Weinlander Fitzhugh - Certified Public Accountants & Consultants

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Appropriations Act of 2020, which included a number of tax law changes, including extending certain tax provisions that expired after 2017 or were about to expire, a number of retirement and IRA plan modifications, and other changes that will impact a large portion of U.S. taxpayers as a whole. This article is one of a series of articles dealing with those changes and how they may affect you.

The California legislature recently passed landmark labor legislation that essentially makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for a worker to be classified as an independent contractor (self-employed). Governor Newsom was quick to sign it into law, and it generally became effective on January 1, 2020. Many believe this legislation will suppress entrepreneurship and innovation.

This is a question many taxpayers ask during this time of year, and the question is far more complicated than people believe. To fully understand, we need to consider that there are times when individuals are REQUIRED to file a tax return, and then there are times when it is to individuals’ BENEFIT to file a return even if they are not required to file.

As tax season draws near, you may be concerned that you won't be able to pay your tax bill. If you're simply broke after holiday credit card bills, you have until April 15th to pay your tax bill in full once you learn how much you owe. If your financial situation is more dire than that, you have some time to explore your options and come up with the funds or a plan.

When was the last time you or your attorney reviewed or updated your will or trust? If it was before the passage of the 2017 tax reform legislation, or the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), your documents may be out of date. Among the many changes in that law was a more than doubling of the estate tax exemption. Prior to the TCJA, if the value of an individual’s estate at his or her death was about $5.5 million or more, it was subject to the estate tax. For deaths in 2020, and based on the TCJA inflation-adjusted amounts, just over $11.5 million is exempted from estate tax. So, if your will or trust was premised on the lower value, it may need to be revised so that it provides the appropriate estate tax results for your situation.


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