What you should know before filing your 2021 income taxes

What you should know before filing your 2021 income taxes

March 13, 2021 |.
Your Money.

Tax brackets.
” For 2020 tax returns, you need to understand the tax bracket boosts,” states Wang– so lets take an appearance at the 2020 tax brackets to see where you may fall.

Nicole Dieker

April 15 is going to be here prior to you understand it– which suggests that its time to start believing seriously about your 2020 taxes. In 2015 was relatively significant, tax-wise; not just did we get the common adjustments to basic reductions and tax brackets, however legislation like the CARES Act also changed the ways in which specific kinds of expenditures could be subtracted.
Plus, you may have received joblessness payment, taken a coronavirus-related distribution from your 401( k) or had an uncommon quantity of medical expenses in 2020– and an unexpected monetary year nearly constantly leads to a few income tax return surprises.
We reached out to Betty Wang, CFP ®, founder and president of BW Financial Planning and advisor at the XY Planning Network, to read more about tax updates that might affect your 2020 income tax return. Its always a great idea to talk with your own CPA or tax professional if you have particular concerns about your tax responsibilities– however you can utilize Wangs guidance to help you narrow down the questions you plan to ask.

Limited tax rate.
Individuals filing singly.
Couples submitting collectively.

In this post:.

Last year differed from any other, and guess what? Your income tax return will be too. Heres our guide to whats new.

Earnings over $518,400.
Incomes over $622,050.

Earnings over $207,350.
Earnings over $414,700.

Incomes over $163,300.
Earnings over $326,600.

Incomes over $85,525.
Earnings over $171,050.

Incomes over $40,125.
Earnings over $80,250.

Incomes over $9,875.
Earnings over $19,750

Remember, these tax brackets represent minimal tax rates– which suggests that if you are a single filer who earned $100,000 in 2020, just the $14,475 above $85,525 will be taxed at the 24% tax rate. The rest of your earnings will be taxed proportionally according to the bracket in which it falls.
For more info, read the IRS statement regarding 2020 tax rates.
Standard reduction.
Keep in mind that the basic deduction increased in 2020 if youre trying to decide in between detailing your deductions and taking the standard deduction. (In case you forgot, the standard deduction is the quantity of your income thats exempt to federal income taxes.) The standard reduction normally increases year over year, so this years boost most likely isnt coming as too much of a surprise– however its still worth keeping in mind.
” The basic reduction for 2020 increased to $12,400 for single filers and $24,800 for married couples filing collectively,” Wang describes. As you may keep in mind from submitting your 2019 taxes, the basic reductions were previously set at $12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for couples submitting jointly– which suggests that in 2020, youll have the ability to subtract an additional $200 if youre filing solo, or $400 if youre filing collectively as a couple.
For more info, checked out the IRS guide to standard reductions.

Charitable contributions.
A great deal of us chose to focus on charitable offering in 2020– and the IRS is ready to reward us for our generosity. “If you utilize the standard deduction, which over 90% people do, you can deduct up to $300 in donations for 2020 due to the CARES Act,” describes Wang.
The donations should be money (non-cash assets do not receive the tax deduction) and can consist of checks or online payments. Only donations to certifying companies, which the IRS refers to as “those that are spiritual, charitable, instructional, scientific or literary in function,” are qualified for the reduction.
For additional information, read the IRS guide to how the CARES Act changes subtracting charitable contributions.
Medical expenditures.
” If 2020 brought you a big amount of medical costs, you should inspect to see if your out-of-pocket medical expenses are above 7.5% of your adjusted gross earnings,” Wang advises. Any out-of-pocket medical expenditures that go beyond 7.5% of your AGI can be detailed on a Schedule A– which indicates it might be worth doing the math to see whether youll be much better off with the made a list of reduction or the basic reduction.
This deduction just applies to unreimbursed medical expenses (for this reason the term “out-of-pocket”) and just consists of the part of your medical costs that is bigger than 7.5% of your adjusted gross earnings. If your 2020 AGI is $100,000 and you had $8,000 in unreimbursed medical expenditures, for example, you can just include $500 of those costs as an itemized reduction.
That might not seem like much, but its more than you used to be able to subtract– formerly, you could only itemize unreimbursed medical expenses that exceeded 10% of your AGI. “This 7.5% limit was made irreversible in 2020,” explains Wang.
For more info, checked out the IRS guide to dental and medical expenses.

