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IRS Sees Billions in Crypto Seizures

One of the major issues that have been plaguing cryptocurrency traders and holders is the ever-growing number of government seizures. From Japan to the United States, there have been many instances where law enforcement agencies have seized cryptocurrency holdings – whether it be from individuals or businesses. One agency in particular that has seen a significant amount of success in these endeavors is IRS agents who have made billions by seizing crypto assets. In this post, we will outline 5 potential reasons why IRS sees billions in crypto seizures.

Cracking Down on Illegal Transactions and Money Laundering

One of the main reasons why the IRS is cracking down on what it sees as illegal transactions and money laundering is because most cryptocurrencies were designed to bypass third-party influence, thus making them ideal for criminal activities such as tax evasion and money laundering. When we look at Bitcoin in particular – the most popular cryptocurrency today – it was created in 2008 in order to eliminate the need for any bank or government involvement during transactions.

Lack of Paper Trails

Another motivator behind IRS seizing cryptocurrencies is the absence of a paper trail. Unlike when dealing with fiat currencies (dollars, euros, pounds, etc.), there is no physical proof of your ownership of the cryptocurrency. This means that when you sell or trade your digital currency, there is no seller or buyer information to prove that the transaction actually happened. Essentially, this provides an opportunity for anyone to sell their coins without it being associated with them.

Lack of Transparency

There’s also a lack of transparency involved in Bitcoin transactions. Since Bitcoin was designed for anonymity, it’s virtually impossible to determine the identity of the sender and receiver just by looking at wallets. This makes it extremely tough to prove that cryptocurrency was received illegally or involved in criminal activity.

Fear of Losing Out

Another important aspect is that Bitcoin has become incredibly popular recently, which means there is more and more competition among traders and investors to sell their Bitcoins. This has led some people to avoid reporting their cryptocurrency activity, while others have even resorted to illegal measures in order to avoid losing out on huge profits.

Fear of Doing the Wrong Thing

Finally, another reason why IRS is seeing so much success with seizing cryptocurrencies is that most people don’t know whether they should report their cryptocurrency transactions to the IRS or not. This is one of the main reasons why we’ve seen a significant increase in tax evasion and money laundering recently.

The Future of Cryptocurrency

Even with all these obstacles, there’s no doubt that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ripple will continue to grow and even replace fiat currencies in the near future. Many European countries such as Sweden and Russia have started embracing digital currency payments, which shows that many governments are willing to explore new technologies like cryptocurrency.

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Improve Your Results with These Investment Tips

Investing money is something that you need to focus on if you want to get good results. You can’t expect to turn a profit if you just make moves without thinking them through. Look at these investment tips that can help you to improve your results over time. You should be able to put yourself in a much better financial position if you follow the advice well. 

Invest in Stocks That You Know

Investing in stocks that you know is generally going to be better than taking a gamble on an unknown entity. If you invest in companies that you know nothing about, then you’ll have no way of knowing whether you’re making a good move. Also, it’s important to know about the types of stocks that you’re investing in. If you have no knowledge of a specific industry, then you might want to learn about it before you start investing money. 

Try to Diversify

Diversifying isn’t just some fancy term that people throw around in the investment world. You should try to diversify your investments so that you can lower the risk of having your investments wiped out. If all of your eggs are in one basket, then a market crash or dip in that area could ruin you financially. Having a diverse portfolio spreads things out so that you won’t be hurt so bad by market problems in a specific area. 

Learn When to Sell a Stock

Knowing when to sell a stock is a skill that you will want to hone over time. Sometimes getting greedy and hanging onto a stock for too long can lead to ample amounts of regret. You don’t want to hang onto a stock so long that it will start to lose value again. If you see a good opportunity to make some money on your investment, then it might be wise to take it. 

Avoid Emotional Attachment

Emotional attachment is something that will hold you back in the investment world. This is true whether you’re investing in stocks or real estate. Don’t let your emotions sway your judgment when you’re trying to make investment decisions. You should invest money based on data and trying to turn a profit rather than being emotionally invested in something.

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Post-PPP Taxes to Understand

The Paycheck Protection Program loans were a top priority for most struggling businesses due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Although these loans were beneficial to small businesses, most business owners find it hard to understand the tax implications. Below is a comprehensive description of the Post-PPP tax obligations.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans

PPP loans were awarded to small business owners to prevent them from going out of business and to retain their employees. Under the PPP program, small and medium business owners received a loan of up to two-and-a-half times the average monthly payroll. This loan had a cup of about $10 million.

