Forms Feed

The companies that are supposed to issue my 1099 forms are being particularly slow this filing season. I've only received five. I'm still waiting for about double that to show up in my snail mail box (yeah, that's still happening) or as an email notice that they're available for download. The Internal Revenue Service realizes that millions of taxpayers eagerly await these documents. The agency also is aware of the burden their issuance places on companies, particularly smaller firms. Businesses must get the documents, notably Form W-2 wage statements and myriad 1099 forms that go to freelance, contract, and third-party... Read more →


Photo by Polina Zimmerman While millions are debating when to file their tax return, others are asking a more elemental question. Do I have to file a 1040 at all? It's a good question. The short answer is probably. But there are some situations where the Internal Revenue Service doesn't demand individuals file. Here's a look at just who is off the tax filing hook. Filing requirements for most of us: Generally, if you are a U.S. citizen or resident you must consider three things when determining whether you have to file a tax return: your age, your filing status,... Read more →


Being a bit pokey can sometimes pay off at tax filing time. (Photo by Kay Bell) My husband and I have a lot in common. We also are a lot different. I tend to obsessiveness, wanting to take care of things as soon as I can. The hubby, on the other hand, is more deliberative. Unless it absolutely has to be done immediately, he's OK with waiting. And waiting and waiting. We've managed to make out differing approaches work. And I must admit that sometimes, he's right to put off projects. Not always, but sometimes. Situations change, making moot what... Read more →


One of the forms in the long list of tax documents you need to file your 2022 return is the 1099-K. This form has been used for years for third-party payment processors — for example, PayPal, Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, rideshare companies, and many more — to report to fund recipients the money they got during the year. The Internal Revenue Service also gets a copy so it can check the amounts that the earners report on their tax returns. Taxpayers have been getting 1099-K forms since 2012, with this initial reporting coving third-party amounts in 2011. The factors that... Read more →


We're just a couple of weeks into this new year, and I've received three 1099s and a donation thank-you letter. I am not alone. Official tax forms and statements are filtering into mail boxes, both curbside and electronic, across the country. The exact tax-related documents differ from taxpayer to taxpayer, but we all share one thing. We need them in order to accurately fill out annual tax returns. They include W-2 forms for folks with wage-paying jobs, 1099-NECs for freelancers, and 1099-MISC and DIV documents for those who have investment earnings. It is, after all, called an income tax. But... Read more →


Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR The first work week of 2023 is in the books. How many miles did you drive for business purposes? If you're using your personal vehicle to conduct business you need to know. And if the number is to satisfy an Internal Revenue Service examiner's question about your mileage deduction, you need to be exact. The IRS can disallow questionable guesstimates, meaning your tax deduction could end up being zero. The U.S. Tax Court has backed up the agency when taxpayers don't keep adequate records. To help you avoid that unwanted tax reversal, here are some do's... Read more →


Massive waves on Lake Erie splashed homes in Hamburg, New York, during the historic blizzard that moved across the Empire State just before last Christmas. While the result was a collection of real-life ice sculptures, the storm's ultimate effects were far less lovely. (Screen capture from WXChasing YouTube video) I admit it. I whined about the unusual cold front that moved into the Austin area Christmas week 2022. One of the reasons we moved here was for the area's generally moderate winters. But I was properly shamed. A few freezing nights was nothing like the deadly storm that gripped parts... Read more →


Don't miss out on any tax breaks as you put together your retirement plan. That includes claiming the Saver's Credit if you're eligible. Some retirement savers got an early Christmas present. On Dec. 23, President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.7 trillion omnibus package that keeps the federal government running and more. Among the more was a revision of retirement provisions known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. And one of those changes is the eventual conversion of the Saver's Credit into a matching contribution tied to workplace plans and IRAs. That's a good... Read more →


Are you worried about getting a slew of 1099-K forms next year in connection with your side gig earnings? The Internal Revenue Service has an early Christmas present for you. The tax agency today announced that it was going to delay the requirement that third-party settlement organizations — places like Venmo, PayPal, CashApp, and similar payment mechanisms — issue the 1099-Ks to earners who in 2022 received at least $600 in a single payment or in aggregate, regardless of the number of transactions, for their goods or services. Instead, the new lower earnings level that triggers issuance of 1099-Ks will... Read more →


A heat pump's outdoor unit is pulling what warmth it can out of the air in freezing conditions. (Photo by Peter Eastern via Wikipedia Commons) North winds are gusting up to 30 mph right now here in suburban Austin, Texas. By sunset, we'll be at freezing, with temperatures in the area tonight expected to drop to between 10 and 15 degrees. Despite my alternately freaking out thanks to memories of 2021's snow, ice, and prolonged freezing temperatures that led to extended electric and water utility outages across most of Texas, ranting, and stuffing old hand towels into every new window... Read more →


