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Explore: A Guide for the 2020 Tax Season

A Guide for the 2020 Tax Season

In this guide, we’ll explore ways to help you prepare for the upcoming tax season.

Keep in mind, this guide is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice, so make sure to consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals before modifying your strategy.

April 15, 2020 is the deadline the Internal Revenue Service sets for filing your 2019 tax returns. If you believe you will miss that deadline, you should consider filing for an extension.

Here’s a quick summary of the major changes for 2019:

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Five Red Flags That Raise the Odds of an Audit

The IRS audited about 1 million tax returns in fiscal year 2018, and nearly 75% of those examinations were conducted entirely through correspondence.1 Taxpayers selected for an official audit are notified by mail.

Confusing matters, the IRS also mails other types of compliance notices, which may propose additional tax based on math errors, the automated detection of underreported income, or other factors. The National Taxpayer Advocate calls these notices “unreal” audits, because the IRS doesn’t count them as audits. But their impact is real — so the frequency and effectiveness of IRS compliance contacts are somewhat understated. About 8.5 million taxpayers experienced “unreal” audits during fiscal year 2016, and if they were included the audit rate would jump from 0.7% to more than 6.0%.2

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Tips for Managing Your Holiday Spending

Tips for Managing Your Holiday Spending

Like almost everything else these days, the holidays have become a barrage of options and choices, with nearly limitless opportunities to overspend. Here are some tips to help you make sure your family’s spending remains in check this holiday season.

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How Can You Avoid Falling for the Social Security Imposter Scam?

How can you avoid falling for the Social Security imposter scam?

The scam generally starts like this. You answer a call or retrieve a voicemail message that tells you to “press 1” to speak to a government “support representative” for help in reactivating your Social Security number. The number on your caller ID looks real, so you respond. The “agent” you reach tells you that your Social Security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity or because it has been involved in a crime.

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Managing Your Money in a Gig Economy

Managing Your Money in a Gig Economy

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.5 million people rely on contingent or alternative work arrangements for their income.1 Often referred to as the “gig economy,” these nontraditional or contingent work arrangements include independent contractors, on-call and temp agency workers, and those who sign up for on-demand labor through smartphone apps.

If you are a contingent worker, you need to pay close attention to your finances in order to make up for any gaps in earnings that may occur between jobs. In addition, you’ll have to plan ahead for health-care costs, taxes, and saving for retirement, since you will have to shoulder these expenses on your own. The following are some tips for managing your money in a gig economy.

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Financial Advice for Recent College Graduates

Financial Advice for Recent College Graduates

You’ve put in the hard work as a college student and finally received your diploma. Now you’re ready to head out on your own. And though you may not have given much thought to your financial future when you were in college, you have new financial challenges and goals to consider. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to start on the right track with your personal finances.

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Five Things to Know Before Becoming a Landlord

Five Things to Know Before Becoming a Landlord

Increased cash flow, property appreciation, and tax benefits are three major reasons why people want to own rental properties. But being a landlord takes time and money, so before you purchase an investment property or rent out your own home, make sure you understand what’s involved.

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Tax Scams to Watch Out For

Tax Scams to Watch Out For

While tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. As a result, it’s in your best interest to always be vigilant so you don’t end up becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme.

Here are some of the more common scams to watch out for.

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Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2019

Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2019

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and various tax deduction, exclusion, exemption, and threshold amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2019.

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