401( k) circulations.
” If you took a coronavirus-related circulation out of your 401( k) as part of the CARES Act, then you have some choices to make,” says Wang. “If you dont need to use the money, you have 3 years to put the cash back. Youll be reimbursed any taxes you paid.”.
Keep in mind, you arent required to return your coronavirus-related circulation– but if you decide to put the money back into your 401( k), you may want to focus on those payments so you do not miss out on out on potential market growth. “Generally, its suggested to put the cash back as rapidly as possible if you dont need the funds so you can return on track for saving for your retirement,” Wang advises.
If you choose not to put the cash back, remember that youll owe taxes on your circulation– however you can alleviate the problem by spreading those tax payments out over 3 years.
To learn more, read the IRS guide to coronavirus-related relief and retirement strategies.
Unemployment advantages.
Many people received unemployment benefits in 2020 due to coronavirus-related furloughs and layoffs– and although these welfare are generally taxed, the most recent coronavirus stimulus plan changed the guidelines for people filing 2020 taxes.
On Friday, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This new legislation states that if your family earned less than $150,000 in 2020, you will not have to pay federal taxes on the first $10,200 in welfare received in 2020. If your home made over $150,000, your welfare are fully taxable.
What does this new legislation mean for individuals who have already submitted their taxes in 2020? Well need to wait for IRS guidance prior to offering any conclusive recommendations– however you may be required to submit Form 1040X to amend your previously-submitted taxes.
If you received welfare in 2020, you must receive Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments. This type notes the total quantity of joblessness payment got, as well as any federal earnings tax that has actually already been withheld. Youll require to report that info on both a Schedule 1 and on your Form 1040.
For more information, checked out the IRS guide to joblessness compensation in addition to any updates associated with the brand-new coronavirus relief legislation– and do not forget that your welfare might be taxable at the state level also.

Identity theft protection.
Theres another tax tip Betty Wang wants you to bear in mind when you apply for 2020– whichs to think about signing up for an IRS Identity Protection PIN.
” With tax-related identity theft growing, the IRS offers all taxpayers a way to include an extra layer of defense through its Identity Protection PIN program,” describes Wang. “The program was historically available only to victims of identity theft. This is the very first year it is offered to all taxpayers.”.
The Identity Protection Pin, or IP PIN, is a six-digit number that helps to validate your identity on your income tax return. There are a variety of tax-related rip-offs out there– the IRS just recently noted a “unclean lots”– and registering for an IP PIN might offer the extra level of security that may prevent somebody else from submitting a return under your name or declaring a tax refund in your place.
To learn more, checked out the IRS Identity Protection PIN FAQ– and consider adding “get an IP PIN” to your to-do list of tax-related items that need to be finished before April 15.
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Sanctuary Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and uses access to additional services and advantages at no expense or at a discount rate. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the services and advantages made available under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third celebration vendors (partners).

Our editorial policyHaven Life is a customer-centric life insurance coverage company thats backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). Our company believe navigating choices about life insurance, your individual finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly basic.

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Our editorial policyHaven Life is a client centric life insurance coverage company thats backed and entirely owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe browsing choices about life insurance, your individual financial resources and total wellness can be refreshingly basic.
Our material is produced for instructional functions just. Sanctuary Life does not back the companies, strategies, services or items talked about here, however we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they are a fit for your circumstance.
Sanctuary Life is not licensed to provide tax, legal or financial investment suggestions. This product is not planned to provide, and need to not be relied on for tax, legal, or financial investment advice. Individuals are motivated to seed recommendations from their own tax or legal counsel.

Your tax return will be too. Youll be reimbursed any taxes you paid.”.
And hey, if you dont, you can constantly request a tax extension.

Check out more.

Read our disclosures.

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