Virtual currencies, also known as cryptocurrencies, have gone mainstream. For example, you can use Bitcoin to buy a Tesla, or you can use a Bitcoin wallet on your smartphone to make everyday purchases. But beware: Using virtual currency has federal income tax implications that may surprise you. With increasing market acceptance and the skyrocketing price… Continue reading

In January 2021, online day traders trapped institutional short sellers in a short squeeze by buying up shares of the video and computer game retailer GameStop. This episode brought attention to a number of issues including the distinction between securities traders vs. investors for federal income tax purposes. Traders are eligible for favorable federal income… Continue reading

The earned income credit (EIC) has been around for years. But it’s never been worth as much as it will be for 2021 under the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Some favorable changes are only for the 2021 tax year; others are permanent. Here are the details.     Important: Many people report too much income to… Continue reading

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) significantly liberalizes the rules for the federal child tax credit, which means more money in the pockets of eligible parents this year. However, the liberalizations are only for the 2021 tax year. Here’s the story. Pre-ARPA Rules Before the ARPA, there was one set of rules for parents who… Continue reading

Tax season has started. Your SSB tax professional is ready to prepare your 2020 federal and state returns—but are you ready? The pandemic has led to several changes to the tax rules for last year. Here’s a summary of four taxpayer friendly changes that may affect your 2020 federal income tax return. Limited Charitable Deduction… Continue reading

If you’re nearing retirement, you’ve likely paid into the Social Security system your entire career. It’s only fitting that you finally cash in on the Social Security benefits that are rightfully yours. But when should you start receiving benefits—at the first available date, at the latest date or somewhere between those dates? The answer depends… Continue reading

Good news! Business taxpayers may still be able to take actions to lower their federal income tax liabilities for 2020, as well as for future years. Consider these ideas before you file last year’s return. Claim 100% First-Year Bonus Depreciation—Or Maybe Not For qualifying assets placed in service in 2020, business taxpayers can deduct 100%… Continue reading

Goodbye, 2020. Hello, tax season. Individual taxpayers have until April 15, 2021, to pay Uncle Sam for taxes owed for 2020. (Remember, you can extend the deadline for filing your return until October 15, but you can’t extend the deadline for paying what you owe without penalty.) Unfortunately, many people are struggling to make ends… Continue reading