The IRS has just announced standard mileage rates for 2023:

The IRS has just announced standard mileage rates for 2023:

The IRS issued the 2023 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3 cents from the midyear increase setting the rate for the second half of 2022.
  • 22 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, consistent with the increased midyear rate set for the second half of 2022.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2022.

These rates apply to electric and hybrid-electric automobiles, as well as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.

Year End Taxpayer Checklist

Year End Taxpayer Checklist

Here’s a short checklist to help taxpayers choose a tax preparer for the upcoming filing season

Tax filing season will be here soon. As people begin to gather their documents and receipts in preparation of filing a tax return, many are also choosing to use a professional tax return preparer.  Anyone with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number can be a paid tax return preparer. However, tax return preparers have differing levels of skills, education and expertise. Choosing a tax return preparer wisely is important because taxpayers are ultimately responsible for all the information on their return, no matter who prepares it for them.

Taxpayers can start their search with the IRS Directory of Preparers
When looking for a tax professional, taxpayers can search the IRS Directory of Preparers. While it is not a complete listing of tax return preparers, it does include those who are enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys, as well as those who participate in the Annual Filing Season Program.

Before hiring a preparer, taxpayers should make sure they know what they’re getting. They can do this by:

  • Checking the preparer’s history with the Better Business Bureau. Taxpayers can also verify an enrolled agent’s status on IRS.gov.
  • Asking about fees. Taxpayers should avoid tax return preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the refund or who offer to deposit all or part of their refund into their financial accounts. Taxpayers should be suspicious of any preparer claiming they can get larger refunds than other tax preparers.
  • Asking if the preparer plans to use e-file. The fastest way to get a tax refund is by e-filing and choosing direct deposit.
  • Making sure the preparer will be available if needed. People should consider whether the individual or firm will be around for months or years after filing the return. It’s possible they’ll need the preparer to answer questions about the preparation of the tax return later.
  • Ensuring the preparer signs and includes their PTIN. Paid tax return preparers must have a PTIN to prepare tax returns and must include it on any tax return they prepare.
  • Considering the person’s credentials. Only attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in tax matters. Other tax return preparers who participate in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program have limited practice rights to represent taxpayers during audits of returns they prepared.

More information:
Choosing a Tax Professional
Tax Time Guide: Free tax return help available in-person and online
Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax


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Late Breaking Tax Update

Late Breaking Tax Update

Marylanders now have until July 15, 2022, to file and pay 2021 state individual income taxes, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Wednesday.

Comptroller  Franchot said the extended deadline is meant to assist taxpayers facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension waives penalties and interest on outstanding liabilities.

“Many people are still struggling to stay above water, so giving taxpayers more time to file and pay will hopefully ease their financial pressure,” Franchot said in a statement. “As we approach the two-year mark of the onset of COVID-19, my agency remains as committed as ever to helping Marylanders who still are feeling the pandemic’s impact.”

The Internal Revenue Service, which already has warned of processing delays for the 2022 tax season due to COVID-19, has not indicated any plans to extend the federal income tax filing and payment deadline beyond April 18.

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Get Ready for Taxes

Get Ready for Taxes

Get ready for taxes: Here’s what’s new and what to consider when filing in 2022

The IRS encourages taxpayers to get informed about topics related to filing their federal tax returns in 2022. These topics include special steps related to charitable contributions, economic impact payments and advance child tax credit payments. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/getready for online tools, publications and other helpful resources for the filing season.

Here are some key items for taxpayers to know before they file next year.

Changes to the charitable contribution deduction

Taxpayers who don’t itemize deductions may qualify to take a deduction of up to $600 for married taxpayers filing joint returns and up to $300 for all other filers for cash contributions made in 2021 to qualifying organizations.

Check on advance child tax credit payments

Families who received advance payments will need to compare the advance child tax credit payments that they received in 2021 with the amount of the child tax credit that they can properly claim on their 2021 tax return.

  • Taxpayers who received less than the amount for which they’re eligible will claim a credit for the remaining amount of child tax credit on their 2021 tax return.
  • Eligible families who did not get monthly advance payments in 2021 can still get a lump-sum payment by claiming the child tax credit when they file a 2021 federal income tax return next year. This includes families who don’t normally need to file a return.

In January 2022, the IRS will send Letter 6419 with the total amount of advance child tax credit payments taxpayers received in 2021. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about advance child tax credit payments with their tax records. Individuals can also create or log in to IRS.gov online account to securely access their child tax credit payment amounts.

Economic impact payments and claiming the recovery rebate credit

Individuals who didn’t qualify for the third economic impact payment or did not receive the full amount may be eligible for the recovery rebate credit based on their 2021 tax information. They’ll need to file a 2021 tax return, even if they don’t usually file, to claim the credit.

Individuals will need the amount of their third economic impact payment and any plus-up payments received to calculate their correct 2021 recovery rebate credit amount when they file their tax return.

In early 2022, the IRS will send Letter 6475 that contains the total amount of the third economic impact payment and any plus-up payments received. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about their stimulus payments with other tax records. Individuals can also create or log in to IRS.gov online account to securely access their economic impact payment amounts.

