10 Essential Tax Questions & Answers For Homeowners

Albert Einstein once lamented, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” If you buy, sell, finance or own real estate, it gets even harder. Yet there’s no reason to pay more than the minimum, and the Internal Revenue Code actually gives property owners lots of tax breaks. According to Art Ford, a certified public accountant …

Illegal Tax Moves to Avoid

IGNORANCE ISN’T BLISS when it comes to the U.S. tax code. Failing to fill out your tax return correctly, even if you make an honest mistake, isn’t going to earn you immediate forgiveness from the Internal Revenue Service. “When you sign your tax return, you’re signing it (to say) that everything is accurate and true,” says Mark Jaeger, director of tax development at …

ADP finds private sector added 227,000 jobs in October

Private sector employment increased by a robust 227,000 jobs in October, according to payroll giant ADP, but small businesses are having a difficult time finding qualified employees to fill the open slots. Small businesses nevertheless added 29,000 jobs in October, including 7,000 in businesses with between one and 19 employees, and 22,000 in businesses with between 20 and 49 employees. …

Rules issued on paid family and medical leave credit

The IRS on Monday issued 34 questions and answers on new Sec. 45S, which was added by the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97, to provide a general business credit for employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees (Notice 2018-71). The credit equals a percentage of the wages an employer pays …

Tax inflation adjustments expected to shrink

Bloomberg Tax and Thomson Reuters have released their 2019 projected inflation adjustments for a variety of tax-related items that are subject to change each year, but particularly after last year’s big tax overhaul. Typically, items such as tax brackets and deduction amounts have been based on the Consumer Price Index for All Consumers, also known as CPI-U. But the passage …

Qualified business income deduction regulations proposed

The IRS issued proposed regulations on Wednesday regarding the qualified trade or business income deduction under Sec. 199A, which was enacted by P.L. 115-97, the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (REG-107892-18). At the same time, it issued Notice 2018-64, which provides guidance on how to compute W-2 wages for purposes of the deduction, along with FAQs. The …

IRS Announces Interest Rates For Late Payments And Tax Refunds

Interest rates are staying put – at least when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has announced in Revenue Ruling 2018-18 that interest rates will remain the same for the third calendar quarter (beginning July 1, 2018) as they did for the last quarter. The rates for the third quarter for individuals will be: 5% for …

When is a debt worthless – and tax deductible?

Just because a creditor thinks a debt has become worthless doesn’t mean they can deduct it, according to a recent Tax Court ruling. A debt that becomes wholly worthless within the taxable year is deductible as a business bad debt. To deduct a business bad debt, the taxpayer must show the existence of a valid debtor-creditor relationship, that the debt …

Draft 2019 Form W-4 and instructions posted

The IRS issued a draft version of the 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and instructions for the form, in an attempt to further simplify the task of determining income tax withholding for individual taxpayers after the passage of P.L. 115-97, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). The TCJA eliminated personal exemptions, increased the …