There’s Still Time To Contribute To Your IRA for 2021

There’s Still Time To Contribute To Your IRA for 2021

If you haven’t yet made a contribution to your IRA for 2021, you still have time. The deadline is the same as the tax-filing deadline: April 18, 2022. What’s more, if you plan to make a contribution by that date, you may be able to claim the deduction on your 2021 tax return.


Know Your Traditional IRA

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a tax-advantaged personal savings plan that lets you set money aside for retirement. Generally, you can contribute up to $6,000 to your IRA for 2021. If you were 50+ by December 31, 2021, you can add another $1,000 to that limit. Depending on your status, your contributions to one or more traditional IRAs may be deductible up to the contribution limit or 100% of your compensation, whichever is less.

If you make contributions to employer retirement plans, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), an IRA, or an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, may also be able to claim the Saver’s Credit. Also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, the amount of the credit is generally based on the amount of your contributions, your adjusted gross income and your filing status (see the chart below).


Know Your Roth IRA

While you may contribute to a Roth IRA, you cannot deduct those amounts. However, any qualified distributions you take at retirement age are tax-free. Note that Roth IRA contributions may be limited based on your filing status and income.

Please don’t hesitate to call us at 706-632-7850 with any questions. 


March 25th Deadline

March 25 is the last day we can accept materials to file your Personal Tax Return by the April 18 due date. If you’re running late, we’ll be happy to file an extension for you. Please bring your paperwork to our office during regular business hours, or drop it off in our after-hours dropbox. Our 2021 Personal Tax Preparation Checklist will help make sure you provide everything we need.

Remove Excess Salary Deferrals by April 15, 2022

If you contribute to a retirement plan at work, you are allowed a total of $19,500 (plus an additional $6,500 if age 50+) in salary deferrals. If you exceeded this limit in 2021, however, you must withdraw any excess deferral amounts, plus earnings, by April 15, 2022.

If you withdraw the excess salary deferrals, plus earnings, by April 15:

  • Excess deferrals are taxed in the calendar year deferred (2021).
  • Earnings on the excess are taxed in the year withdrawn (2022).
  • Excess is not subject to the 10% early distribution tax, 20% withholding, or spousal consent requirements.

If you do NOT withdraw the excess salary deferrals, plus earnings, by April 15:

  • Excess deferrals are taxed in the calendar year deferred (2021) and again in the year withdrawn.
  • Earnings on the excess are taxed in the year withdrawn.
  • Withdrawals may be subject to the 10% early distribution tax, 20% withholding, and spousal consent requirements.

If you made contributions to more than one retirement plan, you may have accidentally gone over the limit. If you’re not sure, contact us today for help determining this amount.

Mark Your Calendar for Tax Prep Deadlines

Mark Your Calendar for Tax Prep Deadlines

Please note the following deadlines for providing your materials to us in time for the tax-filing deadline:

  • March 1: Corporate/Partnership Tax Returns to file by March 15 (without extension).
  • March 25: Personal Tax Returns to file by April 18 (without extension).

You may bring in your paperwork to our office during regular business hours, or drop it off in our after-hours dropbox out front. To make sure you provide everything we need, please use our 2021 Tax Preparation Checklist (Personal and/or Business). Just click here to download and print out:

Please note that most financial advisor companies are not issuing 1099 forms until February 15 or later. It’s OK to drop off everything else and just send us any lagging paperwork as soon as you receive it.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 706-632-7850 or email our office manager, Kimberly Mortimer, at


Don’t Forget to Report Gig Economy Earnings

Whether it’s a full-time job or just a side-hustle, those extra earnings you make need to be reported on your tax return. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You should receive a Form 1099-K for any gig or freelance work that exceeds $600 total. The IRS expects you to report it even if you don’t receive a Form 1099-K, though.
  • If you are an independent contractor, you may be able to deduct some of your business expenses. Be sure to keep good records.
  • As an employee, your employer typically withholds income taxes for you. As a freelancer or gig worker, however, you are responsible for your own taxes. If you also have a job that takes out taxes, you can submit a new Form W-4 to your employer to have additional taxes withheld from your paycheck to help cover the difference. Otherwise, you’ll need to make quarterly estimated income tax payments throughout the year, as well as Social Security and Medicare taxes. (We can help you with this.)

If you’re not sure about your status as a worker in the gig economy, let us help. We can help you figure out whether you should be paying additional taxes and how to best set that up. And be sure to provide us with any Form 1099-Ks you receive when you drop off your tax-preparation materials.

Money Minute: Reporting Tips

If you receive tips while working, then you must report them as part of your gross income. Here are some “tips” for reporting your tips. Tips include:

  • Cash tips received directly from customers.
  • Non-cash tips added using credit, debit or gift cards.
  • Tips from a tip-splitting arrangement with other employees.
  • Non-cash items, such as tickets, passes or other items of value.

To help keep track of your tips:

  • Keep a daily tip record.
  • Report tips of less than $20 a month on your income tax return.
  • Report tips of more than $20 a month to your employer by the 10th day of the following month. Your employer must withhold taxes on those reported tips (so you don’t have to).

IRS Video Tax Tip

If you have taxable income from any payer that doesn’t withhold tax for you, check out this IRS video to see if you need to make estimated tax payments.

