Make Order Out of Chaos

January 12th, 2022

Prepare for this year’s tax return filing season

Tax return filing season usually gets a little crazy, but this year will be more turbulent than most. Due to new tax legislation and guidance from the IRS, you will have to cope with a wide variety of tax changes, some of which relate to the pandemic. Here are several tips for making some order out of the chaos.

Unemployment benefits

Unemployment benefits are taxable once again in 2022. In 2020, the first $10,200 of benefits received by taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of less than $150,000 were exempt from tax. Unfortunately, during this time, a lot of people filed their tax returns before this tax aid was established. If this tax-free aid If this pertains to you, and you haven’t received a refund from a tax overpayment yet, you might need to file an amended 2021 tax return.

Small business loans

To provide economic aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress created a loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Similarly, your small business might have received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or a grant. Approved EIDL loans have the option of being forgiven in 2022 without adverse tax consequences. So gather your records — including what you received and when — for optimal tax protection.

Economic impact payments

Congress handed out three rounds of Economic Impact Payments to individuals in 2020 and 2021. The third payment provided a maximum of $1,400 per person, including dependents, subject to a phaseout. The AGI phaseout began at $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers. When reviewing your records, make sure to be detailed about what payments you received in 2021. When you have clear payments, you can use your 20021 tax returns to ensure you receive credit for your full stimulus payments.

Child tax credit

Families will benefit from an enhanced Child Tax Credit (CTC) on their 2021 tax returns. The new rules provide a credit of up to $3,000 per qualifying child ages 6 through 17 ($3,600 per qualifying child under age six), subject to a phaseout beginning at $75,000 of AGI for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers. What will complicate tax filing in 2022 is any advance payments you received from the IRS in the past six months. It is essential that you accurately identify all the payments you received, only then can correct adjustments be made on your tax return to ensure you receive the full Child Tax Credit amount.

Dependent care credit

The available dependent care credit for qualified expenses incurred in 2021 is much higher than in 2020, with a corresponding increase in phaseout levels. The maximum credit for households with an AGI up to $125,000 is $4,000 for one under age 13 child and $8,000 for two or more children. Dependent Care Credit gradually reduces, then disappears completely if your AGI exceeds $440,000.

Due to the ongoing debate of proposed legislation in Washington, D.C., this year’s tax filing season will seem a bit chaotic. With proper preparation, though, your situation can be orderly, but only if you prepare!