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North Carolina Tax Deadline Fast Approaches!

North Carolina parents who want to receive the $335 covid relief check for families need to file their taxes by October 15.

If you have not done your taxes, lived in North Carolina for all of 2019, and have at least one dependent under the age of 17, then contact us on the form below to see if we can help you get your taxes in before the deadline.

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Tax Updates for the End of September

Tax Relief For Disaster Victims

The IRS has provided tax relief to victims of the Oregon wildfires that began on September 7, as well as those affected by Hurricane Sally on September 14. Taxpayers in these FEMA-designated areas now have until January 15, 2021 to file returns and make any payments that were due after the September 7 or 14 date. This means those who filed extensions to file their 2019 taxes by October 15 now have until the January deadline to file. Updated relief information can always be found at the IRS’ disaster relief page.

100% Depreciation Rules Finalized

The IRS has issued final guidelines regarding the implementation of the 100% additional first year depreciation deduction that allows businesses to write off the cost of most depreciable business assets in the year they are placed in service. This deduction was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017 and applies to depreciable business assets with an expected recovery of 20 years or less, such as computers, machinery, furniture, and appliances. Rules for used equipment and self-constructed components were also included.

Non-Filers: Do You Qualify For Economic Impact Payments?

The IRS has released a state-by-state breakdown of the number of people they’re attempting to contact this month, to encourage them to see if they’re eligible to receive an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) , including more than 350,000 in the Carolinas. Those who do not usually have to file a tax return and haven’t received an EIP can check their eligibility and register to receive the payment. The due date for registration is October 15, 2020. The IRS is attempting to send letters to over 8 million potentially eligible individuals.

IRS Reminds Extension Filers: Due Date Approaches

Taxpayers who were granted an extension on filing their 2019 taxes have until October 15, 2020, to file their tax return. There are convenient electronic filing options available, as well as direct deposit for refunds and multiple options for scheduling and making electronic tax payments.

Tax Updates September 10

Interest Rates Remain The Same

The IRS has made the decision to keep the same interest rate for the fourth quarter of 2020. Each quarter, the IRS sets the interest rates charged or paid on over- and underpayment. For taxpayers (other than corporations), the overpayment and underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points. Other rates are as follows:

  • 3% for overpayments (2% in the case of a corporation)
  • 5% for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000
  • 3% percent for underpayments
  • 5% percent for large corporate underpayments

Final BEAT Regulations Issued

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) added a new tax on large U.S. corporations that make deductible payments to related foreign parties, called the base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT). The IRS has issued final regulations providing detailed guidance regarding how to compute certain BEAT calculations. They also contain rules permitting taxpayers to waive deductions for purposes of the BEAT, and additional guidance regarding partnerships and anti-abuse rules.

Temporary Digital Signatures Allowed

The IRS has released a list of tax forms on which they are allowing digital signatures. This is a temporary measure, in place until December 31, 2020, intended to help protect the health of taxpayers and tax professionals. These forms have to be printed and mailed, but the digital signatures will enable the forms to be filled and filed without contact between taxpayer and tax preparer, and in a timely manner. The IRS will continue to monitor this temporary option and determine if further measures are necessary.

Third Quarter Tax Payments Due September 15

The IRS reminds taxpayers that third quarter tax payments are due September 15. This applies to anyone not subject to payroll tax withholding like self-employed or gig workers, investors, recipients of alimony, retirees, and others. Taxes are “pay as you go,” and there are penalties for late payment or underpayment of taxes. Due dates for disaster victims have been delayed.

Tax Updates August 31

Natural Disaster Relief

Victims of recent disasters have had many deadlines extended to December 15, 2020. This includes many individual and business tax returns and tax payments normally due in September, October, and November. The extensions have been granted to those living in FEMA-designated disaster zones, including parts of Iowa affected by the August 10 derecho storm, and those affected by wildfires in California. Hurricane affected areas are being added; the IRS’ disaster relief page provides a current list of designated areas. No action is needed for qualified taxpayers to take advantage of this relief.

Economic Impact Payment Catchup 

Some 50,000 spouses will receive their economic impact payment in the form of a check. In some cases, an individual’s payment was redirected to pay their husband’s or wife’s child support debt. Those who filed Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation with a recent tax return will receive their check in early- to mid-September. Those who have not filed Form 8379 will still receive their EIP check, but it is not yet known when to expect it. No action is required in either case.

Interest To Be Paid To Millions of Taxpayers

Individual taxpayers who filed their return by July 15 and were due a refund will receive an interest payment along with it. This applies to those who have received refunds in the past three months, or who are still waiting on their refunds. The interest is calculated from the original filing due date of April 15, and will be direct-deposited with the refund for those who use direct-deposit. Paper checks will be issued to others. Additionally, the interest is considered taxable income and recipients will receive a Form 1099-INT early next year. 

