Married couples often wonder whether they should file joint or separate tax returns. The answer depends on your individual tax situation.

two gold wedding rings sitting on top of a dictionary defining "marriage;" image used for blog post about married couples filing tax returns separately

It generally depends on which filing status results in the lowest tax. But keep in mind that, if you and your spouse file a joint return, each of you is “jointly and severally” liable for the tax on your combined income. And you’re both equally liable for any additional tax the IRS assesses, plus interest and most penalties. This means that the IRS can come after either of you to collect the full amount.


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Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 512(a)(7) was recently retroactively repealed by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019. Section 512(a)(7) increased unrelated business taxable income by amounts paid or incurred for qualified transportation fringes, and Congress originally enacted this provision for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2017.

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As a result

Many taxpayers make charitable gifts — because they’re generous and they want to save money on their federal tax bills.

a box wrapped in brown paper wrapping with a pink ribbon bow tied on top; image used for a blog post about deductible charitable gifts on a tax return

But with the tax law changes that went into effect a couple years ago and the many rules that apply to charitable deductions, you may no longer get a tax break for your generosity.


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The IRS announced it is opening the 2019 individual income tax return filing season on January 27. Even if you typically don’t file until much closer to the April 15 deadline (or you file for an extension), consider filing as soon as you can this year.

a black-ink pen lying next to tax withholding forms for a tax return

The reason: You can potentially protect yourself from tax identity theft — and you may obtain other benefits, too.


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The number of people engaged in the “gig” or sharing economy has grown in recent years, according to a 2019 IRS report. And there are tax consequences for the people who perform these jobs, such as providing car rides, renting spare bedrooms, delivering food, walking dogs or providing other services.

view of a car steering wheel and dashboard with a phone showing directions on a map; image used for blog about tax obligations for a side gig

Basically, if you receive income from one of the online platforms offering goods and services, it’s generally taxable. That’s true even if the income comes from a side job and even if you don’t receive an income statement reporting the amount of money you made.


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As we all know, medical expenses, such as services and prescription drugs, are expensive. You may be able to deduct some of your expenses on your tax return, but the rules make it difficult for many people to qualify.

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However, with proper planning, you may be able to time discretionary medical expenses to your advantage for tax purposes.


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You may have Series EE savings bonds that were bought many years ago. Perhaps you store them in a file cabinet or safe deposit box and rarely think about them. You may wonder how the interest you earn on EE bonds is taxed.

two documents with tax withholding information, possibly about series ee savings bonds

And if they reach final maturity, you may need to take action to ensure there’s no loss of interest or unanticipated tax consequences.


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We all know the cost for higher education is expensive. The latest figures from the College Board show that the average annual cost of tuition and fees was $10,230 for in-state students at public four-year universities — and $35,830 for students at private not-for-profit four-year institutions.

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These amounts don’t include room and board, books, supplies, transportation and other expenses a student may incur.


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Here are some of the key tax deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the fourth quarter of 2019.

Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you.

October 15
If a calendar-year C corporation that filed an automatic six-month extension:

  • File a 2018 income tax