Most people file a tax return because they have to, but even if you don't, there are times when you should - because you might be eligible for a tax refund and not know it. The tax tips below should help you determine whether you're one of them.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted last spring, includes several temporary tax changes that help charitable organizations. One such provision allows taxpayers to deduct cash donations of up to $300 made before December 31, 2020.
Taxpayers receiving certain types of income typically reported on certain Forms 1099 and W-2G may need to have backup withholding deducted from these payments. Here are three tips to help taxpayers understand backup withholding:
People who are not eligible for a Social Security number must use individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) if they have tax filing or payment obligations under U.S. law. Periodically and under certain circumstances, these ITINs expire and should be renewed as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays related to tax refunds next year.
The use of digital, or electronic signatures, on certain forms that cannot be filed electronically will now be temporarily allowed. Expanding the use of digital signatures will help to protect the health of taxpayers and tax professionals during the coronavirus pandemic by reducing in-person contact between taxpayers and tax professionals.
Form 1040-X has been one of the last major individual tax forms that still needed to be paper-filed, but now taxpayers can quickly correct previously filed tax returns by submitting Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return electronically using commercial tax-filing software.
The IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers every year for a variety of reasons. If you receive correspondence from the IRS don't panic. You can usually deal with a notice by simply responding to it; most IRS notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice has specific instructions, so read your notice carefully because it will tell you what you need to do. In most cases, your notice will be about changes to your account, taxes you owe or a payment request; however, your notice may also ask you for more information about a specific issue.
The key to avoiding headaches at tax time is keeping track of your receipts and other records throughout the year. Whether you use an excel spreadsheet, an app, an online system or keep your receipts organized in a folding file organized by month, good record-keeping will help you remember the various transactions you made during the year.
With more people working from home than ever before, taxpayers may be wondering if they can claim a home office deduction when they file their 2020 tax return next year. The short answer is that self-employed taxpayers who use their home for business may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of it whether they rent or own their home. If you are an employee, however, you are not eligible to take the home office deduction - even if you are working remotely in your home office.
Starting in tax year 2020, payers must complete Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation to report any payment of $600 or more to a payee. This is a new form that only applies to business taxpayers who pay or receive nonemployee compensation.