Proposed Relief in Troubled Times

When daily life is interrupted, one of the main concerns of the general public is how they are going to afford getting through certain roadblocks. Due to the COVID-19 virus sweeping throughout the nation, the government has proposed a plan of relief to help individuals through the most current block: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Since most workplaces in Pennsylvania are closed, it is important to know the details of the proposed relief plan.

At its base, the act would provide a $1,200 check for individuals who make up to $75,000 a year. For couples that make up to $150,000, $2,400 is the base amount of the check, though an additional $500 is added per dependent. These payments would decrease for individuals making over $75,000, capping out at an income of $99,000 for an individual or $198,000 for couples, respectively.

In addition, under the CARES Act, unemployment insurance benefits would rise for the next four months. It would also extend these benefits to those such as gig economy workers and freelancers, people who normally do not qualify for unemployment insurance. The bill would increase the unemployment benefit by a maximum of $600 a week.

The amount in that the CARES Act would provide through the check is dependent on the information from your most recent tax returns. For those who have already filed for 2019, the rebates would be calculated for using those returns. If you haven’t yet filed for last year, 2018’s information will be substituted in. For those relying on Social Security benefits, your benefit information may be used.

The IRS encourages anyone with a tax-filing obligation who hasn’t filed a tax return for 2018 or a previous year to act now. This includes certain potential credits and rebates for those who have filed a return for 2018 and/or 2019. Those without 2018 tax filings on record could potentially affect mailings of stimulus checks. And more than 1 million people who haven’t filed tax returns for Tax Year 2016 and are owed a refund still face an April 15, 2020, deadline to file their return. This deadline hasn’t been extended. Current law requires the 2016 return to be filed by April 15, 2020.

The IRS is encouraging non-filers to consider contacting a tax professional to consider various available options since the time to receive such refunds is limited by statute. Once delinquent returns have been filed, most taxpayers have the opportunity to resolve any outstanding liabilities by entering into an Installment Agreement or an Offer in Compromise with the IRS to obtain a “Fresh Start

Remember, ITP Taxes LLC is with you all the way, even if social distancing means that face-to-face meetings aren’t ideal. You are always free to reach out through phone call or email if there is anything that we can do to help you.

Tax Return Due Date Extension

With the COVID-19 crisis among us, taxes are probably one of the least of everyone’s concerns. In order to give taxpayers more time to file their tax forms, the IRS has extended the due date of April 15th to July 15th this year. This three month extension is due to the virus altering many normal aspects of life for Americans.

There will be no penalties as long as you file for your personal and/or business taxes before this new due date. With this alteration, there is now more time to focus on the well-being of yourself and your family during these events.

We at ITP Taxes LLC will be sure to work with you remotely in these times with electronic filing and signing. Remember that we are always here for you. Be sure to stay safe and healthy in these unsure times. Thank you for working with us in this situation, and may you make the best of the circumstances.

Budgeting 101

While it is unfortunate, there’s only so much money to go around in a household. This of course means that it is necessary to budget your money in order to ensure you have enough to do everything you need to do at the end of the day. Also, a little extra money to save up for a holiday or vacation is nice. Budgeting can be a difficult task, especially with larger families. Even so, there are numerous resources and tips that exist in order to help the task go faster and more smoothly for you.

First and foremost, it is best to start out with your goals. How much money should that water bill be? What about grocery money? Once all those necessities are subtracted from the equation, there remains the money that can be used for anything else. Do you have a long-term goal for that money? Maybe your daughter needs money for a softball game, or perhaps you want to save for retirement or a dream vacation. As long as you research how much money you want to have beforehand, it should be simple to calculate how much you need to set aside every paycheck to save up for whatever event you want the extra money for.

That’s all great, but nothing is going to happen if it isn’t written down. Make sure to write down all the information you need, whether it is with a pencil and paper or an online spreadsheet. Simplicity is key, here. You want to be sure you are able to easily follow everything you write down for future reference. For the computerized option, an Excel type spreadsheet might be a good choice for the task. Any place where you can keep your expenditures neat and tidy is a good place to begin.

Once everything is set up, it is imperative to keep track of money coming in and going out. You don’t want to accidentally forget to pay a bill or anything. At this point, you can begin allotting your extra money towards whatever you wish to save up for. Do not feel discouraged if there is a rough month where you cannot set aside that money, though. From medical expenses to needing a window repair, there are always circumstances that might stand in the way of any goals. Despite all that, following in a plan can be incredibly rewarding in the end, allowing you to do what you want as the future comes.