Filing your taxes can be difficult the older you get, but thanks to a brand new form that has been created for taxpayers over the age of 65, this will no longer be a problem!
Money is a part of your whole life. From the first time you asked for an allowance to the first dollar of retirement that you spend. Taxes, too, are just as prevalent once we start earning money, and will follow us through until the end of our lifetime. We are a family company here at Hoods, and we want to help and care for all of our families in Goose Creek. We have made it and are now just a few weeks past 2020's new tax day of July 15th. We will be busy over the next few weeks helping all of our amazing clients get their tax paperwork finished and taken care of. As we finish up this year's tax season, we wanted to take some time to talk about our seniors and retire clients, and share some exciting news for their next tax season.
Doing taxes has now become easier than ever before thanks to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, according to CPA Practice Advisor. As part of this new act, the IRS has made special tax forms for senior taxpayers, the 1040-SR US Tax return forms. These forms come with larger fonts and better readability. With the fonts being larger, the forms will now be two pages instead of one. To help with readability, you will also see a change in the coloring of the forms. Any shading that had been previously used around text boxes has been removed. Even better, these forms are available to fill out both online or in their paper form that can be submitted through the mail. The IRS, since they released these new forms, have "wanted seniors to know about the availability of this new tax form" and we will gladly help them spread the word. The form, along with its new features will include a standard deduction chart, too.
We understand that the process of learning and growing through each wave of taxes in your life is hard. From learning how to do it for the first time, learning how to file for the first time as a married couple, and learning how to file once you retire and begin collecting from social security is all hard to keep up with. Thanks to the 1040-SR forms, the IRS is taking steps to ease at least one of these transitions while we are here to help with the rest.
You don't have to be retired to use these forms either. As long as you were born on Jan 2, 1955, and before, they are available to you. If you are still working, have multiple sources of income, are receiving social security, annuities, or more, these new forms allow you to report on all of it. Not only is the readability much better, it's aimed at cutting down on extra work and stress. The from even allows you to choose to take the standardized deduction or itemize your deductions. The chart that is provided on these new forms will make taking that standardized deduction much easier. If the taxpayer wants to itemize, they will just need to include the Schedule A itemized deduction paperwork with their 1040-SR return. Also, according to CPA Practice Advisor, these new forms make sure that seniors are "aware of the incredible standardized deductions for taxpayers 65 years and older."
What if your partner isn't 65 years or older but you are, and you plan to file together? That's ok! You will still be able to file together and you can use the new 1040-SR form to do so if you wish. According to CBS News, this will make filing taxes easier for at least 10% of over 150 million Americans who file their taxes. It will also, thanks to its new set up, allow seniors to use the form to see if they'll be getting a refund or not right away and to know what amount they will be receiving. It will give this generation of taxpayers the freedom to continue to handle their taxes and their finances, which we love to see. Seniors who have a dependent child or grandchild are still able to take a tax credit for them as well with these forms. Ironically, as much as we have been thanking the IRS for these new forms, it was thanks to a very long battle fought and won by congress that made the 1040-SR forms a reality.
Now that this tax season has come to a close with the passing of July 15th, please keep these new forms in mind for preparing and filing your 2020 taxes next year. We could still see more financial changes in what remains of 2020, so filing may be even more unique next year than we can guess. We will be here to help you through these changes if they appear. But, if you haven't been aware of these new forms, we hope that they will help you in the future. We are here to support you and our amazing community of Goose Creek! If you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
With the recent announcement that the unemployment rate is at its highest since the great depression, more and more people have needed to apply for unemployment. With the high volume of people calling and applying every day, it's become a challenge to get any kind of relief money. During these difficult times, we wanted to share some tips and suggestions on how to make the process of applying for unemployment a little less painful and to help get the money you need now!
Hello Goose Creek! We hope during these unknown times you continue to remain healthy and safe. We have been watching the news as closely as many of you have, and we are anxious to see what things will be like as everything is slowly allowed to open up. We are still diligently working for all of our clients, and we are here for all of your tax preparation needs as we get closer to the new tax date of July 15th.
