Receive Copies of Fraudulent Tax Returns

Tax identification theft is becoming all too common. Victims know how frustrating the experience can be. Thankfully, the IRS is willing to help.  The frustration If you are a victim of IRS identity theft, your first instinct is to find out what was filed and who filed it. In the past, most requests by victims of this theft could not receive this information. The IRS often stonewalls these requests because of active investigations and because it wishes to protect other potential victims’ identification. There is help As long as you follow IRS instructions, you are now able to get transcripts
Read More

2020 Social Security Changes Announced

The Social Security Administration announced a 1.6 percent boost to monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2020. The increase is based on the rise in the Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months ending in September 2019.  For those still contributing to Social Security through wages, the potential maximum income subject to Social Security tax increases 3.6 percent this year, to $137,700. A recap of the key amounts is outlined here: 2020 Key Social Security Benefits What does it mean for you? Up to $137,700 in wages will be subject to Social Security taxes, up
Read More

Donating to Charities? Do it RIGHT!

Donating to charity not only helps others, it can reduce your tax bill — but only if the charity qualifies as a tax-exempt organization. Checking for qualified status If you plan on itemizing your deductions on your tax return, make sure the organization you’re donating to is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization in good standing. You can find a list qualified 501(c)(3) organizations on the IRS website. Remember, even last year’s qualified organizations could lose their non-profit status if they do not submit their annual tax filing! Is it a good charity? Ensuring a tax-exempt status is not your
Read More

Cash in on 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate

While the maximum capital gain tax rate can be as high as 23.8 percent, most taxpayers pay 15 percent. But there is the possibility to have your capital gains go tax-free; zero percent! In fact, this tax break has been around for more than a decade and comes into play more often than you may think. Here is what you should know: Qualifying for the 0% capital gains rate You qualify for preferential long-term gain treatment if you sell stocks, bonds or real estate (and other capital assets) you’ve owned longer than a year. For 2019, the zero percent rate
Read More

Social Security Planning Starts Now

Although you won’t become eligible for Social Security until your 60s, there’s a lot you can do to prepare before then. Here’s a rundown of steps you can take during each decade of your life:  In your 20s: If you’re like a lot of people, you’re embarking on a career. At this point, there’s no guarantee that Social Security will be around in its current form when you’re ready to retire. The smart move is to build up retirement savings on your own. For instance, you should be participating in a 401(k) or other qualified plan at work. If done, Social
Read More

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Receive Copies of Fraudulent Tax Returns

Tax identification theft is becoming all too common. Victims know how frustrating the experience can be. Thankfully, the IRS is willing to help.  The frustration If you are a victim of IRS identity theft, your first instinct is to find out what was filed and who filed it. In the past, most requests by victims of this theft could not receive this information. The IRS often stonewalls these requests because of active investigations and because it wishes to protect other potential victims’ identification. There is help As long as you follow IRS instructions, you are now able to get transcripts
Read More

2020 Social Security Changes Announced

The Social Security Administration announced a 1.6 percent boost to monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2020. The increase is based on the rise in the Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months ending in September 2019.  For those still contributing to Social Security through wages, the potential maximum income subject to Social Security tax increases 3.6 percent this year, to $137,700. A recap of the key amounts is outlined here: 2020 Key Social Security Benefits What does it mean for you? Up to $137,700 in wages will be subject to Social Security taxes, up
Read More

Donating to Charities? Do it RIGHT!

Donating to charity not only helps others, it can reduce your tax bill — but only if the charity qualifies as a tax-exempt organization. Checking for qualified status If you plan on itemizing your deductions on your tax return, make sure the organization you’re donating to is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization in good standing. You can find a list qualified 501(c)(3) organizations on the IRS website. Remember, even last year’s qualified organizations could lose their non-profit status if they do not submit their annual tax filing! Is it a good charity? Ensuring a tax-exempt status is not your
Read More

Cash in on 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate

While the maximum capital gain tax rate can be as high as 23.8 percent, most taxpayers pay 15 percent. But there is the possibility to have your capital gains go tax-free; zero percent! In fact, this tax break has been around for more than a decade and comes into play more often than you may think. Here is what you should know: Qualifying for the 0% capital gains rate You qualify for preferential long-term gain treatment if you sell stocks, bonds or real estate (and other capital assets) you’ve owned longer than a year. For 2019, the zero percent rate
Read More

Social Security Planning Starts Now

Although you won’t become eligible for Social Security until your 60s, there’s a lot you can do to prepare before then. Here’s a rundown of steps you can take during each decade of your life:  In your 20s: If you’re like a lot of people, you’re embarking on a career. At this point, there’s no guarantee that Social Security will be around in its current form when you’re ready to retire. The smart move is to build up retirement savings on your own. For instance, you should be participating in a 401(k) or other qualified plan at work. If done, Social
Read More

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