Your AGI is your income from all sources plus and/or minus any adjustments to income you might qualify for. Adjustments can increase or decrease income, depending on the type of adjustment. They are not the same as deductions, so you don't have to itemize to claim them. Instead, you take them on Schedule 1 of your 1040, and the total of Schedule 1 can reduce—or even increase your adjusted gross income.
The total sum of state and local income taxes, real estate taxes, and personal property taxes (such as car registration fees) up to $10,000, or $5,000 if you're married and file a separate return. You can substitute sales taxes you paid for income taxes if this is more beneficial for you, but you cannot include both sales and income taxes—you must choose one or the other.
Before you hire a tax professional, visit their business profile to see how they handle payments. Many CPAs and tax experts accept digital payments through Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash, Zelle and other online platforms. More businesses may be changing their payment methods to accommodate social distancing. Check with your tax preparer to see how they handle payments. 
The history of accounting has been around almost as long as money itself. Accounting history dates back to ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Babylon. For example, during the Roman Empire the government had detailed records of their finances. However, modern accounting as a profession has only been around since the early 19th century.

Tax credits are credited to your IRS as payments, just as though you had written the IRS a check for money owed. Most of them can only reduce your tax debt, but the EITC can result in the IRS issuing a tax refund for any balance left over after your tax obligation has been reduced to zero. Again, income restrictions apply. You won't qualify for this tax credit if you earn too much.


No matter how complicated or simple your personal situation is, it's never too early to think about tax planning for the coming year. By getting an early start on the 2020 tax year and using and referring to this guide to 2020 taxes throughout the year, you'll be in much better shape to take advantage of all the favorable provisions that can result in a lower tax bill this year and beyond.

Professional accounting bodies include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the other 179 members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),[44] including Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Professional bodies for subfields of the accounting professions also exist, for example the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in the UK and Institute of management accountants in the United States.[45] Many of these professional bodies offer education and training including qualification and administration for various accounting designations, such as certified public accountant (AICPA) and chartered accountant.[46][47]
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) upended tax rules to a significant extent when it went into effect in 2018. The Internal Revenue Code used to provide for personal exemptions that could further decrease your taxable income, but the TCJA eliminated these exemptions from the tax code. The rules for deductions, adjustments to income, and tax credits cited here are applicable beginning in the tax year 2018 and going forward. They do not necessarily apply to tax years 2017 and earlier.
The only changes to the income tax brackets for 2020 reflected the usual yearly inflation adjustments to the income amounts for each bracket. Apart from that, you can expect the same basic structure as 2019, with the same seven tax rates applying to the various brackets. The actual income amounts of the brackets depend on your tax filing status. Accordingly, you'll see five sets of 2019 tax brackets below.
The mortgage interest deduction allows homeowners to deduct interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt, with higher grandfathered deductions on up to $1 million in debt applying to those who had such mortgages outstanding before the beginning of 2018. Certain home equity loans used to purchase, build, or improve your home also qualify for the interest deduction.
Having a separate bank account for your business income and expenses will make your accounting easier. You’ll only have one account to monitor for bookkeeping and tax purposes, and your personal income and expenses won’t get entangled with your business ones. Believe me — only having to look at one set of bank statements is a lifesaver during tax season.

Financial accounting is the branch of corporate accounting that identifies, records, and analyzes financial information for people outside of the company (such as investors). Information provided by financial accounting includes quarterly and annual income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, and statements of retained earnings.  The standards of financial accounting differ whether under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the U.S. or the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization's financial information to external users of the information, such as investors, potential investors and creditors. It calculates and records business transactions and prepares financial statements for the external users in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).[7] GAAP, in turn, arises from the wide agreement between accounting theory and practice, and change over time to meet the needs of decision-makers.[1]

