Filing Feed

You can quit double checking your calendar. It is indeed fall, even if the cooler temperatures haven't gotten the message across much of the United States. If you have children, autumn is noted by the kiddos returning to classrooms. That's happening in more places, as we seem to be shifting from pandemic COVID-19 to the coronavirus' endemic phase. Many parents also discover at this time of year that their youngsters have grown. A lot. That means new outfits. In big families, nuclear and extended, outgrown outfits turn into hand-me-downs. But if you have no one who'll take your still good,... Read more →


If you've yet to file a 2019 or 2020 tax year return, you should get to work on that oversight soon. Like get them done by Sept. 30 soon. By meeting that end-of-this-month date, you may be able to avoid the usual late-filing penalty. It's typically assessed at a rate of 5 percent per month, up to 25 percent of the unpaid tax. And since the 2019 and 2020 due dates are long gone, that could be a substantial abated amount, depending on how much tax you owe. Helping both taxpayers and tax agency: The Internal Revenue Service's penalty relief... 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 →


Satellite image of Hurricane Fiona's landfall on the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico at 3:35 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time on Sunday, Sept. 18. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration photo) Fiona, the first major hurricane of the 2022 tropical season, not only wiped out power to most of Puerto Rico, it also was responsible for four deaths on the island. Hurricane Fiona made landfall at the southwestern edge of Puerto Rico the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 18, but was big and strong enough to wreak havoc across the entire U.S. island territory. The strike came almost exactly five years after Hurricane... Read more →


You have lots of choices when it comes to helping your neighbors and community. There's even an option if taxes are of particular interest to you. Hey, it happens. You are, after all, reading my tax blog right now. If that's you, then the Internal Revenue Service wants you to fill up your free time by helping people prepare and file their tax returns next year. The IRS and its community partners are recruiting people to be a part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs during the coming 2023 tax season.... Read more →


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District engineers at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant in Jackson, Mississippi, after flooding led to a water crisis in the state's capital city. The pumping system is getting back online. In the meantime, a couple of Uncle Sam's agencies are offering residents relief. (USACE photo by Sabrina Dalton via Wikipedia Commons) Thursday, Sept. 15, is the deadline for most taxpayers who must make third quarter estimated tax payments. Some Mississippi filer, however, get until next February. But the reason for the extension is not one they, or anyone, would want. Heavy rains... Read more →


The COVID-19 pandemic ignited an explosion of side hustles, with many folks cobbling together multiple independent operations to replace traditional jobs lost to the virus. The U.S. economy has picked up, and many businesses are forcing bringing their former and work-from-home staff back into the office. But side hustles remain popular. Most side hustle for more than money: Even where they have wage-paying work, many Americans also have side jobs, according to a survey by Insuranks, a small business insurance marketplace. Ninety-three percent of the adults surveyed by Insuranks said they have an added job alongside their main employment positions.... Read more →


Welcome to the first Sunday of the 2022 National Football League season. It's the best day of the week for U.S. professional football fans. Yeah, I know the first game was last Thursday night and the Buffalo Bills sent a message to the defending Super Bowl champs, in L.A., no less, and everyone else. But today is full of America's most popular sport. There are 14 match-ups, starting at noon Central Time. That's where I am, so that's that flyover clock reading that my search (shown below) gave me. Adjust accordingly for your team and time zone. Then the first... Read more →


Photo by Evelyn Giggles, Flickr CC Schools nationwide are open. That means lots of teachers' bank accounts are taking hits. Last year, the National School Supply and Equipment Association's (NSSEA) survey found that educators spent an average of $750 of their own money to ensure their students have what they need to learn. Another report by Expect that cost to increase this term — another report by My eLearning World sets this year's per-teacher cost at $820 — in part due to inflation. Some small tax savings for teachers: Inflation also helped out a bit with a of tax relief... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service says it has made progress this summer in reducing its COVID-created paperwork backlog. In fact, it has caught up on last year's stacked up filings that didn't have issues. "The IRS is opening mail within normal timeframes and all paper and electronic individual returns received prior to January 2022 have been processed if the return had no errors or did not require further review," according to an update today, Sept. 2, on the agency's webpage that tracks its operations during the pandemic. Making progress on 2022, too: As for returns filed this year, the IRS says... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell So how was your summer? Yep, that season officially ended today with the start of Meteorological Fall, which runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. Wait, you say. It's not sweater weather yet. You're not alone in still feeling the heat. First day of meteorological fall in USA doesn't look like fall at all in over 90% of the country,just the opposite: One of the hottest September weeks on records is starting with a flurry of 100F in Montana,North Dakota and Washington. Very hot also in Canadian Saskatchewan. pic.twitter.com/HXZXO2YpFL — Extreme Temperatures Around The World (@extremetemps)... Read more →


