Selling Your Home? Keep These Tax Effects in Mind

Selling Your Home? Keep These Tax Effects in Mind

With today’s hot real estate market, you may be considering selling your home. Before you do, consider these possible repercussions to your federal income tax:

Gains & Losses

If you sell your main residence and have a gain from the sale, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of that gain from your income ($500,000 if filing jointly). What’s more, if you qualify to exclude all of the gain, you do NOT need to report the sale on your federal tax return —unless a Form 1099-S was issued.

Keep in mind that if you happen to experience a loss on the sale of your home (it sells for less than you paid for it), you cannot deduct the loss on your taxes.

Ownership & Use

To claim the tax exclusion, you must meet certain ownership and use tests. During a five-year period ending on the date of the sale, you must have owned the home and lived in it as your main residence for at least two years.

If you own more than one home (e.g., a vacation cabin in Blue Ridge and a main home elsewhere), you can only exclude the gain on the sale of your main home. You must pay taxes on any gain you receive from selling your vacation or second home.

Reported Sale & Mortgage Debt

If you don’t qualify to exclude all or part of the taxable gain from the sale, you must report it when you file your tax return. If you receive Form 1099-S, Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions, you must report the sale even if you have no taxable gain.

Generally, you must also report forgiven or canceled debt as income on your tax return, including a mortgage workout, foreclosure or other canceled mortgage debt.

There Are Always Exceptions

Certain individuals may be excluded from these rules, including people with a disability, members of the military or intelligence community, and Peace Corps workers. If you have questions about the tax ramifications of selling your main or vacation home, please contact us today. We’ll be happy to help you work through the numbers.

Request an Extension? Don’t Wait to File

If you requested an extension, consider filing your tax return sooner rather than later. October 17 is the deadline, but we encourage you provide us with your documents so your return can be filed before the deadline. Completing your tax return this summer can either help you get a refund quicker or save you money if you owe by avoiding additional interest and penalties. Please drop off your materials at our office Monday–Thursday from 8:30am–5pm (we’re closed for lunch from 12–1).

IRS Interest Rates Increasing

For the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2022, the new IRS interest rates will be:

  • 5% for overpayments (4% in the case of a corporation).
  • 2.5% for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000.
  • 5% for underpayments.
  • 7% for large corporate underpayments.
Tax Matters: Report Those “Miscellaneous” Types of Income & Assets

Tax Matters: Report Those “Miscellaneous” Types of Income & Assets

 

When you earn several types of income throughout the year, it’s easy to lose track and forget to report some. The IRS does not forget, however. So be sure to report:

Gig Work

This is income earned providing on-demand work, services or goods, often through a digital platform (e.g., Uber or Fiverr). This applies even if the work is part-time or temporary, not reported on Form 1099 or W-2, or is received via cash, property, goods or virtual currency.

Virtual Currency

If you received any virtual currency as compensation or disposed of any virtual currency in a trade or business, you must report the income (or loss). This includes receiving virtual currency as payment for goods or services provided, as a result of mining and staking activities, or even exchanging for another virtual currency.

Foreign Income & Assets

You must report unearned income, such as interest, dividends, and pensions, from sources outside the United States unless exempt by law or a tax treaty. You must also report foreign-earned income and assets, such as wages and tips. You are allowed an automatic two-month extension to June 15 if you serve in the military, or both your tax home and abode are outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico, though any tax due must still be paid by April 18, 2022.

Have You Taken Your RMD?

A Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) is the minimum amount that you must withdraw from your IRA or retirement plan account each year AFTER you reach age 72 (or 70½ if you were 70½ before January 1, 2020). In a workplace retirement plan, you can delay taking your RMD if you continue working and you’re not a 5% owner. However, you are still required to take RMDs from your traditional IRAs, and SEP, SIMPLE and SARSEP IRAs even if you continue working.

If you altered taking your RMDs in 2020 due to the CARES Act or SECURE Act, you may need to consider your current status.

If you reached age 70½ in 2019, you may have waived your RMDs due in 2020. However, you did have a 2021 RMD due by December 31, 2021, based on your account balance on December 31, 2020.

If you reached age 72 in 2021 (and didn’t reach 70½ in 2019), your 2021 RMD is due by April 1, 2022, and is based on your account balance on December 31, 2020. Your 2022 RMD is due by December 31, 2022, based on your account balance on Dec. 31, 2021.

If you left your job in 2021 and rolled over your workplace retirement plan into your IRA, the RMD from your IRAs for 2021 won’t be affected by the rollover, but you may have an RMD due from the retirement plan.

  • Amounts rolled over to your IRA from a workplace retirement plan in 2021 don’t affect your IRA RMD calculation since 2021 RMDs are based on your IRA account balances on December 31, 2020.
  • If you have a 2021 RMD due from your workplace retirement plan, it cannot be rolled over to your IRA.

Beneficiaries of IRA accounts must follow special distribution rules, which can be confusing. The SECURE Act changed how and when beneficiaries must take distributions when the account holder dies after 2019. If you’re unsure of your status, please contact us today. Missing deadlines can be costly, but we’re here to help.

Are Your Social Security Benefits Taxable?

If you receive Social Security benefits — monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits — you may need to pay taxes on some of those benefits depending on your income and filing status. To determine if your benefits are taxable, take half of the Social Security benefits you received and add it to your other income, including pensions, wages, interest, dividends and capital gains.

