Newsletter

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April 2020

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 which states have the highest taxes! All this plus an interesting way to keep your spare change digitally. These are challenging times. Rest assured as things change on the tax landscape, you will be among the first to know. Please stay safe.

Contents

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:

Some thoughts

While the federal government grants you an additional 3 months to file and pay your 2019 taxes, you may wish to still file your tax return by April 15. Here are some thoughts on different situations.

You anticipate a refund. If you are expecting a refund, file your tax return immediately. A refund right now can come in handy.

An extension might still make sense. This change automatically extends everyone's due date to July 15. But you may still wish to file a tax extension to move your tax return date to October 15, 2020. While payments are now due on or before July 15, a traditional extension still buys you more time to file your tax return.

Watch for state announcements. States are rolling out their own guidelines for extensions. Since most states require copies of federal tax return information, be prepared to still file by April 15. Remember, even if you wait until later to file your federal return and pay your tax, you may have to file your state and/or local return sooner.

What if I get a penalty anyway? Affected taxpayers subject to penalties and additional tax despite this relief provision may seek a waiver.

Rest assured, as the rules and deadlines change, updates will be provided. In the meantime, please stay safe during this challenging time.

Note: This is a fast changing topic. These rules are as of March 24, 2020.


New Law Requires Small Business to Provide Paid Leave

Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides worker benefits

Families First Act helps workers and businesses amid pandemic imageThe Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a new law passed last week 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:

What it means for you


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.

Whos the Highest image

  • Thinking about buying a new house? Which state has the highest property taxes?
    1. Texas
    2. New Jersey
    3. Illinois
    4. New Hampshire
  • b. New Jersey. Unlike most states, New Jersey does not allow counties and cities to impose their own sales tax, so these localities get all their tax revenue from property taxes. In 2018, the property taxes in the 8 most expensive New Jersey towns averaged more than $20,000 while another 47 towns exceeded $15,000!
  • Which state will drive up the cost of your shopping spree with the highest sales tax?
    1. Tennessee
    2. Washington
    3. New York
    4. Arizona
  • a. Tennessee. At 9.53%, Tennessee has the highest combined sales tax rate in the nation. It's a tough pill to swallow when you consider that the same purchase made in Kentucky may cost only 6% in sales tax!
  • Relocating for a new position? Which state will take the most taxes out of your new salary?
    1. Hawaii
    2. California
    3. Minnesota
    4. Oregon
  • b. California. Before accepting your new job, run the numbers to see how your take-home pay compares. California’s top income tax bracket rate is 13.3%.
  • If you are headed on a brewery tour, in which state will you pay more for a pint of your favorite adult beverage?
    1. Alaska
    2. South Carolina
    3. Maryland
    4. Tennessee
  • d. Tennessee. The Volunteer State charges a beer tax of $1.29 per gallon. Fun fact: Tennessee is technically a dry state. The state leaves it up to individual counties and cities to determine whether alcohol can be purchased.
  • When planning a vacation, which state charges you the most for staying in a hotel?
    1. Massachusetts
    2. Connecticut
    3. Colorado
    4. Florida
  • b. Connecticut. Book a room in Connecticut and you’ll pay a whopping 15% in lodging taxes. To fix a temporary issue with the state budget in 2011, the state bumped it up from 12%. The Nutmeg State must have gotten used to the extra revenue.


Spare Change Goes Digital

A clever new way to save...

Spare your change imageWith 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 savings balances or pay down debt. For example, if you make a purchase for $1.89, the app rounds up your purchase to $2.00 and transfers the extra 11 cents into the app's account. Here are three of the more popular apps and how they work.

Popular digital savings players

The area of digital money saving applications is rapidly evolving. Before using any of these apps, it is important to understand their costs and risks involved, compared to other ways of saving money.



Newsletter Archive

Please note: Some material may be time-sensitive and may no longer apply.
Please contact us with any questions.
  1. Posted on: 2020-10-06
  2. Posted on: 2020-09-01
  3. Posted on: 2020-08-04
  4. Posted on: 2020-07-01
  5. Posted on: 2020-06-02
  6. Posted on: 2020-05-05
  7. Posted on: 2020-03-03
  8. Posted on: 2020-02-04
  9. Posted on: 2019-12-31
  10. Posted on: 2019-12-03
  11. Posted on: 2019-11-05