Alpha’s Tax Tips

Required Minimum Distributions for 2020

IRS provides welcome relief on required minimum distributions for 2020. Since we wrote that the stimulus law enacted on March 27 waived RMDs from IRAs and workplace retirement plans for 2020, we have received many questions. The most common query involves IRA and plan distributions already taken out in 2020. People have until August 31 […]

Remy Would Like You to Know

A client asked him this question: Can I deduct my dog’s veterinarian expenses as medical expenses? The answer is a resounding “no.” But that does not mean that you cannot derive some tax benefits from costs associated with your pooch. Scour your records to find pet-related expenses that may qualify for tax breaks. It might […]

Did You File a Paper Tax Return?

Checking on the status of a paper return you filed? You need lots of patience. Because of limited IRS staffing, there are significant delays in the processing of paper returns requesting refunds that were filed in March or later, the Service says. IRS is advising taxpayers not to call about the status of filed return […]

529 College Savings Plans

It’s summer, the weather’s getting hotter. And many families are thinking about college. Some have kids or grandkids who just graduated from high school and are on their way to college in August or September. Others have younger children or grandchildren and want to stash away a nest egg to help fund their future higher […]

Work Out a Deal with the IRS

If you’re having trouble paying taxes – including the 2019 tax bill now due on July 15 – the IRS may be willing to cut you some slack. Strategy: Make the IRS an offer it can’t refuse. Specifically, ensure that you meet the guidelines established under the IRS “Offer in Compromise” (OIC) program. The IRS […]

Stimulus Checks May Not Be Checks At All

Awaiting a paper stimulus check from the IRS? You may get a prepaid debit card. The IRS previously said that it will start mailing out paper stimulus checks to eligible individuals for whom the agency does not have bank account information. It now says that some of these people will end up receiving prepaid debit […]

New Law Offers Small Biz Relief

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on both individuals and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Relief has come in various forms. Alert: The initial law signed by President Trump on March 18 – the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – requires small employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick […]

New Thresholds For Health Savings Accounts for 2021

The annual ceilings on deductible payments to HSAs are slated to go up in 2021 to $3,600 for account owners with self-only coverage and to $7,200 for those with family coverage. People born before 1967 can put in an additional $1,000. The limits on out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and copayments, will increase to $7,000 […]

Generate Current Energy Credits

If you make energy-saving improvements in your home, you may be in line for certain tax breaks. Strategy: Claim the residential renewable energy credit for qualified improvements. The credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill. Various forms of energy credit have expired, and some were reinstated in recent years, leaving a confusing hodgepodge […]

Be Careful With Your Donation Deductions

A reminder that donations you make to individuals aren’t tax-deductible. A man who sent money to his ill sister treated the payments as charitable write-offs. The Tax Court ended up nixing the deduction (Serrano, TC Summ. Op. 2020-15). Ditto for donations you make through personal fundraising websites that are earmarked for a single person or […]