Filing Feed

May 17 is the deadline this year to file your 2020 tax return and pay any tax you owe. It's also the last day that 1.3 million people can claim their portion of more than $1.3 billion in taxes they overpaid during 2017 but never collected as tax refunds. If you're one of those non-filers, you need to file that 2017 return and claim your refund by May 17. Federal law says that if a taxpayer doesn't file an old return within three years of its original due date — and that was April 15, 2018 for those 2017 tax... Read more →


Since the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was enacted on March 11, the Internal Revenue Service has distributed approximately 159 million COVID-19 economic impact payments (EIPs). Those deliveries come to more than $376 billion. This third round of coronavirus pandemic payments, worth up to $1,400 per person, has been going out in batches. Recipients include taxpayers who've filed 2020 returns, Social Security recipients, and veterans and their families. Still, there are some folks who aren't on the IRS' EIP delivery list. These are, for the most part, people who haven't file a tax return because they're not legally required to... Read more →


For the second consecutive year, millions of individual taxpayers aren't freaking out about their taxes as April 15 nears. That's because for the second consecutive year, the annual Tax Day has been postponed. But still, some folks are crashing right about now to get their 2020 filings done. That's because the Internal Revenue Service decision to move Tax Day 2021 from mid-April to May 17 applies only to individuals who must file income tax returns, aka the IRS' 1040 forms series. And some of these still have an April 15 deadline if they must pay estimated taxes for the 2021... Read more →


It's likely to be déjà vu all over again for IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, testifying here in March before a House tax panel, when he goes before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, April 13. Not to get your tax deadline hopes up too much, but Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Chuck Rettig is testifying tomorrow, April 13, before the Senate Finance Committee (SFC). The The last time he talked to lawmakers, it was in March to Representatives on the Ways and Means (W&M) Oversight Subcommittee. It was then that Rettig put the kibosh on the possibility that the IRS would... Read more →


Sometimes it's worth the extra time and effort to file an amended tax return. In its regular email to tax professionals last week, the Internal Revenue Service remined them that their clients who filed 2020 returns before the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) excluded a portion of unemployment from tax don't need to file amended returns. The IRS says it will recalculate the tax liability of these filers, taking into account the tax they paid on $10,200 per person in unemployment benefits before ARPA's March 11 enactment date. If the early-filing taxpayers are due a refund, the IRS will automatically... Read more →


If it feels like you just filed required federal forms about your overseas financial holdings, you're probably right. Last year, as we all were working to adjust to the myriad tax (and life) changes precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of tax deadlines got pushed back. Some way back. One of those was the filing extension for Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, usually referred to as FBAR. Some individuals didn't have to submit this document until Dec. 31, 2020. Now FBAR filers are facing a new deadline. Next week. On Thursday, April 15. That's right. The... Read more →


UPDATE, Friday, April 9, 2021: Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pennsylvania) has introduced H.R. 2437, a bill that would postpone the due date for first-quarter 2021 estimated tax payments to May 17, 2021. Thanks to the San Diego CPA firm GPW for the tip via Twitter, along with the observation that if Smucker's bill does pass, it likely will be very close to the filing wire. The Internal Revenue Service has dashed hopes that it would true-up 2021's annual tax filing deadline and the year's first estimated tax payment. Many in the tax community had been hoping (and lobbying and complaining and... Read more →


While the Internal Revenue Service is working on recalculating taxes paid on unemployment benefits by early filers, other taxpayers are dealing with potential tax bills on money they didn't get. They are victims of unemployment insurance fraud. And their numbers increased last year as millions of people filed for the jobless assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help people dealing with unemployment identity theft, the Department of Labor (DoL) has launched a new website. Alerted by mail: Many don't learn that unemployment benefits have been fraudulently collected in their names until they receive something in the mail.... Read more →


You lost your job last year and collected unemployment. You knew that the benefits are taxable income, so when you filed your 2020 tax return earlier this year, your calculations made sure that Uncle Sam got his piece of your unemployment money. Then along came the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law on March 11, and its provision excluding a portion of jobless benefits from tax. How do you get your overpaid unemployment taxes back? This week, the Internal Revenue Service followed up on its earlier announcement that filers shouldn't amend their 2020 returns because of the new... Read more →


Ah, college days. Studying, working between and after classes and now trying to avoid becoming a tax scam victim. (Photo by Tim Gouw via Unsplash) Many college students shoehorn jobs into their study schedules to help pay for their continuing educations. In addition to pocketing that cash throughout the year, many of these young workers also look forward at filing time to tax refunds from their jobs. So do crooks. The Internal Revenue Service today warned of an ongoing phishing scam in which the perpetrators are targeting education institutions, including students and staff with email addresses ending in the .edu... Read more →


Updated Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Just days after the Internal Revenue Service's March 17 announcement that it was moving the 2021 tax filing deadline from April 15 to May 17, most states that collect some type of personal income tax followed the federal tax agency's lead. The IRS decided that filers could use more time to file and pay their 2020 taxes since we're all still dealing to some degree with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. That "we" includes the IRS, which faces a backlog of 2019 returns (and 2020 filings, too, since the tax season opened in... Read more →


