In April, the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica reported on a surprising imbalance at the IRS. Although it would almost certainly be both more effective and bring in more revenue if it focused on auditing the rich, the agency does not do this. No, it audits the working poor at almost the exact same rate as it does the richest 1% of Americans.
If you've won or settled a lawsuit this year, you need to be aware that some kinds of awards and settlements are taxable. Moreover, you will be taxed on the entire award or settlement, even though 30% or 40% may have gone to your lawyer. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act increased the tax rate on qualifying awards and settlements.
If you're a Minnesota snowbird, you may have been watching Hurricane Dorian with special attention. Was your second home or vacation property damaged? Or, you may have a farm or agricultural property that was damaged in the spring flooding. Either way, you might have a casualty loss deduction to claim on your federal tax return.
Many people don't realize that they could lose their passports if they are found to be seriously delinquent in their tax liabilities. This is a relatively new penalty for nonpayment that was created under the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The Act requires the IRS to certify seriously delinquent debts to the State Department, which will then pull the taxpayer's passport.
The IRS doesn't send unsolicited emails at all, and it certainly doesn't email taxpayers about the status of their refunds. That's the first thing you need to know if you receive an email that looks like it came from the IRS.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed a number of things, eliminating many traditional tax exemptions and raising the standard deduction so that itemizing was much less common. As a result, the IRS recommended that people reconsider their 2018 tax withholdings and offered an online calculator to help.
The IRS taxes cryptocurrency as capital gains, but it requires taxpayers to disclose every transaction, whether or not it resulted in gains or losses. If you have invested in Bitcoin or another digital currency and haven't disclosed it to the IRS, you may not have paid all the taxes due.
The proposed updates for the 2019 tax returns have been released, including a new Form 1040-SR for seniors. The new form for seniors was required by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
The middle of July is a good time to talk about paying your quarterly estimated taxes because the need to file is not imminent. Estimated taxes are required for many people who own small businesses or are self-employed, including those working as independent contractors for an established company. They also may be required for people who receive income from interest, dividends, capital gains, prizes and awards.
You owe federal taxes, and you also have a credit card that will pay rewards on anything you use it for. When you run the numbers, are the rewards worth the cost?