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 U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recently taken action on the criteria for determining independent contractor status, rescinding regulations that were enacted as recently as two weeks prior to President Biden’s inauguration in the last days of the Trump administration. That means what’s old is new—the regulations in force now are left over from… Continue reading

The pandemic has adversely affected many sectors of the U.S. economy, causing widespread job losses. At the start of the national emergency, Congress created a novel tax break—the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)—to entice employers to retain employees. But three different laws have created and changed the credit, which has led to significant confusion. Here’s a… 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

Be aware that criminals are using stolen identities to open accounts and file fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits with state agencies across the United States.  Many victims of this crime have no knowledge that criminals have applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in their name. Signs that you may be a victim of this crime… 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