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.
You've made the runs to the grocery store for the bottles of water, bread, and PB&J. But when it comes to natural disasters, you need to consider your financial preparedness as well.
It's not new news that hurricane season is here. The weather channel, our weather apps, and friends up North have made sure we don't forget. But hurricane season isn't just about being prepared by storing up on non-perishable foods, batteries, bottles of water, and having an evacuation plan. You financially need to be prepared and ready for a hurricane, especially here in the Lowcountry. Now that we have had a taste of our first hurricane of 2019, we need to remember that one could be on its heels. Hurricane season isn't over until November. So, you still have time to get prepared.
It goes without saying that yes, you need to make sure that your home and family are safe and prepared for anything. Make sure your home is stocked with what you'll need to get through a storm if you're going to stay. Follow all of the safety precautions laid out by local officials and police, and make sure you make informed and safe decisions. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones and pets are the first things that need your attention.
But these precautions need to be taken care of even before the hint of the first hurricane appears. Taking care of your financial needs ahead of time will help eliminate stress, worry, and truly help you when a storm does arrive. Here in the Lowcountry, it's not a question of if, it's when.
Last but very not least, keep cash handy! ATMs might be down or unavailable after a storm. You might not be able to get cashback at a store or even get to the inside of your bank. Make sure to have a safe stash with you or ready to go when you evacuate. Most plan for at least 72 hours worth of lodging, food, and travel expense. So start with that amount, and go from there.
We hope this information is helpful for this year's storms and for many storms to come. Now that we've had the taste of our first one you have time to get prepared for the next hurricane. But as you do so, don't panic. If do just a few of these main points, you will be ahead of the game. Please stay smart, safe, and prepared this hurricane season!
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