Blog

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments due Sept 15

Lisa Church

September 12, 2020

If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the June 1 - August 31 quarter of the year is September 15.

 

For payments made using IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments until 8PM EST, and for payments using a credit or debit card, payments can be made up to midnight on the due date.

 

If the due date for making an...

Read More...

You may get Interest added to your 2019 Tax Refund

Lisa Church

September 6, 2020

Over 13 million taxpayers who have received or will receive federal income tax refunds for 2019 will also receive an interest payment from the IRS. The 2019 filing and payment deadline change from April 15 to July 15, 2020 due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) was classified as a disaster-related postponement. Therefore, the federal tax code requires the IRS to pay interest starting from April 15 on...

Read More...

IRA Required Minimum Distribution Repayment Deadline

Lisa Church

August 29, 2020

The deadline to return or rollover a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for IRA owners, beneficiaries or workplace retirement plan participants is coming up on Monday, August 31.

 

The CARES Act allows most taxpayers with an eligible retirement account, such as a 401(k), 403(b) or traditional IRA, to skip their required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020 without...

Read More...

Charitable Contributions Limit Change for 2020

Lisa Church

August 22, 2020

As part of the U.S. Treasury's ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) relief programs for taxpayers, the IRS has made temporary changes to the rules for deducting charitable contributions on federal tax returns.

 

Normally, taxpayers who itemize deductions on Schedule A can deduct cash charitable contributions up to a specified limit, usually 60% of their adjusted gross income...

Read More...

New Tax Scams and Identity Theft Warnings

Lisa Church

August 15, 2020

The IRS recently posted warnings about new and ongoing tax scams, along with other fraudulent activity related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The most prevalent and dangerous scams involve identity theft, deceptive advertising, and attempts to cheat taxpayers out of their refunds or economic impact payments (EIPs, also called stimulus payments).

 

New Tax Scams...

Read More...

Tax Extension Due Date is Oct 15

Lisa Church

August 8, 2020

Taxpayers who requested an automatic extension to file their 2019 federal income tax returns may file anytime up until October 15, 2020. Remember, however, that an automatic IRS extension is only an extension to file tax returns, NOT an extension to pay any tax owed. Taxes not paid by the July 15, 2020 payment deadline may be subject to late penalties and interest...

Read More...

Installment Payments after July 15

Lisa Church

August 1, 2020

Treasury allowed many taxpayers with an IRS installment payment agreement, or a pending or accepted Offer-in-Compromise (OIC), to suspend payments between April 1 and July 15, 2020. The IRS recently confirmed that to avoid penalties, affected taxpayers must resume making required payments by their first due date on or after July 15, or contact the IRS if they cannot do...

Read More...

Where is my 2020 Tax Refund ?

Lisa Church

July 27, 2020

 

You can use the IRS 'Where's my Refund' (https://www.irs.gov/refunds) tool to check the status of your refund. The 'Where's my Refund' tool is updated once daily, usually overnight. Your status is generally available within 24 hours upon the IRS receiving your e-filed return.

 

If you have filed a paper return, the IRS is currently experiencing processing...

Read More...

Tax Tips for Real Estate Professionals

Lisa Church

July 18, 2020

Tax Benefits

A taxpayer who spends significant time in activities related to real estate may qualify as a “real estate professional,” which can provide tax benefits.

 

 Passive Loss Limits

A passive activity is generally defined as a business activity without a minimum amount of “material...

Read More...

Unclaimed 2016 IRS Refunds Deadline is July 15, 2020

LIsa D. Church

July 12, 2020

 

The IRS has issued a reminder that time is running out to claim your 2016 tax refund if you did not file a 2016 federal return. The U.S. Treasury is currently holding unclaimed 2016 refunds totaling over $1.5 billion. The deadline to file a 2016 IRS return and claim your refund is July 15, 2020.

 

If you are entitled to a refund for tax year 2016 (or any...

Read More...

Extended 2020 Estimated Tax Deadlines & Special Rules for Irregular Income

Lisa Church

July 4, 2020

If you receive income that does not have taxes withheld, such as business, self-employment or investment income, you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid incurring IRS penalties when you file your 2020 tax return.

 

Ordinarily, the first two quarterly estimated tax due dates of the year are April 15 and June 15. However, the IRS extended both of...

Read More...

Discarded or Lost COVID19 Stimulus Prepaid Debit Card

LIsa Church

June 27, 2020

In addition to direct deposits and paper checks, the IRS is sending some Coronavirus Economic Impact Payments (EIPs, also called stimulus payments) to eligible Americans by prepaid debit card. Because these debit cards are not sent out in standard U.S. Treasury envelopes, some recipients may have mistaken them for junk mail and thrown them away. Fortunately, if you accidentally discarded an...

Read More...

Tax Rules for Tuition Refunds and 529 plans

Lisa Church

June 21, 2020

Many families and students may have received partial or complete refunds of school tuition and fees during the spring of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. If you paid for these expenses using a Section 529 education savings plan (also called a Qualified Tuition Program, or QTP), your refund could be taxable income, and/or subject to a 10% penalty on interest earned by...

Read More...

Key Facts about IRS Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)

Lisa Church

June 13, 2020

 

Although the IRS has sent out over 100 million Economic Impact Payments (also called stimulus payments), some Americans are still waiting to receive their payments. Even if you have gotten your EIP, you may have questions about how the money affects your income or taxes. The IRS recently issued answers to some of the most common questions about EIPs,...

Read More...