Many of us are still waiting for our stimulus checks, our tax returns, and our small business loans to be approved or to show up. With the delays being connected to many different and unique factors, it's still hard to know exactly when our personal financial relief will finally appear. With the unemployment rate continuing to skyrocket, more and more people need and have been applying for unemployment. Many of the people who are applying are doing so for the very first time. Over 33 million people, it has been estimated, have applied for unemployment over the past two months. This number is expected to rise as businesses remain closed. With this incredibly high demand, it has brought an extreme amount of frustration to those who have been attempting to apply with no success. People are spending countless hours trying to get ahold of anyone to help them with their application process with no success, and heaps of frustration. With this headache adding to the stress we're already carrying, we wanted to share some tips on how to make the process of applying for unemployment during this pandemic a little less painful.
The new stimulus relief bill that the president signed in March for $2.2 trillion in relief money has changed who is now qualified for unemployment. Before the pandemic hit, those who worked part-time or who were self-employed and lost work or clients were unable to apply for unemployment. Now, that has all changed. Thanks to the new stimulus package full time, part-time, self-employed, those who collect veteran or social security benefits, those whose businesses have closed due to the pandemic, those who were unable to start a new job, or those who now have to care for children or family members whose care facility was closed due to the pandemic, are now all eligible to apply for unemployment. The new stimulus package will be giving its recipients an additional $600 a week on top of their state's weekly benefit that they have been deemed eligible for. It is also providing an addition 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to those who are eligible. You will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you're able to work from home. You are also not eligible if you've quit your job out of fear of getting COVID-19. On the other hand, you are eligible if you have had to leave your job and self-quarantine due to possible exposure.
Each state is unique in how they handle their unemployment claims, and how and when you can apply. Who is and who is not eligible is still a little hazy, so you need to pay attention to the small print. That is where a lot of the frustration can come from and why so many people are calling unemployment instead of just filing right away online. The fine print is peppered across all the documents you need to fill out to apply and they can be very confusing, leading to those high call volumes. There are some things you can be doing that can make the process a little less painful, though.
These are unknown times, and losing your job or getting your hours cut can add on extra worry and stress. There is nothing wrong with applying for unemployment or asking for help on how to apply. It was created to help during times of crisis, and the money it can give you and your family can help you survive. Take the opportunity to apply for it if you need it. Never hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about your taxes, filing for taxes, and so on. We are here to help our Goose Creek family and stand with you during these difficult times. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
It's tempting to use your tax return to buy something fun and exciting. It's also such a relief when those funds show up in your bank account. But, in a world that is very unsure and uneasy, it might be time to think practically when it comes to your tax return this year!
Hello Goose Creek! How are you? We hope you and your family are doing well, and we hope you know we miss you! Know that through everything we are here for you, and if there is anything we can do to help you, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! It was a much different April than any of us expected or could have imagined. Tax day came and went without much attention. For the first time since 1955, when April 15th officially became tax day, we didn't have to pay our taxes on that day. It was also the first time since 1955 that tax day was moved, this time to July 15th. It was very strange for us, of course. But, we know that for many families in Goose Creek, this might have been a huge relief! Did this help you and your family? If you still haven't paid your taxes, you do have time to do so. But, we do recommend that you do so as quickly as you can. This way you can receive your tax return quicker and possibly your stimulus check too if you haven't already!
Regardless, for every accounting service in Goose Creek and tax preparation in Goose Creek, this was a very strange April. Thankfully there are still plenty of great things to look forward to on the horizon. One of those great things being the appearance of our tax returns in our bank accounts or mailboxes. For many families, the appearance of this money comes with a lot of relief, bills being paid, and sometimes something very fun for the whole family. But, as we mentioned before, this April and the whole of 2020 has created quite a different dynamic for our everyday lives. As much as we love surprising the family with a new TV, A new car, or a family vacation, now might be the time to look at your tax return in ways you never have before. Being the best tax preparation service in Goose Creek, we wanted to share some of the best and worst ways you can spend your tax return. By doing so, we hope to help bring awareness to what is important right now, and what isn't. Please note, we are a family company. We love our town and want each of you to rise to the best of your abilities. We respect the freedom of your decisions but want to help you through these difficult times as best we can.
