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Earlier this week, the President suggested that he might not sign the stimulus package/spending bill (you can read about what happened – and what it meant – here). However, tonight, the President did sign the bill into law. The bill would do a few things, including: Issue stimulus checks of $600 per person;Extend unemployment benefits; andExpand PPP, offering more loans, and allowing for deductibility. You can read my summary and related bills here: Congress Takes Lead On PPP In New Stimulus Bill, Defying TreasuryHere’s A Look At What’s In The Massive Covid-Response Stimulus BillAll You Need To Know About Round Two Of Covid-Related Stimulus Checks On Monday, the House still intends to introduce a bill to raise the stimulus checks to $2,000 per adult. The Senate has not indicated that it will take up the bill, though the President says that, “The Senate will start the process for a vote…

2020 is nearly done. Whether you’re an individual concerned about how a new president and recovering economy will impact you, or you need to find some last-minute tax deductions, there’s plenty to be thinking about as the new year ticks over. Preparing for end-of-year taxes, estate planning, and maximizing tax deductions On this week’s episode, Kelly is joined by Lisa Colletti, a managing director in planning strategy and research at Aspiriant. Lisa and Kelly talk about the things you should be thinking about right now to help you with your 2020 taxes and what could be done now for 2021 – like creating more tax deductions, maximizing your 401k contributions, and more. Listen to Kelly and Lisa talk about year-end tax preparation: What should people be paying special attention to for year-end taxesHow President-Elect Joe Biden’s proposed tax plan could impact individualsEconomic uncertainty and what that might mean for end-of-year…

(Author’s Note: The bill passed in the House and Senate on December 21, 2020, after this piece originally appeared.) Congress has finally agreed on a COVID relief package. It is the first significant stimulus action from Congress since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act was signed into law in March of 2020. As with anything tax-related, there’s a little bit of confusion. To help you sort it out, here are a few questions and answers about what the bill looks like as of now: When will I get my check? Checks are supposed to be produced quickly. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin indicated that, assuming the bill becomes law, checks would begin showing up in bank accounts as early as next week. How big will my check be? Checks will be $600 per person – or $1,200 for married couples filing jointly – and an additional $600 per…

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers about a temporary tax break that will allow more people to deduct up to $300 in donations to qualifying charities this year. Taxpayers who make cash donations of up to $300 before December 31, 2020, are now eligible for a charitable deduction when they file in 2021 – even if they don’t itemize. As part of the CARES Act, the special $300 deduction is available to taxpayers who choose to take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing their deductions. Above-The-Line Deductions Those kinds of deductions are sometimes called “above-the-line” deductions, or adjustments to income, since they come off the top, lowering both adjusted gross income and taxable income. Assuming that the IRS doesn’t make further changes to Form 1040 before next filing season, you’ll see the deduction on the front page of your tax return at line 10(b): While there have been…

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued final regulations relating to section 1031 like-kind exchanges. 1031 Like-Kind Requirements We call them 1031 like-kind exchanges because the rules are found at section 1031 of the Tax Code (clever, I know). The provision allows you to defer tax on gain if – and it’s a big if – you participate in a qualifying like-kind exchange that meets some pretty specific requirements: The property to be exchanged must have been held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment (and must be exchanged for a property similarly held). Personal residences or vacation homes for personal use won’t qualify.The property doesn’t have to be real estate (though it typically is). It cannot be: stock in trade or other property held primarily for sale; stocks, bonds, or notes; other securities or evidences of indebtedness or interest; interests in a partnership; certificates of…

The difference between being organized or not can be thousands of dollars when it comes to your taxes and finances. This week on the Taxgirl podcast, Kelly talks to Karen R. Caccavo about organizing tips for your tax information and financials throughout the year so they’re ready to go when you actually need them. Whether you do your taxes online, go to a certified tax professional, or even have your own accountant, being organized is an important step to keeping your finances in proper order. Karen has a wealth of organizing tips to help you de-clutter your life, office, and business so you’re better prepared. Organizing tips for your business and life Karen R. Caccavo joins Kelly on the Taxgirl podcast to talk about getting organized. Karen is a daily money manager and organization expert that has helped people get their business lives under control as well as assisting in…

Chances are, you’ve already received your stimulus check this year. But if you haven’t, and you qualify for one, you need to act fast if you want to receive it in 2020: the deadline is 3 p.m. EST this Saturday, November 21, 2020, to register. If you are a non-filer and you have not received your payment, you must register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by using the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool on IRS.gov before the deadline. This does not apply to taxpayers who normally file a tax return, or taxpayers who need to file a tax return for 2019. It applies to those who don’t typically file a tax return, or those who do not typically need to file a tax return, and have not yet registered using the non-filer tool. The deadline also applies to certain benefit recipients who got a stimulus check for themselves but…

All taxpayers deserve quality taxpayer support and representation. However, this can be a costly avenue to achieve. Many taxpayers who stumble upon a tax dispute are unaware of the assistance out there. In this week’s podcast, Kelly talks about options for taxpayer help. The LITC, also known as Low Income Taxpayer Clinics, are independent organizations in place to help taxpayers in need fight their disputes. Educating Taxpayers About LITC Kelly talks with William Schmidt, Clinic Director at Kansas Legal Services, about the ins and outs of LITC and taxpayer assistance programs. William has co-authored a chapter for the American Bar Association on preparing clients for IRS disputes. In addition, William has a podcast, Tax Justice Warriors. Kelly and William share how the public can find and benefit from tax assistance. Listen to Kelly and William talk such as: How William found his way to LITCSLITCS affiliationsThree types of Taxpayer ClinicsLegal…

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding qualified college students that it’s not too late to register for a stimulus check. If you are a self-supporting student and don’t need to file a tax return, you have until November 21 to register to get your stimulus check (also called an Economic Impact Payment, or EIP) by the end of the year. “The IRS is working hard with our partners across the country to raise awareness about the upcoming deadline to register for a payment,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “College students in particular should be careful not to overlook these payments if they’re supporting themselves and can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax returns. A few minutes of research could really help students.” Dependents Do Not Qualify Not sure if that means you? Dependent students do not qualify for a check. If your parents claim you as a dependent…

There was an article that circulated recently suggesting that bankruptcies didn’t peak as expected. If the folks who are reaching out to me are any indication, just give it time. With unemployment numbers still high and many areas still under shutdown orders due to the pandemic, it’s clear that the economy is not back to normal. And one of the consequences of that economy is the inability of many consumers to pay off debt. When you can’t pay off your debt, you may settle with the creditor for less than you owe. This can take a few forms, including short sales, foreclosures, or just agreeing with a credit card company to pay less than you owe if they stop chasing you for the balance. No matter the form it takes, if you have cancellation of debt for less than the amount you owe, the amount of the canceled debt is…

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