Don't Intermingle Business and Personal Finances

Lisa Church

May 24, 2020

A common problem with single-owner and other closely-held corporations is intermingling of funds. This occurs when a business owner or corporate shareholder uses his or her personal checking account for corporate deposits or payment of corporate expenses. Separation of funds can be a key in preserving the liability protection of the corporate veil. Courts can pierce the corporate veil by...

Read More...

2020 IRA Minimum Distribution Requirement is Waived

Lisa Church

May 17, 2020

The CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020 includes an important provision for taxpayers with various retirement accounts, including 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and designated Roth accounts. For many taxpayers, the law waives their obligation to withdraw a certain amount from such accounts (called a required minimum distribution, or...

Read More...

IRS Suspends Many Installment Payments Until July

Lisa Church

May 11, 2020

To help people undergoing hardships as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the IRS has launched a set of new policies called the People First Initiative (PFI). The initiative provides temporary relief from certain payment obligations for many taxpayers, including those who either have an existing IRS installment payment plan, or are considering entering into such a...

Read More...

VA and SSI Recipients: Register Dependents by May 5th to Receive Full EIP

Lisa Church

May 2, 2020

VA and SSI Recipients: Register Dependents by May 5th to Receive Full EIP

 

Recipients of Veterans Affairs (VA) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) from the IRS, even if they are not required to file federal income tax returns. While the standard EIP amount for non-filers is $1,200, those with...

Read More...

Tax Scam Related To Corona Virus

Lisa Church

April 26, 2020

The IRS is warning everyone to watch out for scam phone calls, emails and text messages that are related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) tax relief programs. This new wave of phishing attempts and other criminal activity centers on the Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) that the IRS is currently distributing to many U.S. taxpayers. The scammers might incorrectly refer to these payments as...

Read More...

New IRS Website to get Fast Delivery of Relief Payments for COVID-19

Lisa Church

April 18, 2020

The IRS has launched two new web portals to help some taxpayers receive their COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) more quickly. Remember that the vast majority of Americans who filed a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return, or receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, do not need to take any action in order to receive their EIPs. If you provided the IRS with bank account...

Read More...

6 Steps Small Businesses should do now if they have been significantly impacted by COVID-19

Rootworks & Lisa Church

April 13, 2020

 

The following are 6 steps that small businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 should do now:

1) Consolidate as many liquid financial resources as possible 
2) Prepare and update a crisis budget
3) Develop an employment strategy
4) Prepare and maintain a cash flow burn rate analysis
5) Track qualified loan forgiveness expenses
6)...




Read More...

Introduction to some of the relief offered for COVID-19

LIsa Church

April 4, 2020

The following is a brief introduction to just some of the US Government stimulus funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that provides relief from the COVID-19 impact.

 

Relief for Individuals:

All individuals with a Social Security Number who do not exceed income limits shown in brackets “[ ]”...

Read More...

IRS Extends Tax Filing and Payment Deadline to July 15, 2020

Lisa Church

March 28, 2020

In response to national health concerns, the IRS has extended both the 2019 federal income tax filing and payment deadlines for most taxpayers. Here are the important details:

 

- The filing deadline for 2019 federal individual income tax returns has been automatically moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

 

- The payment deadline for most...

Read More...

COVID-19 and High Deductible Health Plans

Lisa Church

March 22, 2020

The IRS has advised that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) can pay for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related testing and treatment without jeopardizing their status.

 

If you have a HDHP that covers these costs, you may continue to contribute to a health savings account (HSA). Health plans that otherwise qualify as HDHPs will not lose that status merely because...

Read More...

Tax Deductions (above the line, itemized), Tax Credits

Lisa Church

March 15, 2020

You may be eligible to claim multiple above-the-line deductions and/or tax credits on your 2019 federal tax return whether you itemize deductions on Schedule A 1040 or not. Above-the-line deductions are better than below the line deductions because they reduce your tax by directly lowering your taxable income and are not subject to the below the line limitations (e.g., medical can only deduct...

Read More...

Tax Deductions when Use Home for Business

Llisa Church

March 8, 2020

Some home expenses are deductible on your 2019 tax return whether you use your home for business or not. Others home expenses are deductible on your 2019 tax return only if the home is used for business.

 

Deductible Home Expenses Regardless if used for Business or NOT

The following are deductible as an itemized deduction, subject to...

Read More...

Filing an Extension: Penalties You Can & Cannot Avoid

Lisa Church

March 1, 2020

If for any reason you will not be able to file your 2019 federal tax return by the April 15, 2020 due date, you can avoid some—but not all—penalty charges by requesting a filing extension. Most taxpayers can receive an automatic extension of up to six months simply by submitting IRS Form 4868.

 

Taxpayers who file after the deadline without requesting an...

Read More...

New combined Schedules you many need for 2019 Tax Return

Lisa Church

February 22, 2020

Last year Many taxpayers were surprised to learn that they needed to include multiple numbered schedules with their 2018 federal Form 1040s. The IRS has since then combined some of these schedules, there are fewer numbered schedules overall for 2019. However, as a result of this consolidation, the 2019 schedules are longer and more complex.

 

To avoid having your 2019...

Read More...

Reminder to Update New W-4 Form for 2020

Lisa Church

February 16, 2020

The W-4 is an IRS form that lets your employer know how much money to withhold from your paycheck for federal taxes. Updating your W-4 helps prevent a big balance due at tax time and prevents overpayment of taxes during the year.

 

The IRS has made a number of changes to Form W-4, the Employee Withholding Certificate, for tax year 2020. Most...

Read More...

Other Income Impacts to your 2019 Tax Return

LIsa Church

February 9, 2020

Now is the time to prepare to file your 2019 tax return, and the IRS is reminding taxpayers that certain end-of-year financial transactions might have significant tax impacts. For example, Tax withholding from paychecks does not ordinarily take into account income sources like yearly or holiday bonuses, stock dividends, or selling real estate or other property at a profit. If you receive...

