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Individual Taxpayers: Recap for 2020

Posted on December 9th, 2020

As we close out the year and get ready for tax season, here’s what individuals and families need to know about tax provisions for 2020.

Personal Exemptions
Personal exemptions are eliminated for tax years 2018 through 2025.

Standard Deductions
The standard deduction for married couples filing a joint return in 2020 is $24,800. For singles and married individuals filing separately, it is $12,400, and for heads of household, the deduction is $18,650.

The additional standard deduction for blind people and senior citizens in 2020 is $1,300 for married individuals and $1,650 for singles and heads of household. Read More…

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Retirement Contributions Limits Announced for 2021

Posted on December 8th, 2020

Cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for 2021 are as follows:

401(k), 403(b), 457 plans, and Thrift Savings Plan. Contribution limits for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $19,500. The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over remains unchanged at $6,500.

SIMPLE retirement accounts. Contribution limits for SIMPLE retirement accounts for self-employed persons remains unchanged in 2021 as well at $13,500.

Traditional IRAs. The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remains at $6,000. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.

Taxpayers can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA if they meet certain conditions; however, if during the year either the taxpayer or their spouse was covered by a retirement plan at work, the deduction may be reduced, or phased out, until it is eliminated, depending on filing status and income. If a retirement plan at work covers neither the taxpayer nor their spouse, the phase-out amounts of the deduction do not apply.

The phase-out ranges for 2021 are as follows:

  • For single taxpayers covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $66,000 to $76,000, up from $65,000 to $54,000.
  • For married couples filing jointly, where a workplace retirement plan covers the spouse making the IRA contribution, the phase-out range is $105,000 to $125,000, up from $104,000 to $124,000.
  • For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $198,000 and $208,000, up from $196,000 and $206,000.
  • For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

Roth IRAs. The income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $125,000 to $140,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $124,000 to $139,000. For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $198,000 to $208,000, up from $196,000 to $206,000. The phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

Saver’s Credit. The income limit for the Saver’s Credit (also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit) for low and moderate-income workers is $66,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $65,000; $49,500 for heads of household, up from $48,750; and $33,000 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up from $32,500.

If you have any questions about retirement plan contributions, don’t hesitate to call.

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Business Tax Provisions: The Year in Review

Posted on December 6th, 2020

Here’s what business owners need to know about tax changes for 2020.

Standard Mileage Rates
The standard mileage rate in 2020 is 57.5 cents per business mile driven.

Health Care Tax Credit for Small Businesses
Small business employers who pay at least half the premiums for single health insurance coverage for their employees may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit as long as they employ fewer than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers and average annual wages do not exceed $50,000 (adjusted annually for inflation). This amount is $55,200 for 2020 returns. Read More…

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Working Remotely Could Affect Your Taxes

Posted on December 5th, 2020

When COVID-19 struck last March, employers quickly switched to a work-from-home model for their employees, many of whom began working in a state other than the one in which their office was located. While some workers have returned to their offices, many have not. If you’re working remotely from a location in a different state (or country) from that of your office, then you may be wondering if you will have to pay income tax in multiple jurisdictions or whether you will need to file income tax returns in both states. Read More…

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Relief for Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers

Posted on December 4th, 2020

Farmers and ranchers who were forced to sell livestock due to drought may have an additional year to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales. The relief generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, or poultry, are not eligible. Read More…

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Small Business: Deductions for Charitable Giving

Posted on December 3rd, 2020

Tax breaks for charitable giving aren’t limited to individuals, your small business can benefit as well. If you own a small to medium-sized business and are committed to giving back to the community through charitable giving, here’s what you should know. Read More…

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Beware of Gift Card Tax Scams

Posted on December 2nd, 2020

There’s never an off-season when it comes to scammers and thieves who want to trick people to scam them out of money, steal their personal information, or talk them into engaging in questionable behavior with their taxes. While scam attempts typically peak during tax season, taxpayers need to remain vigilant all year long.

For example, there are many reports of taxpayers being asked to pay a fake tax bill through the purchase of gift cards. While gift cards are a popular and convenient gift for all occasions, they are also a tool that scammers use to steal money from people. Read More…

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Charitable Donation Deduction Could Lower Your Tax Bill

Posted on December 1st, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted last spring, includes several temporary tax changes that help charitable organizations. One such provision allows taxpayers to deduct cash donations of up to $300 made before December 31, 2020.

Designed especially for people who choose to take the standard deduction, rather than itemize. In tax-year 2018, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, more than 134 million taxpayers claimed the standard deduction, just over 87percent of all filers. Read More…

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Applying for Tax-Exempt Status as a Nonprofit

Posted on December 1st, 2020

If you’re thinking of starting a nonprofit organization, there are a few things you should know before you get started. First, is understanding how nonprofits work under state and federal law. For example, two things you should understand is that state law governs nonprofit status. Nonprofit status is determined by an organization’s articles of incorporation or trust documents while federal law governs tax-exempt status (i.e., exemption from federal income tax). Whether you’re starting a charity, a social organization, or an association here are the steps you need to take before you can apply for tax-exempt status. Read More…

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