid time off, compensation for expenses, and a minimum... Read more →


Very few of us share the same tax circumstances. However, there is one thing every taxpayer can agree on. We all want to pay the least amount of federal tax as possible. Deductions, like the standard amounts discussed in Part 2 of the ol' blogs annual tax inflation series, are a major way of reducing our annual tax bill. But wait. There's more. There are the adjustments to income, listed on Form 1040 Schedule 1 and still known as above-the-line deductions. You can claim all of these 25 tax breaks regardless of whether you itemize or take the standard deduction.... Read more →


Dealing with global taxes can be a real puzzle. (Rubik's Globe photo by Alan Kotok via Flickr CC) Americans are inordinately competitive, especially when it comes to international matchups. But there's not much for the United States to cheer as far as our ranking in the Tax Foundation's latest International Tax Competitiveness Index. Each year, the Washington, D.C.-based tax policy nonprofit measures the degree to which the tax systems of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) 38 member countries promote competitiveness. The U.S. tax system basically is middle of the pack in the Tax Foundation's 2022 evaluation. OK,... Read more →


Tyle Perry working on one of his many productions. (Facebook photo) Most of us would celebrate getting a $9 million refund from the Internal Revenue Service. But then, most of us aren't billionaire media mogul and philanthropist Tyler Perry. When an IRS audit resulted in Uncle Sam handing over the multimillions, Perry fired his accounting team. "I'll let you make a million mistakes, but you can't do the same thing over and over again. That's how I run my business. Here's the mistake. Let's fix it; let's move forward," Perry told the audience at a recent Earn Your Leisure Conference.... Read more →


Black's, an iconic Central Texas barbecue chain, was caught improperly distributing tip money to managers, instead of the 270 employees to whom it should have been paid. Those restaurant workers now have their proper gratuities, which are taxable income. Being a restauranteur has always been a challenge. The same can be said for eatery staff. Then along came the COVID-19 pandemic, amped up the workplace issues both owners and employees face. So what else could complicate things? Tips. In one famed Central Texas BBQ joint, it was the way tips were collected and distributed among workers. The U.S. Department of... Read more →


More companies are pushing to get employees to leave their home workspaces and return to the office. Until that happens fully, tax professionals are asking for updated tax guidance on dealing with hybrid and work from home arrangements. Summer's over. Schools are back in session. And more businesses are telling employees to return to the office. But many companies expect that at least some of their workers won't comply. And how will they handle these in-office holdouts? Office returns sought: Overall, more firms now are firmly nudging workers to return. A recent survey by business consulting firm Gartner, and reported... Read more →


I suspect everyone involved in this ceremonial big check delivery is much happier than they appear in this Secret Service photo. COVID-19 federal financial assistance was a boon to many businesses that struggled during the pandemic's height. Now it's Uncle Sam who's getting relief. The U.S. Secret Service today announced the return of around $286 million in Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The loans were granted based on fraudulently submitted applications that contained fabricated or stolen employment and personal information. Debit cards to hide, move funds: The investigation was initiated by the Secret Service's... Read more →