The Latest Tax Info You Need to Know

The Latest Tax Info You Need to Know

Tax Return Deadline Extended to May 17

The IRS has extended the federal income tax filing due date for individuals from April 15 to May 17. To accommodate the new deadline, we will accept returns until Thursday, April 15th. If we receive your paperwork AFTER April 15, we will file an extension for you. To help you prepare your files, please download a copy of our 2020 Personal Tax Preparation Checklist.

Note that the deadline for estimated tax payments has NOT changed. First quarter payments are still due on April 15.

The American Rescue plan, which was signed by President Biden on March 11th, and other tax law changes probably affected your finances and returns for both 2020 and 2021. Here are some of the details you need to know:

Contribution Deadlines Extended to May 17

In addition to extending the tax return filing deadline to May 17, the IRS has extended other deadlines that would normally fall on April 15. You now have until May 17, 2021, to make 2020 contributions to your:

  • Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs and Roth IRAs),
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs),
  • Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs), and
  • Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (Coverdell ESAs).

This new deadline also applies to the reporting and payment of any 10% additional tax due on 2020 distributions from IRAs or workplace-based retirement plans.

IRS to Review Returns, Issue Refunds for Unemployment Benefits

The IRS will automatically begin refunding money in May if you filed your 2020 tax return and reported unemployment compensation before the American Rescue Plan was passed. The new law allows taxpayers who earned less than $150,000 in modified AGI to exclude 2020 unemployment compensation up to $20,400 (married filing jointly) or $10,200 (other taxpayers).

If you already filed and figured your tax based on the full amount of unemployment compensation, the IRS will determine the correct taxable amount. Any resulting overpayment of tax will be either refunded or applied to other outstanding taxes owed. So there is no need to file an amended return unless the change makes you eligible for additional federal credits and deductions.

If we filed your tax return for you before March 11, we will automatically check it for additional credits and deductions, then let you know if an amended return should be filed. If we have not yet filed your taxes, we will take the new law into account for you. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.

3rd EIP Is Different from Earlier Payments

You may notice that the third Economic Impact Payment you receive(d) is different from the first and second payments. Here’s how:

• The 3rd EIP is an advance payment of the 2021 recovery rebate credit. The two earlier payments are advance payments of the 2020 recovery rebate credit. If you didn’t get a first or second EIP or got less than the full amounts, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 recovery rebate credit on your 2020 tax return.

• The 3rd EIP may be larger. You will receive up to $1,400 as a single taxpayer or $2,800 as a joint filer. If you have qualifying dependents, you will receive up to $1,400 per qualifying dependent.

• More dependents qualify. You will get a payment for all qualifying dependents claimed on your return, not just for children under age 17. This may include older family members like college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents.

• Income phase-out amounts are different. You will not receive a 3rd EIP if your AGI exceeds:

  • $160,000 if married filing jointly or as a qualifying widow/er.
  • $120,000 if filing as head of household.
  • $80,000 if filing single or married filing separately.

• You may be eligible for additional funds. The amount of the 3rd EIP is based on your latest processed tax return (either 2020 or 2019). If it’s based on your 2019 return and is less than the full amount, you may qualify for a supplemental payment after your 2020 return is processed.

Small Businesses: Take Advantage of the Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit was modified by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, and applies to the first two calendar quarters of 2021. The changes include:

  • Increasing the maximum credit amount,
  • Expanding the category of employers eligible to claim the credit,
  • Modifying the gross receipts test,
  • Revising the definition of qualified wages, and
  • Revising the ability of employers to request an advance payment of the credit.

Eligible employers can claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after from January 1-June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum employee retention credit available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 per employee for 2021.

Employers can access the Credit for the 1st and 2nd calendar quarters of 2021 prior to filing their employment tax returns by reducing employment tax deposits. Small employers may request advance payment of the credit (subject to certain limits) on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due to Covid-19.

Note that the Employee Retention Credit is also available to eligible employers during the third and fourth quarters of 2021, thanks to the American Rescue Plan. The IRS will provide further guidance on this soon.

If you need assistance on how to calculate and claim the Employee Retention Credit, please contact us today.

Tax Deadlines & Coronavirus Updates You Need to Know

Tax Deadlines & Coronavirus Updates You Need to Know

During a recent Oval Office address, President Trump said the IRS would extend the April 15, 2020, federal income tax filing deadline. However, as of now, the IRS has not yet announced a new date, and it’s not yet clear if the new deadline would apply to all taxpayers. Or how Georgia filing would be affected. So, we are still proceeding as usual with these important dates:

  • MARCH 20th is the final date to email/drop off your paperwork to us with a guarantee that we can file your tax return by April 15.
  • If you email/drop off your paperwork between MARCH 20-27, we will attempt to make the April 15 deadline, but we cannot guarantee it. We may have to file an extension.
  • If you email/drop off your paperwork after MARCH 27, we will definitely have to file an extension for you. Please contact us ASAP as the extension deadline is also April 15.

Because of the concern over the coronavirus, we are taking precautions at the office to prepare for whatever may happen. We are planning to continue operations unless the virus becomes active in Fannin County.

If you have an appointment and feel safer not attending you are welcome to drop off your tax info to us. You are also welcome to email all documents to us and we can email back your signature forms. Also, we are taking precautions to keep our office clean and sanitary, and employees and customers protected.

If any changes to our office schedule or tax laws happen, we will post them on Facebook, so please make sure you are following us there.

You can also check the IRS’s special coronavirus page for the latest news: