Deductions Feed

Next Monday, July 15, is Tax Day for residents of disaster areas in three states. This tax deadline applies to taxpayers affected by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declarations in parts of Alaska, Maine, and Rhode Island. The disaster areas are listed below. The bold-type state names are links to the Internal Revenue Service's tax relief announcements for each area. The Wrangell Cooperative Association of Alaska Tribal Nation off coastal Alaska. That area was hit by severe storms, landslides, and mudslides that began on Nov. 20, 2023. Eight counties in Maine that sustained damages from severe storms and... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Olivie Strauss Hello, July! We are soooo ready for this first full month of official summer. This first week of July will be a short one for many of us. We’ll be taking advantage of July 4 falling on Thursday, making it an extra-long Independence Day holiday weekend. But once the fireworks are over, it’s back to the regular grind where we never are independent of taxes. That’s why we also need to also make some time in July for tax moves. Here are five to consider. 1. Get ready for disastrous weather. Even though I’m... Read more →


June is here! Summer officially arrives in a few weeks. And many of us already are making vacation plans. Great! Have fun. But also make some time this month to deal with tax tasks. Really. Taxes definitely aren’t a day at the beach, but some summer tax moves can help make next year’s filing easier, and potentially less costly. Here are five tax moves to make, or at least consider, this June. 1. Pay your estimated taxes. Millions of us must make these extra tax payments each year. The payments cover income we get that’s not subject to withholding, such... Read more →


The 2024 hurricane season has just begun, but some people are still dealing with disasters from last and earlier this year. Some of them now are facing a June 17 tax filing and payment deadline. Mother Nature has been Mommy Dearest across much of the United States so far this year. Way too many federal announcements and media reports have included the phrase “A historic severe weather outbreak occurred” in 2024, meaning that millions of Americans have found themselves in major disaster areas. And the current hurricane season has just begun! Unfortunately, the disastrous start to this year was a... Read more →


Photo by Chris on Unsplash The tax code is complicated. Even for the most basic situations, there are income levels that determine whether you must file, and if so, what your tax rate is. As your life and finances get more complicated, so do your taxes. That’s why most of us depend on tax software to meet our annual filing needs. Even the tax professionals we turn to for added support go electronic, mostly at the Internal Revenue Service’s insistence. But it never hurts to have a least a rudimentary understanding of our tax system. It is our money that’s... Read more →


The tornado that struck Afton, Iowa, in Union County on April 26, 2024. That county is one of eight that have been declared major disaster areas, meaning residents are eligible for a variety of federal assistance, including tax relief. (Photo by Dean Baron via National Weather Service) Iowans in eight Hawkeye State counties that were struck by severe storms and tornadoes last month now have until Oct. 15 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This latest Internal Revenue Service disaster relief applies to individuals and households that live or have a business in... Read more →


Some of the March 14 tornado damage in Indian Lake, Logan County, Ohio. (Photo credit: Indian Lake Chamber via Facebook) During the evening of March 14, supercell thunderstorms dropped numerous strong tornadoes across western and central Ohio. By the time things cleared, the deadly twisters also had left trails of destruction across the Buckeye State. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed three EF1 twisters, two reaching EF2, and an EF3 across Ohio. The NWS office in Wilmington, just north of Cincinnati, reported a total of 145 miles of combined tornado tracks across the state. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) investigation... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with George Dagerotip President Joe Biden last week endorsed the Department of Justice's (DoJ) move to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. Biden said in social media posts — X (aka Twitter) and YouTube — that the move would reverse “long-standing inequities” under the current criminalization of cannabis. "Look folks, no one should be in jail merely for using or possessing marijuana," the president said in his video statement. Not legalization, but lowering federal interest: The Justice Department move would not legalize marijuana outright for recreational use, which currently is the... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service is holding refunds sought by thousands of filers it suspects inflated those amounts by improperly claiming some tax credits. While the IRS sorts through these questionable claims, those taxpayers aren’t going to see any refund money. Not even that amount unconnected to the questionable credit claims. The dubious claims delaying the refunds involve the Fuel Tax Credit, Sick and Family Leave Credit, and household employment taxes. “Scam artists and social media posts have perpetuated a number of false and misleading claims that have tricked well-meaning taxpayers into believing they’re entitled to big, windfall tax refunds. These... Read more →


A health savings account, or HSA, helps high deductible health plan, or HDHP, enrollees cover their larger out-of-pocket medical costs. The plan limits and HSA contribution amounts are adjusted annually for inflation. Here are the 2025 numbers. Photo by Kay Bell The cost of health care keeps rising. That’s why many individuals and families who are basically healthy, but want medical coverage in case of an emergencies, often turn to high deductible health plans, or HDHPs. HDHP policies’ associated health savings accounts, or HSAs, help offset the plans larger out-of-pocket costs. HSAs also offer triple tax savings. If you’re interested... Read more →


