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Sunday July 5, 2020

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Summertime IRS Tax Tips

In IR-2019-124, the Service offers helpful tax tips for the summer. During this season, many Americans will get married, buy a home, take a summer job or volunteer and make gifts to a favorite charity. With all these summertime events, you may benefit from understanding the potential tax planning options.
  1. Just Married - When you marry, you may take a new name or address. You should contact the Social Security Administration to change your name and ensure proper credit for future retirement benefits. Your address change should be reported to the U.S. Post Office, your employer and the IRS.
  2. Children in Day Camp - While overnight camps do not qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, may show you how to qualify for the credit for your children's day camp expenses.
  3. Summer Jobs - Many Americans of all ages will earn extra income from a summer job. Even if you do not earn enough to pay federal income tax, your employer will withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are employed, your employer will send you a W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, by January 31 of the next year. If you are self-employed, you will need to file and pay the self employment, Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  4. Itemized Deductions - With the large standard deductions for 2019 ($12,200 for individuals and $24,400 for married couples), only about 10% of taxpayers are likely to itemize deductions. However, if you do plan to itemize, you will benefit from an understanding of the itemized deduction rules. State and local tax deductions are limited to $10,000. Mortgage interest on new loans up to $750,000 ($1 million on loans created before December 15, 2017) is deductible on a primary or second home.
Charitable deductions may include gifts of cash, stock, land or other property. The Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov can help you determine if your gifts are deductible. Cash gifts are generally deductible, although you need a receipt or contemporaneous written acknowledgment for gifts over $250. Property gifts of land, stock, household goods or vehicles have specific rules. Some of the higher value gifts may require an appraisal to be deductible. The IRS.gov website has extensive resources and information for you to be certain you will receive full benefits from your gifts of property.

Published July 12, 2019

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