How can the pandemic affect my taxation as an NRI in the US?

How can the pandemic affect my taxation as an NRI in the US?

How can the pandemic affect my taxation as an NRI in the US?

The impact of the pandemic COVID-19 is on an increase across the entire world. Currently, more than 2 million people have been affected by COVID-19 out of which 1.7 lakhs have already died. The United States has also experienced a very rapid spread of the coronavirus with the number of affected people being 7.5 lakhs approximately whereas the deaths due to COVID-19 have reached 40 thousand persons.

Not only the lives of the people in the US are being affected due to COVID-19, but there has also been a hugely adverse effect on the livelihoods of common people. Several businesses have closed down leading to many people including NRIs losing their jobs. However, the Federal Government has implemented several changes in the tax laws for the NRIs intending to reduce the stress in such troublesome times.

Changes in tax laws for NRIs

a.Deadline extension for filing tax returns

 The IRS and the US Treasury had declared that the deadline to file for individual federal income tax return has been extended to 15th July 2020. For this extension of 90 days provided by the IRS, there would not be any penalties charged by the IRS.

b.Deadline extension for tax payment

The deadline for making the federal income tax payment has also been pushed to 15th July 2020. This means if an NRI has tax to be paid this season then there is ample time to make the payments. For providing this extension in the timeline for tax payment, the IRS will not be charging any penalties. Moreover, this deadline extension is also applicable for the first quarter payment of estimated tax payments which were due on 15th April 2020.

c.No necessity for additional forms  

An NRI would not need to file for a tax extension to avail of the extended deadline for federal income tax return filing and federal income tax payment as well. However, if an NRI thinks that he would not be able to file the tax returns or pay the taxes even after 3 months then he would have to file for an extension by 15th July 2020.

d.Deadline extension for quarterly estimated tax payment

 For the self-employed NRIs who had their quarterly estimated tax payment due on 15th April 2020 and 15th, June 2020 would obtain an extension for the payment till 15th July 2020.

 

e.Changes in the deadlines for payment of State Tax

In general, the deadlines for filing federal tax returns and payment of federal tax are different from that of the State tax. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the deadlines for Federal tax returns and tax payment had been extended. Most of the States have aligned their tax payment deadlines with that of the new Federal deadline. Some states have defined their guidelines for the payment of tax and deadlines. Complete information on the State tax-related changes and deadlines can be obtained from the respective State tax agencies.

f.Deadline extension for contributions to be made into IRA, HSA, and MSA

 Along with the extension in the deadline of Federal taxes, there has been an extension in the deadlines for making contributions to the IRA, HSA, and MSA. The deadline for contributing to the IRA, HSA, and MSA has been extended to 15th July 2020. However, in the case of IRA, the NRI must ensure that when he is making the additional contribution towards the IRA the custodian should earmark the additional contribution for the year 2019 and not consider it as 2020 return.

 

g.Stimulus Payments

Under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Federal Government has announced the process of one-time payments to be sent in the form of Stimulus payments. These Stimulus payments would mainly depend on the filing of tax returns for 2019 and the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of an NRI.

NRIs filing tax returns as single filers and having an AGI below $75,000 would obtain $1200 as Stimulus payment. When the AGI is above $75,000 then the amount obtained reduces by $5 for every $100 increase in the AGI above $75,000. NRIs filing tax returns jointly as married couples and having an AGI below $150,000 would receive $2400 as Stimulus payment. If the AGI exceeds $150,000 then the Stimulus payment received would reduce by $5 for every $100 increase in the AGI above $150,000. In both cases, an additional $500 can be obtained if the filer claims a dependent below the age of 17 years.

However, along with these changes being implemented in the tax laws, the IRS is also processing the tax returns according to the normal procedures. So, it is advisable for the NRIs also to file their tax returns soon if they have not done it yet and obtain their refunds.

Everything you need to know about tax relief implemented for the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019

Everything you need to know about tax relief implemented for the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019

Everything you need to know about tax relief

implemented for the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019

The dreadful coronavirus disease has taken a toll on the global economy. Businesses are suffering from losses and employees are losing their jobs. In such a situation, tax compliance is an additional factor of stress on the common people and business entities as well. In such difficult times, the US Government has taken an initiative and introduced certain changes to federal tax laws. 

