TaxConnections

 
 

Access Leading Tax Experts And Technology
In Our Global Digital Marketplace

Please enter your input in search

Archive for IRS

Business Owners Home Office Deduction Available To Homeowners And Renters

Home Office Deduction

IRS Notice: Business owners may be able to benefit from the home office deduction.

Taxpayers who use their home for business may be eligible to claim a home office deduction. It allows qualifying taxpayers to deduct certain home expenses on their tax return. This can reduce the amount of the taxpayer’s taxable income.

Here are some things to help taxpayers understand the home office deduction and whether they can claim it:

The home office deduction is available to both homeowners and renters.

There are certain expenses taxpayers can deduct. They include mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, maintenance, depreciation, and rent.

Taxpayers must meet specific requirements to claim home expenses as a deduction. Even then, the deductible amount of these types of expenses may be limited.
Read more

IRS Unclaimed Refunds Waiting For Taxpayers Face July 15 Deadline

IRS Unclaimed Refunds Waiting For Taxpayers Face July 15 Deadline

IRS unclaimed refunds of $1.5 billion waiting for tax year 2016; taxpayers face July 15 deadline

Unclaimed income tax refunds worth more than $1.5 billion await an estimated 1.4 million individual taxpayers who did not file a 2016 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

“The IRS wants to help taxpayers who are owed refunds but haven’t filed their 2016 tax returns yet,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers. There’s only a three-year window to claim these refunds, and the window closes on July 15. To claim the refund, a return for tax year 2016 must be filed by July 15, 2020.”

In Notice 2020-23 (PDF), the IRS extended the due date for filing tax year 2016 returns and claiming refunds for that year to July 15, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the IRS is issuing Economic Impact Payments to Americans, the agency urges taxpayers who haven’t filed past due tax returns to file now to claim these valuable refunds.

To collect refunds for tax year 2016, taxpayers must file their 2016 tax returns with the IRS no later than this year’s extended tax due date of July 15, 2020.
Read more

IRS Rules On Home Office Deductions

IRS Rules On Home Office Deductions

If you use part of your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. The home office deduction is available for homeowners and renters, and applies to all types of homes.

Simplified Option
For taxable years starting on, or after, January 1, 2013 (filed beginning in 2014), you now have a simplified option for computing the home office deduction (IRS Revenue Procedure 2013-13, January 15, 2013). The standard method has some calculation, allocation, and substantiation requirements that are complex and burdensome for small business owners.

This new simplified option can significantly reduce the burden of recordkeeping by allowing a qualified taxpayer to multiply a prescribed rate by the allowable square footage of the office in lieu of determining actual expenses.

Regular Method
Taxpayers using the regular method (required for tax years 2012 and prior), instead of the optional method, must determine the actual expenses of their home office. These expenses may include mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs, and depreciation.
Read more

Social Security Benefits May Be Taxable: Don’t Forget

Taxable Social Security Benefits

Taxpayers receiving Social Security benefits may have to pay federal income tax on a portion of those benefits.

Social Security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits. They don’t include supplemental security income payments, which aren’t taxable.

The portion of benefits that are taxable depends on the taxpayer’s income and filing status.

To find out if their benefits are taxable, taxpayers should:
• Take one half of the Social Security money they collected during the year and add it to their other income. Other income includes pensions, wages, interest, dividends and capital gains.
o If they are single and that total comes to more than $25,000, then part of their Social Security benefits may be taxable.
o If they are married filing jointly, they should take half of their Social Security, plus half of their spouse’s Social Security, and add that to all their combined income. If that total is more than $32,000, then part of their Social Security may be taxable.
Read more

Gig Economy Tips Taxpayers Should Remember

IRS On Gig Economy

The gig economy, also called sharing or access economy, is activity where taxpayers earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods. Often, it’s through a digital platform like an app or website. While there are many types of sharing economy businesses, ride-sharing and home rentals are two of the most popular.
Here are some things taxpayers should remember:

