Federal Guidance on State Tax Payments

              Until recently the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) had been encouraging many taxpayers to hold off on filing their tax returns. This is not because of a technical flaw, but there was a question that needed to be answered. Would state tax payments over the past year be taxable at the federal level? California is one of 21 states to provide such payments.           After discussion, it was determined that these payments would not need to be reported as income, and therefore not taxable. They will be viewed as payments for general welfare and disaster relief. This was a complex situation that had many questions for the IRS . One determining factor is that since the federal pandemic disaster declaration is ending in May 2023, there is no need to make an issue of these payments made in 2022. With that issue settled, please be sure to gather your important documents and prepare to file your tax returns promptly. It is very important that the Form 1099 Misc be given to your

How To Prepare For Tax Season

                 With the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) ready to accept tax returns, you may be wondering how to take advantage of an early start date. The best thing to do is use your time wisely. How can you do that?  The first thing you should do is to gather all of your necessary information. This is the time of year that tax information is arriving, so keep it organized and make copies to give to your Qualified Tax Professional . The earlier you start this process, the easier it will be. As a bonus, you will be less likely to be in a rush and have missing details that will prevent you from filing your tax return. If you are choosing a new Qualified Tax Professional , make appointments early to meet them and discuss your needs. The longer you wait, the less availability they will have. The best way to prepare for tax season is to gather your information and get your questions answered early.

How Do Disaster Declarations Change Tax Season?

             The tax season for this year has been established. As announced by the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ), the first day tax returns will be accepted is January 23 . The deadline to file is April 18 . However, in light of the recent devastating storms, many counties in California were declared federal disaster areas. How does this designation change things for the affected taxpayers?           As is often stated, this allows for federal funding to care for the practical needs of disaster victims. This also makes the way for federal agencies like the ( IRS ) to have the ability to adjust deadlines as circumstances dictate. In this case, the taxpayers that live in California counties that have been declared federal disaster areas, will have until May 15 to file federal individual and business tax returns. This also postpones any estimated tax payments. This allows for time to focus on what is needed now.

Tax Season Has Been Set

                 The tax season for this year has been established. As announced by the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ), the first day tax returns will be accepted is January 23 . The deadline to file is April 18 . After reflecting on the past 3 years, the IRS has taken steps to make improvements in the service it provides to taxpayers.           As part of the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 2022, the IRS has hired 5,000 new employees. They will answer phone inquiries and provide in-person assistance. The date of January 23 was chosen to allow for training and needed updates to the software so IRS systems will work smoothly. Tuesday, April 18, 2023 will be the tax filing deadline in observance of Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia. Since there is more help available this year than in previous years, our next post will discuss how to best use our time in preparation for filing a tax return.

Paycheck Protection Loans Can Be Taxed

                 As the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) continues to catch up with its backlog of paperwork, there is a problem that is emerging. They have determined that a growing number of Paycheck Protection Program ( PPP ) loans have been improperly granted forgiveness. These loans were first established to assist small businesses that were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in paying certain expenses.           To have these loans forgiven, three criteria had to be met and that would allow the amount to be excluded from total income. For example, the loan had to be used to pay eligible expenses like rent, payroll, and utilities. However, upon further review, many of those who had their loans forgiven really do not meet those criteria. In situations like this, the loan amount is added to the total income for that year. This would require filing an amended tax return for that year. Be prepared to pay additional taxes, penalties, and interest if you fall into this catego

Making Charitable Plans

           Many plan on making charitable donations this time of year, especially for Giving Tuesday. Before doing so, it is always best to know if the gift is tax-deductible. It is also a good practice to research the organization to make sure it is tax-exempt and get a written acknowledgement of a donation greater than $250. Usually, a gift of cash or property given to a charity can be deducted when itemized on a tax return. However, some donations do not qualify for a tax deduction. For example, a donation carried forward from a prior year, a donation made to a supporting organization, or donations made to most private foundations will not be eligible for a tax deduction. Take time now to plan your gift and understand how it may affect your taxes.

Tax Resources for Members of the Military and Veterans

             The Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) provides resources to meet the needs of different groups of people. That is especially true of active members of the military, veterans, and their families. Certain benefits relate to the taxpayer’s military status. There are different rules that apply to those who are serving abroad, or in combat zones.           Depending on their situation, they may qualify for automatic deadline extensions, and the ability to claim certain moving expenses. Military members and veterans often have some of the most uniquely complex tax situations. The IRS recognizes that. If you fall into this category, take time now to be prepared before January arrives.