Military Feed

Pixabay via Pexels Members of the military have a lot of things to worry about. New enlistees are concerned whether they'll make it through basic training. Military personnel who are stationed far from their families worry about how spouses and children are faring. And, of course, those posted in dangerous parts of the world are in constant concern for their own safety. But every tax filing season, members of the military also must worry about taxes. Taxes for all, but some military breaks: Yes, with all the other responsibilities we place on the men and women who serve the United... 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 →


The Internal Revenue Service won't start processing 2022 tax returns until Jan. 23, but you still can file before then. And if your adjusted gross income last year was $73,000 or less you can file for free at Free File. If you use a search engine to find free tax filing, you'll likely discover other options. You'll also probably get such offers in your email box. But the only official, IRS-sanctioned Free File option is the one on its website. To get there, type Free File in the search box at the upper right of IRS.gov. That search result will... 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 →


Korean War Memorial on National Mall, Washington, D.C. (Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplash) 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. That moment marked the armistice between World War I's Allied forces and Germany, ending the fighting on the Western Front. The commemoration to honor the 4.7 million Americans who served — and the 116,500 who died — in what then was called the Great War originally was celebrated as Armistice Day. In 1954, the annual Nov. 11 commemorations were rebranded Veterans Day, and the day's focus expanded to honor veterans from all eras. But the momentousness of the event 104... Read more →


Texas National Guard at Texas-Mexico border as part of Operation Lone Star. (Image via Texas Military Department Facebook page) Military personnel face lots of challenges. One unexpected one for some Texas troops is the Internal Revenue Service. Texas National Guard members deployed to the Texas-Mexico border as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in unexpected federal taxes, according to a report by the Texas Tribune. The problem is a payroll error made by state officials. Incorrect withholding by employer: The Tribune story says the payroll system used by... Read more →


You thought you'd get a break from taxes when summer arrived, didn't you? Sorry. June, the first month of summer, also includes tax deadlines for some taxpayers. If you're a U.S. taxpayer who is living and working abroad, including members of the Armed Forces posted overseas, June 15 is your Tax Day. You must file your 2021 tax return by then. June 15 also is the due date for the second estimated tax payment of 2022. This applies to folks who make money that isn't subject to withholding tax. And some folks in Puerto Rico who suffered through major flooding... Read more →


Evening traffic on Pennybacker Bridge in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Manuel Garza via Flickr) The Internal Revenue Service today delivered a bit of good news to taxpayers who use their vehicles for medical and business purposes. The standard optional mileage rates used to calculate tax deductible amounts are going up on July 1. The increase of the rates, which last were adjusted in December as part of the IRS' annual review of transportation costs, comes as the nation's national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline nears $5. "The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect... Read more →


Photo courtesy National Park Service Memorial Day commemorations of the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice tend to be outdoors. That's because they usually involve military participation and flourishes. People also head this long federal holiday weekend to national parks, many of which honor military service members today and year-round. Events will be held today at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. There are more than a dozen units of the National Park system and more than 100 unique monuments and memorials in the national capital. National parks honoring national sacrifices: The tributes in America's Front... Read more →


U.S. Continental Navy ship Alfred at its commissioning at Philadelphia on Dec. 3, 1775, captured in this oil painting by W. Nowland Van Powell. America's earliest sailors also were the new nation's first whistleblowers. (Image courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command) Memorial Day and its surrounding weekend days are to honor those in the armed forces who gave their all to protect us and our country. But, thank goodness, the ultimate sacrifice isn't required in all cases. Sometimes other forms of protection are just as necessary to protect us and society at large against fraud, waste, and abuse of power.... Read more →


The annual Memorial Day weekend is almost here. The three-day holiday, officially celebrated the last Monday in May, unofficially marks the beginning of summer. Millions of Americans, restive after years of COVID-19 precautions limited their travel and festivities, are heading out today. But the name of the holiday underscores what it's really about. Memorial Day is to honor military service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. The United States total military war deaths are nearly 1.4 million. The National Moment of Remembrance Act was enacted in December 2000, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of... Read more →


If you are a U.S. taxpayer living outside the country and frantically working to meet this year's April 18 tax-filing deadline, take a breath. Then mark your calendar for June 15. The Internal Revenue Service grants taxpayers who are overseas, including members of the armed forces stationed abroad, and automatic two-month extension to file. You don't have to send in Form 4868 to get it the extra filing time. Note, however, that this automatic extension to file is just that, an extension to file. If you owe tax for the 2021 tax year, you must pay it by this year's... Read more →


Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 nearly doubled the standard deduction amounts, even more people have chosen to use that filing method. IRS data indicate that close to 90 percent of us have opted not to mess with itemizing. But dumping the Schedule A doesn't mean you give up all deductions. On tax year 2021 returns, you can claim some of your cash charitable deductions directly on Form 1040. And if you take a look at Schedule 1, one of the documents that the Internal Revenue Service created to accompany Form 1040 when the TCJA took... Read more →


You're expecting a refund, so you're planning to file your tax return soon. Wait. You might want to take a step or two back. First, you need to make sure you have all the information you need to properly fill out your 2021 Form 1040. You can get an idea of that material in my post examining some common tax statements you need to complete your filing. Second, you need more than paperwork. You need to take a good look at your personal situation and answer some questions. The responses could affect your filing. This checklist can help. Start with... Read more →


UPDATE, June 9, 2022: When retail gasoline prices skyrocketed this summer, the Internal Revenue Service acted to reflect the increased expense. On July 1, it hiked 2022's optional standard mileage rates by 4 cents per gallon through the end of the year. That means for the last six months of 2022, business travel may be claimed at 62.5 cents per mile, and travel for medical reasons is calculated for those final six months at 22 cents per mile. You can find more on the midyear revision and the double deductible driving record keeping it requires in my increased 2022 mileage... Read more →


Banks can be imposing, but having an account can mean quicker receipt of your tax refund via direct deposit. (Photo by Expect Best from Pexels) It's been a busy year for the Internal Revenue Service. The agency continues to feel the reverberations from COVID-19. Throughout 2021, the IRS has been distributing coronavirus-relief-related tax money, including Advance Child Tax Credit payments and refunds based on unemployment benefits adjustments. Meanwhile, there was its main tax job. Through Oct. 22, the IRS had received almost 168 million tax returns. The good news for the tax agency is that most of those returns —... Read more →


Hurricane Ida is one reason why some taxpayers don't have to get their extended tax returns to the IRS on Oct. 15. (National Hurricane Center radar image of Ida making landfall) Millions of taxpayers are frantically filling out Internal Revenue Service forms right now. They are the folks who got an extension until today, Oct. 15, to submit their annual federal tax returns. Some, however, aren't in a hurry. The IRS has given them more time to complete their returns. Disaster related added delays: Unfortunately for those filers, the reason for an extended extension deadline isn't a welcome one. They... Read more →


In addition to visiting your local pumpkin patch this month, make time for these October tax moves. (Photo by James Wheeler via Pexels) It's October. I know I say this every month, but wow, this day got here quickly. And it's just the start of a busy month. This first full month of fall means it's time to winterize your house if you live in a place with changing seasons. You've got candy to buy so trick-or-treaters won't be disappointed. But take it from me, don't buy the sweets too soon or you'll have to buy more by the time... Read more →


Is the fifth time the charm? The owners of cannabis businesses legal in their states certainly hope that modified multiple maxim is true. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would allow cannabis businesses in the 36 states with retail dispensaries (that are taxed) to operate the same way their non-marijuana related colleagues do. They could pay their federal taxes with a check, secure loans to expand their operations, and accept bank debit card transactions by customers. Right now, that's all problematic at best. Businesses that sell marijuana are limited in their banking options since the plant still is... Read more →


Photo by sarachicad via Flickr CC Since COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020, both employers and employees have been struggling to recover. There was hope when vaccines became widely available in early 2021, things would change. Coronavirus jab hesitancy and the Delta variant wrecked that. Some blamed added federal unemployment benefits on the trouble companies had finding staff when they reopened. Others said it was the businesses' fault for not offering better wages and benefits. Now, in the midst of the Great Resignation in which millions of workers have opted not to return to their prior workplaces, companies are still... Read more →


Are you ready for Tax Day take two? It's June 15 and it's almost here. That mid-June day is the annual deadline for millions of U.S. taxpayers who are living outside the country. That includes members of the armed forces stationed abroad. It's also the due date for the current year's second estimated tax payment. And this year, even more taxpayers will participate. June 15, 2021, is the first Tax Day for millions who literally endured disastrous situations earlier this year. Here's the scoop for all these folks now facing impending June tax obligations. U.S. taxpayers living abroad: Every year,... Read more →