• Income from these sources is taxable, regardless of whether an individual receives information returns. This is true even if the work is full-time, part-time or if an individual is
paid in cash.
• Taxpayers may also be required to make quarterly estimated income tax payments and pay their share of Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid taxes.
While providing gig economy services, it is important that the taxpayer is correctly classified.
• This means the business or the taxpayer must determine whether the individual providing the services is an employee or independent contractor.
• Taxpayers can use the worker classification page on IRS.gov to see how they are classified.
• Independent contractors may be able to deduct business expenses, depending on tax limits and rules. It is important for taxpayers to keep records of their business expenses.
Read more

IRS Finalizes Guidance For Section 199A Deduction For Shareholders Of Regulated Investment Companies

IRS Finalizes Guidance For Section 199A Deduction For Shareholders Of Regulated Investment Companies

The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations permitting a regulated investment company (RIC) that receives qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends to report dividends the RIC pays to its shareholders as section 199A dividends.

Section 199A, enacted as part the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), allows individual taxpayers and certain trusts and estates to deduct up to 20 percent of certain income (section 199A deduction).

The section 199A deduction is available to eligible taxpayers with qualified business income (QBI) from qualified trades or businesses operated as sole proprietorships or through partnerships, S corporations, trusts, or estates, as well as for qualified REIT dividends and income from publicly traded partnerships. The section 199A deduction is not available for C corporations.
The regulations issued today provide that a shareholder in a RIC may, subject to limitations, treat a section 199A dividend received from a RIC as a qualified REIT dividend for purposes of determining the section 199A deduction.
Read more

IRS On Elimination Of Deduction Of Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit Expenses

IRS On Elimination Of Deduction Of Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit Expenses

The Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations that provide guidance for the deduction of qualified transportation fringe and commuting expenses.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) does not allow deductions for qualified transportation fringe (QTF) expenses and does not allow deductions for certain expenses of transportation and commuting between an employee’s residence and place of employment.

The law also provided that a tax-exempt organization’s unrelated business taxable income is increased by the amount of the QTF expense that is nondeductible. However, on December 20, 2019, this was repealed as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. This repeal was retroactive to the original date of enactment by the TCJA.
Read more

IRS Announces Rollover Relief For Required Minimum Distributions From Retirement Accounts

IRS Announces Rollover Relief For Required Minimum Distributions From Retirement Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service announced that anyone who already took a required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2020 from certain retirement accounts now has the opportunity to roll those funds back into a retirement account following the CARES Act RMD waiver for 2020.

The 60-day rollover period for any RMDs already taken this year has been extended to August 31, 2020, to give taxpayers time to take advantage of this opportunity.

The IRS described this change in Notice 2020-51 (PDF), released today. The Notice also answers questions regarding the waiver of RMDs for 2020 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act.

The CARES Act enabled any taxpayer with an RMD due in 2020 from a defined-contribution retirement plan, including a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, or an IRA, to skip those RMDs this year. This includes anyone who turned age 70 1/2 in 2019 and would have had to take the first RMD by April 1, 2020. This waiver does not apply to defined-benefit plans.
Read more

Business Use Of Your Home: What IRS Allows

Business Use Of Your Home: What IRS Allows

IRS Publication 587 covers the business use of your home and explains how to figure and claim the deduction. Publication 587 also covers special rules for daycare providers. The purpose of the publication is to provide information on figuring and claiming the deduction for business use of your home. The term “home” includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat or similar property which provides basic living accommodations. It also includes structures on the property, such as unattached garage, studio, barn or greenhouse. However, it does not include any part of your property used exclusively as a hotel, motel, inn or similar establishment.

Qualifying for a deduction gives the requirements for qualifying to deduct expenses for the business use of your home(including special rules for storing inventory or product samples). After you determine you qualify for the deduction, figuring the deduction explains the expenses you can deduct using your actual expenses or the simplified method. The simplified method is an alternative to calculating and substantiating the actual expenses.

Where to deduct explains where a self-employed person or partner will report the deduction. This publication also includes information on the following:

– Selling a home that was used partly for business
– Deducting expenses for furniture and equipment used in your business
– Records you should keep

Business Use of Home Deductions PDF

Taxpayers Should Be Aware Of Myths About Tax Refunds

About IRS Tax Refunds

Now that many taxpayers have filed their federal tax returns electronically and the IRS is back to processing paper tax returns sent by mail, they’re eager for details about their refund. When it comes to refunds, there are several common myths.

