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 →


Getting your tax ducks in a row takes on a different meaning, and bird, in November. But whatever fowl you choose for the metaphor, make some time this month to complete tasks that will prevent tax turkeys. (Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni) Hello, November! We welcome cooler (but not cold!) temperatures, holiday feasts (yes, I love pumpkin pie), and seeing family and friends for the first time in, well, months. This penultimate month of the year is also a good time to tackle some tax tasks. I know, you already have a lot on your November to-do list. But check out... Read more →


Confused about your workplace benefits options during open enrollment? Your answers to the following questions could help. (Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash) Millions of U.S. workers are now deciding what workplace benefits they want in 2024. Many during this annual open enrollment period simply re-up the options they chose last year. I get it. It's easy. But you could be costing yourself, both in out-of-pocket cost and tax savings. So, before you make a final decision, ask yourself the following questions. 1. Will your company help your repay your student loan? College costs and the debt that... Read more →


Small businesses' many challenges were multiplied during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) helped many companies and their workers make it through that lean time. But recently, unscrupulous promoters have pushed some owners to improperly claim the ERC, creating new problems. Now the IRS is offering a way to correct those bad filings. (Image via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) helped lots of small businesses and their staff make it through the COVID-19 pandemic. When properly claimed, the ERC is a refundable tax credit designed for businesses that continued paying employees while... Read more →


The coming wage base bump also means more FICA taxes for higher earners. It looks like this man got the good news that his Social Security benefit will be larger next year. However, the tax news for high earners who are still working isn't as welcome. (Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The Social Security Administration (SSA) gave 71 million benefits recipients good news today. Next year, they'll get a 3.2 percent increase in their Social Security retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The cost-of-living (COLA) bump means that retirees will, on average in 2024, see more than... Read more →


You have a lot of responsibilities when you're self-employed. One includes making contributions to your retirement plan, which in some cases can be done as late as your filing extension deadline. (Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) Most IRA contributions must be made by Tax Day. For the majority of taxpayers this year, that deadline was April 18. But if you're self-employed and got an extension to file your 2022 tax return, you also got an extension to contribute to your entrepreneurial endeavor's retirement plan. That deadline, in case the days have slipped by you, is this coming Monday, Oct.... Read more →


Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash After two years of decline, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic, marriages in the United States have returned to pre-COVID levels, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's recently released 2022 American Community Survey (ACS). Even better for romantics, a major jewelry company is predicting a spike in engagements as more of us return to pre-pandemic lifestyles, including dating…and more. If you're planning nuptials, or already have said, "I do," congratulations. Now here are eight tax tasks you need to take care of, after the honeymoon, of course. 1. Make sure everyone knows your... Read more →


Your next "welcome to your new job" handshake could be at the Internal Revenue Service. (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Ahmet Kurt) A key part of the Internal Revenue Service's plan to increase taxpayer compliance is personnel. It takes people to track down and confirm they, or their businesses, owe taxes. So the IRS is looking to hire 3,700 employees nationwide. Specifically, the agency is seeking people, preferably experienced accountants, to serve as revenue agents. Revenue agent special skills: IRS revenue agents, known officially as Internal Revenue Agents, serve as technical experts in examinations of significant and complicated tax compliance... Read more →


Photo by Max Burchill on Unsplash To paraphrase a gazillion social media posts, exploitative people are why we can't have needed tax breaks. OK, Congress plays a big part. And the Internal Revenue Service too often steps on its own tax toes. But in many cases, unscrupulous people mess things up for the rest of us who are just trying to comply with tax laws and get a little bit of legitimate tax relief along the way. That's what happened with the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). This refundable tax credit was created by lawmakers to help businesses that were struggling... Read more →


The scheme involved false W-9 information, which meant the payor wasn't able to provide the owner of the artificial turf company, or the Internal Revenue Service, with the proper third-party report, allowing the man to evade nearly a million in federal tax. Until tax investigators caught up to him. Artificial grass has been dividing sports fans and players since its installation in Houston's iconic Astrodome in 1966. But fake grass is gaining ground among residential and smaller commercial customers. The market is forecast to reach $7 billion by 2025, as we deal with hotter temperatures, drought, and water sources literally... Read more →