April 15 was Tax Day for most of us. That included President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. When Biden and Harris took office, they reinstated the annual tradition of our country's top elected officials voluntarily releasing their tax filings. The 2023 tax year returns of the Bidens and Harris/Emhoff earn this weekend's Saturday Shout Out. You can see the details at the White House's official Tax Returns online page. In addition to this year's filings, there are links to the returns filed by the president and... Read more →


Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service is processing millions of returns that are coming in as Tax Day for the main 2024 tax season nears. But thanks to added Inflation Reduction Act money, the tax agency also is looking more closely at some returns. It recently resumed sending automated notices that had been on hold since February 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic problems. And it got even more attention when IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced that his agents were going to crack down on individuals who use corporate jets for personal travel jets. While most of... Read more →


A scenic overlook is always worth a stop when traveling. But when it comes to taxes, you definitely don't want to overlook tax breaks that could save you money. (Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash) There are two ways to reduce your tax bill. You can take deductions, which reduce the amount of your money that's taxable. You also can claim tax credits, which cut any tax you owe dollar-for-dollar, and in a few cases get you refund. The options are not mutually exclusive. But they don't do you any good if you don't claim the ones to which you're... Read more →


Doing your taxes can be stressful, but don't add to it by making an avoidable filing error. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The tax filing, and paying if you owe, deadline is nearly here. Millions of us have yet to send our 1040 forms to the Internal Revenue Service. So next week is likely to be frantic, especially on the part of taxpayers who are doing their own taxes. This also means that these last-minute filers might make some mistakes as they hurry to get their taxes done by April 15. Don't be one of them. Tax... Read more →


The Nov. 20, 2023, landslide near Wrangell, Alaska. (Image courtesy Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities) Residents of Hawai'ian counties that were devastated by wildfires in 2023 got a bit a good news from the Internal Revenue Service last week. The tax agency now is giving them until Aug. 7 to complete some tax filing and payment tasks. Tribal Alaskans who sustained damages from severe storm-induced land- and mudslides also get more tax time. Their new tax deadline is July 15. As is the usual procedure, the IRS tax relief decisions follow official declarations by the Federal Emergency Management... Read more →


Most taxpayers have always used the standard deduction amount. That group of filers grew even more after the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which dramatically increased the standard amounts. But even if you find the easier standard deduction option the way to file, stop. You might be missing some tax breaks that are available to every taxpayers, both those who claim the standard deduction and those who itemize. All taxpayers can also claim any of the two dozen above-the-line tax deductions for which they qualify. Tax law and form changes: When the TCJA became... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service IRS is expected to process more than 160 million individual and business tax returns this filing season. Through March 15, the IRS had received nearly 71.6 million individual returns. Some taxpayers probably put off filing in the hopes that the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act would be enacted by Tax Day. Several of its provisions could help both personal and business filers. Whether that will happen is still unclear, as the tax bill that cleared the House has hit a lot of speed bumps in the Senate. Other taxpayers, however, aren't that concerned... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Spring officially arrived at 11:06 p.m. March 19. Have you finished your spring cleaning yet? Me neither. But I have started. To be honest, it was prompted when the hubby and I had some work done to our house. With the structure getting some sprucing up, it only seemed natural to replace some interior items. The next question was what to do with the old stuff? For many, a yard sale is a good way to get rid of unwanted but workable items. But those who don't want to spend a Saturday haggling with... Read more →


Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash Moving to another country for a job involves a lot of changes, but one thing stays the same. Thanks to our worldwide tax system for individuals, as a U.S. citizen you remain a U.S. taxpayer, regardless of where you live. That makes you responsible for filing federal tax returns on your overseas earnings. Uncle Sam, however, does provide some tax breaks to his citizens living and working abroad. They get more time to file, with a June 15 deadline. And thanks to tax treaties, globally peripatetic taxpayers also get certain foreign earned income exclusions... Read more →


Photo by Caleb Cook on Unsplash Back in February in posting about tax relief for Maine residents who endured flooding, I predicted that some Californians would be joining the growing group of storm-struck areas granted more time to file 2023 returns. That wasn't a bold prediction. I've been weather and tax watching for decades, so I was confident in my tax forecast, which was correct. But some southern Californians who were hit by the recent historic rains aren't the only ones for whom the IRS has granted tax relief and a new June 17 tax filing and payment deadline. Some... Read more →