The PPP loan intent was to cover the payroll and other business expenses during the COVID 19 pandemic. If properly appropriated on the approved expenditure, these loans are forgivable. However, if not, repayment of the funds will attract low interest and extended repayment periods. Although these funds have been beneficial to most small businesses and their employees, confusion about the tax implications has arisen.

Tax Implications of The PPP loans

Will the businesses that received the Paycheck Protection Program loan have a different tax situation than the previous years? This question was the concern of most business owners. The possibility that the loans would get considered as the taxable expense was another confusing aspect of these funds.

Although the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was seen by many as a lifeline, experts warned that the legislation could become a tax-laden time bomb. In May 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-32. This notice declared that if PPP loans were not taxable. However, the expenses usually not considered as tax-deductible wouldn’t be deductible. These expenses include utilities and rent.

This declaration threatened to kneecap the most attractive part of the PPP loans. However, Congress came to the rescue when they passed the recent PPP funding through the (C.R.R.S.A.A) Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act. This act reversed the decision of the IRS made on the Notice 2020-32.

The Congress act declared that any forgiven PPP loan would be tax-exempted income. Thanks to this clarification, business owners can now take a Paycheck Protection Program loan and still get the (ERTC) employee retention tax.

This article was originally published on JBowmanAccountant.net

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How to Plan Your Income for Retirement

Planning for retirement is important if you want to cope with life after your days in the office. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 4 out of 10 American workers are saving money for their retirement. Do you want to be part of these smart employees or the lost majority? Here are some of the things you need to know about preparing for retirement.

Setting Financial Goals
Saving is a process that demands commitment. Since retirement is definitely not your only saving goal, you should try striking a balance or prioritizing what is necessary and weighty. For instance, you could comfortably do away with lingering debts and saving for vacations, cars, homes, and lattes.

Saving for Retirement
Retirement involves more than just assessing the amount of saving you need. When planning for retirement, it’s is also important that you pay attention to where you save your money. Find the best investment or saving account. Take time to calculate how much you need to save for retirement as well.

Investing
While saving is simply amassing wealth, investing is the process of multiplying the wealth. Cash is not a great way to store your wealth, and there are thousands of reasons why. Before investing your money in any project, assess the reward-to-risk ratio and the return on investment. Which investments are more diversified, and when do you get in for maximum gains.

What Do You Invest In?
Are you ready to have your retirement saving work for you? Well, if that’s the case, setting up an investment portfolio should not be complicated. Acquaint yourself with principal retirement investment rules. Are you a DIY person, or will you need to hire the services of a financial adviser? If you want to manage your retirement saving yourself, it is recommended that you gather sufficient knowledge on investment strategies. If you will choose to work with a professional, get to know about the related costs.

Building Wealth
Retirement investing is not a phenomenon that occurs in one sitting. It is a process that will change with the dynamics of your employment as you move from one job to another or up the promotion ladder. You will also have to endure changes in the stock markets and meet family obligations. However, that does not necessarily mean that you will have to babysit your retirement investment. There are numerous ways to protect and manage your wealth and savings in the long haul.

This article was originally published on JBowmanAccountant.net

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Winter Home Maintenance Tips

With colder weather on the way, it’s imperative for homeowners to ensure their homes are in tip-top shape before the worst of winter hits. Here are some of the top 3 winter home maintenance tips.

1. Clean Up Your Foliage

The number one issues with having trees or shrubbery growing on a property are their potential for damage during harsh weather or if they become weighed down by things like snow. To mitigate the damage to a home or property, it’s a good idea to trim back the dead or overgrown trees and shrubs. Making these things more manageable will clean up the area around a home that could pose a danger.

Additionally, cleaning up the fallen leaves or branches from a home’s gutters or downspouts is equally as essential as trimming the source of the cloggers.

2. Check Your Home for Weatherproofing

Performing a routine check on a home’s roof or windows could end up saving a homeowner some of the cost of keeping a house warm. Whether a homeowner employs the help of a roofing company to do an inspection or they climb up a ladder to do it themselves, checking a home’s roof for broken or missing shingles could mean the difference between a frozen puddle in the kitchen and a warm household.

