Season's Greetings from the Beverly & Bucker Team!
We hope that everyone meets this season with good health. This year has been a tough one, but we are so thankful for our wonder clients and staff who came together during this difficult time. As a company, we are continually surprised by the empathy and kindness our clients display. In light of this, we would like to give a special thank you to our friends who brought in gifts or have sent us cards this year. We greatly appreciate your support.
Our letter has gone digital! We hope that by now you have received our holiday letter stating that our letter will be available on our website (beverlytax.com) or on our Facebook page.
This year, like last year, has posed some unique challenges. We realize that there may be a number of financial changes for you and your family this year depending on how you were affected by the pandemic so we may need information that you have not had to provide in years prior. We have provided a list below of possible information and/or documents we will need in order to prepare your 2021 Tax Return.
The IRS has yet to announce an official start date to the 2022 tax season, but it typically begins accepting tax returns by the end of January. Here’s what you need to know and how you can prepare for the changes.
Child Tax Credit Payments:
There were several tax law changes in 2021 which will affect most Americans this coming tax season. The expanded child tax credit payments could impact many families’ tax refunds, and for the nearly 90% of Americans who claim the standard deduction, they will see a small but positive change.
In 2021, the IRS sent the child tax credit as monthly payments to qualifying families. The maximum child tax credit for 2021 is up to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and up to $3,000 for children ages 6-17. From July to December, qualified families received up to 50% of their child tax credit as monthly payments. Depending on the amount of your monthly child tax credit payments received in 2021, you may receive a bigger tax refund, get a smaller refund than expected, or even owe additional taxes if you received more than you were qualified for. If you received monthly child tax credit payments, you must report the amount on your 2021 tax return. You should receive a form in the mail titled Letter 6419, which will state the total amount of child tax credit payments you received. Please bring this form to your appointment or include it with your tax documents if you drop off.
The IRS recommends that you compare this amount with the total child tax credit you’re entitled. You can check the information here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom
If the total child tax credit you qualify for exceeds how much you have already received through your advance child tax credit payments, you can claim the remaining amount on your 2021 tax return. If you received more than you qualify for, you will need to repay some or all of the excess payments back to the IRS when filing taxes.
Here are some reasons why you may have received more than what you qualified for in 2021:
Your qualifying child now lives with another parent
Your income or filing status changed
You no longer reside in the United States for more than half of 2021
If you opted out of receiving monthly payments in 2021, you could claim the full lump sum on your 2021 tax return. Please inform your tax preparer if you opted out of receiving monthly payments during your appointment or include this information with your tax documents if you drop off.
Third Stimulus Check:
You may have qualified for a third round of Economic Impact Payments (also known as Stimulus). This payment would have been received in the mail or by direct deposit to your bank account in Spring 2021. Please include the amount received in the third round of stimulus with your tax documents.
If you did not receive a third stimulus check, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit. This is the case if you qualified for the third economic impact payment and have not received it or if you received only a partial payment (less than the full stimulus payment amount of $1,400). You will receive a Letter 6475 in the mail from the IRS in early 2022 showing the amount of your third stimulus payment. If you do not receive this letter, you can also view the amount by logging into or creating an IRS.gov online account. Please inform your tax preparer if you did not receive a third stimulus check but qualified or received less than you qualified for.
In order to claim the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit, you must file a 2021 tax return, even if you are not typically required to do so. In general, if you earn over the following income amounts and aren’t claimed as a dependent, you should file a return for the 2021 tax year. The tax filing requirement is as follows:
Single and married filing separately - $12,550
Married filing jointly - $25,100
Head of household - $18,800
Normally, you must itemize to deduct charitable contributions. But for 2021, you can deduct up to $300 for cash donations to qualifying charities (up to $600 combined for married filers) whether you itemize or take the standard deduction for 2021.
And there’s a bonus for generous charitable givers who itemize. Those who claim charitable contributions as itemized deductions can claim cash contributions made to qualifying organizations up to 100% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for the 2021 tax year only. Generally, the deduction is limited to 60% of the taxpayer’s AGI.
It is important to remember that the temporary increase of 100% isn’t automatic. Taxpayers must opt for increased limitations by making the election on their federal tax return for 2021. Otherwise, the usual limitation of up to 60% applies. Your tax preparer will make recommendations to insure you received the maximum benefit from this change.
As far as appointments go, the 2020 Tax Season will more than likely look very similar to last year. Beverly & Bucker will continue to do our part to minimize face-to-face interactions as much as possible in order to keep our staff and clients safe while we wait for a vaccine to be nationally available. These are unique circumstances. However, our team will implement the knowledge we have gained from the prior tax year in order to provide you with the same level of service you have come to expect from us.
To keep our staff and clients safe, we ask that any clients who do not require a face-to-face appointment to please Drop Off your Tax Documents with our front desk staff. The Tax Return will be prepared in your absence and our staff will contact you when it has been completed. Many of our clients find that this is a faster, more stress-free method. If you are dropping off your Tax Return but would still like to discuss your concerns with a Tax Preparer, a Phone Appointment option is now available! To schedule a Phone Appointment, please contact our office or select the Phone Appointment option on our website. Due to IRS guidelines, we are not able to use online phone call platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, Google Chats, or Signal. These third-party calling platforms do not provide the level of security required for discussing sensitive personal information.
For our clients who necessitate a face-to-face appointment, please schedule either through our website or by phone. This does not guarantee that we will be able to meet in person. As stated before, we are required to adhere to state and federal Covid-19 guidelines. What we can guarantee is that as soon as we know there is a change in protocol, we will inform our clients and work hard to accommodate your needs. A mask is required to be worn during the appointment. Our front desk staff will have extras available. For clients who are able to Drop Off Tax Documents, we would like to make sure you are aware of our variety of Drop Off methods.
As always, Tax Documents can be mailed to our office, dropped off with our staff during our office hours, or dropped off after hours via the mail slot beside our front door. But with these challenging times, we wanted to make sure our clients know how to use our Contact-Free method. Did you know we can accept Drop Offs virtually? Please do not email sensitive documents to our office or submit them via Facebook. These are not secure options to submit sensitive information. If you would like to virtually submit your documents, please contact our office via phone or email to request a link to our secure, Document Sharing Portal. Upon request, a link will be sent to you via email. This link will be randomly generated and, for your security, should not be shared. Once you have received the link, you will be able to upload your documents to our secure portal, at which point our staff will be notified and will be able to view your documents to prepare your Tax Return. If you have any questions concerning our Contact-Free Drop Off method, please let us know.
No matter how you Drop Off this year, please include your Name, Phone Number, Address, and a list of any changes in family structure such as Marriage or changes in the number of Dependents. If you have questions concerning what documents should be included when dropping off, our staff will be more than happy to help.
Client Organizers will soon be available! These are helpful tools that list what documents we will require to prepare your Tax Return. Client Organizers are based off of the information you provided to our office for the prior Tax Year, so they will not include any information that has changed since we last saw you. If you are new to our office this year, Welcome! We have blank Client Organizers available for you. While they will not have a list of documents that you have used for prior Tax Returns, they will have a summation of documents you may need to bring in depending on your needs. If you would like a Client Organizer, please contact our office via phone or email. Blank Client Organizers are also available on our website.
I would like to, once again, thank our amazing clients. Our team is excited help navigate this unprecedented tax year. We hope everyone has a great New Year and we look forward to working together in 2021!
Ryan Beverly E.A.
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