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Spare Change Goes Digital

A clever new way to save… With close to 85% of purchases made with credit or debit cards, many people have forgotten the satisfying clinking sound of tossing a penny, nickel, dime or quarter into a glass jar of spare change. But all that is starting to change! Clever new savings ideas In today’s world of smartphones, several apps have digitized yesterday’s jar of coins by sweeping electronic spare change into a digital jar to increase

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Tax Quiz: Who’s the Highest?

Take this trivia quiz and test your state tax knowledge! Here’s a quiz to test your state tax IQ and give you some fun facts about the taxes paid by friends in other states. Thinking about buying a new house? Which state has the highest property taxes? a. Texas b. New Jersey c. Illinois d. New Hampshire b. New Jersey. Unlike most states, New Jersey does not allow counties and cities to impose their own sales

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New Law Requires Small Business to Provide Paid Leave

Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides worker benefits The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a new program that offers COVID-19 assistance for both employees and employers. This new law provides businesses with fewer than 500 employees the funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. Here are the details of the new law’s benefits: Paid Sick Leave for Workers: The new law provides

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Tax Deadlines Move to July 15

The April 15 federal income tax filing due date has been moved to July 15, the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS recently announced. Here is what you need to know: The due dates for all tax payments normally due April 15 have been pushed back 90 days to July 15, regardless of the amount owed. This applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who

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April 2020

This month: April 15 (Extended to July 15) – Individual tax returns due – C corporation tax returns due – First-quarter 2020 estimated tax due April 12 – Easter Sunday   The IRS rolled out deadline extensions and new programs to help individuals and businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. A recap of these announcements is included here for your review. Also in this month’s edition is an interesting tax quiz to see if you can guess

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IRS settles abusive insurance schemes

The IRS recently offered settlements to a select number of taxpayers involved in what are known as “micro-captive” insurance schemes. Tax law generally allows businesses to create “captive” insurance companies to protect against certain risks. In abusive “micro-captive” structures, accountants or wealth planners convince owners of closely held entities to engage in schemes that actually lack the protections of real insurance. Under IRS Notice 2016-66, taxpayers are mandated to disclose such transactions due to their potential

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New rules for required minimum distributions

The amount of time banks and other financial institutions have to notify people with retirement accounts about new rules for taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) has been extended. Under IRS Notice 2020-06, financial institutions have until April 15 to notify certain people with retirement accounts that no RMD is due for 2020. The new rule was recently enacted under the SECURE Act, increasing the age for RMDs from 70 1/2 to 72. Before passage of the

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No tax on large gifts when exemption sunsets

Taxpayers making large gifts no longer have to worry about big taxes coming back to bite them years from now. The IRS finalized regulations confirming that gifts made under the increased lifetime exemption under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will not be subject to tax when the exemption returns to the rates that existed before the law went into effect (slated to occur on Jan. 1, 2026). The TCJA temporarily increased the gift

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Final rules issued for ‘opportunity zones’

The Treasury Department recently issued final regulations regarding investments in so-called opportunity zones. The Qualified Opportunity Zone program, which offers tax incentives for investing in economically blighted communities, was created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Investment vehicles known as Opportunity Zone Funds allow investors to defer capital gains for up to 10 years, and possibly receive greater tax advantages, when they reinvest capital gains (from any investment, such as stocks, real estate or

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DOL makes it easier for small businesses to offer 401(k) plans

A new final rule from the Labor Department makes it easier for small businesses to join together to offer their workers 401(k) plans. The rule goes into effect on Sept. 30. As a result of the new rule, smaller companies can now leverage the bigger scale of a combined group of businesses to negotiate lower fees on their 401(k) plans. Under the rule, companies in different industries, for example marketing firms and landscaping companies, can create

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