Individual Tax Blog

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What homeowners need to know about PMI tax deduction 
After months of searching, countless open houses, and endless deliberation, you’ve finally found your dream home. Like many homebuyers, your mortgage requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). The premium will most likely be included in your monthly payment, and you may be wondering whether PMI is tax deductible.  Key points: Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) or Private […]
Everything you need to know about filing a tax extension 
The federal tax return deadline for individuals falls on (or around, depending on the day of the week) April 15th every year. If you aren’t prepared to file by then, you can request a tax extension by filing Form 4868, which gives you an additional six months to file your previous year’s federal income tax […]
Your guide to the home office deduction
These days, it’s not uncommon for at least part of your home to double as office space. Whether you work from the couch or run your business from a designated room, you should know the tax implications of setting up a home office and claiming the home office deduction. Does it raise your chance of […]
New tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements
Tackling home improvements and reducing your tax bill at the same time? Sounds like a win-win! The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes expanded tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements, which some analysts have estimated could save over 100 million households $37 billion a year on their energy bills. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act extended […]
Tax planning opportunities when you’re in a pinch  
2022 not your year for earning potential? Many of us are still feeling the effects of the pandemic reflected in our income, AND we now have inflation to deal with. Perhaps you’ve been forced to take a break from work due to personal circumstances, or maybe your business just hasn’t done that well this year. […]
What to know if you’re selling your home this year
Your home is probably one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make in your life. It’s also one that comes with a lot of pride and emotion. Now, it’s time to sell. Of course, you want to make a profit, but what about the tax implications? Here’s what you should know if you’re selling […]
Your at-a-glance guide to child and dependent care tax credits in 2022
The child and dependent care tax credit helps to offset the cost of child or dependent care for families that pay for care while they work—whether that’s child care, summer camp, babysitting, adult day care, or another form of care for qualifying dependents. Over the years, the child and dependent care tax credit has undergone […]
Critical life lessons for the family office 
While the family office concept has been around for decades, it has seen significant growth in the past 10 years. We attribute this to many of the factors driving other changes in the business world: greater home connectivity and access to information, as well as the tremendous amount of change and upheaval in the wealth […]
Should you migrate to the Sunshine State?
“Join me in inviting @elonmusk to move @Twitter to the freest state in the nation! Florida would benefit the company as a whole—we have no state income tax and the perfect business climate. It’s time to book a one-way ticket,” said Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis in a tweet after it was announced that Elon Musk […]
More 2022 tax changes that may affect you
Last week’s blog covered some of the 2022 tax changes that may cause your tax situation to be quite different than it was in 2021. Here are some additional changes that may impact your return for the next filing season. Standard Mileage Rates Mileage Type  2021 2022 Standard mileage rate for business driving/mile 56¢ 58.5¢ […]
The 2022 Tax Changes You Need to Know
Although filing your 2021 tax return may still be top of mind, there’s no better time to start planning for the tax changes coming in 2022. Every year brings with it a long list of tax law changes that can affect your bottom line, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with what’s new and what’s […]
7 things your CPA wants you to know about filing 2021 taxes
The deadline for filing 2021 taxes looms around the corner, and once again the COVID-19 pandemic is causing some complications. In addition to the well-publicized IRS backlog, filers this year will need to account for economic stimulus payments and reconcile any advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. We’ve compiled a list of seven things […]
1099 Errors: What to do when you receive a 1099 that’s incorrect
If you’ve earned money through an online platform or other source of income outside of a traditional employment arrangement, you will most likely receive Form 1099 in January of the following year. The earnings could come from a wide variety of sources: selling products, subcontracting or freelance work, renting your home or other property, or […]
Rules to know if you’ve inherited an IRA
Saving for retirement is a top priority when it comes to financial planning. We all hope to reach financial freedom and enjoy our golden years, live comfortably, travel, and spend time with loved ones. Looking past our own needs, many of us also have family members we wish to provide for long after we are […]
How Advance Child Tax Credit payments will affect your 2021 tax return
The advance monthly payments of the Child Tax Credit ended in 2021, and the IRS has begun sending out letters to taxpayers who received monthly payments that indicate how much each individual received, as well as the number of children on which the credit amount was based. The expanded child tax credit will not continue […]
Want to become a millionaire? Stick to the basics.
