April 3, 2020

April Newsletter

Here are your Articles for April 3, 2020.

IRS issues warning about Coronavirus-related scams; watch out for schemes tied to economic impact payments
The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

“We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don’t open them or click on attachments or links. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information.”

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Advance Designation: Choose a Representative Payee for Social Security to Consider Before You May Need One
The future can be uncertain. However, Social Security’s Advance Designation program can help put you in control of your benefits if a time comes when you need a representative payee to help manage your money.

Advance Designation enables you to identify up to three people, in priority order, whom you would like to serve as your potential representative payee.

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IRS updates per-diem guidance for business travelers and their employers
The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance for business travelers, updated to include changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

Revenue Procedure 2019-48, posted today on IRS.gov, updates the rules for using per diem rates to substantiate the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred while traveling away from home.  Taxpayers are not required to use a method described in this revenue procedure and may instead substantiate actual allowable expenses provided they maintain adequate records.

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Final regulations confirm: Making large gifts now won’t harm estates after 2025
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today issued final regulations confirming that individuals taking advantage of the increased gift and estate tax exclusion amounts in effect from 2018 to 2025 will not be adversely impacted after 2025 when the exclusion amount is scheduled to drop to pre-2018 levels.

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Why an Overseas Bank Account Isn’t a Good Idea
Many individual clients with excess cash diligently hunt for the highest yields. They might come up with the idea of depositing money with a bank overseas. They might even joke about “stashing it.” There are many reasons this is not a good idea.

There are many reasons why companies doing business internationally would maintain overseas bank accounts. Ditto for individuals who own overseas property generating local bills. Many individual clients with excess cash diligently hunt for the highest yields. They might come up with the idea of depositing money with a bank overseas. They might even joke about “stashing it.” There are many reasons this is not a good idea.

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Beware of Social Security Scams
Social Security phone scams are the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security. Over the past year, these scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Social Security encourages you to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams to disrupt the scammers and help us reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims.

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401(k) Contributions: Employers Should Keep Calm but Know the Options
Global markets have fallen dramatically in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some analysts are predicting a recession. And many business owners are looking for ways to lower costs in the face of decreasing revenue. Can you eliminate or scale back on 401(k) plan contributions during these turbulent and unprecedented conditions? Here’s what employers should know.

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Four Steps to Protect a Special-Needs Child
Children are expensive. Not many people will argue that point. And planning for future costs, such as college, can boggle the mind. But for a child with special needs, the costs now and in the future are likely to soar immediately. For example, the costs of medical care, additional caregivers, the possibility of alternative education, and you’ll need to plan for when you are gone. That’s why planning, which is always important, will be critical for the parents of a special-needs child.

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Tax Consequences of Borrowing From a Retirement Plan
Under some circumstances, you can borrow from your retirement account, depending on the type of plan you have. But should you? Only if you’re aware of the tax consequences and the implications a loan can have on your future retirement funds. This article answers some questions about how much you can borrow, whether the interest is deductible and other issues to consider before signing loan documents.

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Ten Potential Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning
Trying to save money by handling your own estate planning can be a major mistake. You need legal documents that reflect the nuances of your life and changing circumstances. Making errors can mean your wishes won’t be carried out. Here is a list of 10 potential mistakes that some people make when they don’t get professional guidance.

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