In addition to these base amounts, those who are 65 or older or are blind get to take additional amounts as a standard deduction. For those who are married, the added amount is $1,300, while singles get to add $1,650. These added amounts are the same for 2020 as they were in 2019. If you're 65 or older and blind, then you can boost your standard deduction by double the relevant amount. Moreover, for joint filers, each spouse has an opportunity to get these added amounts. So married couples in which both spouses are over 65 and are blind would see their standard deduction increase by $5,200 -- or $1,300 times four.
Donations to qualified charities are eligible for a deduction as well. Cash and check donations are deductible and full, and most gifts of property are also deductible up to their fair market value. The key to claiming charitable deductions is to make sure you get the appropriate acknowledgment from the charity that you made the gift, because you'll need that documentation in order to support your deduction in case you're audited.

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.
Organizations in individual countries may issue accounting standards unique to the countries. For example, in the United States the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issues the Statements of Financial Accounting Standards, which form the basis of US GAAP,[1] and in the United Kingdom the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) sets accounting standards.[53] However, as of 2012 "all major economies" have plans to converge towards or adopt the IFRS.[11]
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.
Public accounting refers to a type of accounting firm in which the accountants provide services directly to businesses and individuals. These accountants often consult with small business owners and help them manage their taxes and finances. They prepare financial statements, audit financial statements, and advise clients on matters pertaining to finance, accounting, and taxes.
The history of accounting is thousands of years old and can be traced to ancient civilizations.[12][13][14] The early development of accounting dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, and is closely related to developments in writing, counting and money;[12] there is also evidence of early forms of bookkeeping in ancient Iran,[15][16] and early auditing systems by the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians.[13] By the time of Emperor Augustus, the Roman government had access to detailed financial information.[17]
Interest on mortgages taken out after Dec. 15, 2017 of up to $750,000, or $375,000 if you're married filing jointly, or $375,000 if you're married and filing separately, provided that the funds are used to "purchase, construct, or make substantial improvements" to your primary or secondary residence. The maximum amount for mortgages originated on or before December 15, 2017 is $1,000,000, or $500,000 for married filing separately.
Collecting money in person (at a storefront, marketplace, etc.) can get pricey. Between equipment, credit card fees, and handling physical cash, it can be a hassle. Thankfully, Square and PayPal make it easy to accept card payments using your smartphone or tablet. These programs also send your customers receipts, reconcile your transactions, and handle returns if necessary.
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.
TurboTax Help and Support: Access to a TurboTax specialist is included with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, Self-Employed and TurboTax Live; not included with Free Edition (but is available as an upgrade). TurboTax specialists are available to provide general customer help and support using the TurboTax product. SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are accounting standards issued by national regulatory bodies. In addition, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issues the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) implemented by 147 countries.[1] While standards for international audit and assurance, ethics, education, and public sector accounting are all set by independent standard settings boards supported by IFAC. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board sets international standards for auditing, assurance, and quality control; the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) [50] sets the internationally appropriate principles- based Code of Ethics for Professional Accounts the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) sets professional accounting education standards;[51] International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) sets accrual-based international public sector accounting standards [52]
Tax accounting in the United States concentrates on the preparation, analysis and presentation of tax payments and tax returns. The U.S. tax system requires the use of specialised accounting principles for tax purposes which can differ from the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for financial reporting.[42] U.S. tax law covers four basic forms of business ownership: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company. Corporate and personal income are taxed at different rates, both varying according to income levels and including varying marginal rates (taxed on each additional dollar of income) and average rates (set as a percentage of overall income).[42]
For the salaried class of taxpayers, the responsibility of correct deduction of tax at source is thrown on employers. While in the case of a business or profession, they are responsible for declaring correct income. So, an employee may hide his other income and not declare to his employer in order to avoid taxes, and business owners also claim excess expense claims and deductions to reduce their tax burden. So in these cases, it takes backstage, and tax evasion/avoidance takes center stage.
QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed and TurboTax Live Self-Employed (for users filing from 4/16-7/15 or extension filers): To receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed through 10/31/21, you must pay for your 2019 TurboTax Self-Employed or TurboTax Live Self-Employed return between 4/16/20 - 10/15/20 and sign-in and access your QuickBooks Self-Employed account via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax at least twice by 12/31/20. You will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 10/31/21 for another year at the then-current subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison. Offer not valid for existing QuickBooks Self-Employed subscribers already on a payment plan.
There are several reasons it could be worth it to have an experienced professional do your taxes instead of self-filing. For example, it can help reduce the chance of you making a mistake that could land you in trouble with the IRS. And, it could save you time for other important tasks. If you have a side job, rental property or many assets, having someone do your taxes can pay off in the short- and long-run.
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.
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.
Saving via a retirement plan is a popular way to efficiently reduce taxes. Contributing money to a traditional IRA can minimize gross income up to $6,500. As of 2018, if meeting all qualifications, a filer under age 50 receives a reduction of $6,000 and a reduction of $7,000 if age 50 or older. For example, if a 52-year-old male with an annual income of $50,000 who made a $6,500 contribution to a traditional IRA has an adjusted gross income of $43,500, the $6,500 contribution would grow tax-deferred until retirement.

