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 →


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 →


Many businesses that stayed open during the height of the coronavirus pandemic were able to do so thanks to the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). Some companies, however, subsequently filed for the 2020-2021 tax benefit at the urging of unscrupulous ERC promoters, and now are finding the IRS is looking into their claims. The Internal Revenue Service earlier this summer warned businesses about Employee Retention Credit (ERC) promotions that could land the companies in tax trouble. The ERC was created in 2020 as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help businesses and their... Read more →


Retirement finances are looking better for many older Americans, according to a recent investment company survey. However, they still haven't stashed the amount they say they expect to need to turn their post-work time into truly golden years. The average amount U.S. adults have saved for retirement reached $89,300, according to Northwestern Mutual's 2023 Planning & Progress Study. That's a 3 percent increase from 2022's average retirement savings level of $86,869. Survey participants, however, said they will need much, much more to retire comfortably. The amount to live like they want is $1.27 million. That was up from the $1.25... Read more →


Three years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down summer. It wasn't just recreational activities that took a hit. Lots of people lost income, even their entire jobs, as businesses closed to help slow the coronavirus spread. Several laws were enacted to help companies and individuals deal with the financial problems created by COVID and our response to it. One of the early ones was the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion relief package that took effect on March 27, 2020. Now, many people are facing a deadline in connection with one of the CARES Act's... Read more →


Even when companies try to comply with employment tax law, things can go awry. That's why many businesses hire third-party providers to handle those filings. The key here, detailed later in this post, is to hire the correct and reputable service. A Portland area construction company operator was sentenced to federal prison last week for his role in a multiyear scheme to evade the payment of payroll and income taxes on his workers' wages. The Aloha, Oregon, businessman was one of six men indicted last December by a Portland federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to defraud the United... Read more →


Long-time ol' blog readers know I regularly nag remind them to make sure their payroll withholding is correct. The tax goal is to have the amount of income taxes taken out each pay period to be as close as possible to what you owe when you file your return. Adjusting that amount can get you to that target. That's accomplished by completing a new Form W-4 with your new withholding details, as discussed in my post earlier this year on how to get your tax withholding just right. OK, maybe I am a bit of a tax nag. Withholding changes... Read more →


Young woman getting ready to record an online video. (Photo by George Milton) Being an influencer apparently isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when the tax collector gets involved. Sure, some of those ubiquitous TikTok videos are just for fun. Others, however, can make big bucks for their online creators. That happens when the viral stars are paid influencers. In most cases, the influencers work as independent contractors for the companies they endorse. SE and income tax due: This self-employed status, reminds the Internal Revenue Service, means the online promoters must pay self-employment (SE) tax in addition to... Read more →


Some of the world's largest companies are family owned. Yes, we're looking at you, Walmart. But the real backbone of every community is its locally owned and operated businesses. Although they are much smaller, these owners face many of the same challenges as do corporate behemoths that are run by and employ family members. Working with family can be even more fraught when it comes to taxes, since employment tax requirements for related employees may vary from those that apply to other employees. Here's an overview of some common family business tax considerations. Married couples as business partners: For better... Read more →


Homemade Gifts Made Easy May. A short word with many meanings. It's the name of the fifth month of the year. Here in the Norther Hemisphere, it's when springtime comes in fully. That's fitting, since its name comes from Maia, the Greek goddess of spring and growth. The Oxford English Dictionary also says the word is a verb that expresses possibility, as in "that may be true," or permission, as in "may I ask a few questions?" When it comes to taxes, I like to combine the meanings. May is a time of growth and renewal and the possibility of... Read more →


Image courtesy @SBAgov Welcome to National Small Businesses Week (NSBW). This year is the 60th anniversary of the weeklong celebration of the United States' entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. These smaller firms also create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. The event, which in 2023 runs from April 30 through May 6, is officially hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). But the Internal Revenue Service joins in the celebration since taxes are a big part of any business.... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. Tax Day comes four times a year for millions of taxpayers. We (yes, I'm one of them) must make estimated tax payments, that are due on April's regular Tax Day and three other days throughout the current and coming year. Why the extra tax filings? Because our tax system is pay as earn, which for most employed people is taken care via withholding from their paychecks. But folks who get income that's not subject to withholding — for example, from gig work or other self-employment endeavors; investment/capital gains earnings; prize or gambling winnings;... Read more →


The IRS' tax relief for tornado-stricken Tennessee residents and business owners is welcome. But that's just one part of picking up the pieces after a major disaster. Keep reading after the Volunteer State tax specifics for tips that all of us can use to recover, financially and physically, if we ever must cope with a catastrophe. Damage caused by an EF3 tornado that touched down southwest of Covington, Tennessee. Covington is the county seat of Tipton County, one of 10 counties in the Volunteer State that the Internal Revenue Service granted tax relief following the March 31-April 1 tornado and... Read more →


Great American Park vendor selling frozen treats and beer at a Cincinnati Reds game. (Photo by Chris Metcalf via Flickr CC) Happy MLB Opening Day! No, it's not an official holiday, but it should be. I've been to several Major League Baseball opening days in person over the years. It's great fun. It's also expensive. A ticket to a major league ballpark these days can blow a full grocery budget to bits. And speaking of food, the cost of concessions is outrageous. But since you no longer can bring in food — yes, I'm old enough to remember when we... Read more →


Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash When you make a mistake on your Form 1040, the best thing that could happen is the Internal Revenue Service will catch your relatively insignificant error, fix it, and send you a notice about the change. A worse outcome is the IRS changes reduce and/or delay the refund you're expecting. And the absolute worst tax error outcome is that your mistake isn't a minor one, and the IRS decides to take a longer, closer look at your filing. The only way to avoid these situations is to double check your return to ensure it's... Read more →