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Watch Out For These Unexpected Tax Surprises!

by | Dec 7, 2023 | Taxes | 0 comments

No one likes surprises from the IRS, but they do occasionally happen. Here are some examples of tax situations you could find yourself in and what to do about them.

Kids getting older tax surprise. Your children are a wonderful tax deduction if they meet certain qualifications. But as they get older, many child-related deductions fall off and create an unexpected tax bill. And it doesn’t happen all at once. As an example, one of the largest tax deductions your children can provide you is via the child tax credit. If they are under age 17 on December 31st and meet several other qualifications, you could get up to $2,000 for that child on that year’s tax return. But you’ll lose this deduction the year they turn 17. If their 17th birthday occurs in 2023, you can’t claim them for the child tax credit when you file your 2023 tax return in 2024. You will be claiming the $500 other dependent credit, resulting in $1,500 more in taxes you’ll need to pay.

Limited losses tax surprise. If you sell stock, cryptocurrency or any other asset at a loss of $5,000, for example, you can match this up with another asset you sell at a $5,000 gain and – presto! You won’t have to pay taxes on that $5,000 gain because the $5,000 loss cancels it out. But what if you don’t have another asset that you sold at a gain? Herein lies the tax surprise. In this example, the most you can deduct on your tax return is $3,000 (the remaining loss can be carried forward to subsequent years).

Getting a letter from the IRS surprise. Official tax forms such as W-2s and 1099s are mailed to both you and the IRS. If the figures on your income tax return do not match those in the hands of the IRS, you will get a notice from the IRS suggesting a change to your return for the missing information.

Assuming you already know you received all your 1099s and W-2s and confirmed their accuracy, compare the information in the IRS notice with your records to determine if something was missed, reported in a different way, or is not something that belongs on your return.  Believe it or not, the IRS sometimes makes mistakes! It is always best to ask for help in how to correspond and make your payments in a timely fashion, if they are justified.

Please call to schedule a tax planning session so you can be prepared to navigate around any potential tax surprises you may encounter on your 2023 tax return.