Monthly Archives: January 2020

2020 – 01/31

As we begin to file 2019 tax returns, a new report looks at how the IRS performed last tax season. A Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit shows that, by May 2019, the IRS received over 141 million returns and issued about 100.4 million refunds totaling more than $274 billion. In addition to standard processing, the IRS incorporated hundreds of changes brought by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The audit uncovered errors in IRS processing systems, affecting about 251,000 e-filed returns. TIGTA concluded that “processes and procedures are needed to detect potential false deduction claims” for various items. To read the report: https://bit.ly/36EI7gC

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2020 – 01/17 – Time passages: Estate planning through the years

Virtually everyone needs an estate plan, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Even though each person’s situation is unique, general guidelines can be drawn depending on your current stage of life. If you’ve gotten married, for example, now is the time to build the foundation for your estate plan. And, if you’ve recently started a family, estate planning is even more critical. Your will is at the forefront. Essentially, this document divides up your accumulated wealth upon death by deciding who gets what, where, when and how. A will also designates the guardian of your children if you and your spouse should die prematurely. We can help review and revise your plan as needed.

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2020 – 01/13 – New rules will soon require employers to annually disclose retirement income to employees

The recently enacted SECURE Act includes a new requirement for employers that sponsor tax-favored defined contribution retirement plans that are subject to ERISA. Specifically, the law will require that benefit statements sent to plan participants include a lifetime income disclosure at least once during any 12-month period. It will need to illustrate the monthly payments that an employee would receive if the total account balance were used to provide lifetime income streams, including a single life annuity and a qualified joint and survivor annuity for the participant and his or her surviving spouse. The requirement won’t go into effect until 12 months after the DOL issues a final rule.

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2019 – 12/30

The start of the new year ushers in tax season. If you used your home to conduct business, you may qualify to take a home office deduction on your tax return, even if you’re a renter. Here are the basic rules: The home must be your principal place of business, or a place to meet clients in the course of business. If the office is in a separate structure, such as a detached garage, it will only qualify if you used it regularly and exclusively for business. Deductible expenses include mortgage interest, insurance and utilities, repairs, maintenance, depreciation and rent. You currently can’t claim a deduction if you’re an employee. Here are more details from the IRS: http://bit.ly/2MbhU3z

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