In addition to the roof, checking or re-sealing the windows will assist in keeping the cold out and the heat in once those frozen winter months settle in.

3. Pumps & Pipes

Testing and unclogging a sump pump if a home has one could prevent a flooding disaster before it happens. Every homeowner with a sump pump would be wise to check it before the frozen months set in.

Additionally, freeze-proofing pipes could mean the difference between burst pipes and warm running water during the coldest weather. Whether a homeowner treats this by running a trickle of water overnight or installing insulation around the pipes is largely subjective but highly recommended.

Keeping a Home Safe

Winter is coming, and with it, homeowners need to gear up to maintain their homes and ensure the safety of everything inside. Some of the best winter home maintenance tips are everyday things that make a big difference.

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The Intersection Between Personal Finance and Technology

Technology and personal finance have gone hand in hand for years. From the ATM to mobile banking, there are many ways that technology has helped people manage their finances more efficiently. They can use their smartphone to track expenses, compare prices at different stores, and even deposit checks from the comfort of their home. With so much information and services available online these days, it’s never been easier for people to keep on top of their money. Here are ways in which technology has allowed access, portability, and flexibility in personal finance.

Accessing money

Technology has made it easier than ever to access money. People can get cash from ATMs anywhere, use mobile banking to check account balances and transfer funds, and even deposit checks with a smartphone app. There are also so many websites helping people manage their money online by tracking expenses or finding the best deals on products at different stores.

Automated withdrawal for savings

It can be tough to put some extra money away every month when there are so many other expenses competing for attention. With an automated savings plan, someone can set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account into a separate one where they save money regularly without having to think about it.

Automated bills payments

There are plenty of services that help people pay their bills. They schedule payments to ensure all their bills get paid automatically and on time, without hassle. Services like Venmo and PayPal also allow people to send money over the internet faster than mailing a check or setting up an online bank transfer.

Using a budget to manage spending

People can use a budgeting application to track all of their monthly expenses and income, which will help them get a clear picture of where their money is going. It’s also easier than ever before to automate saving for certain things like vacations or home improvements so that they’re never forgotten about. With these tools at people’s disposal, it is easy enough to keep on top of their finances without having too much stress from looking at the numbers every day.

Technology is all about simplifying life. With technology being incorporated into banking more and more, people can get a lot done from the comfort of their couch. Besides helping people adopt better spending habits, technology is also helping them save money that they would otherwise spend without the help of money management apps and sites.

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California and Tennessee to Receive Tax Relief Following Disasters

California and Tennessee have been plagued by natural disasters in recent weeks. Californians have been affected by massive wildfires, while Tennesseeans have struggled with storm damage. In light of this, the federal government is offering affected citizens some tax relief options.

California wildfire victims residing in the counties of Lassen, Placer, Plumas, or Nevada, have until November 15th, 2021 to file individual and business returns or payments. This includes quarterly tax payments, excise tax returns, and quarterly payroll. November 15th will also serve as the new deadline for those who had received an extension on their 2020 returns.

Penalties on payments that were due between July 14th and July 29th of 2021 will also be forgiven if the payments were made by July 29.

Tennessee residents or business owners who were impacted by storm damage in Houston, Dickson, Humphreys, or Hickman county also qualify for tax relief. Those who had received an extension to their 2020 returns will now have until January 3rd, 2022 to file. That is also the new deadline for the quarterly tax payments that would’ve normally been due in September of 2021.

Penalties on payments that were due between August 21st and September 7th of 2021 will be dropped if the payments were made by September 7th of 2021.

If you’re a victim of the California fires or Tennessee storms and you receive a notice from the IRS that you’re being penalized for late filing or late payment but you believe you qualify for the tax extensions, you can contact the number on the notice. Explain your situation and they’ll be able to help you determine if you are eligible and if you are, they can remove the penalty from your file.

The IRS is making every attempt to automatically identify taxpayers who reside in the areas covered by the disaster extensions. When they identify these people, they apply the filing and payment relief options to their accounts. This means, that if you live in the affected areas mentioned, you shouldn’t need to contact the IRS to receive your tax extension.

If however, you are a victim of the fires or storm damage that lives outside of the mentioned counties, you will need to contact the IRS at (866) 562-5227 to request the tax relief.

