Tag Archives: tax deductions

Tax Updates from the IRS

Withholding Rules Updates Proposed

The IRS and Treasury have proposed regulations updating payroll withholding rules to reflect changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and related legislation. These updates accommodate the redesigned Form W-4, and the adjusted tables and computations for tax withholding. The regulations also address other withholding issues, such as how to treat an employee who hasn’t turned in a completed W-4.

IRS Increases Visits To High-Income Delinquents

In an effort to promote compliance and fairness among taxpayers, the IRS has committed to increasing face-to-face visits with those taxpayers who haven’t filed tax returns in 2018 or previous years. Their goal is to inform taxpayers of their obligations and to bring them into compliance. Revenue officers will not make threats or demand unusual forms of payment, but rather inform and assist. Taxpayers have the right to see credentials and should do so to protect themselves against fraud. Furthermore, getting ahead of the situation is advisable: “Taxpayers having delinquent filing or payment obligations should consult a competent tax advisor before waiting to be contacted by an IRS revenue officer,” according to Paul Mamo, Director of Collection Operations, Small Business/Self Employed Division. 

Meals And Entertainment Deduction Guidance Updated

The IRS has updated its proposed guidance regarding the handling of business meals and entertainment expense deductions. The TCJA eliminated the deduction for activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation. It also limited the deduction for expenses related to food and beverages provided by employers to their employees. The proposed guidelines help determine what qualifies as entertainment and address the meals expense limit. As these are proposed guidelines, the IRS is taking public comment and will hold a public hearing on these proposed regulations on April 7, 2020.

Military Members’ Tax Benefits Explained

A newly-revised publication aims to inform members of the military of their tax benefits under the law. The Armed Forces Tax Guide will help those serving in the military, including National Guard, reservists, and those stationed abroad, understand specific tax issues related to their situation. Moving expenses, treatment of combat pay, IRA contribution limits and extended tax deadlines are included in this helpful guide.

Are Your Donations Tax Deductible?

The year is wrapping up and tax time is on the horizon. Taxpayers have hopefully been proactive throughout the year in preparing for filing the year’s taxes, and perhaps they are considering ways they might lighten their tax burden. It’s also the holiday season and giving is on our minds. Making donations to tax-exempt charities can be a win-win: It certainly benefits the charitable organization (and those whom they help) and can be helpful to the taxpayer in the coming year.

Qualified Charities

It’s important to make sure your donations accomplish those things, especially in this era of fraudulent charities and financial scams. Is your preferred charity tax-exempt and eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions? Has it had its tax-exempt status revoked? What is its federal tax filing status? Perhaps you’re looking for a charity to give to and would like to see who is operating in your state. The IRS has a tool that can help.

Tax Exempt Organization Search

The Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS) on IRS.gov can assist in answering these questions, and more. It’s mobile device friendly, and you can sort results by various criteria. The Interactive Tax Assistant can also help you determine if a charitable contribution you’d like to make is deductible. So before you make your year-end giving decisions, double-check to ensure your donations will be doing the most good, for everyone involved.