Work-job-career Feed

One of the biggest challenges for any business, whether new or established, small or larger, is hiring. It's also a challenge for the Internal Revenue Service, especially when companies don't understand or intentionally avoid employment taxes. Money lost from unpaid payroll taxes, both unreported or underreported, is huge, notes a recent Kiplinger's Tax Newsletter, accounting for a large portion of the overall federal Tax Gap. This is the amount of money the IRS is owed, but hasn't been able to collect. Kiplinger cites IRS data from 2019 that found $77 billion of payroll taxes fell through the cracks yearly from... Read more →


Photo by Polina Zimmerman While millions are debating when to file their tax return, others are asking a more elemental question. Do I have to file a 1040 at all? It's a good question. The short answer is probably. But there are some situations where the Internal Revenue Service doesn't demand individuals file. Here's a look at just who is off the tax filing hook. Filing requirements for most of us: Generally, if you are a U.S. citizen or resident you must consider three things when determining whether you have to file a tax return: your age, your filing status,... 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 →


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 →


Unemployment benefits can be a godsend when you lose your job. They also can be a god-awful problem at tax time. That money you get to help tide you over until you find another job is taxable income. In certain situations, however, lawmakers have provided unemployment compensation, or UC (and yes, that's its official name, so the compensation moniker explains the taxing), have exempted some of the government money from federal tax. COVID UC exemption: That was the case during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extraordinary circumstances of so many people losing their jobs at the same time... Read more →


One of the forms in the long list of tax documents you need to file your 2022 return is the 1099-K. This form has been used for years for third-party payment processors — for example, PayPal, Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, rideshare companies, and many more — to report to fund recipients the money they got during the year. The Internal Revenue Service also gets a copy so it can check the amounts that the earners report on their tax returns. Taxpayers have been getting 1099-K forms since 2012, with this initial reporting coving third-party amounts in 2011. The factors that... 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 →


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 →


Are you worried about getting a slew of 1099-K forms next year in connection with your side gig earnings? The Internal Revenue Service has an early Christmas present for you. The tax agency today announced that it was going to delay the requirement that third-party settlement organizations — places like Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, and similar payment mechanisms — issue the 1099-Ks to earners who in 2022 received at least $600 in a single payment or in aggregate, regardless of the number of transactions, for their goods or services. Instead, the new lower earnings level that triggers issuance of 1099-Ks will... 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 →


Back in the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic when companies and workers were struggling due to health-related shutdowns, they were given a bit of a tax reprieve. The Trump Administration on Aug. 8, 2020, issued executive memo that called for the deferral of the payroll tax portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax that goes toward Social Security. The White House argued that the move would put more money into workers' hands, give employers some financial breathing room, and keep the economy moving during the initial coronavirus closures. There was a lot of political consternation about the... Read more →


Life today demands multitasking. That includes taxes. And the champion here is the health savings account, or HSA. It offers three tax advantages. First, contributions to an HSA are made before taxes are assessed on the money. This lowers your taxable income a bit. Second, HSA funds grow tax-free. Third, when you use HSA money to pay eligible medical expenses, those withdrawals are tax-free, too. A flexible, multiple, and mobile savings option: But wait. There's more. There's no use-or-lose with an HSA. The full amount in the account simply rolls over from year to year. Plus, an HSA is quite... Read more →


December 1998 was hectic. The hubby was in California, getting onboarded for his new job, which actually would be in Florida. Our cat and I were in suburban Maryland, finishing up packing for our move to the Sunshine State. Most of that packing was done from 7 p.m. into the early morning hours, as I was still commuting to my job in downtown Washington, D.C., during the day. I had planned to quit so I could focus on the move, which was scheduled for early in the new year. However, a heads-up from a buddy in my company's Human Resources... Read more →


Photo by cottonbro studio The season of giving goes beyond presents for family and friends or donations to charities. December is also when many people who work in restaurants, salons, hotels, and similar industries get their largest tips of the year. One thing that's the same, however, is the tax consequences of those gratuities. Regardless of their size or when you get them, tips are taxable income that must be reported on federal and, for most folks, state tax returns. Workers who've held long-time jobs where tips are commonplace know this. But with the economic changes wrought by the COVID-19... Read more →


Some taxpayers might not be this happy in 2023 with their federal tax refund. (Image via Giphy) Many folks are already eagerly anticipating the 2023 tax filing season because they expect to get a refund from Uncle Sam. They might be disappointed. In a recent news release encouraging taxpayers to get ready for the upcoming filing season, the Internal Revenue Service slipped in this warning: Refunds may be smaller in 2023. There are three tax issues in 2022 that contribute to why the IRS will be sending some taxpayers smaller refunds when they file next year. No extra coronavirus funds:... Read more →


Many companies are sending workers home from their cubicles permanently. Last week's U.S. jobs numbers were surprisingly good. But another group was focused on a different workforce statistic: layoffs. In the last few weeks, there have been mass personnel reductions. Workers at CNN, HLN, Twitter, Meta, Amazon, Salesforce, HP, Lyft, Doordash, and more have been shown the doors in what some are terming, after the pandemic prompted Great Resignation and quiet quitting when workers returned to offices, the era of loud layoffs. At least those let go received some sort of severance package. But that small consolation also has tax... Read more →


Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash The U.S. jobs report today was way better than expected. Employers added 263,000 jobs. That meant that the country's unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. That's just a couple of minuscule notches higher than the half-century low of 3.5 percent. Wages are up, too. The October-to-November average hourly earnings crept up 0.6 percent, making it the strongest month-to-month gain since January. The latest hiring data has left economists, the Federal Reserve, and stock managers at a loss. One of the persistent questions as unemployment remains low is why so many businesses are still scrambling... Read more →


Women are making some advances in workplaces, but still face challenges when it comes to saving for a secure retirement. (Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash) I've spent most of my professional life writing and, for the most part, I've enjoyed it. But I've also, for the most part, looked forward to tapping away at a keyboard because I want to, not because I have to. That's part of the reason I shifted to freelancing. The freedom of being an independent contractor is, (one more time) for the most part, the best thing about the arrangement. So that I... Read more →


Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash You're heading home from your Thanksgiving get-together, loaded down with leftovers and maybe something less welcome. Yeah, your indigestion has been acting up, inflamed by overly rich food and some family members who just wouldn't let things go. The good news is that you can use your flexible spending account (FSA) funds to pay for the Tums or Gaviscon or whatever over-the-counter (OTC) remedy works for you. You may remember that not too long ago, you had to jump through hoops to get FSA coverage for these store shelf treatments under an Affordable Care... Read more →


Happy Thanksgiving Day! Once you retire, you might be able to spend the holiday in a different way, depending on your golden year dreams and how much money you've saved for post-work years. (Photo by sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash) How's your Thanksgiving morning going? It's pretty quiet at our house, since it's only the hubby and me. And aside from baking a pumpkin pie, our meal is Texas smoked brisket, sausage, and sides we picked up from a local barbecue joint yesterday afternoon. If your Turkey Day is more hectic, enjoy! When I was growing up in West Texas, my... Read more →