More information:
Reconciling Your Advance Child Tax Credit Payments on Your 2021 Tax Return

IRS issues information letters to Advance Child Tax Credit recipients

IRS issues information letters to Advance Child Tax Credit recipients

IRS issues information letters to Advance Child Tax Credit recipients and recipients of the third round of Economic Impact Payments; taxpayers should hold onto letters to help the 2022 Filing Season experience

The Internal Revenue Service announced on 12-22-2021 that it will issue information letters to Advance Child Tax Credit recipients starting in December and to recipients of the third round of the Economic Impact Payments at the end of January. Using this information when preparing a tax return can reduce errors and delays in processing.

The IRS urged people receiving these letters to make sure they hold onto them to assist them in preparing their 2021 federal tax returns in 2022.

Watch for advance Child Tax Credit letter

To help taxpayers reconcile and receive all of the Child Tax Credits to which they are entitled, the IRS will send Letter 6419, 2021 advance CTC, starting late December, 2021 and continuing into January. The letter will include the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments taxpayers received in 2021 and the number of qualifying children used to calculate the advance payments. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments with their tax records.

Families who received advance payments will need to file a 2021 tax return and compare the advance Child Tax Credit payments they received in 2021 with the amount of the Child Tax Credit they can properly claim on their 2021 tax return.

The letter contains important information that can make preparing their tax returns easier. People who received the advance CTC payments can also check the amount of their payments by using the CTC Update Portal available on IRS.gov.

Eligible families who did not receive any advance Child Tax Credit payments can claim the full amount of the Child Tax Credit on their 2021 federal tax return, filed in 2022. This includes families who don’t normally need to file a tax return.

Economic Impact Payment letter can help with the Recovery Rebate Credit

The IRS will begin issuing Letter 6475, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, to EIP recipients in late January. This letter will help Economic Impact Payment recipients determine if they are entitled to and should claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax year 2021 tax returns that they file in 2022.

Letter 6475 only applies to the third round of Economic Impact Payments that was issued starting in March 2021 and continued through December 2021. The third round of Economic Impact Payments, including the “plus-up” payments, were advance payments of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit that would be claimed on a 2021 tax return. Plus-up payments were additional payments the IRS sent to people who received a third Economic Impact Payment based on a 2019 tax return or information received from SSA, RRB or VA; or to people who may be eligible for a larger amount based on their 2020 tax return.

Most eligible people already received the payments. However, people who are missing stimulus payments should review the information to determine their eligibility and whether they need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for tax year 2020 or 2021.

Like the advance CTC letter, the Economic Impact Payment letters include important information that can help people quickly and accurately file their tax return.

More information about the Advance Child Tax Credit, Economic Impact Payments and other COVID-19-related tax relief may be found at IRS.gov.

As the 2022 tax filing season approaches, the IRS urges people to make sure an accurate tax return and use electronic filing with direct deposit to avoid delays.

Most retirees must take required minimum distributions by Dec. 31

Most retirees must take required minimum distributions by Dec. 31

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded retirement plan participants and individual retirement account owners that payments, called required minimum distributions, must usually be taken by Dec. 31.

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) generally are minimum amounts that retirement plan account owners must withdraw annually starting with the year they reach 72 or, if later, the year they retire. However, if the retirement plan account is an IRA or the account owner is a 5% owner of the business sponsoring the retirement plan, the RMDs must begin once the account holder is age 72, even if they’re still working. RMD amounts not timely withdrawn from accounts may be subject to penalties.

Individuals who reached 70 ½ in 2019, (70th birthday was June 30, 2019 or earlier) did not have an RMD due for 2020, but will have to take one by Dec. 31, 2021.

Individuals who reach 72 in 2021 (and their 70th birthday was July 1, 2019 or later) have their first RMD due by April 1, 2022.

The required distribution rules apply to:

  • Owners of traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
  • Owners of traditional Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs
  • Owners of Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs
  • Participants in various workplace retirement plans, including 401(k), Roth 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans

Roth IRAs do not require distributions while the original owner is alive.

An IRA trustee, or plan administrator, must report the amount of the RMD to the IRA owner. An IRA owner, or trustee, must calculate the RMD separately for each IRA owned. However, they can choose to withdraw the total amount from one or more of the IRAs. In contrast, RMDs required from workplace retirement plans must be taken separately from each plan. Not taking a required distribution, or not withdrawing enough, could mean a 50% excise tax on the amount not distributed.

The RMD is based on the taxpayer’s life expectancy and their account balance. Often, a trustee will use Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information, to report the RMD to the recipient. For most taxpayers, life expectancy used to calculate the RMD is based on Uniform Lifetime Table III in Publication 590-B, Distributions from IRAs. Individuals can use online worksheets on IRS.gov to figure the RMD.

2020 RMDs
An IRA owner or beneficiary who received an RMD in 2020 had the option of returning it to their account or other qualified plan to avoid paying taxes on that distribution. A 2020 RMD that qualified as a coronavirus-related distribution may be repaid over a 3-year period or have the taxes due on the distribution spread over three years. A 2020 withdrawal from an inherited IRA could not be repaid to the inherited IRA but may be spread over three years for income inclusion.

IRS online tools and publications can help
Taxpayers can find frequently asked questions, forms and instructions and easy-to-use tools at IRS.gov.