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

Attempts to claim write-offs for bad debt losses have fueled controversies with the IRS for many years. Unfortunately, bad debt losses are increasingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s an overview of the federal income tax treatment of these losses. The Basics The IRS is always skeptical when taxpayers claim deductions for bad debt losses.… Continue reading

Individuals who are eligible for federal income tax credits can significantly lower their tax obligations. It’s important to differentiate between tax credits and tax deductions. A credit usually provides greater tax savings than a deduction because a credit reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar. A deduction reduces only the amount of income that’s subject to tax. Here… Continue reading

The following table provides some important federal tax information for 2021, as compared with 2020. Some of the dollar amounts are unchanged and some changed only slightly due to inflation. Social Security/ Medicare 2021 2020 Social Security Tax Wage Base $142,800 $137,700 Medicare Tax Wage Base No limit No limit Employee portion of Social Security… Continue reading

The massive COVID-19 relief bill signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020, contains a variety of tax breaks and authorizes direct payments to eligible individuals (see right-hand box). The law is titled the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) but two sections of it are called the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act (COVIDTRA) and the… Continue reading

Unfortunately, many businesses have already been forced to close their doors due to the economic fallout from COVID-19, and more will surely follow. Closing a business has important federal income tax implications that owners should understand. Here’s what owners of sole proprietorships and single-member (one-owner) limited liability companies (SMLLCs) need to know. Tax Treatment Depends… Continue reading

‘Tis almost the season for charitable giving. Besides helping a worthy cause, your donations may qualify for a festive write-off on your 2020 tax return if you qualify. Here are five ways to boost your deduction for charitable contributions if you itemize. Bunch Contributions Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), for 2018 through 2025,… Continue reading

Have you been working from home during the COVID-19 crisis? Join the club. Approximately 42% of the American workforce is currently working from home full time, according to a recent study by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Only 26% are working on business premises—and many of those are essential workers, such as public… Continue reading