One Reason to File Your 2020 Tax Return Early

Revisor

The IRS announced it is opening the 2020 individual income tax return filing season on February 12. (This is later than in past years because of a new law that was enacted late in December.) Even if you typically don’t file until much closer to the April 15 deadline (or you file for an extension), consider filing earlier this year. …

Educate Yourself About the Revised Tax Benefits for Higher Education

Revisor

Attending college is one of the biggest investments that parents and students ever make. If you or your child (or grandchild) attends (or plans to attend) an institution of higher learning, you may be eligible for tax breaks to help foot the bill. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was enacted recently, made some changes to the tax breaks. Here’s a …

The COVID-19 Relief Law: What’s In It For You?

Revisor

The new COVID-19 relief law that was signed on December 27, 2020, contains a multitude of provisions that may affect you. Here are some of the highlights of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which also contains two other laws: the COVID-related Tax Relief Act (COVIDTRA) and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act (TCDTR).   Direct payments The law provides …

Your Taxpayer Filing Status: You May be Eligible to Use More Than One

Revisor

When it comes to taxes, December 31 is more than just New Year’s Eve. That date will affect the filing status box that will be checked on your 2020 tax return. When filing a return, you do so with one of five tax filing statuses. In part, they depend on whether you’re married or unmarried on December 31. More than …

The Next Estimated Tax Deadline is January 15 if You Have to Make a Payment

Revisor

If you’re self-employed and don’t have withholding from paychecks, you probably have to make estimated tax payments. These payments must be sent to the IRS on a quarterly basis. The fourth 2020 estimated tax payment deadline for individuals is Friday, January 15, 2021. Even if you do have some withholding from paychecks or payments you receive, you may still have …

Can You Qualify for a Medical Expense Tax Deduction?

Revisor

You may be able to deduct some of your medical expenses, including prescription drugs, on your federal tax return. However, the rules make it hard for many people to qualify. But with proper planning, you may be able to time discretionary medical expenses to your advantage for tax purposes. Itemizers must meet a threshold For 2020, the medical expense deduction …

Maximize Your 401(k) Plan to Save for Retirement

Revisor

Contributing to a tax-advantaged retirement plan can help you reduce taxes and save for retirement. If your employer offers a 401(k) or Roth 401(k) plan, contributing to it is a smart way to build a substantial sum of money. If you’re not already contributing the maximum allowed, consider increasing your contribution rate. Because of tax-deferred compounding (tax-free in the case …

Disability Income: How is it Taxed?

Revisor

Many Americans receive disability income. You may wonder if — and how — it’s taxed. As is often the case with tax questions, the answer is … it depends. The key factor is who paid for the benefit. If the income is paid directly to you by your employer, it’s taxable to you as ordinary salary would be. (Taxable benefits …

Steer Clear of the Wash Sale Rule if You’re Selling Stock by Year End

Revisor

Are you thinking about selling stock shares at a loss to offset gains that you’ve realized during 2020? If so, it’s important not to run afoul of the “wash sale” rule. IRS may disallow the loss Under this rule, if you sell stock or securities for a loss and buy substantially identical stock or securities back within the 30-day period …

Employees: Don’t Forget About Your FSA Funds

Revisor

Many employees take advantage of the opportunity to save taxes by placing funds in their employer’s health or dependent care flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). As the end of 2020 nears, here are some rules and reminders to keep in mind. Health FSAs A pre-tax contribution of $2,750 to a health FSA is permitted in both 2020 and 2021. You save …