Extension in federal tax deadlines

 The US Department of Treasury and the IRS issued Notice 2020-17on 18th March 2020. According to the guidelines of this notice, there has been an extension in the deadline for payment of federal income tax or federal tax return. Any taxpayer having a federal income tax payment or federal income tax return due on 15th April 2020 can file the returns by 15th July 2020. This extension of 90 days has been provided by the IRS without charging any penalties or interest for late filing. This tax relief is applicable for all taxpayers who include individual, trust, estate, partnership association, corporation, etc. 

The affected taxpayers do not need to file the forms Form 4868 or Form 7004. Also, there is no limitation on the amount of payment that might be postponed. This relief on taxes is applicable for the Federal Income tax and Federal tax return of 2019 and for the estimated federal income tax payment of 2020 which were due on 15th April 2020. However, no extension has been announced for the filing of any other type of federal income tax or federal tax return.

Extension in State tax deadlines 

The majority of the States have agreed to the tax changes implemented by the Federal Government and have responded accordingly. However, there are some states which have responded differently to these tax changes implemented by the Federal Government. Taxpayers can obtain all information related to the changes in State tax laws from their state tax agencies.

Contributions to IRA

With the changes in the deadlines for tax payment and filing of tax returns for the federal tax, the deadline for making contributions to IRA has also been extended. The deadline for making contributions to the IRA has been also extended to 15th July 2020. This extension of 90 days for making contributions to the IRA has been provided by the IRS without charging any penalties or interest.

Taxpayers can contribute a maximum amount of $6000 towards their IRA and if the taxpayer is above the age of 50 years then there can be an additional contribution of $1000.This is an excellent opportunity for the taxpayers to save more for their retirement if they have not done so. 

Contributions to HSA

Along with the extension made in filing federal tax payments and federal tax returns up to 15th July 2020, the deadline for making contributions to HSA has also been changed to 15th July 2020.

In case if the taxpayer is having a high –deductible health insurance plan with an HSA then he can add up to $3500 if he has self-only coverage. This amount can be increased to $7000 in case of family health plans. In the case of the taxpayer being above the age of 55, a contribution of an additional $1000 can be made into the account.   

The stimulus package and

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Stimulus package will help the taxpayers in obtaining stimulus checks. These stimulus checks would of amount $1200 for the individual taxpayers, $2400 for those who are filing tax returns jointly and $500 for each qualifying child. These payments related to the stimulus package would be done by using the tax information of the taxpayers based on their recent tax filings. The amount which would be paid would be reconciled on the next year’s tax return based on the taxpayer’s situation in 2020.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act helps in providing relief to the individual taxpayers as well as self-employed individuals and small businesses. The eligible employees who have been impacted by the coronavirus would receive emergency sick leave and paid sick leave.

Under FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), if an employee needs to be quarantined, took care of a family member who was quarantined or took care of minor children whose schools/child care centers are closed due to COVID-19 can avail 12 weeks of job-protected leave. Also, if an employee is himself seeking medical supervision or is being quarantined then he would be eligible to receive two weeks paid sick leave and two-thirds pay for the care of the family member/child. 

Furthermore, self-employed taxpayers and small business owners can obtain tax credits for providing paid sick leave and emergency family medical leave to the employees. Self-employed taxpayers can obtain a tax credit which is equivalent to the qualified sick leave amount whereas they can obtain a refundable tax credit equivalent to 100% of a qualified family leave amount. Small business owners are eligible to obtain refundable tax credits equivalent to 100% of both the qualified paid sick leave and qualified family leave wages.

Conclusion

 Hence, with the implementation of these tax relief strategies by the US Government the stress of the taxpayers would be reduced up to some extent until things return to square one.

References

  1. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-18.pdf
  2. https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/tax-news/families-first-coronavirus-response-act-everything-taxpayers-need-to-know-about-the-new-relief-bill-46430/
  3. https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/tax-news/is-the-tax-deadline-delayed-what-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-taxes-46320/

 

Extended Timeline For US Tax Filing

Extended Timeline For US Tax Filing

Extended Timeline For US Tax Filing

While the entire world is struggling to combat the effects of the dreadful COVID-19, the US Government has come up with new initiatives to provide some relief to the public who are paying the taxes. The Treasury Department in the US and the IRS have jointly announced last week that the US Government is extending the tax –filing deadline to 15th July 2020. This decision has been taken by the US Government to give the taxpayers extra time to handle their taxes amidst the outbreak of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 outbreak was declared as a National emergency last week by the President of the US. Also, the President had invoked the Stafford Act which gives him the power to mobilize the federal resources. The taxpayers would get an additional period of 90 days for filing their taxes and the IRS will not charge any interest or penalty for this time extension. However, for those taxpayers of the country who have already filed their taxes this year would not be affected in any means by these changes made.

