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Archives for September 2021

Stimulus Relief and Taxes

Various stimulus payments during the COVID-19 pandemic have been designed to provide relief for those struggling during job loss and lock downs. The coronavirus has affected every aspect of life, and that includes income taxes.

Payment Delays

The federal government has made three rounds of stimulus payments to individuals, even to those that typically don’t file or aren’t required to file. The distribution of those payments has encountered a number of problems. Individuals may have received one, but not the other payment, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t receive the second and third.

Others received less than the full amount and in many cases, the payments were confiscated for child support and similar court-ordered payments or the full amount wasn’t disbursed. For those individuals, they may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit, but to do so they need to file a tax return.

Tax Liability

The good news is that stimulus checks aren’t taxable. Individuals must pay taxes on income, but stimulus checks aren’t really income for tax purposes. It’s classified as an advance payment on a tax credit and a tax credit isn’t taxable either. Pay careful attention to the new tax forms, as they can save taxpayers money if they:

  • Had a baby
  • Were married and one spouse doesn’t have a Social Security number
  • Income dropped in 2020
  • Are a recent college graduate
  • Didn’t receive a full round of stimulus checks
  • Didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return

Delivery Difficulties

The stimulus payments were first made to people that filed tax returns by e-file. Paper checks were then dispersed to those that filed paper copies of their return. It led to delays, shorted amounts, and no check at all, since distribution was based on 2019 and 2020 tax returns. That means individuals will be able to claim the amount they missed as a tax credit on their taxes.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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5 Reasons a Tax Professional is Better than Online Filing Services

Millions of people across the nation file their taxes each year using popular online software. It’s easy, convenient, and fairly inexpensive. The IRS recommends that individuals use e-file options for their taxes. However, the best solution can be a tax professional. The more complex the tax filing, the more a tax professional makes sense and they can also e-file for clients.

  1. Year-Round Help

Online tax software is only available for a limited time each year and it can’t provide advice on potential tax issues that may arise during the coming year. A tax professional is available to answer questions and concerns at anytime during the year, not just at tax time.

  1. Best Software

Tax professionals have access to better and more sophisticated software than that offered online. An individual’s information can be scanned, entered, and organized quickly and efficiently. The process eliminates manual data entry, significantly reducing the potential for human error.

  1. On Time

Online software depends on individuals buckling down, collecting their information and beginning the task of filing taxes. Fear of a mistake is common among self-filers and it’s exacerbated when the individual happens to be a procrastinator. Provided that individuals get the information to their tax professional in a timely manner, taxes will always be filed on time, thereby eliminating late fees and running afoul of the IRS. Filing via a tax professional may also reduce the potential of an audit.

  1. Business Needs

Complying with new tax laws for operating a business and investments becomes more complicated every year. A tax professional is one of the first to have access to upcoming changes that affect clients’ taxes and livelihood. They have a thorough understanding of tax laws in multiple areas and can guide individuals. Even those with straightforward tax returns will fare better.

  1. Stress

Tax time generates a considerable amount of stress each year and it’s compounded when people try to do their own taxes – even with online software. The changes in tax laws and the COVID-19 pandemic are further confusing requirements. An ordinary tax return can take up to two hours to complete online. A tax professional saves clients time, effort and stress.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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Best Tax Savings for Single People

There’s a wealth of deductions that couples and parents of children can take to lessen their tax burden. Single people aren’t typically so fortunate, but there are ways that singles can utilize to reduce their monetary burden at tax time.

Adjust Withholding

A large tax refund is a good indication that an individual is having too much withheld from their paycheck. The solution is to file a new W-4 form with their employer. By reducing withholdings individuals will receive more money in each of their paychecks.

Health Care

A health care flex plan diverts money from a paycheck into an account that an individual can use to pay medical bills. Neither income taxes or Social Security taxes need to be paid on the money. The maximum contribution each year to a health care health plan is $2,500.

Job Hunting

For singles that are looking for a new position in the same line of work, job hunting expenses can be deducted. That includes transportation, food, lodging and other associated costs, not to exceed 2 percent of adjusted gross income. Moving costs can be claimed if a new job is more than 50 miles farther from the individual’s home. If the individual is using their own vehicle, they can claim 56 cents per mile, along with tolls and parking fees.

Restricted Stock

Taxes on stock received as a fringe benefit can be paid at the time of the stock’s value rather than until the restrictions disappear. The benefit is that the tax rate could be far more after the stock vests.

Side Hustles

Individuals that are making extra money at home through a side hustle can deduct a percentage of the space as a home office. However, individuals that make more than $400 may be taxed at the increased level reserved for the self-employed.

Pandemic

For singles that have been sharing their home with a family member of friend during the pandemic, if they’ve been providing more than 50 percent of that person’s living expenses, they can claim them as a dependent. Many people didn’t receive one or more of the three stimulus payments that were distributed by the federal government. For others, the full amount wasn’t received. Anyone that experienced one of those situations can claim the amount as a tax credit.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

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estimated taxes

Estimated Taxes for the Self-Employed

People that are self-employed typically pay a self-employment tax, income tax, and are required to file quarterly. Estimated taxes are similar to the Medicare and Social Security taxes that are withheld from a person’s paycheck. The goal for the self-employed is to subtract business expenses from business income to determine estimated taxes.

If expenses are less than income, the difference becomes net profit and part of the income. The reverse is also true. If expenses are more than income, the difference is the net loss. Net earnings of more than $400 requires the filing of self-employment taxes and the individual may also have to file an income tax return.

Since there’s no employer taking Medicare and Social Security taxes from a paycheck, those that are self-employed have to estimate their tax liability. Specialized forms and worksheets will be required and it’s at this point that most individuals hire a tax professional. They will know when the client needs to file and they have the advanced software needed for the complex computations. They can also e-file.

Business Structure

When an individual launches a business, they must decide what type of business structure the enterprise will follow to ensure they’re estimating the correct level of taxation. People most commonly establish a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership or S corporation. They may also choose to operate as a limited liability company (LLC), which is a relatively new type of entity that most states deemed allowable in the 1990s.

Joint Venture

When spouses form a business venture, it’s considered a joint venture for tax purposes and the rules are slightly different. They have the option, if they’re the only employees, to elect to file taxes individually rather than as a partnership.

Penalties

Business owners will find that they’re charged a penalty if they don’t pay enough taxes through estimated tax payments if they receive other income. Those sources can include alimony, dividends and capital gains, and prizes and awards. It’s just one of the reasons why it’s easier and more efficient to hire a tax professional.

At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs.  We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!

 

Contact Us Today

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