FEBRUARY 2023
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

BUSINESS/FINANCE

TAX PLANNING
Getting Ready for the 2023 Tax Filing Season

By TEJAL DHRUVE

Jan. 23 marked the start of the 2023 tax season and the date the IRS began accepting and processing 2022 tax year returns. More than 168 million individual tax returns are expected to be filed, with the vast majority coming before the April 18 tax deadline. Of note, this year is that there are three extra days to file this year due to the calendar.

While filing your 2022 tax return promises to be just as complicated as always, there are steps that taxpayers can take right now to ensure their tax filing experience goes smoothly. Let's look at what's new for 2022 and some key items taxpayers should consider before filing.

What's New
No above-the-line charitable deductions. During Covid-19, taxpayers could take up to a $600 charitable donation tax deduction on their tax returns. However, in 2022, those who take a standard deduction may not take an above-the-line deduction for charitable donations.

More people may be eligible for the Premium Tax Credit. For the tax year 2022, taxpayers may still qualify for temporarily expanded eligibility for the premium tax credit.

Some tax credits return to 2019 levels. This means that affected taxpayers will likely receive a significantly smaller refund compared with the previous tax year. Changes include amounts for the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Child and Dependent Care Credit.

Refunds may be smaller in 2023. Taxpayers will not receive an additional stimulus payment with a 2023 tax refund because there were no Economic Impact Payments for 2022. In addition, taxpayers who do not itemize and take the standard deduction won't be able to deduct their charitable contributions.

Gather 2022 Tax Documents
The best way to prepare for tax filing is to gather important tax documents – either electronic or paper – and keep them in one place. These documents include but are not limited to: Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks or other payers, Form 1099-K from third-party payment networks, Form 1099-NEC for nonemployee compensation, Form 1099-MISC for miscellaneous income, or Form 1099-INT if you were paid interest, as well as records documenting all digital asset transactions.
Typically, year-end forms arrive by mail or are available online mid-to-late January. Taxpayers should carefully review each income statement for accuracy and contact the issuer to correct information that needs to be updated.
Ensuring their tax records are complete before filing helps taxpayers avoid errors that lead to processing delays. When they have all their documentation, taxpayers can file an accurate return and avoid processing or refund delays or IRS letters.

Avoid Refund Delays and Understand Refund Timing
Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund after the IRS receives a return. Although the IRS generally issues most refunds in less than 21 days, taxpayers should not rely on receiving a 2022 federal tax refund by a certain date. As such, making major purchases or paying bills is not wise until the refund is received. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer to process if IRS systems detect a possible error, the return is missing information, or there is suspected identity theft or fraud.

Also, taxpayers should be aware that the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the EITC or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund – not just the portion associated with EITC or ACTC

Tejal Dhruve, CPA, LLC, a full-service tax and wealth management firm with offices in Wesley Chapel, Florida, and Dublin, Ohio, can be reached at (614) 742-7158 or email info@dhruvecpa.com

 

Estate Planning for Newlyweds

By SEEMA RAMROOP

Estate planning might sound like something only your wealthy great-uncle Frank has to worry about. You may wonder how your worldly possessions could possibly qualify as an “estate.” Believe it or not, almost everyone needs to take care of some basic estate planning, especially newlyweds. Most newlyweds don’t want to think of the possibility of losing their spouse, but the fact is that losing your spouse could be an even worse experience without the proper estate plan in place.


Wills
If you only do the bare minimum of estate planning, make it a will. In your will, you can leave your property to your spouse or whomever else you’d like. You should also determine secondary beneficiaries in the event that both of you die at the same time. Your will should name a designated executor, the person responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out.
Without a will, your property is at the mercy of your state’s laws. Depending on which state you live in, this could leave your spouse out in the cold. Additionally, if you have children, your will should designate guardians in case you and your spouse die at the same time.


Avoiding Probate
While creating a will is a great first step in estate planning, it cannot help you avoid probate. Probate is the process of executing a will, and it can take months or even years, and cost up to 5 percent of the value of the estate. The time and money involved in probate is probably not what you had in mind for your beneficiaries. If you live in a community property state, your property will automatically transfer to your spouse at the time of your death (unless noted otherwise in your will or prenuptial agreement). In a common law state, however, you’ll have to make sure that you and your spouse hold large property in “joint tenancy with right to survivorship.” This will ensure that your spouse automatically acquires ownership upon your death.
Another method of avoiding probate is the use of living trusts. A trust is a separate legal entity that holds property, so anything within a trust is exempt from probate upon your death. Marital trusts are trusts that address the specific needs of married couples. There are several types to choose from, with options for various circumstances.


Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement is a contract made between two people before their marriage begins. A postnuptial agreement, as the name suggests, is created after the marriage takes place. Both agreements generally specify what property is held While creating a will is a great first step in estate planning, it cannot help you avoid probate by each party prior to marriage and how that property will be divided in the case of divorce or death of one spouse. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are especially useful for couples where one party owns a business, has children outside the marriage or has considerable property from before the marriage. These agreements can be helpful in determining property ownership, especially for couples living in a community property state who do not want all property evenly divided, or vice versa.


Beneficiary Designations
Certain property can be passed directly to beneficiaries without the use of a will or trust. For instance, life insurance benefits, retirement plans and bank accounts can all be left to your spouse when you die, as long as you name him or her as the account beneficiary. When you designate a beneficiary, your account becomes “payable on death,” thus avoiding probate court and fees. If you don’t want to leave an entire account to your spouse, you can split up the assets among various beneficiaries. It’s also a good idea to list secondary beneficiaries in case the primary beneficiary also dies. Naming beneficiaries on your accounts is fast and can be done without the help of a lawyer.


Living Wills
Your estate plan is not only a plan for your death, but also in case you were to become incapacitated. It’s important to determine what should happen to you and your property if you become unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself. A living will can specify health care treatments you do and do not want, and how you’d like to be treated in the hospital. For instance, do you want to be kept on life support? Do you want to be fed through a tube if necessary? Will you donate your organs? When and if the time comes, you won’t be able to answer these questions yourself. Avoid putting the decision-making burden on your spouse by listing your wishes in a living will.


Your estate plan should also include a power of attorney designation, which is the person to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself. You’ll probably assign your spouse with power of attorney, because he or she is most likely to know your wishes. Even if you have a living will, your power of attorney can make decisions that aren’t specified there. For instance, the power of attorney can make financial decisions such as paying your bills or managing your money. You can invoke the power of attorney even if neither spouse becomes physically or mentally incapacitated — if one of you is out of town, for example, the other can sign important documents and make decisions on his or her behalf.


There are two major myths about estate planning. The first is that it is a grueling, depressing process. Getting your estate in order does not have to be difficult to complete. If you are relatively young and have a small estate, the process should be quick and can even bring couples closer to each other. The other myth is that your estate isn’t large enough to warrant an estate plan. If you’d like to override the state laws pertaining to property ownership, or if you’d like to ease the burden on your spouse in the event of your death, estate planning is definitely for you.

This article was written by Advicent Solutions, an entity unrelated to Prudential. Material is provided courtesy of Prudential Advisors. “Prudential Advisors” is a brand name of The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its subsidiaries. Prudential and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own advisors regarding your particular situation. ©2019 Advicent Solutions.

Seema Ramroop, financial planner at Prudential Advisors, can be reached at (813) 957-8107 or email seema.ramroop@prudential.com

home events biz directory subscribe contact us content news editor's note health
immigration finance MINDBODY/NUTRITION movies fashion books/getaways IIFA 2014 ART
astrology youth motoring places of worship classifieds archives BLOG FACEBOOK
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Astrology Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook! Art