Photo by cottonbro studio The season of giving goes beyond presents for family and friends or donations to charities. December is also when many people who work in restaurants, salons, hotels, and similar industries get their largest tips of the year. One thing that's the same, however, is the tax consequences of those gratuities. Regardless of their size or when you get them, tips are taxable income that must be reported on federal and, for most folks, state tax returns. Workers who've held long-time jobs where tips are commonplace know this. But with the economic changes wrought by the COVID-19... Read more →


Photo by Pixabay The Internal Revenue Service is slowly but slowly becoming more electronic. The pace should pick up once the agency starts spending some of the new money it got this year to upgrade its operating systems. It's also looking for volunteers to offer suggestions on how the IRS can be a better e-agency. Specifically, the IRS is looking for applicants for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). Ongoing electronic efforts: The ETAAC was established by Congress as part of 1998's IRS Restructuring and Reform Act. Its primary goal is to help the IRS meet that law's targets... Read more →


Small businesses and the companies that handle their electronic transactions are not the only ones upset at a new law requiring more tax reporting. So are the people who use sites like Facebook Marketplace or eBay to occasionally sell a few items. These casual sellers are concerned that their not-for-profit transactions might end up in the Internal Revenue Service database, forcing them into unwanted additional dealings with the tax collector. New transaction trigger trouble: The problem is the new $600 per sale trigger that replaced the previous 200 transactions or $20,000 in aggregate sales. Now third-party agents who handle these... Read more →


Some taxpayers might not be this happy in 2023 with their federal tax refund. (Image via Giphy) Many folks are already eagerly anticipating the 2023 tax filing season because they expect to get a refund from Uncle Sam. They might be disappointed. In a recent news release encouraging taxpayers to get ready for the upcoming filing season, the Internal Revenue Service slipped in this warning: Refunds may be smaller in 2023. There are three tax issues in 2022 that contribute to why the IRS will be sending some taxpayers smaller refunds when they file next year. No extra coronavirus funds:... Read more →


These senior citizens celebrate their shared birthday month, if not the required traditional IRA withdrawals the big days may trigger. A QCD can help avoid tax on the mandated distributions. (Photo by Kay Bell) Most of us still have a real life, old-school, snail mail box. Every November, it is the target for the most mail of the year. Yep, the holidays are here. My curbside box is jammed with two types of correspondence, catalogs and charity solicitations. I get a kick out of thumbing through the catalogs. And yes, I even order a few (too many) things. The donation... Read more →


The October filing extension deadline, which falls on Oct. 17 this year since the 15th is Saturday, is less than a week away. The Internal Revenue Service is waiting on the uber procrastinators to get their filings in by next Monday. But the IRS isn't the only federal financial office awaiting postponed documents. FinCEN also demands extended FBAR filings be in by Oct. 17. Taxable money, but not an IRS issue: FBAR, or Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, is how FBAR information is the federal government's way of tracking foreign bank and financial accounts owned by U.S. taxpayers.... Read more →


Texas National Guard at Texas-Mexico border as part of Operation Lone Star. (Image via Texas Military Department Facebook page) Military personnel face lots of challenges. One unexpected one for some Texas troops is the Internal Revenue Service. Texas National Guard members deployed to the Texas-Mexico border as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in unexpected federal taxes, according to a report by the Texas Tribune. The problem is a payroll error made by state officials. Incorrect withholding by employer: The Tribune story says the payroll system used by... Read more →


I loved this couch, but it was starting to wear so we donated it away while it was still in good shape. Some folks, however, would have sold the sofa. Now, such transactions could trigger a confusing tax situation. With inflation still squeezing budgets, some people have taken to selling old items. Garage sales are the traditional route, but if your neighborhood limits when you can put old items out for sale (dang those HoAs), then there's always the internet. A tax law change, however, could mean a tax hassle for infrequent, small-time online sellers. They could get a tax... Read more →


Cryptocurrency continues to make inroads into our daily lives, including our taxes. On Sept. 1, Colorado officially became the first U.S. state to allow its residents to pay their state taxes in bitcoin. It's a pretty safe assumption that those Centennial State residents who pay state taxes with bitcoin also will be forthcoming at the federal level when it comes to their digital assets. But for those who are less transparent, the Internal Revenue Service is stepping up its efforts to know about and collect on crypto transactions. Legal action against hidden crypto: Last week, the IRS obtained a so-called... Read more →


If you must have follow-up discussions with the Internal Revenue Service, one of the rights guaranteed under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is the option to hire an authorized representative. That can be anyone, from a relative to a paid tax professional. However, in some cases, your representative must be authorized to practice before the IRS. You also need to make sure to officially designate your chosen tax representative, or as it's known in tax-speak, third-party authorization. That's done by filing a written declaration with the IRS — Form 2848 (more on this later) can be used here — stating... Read more →