Translations from Your Trusted Advisor.
Massachusetts has implemented two new laws in 2019 that could have significant impacts on employees, employers and/or those who rent out short-term property. Massachusetts recently sent out an email detailing who might be impacted by the new laws and included links to learn more about them.
As hurricane season begins, the IRS is encouraging preparation. Beyond stocking up on food and water you also want to prepare to have your documents safe and your valuables documented in case of disaster.
Pollyanna King, CPA, MST •
You may or may not know that there is a tax on gifts you make to others. But don’t panic.
Over your lifetime you can give away over $11 million (yes, I said million), before you incur this federal tax for 2019 and it’s higher for 2020 after the inflation adjustment.
Yesterday, the IRS launched a new Tax Withholding Estimator. The estimator is similar to the previous Withholding Calculator, but is more user-friendly.
There are millions of victims of identity theft annually and in the wake of the new Capital One Data Breach, in which a hacker gained access to more than 100 million customers’ accounts, identify theft is on the forefront everyone’s minds. In recent cases like the Capital One breach and the 2017 Equifax breach which impact 150 million individuals, many individuals need to learn how to react to their personal information being accessible.
Dana Bull, CPA •
Many taxpayers recently filed their taxes or may be waiting for a response from the IRS. Because of this, summertime tends to be a period when thieves increase their scam attempts.
It seems like a weekly occurrence. A telephone call or voicemail from someone posing as the IRS threatening that if you don’t contact them immediately to settle your past due account the local police will be sent to arrest you. These calls may seem obviously fake to you but people continue to fall prey to these scams. Other types of scams include “phishing”. Phishing (as in “fishing for information” and “hooking” victims) is a scam where internet scammers send e-mail messages to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal and financial information that can be used to steal the victims’ identity. Some of the more prevalent IRS impersonation scams include:
The IRS recently released new draft tax forms for 2019 and 2020. New for 2019 are Form 8995, Form 8995-A, and corresponding schedules. These forms are used for the Qualified Business Income Deduction which was new in 2018. New in 2020 is Form 1099-NEC which will be used instead of 1099-MISC to report nonemployee compensation.
The IRS recently released draft forms for the 2020 tax season. The 1040 will look more familiar with page 1 again including income. In addition, the six schedules from 2018 are now reduced to three. The changes from 2018 to 2019 are detailed as follows:
Alyssa Hodges, CPA •
The IRS requires “contemporaneous” documentation for certain types of activities and tax deductions. Some of the areas this covers include mileage, meals, and support for the new 250 hour requirement for the rental real estate safe harbor. “Contemporaneous” means that you should be recording the necessary information at the same time you are doing the activity.
Lena Rozzi, CPA •
Congratulations to the Class of 2019! Graduating college can mark an exciting time for new graduates as they transition from being a student to becoming a working professional. This three part series will dive into some helpful information and tips on what to expect as they journey down their career path.
Graduating from college may bring on new responsibilities for filing your own tax return but it can also mean being eligible for tax credits and deductions that you have not qualified for before. In the last part of this series, we’ll explore a few different tax deductions and credits that can help lower your tax liability and put more money in your pocket at tax time.
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