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December 2020

Image of check illustrates blog: The IRS Begins Delivering Second Round of Economic Impact Payments

The IRS Begins Delivering Second Round of Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it has begun delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.

The agency began sending payments through direct deposit yesterday (Tuesday), and it will begin sending paper checks today.

Do I Have to Take Any Actions to Receive my Economic Impact Payment?

Economic Impact Payments are automatic. This means that no action is needed on the part of recipients. The IRS has requested taxpayers not to contact financial institutions or the IRS itself with payment timing questions.

Keep in mind that the delivery method may be different for the second stimulus payment. If you received the previous Economic Impact Payment, but don’t receive a direct deposit, then you will receive a check or a debit card.

On the other hand, if you were eligible but didn’t receive either the first or the second payment, you will be able to claim it when you file your taxes for 2020.

How Much is the Second Stimulus Check?

The amounts of the second stimulus payment will be determined as follows: up to $600 for individuals; up to  $1,200 for married couples filing jointly: and up to $600 for every qualifying child

Generally, if you have adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing jointly and surviving spouses, you will receive the full amount of the second payment.

How Can I Check the Status of My EIP?

You will be able to check the status of your payment using the online tool Get my Payment. The service is offline at the moment as the information is being updated. However, the IRS expects that the tool will be available again shortly.

More Tips About Taxes

Do you want to learn more about taxes and Economic Impact Payments? Here are some previous posts you may find interesting.

Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services

At JT Tax Services we have the experience, the knowledge, and the drive to assist you in the preparation of your taxes. We give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email, telephone, or through our social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about our services.

Photo of person using laptop illustrates blog: This Christmas, Beware of Hacking Attempts

This Christmas, Beware of Hacking Attempts

Christmas is the merriest season of the year, but it also offers ideal conditions for hacking attempts. Keep reading to learn why you should be especially careful these days, and what steps you can take to protect your data.

Why Are Hacking Attempts Common During the Holidays?

The holidays, and in particular the days around Christmas, have become a hunting ground for hackers looking to steal personal information. This phenomenon is caused by a combination of circumstances that favor cyber-criminals:

  • Many employees are on vacation, which means that many companies have to let their guard down.
  • People are more willing to open unsolicited emails, especially if they promise holiday deals/discounts.
  • The holiday season offers myriad opportunities to trick unsuspecting victims through email: virtual greeting cards, invitations, and other holiday-related content.

How to Protect Yourself

In order for most hacking attempts to succeed, you must be tricked into performing certain actions, such as clicking on a link or downloading a file. This means that being cautious when you use the internet is your best line of defense. Other steps you can take include:

  • Use safe passwords. Choose passwords of at least eight characters that include a mix of upper and lower case, special characters and numbers.
  • Use multi-factor authentication. When available, use this feature, where a website asks you for two pieces of information before granting access. This is not a silver bullet but makes hacking attacks less likely.
  • Be extremely careful with links and attachments. These are the resources that hackers use more often, so don’t click on a link or download an attachment unless you know the sender.
  • Backup your data. In itself, this doesn’t prevent hacking attacks, but it can make all the difference if you can’t access your data after a breach.

More Tips About Taxes

Learning more about taxes is always a smart move, as it helps you avoid fines and missed deductions. Here are some previous posts you may find interesting.

Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services

Need help preparing your taxes? At JT Tax Services we have the experience, the knowledge, and the drive to assist you. We give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email, telephone, or through our social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about our services.

Photo of confident man illustrates blog: 3 New Things to Consider When You File Your 2020 Tax Return

3 New Things to Consider When You File Your 2020 Tax Return

This year has been out of the ordinary from every point of view, including taxes. There are some new things you should consider when you file your 2020 tax return. Keep reading to learn more.

Recovery Rebate Credit

You may be able to claim this credit if you met the eligibility requirements for an Economic Impact Payment in 2020 and one of the following applies to you:

  • You didn’t receive an Economic Impact Payment in 2020.
  • You are single and your payment was less than $1,200.
  • You are married, filed jointly for 2018 or 2019 and your payment was less than $2,400.
  • You didn’t receive $500 for each qualifying child.

Refund Interest Payment

If you received a federal tax refund in 2020, keep in mind that interest payments are taxable and must be returned on your 2020 federal tax return. Next January, the IRS will send a form to any person who received interest payments of at least $10 during the last year.

New Charitable Deduction

If you don’t itemize your deductions, you can take this year a new charitable deduction of up to $300 for donations made during 2020 to qualifying institutions. If you are interested in this deduction, check out this previous post where we take a closer look at this interesting topic.

Finally, remember that you shouldn’t rely on receiving your refund by a certain date. This is particularly important if you are planning to make a big purchase or pay important bills.  While the IRS processes tax returns as soon as possible, some returns require more time, so your refund may take longer than you expect.

More Tips About Taxes

Learning more about taxes is always a smart move, as it helps you avoid fines and missed deductions. Here are some previous posts you may find interesting.

Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services

Need help preparing your taxes? At JT Tax Services we have the experience, the knowledge, and the drive to assist you. We give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email, telephone, or through our social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about our services.

Girl with cellphone and credit card illustrates blog "Remember: This Year There Is a Special Deduction for Charitable Donations"

Remember: This Year There Is a Special Deduction for Charitable Donations

Generally speaking, we should always strive to make a difference, but this mindset is more important than ever this 2020. That’s why this year the IRS offers taxpayers a special tax deduction for cash donations to qualifying charities.

Read on to learn more about this special deduction and what aspects to keep in mind if you decide to claim it.

A Deduction of Up to $300

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted last spring includes a special tax deduction available until December 31, 2020, to taxpayers who give a donation of up to $300 in cash to a qualifying charitable institution and choose the standardized deduction instead of itemizing their deductions.

It’s worth remembering that in this case “cash” also includes donations made by check, credit card, or debit card.

The deduction lowers both adjusted gross income and taxable income, translating into tax savings.

Two Things to Keep in Mind

If you decide to donate to a charity and you wish to claim this special deduction, there are two important things to keep in mind.

First, prior to making your donation, don’t forget to use the IRS online tool Tax Exempt Organization Search to make sure the institution is eligible for tax-deductible donations.

Finally, once you have made your donation, make sure to keep all related documents. This is as simple as obtaining a receipt or acknowledgment letter from the charity before filing your tax return and retaining a canceled check or credit card receipt.

More Tips About Taxes

Learning more about taxes is always a smart move, as it helps you avoid fines and missed deductions. Here are some previous posts you may find interesting.

Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services

Need help preparing your taxes? At JT Tax Services we have the experience, the knowledge, and the drive to assist you. We give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California. Contact us today by email, telephone, or through our social media accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about our services.