Right now, you may be more concerned about your 2019 tax bill than you are about your 2020 tax situation. That’s understandable because your 2019 individual tax return is due to be filed in less than three months.
However, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with tax-related amounts that may have changed for 2020. For example, the amount of money you can put into a 401(k) plan has increased and you may want to start making contributions as early in the year as possible because retirement plan contributions will lower your taxable income.
Many taxpayers make charitable gifts — because they’re generous and they want to save money on their federal tax bills. But with the tax law changes that went into effect a couple years ago and the many rules that apply to charitable deductions, you may no longer get a tax break for your generosity.
This year, the optional standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business decreased by one-half cent, to 57.5 cents per mile. As a result, you might claim a lower deduction for vehicle-related expense for 2020 than you can for 2019.
A new law was recently passed with a wide range of retirement plan changes for employers and individuals. One of the provisions of the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019) involves a new requirement for employers that sponsor tax-favored defined contribution retirement plans that are subject to ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974).
Specifically, the law will require that the benefit statements sent to plan participants include a lifetime income disclosure at least once during any 12-month period. The disclosure will need to illustrate the monthly payments that an employee would receive if the total account balance were used to provide lifetime income streams, including a single life annuity and a qualified joint and survivor annuity for the participant and the participant’s surviving spouse.
Many debates have focused on whether it is better to use credit cards or debit cards. Renowned former criminal turned security consultant, Frank Abagnale Jr., the subject of the movie Catch Me If You Can, spoke at Google in 2017 and addressed this issue. A transcript of his remarks during that talk follow.
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