Read More...

1099 Reminder, File your Return Even if Can't Pay

Lisa Church

January 31, 2020

If you are self-employed or own a business, remember that you may have to send an IRS Form 1099 to any contractor to whom you paid $600 or more in 2019. In most cases, appropriate 1099 forms were required to be provided to contractors by January 31, 2020. Any Form 1099-MISC that shows nonemployee compensation (Box 7) was also required to be filed with the IRS by January 31. The deadline for...

Read More...

Bitcoin (Virtual Currency) Tax Example

Lisa Church

January 26, 2020

For individuals, basic currency transactions like exchanging dollars for euros while traveling generally have no tax implications. However, the IRS treats virtual currencies like Bitcoins (also called cryptocurrencies) as property, not as true currencies. As a result, many transactions with virtual currencies result in capital gains (or losses) that must be reported on your tax returns. The...

Read More...

IRS Audit Overview

Lisa Church

January 19, 2020

This blog provides guidance for taxpayers who are undergoing an IRS audit. It includes an overview of how audits are conducted as well as a strategy for preparing for the audit.

 

The IRS website defines an Audit as: “An IRS audit is a review/examination of an organization's or individual's accounts and financial information to ensure information is...

Read More...

'Tis the Season for Important Tax Paperwork

Lisa Church

January 11, 2020

The IRS has confirmed that the individual tax filing season will start on Monday, January 27, 2020 and the deadline to file 2019 tax returns and pay any taxes owed is Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

Although the IRS systems open for processing on January 27, you do not have to wait until then to begin preparing for your tax return.

 

Keeping your records organized will...

Read More...

Tax Planning if you have Irregular Income

Lisa Church

January 4, 2020

If your income varies from year to year – for instance, if you change jobs often or get a significant part of your income from the gig economy – tax planning can get complicated. Certain activities that increase your tax bill during higher-income years might have little impact during lower-income years. Similarly, an expense that results in a sizable tax deduction during a...

Read More...

Education Tax Credits (AOTC vs LLC)

Lisa Church

January 1, 2020

The IRS offers two important tax credits for higher education expenses: the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). You may claim both credits on the same tax return, but not for the same person. For example, you might claim the AOTC for your college-age dependent children and the LLC for your spouse.

 

If two or more members of your...

Read More...

AOTC or LLC Education Tax Credit - which is better for you

Lisa Church

December 30, 2019

The IRS offers two important tax credits for higher education expenses: the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). You may claim both credits on the same tax return, but not for the same person. For example, you might claim the AOTC for your college-age dependent children and the LLC for your spouse.

 

If two or more members of your...

Read More...

2020 Retirement Plan Limits are up $500

Lisa D. Church

December 22, 2019

IRS limits for individual contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans are increasing in 2020. If you are an employee who participates in 401(k), 403(b), the Thrift Savings Plan for civil and uniformed service members, or most types of 457 plans, you may contribute up to $19,500 in 2020, up from $19,000 in 2019. The catch-up contribution limit for employees 50 years of age or older...

Read More...

Tax Rules for Cryptocurrency

Lisa Church

December 15, 2019

If you use or hold cryptocurrency, also called virtual currency, you need to exercise special care. Challenges arise from the fact that the IRS classifies all virtual currencies as property, not as currency in the usual sense. As a result, any transaction involving cryptocurrency might involve a capital gain or loss that must be reported to the IRS.

Potentially taxable...

Read More...

New Social Security Number Scam (IRS Impersonators)

Lisa Church

December 7, 2019

Be on guard as Con artists continue to come up with new ways to impersonate the IRS and scam taxpayers out or their money and/or private information. Recently, the IRS issued a warning about a new scam in which callers use intimidation tactics to extort money from taxpayers.

 

The scammer claims that the call recipient has overdue taxes and threatens to suspend or cancel...

Read More...

New IRS Per Diem Rates (Effective 10/1/2019)

Lisa Church

November 30, 2019

The IRS recently raised the per diem rates for employee travel expenses, which are effective October 1, 2019. Within the Continental U.S., the new basic daily rates are $297 for high-cost regions (of which $71 is allotted for meals), and $200 for low-cost areas (with $60 for meals). The "incidentals only" per diem, which covers expenses like tipping bellhops, remains at $5 for all...

Read More...

Our new website (from: www.yourtaxdiva.com to: www.waterfronttax.com)

Lisa Church

Waterfront Tax & Accounting is excited to announce the recent launch of our firm’s new website. We’ve been working very hard to enhance our website and give our firm a fresh look. We’ve also continued to research and identify the latest and greatest technologies to improve the services we provide and ensure we continue to meet your needs.

 

Take...

Read More...

Renewing ITINs

Lisa Church

November 24, 2019

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are used for taxpayers who are required for U.S. tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but do not qualify to get a social security number.

 

If you use an ITIN, you should check if it expires this year. If it does, information about how to renew your ITIN can be found...

Read More...

QBI Tax Deduction for Self Employed

LIsa Church

November 15, 2019

If you are a freelancer or otherwise participate in the “gig economy”, you may be able to claim a new tax deduction under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction applies to self-employment earnings (basically, any income you receive in a setting where you are not classified as an employee). Under the provision, individuals may be able to...

Read More...

Tracking Utility Cost for Home Office Expense

Lisa Church

November 10, 2019

If you plan to claim a deduction for Expenses for Business Use of Your Home (home office expense) on your tax return, you need a reliable method to calculate your deductible utility costs. IRS rules require that you separate utility expenses that apply to only the residential portions of your home (such as cooking gas or electricity used by your refrigerator) from those that pertain to the...

Read More...

Tracking Utilities for Home Office Expense

Lisa Church

November 10, 2019

If you plan to claim a deduction for Expenses for Business Use of Your Home (home office expense) on your tax return, you need a reliable method to calculate your deductible utility costs. IRS rules require that you separate utility expenses that apply to only the residential portions of your home (such as cooking gas or electricity used by your refrigerator) from those that pertain to the...

Read More...

Save Tax Deduction Receipts for 3 to 6 yrs

Lisa Church

October 27, 2019

For most personal or business expenses that you claim as deductions on your tax forms, the IRS requires that you preserve written documentation of each expense. Acceptable forms of written evidence include receipts, invoices, canceled checks, and credit card and bank account statements. These documents should clearly show the date, location, amount and, if possible, nature of each expense. An...

Read More...

IRS Makes it easier to deduct PCs as business expense

Lisa Church

October 20, 2019

Historically, the IRS classified many computers and computer peripherals (such as printers) as “Listed Property.” If your business use of Listed Property is less than 50%, you are usually required to distribute the business portion of the property's cost over your tax returns for multiple years, using a depreciation method that is unfavorable to the...

Read More...

6 Month Filing Extension Deadline this Tues 10/15

Lisa Church

October 13, 2019

If you requested an extra six-month extension in April to file your 2018 personal income tax return, that deadline to file is coming up this week on Tuesday, October 15th.

 

If you are an employer that makes contributions into employee Simplified Employee Pension IRA accounts, October 15th is also the six-month extension deadline to make those...

Read More...

Higher Education Tax Tip

Lisa Church

October 6, 2019

If you or any of your dependents are enrolled in a higher education program this fall, you may qualify to claim one or more credits on your 2019 tax return.

 

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is a credit of up to $2,500 for a student pursuing a degree or certified credential at a college or vocational school. You may claim the credit for up to...

Read More...

Age Limited Child Tax Deductions

Lisa Church

September 29, 2019

Several key tax credits end when a dependent child reaches a specified age. Here is a quick summary of the age rules for three of the most important tax credits for parents, as well as the most important exceptions:

 

Child and Dependent Care Credit: Child must be under 13 years of age (12 years old or younger), OR live with you more than half the year...

Read More...

Educator Expense Deduction

Lisa Church

September 22, 2019

During this hectic back-to-school period when classroom expenses are most likely to occur, it is important to remember to save your receipts if you are educator.

 

If you are a teacher, principal, counselor, or classroom aide who works at least 900 hours a year in a state-accredited school (grades K-12), you may qualify for the Educator Expense Deduction. This IRS rule...

Read More...

Taxable Events that must be reported to IRS (but are commonly overlooked)

Lisa Church

September 12, 2019

In addition to traditional income sources like employee wages and business profits, there are a number of other activities and transactions that the IRS classifies as potentially taxable. It is important to consider all of these “taxable events” when you prepare your returns.

 

Some of the most commonly overlooked taxable events include:

- Investment...

Read More...

September Withholding Tax Checkup

Lisa Church

September 8, 2019

Making sure that the correct amount of tax is being withheld from your paychecks is the best way to avoid an unpleasant IRS surprise next spring. Here's a simple way to do a September withholding checkup:

 

Step 1) On your pay stub for the pay period ending August 31 or September 1, find your year-to-date federal income tax withholding. If the stub does not have this...

Read More...

Teacher Education Expense Deduction

Lisa Church

September 8, 2019

During this hectic back-to-school period when classroom expenses are most likely to occur, it is important to remember to save your receipts if you are educator.

 

If you are a teacher, principal, counselor, or classroom aide who works at least 900 hours a year in a state-accredited school (grades K-12), you may qualify for the Educator Expense Deduction. This IRS rule...

Read More...

Taxable Events that must be reported to IRS

Lisa Church

September 1, 2019

In addition to traditional income sources like employee wages and business profits, there are a number of other activities and transactions that the IRS classifies as potentially taxable. It is important to consider all of these “taxable events” when you prepare your returns.

 

Some of the most commonly overlooked taxable events include:

- Investment...

Read More...

Sept & Oct Tax Deadlines

Lisa Church

September 1, 2019

The following are tax deadlines due in September and October:

 

September 16th is the deadline for the third quarter installment for individuals & corporations paying estimated taxes throughout the year.

 

September 16th is the deadline for Forms 1120S (S Corporations) & 1065 (Partnerships) for S Corporations and Partnerships that requested a...

Read More...

Rent a Bed In Your Home

Lisa Church

August 25, 2019

Firms such as Airbnb have made bedroom rentals more common than just a few years ago. Depending on the length of the rentals and the people to whom you rent, the tax code treats your bedroom rental as one of the following:

1) A tax-free activity.

2) A bedroom rental that you report on Schedule C of your Form 1040.

3) A bedroom rental that you report on Schedule E of...

Read More...

Business Meals Q&A

Lisa Church

August 20, 2019

Here’s good news for business meals:  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) removed the “directly related and associated with” requirements from business meals. The net effect of this change is to subject business meals once again to the pre-1963 “ordinary and necessary” business expense rules.  You are going to like these...

Read More...

Business or Hobby

Lisa Church

August 15, 2019

If you derive income from any activity where you are not an employee, from occasional dog sitting to playing guitar for tips at your local coffee shop, then the IRS requires you to classify the activity as either a hobby or a business on your tax returns. Importantly, this decision must be based on IRS rules governing what constitutes a business, not on how you personally view the activity....

Read More...