You’ll have to use the money during the calendar year for medical and dental expenses, but you can also use it for related everyday items such as bandages, pregnancy test kits, breast pumps and acupuncture for yourself and your qualified dependents. You may lose what you don’t use, so take time to calculate your expected medical and dental expenses for the coming year.
It was a pleasure to work with Daphene on my taxes this year. Not only were we able to complete my taxes the same day that I got in contact with her, she also taught me a lot about accounting and taxes in general. As a novice when it comes to preparing tax, Daphene walked me through each part of the tax return, taking her time to explain what each part meant, and answering every single question that I had for her. Even after the preparation concluded, Daphene still reached out to me to let me know that she would be of service if I ever had questions, and continuously updated me with the status of my return. She's definitely a pro who I intend on going back to next year. I HIGHLY recommend her!
Managerial accounting (also called management accounting) identifies financial information that helps managers run a company’s operations efficiently. Managerial accountants may analyze specific products, costs, or projects, and then provide this information to a company’s managers to enable them to make more informed judgements. Reports that managerial accountants provide to managers include cost analysis, constraint analysis, capital budgeting, trend forecasting, inventory analysis, and other types of product or project analysis, according to the industry in which the company operates. Managerial accounting is largely an internal system.
It was a pleasure to work with Daphene on my taxes this year. Not only were we able to complete my taxes the same day that I got in contact with her, she also taught me a lot about accounting and taxes in general. As a novice when it comes to preparing tax, Daphene walked me through each part of the tax return, taking her time to explain what each part meant, and answering every single question that I had for her. Even after the preparation concluded, Daphene still reached out to me to let me know that she would be of service if I ever had questions, and continuously updated me with the status of my return. She's definitely a pro who I intend on going back to next year. I HIGHLY recommend her!
2020 could be a momentous year for many reasons. But if you're trying to do tax planning for 2020, it doesn't look like this year is going to bring much in the way of massive changes to tax laws. No matter what happens in the 2020 elections, any changes in the White House or control of Congress won't take effect until 2021, and so this year is likely to continue the gridlock that has kept current tax laws largely unchanged since 2018's tax reform efforts.
Empirical studies document that leading accounting journals publish in total fewer research articles than comparable journals in economics and other business disciplines,[68] and consequently, accounting scholars[69] are relatively less successful in academic publishing than their business school peers.[70] Due to different publication rates between accounting and other business disciplines, a recent study based on academic author rankings concludes that the competitive value of a single publication in a top-ranked journal is highest in accounting and lowest in marketing.[71]
Having a separate bank account for your business income and expenses will make your accounting easier. You’ll only have one account to monitor for bookkeeping and tax purposes, and your personal income and expenses won’t get entangled with your business ones. Believe me — only having to look at one set of bank statements is a lifesaver during tax season.
When I initially spoke with Melody, I explained my tax situation with brevity and enough detail. She assured me she would be able to handle it for $225 in total, the negotiated price for both my relative and myself. Four days later, I spoke with her business partner explaining what I believed to be an error with another tax preparer whom my relative had found. Daniel told me in order to amend the taxes, I would need to send all documentation and they’d file an extension with a rate of $225, just as Melody had verbally quoted prior. He proceeded to tell me that “Melody goes over the taxes with a fine tooth comb” and that they have even met clients at a halfway point to show their utmost level of care and diligence with all taxes prepared. Later that night I forwarded all the necessary documentation over to Daniel. He replied at first back stating in actuality that they’d be “charging $100 for self employment income” due to the fact that on “Thumbtack is marked “Not self-employed”. That’s your justification? I seem to vividly remember telling Melody I had carryover losses and her mentioning she’d need to look into it. I wrote “not self employed” due to the fact that I’m NOT SELF EMPLOYED. That was from five years ago. Furthermore, regarding payment Melody specifically stated on my initial Thumbtack call that all work is completed upfront and payment is due upon filing. The petulant email from Daniel now stated moreover that there would be a $100 upfront fee to even begin work on the taxes. Only four minutes after this email Daniel sent another. This time it was regarding Melody and her rather abrupt “illness” never before even hinted at. Due to the “illness” she would “no longer be taking on new tax clients at this time” but he offered me an extension exactly 36 hours before the tax deadline. See they really do have your best interest at heart. I’d like to add that this esteemed company sent me belligerent private messages (much more hostile than the public one shown below) after I left a 1 star rating with no review in an attempt to shame and belittle me for how virtuous and holy they make themselves out to be. They left me with no time to spare and want to send a harassing message at 12:00 am about how I was “deceptive” and owe them. Get off your high horse and get in touch with reality. The circle of insanity is alive and well here. Do yourself a favor and keep looking. You deserve better than to play Twister with someone who expects your to pay $250 for less than an hours worth of work. Find a CPA who values and respects you and your time. It sure as hell isn't Houston Bookkeeping.
When I initially spoke with Melody, I explained my tax situation with brevity and enough detail. She assured me she would be able to handle it for $225 in total, the negotiated price for both my relative and myself. Four days later, I spoke with her business partner explaining what I believed to be an error with another tax preparer whom my relative had found. Daniel told me in order to amend the taxes, I would need to send all documentation and they’d file an extension with a rate of $225, just as Melody had verbally quoted prior. He proceeded to tell me that “Melody goes over the taxes with a fine tooth comb” and that they have even met clients at a halfway point to show their utmost level of care and diligence with all taxes prepared. Later that night I forwarded all the necessary documentation over to Daniel. He replied at first back stating in actuality that they’d be “charging $100 for self employment income” due to the fact that on “Thumbtack is marked “Not self-employed”. That’s your justification? I seem to vividly remember telling Melody I had carryover losses and her mentioning she’d need to look into it. I wrote “not self employed” due to the fact that I’m NOT SELF EMPLOYED. That was from five years ago. Furthermore, regarding payment Melody specifically stated on my initial Thumbtack call that all work is completed upfront and payment is due upon filing. The petulant email from Daniel now stated moreover that there would be a $100 upfront fee to even begin work on the taxes. Only four minutes after this email Daniel sent another. This time it was regarding Melody and her rather abrupt “illness” never before even hinted at. Due to the “illness” she would “no longer be taking on new tax clients at this time” but he offered me an extension exactly 36 hours before the tax deadline. See they really do have your best interest at heart. I’d like to add that this esteemed company sent me belligerent private messages (much more hostile than the public one shown below) after I left a 1 star rating with no review in an attempt to shame and belittle me for how virtuous and holy they make themselves out to be. They left me with no time to spare and want to send a harassing message at 12:00 am about how I was “deceptive” and owe them. Get off your high horse and get in touch with reality. The circle of insanity is alive and well here. Do yourself a favor and keep looking. You deserve better than to play Twister with someone who expects your to pay $250 for less than an hours worth of work. Find a CPA who values and respects you and your time. It sure as hell isn't Houston Bookkeeping.