File Tax Sooner If A Refund Is Due

Even though the US Government has extended the timeline, those taxpayers who don’t owe any money to the IRS can consider filing their tax by the original deadline of 15th April 2020. This would be wiser as the taxpayers would be able to collect their refunds sooner. This would be very helpful for those citizens who have already started seeing their economic condition and earnings being affected by the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19. 

Moreover, it is just that the Federal Government has provided this extension in tax filing but different states in the country have formulated different guidelines concerning the tax filing extension. It is advisable for those taxpayers who are planning to delay their federal taxes to understand in detail about the tax filing extension that their State Governments are offering as well.

The Due Date For Tax Filing In Case Of An Extension

There might be some taxpayers who may be concerned about their ability to pay the taxes even by 15th July 2020 due to the loss of a job or other financial issues related to the outbreak of COVID-19. These taxpayers can contact the IRS and discuss their options. The IRS has short-term and long-term payment plans which would help the taxpayers to pay their taxes conveniently. Short-term plans would give taxpayers around 120 days to pay the taxes whereas long-term plans taxes can be paid in installments over several months.

 Earlier, when the tax filing deadline was 15th April and a taxpayer who would get an extension will not have to file his tax returns till October. However, now with the IRS pushing the tax filings date to 15th July 2020, it is quite not sure how long the taxpayers would be able to get if he is filing for an extension. But with the various options made available by the IRS, it is quite sure that taxpayers would have some relief.

Deadline For Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments 

Many people are required to make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS in case of their income not being subject to the taxes of payroll withholding. This estimated tax payment is made by the division of the year into four payment periods with each period having its payment due date. Now, since IRS has extended the timeline for filing the taxes to 15th July 2020 it is quite uncertain that what would be the impacts upon the deadline of quarterly estimated tax payments. 

Some Important Steps To Consider Before The Previous Deadline  

Filing of 2017 tax return 

 If there is a refund due of the year 2017 for a taxpayer and the tax return has not been filed, then it must be filed by 15th April through the Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR to claim the money failing which IRS would keep the money.

 Max out 401(k) by 31st December 2020 

The contributions made towards the traditional 401(K) help in reducing the total taxable income of an individual. Many employers also contribute to the savings made by an individual; so, if there is enough contribution made then there are opportunities to obtain some money as well.

Contribution towards IRA and HSA

 The contributions which are made to an IRA and HSA are eligible for a tax deduction. This contribution must be done by the April deadline every year. Now, even though the tax filing deadline has been extended to 15th July 2020 there have been no announcements made on the deadline for IRA or HSA contributions. So, it is advisable to accomplish this task by the April deadline to avoid any further hassles.

 

Conclusion

Hence, with the global economy coming to a standstill and numerous lives being affected due to the pandemic COVID-19, this action by the US Government is applauding. This would reduce a lot of pressure on those expecting to owe money to the US Government. However, if there is a refund expected then it must be claimed immediately so that the cash can be utilized during this period of emergency.

References

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2020/03/24/the-tax-deadline-has-been-extended-should-you-wait.aspx

https://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/tax-compliance/news/21130318/irs-extends-2020-income-tax-filing-deadline-to-july-15

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/20/taxes-2020-irs-delay-april-15-tax-filing-deadline-july-15/2883840001/

https://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/tax-compliance/news/21129714/when-is-the-new-irs-tax-filing-deadline-for-2020-coronavirus-delay

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/tax-planning-and-checklists/important-tax-deadlines-dates/L7Rn92V1d

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/taxes/april-deadline-taxes/

 

 

 

 

 

Answers to the top queries on tax regulations during COVID-19

Answers to the top queries on tax regulations during COVID-19

Answers to the top queries

on tax regulations during COVID-19

The outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 has created huge economic disruption globally. Amidst all the chaos and economic troubles, the US Government has announced certain changes related to the tax filing activities. Amongst these changes, the most important one is the extension in the deadline for federal tax filing to 15th July 2020. This step has been taken by the US Government to provide some relief to concerning handling taxes amidst the trauma spread by the COVID-19.Answers to the top queries on tax regulations during COVID- 19.

Now, with these changes been introduced by the US Government, it is quite obvious for you to have several questions related to the changes made, new tax deadlines and other associated impacts. Let us check out the answers to all the evident questions related to these changes introduced by the IRS.