This article was originally published on JBowmanAccountant.net

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Tax Breaks for Homeowners

While there are many opportunities to create financial wealth and safety in America, few are as powerful as owning a home. Even with decades of mortgage payments, the relative size of those payments usually declines over time as wages rise but the payments stay flat. Also, home values tend to go up over time, representing another way to secure wealth in a home.

Once a mortgage is paid off, families own their own homes and just have to pay taxes and maintenance, seriously freeing their regular income from one of life’s biggest expenses. The advantages don’t stop there. Multiple law enforcement agencies and municipal governments have learned that crime goes way down in communities where at least a third of the residents own their homes as compared to renting.

Buying a home isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s often the biggest single expense most families will make in their lifetimes. Fortunately, there are many tax breaks homeowners can use to make things more affordable.

While there are many opportunities to create financial wealth and safety in America, few are as powerful as owning a home. Even with decades of mortgage payments, the relative size of those payments usually declines over time as wages rise but the payments stay flat. Also, home values tend to go up over time, representing another way to secure wealth in a home.

Once a mortgage is paid off, families own their own homes and just have to pay taxes and maintenance, seriously freeing their regular income from one of life’s biggest expenses. The advantages don’t stop there. Multiple law enforcement agencies and municipal governments have learned that crime goes way down in communities where at least a third of the residents own their homes as compared to renting.

Buying a home isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s often the biggest single expense most families will make in their lifetimes. Fortunately, there are many tax breaks homeowners can use to make things more affordable.

  1. Capital Gains: If you sell your home and profit from it, then capital gains taxes might apply. However, if it was your primary residence, you might be able to keep capital gains without them getting taxed.
  2. Discount Points: When you get a mortgage, you might get to buy discount points that lower the interest rate applied to the loan. Points you buy to lower the interest rate are tax-deductible.
  3. Home Equity Loan Interest: This is just like having a second mortgage. You can deduct the interest you pay on a home equity loan if you took the funds for home improvements.
  4. Home Office Costs: The actual details are up to the IRS on this one, but home office space might get you tax breaks.
  5. Mortgage Insurance: Also known as PMI or private mortgage insurance, it’s there to give your lender protection if you can’t keep up with mortgage payments. You can itemize the cost of this insurance.
  6. Mortgage Interest: The mortgage interest deduction lets you lower taxable income if you do an itemized deduction.
  7. Necessary Improvements: The scope of what is ‘necessary’ is up to the IRS, unfortunately, but certain improvements can qualify as tax deductions.
  8. Property Taxes: These are often applied at the state and municipal levels. Depending on how you file, you can deduct $5,000 to $10,000 from your federal taxes.

This article was originally published on JBowmanAccountant.net

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When To Claim Social Security

Social Security is one of the major components of a successful retirement plan. This benefit is not likely to fund a comfortable retirement on its own. However, it can provide a nice supplement to other retirement options. Americans can apply for their Social Security benefits at any age between 62 and 70, and this causes many people to wonder when to claim their benefits.

Benefit Levels

Retirees can start to take their Social Security at age 62. This is actually considered early retirement, and the government will cut benefits by 30% for those who start drawing them at this age. Full retirement age varies based upon the year of a person’s birth. Those born between 1943 and 1954 can earn the full benefit beginning at age 66. This age increases by two months for those born in each year between 1955 and 1960. Those born in 1960 have a full retirement age of 67, and this is the same full retirement age for anyone born after 1960.

Those who wait to draw Social Security until age 70 will see an increase in their benefit levels. This will add 24% to their total payout each month when compared to those who file at their full retirement age. Overall, a person who decides to file at age 62 could lose more than half of the maximum payment they might receive each month.

When To File

When looking at the increased payments for those who wait until age 70 to draw Social Security, it might seem that this is the best time to claim benefits. However, those who have a sizable nest egg might want to start drawing as soon as possible. Those who do not file before they die will not earn a penny. Therefore, it can make sense to enjoy the extra money even if it’s not needed. Also, those who have health issues might that necessitate retirement might need the money on short notice. On the other hand, those who are healthy and enjoy their work might want to hold off on filing until the last possible minute to maximize their monthly payouts. Personal finance is personal. Therefore, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before deciding when to file.

This article was originally published on JBowmanAccountant.org

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