Estimated Tax Payment vs Alternatives

Lisa Church

August 3, 2019

The IRS states that federal taxes must be paid on a "pay as you go" basis, not just at the end of the tax year. This means that if you receive significant income that is not subject to withholding, it is likely necessary for you to make estimated tax payments throughout the year. In addition to those who officially classify themselves as self-employed, many people who participate in the "gig"...

Read More...

Standard Mileage vs Actual Vehicle Expense Deduction

Lisa Church

July 28, 2019

If you use your car, van or truck for business purposes, you may be able to claim a vehicle expense deduction on your tax return. You may either use the standard mileage rate or report the actual expenses associated with business uses of the vehicle. Actual expenses include gas, repairs, insurance and depreciation. Each expense must be prorated based on how much you use the vehicle for...

Read More...

SCAM IRS Debt Collectors

Lisa Church

July 20, 2019

The IRS began a program in 2015 where they may assign certain cases of overdue tax debts to private debt collectors. If this happens to you the IRS will give you (and your tax representative) written notice that your account is being transferred to the private collection agencies.

 

Watch out for scam phone calls from those who pretend to claim to collect for the...

Read More...

Qualified Business Income Deduction (20%)

Lisa Church

July 14, 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new 20% federal tax deduction for many self-employed taxpayers and small business owners (i.e., not wage earners but those with business income). This is called the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction which applies to income derived from “pass-through entities”—businesses whose earnings are reported on individual owners' tax...

Read More...

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Lisa Church

July 7, 2019

If you have student loans, you may be able to deduct up to $2,500 per year in loan interest on your federal tax forms. You do NOT have to itemize deductions to claim it. This deduction is instead classified as an adjustment to your gross income, 

 

For any loan on which you paid $600 or more in interest during the year, you should receive a Form 1098-E from the loan...

Read More...

Home Energy Tax Credits

Lisa Church

June 27, 2019

If you purchased alternative energy equipment for your home in 2018 or 2019, you may be eligible for a tax credit up to 30% of the cost of materials and installation. The equipment that qualifies for the “residential renewable energy tax credit” includes:

Solar panels (photovoltaics)
Solar-powered water heaters for the home. (solar heaters used for hot tubs or...

Read More...

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments Due June 17

Lisa Church

June 16, 2019

If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the April 1 - May 31 quarter of the year is June 15th. However, because the due date this year falls on a Saturday the payment will be considered on time if you make it on the next day that's not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday which is Monday June 17. That is tomorrow !!!!!

For payments made...

Read More...

Overseas Tax Filing Extension Deadline Reminder

Lisa Church

June 9, 2019

If you are a U.S Citizen or Green Card Holder living abroad or in active military service and have not filed your taxes yet, the deadline is coming up on June 17th, 2019.

 

The extension is for the date to file, not to pay. Any interest on the taxes owed will be calculated from the regular due date of the return, April 15th,

Read More...

Education Tax Tip

Lisa Church

June 2, 2019

A big tax benefit of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was to expanded eligibility for 529 savings plans. The 529 education savings plan was previously limited to only post-secondary education (i.e., college). However, the TCJA expanded it so that it can now be used for Kindergarten through Grade 12 education (public, private, or religious schools).

 

529 tax free...

Read More...

Business Entity Selection

Lisa Church

May 27, 2019

If you are very good at what you do and know the business area for your set of skills then one of the most effective ways to create wealth is to start and operate your own business. When you operate your own business there are significantly less limits on your income than the alternative of being an employee with a job. There are also significant tax advantages to operating your own business....

Read More...

Investing Tip Part 2 (what to do with that tax refund)

Lisa Church

May 19, 2019

Before I get back to tax related topics I wanted to provide one more blog on investing tips.

 

On my first investing blog I encouraged you to invest a good percent of your tax refund to create wealth for you in the future rather than spending it all now. I gave you several statistics showed that most millionaires were normal folks that did not have paying jobs but became...

Read More...

Investing Tip Part 1 (what to do with that tax refund)

Lisa Church

May 11, 2019

Last blog I encouraged you to invest a good percent of your tax refund to create wealth for you in the future rather than spending it all now. I gave you several statistics from the book “Everyday Millionaires” by Chris Hogan that showed that most millionaires were normal folks that had no special privileges and that did not have paying jobs. 79% of them became millionaires by...

Read More...

Motivation for Investing Your Refund Rather Than Spending

Lisa Church

May 5, 2019

If you get a tax refund this year consider investing a good percent of your refund to create wealth for you in the future rather than spending it all now.

 

It is often stated by those that study the wealthy that one of the significant differences between the wealthy and those that struggle to get ahead financially is that wealthy think long term and make decisions based...

Read More...

Tax Refund Tips

Lisa Church

May 2, 2019

If your refund amount is different than what is stated on your filed tax return, part or all of your refund may have been used to offset (i.e., pay off) past-due federal tax, student loans, state income tax or other past-due debts.

 

You'll receive a notice from the IRS if such an offset occurs that will show the original tax refund amount, the offset amount, as well...

Read More...

If you file over 3 years late the IRS keeps your refunds!

Lisa church

April 18, 2019

There are currently more than $1.4Billion in unclaimed tax refunds. If you are owed a refund the only way to get the refund is to file the tax return within 3 years of the due date. Current tax law gives you 3 years to submit a tax return in order claim and receive your refund. If you file your return over 3 years late and are owed a refund you will not get the refund. Ouch, that can...

Read More...

If You Can't Pay Taxes, It's Better to File Than Not File

Lisa Church

April 14, 2019

If you can’t afford to pay your taxes by 4/15/2019 you are not alone. If you don’t have the money to pay your taxes on time you are far better off to file your return on time and don’t pay the taxes owed or file a request for an extension than not file a return at all.