Guidance For Presidential Payroll Tax Memorandum

The IRS and Treasury Department have issued guidance implementing the August 8 Presidential Memorandum allowing employers to defer withholding and payment of an employee’s share of Social Security tax. The deferral generally applies to wages paid from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, and only if the wages total less than $4,000 during a bi-weekly pay period. 

Tax Updates August 13

Simplified Small Business Accounting Regulations Proposed

The IRS has released proposed regulations to adopt the simplified tax accounting rules for small businesses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). For tax years beginning in 2019 and 2020, these simplified tax accounting rules apply to taxpayers having average annual gross receipts of $26 million or less (known as the gross receipts test), and exempted these taxpayers from the uniform capitalization rules. Accounting and inventory methods are addressed, as well as long-term construction contracts. Taxpayers classified as tax shelters may not use the simplified rules.

Rehabilitation Credit Deadlines Extended

Additional pandemic relief has been provided by the IRS for rehabilitation credits. These are projects that satisfy the “substantial rehabilitation test” within a 24- or 60-month period. Any qualified project whose deadline was on or after April 1, 2020 but before March 31, 2021, now has until March 31, 2021 to satisfy the test. Projects usually have to claim the credit over five years, but under a transition rule, some projects may be able to claim the credit in a single year. 

Guidance For Business Interest Expense Deduction Limitation

The IRS has issued final regulations regarding TCJA provisions that limit the deduction for business interest expense, including the changes made by basic statutory amendments to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). In addition to these final regulations, proposed regulations have been issued for other situations not addressed, including more complex issues related to CARES Act amendments. Written and electronic comments in response to the proposed regulations are encouraged. 

Retirement Account Rules Loosened

The IRS reminds taxpayers that CARES Act provisions allow for easier access to retirement funds, for those who qualify. Early distribution of some retirement funds may be made without the usual penalties. Those eligible for coronavirus-related relief may be able to withdraw up to $100,000 before December 31, 2020, from IRAs, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit-sharing plans and others. Relief includes delayed loan repayments, an increase in loan limits, a waiver of the 10% tax on early distributions, and more.

End of July IRS Updates

Refund Myths Addressed

The IRS is debunking some common refund myths circulating among taxpayers. 

  • The IRS wants taxpayers to know that calling them or a tax professional cannot expedite your refund, nor do they have access to any special information regarding your refund date. 
  • Ordering a tax transcript doesn’t provide that either.
  • A smaller refund doesn’t mean the IRS has a problem: outstanding child support, federal or state taxes, student loans or other debts can cause your refund to be less than expected.

The best way to find out the status of your refund is to use the Where’s My Refund tool, or the IRS2Go app

Retirement Distributions Waived For 2020

Seniors and retirees do not have to take their usual required minimum distribution (RMD) from their IRA or workplace retirement accounts in 2020, thanks to coronavirus relief measures passed this year. The waiver includes RMDs for individuals who turned 70 ½ in 2019 and took their first RMD in 2020. Those who have already taken their RMD have the option of returning it to their qualified plan. These provisions apply to most retirement plans, including traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and others. 

Annual “Dirty Dozen” Unveiled

The IRS has published its list of the 12 most common tax scams perpetrated by criminals this year. Taxpayers should be aware and vigilant in regards to spotting and avoiding these scams, especially the ones on the rise in the wake of the pandemic and economic impact payments (EIPs). Scams on the list include phishing emails, fake charities, threatening phone calls, EIP or refund theft, organizations “overselling” Offer In Compromise assistance, payroll scams, ransomware, and more. 

Foreign-Taxed Income Guidelines

The IRS has published final regulations on how income from foreign corporations subject to a high rate of foreign tax shall be treated. The final regulations allow taxpayers to exclude certain high-taxed income of a controlled foreign corporation from their Global Intangible Low Taxed Income (GILTI) computation on an elective basis. The IRS also released proposed regulations regarding that high-tax exception with the GILTI exclusion, and welcomes public comments on the subject. 

Tax Updates for the End of June

It’s that time again, where we summarize all the goings on from the IRS. Here is your end of June tax updates.

Multiple Payments Due July 15

The IRS is reminding taxpayers that tax liabilities from 2019 are due July 15, 2020, as well as estimated tax payments from 2020 typically due April 15 and June 15. These extensions were part of the coronavirus tax relief. Additionally, taxpayers who live and work abroad have had their usual June 15 filing date extended to July 15. Payment options and instructions are available. All coronavirus affected payment and filing deadlines can be found here.

Tax Relief For Southern Storm Victims

The due date for filing tax returns and making estimated payments has been extended to October 15, 2020 for taxpayers and businesses affected by storms last April. These FEMA-designated disaster areas include parts of Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina who experienced storms, flooding, and/or tornadoes. Affected taxpayers will also have until October 15 to make 2019 IRA contributions, and the same deadline also applies to estimated tax payments for the first two quarters of 2020 that were due on July 15, and the third quarter estimated tax payment normally due on September 15. More information can be found on the IRS’ disaster relief page

Economic Impact Payments Belong To Recipients

Following concerns that people and businesses may be taking advantage of vulnerable populations, the IRS has issued a reminder that economic impact payments belong to the recipients of the payments, and not a nursing home or other organization providing care to the recipients. Also, these payments generally do not count as a resource or income for purposes of determining eligibility for Medicaid and other federal programs. The Social Security Administration has further information on how these payments may be handled.

COVID-19 Tax Relief For Retirement Distributions

The IRS has expanded the definition of “qualified individuals” who may take advantage of CARES Act provisions regarding retirement plan distributions and loans. For instance, a coronavirus-related distribution is not subject to the 10% additional tax that otherwise generally applies to distributions made before an individual reaches age 59 ½. Qualified individuals are those affected by COVID-19, whether due to contracting the virus or its effect on their employment. Notice 2020-50 provides the details.

Tax Updates June 8

Guidance Issued re: Retirement, Annuity Withholding

The IRS and Treasury have issued a proposed regulation impacting federal income tax withholding rules for periodic retirement and annuity payments made after December 31, 2020. Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), if there was no W-4 in effect for periodic payments, the withholding was determined by treating the taxpayer as a married individual claiming three withholding exemptions. That will continue for year 2020. Beginning in 2021, when there is no W-4 in effect, the IRS and Treasury Department will provide the rules and procedures to determine the withholding with
various forms, instructions, publications and other guidance.

Plain Envelopes Deliver Economic Impact Payments

The IRS reminds taxpayers that their economic impact payment may arrive in the form of a prepaid debit card in a plain white envelope from "Money Network Cardholder Services.” Not every recipient will receive their payment in the form of a prepaid debit card, but for those who do, it may be used to make purchases online or in person anywhere a Visa credit card is accepted, get cash from an ATM, and transfer money to a bank account. More information can be found at EIPcard.com.

Safe Harbor For Renewable Energy Projects

Because Covid-19 has impacted the supply chain for many renewable energy projects eligible for tax credits , the IRS and Treasury have issued a notice for tax relief. Projects include those that produce electricity from wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, and hydropower, and use technologies such as solar panels, fuel cells, microturbines, and combined heat and power systems. Some projects begun in 2016 or 2017 have had a fifth year added to the four-year "Continuity Safe Harbor,” and those paid for by the taxpayer on or after September 16, 2019 and received by October 15 of this year have 3½ months safe harbor added. This aims to allow the taxpayers to remain eligible for certain tax credits.

Qualified Opportunity Funds Tax Relief

The Internal Revenue Service has provided guidance for Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) and their investors in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Taxpayers looking to invest in a QOF to defer gain may have additional time. Certain statutory penalties and working capital safe harbor rules have been eased and timelines extended. The QOF FAQ has also been updated.

Health Update for Little Giant Tax

At Little Giant Tax Services, we care for the health of our customers and staff members. While South Carolina is opening restaurants and office spaces for the public, we are able to serve you with drop off services and tax consulting via video chat or the phone.

In order to serve you, we are available via phone during our posted office hours, at (803) 325-1444. You may reach us via email, littlegianttax@gmail.com, or request an appointment on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LittleGiantTax/.

We will let you know when we open our office for physical visits again and what safety features we will put in place at that time.

Stay safe, and thank you for being a customer of Little Giant Tax Services!

Melynda and Team

Tax Updates April 30

SSI And VA Recipients To Receive Automatic Payments

The IRS and Treasury, in partnership with the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs have announced that recipients of Supplemental Security Income and VA benefits will automatically receive Economic Impact Payments. Most recipients need to take no action to receive payment, however, for those who have dependents age 16 or younger and did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, a special tool has been set up to register for the additional dependent payment. May 5 is the deadline to register for the additional payment.

Guidance For Cross-Border Travel Disruptions

The Treasury Department and IRS have issued guidance for individuals and businesses who have been impacted by travel disruptions caused by COVID-19 and the response. The guidance addresses situations where 60 consecutive days of residence would generally indicate tax residency, and explains certain income exclusions which will not be impacted as a result of days spent away from a foreign country.

Guidance For UBTI “Silo” Rules

Guidance has been issued for tax-exempt organizations that are subject to the unrelated business income tax with more than one unrelated trade or business on how to calculate their unrelated business taxable income (UBTI). The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) requires tax-exempt organizations subject to the UBTI tax to compute UBTI separately for each trade or business (referred to as a “silo”).

“Get My Payment” Program Enhanced

The IRS has significantly enhanced the “Get My Payment” online application this weekend. The changes are designed to help taxpayers have an improved and smoother experience, including access to adding direct deposit information. Taxpayers can check the status of their payment and if necessary, can add direct deposit information. Further improvements and enhancements will be ongoing.