Financial advice for older people also should include planning for taxes on Social Security benefits, unless a House bill to end that process passes. If you're of a certain age (confession: I am), you're likely getting lots of notices about the possible hike in 2023 of Social Security benefits. At one point, prognosticators were saying it could be as much nearly 11 percent. However, the recent easing of inflation lessens the likelihood of a double-digit percentage bump. The latest prediction is a 9.6 percent bump. Still not bad. Most folks who get Social Security benefits will welcome any increase in... Read more →


Taxes and COVID-19 have been inextricably linked since the coronavirus reached the United States in 2020. Several federal relief packages were enacted, with the Internal Revenue Service given the task of distributing the payments. The agency had mixed success with this added responsibility. Then there was the backlog of filings that resulted from COVID-related IRS office closures. This was, by all accounts, an unmitigated disaster. The agency is still digging out of its coronavirus paperwork accumulation, and taxpayers are still dealing with problems created when automatic nonpayment penalty notices were issued. Now the IRS is trying to make that somewhat... Read more →


Barclays Bank building in Madrid (Photo by M.Peinado from Alcalá de Henares, España - 001782 - Madrid, CC BY 2.0) It's not a crime to put your money into legitimate foreign financial institutions. However, if the amount meets a certain threshold, you are required to report that money to the U.S. government. When U.S. taxpayers ignore this process, officially known as filing of a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR, they can face costly consequences. That's the case in the FBAR collection complaint filed Aug. 15 by federal officials seeking judgment against the defendant who, per the... Read more →


Coming back from an appointment today, I saw school buses roaming my neighborhood. Classes for my local school district start Wednesday, so I guess the drivers were just on reconnaissance runs. Students, their parents, and of course teachers are making preparations, too, not just here in the Austin, Texas, area, but nationwide. Much has been written (or, in my case, blogged) about state sales tax holidays (a few are still on the horizon) and the savings on school-related items. In most cases, we tend to think of students and their families taking advantage of the no-tax events. However, teachers also... Read more →


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash One of the outcomes of an audit is that the Internal Revenue Service finds no reason to demand changes to a return. That's obviously a welcome result. None of us want to end up paying Uncle Sam more taxes, plus penalty and interest charges. But there's still is a cost. We've likely paid a tax professional to help us through the process. And as the old credit card ad says, our time is priceless. Some audits end up OK for filers: The generally good news, according to the Aug. 4 Kiplinger Tax Letter, is... Read more →


St Louis, Missouri, residents are rescued from flood waters that swamped the city after record rainfall in late July. (Photo: West County EMS and Fire) Severe storms brought flooding rains to parts of eastern Missouri before moving into Kentucky. But Bluegrass State residents got Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Internal Revenue Service attention first, with that relief granted last week. But now, some Show Me State storm victims also are getting federal assistance, including some easing of certain tax filing and payment deadlines. The IRS today (Aug. 10) announced that Missouri individuals and businesses in the City of St.... Read more →


A Kentucky National Guardsman views flood damage in the southeastern part of the state on July 29 from a Blackhawk helicopter as the Bluegrass State unit flies in to provide help. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Jesse Elbouab via Flickr) Historic flooding ravaged southeastern Kentucky last week, destroying homes and killing at least 37 people. Tens of thousands who were spared the worst of the overwhelming water damage are coping with power losses. Now some of those folks are getting from help from the federal government. President Joe Biden declared the most severely hit parts of the Bluegrass... Read more →


Photo by Mikhail Nilov Just when you thought it was safe to go to your mailbox, the tax bogeyman is back. The Internal Revenue Service says it has — again — sent out some confusing, and potentially incorrect tax notices. This time it's balance due notices. This is getting to be a bad habit. Earlier this year, taxpayers who had filed and paid taxes while the IRS was operating under COVID-19 pandemic constraints received automatically issued notices that the IRS couldn't find their 1040 forms. The problem then was due to the millions of backlogged paper returns that stacked up... Read more →


Families in Puerto Rico who haven't filed to claim the enhanced 2021 tax year Child Tax Credit should do so, preferably by using the tax break's special online simplified filing tool. (Image from IRS Publication 5649) The Internal Revenue Service is still trying to deliver 2021 tax year Child Tax Credit money, this time focusing on families in Puerto Rico. The tax break amount was increased last tax year to a potential maximum of $3,600 for each child ages 5 and younger, and up to $3,000 for youngsters ages 6 through 17. It's also a fully refundable tax credit for... Read more →