You may have envied the success of self-made millionaires. Have you ever stopped to think that could be you? For some, millionaire status is more than just a dream—it’s a goal that they will achieve. It will take hard work, planning, and commitment, but with the right financial advisor and motivation, you too can become […]
Retirement planning at every age
Your golden years should be spent doing the things you love, enjoying life to the fullest surrounded by those that you hold dear. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have fallen short on retirement savings, leaving them in a bind financially. If your retirement years are looking less-than-relaxing based on your current savings, it’s not too […]
Review your finances with our year-end checklist
As 2021 comes to a close, it’s an ideal time to assess your finances and set goals for the new year. We recommend reviewing your current financial situation, identifying money moves to make before year-end, and determining any adjustments needed for 2022.  For a comprehensive review, consider the following: Retirement accounts Since there is no […]
Remember to Return Form 8879 to Your Tax Preparer
Why is it so important to get Form 8879 back to your tax preparer? If you have used a CPA firm or other tax preparer to file your taxes in the past decade, you’ve been required to complete a form authorizing the preparer to electronically submit your return on your behalf. Failing to submit that […]
What are the benefits of hiring a CPA firm?
The average taxpayer goes searching for a CPA at tax time and often realizes that there are benefits to hiring a CPA firm throughout the year. CPAs provide valuable time and money-saving services to individuals and business owners. Whether you’re looking to save on your taxes, better understand your investments, plan for retirement, create an […]
How is your side-hustle income handled at tax time?
You’ve heard the expression, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” What happens when what you love to do becomes your work? Many people have seen their side-hustles grow into a serious income stream. But what about those hobbies or activities that don’t bring in the big bucks? In […]
Donor-Advised Funds can offer Tax Benefits for Charitable Givers
If you’re looking for ways to maximize the tax benefits of charitable giving, donor-advised funds might be a great option. Donor-advised funds are accounts that are maintained and operated by a section 501(c)(3) organization. Donors can give money or assets (stocks, bonds, real estate) to a nonprofit sponsor to then be disbursed to various charitable […]
Do rental property owners file Schedule C or Schedule E?
Our recent blog addressed many of the tax issues inherent in renting your vacation home on Airbnb, VRBO, or another platform. Which form to file (Schedule C or Schedule E) with your tax return is a classic area of confusion for owners of short-term rentals, and the answer is often unclear for Airbnb hosts and […]
Are moving expenses tax-deductible?
If the transition to remote work due to the pandemic led you to flee a high-tax state and relocate to a state with a lower cost of living, there is a good chance you incurred moving expenses. Whether you moved yourself, had a moving service, or incurred hefty realtor fees, moving expenses can really add […]
New Reporting Requirements for Money Earned Online – Form 1099-K
$600 doesn’t sound like much in the grand scheme of a year’s income. It could come from a few sales on Etsy, or maybe you rented your home out on Airbnb out for a couple of nights. From the perspective of the IRS, however, that $600+ represents taxable income that has historically gone unreported—and unsurprisingly, […]
Contacting the IRS: Calling, sending documents, and avoiding bad actors
Contacting the IRS can seem like an overwhelming task. Likewise, many people feel panic when the IRS initiates contact with them directly. In order to help taxpayers identify legitimate IRS communication and help to fight against phishing attempts, the IRS uses specific channels for communication. You can contact IRS personnel in many different ways, including […]
When Working Remotely Triggers State Income Tax Requirements
2020 was the year for working remotely, and one of the more prominent questions in the 2020 tax season has to do with state income taxes. The question boils down to multiple states vying for your tax revenue relocation. Generally, you pay state income tax to the state in which you earned the income. For […]
Support for Individuals and Families in the American Rescue Plan
President Biden has signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, aimed at assisting millions of Americans and business owners feeling the impact of COVID-19. Not only does the plan include the next round of stimulus payments that have been making headlines, but it also includes additional provisions to financially support […]
Cryptocurrency Transactions are Taxable
For many years, transactions and earnings in virtual currencies stayed off of tax returns. As the value of cryptocurrencies rose, the IRS began enforcing and clarifying cryptocurrency tax laws. The IRS has updated instructions for 2020 on the virtual currency question on Form 1040, and these instructions clarify what’s included under the term virtual currency. […]
COVID-19 Relief Bill: What’s in it for individual taxpayers?