 

The reason you are better off to file and not pay is not filing your return...

Read More...

Key Tax Law Changes & Last-minute Tax Tips

Lisa Church

April 9, 2019

You might be surprised to see you owe taxes this year when you were expecting to pay less taxes due to the tax law changes. Many Americans did pay less compared to 2017 taxes but less tax was taken out of their paycheck and the cumulated effect was they owed more when they filed.

Below are a few of the key changes to the tax law for this filing season:

1)    Tax...

Read More...

First Quarter Estimated Payments are Due 4/15/19

Lisa Church

April 7, 2019

This is a gentle reminder that If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the January 1 - March 31 quarter of the year is April 15th.

 

For payments made using IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments until 8PM EST, and for payments using a credit or debit card, payments can be made up to midnight on the due...

Read More...

2018 Retirement Contribution up to 4/15/19

Lisa Church

April 4, 2019

One of the most effective ways to reduce your taxes and fund your retirement is to max out your available retirement accounts.

 

If you haven't already funded your retirement account for 2018, you may still do so. You have until April 15, 2019 for contributions to a traditional IRA, deductible or not, and to a Roth IRA.

 

Your total contributions to...

Read More...

Federal Tax Extension

Lisa Church

March 30, 2019

When life gets in the way of filing your tax return by the April 15th deadline you can file for a 6-month extension on your federal income tax return which will give you until Oct 15th, 2019 to file your taxes. However, you are still required to pay any taxes due by April 15th, 2019 to avoid penalty and interest charges. You might be able to get a break on the late-payment penalty this...

Read More...

Tax Related Identity (ID) Theft Reminder

Lisa Church

March 28, 2019

Tax related ID theft is when someone uses your information (name, SSN, etc.) to file a false tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. The number one thing you can do to prevent this type of ID theft is to file early and file electronically. The IRS is “first-come, first-served”, meaning whomever files first, electronically, will be the only electronic return accepted. All others...

Read More...

Tax Tip for 2nd Home & Vacation Property Owners

Lisa Church

March 24, 2019

Second Home, Cabin, and Vacation Property Owners – Did You Know?

 

If you own a second home or vacation property that you live in only occasionally and rent out at other times, you might be able to deduct expenses you pay to maintain the property from your rental income. In addition, you might be able to classify the home as investment property instead of personal...

Read More...

12 Tax Tips for Retirees & Elderly (Part 4 of 4)

Lisa Church

March 20, 2019

This is the 4th part of a series of blogs on 12 Tax Tips for Retirees and the Elderly. Retirement can be a huge shock when retirees have to pay a significant tax due to retirement withdrawals and social security. Other than Roth IRAs, the money you withdraw from your retirement savings is most likely subject to ordinary income tax.

 

In Parts 1, 2, and 3 we covered the...

Read More...

12 Tax Tips for Retirees & Elderly (Part 3 of 4)

Lisa Church

March 17, 2019

This is part 3 of a series of blogs on tax tips for the retirees and the elderly. Retirement can be a huge shock when retirees have to pay a significant tax due to retirement withdrawals and social security. Other than Roth IRAs, the money you withdraw from your retirement savings is most likely subject to ordinary income tax.

 

In parts 1 and 2 we covered the following...

Read More...

12 Tax Tips for Retirees & Elderly (Part 2 of 4)

Lisa Church

March 14, 2019

This is part 2 of a series of blogs on tax tips for the retirees and the elderly. As pointed out in my last blog the first year of retirement can be a huge shock when retirees have to pay a significant tax due to retirement withdrawals and social security. Other than Roth IRAs, the money you withdraw from your retirement savings is most likely subject to ordinary income...

Read More...

12 Tax Tips for Retirees & Elderly (Part 1 of 4)

Lisa Church

March 10, 2019

This is a rather lengthy blog that I divided into 4 parts. I will post each part over the next 10 days. I included the outline so you can see the topics of the coming tax tips.

 

The first year of retirement can be a huge shock to most when they see the taxes they will have to pay on their savings withdrawals. Other than Roth IRAs, the money you withdraw from your...

Read More...

Taxpayer's 10 Fundamental Rights

Lisa Church

March 3, 2019

As a taxpayer, you have a set of ten fundamental rights that the IRS is obligated to protect.

Your taxpayer rights are:

 

1. The Right to be Informed.

   Right for a clear explanation of all the tax laws & IRS procedures on all tax forms


2. The Right to Quality Service.

       Right to...

Read More...

IRS Statue of Limitations Laws

Lisa Church

February 27, 2019

The IRS does not have unlimited power. The Internal Revenue Code requires the IRS to assess, refund, credit, and collect taxes within specific time limits. These time limits are called the statue of limitations. For example the IRS does not have legal authority to audit or penalize the tax payer for an incorrect tax return outside of the statue of limitations time period. The tax payer...

Read More...

Tax Penalties

Lisa Church

February 24, 2019

Owing Taxes is not pleasant. However, if you file a tax return that upsets the IRS then the IRS will charge you penalties and Interest that will make you wish you filed your return correctly in the first place. As a taxpayer or business owner you should be aware of what upsets the IRS and avoid making the mistakes in your tax return that will bring you tax...

Read More...

Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit

Lisa Church

February 21, 2019

If you're claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, both of which are refundable credits, your refund will be released by the IRS starting from February 27, 2019. A refundable credit is one which gives you cash back even if you didn't pay any tax into the system during the year.

 

You may check the status of your refund...

Read More...

