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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A much-hated tax on not-for-profit organizations is on the way out. At the end of 2019, Congress repealed a provision of 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which triggered the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) of 21% on not-for-profit employers that provide employees with transportation fringe benefits.

a red monorail train speeding overhead people walking through a transportation terminal; image used for UBIT transportation fringe benefits blog post

Unequipped to handle the additional administrative burdens and compliance costs, thousands of not-for-profits had complained — and legislators apparently listened.


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The new year started on a great note! Effective January 1, 2020, PKF Texas promoted Entrepreneurial Advisory Services Senior Manager, Sam Razmandi, CPA, to Director, and Tax Director Martin Euson, JD, was added to the shareholder group.

a photo of two gentlemen in grey suits; Sam Razmandi and Martin Euson of PKF Texas

Sam joined PKF Texas in 2012 and works closely with owners and CFOs to help them achieve their

While you were celebrating the holidays, you may not have noticed that Congress passed a law with a grab bag of provisions that provide tax breaks to businesses and employers. The “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020” was signed into law on December 20, 2019. It makes many changes to the tax code, including an extension (generally through 2020) of more than 30 provisions that were set to expire or already expired.

a close up view of a man wearing a black suit and a watch holding a newspaper with the word "business" on the cover; image used for a blog post about five tax breaks from the new tax law

Two other laws were passed as part of the law (The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 and the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act).

Here are five highlights.


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As part of a year-end budget bill, Congress just passed a package of tax provisions that will provide savings for some taxpayers. The White House has announced President Trump will sign the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 into law. It also includes a retirement-related law titled the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act.

Here’s a rundown of some provisions in the two laws:


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The federal government spending package titled the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020,” does more than just fund the government. It extends certain income tax provisions which had already expired or were due to expire at the end of 2019. The agreement on the spending package also includes the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act.

U.S. Capitol building with American flag waving in front; image used for blog about tax law change update about extenders and provisions

Let’s look at some of the highlights.


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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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If you’re adopting a child, or you adopted one this year, there may be significant tax benefits available to offset the expenses. For 2019, adoptive parents may be able to claim a nonrefundable credit against their federal tax for up to $14,080 of “qualified adoption expenses” for each adopted child. (This amount is increasing to $14,300 for 2020.) That’s a dollar-for-dollar reduction of tax — the equivalent, for someone in the 24% marginal tax bracket, of a deduction of over $50,000.

a young boy in a green shirt, holding both hands on a red heart on a wooden table; image used for a blog about tax savings of adopting a child

Adoptive parents may also be able to exclude from their gross income up to $14,080 for 2019 ($14,300 for 2020) of qualified adoption expenses paid by an employer under an adoption assistance program. Both the credit and the exclusion are phased out if the parents’ income exceeds certain limits, as explained below.

Adoptive parents may claim both a credit and an exclusion for expenses of adopting a child. But they can’t claim both a credit and an exclusion for the same expense.


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With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is in full swing. At this time of year, your business may want to show its gratitude to employees and customers by giving them gifts or hosting holiday parties. It’s a good idea to understand the tax rules associated with these expenses.

a close up photo of a green christmas tree with red and pink glass ornaments with two brown-haired women in the background; image used for a blog post about tax breaks from holiday parties and gifts

Are they tax deductible by your business and is the value taxable to the recipients?


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