Eckelberg & Wienshienk, P.C. header image

The Latest Tax News

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” ~Albert Einstein

2019 Tax News

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed and signed into law on December 22, 2017, was effective for the 2018 tax year. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made significant changes to the tax code affecting individuals, businesses, and tax-exempt organizations. It was the first major tax reform legislation in more than 30 years. Click here for more information for individuals. Click here for more information for corporations.

Tax News and Industry Updates

Check back quarterly for newsletters added with information about new tax-related legislation, laws, news, and more. For information on specific tax topics, such as Estimated Taxes, Tax Facts and Figures, and many more, visit our Resources page.

Highlights for the February 2019 newsletter:

  • Standard mileage rate.
  • Form W-4.
  • Tax transcript scam.
  • IRS lapsed appropriations contingency plan.
  • Entertainment expense deduction.
  • State tax credit safe harbors for charitable contributions.

Highlights for the March 2019 newsletter:

  • Identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN).
  • Refund scams.
  • Gig economy.
  • Gambling losses as casualty losses.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate report to Congress.

Highlights for the June 2019 newsletter:

  • Health savings account inflation adjusted amounts.
  • Payroll withholding checkup.
  • Draft 2020 version of Form W-4.
  • Taxation of state income tax refunds.
  • Strict substantiation requirements for charitable contributions.

Arizona 2019 Tax Returns

For 2019, the Arizona standard deduction is expected to match the Federal standard deduction. Taxpayers may still end up itemizing for Arizona because medical expenses are still not limited to 10% of Adjusted Gross Income, as they are on the Federal itemized schedule. Further, the exemptions for dependents are being replaced by a tax credit. All in all, the changes could provide a 27% tax cut for the average Arizona tax filer!

Filing Deadlines

W-2, 1099-MISC, and Partnership

Business owners and rental property owners who pay employees or vendors will now have to file with the IRS by January 31. The Forms W-2 and 1099-MISC previously had to be mailed to employees or vendors by then, but could be sent to the IRS later. Both deadlines are now January 31, to make it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent fraud. Partnership returns are due on March 15. Late filing penalties have increased, and can be significant, so plan ahead.

Foreign Financial Account Reporting (FBAR and FinCEN)

The filing deadline is April 15, unless you live outside the US. An extension is available for six-months, the same as for individual tax returns.

Arizona Tax Credits

Even though most of the deadlines for the Arizona Tax Credits are April 15, 2020, we recommend making your donations by December 31, 2019 to make your record keeping easier.

Arizona Qualifying Charitable Organization Tax Credit

The maximum credit has doubled to $400/single and $800/married. The deadline is April 15, 2020 or when you file your income taxes, whichever comes first. Donations made no longer qualify as itemized deductions.

Arizona Foster Care Charitable Organization Tax Credit

The maximum credit has increased to $500/single and $1,000/married. The deadline is April 15, 2020 or when you file your income taxes, whichever comes first. Donations made no longer qualify as itemized deductions.

Arizona Fees Paid to Public Schools (including Charter Schools) Tax Credit

Anyone can take this credit. The maximum credit is $200/single and $400/married. The deadline is April 15, 2020 or when you file your income taxes, whichever comes first. Donations made no longer qualify as itemized deductions.

Arizona School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

Anyone can take this credit. The maximum credit is $1,107/single and $2,213/married. This is actually two credits, and the Organizations will guide you on the details. The deadline is April 15, 2020 or when you file your income taxes, whichever comes first. Donations made no longer qualify as itemized deductions.

Arizona Military Family Relief Fund Tax Credit for 2019

Anyone can take this credit, and donations are now being accepted. The maximum credit is $200/single and $400/married. The deadline is as soon as $1,000,000 has been donated and the 2019 limit has been reached. More information is available from the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email us with questions or for additional strategies on reducing your tax bill. We’d be glad to set up a planning meeting or assist you in any other way that we can.