Dividend Tax Rates: Qualified vs Ordinary

Lisa Church

February 17, 2019

If you own stock that pays dividends your dividend income will be classified as either “Qualified” or “Ordinary”. The Financial institution that pays the dividends will send you a Form 1099-DIV that will tell you type of dividend. On Form 1099-DIV Qualified dividends are listed in box 1b and Ordinary dividends are listed in box 1a. Ordinary dividends are taxed at your...

Read More...

Protect Yourself against Tax Fraud

Lisa Church

February 15, 2019

Protect yourself from Tax Fraud by being aware that the IRS will never:

* Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer.


* Demand that you pay the taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed


* Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other...

Read More...

7 Security Tips to Stop Identify Thieves

Lisa Church

February 9, 2019

With tax season coming into full swing, we should all take extra steps to protect our tax and financial data from identity thieves. Cybercriminals are looking for chances to steal financial account information, Social Security numbers, credit card information and other sensitive data to help them file a fraudulent tax return in 2019.

 

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig says...

Read More...

10 Ways to Reduce Your S Corp. Taxes

Lisa Church

February 6, 2019

If you are S corporation owner you should be aware of every tax break you are entitled to.

Below are 10 ways from the Bradford Tax institute to reduce your S Corp Taxes:

 

1) Reduce S Corporation Owner’s Wages

As the owner of an S corporation, you can legitimately cut payroll taxes by thousands of dollars by paying yourself a lower salary and taking...

Read More...

1099-MISC Deadline 1/31/19 (E-file if you missed it)

Lisa Church

February 3, 2019

For businesses, January 31st, 2019 was the deadline to file IRS form 1099-MISC (non-employee compensation over $600).

A Form 1099-MISC is required (with exceptions) for each person to whom you have paid during the year:

*At least $600 in services performed by someone who is not your employee, rents, prizes and awards.

*At least $600 in other income...

Read More...

W-2 Coming Soon (Deadline is 1/31/19)

Lisa Church

January 31, 2019

January 31st, 2019 is the deadline for employers to issue W-2 forms to their employees.

 

If you are an employee: You should expect to receive your W-2 from your employer soon, if you have not received it already.

 

If you are an employer:  Remember to issue W-2s to your employees by

Read More...

IRS Proc Returns 1/28/19, Qualifying Child for Tax Credit

Lisa Church

January 27, 2019

The IRS will begin processing tax returns on January 28th, 2019, and provide refunds as scheduled. The recent government shut down did not delay this start date. 

The filing deadline for 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15th, 2019. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until April 17th due to public holidays in those...

Read More...

Dependent Care Tax Credits

Lisa Church

January 24, 2019

More good news due to increased income limits in the new tax laws. If you have a child who was under the age of 13 throughout 2018 or who was under the age of 17 and requires assistance for self-care, you might now be eligible to claim both the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

 

To qualify for the Child Tax Credit (also known as the...

Read More...

401K & IRA Contribution Limits for 2019 Taxes

Lisa Church

January 20, 2019

Here is some more good news.

Due to an increase in the cost of living the IRS increased the contribution limits for 2019 for retirement plans. The increases in the annual limit to contributions are as follows:

 

1) 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, Thrift Savings Plan: Limit increased from $18,500 to $19,000.           If...

Read More...

IRS Waives 2018 Tax Withholding Penalty for Many

Lisa Church

January 16, 2019

Some more good news today. The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) provided the below announcement from the IRS in an email to me today.

 

“WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it is waiving the estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their...

Read More...

YouTube Video: FSA, Tax Due Date, Mileage Rate

Lisa Church

January 13, 2019

I posted a YouTube Video on my last 3 blogs. It covers the following 3 topics:

1) Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Grace Period

2) Quartely Estimated Payment Due date for last Qtr of 2018

3) Standard Mileage Rate Increase for 2019 Taxes

 

The YouTube video is located...

Read More...

Mileage Rate Increase for 2019 Taxes

Lisa Church

January 12, 2019

Here is some good news. Starting on Jan. 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, vans, pickups, or panel trucks will be:

- 58 cents for every mile of business travel you drive. (3.5 cent increase from the 2018 rate)
- 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes. (2 cent increase from the 2018 rate)
- 14 cents per mile driven for the service of...

Read More...

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments Reminder

Lisa Church

January 5, 2019

If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the 2018 September 1st - December 31st quarter of the year is January 15th, 2019.

For payments made using IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments until 8PM EST, and for payments using a credit or debit card, payments can be made up to midnight on the due date.

If the due date for making an...

Read More...

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments Reminder

Lisa Church

January 5, 2019

If you are making quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, the due date for the 2018 September 1st - December 31st quarter of the year is January 15th, 2019.

For payments made using IRS Direct Pay, you can make payments until 8PM EST, and for payments using a credit or debit card, payments can be made up to midnight on the due date.

If the due date for making an...

Read More...

Flex Spend Account (FSA) Grace Period

Lisa Church

January 1, 2019

Did you know most employers offer a Flex Spending Account (FSA) Grace Period or $500 Carryover?

If you had difficulty using up the funds in your medical flexible spending account (FSA) before the end of the year, your employer might offer you relief from the “use it or lose it rule” through a grace period or carryover.

Under IRS regulations, employers that offer...

Read More...

End of Year Tax Saving Ideas

Lisa Church

December 25, 2018

With less than one week left in the year and taxes being a significant percent of where our income goes, consider the following to reduce your 2018 tax bill:

1) Estimate your Total Income. Update your accounting records; estimate your total income. Work with your CPA (or do it yourself) to do a quick estimate of your tax liability.

2) Business owners reduce Taxable Income to...

Read More...

