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Tax Changes Prohibit Many from Claiming Home Office Costs

Working from Home During the Pandemic? You Probably Can’t Deduct Your Expenses

If you’ve been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. One of the side effects of this global health crisis has been an unprecedented experiment in forced remote work for the masses. While most states are beginning to open back up, social distancing policies are still encouraged, meaning many taxpayers are still working from home in this “new normal” we’re becoming accustomed to. In fact, a recent survey shows that 43 percent of Americans hope to continue working from home at least part-time when the pandemic subsides.

If you’re one of the millions clocking in from the comfort of your own home each day, you may be wondering whether you can take advantage of the home office tax deduction. In the past, employees who worked from home could deduct home office expenses like computer equipment and office furniture as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on line 21 of Schedule A. However, that rule has changed.

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Retirement Planning Considerations for Spouses with a Significant Age Gap

In some things in life – love, in particular – age is a fairly meaningless number. When it comes to financial planning, however, age can begin to matter quite a lot. This is why it is exceedingly important for spouses with a wide age gap to have a long-term financial plan in place. As we collectively face a time of economic uncertainty, smart long-term planning can also offer you peace of mind.

Long-term financial plans include retirement planning, of course, and this is an area in which traditional advice often won’t work well for couples separated by a decade or more. If you and your spouse are in this scenario, you’ll need a retirement plan that can accommodate the needs of two different stages of life.

Let’s explore a few of the considerations that mixed-age couples need to be aware of for proper retirement planning.

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The CARES Act Has Changed 2020 RMD Rules

Required Minimum Distributions are Temporarily Suspended

When President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, he enacted the largest aid package in American history. One important impact is that Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for 2020 are, in essence, suspended. In this way, the federal government chose to sacrifice short-term tax revenue in order to provide immediate financial relief to retirees.

This change bears discussion, however, as there are many questions about what the CARES Act means for those who have already taken their 2020 RMDs, as well as any impact on taxes and inherited accounts.

Let’s begin with a review of the basic tenets of the RMD portion of this new law.

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Financial Literacy Month, Coronavirus and Financial Resilience

How to Focus on Your Finances in the Month of April

Beginning 16 years ago, April was declared Financial Literacy Month as part of a strategy to enhance and increase nationwide financial literacy. It was implemented with the hope that it would lead to increased government advocacy of financial literacy programs, as well as spark more interest in programming already offered through schools, non-profit organizations, and businesses.

The creation of a month-long focus on financial literacy was a pointed acknowledgment of its importance in helping Americans gain necessary financial knowledge – knowledge that proves integral during a time of crisis like we are facing now with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Though prevention is always preferable over a cure, it’s never too late to learn more and change your financial behaviors. Doing so can help you become more resilient in the face of financial adversity during times of personal or worldwide crisis. So, here are three ways you can personally celebrate Financial Literacy Month this year:

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CARES Act Signed into Law –Brings Relief to Millions of Americans

This $2 trillion bill is meant to impact both individuals and businesses and contains significant tax-savings measures. It could affect prior tax years while also creating immediate cash-flow.

Impact on Individuals

Stimulus Checks

Perhaps the most impactful provision for American citizens is the CARES Act’s promise of cash payments of up to $1,200 per single individual and $2,400 for a married couple. Parents will also receive an additional $500 per qualifying child. Payments are phased-out for individuals with incomes greater than $75,000 and for married couples filing jointly with income greater than $150,000.

Provisions are such that payments will be based on 2018 tax returns, though, like the Affordable Care Act’s tax premium credit, there is a true-up related to the amount for which you are eligible on the 2020 tax return. Nonresident aliens, dependents and estates and trusts are not eligible for a stimulus check.

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Take a Pandemic Mental Health Break

Social Media and Viral Laughs are Important for Self-Care, Doctors Say

As we continue to live in uncertain times, self-care is more important than ever. With 24-hour news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and growing concerns about how far-reaching novel coronavirus will be in the United States, there are more than a few of us with heightened anxiety. Unfortunately, gone are the days when we could give ourselves a mental break from all the doom and gloom by grabbing a drink with a friend after work or hitting the gym for an intense workout session. Guidelines recommending social distancing and state-mandated lockdowns have made it difficult for many of us to manage our stress in typical ways, and this is concerning for our individual and collective mental health.

Enter social media.

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Tax News: IRS Announces Extended Deadline for 2019 Tax Returns

As we continue to face uncertain times, the IRS has made a welcome announcement.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that the IRS has decided to extend the filing and payment deadline for 2019 tax returns, allowing taxpayers to defer until July 15. Mnuchin indicated this move will put $300 billion into the economy during a time of great economic concern over the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The payment deferment is subject to certain caps, however. Individuals may defer tax payments of up to $1 million, while corporations may defer up to $10 million. The limits were purposefully selected to benefit small businesses that report income through S corporations, partnerships or other pass-through entities.

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How to Remain Hopeful and Keep Perspective During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Coronavirus Pandemic is real and it is scary on many different levels.  With news of the pandemic spreading and the recommendations on social distancing getting broader, it can be hard to feel certain or safe about anything.

As troubling as it is to watch the unprecedented market decline, we need to maintain our health and the health and safety of our family, friends, and neighbors as the number one priority. COVID-19 which emerged late in 2019 in China has spread rapidly worldwide since then and is a global pandemic. The measures taken by leaders around the globe have been strong leaving most children without a classroom to go to, many parents working from home or some without a job altogether and investors panicking about what is to come.

This disruption to daily life and to our psyches is substantial. The coming weeks could be difficult, but these measures are practical and prudent.

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Coronavirus: What the Viral Epidemic Means for Investors

Last week saw the worst week on Wall Street since 2008, as the Dow fell into correction likely due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, commonly called novel coronavirus. A market correction is a nerve-wracking event for investors, but the current uneasiness in the markets is no cause for panic.

Market Impact

While the spread of COVID-19 is atypical, market correction is not. In fact, it’s an entirely normal process, and not altogether unexpected after experiencing the longest-running bull market on record. There have been 22 market corrections since 1974, and they are aptly named because the market usually “corrects” itself and returns prices to their longer-term trends. While the coronavirus is likely to cause economic impact into at least the second quarter of 2020, historically, Wall Street’s reaction to these types of epidemics has been short-lived, including in the recent past.

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The Cash Balance Plan: A Pension Plan for High Earners

If you’re a business owner, physician or self-employed individual, you likely face higher taxes than the majority of Americans. However, there are strategies you can use to keep more of your hard-earned money by reducing your tax liability and increasing your asset protection. One of these strategies is through a particular type of Defined Benefit Plan called the Cash Balance Plan.

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PACES FERRY WEALTH ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISOR WITH THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. Registration does not imply any level of skill or training. Information presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here. The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites.