Tax Implications of Working From Home and Collecting Unemployment

Revisor

COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways, and some of the changes have tax implications. Here is basic information about two common situations. 1. Working from home. Many employees have been told not to come into their workplaces due to the pandemic. If you’re an employee who “telecommutes” — that is, you work at home, and communicate with your …

Homebuyers: Can You Deduct Seller-Paid Points?

Revisor

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that existing home sales and prices are up nationwide, compared with last year. One of the reasons is the pandemic: “With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes…” according to NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. If you’re buying a home, or you just …

Back-to-School Tax Breaks on the Books

Revisor

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, students are going back to school this fall, either remotely, in-person or under a hybrid schedule. In any event, parents may be eligible for certain tax breaks to help defray the cost of education. Here is a summary of some of the tax breaks available for education. 1. Higher education tax credits. Generally, you may be able …

Will You Have to Pay Tax on Your Social Security Benefits?

Revisor

If you’re getting close to retirement, you may wonder: Are my Social Security benefits going to be taxed? And if so, how much will you have to pay? It depends on your other income. If you’re taxed, between 50% and 85% of your benefits could be taxed. (This doesn’t mean you pay 85% of your benefits back to the government …

What Happens if an Individual Can’t Pay Taxes?

Revisor

While you probably don’t have any problems paying your tax bills, you may wonder: What happens in the event you (or someone you know) can’t pay taxes on time? Here’s a look at the options. Most importantly, don’t let the inability to pay your tax liability in full keep you from filing a tax return properly and on time. In …

The Tax Implications of Employer-Provided Life Insurance

Revisor

Does your employer provide you with group term life insurance? If so, and if the coverage is higher than $50,000, this employee benefit may create undesirable income tax consequences for you. “Phantom income” The first $50,000 of group term life insurance coverage that your employer provides is excluded from taxable income and doesn’t add anything to your income tax bill. …

More Parents May Owe “Nanny Tax” This Year, Due to COVID-19

Revisor

In the COVID-19 era, many parents are hiring nannies and babysitters because their daycare centers and summer camps have closed. This may result in federal “nanny tax” obligations. Keep in mind that the nanny tax may apply to all household workers, including housekeepers, babysitters, gardeners or others who aren’t independent contractors. If you employ someone who’s subject to the nanny …

Are Scholarships Tax-free or Taxable?

Revisor

COVID-19 is changing the landscape for many schools this fall. But many children and young adults are going back, even if it’s just for online learning, and some parents will be facing tuition bills. If your child has been awarded a scholarship, that’s cause for celebration! But be aware that there may be tax implications. Scholarships (and fellowships) are generally …

Take Advantage of a “Stepped-Up Basis” When You Inherit Property

Revisor

If you’re planning your estate, or you’ve recently inherited assets, you may be unsure of the “cost” (or “basis”) for tax purposes. Fair market value rules Under the fair market value basis rules (also known as the “step-up and step-down” rules), an heir receives a basis in inherited property equal to its date-of-death value. So, for example, if your grandfather …

Conduct a “Paycheck Checkup” to Make Sure Your Withholding is Adequate

Revisor

Did you recently file your federal tax return and were surprised to find you owed money? You might want to change your withholding so that this doesn’t happen next year. You might even want to do that if you got a big refund. Receiving a tax refund essentially means you’re giving the government an interest-free loan. Withholding changes In 2018, …