Some changes that may affect next year’s tax return

That means someone who was a philanthropist could “donate enough to wipe out his entire tax bill” this year, said Carrie Weston, director of tax practice and ethics at the American Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Medical deduction. The December law created a lower limit for permanent – again – reductions in medical expenses. Taxpayers can continue to cut medical expenses unchanged by more than 7.5 percent of their income instead of 10 percent. To make the deduction, the filer must itemize.

Ms. Weston said the floor was 7.5 percent before the 2017 tax law was temporarily increased to 10 percent. The latest change changes to the earlier regime. Still, she said, the deduction is limited help for most people.

For example, if you have adjusted gross income of $ 100,000, you can now deduct for medical expenses that exceed $ 7,500 (0.075 several times over $ 100,000). If you had a $ 10,000 expense in 2021, your deduction would be $ 2,500 ($ 10,000 minus $ 7,500). Under the prior rule, your expenses will not exceed the $ 10,000 cutoff, so you will not be eligible for the deduction.

Deductions for commercial meals. This is more useful for businesses, but it may apply if you are self-employed and take customers to lunch or dinner. Businesses can cut 100 percent of commercial food for 2021 and 2022 (but not for 2020) instead of the usual 50 percent. Its purpose is to help the unsuspecting restaurants that are suffering from restrictions during the epidemic. The deduction applies to employees on customer meals as well as business trips and must be for food and drinks provided by a restaurant.

How has your pandemic changed?

No. The so-called Pecuniary effect payment Not considered as income. In fact, they are technically an advance on a tax credit, known as a recovery rebate credit. Payments can indirectly affect what you pay in state income taxes in a handful of states, where federal tax is deducted against state taxable income, as our colleague Ann Carns wrote. Read more.

Mostly. Unemployment insurance is generally subject to federal as well as state income tax, although there are exceptions (nine states do not impose their own income tax, and another six are exempt unemployment payment tax-wise. Tax Foundation) Belongs to. But you will not pay the so-called payroll taxes, which pay for Social Security and Medicare. If your income is less than $ 150,000, the new relief bill will make the first $ 10,200 profit-tax free. This only applies until 2020. (If you have already filed your tax, see IRS for guidance.) Unlike a paycheck from an employer, taxes are not automatically withheld for unemployment. The recipient must select into it and even when they do so, federal taxes are only withheld at a flat rate of 10 percent. While the new tax break will provide a cushion, some people can still pay the IRS or some states’ money. Read more.

Maybe not, Unless you are self-employed, an independent contractor or gig employee. The overhaul of the tax law in late 2019 eliminated home office deductions for employees from 2018 through 2025. “Employees specifically receiving a paycheck or W-2 from an employer are not eligible for the deduction, even if they are currently working from home,” The IRS said. Read more.

Self-employed people can take Paid care leave If their child’s school is closed or their general child care provider is unavailable due to the outbreak. It works similarly to small sick leave credits – 67 percent of the average daily income (either for 2020 or 2019), up to $ 200 per day. But caregiver leave can be taken for 50 days. Read more.

Yes. This year, you can cut Up to $ 300 For charitable contributions, even if you use the standard deduction. Previously, only those who could claim these deductions were included. Donations must be made in cash (for these purposes, this includes a check, credit card, or debit card), and may not include securities, household items, or other assets. For 2021, the deduction limit for joint filers will be doubled to $ 600. The rules for the item became even more lenient. Limits on charitable donations have been suspended, so individuals can contribute from 100 percent to 60 percent of their adjusted gross income. But these donations must be made in cash for public donations; The old rules, for example, apply to contributions made to donor-advised funds. Both provisions are available through 2021. Read more.

“It helps boost the restaurant’s economy,” Ms. Weston said.

Tax changes for educational expenses. The December legislation did away with re-cuts, again for tuition and related expenses, but expanded the income limit for Credit for lifetime learning, Covering the same costs starting in 2021. This credit is worth $ 2,000 per tax return.

“It’s a net positive for the family,” said Mark Kantarowicz, a former publisher and vice president of research at Saveforcollege.com.

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