The Sept. 15 deadline for paying the third installment of 2023's estimated taxes is just days away. Make sure you meet it. Also make sure you pay the correct amount. If when all is said and filed at tax time, you owe the U.S. Treasury $1,000 or more, you could face a penalty for underpaying your taxes. And where that taxable money was from sources not subject to withholding, you also could face late-payment fines for not remitting it during the proper estimated tax quarters. Estimated tax safe harbors: Most of us who must pay estimated taxes calculate that expected... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Martin Sanchez I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day break. Now that summer is effectively and officially coming to an end this month, it's also a good time to look at some tax tasks. Taking care of tax business in September can help you avoid a costly tax fall as autumn arrives. OK, bad seasonal quasi-pun. Sorry. Accept my apology and these four September 2023 tax moves. 1. Pay your third quarter 2023 estimated tax. Many who've already filed their annual tax return still have other taxes to take care of this month. Yes, I'm talking... Read more →


Labor Day isn't a holiday for all workers. (Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash) Labor Day is a day off for many workers. But entrepreneurs probably put in regular shifts this first Monday in September. When your small business depends primarily on you, you tend to work even on holidays. Since you're busy being the boss, I won't take up too much of your time. But whether you're a new business owner or have been the boss for years, it's always good to stay on top of your tax responsibilities. Here are some tax basics for all of us self-employed... Read more →


Relax! An IRS change should help those 50 and older who make catch-up contributions to their workplace retirement savings plans. (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The second version of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or SECURE 2.0, Act was lauded for its many retirement-saving positive provisions. But as often happens with tax-related legislation, especially when it becomes law at the very end of a year, there were some not so good changes. That was the case with SECURE 2.0, which was enacted on Dec. 29, 2022, as part of the much larger Consolidated Appropriations Act.... Read more →


Teachers and other eligible educators, stop before filing your tax returns and make sure you claim the tax break for your out-of-pocket classroom expenses. (Photo Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) Our neighborhood schools this week welcomed students back from summer break. Teachers and other school staff already had been in the classrooms, getting ready for the youngsters' return. Those educators also likely spent some of their own money on the 2023-24 school year preparations. There's a bit of good tax news for those school employees. They can claim a tax break for their out-of-pocket educational expenses. $300 is still... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images One construction workers' union calls it the industry's "dirty little secret." Tax officials call it a crime. Both are talking about payroll tax evasion. Today, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in coordination with IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), jointly issued a formal notice to financial institutions alerting them to increases in state and federal payroll tax evasion and workers' compensation insurance fraud in the both residential and commercial construction industries. Every year, state and federal tax authorities lose hundreds of millions of dollars to these schemes, which are perpetrated by illicit actors primarily through... Read more →


Photo by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash Public schools in my part of Austin will welcome students on Aug. 16. Yeah, that's next week. Many universities also will begin classes this month. That leaves a small window now for some school-related tax lessons. So here's a crash course on eight educational tax breaks. Some help cover kindergarten through high school graduation costs. Others apply only to higher education expenses. There's even some federal tax help for post-graduation folks looking to improve their work skills. Let's start with two popular tax credits, since they offer dollar-for-dollar tax savings. American Opportunity Tax Credit:... Read more →


Photo by Saulius Sutkus on Unsplash August has arrived, reminding us that summer is almost over. There are just a few weeks left to take a final vacation during these sweltering dog days. But before you head out to a beach retreat or a cooler mountain cabin, take a few minutes for taxes. This month is a good time to make some tax moves that could save you some (or more) dollars and/or keep you out of tax trouble. Here are five to consider. 1. File your 2022 return by Aug. 15. OK, this applies only to a few, relatively... Read more →


And if that's not enough to get what's owed, Oregon and other states' child support officials get the U.S. Treasury's assistance in collecting those delinquent family financial payments. Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images It's a given that raising children is an expensive endeavor. When parents split up, that financial burden is shared. That continues, ideally, even when couples split. In those cases, one parent often is held legally responsible for providing funds to the other who has main custody of the youngsters. The payments typically last until the children are legal adults. When the paying parent is delinquent on... Read more →


Hello, July! Yeah, I know my welcome to the first full month of summer is a bit late. But admit it. You don't really focus on the month either until after you wrap up July 4th celebrations. Since Independence Day this year fell on Tuesday, that meant an extra-long holiday weekend for lots of us. But the fireworks are over and, sadly, we'll never be independent of taxes. So it's back to work this first week of July, and back to making tax moves that can at least keep a few more dollars out of Uncle Sam's clutches. Here are... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska Gig jobs boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the luster of these on-demand services has dimmed somewhat, plenty of people still look to these non-traditional ways to make money. Many use the gig economy to supplement their regular wages. Others like the flexibility of being an independent worker and make gig work their full-time job. But in all situations, what these workers don't like is having to take care of the gig economy's additional tax responsibilities. In fact, tax evasion, often inadvertent, is often a side effect of side hustles. Here are some tips to make... Read more →