The December 2020 COVID-19 stimulus bill has been signed into law by the President and includes many provisions designed to help individual taxpayers continue to weather the pandemic. Among other items, additional funding for unemployment, individual households, vaccine distribution, and small businesses are all included. Our focus in this post includes COVID relief for individual […]
10 Year-End Tax Planning Recommendations
With all of the changes we’ve experienced in 2020, we strongly recommend reviewing your tax documentation and other financial information before the end of the year. We conduct year-end tax planning meetings with many clients, and these give us the opportunity to look through the nuances of individual finances. However, there are certain points that […]
Six ways to protect your identity during tax season
Whether you file your taxes yourself or work with a preparer, it’s absolutely critical to protect your personal information. Before you enter your Social Security number, review these 6 tips to help you protect your identity online. 1. Get an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS Starting January 2021, the IRS is expanding its Identity […]
Cancellation of Debt: What it Means to You
Cancellation of debt is an issue that often arises around tax time and is something that every taxpayer should understand. Many people are relieved to reach the end of a long battle with a debt, only to learn that there are tax implications. Any time there is a short sale, foreclosure, or another form of […]
How to protect yourself from 12 common IRS scams
Scammers never let an opportunity go to waste, and the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new ways for bad actors to prey on the vulnerable and scared in the form of IRS scams. Criminals are already attempting to steal money and personal information under the guise of coronavirus tax relief. The IRS recently released their “Dirty […]
Seven Noteworthy 2020 Tax Changes
The 2020 tax season is going to sneak up on us. Several of the coronavirus relief laws that were passed on a federal level, including the CARES Act, created new tax credits and other changes for the upcoming tax season. The late 2019 SECURE Act, passed before we knew about the current crisis, will also […]
COVID-19 Tax Relief for Individuals and Businesses
The COVID-19 public health crisis has taken its toll on businesses, individuals, retirees, and everyone in between. One of the efforts to help bring economic relief is a series of tax breaks to help individuals and businesses. We’ve summarized the most significant COVID-19 tax relief changes that will have a broad impact. Those of you […]
The CARES Act: Direct coronavirus relief for Americans
This post was updated on May 13, 2020, to include information about the CARES Act financial aid provision for college students. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act is the coronavirus relief bill that has been making major headlines and includes the stimulus payments you’ve likely heard about. While the CARES Act worked […]
5 ways to teach money management skills to the next generation
We all want our children and grandchildren to grow up to be financially stable, to make smart financial decisions, and to be confident in managing their money. Early, consistent teaching about finances is critical—and it’s never too early to start with your own kids and grandkids! Here are 5 tips to help you teach money […]
Four things savvy savers do differently
Have you heard about the invisible rich? These are the people whose lives are anything but flashy—they drive older cars, pack their lunches, live in a modest home, etc. At the same time, they’re making five-figure donations to their churches and sending their children to college without borrowing any money. Just how does this happen, […]
5 little-known tax surprises you should be planning for now
Many people have similar tax situations from year to year, and so they become familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to their personal finances. However, changes in your situation or once-in-a-lifetime events can often have significant tax implications. Here are some of the lesser-known elements of our tax code that tend to trip […]
Audit risks for individual taxpayers
The IRS’ audit rate on individual income tax returns was 0.59% in 2018, which represented the lowest rate in the prior 17 years. Households in all tax brackets saw a decline in audit rates, except the $50,000-$75,000 bracket, which experienced a 0.06% increase. Overall, the low audit risk sounds like good news for taxpayers, but […]
Are your tax withholdings accurate?
If your 2018 tax return was a doozy, you may want to consider making some changes to your tax withholdings—after all, changes are in the air at the IRS. One of the most common reasons that many taxpayers had smaller refunds (or unexpectedly owed tax) for 2018 were errors in the IRS’ withholding tables. In […]
Summer Jobs and Taxes: 4 things every young worker should know
Summer has arrived! Whether you’re parked at the pool, planning a fabulous vacation, or just staying cool in the AC, it’s a time when life slows down a bit for many of us. If you have children or grandchildren who are getting ready to begin a summer job—or a recent graduate launching his or her […]
Did you extend your tax return for 2018?
Many taxpayers filed extensions this year due to surprises and misunderstandings about the new rules under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. If you extended your tax return and didn’t pay an estimate of the tax you owe, be aware that interest and penalties are now accumulating. When you extend your tax return, it’s in […]