  • Is there a possibility of state taxes to have a different deadline?

Mostly, a majority of the states have confirmed to the same extended deadline as that of the Federal tax i.e. 15th July 2020. However, there can be some states which will have different tax deadline than that of the Federal tax. You can know in detail about your State tax filing deadline by checking with your respective state tax agencies. 

  • Can I file my tax return according to the original tax filing deadline i.e. by 15th April 2020?

Yes, you can file your tax returns according to the original deadline i.e. 15th April 2020. If you expect a refund from the IRS it is advisable to file your tax returns now to get your refund money soon.

  • Is there a probability of obtaining the tax refund being delayed?

There are no such probabilities of tax refund being delayed and would be processed as normal. If the tax return has been filed by electronic medium or via direct deposit then it would be refunded within a maximum of 21 days. 

  • Is there any specific eligibility for availing this extended deadline for filing a federal tax return?

Any person who has a federal income tax payment or returns due on 15th April 2020 is eligible for availing the relief of the extended timeline. Here “person” can denote an individual, an estate, a trust, a corporation or even a business entity. The payment here refers to the Federal income tax payments for 2019 and the estimated federal income tax payment 2020. It must be noted that the return or tax payment must be due on 15th April 2020 and this relief does not apply to any return/payment due on any other date. 

  • Does this extension in the tax filing deadline means that I can some more time for making contributions to my HSA?

You can make contributions to your HSA anytime until the extended tax filing deadline. Since the tax filing deadline has currently been extended to 15th July 2020you can make your contributions into HSA until then.

  • I have already filed my tax return 2019 which was due on 15th April 2020 and even I have to pay taxes that are not paid yet? What can be done to avoid penalties and interest? 

You can avoid penalties and interest by paying your income tax by 15th July 2020. Interest/penalties will be charged only after 15th July 2020 if the due tax has not been paid. In case of filing the tax return by Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR the amount to be paid will be found on Line 23. If the return has been filed by using Form 1040-NR, the amount can be found on Line 75. For a corporation that is filing a return using Form 1120, the tax amount can be found online 35.

  • Does this extension in the tax filing deadline mean I have more time to make contributions to my IRA for the year 2019?

Contributions into IRA for a particular year can be made till the tax filing due date of that year. Now since the income tax filing for the year 2019 has been shifted to 15th July 2020 you can make contributions to your IRA till 15th July 2020.  

  • What to do if I am not able to pay my taxes due on 15th April 2020 by 15th July 2020 even?

If you are individual and are not able to pay your taxes that are due on 15th April 2020 even by 15th July 2020 then you must request an automatic extension. You will have to request for this automatic extension by 15th July 2020 and can be done by electronically filing Form 4868. Business entities and trusts can file for this extension by filing Form 7004.  

Hence, these are some of the common queries answered related to the extension of the federal tax filing deadline. This effort by the US Government during these times of emergency is sure to reduce stress related to finances up to some extent.

References

https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/tax-news/your-top-tax-questions-about-coronavirus-covid-19-answered-46591/

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/filing-and-payment-deadlines-questions-and-answers

  

 

  

Does the new tax deadline by IRS mean a new deadline for your IRA contribution?

Does the new tax deadline by IRS mean a new deadline for your IRA contribution?

Does the new tax deadline by IRS mean a new deadline

for your IRA contribution?

The IRS Tax Deadline, The federal tax filing deadline in the US has been extended up to 15th July 2020 to combat the effects of economic hazards caused due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This extension would also mean that you can make contributions to the IRA up to 15th July 2020.

IRA and how it works?

In the US, IRA or Individual Retirement Account helps you in saving money for retirement in a tax-advantaged way. The money which you would invest in this account can grow in a tax-deferred manner until you are ready to retire. Usually, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are opened by individuals whereas SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs are meant for small business owners and self-employed individuals. 

All the IRAs offer tax benefits which can be considered as a reward for saving. With the help of an IRA, you can even invest in stocks, bonds, and other assets. By making contributions to a traditional IRA, your tax bill would be reduced for the year in which you are contributing and you would not have owed income tax on the money until you withdraw it on your retirement. However, in a Roth IRA investments can grow in a tax-free manner but the contributions are not eligible for tax deductions. The withdrawal of the money can be done on retirement in a tax-free manner by investing in a Roth IRA as well.

The major benefits of an IRA can be listed below.