50% of your benefits may be taxable if you are:

  • Filing single, head of household or qualifying widow or widower with $25,000 – $34,000 income.
  • Married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse with $25,000 – $34,000 income.
  • Married filing jointly with $32,000 – $44,000 income.

Up to 85% of your benefits may be taxable if you are:

  • Filing single, head of household or qualifying widow or widower with more than $34,000 income.
  • Married filing jointly with more than $44,000 income.
  • Married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse with more than $34,000 income.
  • Married filing separately and lived with your spouse at any time during 2021.

 

Do You Need More Time to File?

If you’re not ready to file your federal tax return by this year’s April 18 deadline, you can easily request an automatic six-month extension — to October 17. An extension allows for extra time to gather, prepare and file paperwork with the IRS. However, keep in mind that:

  • You must file an extension by April 18.
  • An extension to file does NOT grant you an extension to pay.
  • You should estimate and pay any tax owed by April 18 to avoid possible penalties.

Just let us know if you’d like us to request an extension for you. Or you can e-file an extension yourself using IRS Free File.

To get the extension, you must estimate your tax liability on Form 4868 and pay any amount due by April 18. You may also request an extension by using IRS Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by paying with a credit or debit card or digital wallet. There’s no need to file a separate Form 4868 when making an electronic payment and indicating it’s for an extension. The IRS will automatically count it as an extension.

1st Quarter Estimated Tax Payments Due April 18

If you don’t pay taxes through withholding from your paycheck, pension or government benefits, then you may need to pay estimated taxes each quarter. This typically applies if you’re self-employed, retired, an investor, or have a business or corporation. If you have a side-gig, such as driving an Uber, you may need to make additional tax payments each quarter. Other income generally not subject to regular withholding includes interest, dividends, capital gains, alimony and rental income. By paying quarterly estimated taxes, however, you can typically lessen or eliminate any underpayment penalties.

You can make payments online at IRS.gov/payments. When you set up an account, you can view your payment history, any pending payments and other useful tax information.

Other important reminders for Monday, April 18:

  • File your 2021 federal tax return and pay any tax due, or request a 6-month extension.
  • Contribute to your IRA for 2021.
  • Contribute to your HSA for 2021.
  • Contribute to your 401(k) or SEP for 2021 if self-employed.
Do You Have Children? You May Start Receiving Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments in July

Do You Have Children? You May Start Receiving Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments in July

If you have one or more children age 17 or under, you may automatically begin receiving advance payments of the Child Tax Credit on July 15th. Roughly 39 million households — covering 88% of children in the United States — will begin receiving the payments as part of The American Rescue Plan Act, which was passed in March.

The new law increased the maximum Child Tax Credit (for 2021 only) to $3,600 for children under age 6 and to $3,000 for children between 6 and 17. As a result, eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 to 17. Payments will continue monthly on the 15th of each month — via direct deposit, paper check or debit card — through the end of the year.

Other Details Include:

  • The payments are an advance of any credit due on your 2021 tax return. (Keep in mind this may reduce the amount of your tax refund next year, or even trigger the need to pay back some of the funds if your financial situation changes significantly.)
  • The credit for qualifying children is fully refundable, which means you can benefit from the credit even if you don’t have earned income or don’t owe income taxes.
  • The credit will include children who turn age 17 in 2021.
  • The amount of the CTC was previously up to $2,000 annually per qualifying child under the age of 17.
  • The increased amounts are phased out if your income is over $150,000 (married filing jointly or qualifying widow/widower), $112,500 (head of household) or $75,000 (all others).
  • The advance payments will be made monthly from July through December as long as you live in the U.S. for more than half the year. The total of the advance payments will equal up to 50% of the full Child Tax Credit, and will be estimated from your 2020 tax return (or 2019 return if 2020 is not yet filed).

More to Come

The IRS is sending out letters to families it believes qualifies for the credit. If you qualify, you do not need to take any action to get your payment.

Later this summer, the IRS will be adding a Child Tax Credit Update Portal to its website. You can use the portal to notify the IRS of changes in your income, filing status or number of qualifying children, or update your direct deposit information. You will also be able to unenroll from receiving the advance payments (and instead receive the full amount of the credit when you file your 2021 return next year) if you wish.

Additional information on how you can access the Child Tax Credit can be found on the IRS website at IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how the credit will affect your 2021 tax return.

Premier CPA Services 10 year anniversary logo

May 31 was the 10-Year Anniversary of Premier CPA Services! Over the next few months, we will be offering some great giveaways to our clients and Facebook friends to celebrate! Be sure to follow us and stay tuned!

Extension Date: Still October 15th

Please note that if you filed an extension with the IRS, the due date for your federal income tax return is still October 15. Although the original tax deadline was moved from April 15th to May 17th, the extension deadline has NOT changed. In order to complete your taxes to meet the October 15th deadline, we will need all your paperwork by Friday, September 24th.

Payroll & Accounting Services Available

You may count on Premier CPA Services to file your personal and/or business taxes each year. And for that, we say “Thank You!” But did you know that we also offer Payroll and Accounting Services?

We can handle your employee payroll through MyPay, as well as in-house live payroll, no matter how many employees you have (whether one or 100!). We can also handle your after-the-fact payroll — processing all the necessary forms, and relieving you of the burden of all that tedious paperwork.

For more details, contact Amber at amber@premiercpaservices.com or call (706) 632-7850. It’s easy to get started, and can save you a ton of time and effort.