WHAT NOT TO SPEND YOUR RETURN ON!
WHAT TO SPEND YOUR RETURN ON!
Money can be a difficult and tricky topic, but it doesn't have to be. We hope these tips help you and your family through this difficult time. Remember if you are looking for the best accounting services in Goose Creek, the best tax preparation in Goose Creek, business consulting in Goose Creek, bookkeeping in Goose Creek, or payroll services in Goose Creek, we are here for you! Our phone lines and inboxes are waiting for you. Don't hesitate! Please stay safe, everyone. We will see you soon!
The face of tax day has been changed by the state of the world. But what does this all mean for us as individuals? How is this going to affect how each of us is expected to pay our taxes?
Tax day truly means something very different than it has in all of its history now than ever before. This year, as of recent legislation, tax day has been moved from April 15th to July 15th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in very normal situations, this is a very stressful time for everyone. During this unknown and uncharted time, it has become very stressful at a whole new level for businesses, closed businesses, employees who have been temporarily laid off, and for everyone not knowing what to do next. The government and the IRS hoped that this 90-day extension would ease the stress of not having funds on hand to pay for your taxes by their original due date, due to the loss of your job or paycheck, all in hopes that by July 15th everything will have returned to normal. It's is a very optimistic hope and wish that it is, and all of us are hoping that by July all of this will have blow over, but who knows what could happen.
If you have already filed your taxes, we hope that your tax return is safely in your hands and has helped you through this difficult time. If you're planning to file and pay your taxes before the new July 15th deadline, the IRS is still processing paperwork and is ready to get your tax return back to you. But, if you still need more time, then you're in luck. Unlike a traditional extension, this is allowing filing and payment to be both sent in by July 15th. But, the IRS understands that you might be needing your return more than ever this year. This new deferment is just giving you a chance to take more time to file if you need it. All of us here at Hoods are ready to support our Goose Creek family through these new changes and to help guild, instruct and file for you. But, with all of the changes, do you know what this deferment means and who it applies to? Is this going to help you individually or not?
As of March 20th, the IRS made the official statement that federal income tax filing was moved to its new date of July 15th. Taxpayers are also able to defer federal income tax payments without any penalties and interest, no matter how much is owed. Thankfully this new deferment applies to all taxpayers. This means individuals, those who pay self-employment taxes, corporations, businesses, and trusts and estates. Everyone can benefit from these changes without any penalty. There is also limited paperwork that comes with this change. Unlike a traditional deferment, you do not need to let the IRS know that you're filing later. If you haven't filed by April 15th, the assumption will be made that you are going to be using the new due date as your official tax day. If you do decide to follow the new deferment, and July 15th is still not enough time, you can still ask for an additional extension. This is where the new paperwork comes in. If you need more time as an individual, you will need to file Form 4868, and businesses will need to file Form 7004. Outside of that, no new paperwork is needed!
Even with this extra relief, the IRS still recommends that you file as soon as possible, as the future is still very unknown. To help your financial situation and to get your return back to you as quickly as possible, they are taking no longer than 21 days to get your paperwork filed and refund to you. As we mentioned in past blogs, filing closer to the due date can cause your return to take up to 30 days if not longer to get back to you. This is no longer the case. The IRS is working harder and faster to help out where ever they can.
With the daily changes happening in our country, and the IRS being a vital key to keeping our government afloat in the days ahead, there could be a few bumps along the way with your taxes. Please be patient with them. We also recommend filing online if you were planning to do otherwise. All IRS workers have moved to remote work, and will no longer be accepting appointments in person. Hoods is still here to help you, but we suggest for all business to be done over the phone, through email, and other digital forms of communication for safety sake.
Tax time has never been more unique or shrouded with so many unknowns. During this time, if you have any questions or concerns, we continue to be your tax specialist in Goose Creek. We will get through this together, successfully get your taxes filed, and happily get your tax return back to you and your family. Continue to stay safe and stay at home!
When it comes to your retirement plan, taxes still need to be included in this plan. But with the constant shift in what's available to employees now, the change in how long employees are staying with one company, and what some companies are and are not offering, are you prepared for the end of your career and for a new way of paying taxes?
For some of our readers and clients, retirement may be many years away. For others, it might be right around the corner. Either way, it's always important to be informed and be prepared. Saving for your retirement is something you'll be doing for the entirety of your professional career, and isn't something you'll stop worrying about once that retirement fund is what you're living off of permanently. In our last blog, we talked about what a 401(k) is and how taxes may or may not affect it. In this blog, we will be discussing what a pension is and how they may or may not be affected by taxes. After reading both of these blogs, we would be interested in hearing what your preference is between the two if you have the option of choosing.
Today the 401(k) is much more common than the pension. For newer companies, a pension might never have been in their plan to offer to their employees to begin with. But, as you begin saving for retirement, or you are planning on retiring soon, it's good to know and understand what your options are and what you might be facing when tax season approaches during retirement. Sadly, you won't get to stop paying taxes. Retirement funds will provide you and your family many wonderful opportunities and a chance to live peacefully, but you'll still be dealing with the IRS. But what exactly will you be dealing with, and what do you need to be aware of before you get there?
Let's start at the very beginning. What is a pension? A pension is a type of retirement plan that pays and provides a monthly income to someone in retirement. As we have talked about previously, they're not as common as they used to be. Today, it is the most common to find pensions for those retiring from government or big company jobs. Through your time working for a company that does provide a pension plan as their form of retirement, the company is responsible for putting money into a pension plan throughout the time you work for them. Once you reach a certain age of retirement, the money that has been put into this account throughout the years of employment is given back to the employee in the form of a monthly check. This monthly check serves as income through the course of retirement. For many people today, even those who do come from a healthy pension, this is usually not their only form of income once they are retired. Social security and other forms of income combined with a pension are very common. The amount that you do receive in your pension checks depends on three different things. How long you worked for your employer, how much you were paid while you worked for them, and your age. The longer you work for the company paying into a pension, the more you will receive in your pension The amount every company has to put into a pension is decided upon, protected by, and guaranteed by the Department of Labor. They make sure you do receive all the benefits you're owed by the time you retire. You also have the option to put money into your pension as well from your paycheck or other outside sources of income, just like a 401(k).
But what about taxes once you do start taking this money? You've hit the age of retirement and the checks start coming. What now? Once you start taking this money, you will still have to continue to pay taxes. It is not a source of tax-free income once it starts arriving in the mail. There are some exceptions to this rule, and some parts of your pension could remain tax-free. If a pension is being paid based on health reasons or disability, then that could become tax-free. If after taxed money was added to your pension over time, that too could be considered tax free. But these examples and a few other examples are few and far between. You need to be aware of what you may or may not be taxed on. Once living on your retirement plan, how much you'll be expected to pay in taxes cannot be a guessing game. Your fun and exciting plans for retirement might not become a reality if you're not careful. You might end up spending more than you expected on taxes if you aren't careful, and not spending it on the things you want. The safest thing to do is to plan to save money from your pension to pay taxes on it. Pensions are usually funded with pre-taxed cash, making the whole amount taxable once you start receiving the funds. The good news is, that whatever money you contribute from after taxed money, you will not have to pay taxes on!
That being said - let's look at the pros and cons of a pension.
Paying for your retirement starts long before you get to enjoy it. Since you're going to have to pay taxes the whole of your life, what option sounds the best to you? A pension or a 401(k)? With the changes and needs in what people are wanting to do with their careers, their lives during their work years and retirement years, which plan sounds best to you? Now knowing all that you do in how they differ, does it make sense why a 401(k) is more common now than a pension?
We hope you enjoyed this series of blogs. Retirement is not something you should be putting off, start as soon as you can and plan for as long as possible. Be confident and knowledgeable about what taxes look like before and after retirement, and plan accordingly. If you have any questions or concerns about your retirement plan during this tax season or future seasons, we are here to help you in Goose Creek!