Meanwhile, the Lifetime Learning tax credit offers additional educational tax breaks even beyond traditional college. A 20% credit on up to $10,000 in eligible expenses every year is available to taxpayers making less than $59,000 if they're single or $118,000 if they're filing jointly, with reduced credits available up to $69,000 in income for singles and $138,000 for joint filers. This credit is available for graduate school, vocational training, and certain other nontraditional educational expenses.
There is a sort of distrust between the tax authorities on one side and business or professional community on the other. The income tax department thinks that the taxpayers sometimes are unable to distinguish between tax planning and tax evasion/avoidance and misinterpret tax laws as intended by the government, whereas the taxpayers think that their money is not being spent appropriately on infrastructure development and sanitation.
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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.
Saving via a retirement plan is a popular way to efficiently reduce taxes. Contributing money to a traditional IRA can minimize gross income up to $6,500. As of 2018, if meeting all qualifications, a filer under age 50 receives a reduction of $6,000 and a reduction of $7,000 if age 50 or older. For example, if a 52-year-old male with an annual income of $50,000 who made a $6,500 contribution to a traditional IRA has an adjusted gross income of $43,500, the $6,500 contribution would grow tax-deferred until retirement.
Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are accounting standards issued by national regulatory bodies. In addition, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issues the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) implemented by 147 countries.[1] While standards for international audit and assurance, ethics, education, and public sector accounting are all set by independent standard settings boards supported by IFAC. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board sets international standards for auditing, assurance, and quality control; the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) [50] sets the internationally appropriate principles- based Code of Ethics for Professional Accounts the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) sets professional accounting education standards;[51] International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) sets accrual-based international public sector accounting standards [52]
Look for a bank that has a local branch as well as robust online banking. Also, be sure the bank can integrate with your point-of-sale (POS) system and other technological needs. Business bank accounts typically charge more than personal accounts and often have a higher minimum balance. Check these numbers before committing to a bank and a business account.
Donations to qualified charities are eligible for a deduction as well. Cash and check donations are deductible and full, and most gifts of property are also deductible up to their fair market value. The key to claiming charitable deductions is to make sure you get the appropriate acknowledgment from the charity that you made the gift, because you'll need that documentation in order to support your deduction in case you're audited.

Coverdell ESAs have similar features to 529 plans, offering tax-free growth on investments toward educational costs. However, Coverdells have advantages and disadvantages compared to 529 plans. You're free to invest Coverdell money in nearly any type of investment you want, but annual contributions are limited to $2,000. Moreover, income limits of $95,000 to $110,000 for single filers and $190,000 to $220,000 for joint filers apply to reduce or eliminate the ability to make Coverdell contributions.


Periodic Planning – Tax planning can either be of short or longer period of time, if done for less than 12 months, is known as shorter period planning, whereas planning done for more than 12 months is known as longer period planning. For example, there are short term and long-term capital gains taxes depending upon the holding period of assets/investments.


Managerial accounting uses much of the same data as financial accounting, but it organizes and utilizes information in different ways. Namely, in managerial accounting, an accountant generates monthly or quarterly reports that a business's management team can use to make decisions about how the business operates. Managerial accounting also encompasses many other facets of accounting, including budgeting, forecasting and various financial analysis tools. Essentially, any information that may be useful to management falls underneath this umbrella.
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