As long as this guide might seem, it still only scratches the surface of some of the most important tax issues for taxpayers. For example, if you're self-employed or own a business, then there are many other issues to consider. That's a topic that would take its own guide to cover, and there are several situations that deserve similar planning considerations.
529 plans let you set aside money toward educational costs in accounts that generate tax-free income. As long as you use the money for qualifying expenses, then you'll never pay tax on the money. With generous contribution limits that in most states are well into six figures, these accounts offer a substantial amount of flexibility with no income-based restrictions on their use.
Finally, a few aspects of gift and estate tax planning will see some changes in 2019. The federal estate tax lifetime exclusion amount will rise to $11.58 million in 2020, up from $11.4 million in 2019. However, annual gift tax exclusion amounts of $15,000 remain in place and unchanged for 2020, and the traditional exemptions from gift and estate tax -- including transfers to spouses and charities as well as amounts paid toward educational or medical costs -- are also still available.
529 plans let you set aside money toward educational costs in accounts that generate tax-free income. As long as you use the money for qualifying expenses, then you'll never pay tax on the money. With generous contribution limits that in most states are well into six figures, these accounts offer a substantial amount of flexibility with no income-based restrictions on their use.
The year 2001 witnessed a series of financial information frauds involving Enron, auditing firm Arthur Andersen, the telecommunications company WorldCom, Qwest and Sunbeam, among other well-known corporations. These problems highlighted the need to review the effectiveness of accounting standards, auditing regulations and corporate governance principles. In some cases, management manipulated the figures shown in financial reports to indicate a better economic performance. In others, tax and regulatory incentives encouraged over-leveraging of companies and decisions to bear extraordinary and unjustified risk.[72]

The mortgage interest deduction allows homeowners to deduct interest on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt, with higher grandfathered deductions on up to $1 million in debt applying to those who had such mortgages outstanding before the beginning of 2018. Certain home equity loans used to purchase, build, or improve your home also qualify for the interest deduction.
The financial statements that summarize a large company's operations, financial position and cash flows over a particular period are concise and consolidated reports based on thousands of individual financial transactions. As a result, all accounting designations are the culmination of years of study and rigorous examinations combined with a minimum number of years of practical accounting experience.
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