Tax season is here, and for many of our clients, as you grow professionally and through your financial years, you come to discover more and more things finding their way onto your tax documents that you have to pay for. One of the most expensive things that you will depend on later in life is your retirement fund. Are you prepared to retire and are you aware of what you may or may not have to pay taxes on once you do?
February is here, and we are one day closer into tax season here in Goose Creek. We are here to provide the best tax preparation services to all of our current and new clients, so please don't hesitate to contact us this tax season! We are in full swing, and are prepared for what is going to be a very busy but very exciting tax season! With that being said, we are here to offer our clients at many stages of their lives help with their taxes. For those filing for the first time, for those filing for the first time as a married couple, and those filing for the first time after retiring. Just as you change through the stages of your life, how you pay your taxes will also change along with you.
Planning for your retirement is one of the most important things you can start doing once you start working in the professional world. You'll be paying for your retirement your whole professional career, and it will most likely be one of the most expensive things you'll ever pay for. There are no loans, no short cuts, so you will have to save and work for it. As overwhelming and difficult as this can be at times, the sooner you can start, the better your years of retirement will be. In honor of that, we will be dedicating this two-part blog to the pros and cons of having a 401(k) versus a Pension, and what that will mean come tax season once you are thinking of retiring and once you do retire!
The days of working for a company for 40 plus years and retiring with an amazing pension, health benefits, and security are becoming things of the past. Today, the 401(k) is dominating the world of the retirement plan. A 401(k) is a plan that was specifically designed to help you save for retirement and was created almost by accident! The 401(k) that we know today started its journey in 1978 with the creation of the Revenue Act passed by Congress that year. This Act was added to the Internal Revenue Code, Section 401(k), and it allowed employees to avoid paying taxes on deferred compensation. in 1980, a gentleman by the name of Ted Benna, benefits consultant of the Johnson Companies, was trying to come up with a way to have a more tax-friendly option for companies to provide retirement programs based on this new 401(k) idea. He came up with the incredible idea that allowed employees to save pre-taxed money in a retirement plan that the employer would then match and put back into the plan as well. This was the birth of the modern-day 401(K) plan, and The Johnson Companies were one of the first to provide these new benefits to their employees.
In the very beginning, the original section of the 401(K) in the Internal Revenue Code, did not allow stand-alone accounts to be created and to be funded by salary reductions. Mr. Benna pushed the IRS to change this idea, and they followed through. Those employees who now decided to partake in a 401(k) could now use their deferred income to make investments and not be taxed on any gains. By 1982, 401(k)s were being offered by thousands of companies, and they are commonplace for most companies today.
There are many benefits 401(k) programs give to business owners and employers, and many of these benefits are why pensions are becoming an endangered species.
The benefits a 401(k) can offer to the employee are also very positive.
Right away in just these two short lists (they could be much longer, this is just an overview), you can see how a 401(k) can be such a relief on your taxes now, and it won't be an issue on your taxes or even something you have to worry about until you start pulling money out of it. But even though there are some wonderful benefits to a 401(k) there are still some cons.
Don't be overwhelmed with these cons. When deciding on your future, especially your financial future that could affect your taxes, you need to be aware of both sides of the coin. It is good to remember that what you pay into your 401(k) can help reduce the liability rate on your taxes every year and can help with tax withholding during every one of your pay periods.
You have a lot on your plate right now when it comes to tax season, so for those who aren't taking money out of their 401(k) this year, it's one less thing you have to worry about when filing. For those who are just starting to use their 401(k) plan as retirement or in a situation based on need, this tax season might be a little different for you. But don't worry, we are here to help. We hope this information has enlightened you a little more on 401(k) plans, and one of the many options available to you for retirement. In our next blog, we will be exploring pension's and what kind of taxes you may or may not be facing with those. Until then, we are Hood's Tax and Accounting Service, here to help you with all of your tax needs in Goose Creek, SC!
There are many loose ends you need to tie up at the end of any year for your personal taxes and those of your small business. You also need to be staying on top of the many changes coming your way in 2020 taxes. You might have more work ahead of you, so it's better to be prepared now for what is quickly heading your way.