Getting A Refund This Year Means There’s No Need To Adjust Withholding For 2020

To help avoid a surprise next year, taxpayers should make changes now to prepare for next year. One way to do this is to adjust their tax withholding with their employer. This is easy to do using the Tax Withholding Estimator. This tool can help taxpayers determine if their employer is withholding the right amount. This is especially important for anyone who got an unexpected result from filing their tax return this year. This could have happened because the taxpayer’s employer withheld too much or too little tax from the employee’s paycheck in 2019.

Calling The IRS Or A Tax Professional Will Provide A Better Refund Date

Many people think talking to the IRS or their tax professional is the best way to find out when they will get their refund. The best way to check the status of a refund is online through the Where’s My Refund? tool or the IRS2Go mobile app.
Taxpayers can call the automated refund hotline at 800-829-1954. This hotline has the same information as Where’s My Refund? and IRS telephone assistors. There is no need to call the IRS unless Where’s My Refund? says to do so.

Ordering A Tax Transcript Is A Secret Way To Get A Refund Date

Doing so will not help taxpayers find out when they will get their refund. Where’s My Refund? tells the taxpayer their tax return has been received and if the IRS has approved or sent the refund.

Where’s My Refund? Must Be Wrong Because There’s No Deposit Date Yet

Updates to Where’s My Refund? ‎on both IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app are made once a day. These updates are usually made overnight. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a refund may take longer. If the IRS needs more information to process a tax return, the agency will contact the taxpayer by mail. Taxpayers should also consider the time it takes for the banks to post the refund to the taxpayer’s account. People waiting for a refund in the mail should plan for the time it takes a check to arrive.

Where’s My Refund? Must Be Wrong Because A Refund Amount Is Less Than Expected

There Are Several Factors That Could Cause A Tax Refund To Be Larger Or Smaller Than Expected. Situations That Could Decrease A Refund Include:

• The taxpayer made math errors or mistakes
• The taxpayer owes federal taxes for a prior year
• The taxpayer owes state taxes, child support, student loans or other delinquent federal non-tax obligations
• The IRS holds a portion of the refund while it reviews an item claimed on the return

The IRS will mail the taxpayer a letter of explanation if these adjustments are made. Some taxpayers may also receive a letter from the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service if their refund was reduced to offset certain financial obligations.

Tax Tip 2020-72

TAX PROFESSIONALS: SHARE THIS POST WITH YOUR CLIENTS

IRS Outlines Changes To Health Care Spending Available Under CARES Act

IRS: TaxConnections: Care Act

The Internal Revenue Service has advised that new rules under the CARES Act provide flexibility for health care spending that may be helpful in the current environment where more people may need at-home services due to measures to fight the coronavirus.

Telehealth And High Deductible Health Plans

Under the CARES Act, a high deductible health plan (HDHP) temporarily can cover telehealth and other remote care services without a deductible, or with a deductible below the minimum annual deductible otherwise required by law. Telehealth and other remote care services also are temporarily included as categories of coverage that are disregarded for the purpose of determining whether an individual who has other health plan coverage in addition to an HDHP is an eligible individual who may make tax-favored contributions to his or her HSA. Thus, an otherwise eligible individual with coverage under an HDHP may still contribute to an HSA despite receiving coverage for telehealth and other remote care services before satisfying the HDHP deductible, or despite receiving coverage for these services outside the HDHP. The temporary rules under the CARES Act, as extended by IRS Notice 2020-29, apply to services provided on or after Jan. 1, 2020, with respect to plan years beginning on or before Dec. 31, 2021.

Expansion Of Qualified Medical Expenses

The CARES Act also modifies the rules that apply to various tax-advantaged accounts (HSAs, Archer MSAs, Health FSAs, and HRAs) so that additional items are “qualified medical expenses” that may be reimbursed from those accounts. Specifically, the cost of menstrual care products is now reimbursable. These products are defined as tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges or other similar products. In addition, over-the-counter products and medications are now reimbursable without a prescription. The new rules apply to amounts paid after Dec. 31, 2019. Taxpayers should save receipts of their purchases for their records and so that they are able to submit claims for reimbursements.
More information

The IRS will provide any further updates as soon as they are available on its webpage at IRS.gov/coronavirus

IR-2020-122