  1. Saving tool for retirement
  2. Cutting of tax bill
  3. The wider option of investments available
  4. Savior in any unexpected situation

By the IRA withdrawal rules, you can withdraw your money anytime from the IRA but by paying a penalty of 10% and a tax bill if your money has been withdrawn before the age of 59-1/2 years unless there is an exception.

Extension in IRA

contribution deadline

In case you have not been able to save much for your retirement in the last year, you can do that now as the IRA contribution deadline has also been extended. The IRS has extended this for 90 days without charging any penalties or interest for this.

You can contribute a maximum of $6000 towards the IRA. If you are above the age of 50 years then you can contribute an additional $1000 as a catch-up contribution. For making further contributions to your IRA you must contact the brokerage where your IRA has been held so that any additional funds that are added by you into the IRA are correctly filed.

Extension in the deadline for tax

owed on the income from IRA 

If you have taken an early distribution from your IRA or any other work-based retirement plan then you will owe an additional tax. This will be a 10% additional tax on the amount that can be included in 

gross income obtained from the early distribution. The deadline for reporting and payment of this additional tax has also got an extension up to 15th July 2020.

The major cause behind this is that this additional 10% tax is calculated and even paid at the same time as the income tax owed on the gross income. In case you are filing before 15th July 2020, then this extra 10% tax would be calculated at the time of filing itself.

Remove excessive

deferrals

In case, excessive deferrals have been made by you to your work-based retirement plans then those deferrals must be removed from the plan. This removal must be done by 15th April 2020 as those distributions need to be removed from the income and there has been no extension in this deadline. 

Who is considered to be an individual investor in the US?

Who is considered to be an individual investor in the US?

Who is considered to be an individual investor in the US?

In the US, the direct impact of investment falls on the taxes of individuals. If you are investing, it would have a different implication on your taxes. Nowadays, with the various taxes, related software filing up for tax as an investor is not too tedious and difficult in the US.

Let us find out the various ways by which an individual would be considered as an individual investor in the US.

Buying or selling of a security

One of the simplest methods by which it can be determined that you are an individual investor or not is either you have bought or sold any security throughout the year. Here security can mean stocks, bonds, index funds, cryptocurrencies or even mutual funds.

However, by simply buying some stocks the way you fill your taxes for the year is not going to change. The company whose stocks or bonds you have purchased must give you a dividend and you must be able to sell them, otherwise, there would be no impact on the way you fill your taxes. In case, the company whose stocks or bonds you have purchased gives you a dividend you need to report it as income. Now, again if you sell that particular stock either for a gain or a loss you will have to report about this particular transaction on your taxes.

By investing in mutual funds or index funds, you will obtain 1099-DIV and 1099-B which will cover all the activities they have generated. In case, you have made any investments with the help of a retirement plan such as 401(k) or a Roth IRA it is going to have a separate impact on the way you will fill your taxes.

Savings App           

On the purchase of stocks, you may not find it too relevant to consider yourself as an investor but there is numerous savings app available nowadays which help in saving more and turn you to be an investor. There is some savings app which will help in rounding up your purchases and thus save your money.

For instance, when you are purchasing by using the debit card of a particular company they will round up your transaction into the next dollar and your extra money would be invested on your behalf. Suppose, you have purchased food and beverages for a particular amount, it is rounded up and the extra amount is invested in a portfolio of exchange-traded funds. So, even if you are investing using these petty amounts you are an investor.

Type of investor

The type or category of investors you belong to is important when it comes to filing your tax for that particular year. A day trader or a pattern day trader is someone who can trade four times or even five times during a five-day period. The number of day trade is usually higher than 6% of the total trading activity taking place during that period. Moreover, a person can also be termed as a day trader if he is classified as a day trader by the broker and this happens in the case of distinct capital and margin requirements.

However, filing of taxes is going to be challenging even if you are a casual investor or a day trader. This is due to the heavy paperwork that is involved in the process of tax filing. But, if you have maintained your records then with electronic methods; tax filing should not pose as a threat for you.

Category of transactions                              

This is another simple method by which you can determine whether you are an individual investor or not. This is to think about the type of transactions you have done during the entire year.

For instance, you have sold some shares of stock and that will generate some gain or loss. This gain or loss will have to be reflected while filing the taxes. So, this clearly states you are an individual investor.

Hence, when you answer a few simple questions and analyze them it is easy for you to determine if you are an individual investor or not. While filing your taxes, you report about your transactions in Form 8949 whereas Schedule D covers the profits and losses.