As COVID-19 continues to control to at least some degree our lives, federal and state tax officials are offering tax benefits to those who take steps to control and lessen the effects of the persistent pandemic. Photo: Anna Tarazevich from Pexels If you still itemize deductions, the Internal Revenue Service today announced that you can count a few more purchases toward your Schedule A medical claims. Of course, the additions are because of COVID-19. Specifically, the IRS says in Announcement 2021-7 that the costs of personal protective equipment, aka PPE, purchased for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of... Read more →


Princess Bride impatience via Giphy.com You're due a tax refund. Plus, your 2020 tax situation means you can claim the rest of the COVID-19 related Recovery Rebate Credit that you didn't automatically get last year. So, of course, you filed on Feb. 12, as soon as the Internal Revenue Service started accepted returns. Now you're wondering, why the heck you haven't yet received your refund. Unusual overload: The bad news is that the IRS is still dealing with backlogs, primarily of mailed correspondence, created when it had to shut down its offices last year as part of coronavirus precautions. The... Read more →


IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig's testifying on March 18, 2021, before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight. Watch the full hearing at the Ways and Means' hearings YouTube channel. When large swaths of the world shut down last year in response to COVID-19, it helped make the literal life-or-death medical situation less devastating (relatively speaking). But the coronavirus closures also created damaging economic fallout. Businesses shuttered their doors, some permanently. Associated companies took hits. Employees lost their jobs. In the United States, federal coronavirus relief legislation provided some help. However, it also produced unwelcome side effects. Surprise unemployment taxes:... Read more →


Some people got less COVID-19 relief money because the IRS took some to pay other debts. Every year, some taxpayers find the tax refunds the Internal Revenue Service sends them are less than they expected. The usual reason for the shortfall is that the federal refund amounts were offset by other debts, such as unpaid taxes, student loans or delinquent child support. That situation cropped up last year when the Recovery Rebate Credit was created as part of COVID-19 relief legislation. The rebates were paid in advance to millions of taxpayers. And in some, but not all, instances, economic impact... Read more →


The tax world is full of instances that are different from the real world. There are quarterly estimated tax payments that don't align with our standard calendar quarters. There are birthdays that are considered having been celebrated earlier when we get older. And now there are financial transactions that aren't financial transactions, at least when it comes to cryptocurrency. IRS has crypto questions: Cryptocurrency, often referred to generally as bitcoin (the Kleenex tissue of virtual money), has been a target of the Internal Revenue Service for years. Most recently, the agency has focused on getting taxes due on crypto transactions.... Read more →


This year's annual federal tax return filing deadline has been moved from April 15 to May 17. Yep, for the second consecutive year, our 1040 forms won't have to be in or on their way to Uncle Sam's tax collector until after the traditional deadline. And yes, COVID-19 is the reason, largely because of tax law changes and backlogs related to the pandemic. But many of those who had urged an automatic delay for Tax Day 2021 are not impressed by the IRS action. Sure, we now have a bit more time to file our personal returns, but little more.... Read more →


DonkeyHotey via Flickr Around 90 million COVID-19 economic impact payments have been distributed in less than a week since the bill authorizing them was enacted. Those payments total more than $242 billion, according to the Internal Revenue Service. In announcing the relief payment data today, the IRS also noted that more payments per the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will be going out in the coming weeks. All funds available today: Most of this first batch of payments, dubbed EIP3 since they are the third such pandemic financial relief effort, were sent by direct deposit. While some of these deposits... Read more →


Updated on March 21, 2021, to reflect that the IRS plans to automatically calculate any tax refunds due unemployment recipients who already filed their 2020 returns and paid taxes on their full benefits amount before the $10,200 tax exclusion was included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) enacted on March 11. Updated on March 23, 2021, to reflect revised IRS changes to filing instructions in connection with ARPA's partial unemployment tax exclusion. The good news here is that the IRS now says those says jobless benefits you collected don't count toward the $150,000 income threshold that determines eligibility for... Read more →


Image by Maxime Duprez via Twitter Happy National Pi Day 2021. Or as usurping marketers in the United States also call it Pie Day, even though there is a day designated for the food. Go ahead, get your bargain-priced sweet or savory pies today. But March 14 actually celebrates the mathematical constant pi, or π in the Greek alphabet. In case it's been a long time since math class, that's the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. The trillion-digit ratio is rounded to 3.14. You can find more about pi in one of my earlier March 14 blog... Read more →


U.S. Treasury check image courtesy frankieleon via Flickr Some people have already received the third economic impact payment (EIP), which is $1,400 per person, as authorized under the just enacted American Rescue Plan. Of course, we're already hearing some grumbling. That's to be expected any time the Internal Revenue Service, which once again is tasked with distributing the relief money, is involved. But at least initially the IRS seems to have the system down after having done this two previous times. So now we wait. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long. And while we wait, today's Saturday Shout... Read more →