Alpha’s Tax Tips

New Child Tax Credit

Here is some information on the new advance monthly payments of the child tax credit. It requires the IRS to make advance payments of the credit each month to qualifying families. The advance payments will account for half of a family’s 2021 child tax credit. The IRS will issue these monthly payments to eligible families […]

Learn the Ins and Outs of Education Credits

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) eases things for some parents of college students. The CAA repeals the tuition-and-fees deduction once and for all. So you no longer have to choose between the deduction and a higher education tax credit. However, as under prior law, you can only claim one of the two education credits for […]

Getting Remarried? Preserve Home Sale Gain Exclusion

If you play your cards right, you can be excluded from federal income tax gain of up to a half million dollars when you sell your principal residence. Don’t jeopardize the home sale gain exclusion break. Make sure that you adhere to the strict requirements under the tax law. In some cases, you might postpone […]

Generate Energy Credits at Home

Are you ready for the first heat wave of the summer? You can cool things down and get a tax break to boot. Make energy-saving improvements to your home. Many costs will qualify for the residential energy tax credit – a dollar for dollar reduction of your tax bill – on your 2021 return. This […]

Eat Out on Uncle Sam’s Dime

Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated tax deductions for most business entertainment expenses, you can still write off business meal expenses if certain requirements are met. Treat your clients to qualified business meals. When appropriate, separate the cost of food and beverage from any entertainment. To sweeten the pot, the new Consolidated […]

5 Ways to Audit-Proof Your Return

Audit rates are at historically low levels. For example, according to the latest available statistics from 2019, the overall rate was only .45%. And with the IRS understaffed and overwhelmed, don’t expect a big increase anytime soon. Nevertheless, you should not tempt fate. Here are five tips for staying below the radar. Avoid mistakes. IRS […]

Stimulus Update

Democratic lawmakers got a legislative win with passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. It includes a long-standing Democratic goal: fighting child poverty through the tax code. There’s a revamped child tax credit for 2021. The law hikes: The $2,000-per-child credit to $3,000 $3,600 for kids under 6 Let’s 17-year-olds qualify Makes the […]

Avoid 7 Common Filing Blunders

It happens every year: taxpayers in a hurry to complete their returns make mistakes or omit certain items. Then the IRS catches up to the error of their ways and imposes additional tax, penalties or interest – or all three. Don’t commit the types of blunders that often plagued taxpayers who have rushed in the […]

5 Ways to Deduct ‘Commuting’ Costs

If you’re self employed and have resumed work related driving, you may be entitled to deduct some vehicle expenses. Squeeze every last deductible dime out of your business travel. Keep detailed records to back up your claims. For instance, here are five ways you may be able to deduct “commuting” costs. Short stops. It may […]

5 New Tax Breaks on ’20 Returns

When you file your 2020 tax return, you may be in line for a pleasant tax surprise, thanks to the latest tax legislation. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created several new tax-saving opportunities for 2020. For individuals, the changes will be reflected on the return you must file by May 17. […]