You've made it through the holidays and all the celebrations that go along with them, both in your job and with your families. As tax season approaches for the 2019 fiscal year, you need to start thinking about a few new changes that you'll be seeing sooner rather than later, along with tying up a few loose ends.
In this blog, we won't be discussing all of the changes that are heading your way. We will just be touching on some of the most important. You will see changes in the W-4 form in 2020, in State withholding, Federal W-2s and State Deadlines, ACA Compliance from the State, and in Gig Economy and worker classification.
Changes with W-4 Forms
In 2020 you're going to see changes with the IRS W-4 tax form. They have changed the form and given it a bit of a facelift. The changes include calculations for income tax withholding. There is a new form that has been added for the head of the household as well. The new form eliminates withholding allowance. As an employee, you will just adjust your withholdings by putting your tax information on your W-4 forms. This will include non-wage income, full-year deductions, and any child or any other dependent tax credits. If you own a small business or are getting a new job in the year to come, filling out tax papers will be much different than previous years. Since you probably don't know all of your tax information off the top of your head, and you probably won't be carrying around copies of last year's tax refund, take more time filling out the paperwork. If you are a business owner, allow your employee to take it home. Ask your new employer for a private space to call home or your tax professional to fill out all the information. If you are happy with your current withholdings at your job now, you will not need to fill out the w-4 form again. If you need to change anything for your future taxes, you will have to fill out the new paperwork.
The new W-4 paperwork could affect state tax withholdings. Many states are still trying to figure out how to work with these new changes, so you or your small business won't be the only one trying to follow along. You will need to prepare for these changes by the end of next year, as their decisions on how to deal with these new changes will also affect how you file your taxes. The main issue many states are dealing with right now is the fact that there is no longer a box for allowances on the federal tax forms. Different states are picking different ways to handle the situation. One option that might become the norm is taking the focus away from income tax and shifting to pay-roll taxes. This might not be a very fun solution for many of us, but be prepared. When it's time to do taxes and paperwork for 2020, make sure to pay attention to the choices your state has made to deal with the W-4 changes.
Federal W2s and State Deadlines
In 2020 the tax rate will remain the same for employees and employers, at 6.2%. Medicare tax rates will also stay the same as they were in 2019. The IRS has now moved up the W-2 submission deadline to January 31st. They have done this to continue the fight against tax fraud and identity theft. Most states will now require electronic W-2 filing from your employers. Many states have also increased the penalties for late filings of W-2 forms. Be very aware of these due dates. These fees can add up very quickly and become very costly.
The good news for you, if you're feeling overwhelmed for next year's tax season, is that we are here to help you keep up to date on these changes. We are here to help you understand them, help guide you through them, and prepare for them. These charges vary from small differences to ones that will affect you on a state and federal level. Just like any tax law changes, the new ones we will be seeing in 2020 will evolve into others. So don't get too comfortable. Stay connected, educated, and ready for the unexpected.
Our most recent blog was dedicated to all the known and unknown items you can look forward to writing off your personal taxes this year. But with new tax cuts and the Job Act of 2017 are you aware of everything you can no longer write off on your personal taxes this year?
It was a delight to share in our last blog all of the wonderful known, and possibly unknown items, that you can write off of your personal taxes come April 15th. These write-offs can be such a relief to any family and a surprise to your bank account when Uncle Sam comes knocking. But it's just as important to know what you cannot write off your family's taxes, so there are no unpleasant surprises. This year could be one of the most difficult years of write-offs thanks to Tax Cuts and the Job Act of 2017. Tax code has changed dramatically, and once you have filed your 1040 (your personal federal income return) this tax season - these write-offs will no longer be available to you.
Understandably, you may not know about these new laws. Tax law for your personal taxes are hard to keep up with or hard to follow - the documents are all available for research, but they can be difficult volumes to understand and interpenetrate. But these new changes are credited to be the largest tax overhaul in over 30 years. A lot of people won't even know about these changes until they go to file. Beat this statistic and read up now - this way you can prepare your finances to pay for items this tax season that you've never had to pay for before.
