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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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Why the “Trump Rally” May Not Translate To Your Portfolio

Investor

The strong rise in the stock market, led by big gains in the financials, energy, and industrials sectors, has dominated the news recently. Dubbed by some as the “Trump Rally,” widespread anticipation of less regulation, lower taxes, and pro-growth policies have pushed major stock indexes to record highs. While the most aggressive, risk-on investors have reaped the full scope of these gains, the effects on the retirement and brokerage accounts of the average investor have been more moderate. The reason why is simple.

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