YouTube Video: "Uncollectable ? Best Time to File your Offer"

Lisa Church

December 15, 2018


I posted a YouTube Video on my Blog: "Uncollectable ? Why Now may be the time to File your offer"

The You Tube video is located at: https://youtu.be/SnrVQvj74ZY

 

The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance wiht their IRS and state tax filings and to represent them before the IRS and the states with...

Read More...

YouTube Video on "What is Uncollectible Status"

Lisa Church

December 12, 2018

I posted a YouTube Video on my Blog: "What is Uncollectible Status and How to Obtain it"

The You Tube video is located at: https://youtu.be/ZWjNngoXGxk

 

 

The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance wiht their IRS and state tax filings and to represent them before the IRS and the states with...

Read More...

14 Terms to know before resolving tax debt

LIsa Church

December 9, 2018

If you have not filed tax returns in previous years or if you owe the IRS money it is helpful to know some of the key terms and how they are used in the language of the IRS tax collection industry.

 

The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance with their IRS and state tax filings and to represent them before the...

Read More...

Uncollectible? Why Now May Be the Time to File Your Offer

Lisa D. Church

December 8, 2018

In my last blog, I talked about why Uncollectible Status may be a good place for a taxpayer to be.  I also explained that it wasn’t a good long-term solution since the IRS would revisit your case at any time.  If you don’t see your financial situation changing, and the thought of those annual IRS check-ups doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies, now may be the perfect...

Read More...

What is Uncollectable Status and How to Obtain it (Tax Resolution Topic))

LIsa Church

November 24, 2018

I’ve written several blog posts on how IRS collection works and the different options available to you such as installment agreements and offers-in-compromise but there’s one option of which you may not be aware:  UNCOLLECTIBLE.

 

The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance with their IRS and state tax filings and to...

Read More...

YouTube Video on "Payroll Tax Debt & Personal Liability"

Lisa Church

November 23, 2018

I posted a YouTube Video on my blog: "Payroll Tax Debt and Personal Liability".

The YouTube video is at: 

Read More...

Payroll Tax Debts and Personal Liability (Tax Resolution Topic)

Lisa Church

November 22, 2018

I recently did a blog post on the importance of making estimated quarterly tax payments if you’re self-employed.  I’d like to take this a step further for those of you who are not only self-employed but you also have employees.  (And if you ARE an employee, you’re going to want to make sure that your employer is doing this!)

 

The focus of my...

Read More...

Importance of Paying Estimated Taxes (Tax Resolution Topic)

Lisa Church

November 20, 2018

One HUGE difference between being an employee and being self-employed is the need to pay estimated taxes throughout the year.  Stay with me for the details!

 

The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance with their IRS and state tax filings and to represent them before the IRS and the states with their tax collection issues.  A...

Read More...

YouTube Video on "Importance of Paying Estimated Taxes"

Lisa Church

November 18, 2018

I posted a YouTube Video on my blog: "The Importance of Paying Estimated Taxes".

The YouTube video is

Read More...

New IRS Streamlined Installment Agreement (Tax Resolution Topic)

Lisa Church

November 18, 2018

Did you know that you can enter into an installment agreement with the IRS without having to provide any of your financial information or any supporting documents?  It’s true!  And I can show you how. 
 
The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance with their IRS and state tax filings and to represent them before...

Read More...

Claiming Other Dependent Tax Credit

Lisa Church

November 17, 2018

If you have a dependent who does not meet the criteria for the Child Tax Credit (CTC), you may still qualify for a $500 credit called the Other Dependent Credit. Also called the Family Tax Credit, this nonrefundable credit was created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. Examples of qualifying dependents include children of age 17 or 18 (or up to age 23 if they are full-time...

Read More...

Why You don't want to be a Non-Filer (file you tax return even if you can't pay the taxes) (Tax Resolution Topic)

Lisa Church

November 14, 2018

Did you know that the IRS penalty for not FILING your Federal income tax return is 10 times greater than the penalty for not PAYING your income taxes?  Yep…seriously.  The IRS offers many different options to taxpayers to help them resolve their tax debt but you’ve got to file those returns!  The focus...

Read More...

YouTube Video on New IRS Streamlined Installment Agreement

Lisa Church

November 6, 2018

I posted a YouTube Video on my blog: "The New and Improved IRS Installment Agreement is Here to Stay".

The YouTube video is at:

Read More...

YouTube Video on "Why you don't want to be a non-filer"

Lisa Church

October 28, 2018

I posted a YouTube Video on my blog: "Why you dont want to be a non-filer".

The YouTube video is

Read More...

YouTube Video on How IRS Collection Process Works

Lisa Church

October 20, 2018

Check out a YouTube Video I created that explains how the IRS Collection Process works. I go through charts that explain the process from start to finish of what happens when you owe the IRS money. I explain the steps you should follow when you owe the IRS money. The YouTube video is at:

Read More...

How IRS Collection Works (Expanded with more Details) (Tax Resolution Topic)

Lisa Church

October 13, 2018

As tomorrow is the due date for individual tax returns on extension, I wanted to expand on my previous blog post on how IRS collection works.  Whether you live in Severn, MD or Anne Arundel County, MD or anywhere else in the world, the IRS collections process works the same.  The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance with their IRS and state tax...

Read More...

How IRS Collection Works (Initial Overview) (Tax Resolution Topic)

Lisa Church

October 6, 2018

Whether you live in Severn, MD or Anne Arundel County, MD or anywhere else in the world, the IRS collections process works the same.  The focus of my practice in Severn, MD is to help taxpayers get in compliance with their IRS and state tax filings and to represent them before the IRS and the state with their tax collection issue. 

 

The collection process is...

Read More...