Businesses and Corporations aren't the only ones who can have write-offs and deductibles. As a tax-paying citizen, you can too! Do you know all of the common and most important write-offs for you and your family? Don't worry - this will explain them all!
You might think it crazy that some people look forward to doing their taxes every year. But really, they're letting you in on a really important secret. Taxes DON'T have to be as painful as they have been played off to be. What have taxes done to you? I mean - besides taking your hard earned money every April 15th. But maybe think about it from another angle - what can doing your taxes give back to you? Just two magic words: itemized deductions. That is the golden ticket. But are you keeping track of all of your expenses and are you writing off everything that you can? It's so easy to overlook some of the most common and lucrative tax deductions. So we are here to shine a light on all of them - so maybe next tax season, you can save a couple extra of those hard earned dollars.
Tax season is still nine months away, but we always recommend staying on top of your expenses, keeping track of all your important paperwork, and staying organized. There are TONS of amazing apps and programs that can help you do that. You just need to find the right one that works for you. It's so easy now to go paperless too - if you aren't totally paperless yet, maybe look into that. It'll cut down on the number of pieces of paper you have to keep your eyes on. And might open up a drawer or two in your desk. Always make the most out of any available tax deductions and exemptions. Each one that you claim gets subtracted from your gross income so your actual taxable income is automatically lowered.
First, I want to address those who work from home. This does span between the world of business tax and personal tax and can sometimes be a grey area. But be just as dedicated in keeping track of all of your work records and receipts as you would your own personal papers. You can write off your home workspace, no matter the size. Even if it's just a small corner of the kitchen or your den. But this dedicated space can ONLY ever be used for work purposes. The tip on knowing how much to write off is this: measure the workspace and divide it by the square footage of your home. The percentage you come up with is the amount of housing payment and utility that you can deduct every year. You can also write off other business expenses such as paper, pens, computers, and other commonly used goods and services. But again, similarly to your workspace, you can only use these dedicated items for your business. This also includes your phone lines. You can only write off the percentage of your cellphone bill of how much time you're using it for business. If you still have a landline (kudos to you!) you cannot write it off unless you have two landlines. The IRS doesn't recognize your first landline as a deductible, but it will recognize your second landline as a deductible. That way they know your first line is used for anything but business, while the other is used only for business.
If you don't own your own business and work from home - don't worry. There are still plenty of other write-offs for you and your family. Of course, tax law and tax code do change every year. So if you personally do your taxes yourself and use a program like Quickbooks or have your accountant do your taxes every year - always make sure you're up to date on any changes to any tax law. Most big changes will quickly be made into very public knowledge - what else do we love to talk about more than changes that will affect our income? But always double-check! Your next step is to decide how you're going to file. There are four common deduction categories, but there are more. Make sure you look into all of them before you file. But if you're filing as a single person the total number of deductions is $12,000. If you married and filing jointly or you're a qualified widow(er) with a dependent child the standard deduction is $24,000. If you're filing as the Head of Household, the standard deduction is $18,000.
To receive your deductions, itemizing all of them might help you save some more money. But you still might have to do a little extra math. So keep your calculator close. If your itemized deductions add up to more than your standard deduction - you will end up saving money on your taxes by taking the extra steps to itemize your deductions!
COMMON ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS! (Don't overlook these gems!)
Tax season is quickly approaching as the new year begins, and many are watching the clock to fill out their taxes by the April deadline. Some are new to the tax paying scene, and are wondering what all these new terms mean, especially a personal income tax.
In order to fund programs such as Medicare, Social Security, national security, roads, schools, and welfare, the government taxes our personal income. This income includes wages, unemployment benefits, tips, salaries, business income, and more.
When filing your tax return, make sure you pay attention to deadlines set by the IRS. Not having your taxes completed by the deadline can result in penalties and charges.
To combat tax confusion, make an appointment with our tax experts at Hoods Tax & Accounting. We take taxes seriously, so you don’t have to worry!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.