Tax planning Feed

This image from the NASA/Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) was taken about three hours before Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28 in Cayo Costa, Florida. (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey, GEOS-5 data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and roads from OpenStreetMap. Check out the companion video of Ian's path.) Everyone saw Ian coming. The White House approved an emergency declaration allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to get ready to provide help to Floridians even as the system was "just"... Read more →


I loved this couch, but it was starting to wear so we donated it away while it was still in good shape. Some folks, however, would have sold the sofa. Now, such transactions could trigger a confusing tax situation. With inflation still squeezing budgets, some people have taken to selling old items. Garage sales are the traditional route, but if your neighborhood limits when you can put old items out for sale (dang those HoAs), then there's always the internet. A tax law change, however, could mean a tax hassle for infrequent, small-time online sellers. They could get a tax... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska I have money in the stock market. When I was a younger investor, I checked my assets a lot. Like almost every day. Then I realized that was just going to make me crazy(ier), so I shifted to a monthly review of where my holdings were. Now I just check quarterly. Most of the reason for my reduction in the frequency of my equity evaluations is that I'm at that part of my life where my holdings are pretty much set for my fast-approaching retirement years. The good news is that the recent market dive, while... Read more →


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 →


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 →


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 →


UPDATED, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022: As the expression goes, that escalated quickly. Tropical Depression 9 is now Tropical Storm Ian. Florida is under a pre-landfall state of emergency, awaiting Ian's arrival, the timing of which is shown in the new National Hurricane Center graphic below. When TS Ian does come ashore, likely as a hurricane, it would be the first Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States this season, and the first system to directly impact the East Coast since Tropical Storm Colin in July. UPDATED, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022: As expected, the tropics are finally popping. Tropical Depression 9,... 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 →


Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash Millions of people whose student loan debt will be wiped out now face another financial question. What to do with a bit more disposable income. Financial advisers suggest they pay off other debt, such as high-interest credit card balances. That's a smart move. So is the recommendation that folks put their newly available former debt payments into an emergency fund. I'd like to also toss out there the option of saving for retirement. As an added bonus, most retirement account options offer some sort of tax benefit. Here are some tax-favored retirement-saving possibilities that... Read more →


School is back, and that means homework. College students and their parents especially need to review some lessons on ways the Internal Revenue Code can help pay many higher education costs. The table below offers a look at two popular educational tax credits, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). The AOTC is the one most undergraduate students (or their parents) will claim. The LLC is for additional educational costs beyond the first four years, including classes you take after getting out of school. Education Benefits Comparison Tax Year 2022 Criteria AOTC LLC Maximum benefit... 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 →


Summer's winding down, with schools opening their doors across much of the country in just a few weeks. So of course, you're thinking of one last getaway to escape the sweltering dog days. But before you head out to a beach retreat or cooler mountain cabin, take a few minutes for taxes. August is a good time to make some tax moves that could save you some dollars and future headaches. Here are four to consider. 1. Make your tax holiday shopping list: The return this fall of students to classrooms is most welcome by COVID-weary parents who saw much... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska Cryptocurrencies are going through a rough patch, at least as far as the investment world is concerned. But devotees of the virtual assets insist they are here to stay, and that general acceptance of digital currency as payments for retail purchases is on the way. A recent survey seems to support that position. Widespread retail crypto payments expected soon: A majority of U.S. retailers expect digital currency payments to be the norm in the next five years, according to a study released last month by Deloitte in collaboration with PayPal. The study's poll in December 2021... Read more →


Online hospitality services have only grown in popularity since the first Airbnb rental in 2008. The private property rental service now has dozens of competitors worldwide. In the United States, state and local tax officials quickly discovered the revenue they were losing when owners let their homes or rooms. Most of the major clearinghouses for private rentals have worked out agreements to collect and remit occupancy taxes, similar to Airbnb deals, in the United States and globally. Of course, when taxes and real estate are involved, there always are bugs to resolve. In Dallas, for example, the city council is... Read more →


Photo by Amol Mande We're into the second month of the annual Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season, but it's other disaster outbursts that have prompted action by Uncle Sam. In early May, parts of Oklahoma were hit by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. A month later, Montanan faced severe storms and flooding. After Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) review, the White House issued major disaster area declarations in both states. Now the Internal Revenue Service, as is usually the case, is providing affected taxpayers some relief. Sept. 1 deadline for Oklahomans: Individual and business taxpayers in Oklahoma who were hit... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service is under scrutiny again, this time for conducting unusual and intensive audits of two top FBI officials who were critical of Donald J. Trump. The IRS has asked the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to investigate how former FBI director James B. Comey and his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe, both were subjected to a rare, compliance research audit that is supposed to random. Congress also will get involved. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey) already, and repeatedly, has taken IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to task for IRS shortfalls and missteps. In May, during a hearing... Read more →


One of these things is different from the rest: IRS Warns Donors about Charity Scams Following Recent Tragedies in Boston and Texas (2013) Fake charities make 2018 'Dirty Dozen list (2018) IRS cautions taxpayers about fake charities and scammers targeting immigrants (2021) IRS "Dirty Dozen" list warns people to watch out for tax-related scams involving fake charities, ghost preparers and other schemes (2021) Be aware of scammers who use fake charities to get sensitive information (2021) Bogus charities are always a problem. (2022) 76 Fake Charities Shared a Mailbox. The I.R.S. Approved Them All. (2022) The first six items above... Read more →