Tax planning Feed

The first week of the 2023 tax filing season is in the books. But there are lots of other tax dates to look forward to, or at least be aware of, this year. As happens every year, there are the normal conflicts that delay some of them a bit. They are the traditional deadline shift the Internal Revenue Service institutes when tax due dates fall on weekends or federal holidays. The original date gets bumped to the next business day. The legal holidays in 2023 that could affect tax deadlines are — January 2, New Year's Day (observed) January 16,... Read more →


The companies that are supposed to issue my 1099 forms are being particularly slow this filing season. I've only received five. I'm still waiting for about double that to show up in my snail mail box (yeah, that's still happening) or as an email notice that they're available for download. The Internal Revenue Service realizes that millions of taxpayers eagerly await these documents. The agency also is aware of the burden their issuance places on companies, particularly smaller firms. Businesses must get the documents, notably Form W-2 wage statements and myriad 1099 forms that go to freelance, contract, and third-party... Read more →


National Weather Service radar of a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) and supercells, along with severe warnings in the southeastern United States during the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2023. The Autauga County, Alabama, EF3 tornado was on the ground at the time. (Image via Wikipedia; click here to see radar loop) Tax season 2023 starts today, but some more filers won't have to worry about meeting the April Tax Day deadline because Mother Nature continues to wreak havoc across the United States. Her Mommy Dearest outbursts earlier this month resulted in major natural disaster declarations in Alabama and Georgia. That, in... Read more →


Being a bit pokey can sometimes pay off at tax filing time. (Photo by Kay Bell) My husband and I have a lot in common. We also are a lot different. I tend to obsessiveness, wanting to take care of things as soon as I can. The hubby, on the other hand, is more deliberative. Unless it absolutely has to be done immediately, he's OK with waiting. And waiting and waiting. We've managed to make out differing approaches work. And I must admit that sometimes, he's right to put off projects. Not always, but sometimes. Situations change, making moot what... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell The Internal Revenue Service won't start processing 2022 tax year returns until Jan. 23, but you can file before then. A lot of folks are doing just that. The most common and obvious motive for filing early is to get the refund you're expecting. But there are some other reasons you might want to get your return to the IRS as soon as possible. 1. To beat tax ID thieves to the punch. The IRS and its Security Summit partners have made good progress in recent years in reducing tax identity theft and refund fraud. One... 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 →


The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) coordinates emergency responses, such as this one in early January before the latest disastrous rains and flooding engulfed the state. (Photo courtesy Cal OES Facebook) California covers a huge area, so there's room for plenty of extremes. That includes weather. Over the last few days, the Golden State has gone from devastating drought to equally devasting flooding. This week began with around 90 percent of California's population under a flood watch. Today, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it is giving taxpayers who are dealing with the disastrous conditions in 31... Read more →


Massive waves on Lake Erie splashed homes in Hamburg, New York, during the historic blizzard that moved across the Empire State just before last Christmas. While the result was a collection of real-life ice sculptures, the storm's ultimate effects were far less lovely. (Screen capture from WXChasing YouTube video) I admit it. I whined about the unusual cold front that moved into the Austin area Christmas week 2022. One of the reasons we moved here was for the area's generally moderate winters. But I was properly shamed. A few freezing nights was nothing like the deadly storm that gripped parts... Read more →


The tax code is like a car. A big, old, clunky car that just keeps chugging along. But every now and then you need to tune it up and change the tires. Here are some tweaks to the 2023 filing season model. (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio) Tax filing rolls around every year. But every year, there also are a few changes that make the process slightly different from prior filings. We didn't have any major tax law changes in 2022. But some old rules come into play, as does the expiration of some tax breaks that many folks had enjoyed... 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 →


Image by Pintera Studio from Pixabay We're two days into the New Year. Feel any different? Aside from thinking it's a Sunday instead of Monday, me neither. But some things, in addition to flipping calendar pages, have changed. From a tax standpoint, you'll see some differences, starting with those calendars. Weekends and holidays will shift some regular tax deadlines to new days. You also could see some differences on your 2022 Form 1040, thanks in part to tax breaks that no longer apply. Those changes are just a few things to note as we head into the 2023 tax year.... 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 →


Don't miss out on any tax breaks as you put together your retirement plan. That includes claiming the Saver's Credit if you're eligible. Some retirement savers got an early Christmas present. On Dec. 23, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.7 trillion omnibus package that keeps the federal government running and more. Among the more was a revision of retirement provisions known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. And one of those changes is the eventual conversion of the Saver's Credit into a matching contribution tied to workplace plans and IRAs. That's a good... Read more →


Merry Monday Holiday After Christmas on Sunday. Happy Boxing Day. Joyous End-of-Year Tax Tasks to Complete Week. Yep, the start of the last week of 2022 has a lot of identities. But it's that last designation that you need to pay close attention to, since the end of the tax year is critical when it comes to many tax moves. Here are eight you need to consider and, if they apply to you, complete by Dec. 31 — or actually by Friday, Dec. 30, in some cases since it's the last business day of 2022. 1. Take your required minimum... Read more →


A heat pump's outdoor unit is pulling what warmth it can out of the air in freezing conditions. (Photo by Peter Eastern via Wikipedia Commons) North winds are gusting up to 30 mph right now here in suburban Austin, Texas. By sunset, we'll be at freezing, with temperatures in the area tonight expected to drop to between 10 and 15 degrees. Despite my alternately freaking out thanks to memories of 2021's snow, ice, and prolonged freezing temperatures that led to extended electric and water utility outages across most of Texas, ranting, and stuffing old hand towels into every new window... Read more →


When are tax-deductible expenses like bananas? When you bunch them. (Photo by Couleur) I just got an email from my dentist, who's suddenly turned into an ad hoc tax adviser. He wanted me to know that he's got a few appointments open through the end of the year in case I need to spend my medical flexible spending account money. His alert also got me thinking about another tax tactic, bunching. Types and timing of deductible expenses: Since enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 2017, year-end bunching has taken on increased importance. This potential tax saving technique means you... Read more →


Yes, you've got a lot to think about during the holidays, but add this tax task, too, if you're older and have a tax-deferred retirement plan. Don't miss the Dec. 31 RMD deadline. If you read my December tax moves post a couple of weeks ago, thank you. Now I'm here to reiterate one of those end-of-year actions. Take your required minimum distribution. That sentence makes sense to older readers who used tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as a traditional IRA or traditional 401(k) workplace plan, to save for retirement. But Uncle Sam doesn't want to wait forever to collect on... Read more →