You can use IRS Free File to file your 2018 federal income tax return if your adjusted gross income in 2018 was $66,000 or less. According to the IRS, 70% of individual taxpayers are eligible.
The IRS says that its Free File service “provides free, brand-name tax software and fee electronic filing” to taxpayers who qualify.
If preparing a federal income tax return wasn’t so complicated, this service wouldn’t be necessary. But tax complexity isn’t the IRS’ fault. They have to work with what Congress gives them.
You can get more information at (where else?) irs.gov, which is also where you have to go to get the service.
HOW LONG SHOULD I KEEP COPIES OF MY TAX RETURNS, AND WHAT DO I DO IF I DIDN’T KEEP A COPY AND NOW I NEED ONE
On the subject of tax returns, the IRS recently released a “Tax Tip” (IRS Tax Tip 2018-90, June 12, 2018) that says the IRS “recommends that taxpayers keep a copy of tax returns for at least three years.” It also provides useful information on how to get a transcript of a tax return if you need one (for some purposes you can actually be required to provide a transcript rather than a copy of the return), and how to get a copy of your return if you don’t have one.
Beware, however: the IRS says keep those old returns for at least three years. There are situations where you may need copies of your returns, and other records, going back as long as seven years, or more.
JUST BECAUSE HIGH MARGINAL INCOME TAX RATES EXISTED SIXTY YEARS AGO DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE A GOOD IDEA TODAY
A discussion at the Cato blog of the effect of higher marginal income tax rates, now being proposed by some in Congress, highlights an aspect of that discussion that has occurred to me before. The proponents of dramatically higher tax rates cite the fact that such rates existed in the past, without any apparent harm to the economy. That assumes, however, that the national, and indeed the world, economy, are essentially no different than they were in the 1930s, or even the 1950s.
In reality, of course, the national and world economies are dramatically different today than they were even in the 1970s, let alone the ‘50s or ‘30s, as the author of that Cato blog post points out.
And why do the proponents of higher income tax rates always seem to overlook the demonstrated fact that lowering the top marginal rate has historically resulted in higher, not lower, tax revenue?
Instapundit makes the point that the officers and directors of a corporation have a fiduciary duty to the corporation’s shareholders, that is, they have a duty to act in the best interests of the shareholders. It’s a point that I have brought up before.
Businesses entities (which is what corporations are) exist to create value for their owners (i.e., the shareholders) by delivering goods and services. It’s that simple. They have no other purpose.
I’m not going to link directly to the item linked in that Instapundit post, because the item is, frankly, tripe. Publicly-owned corporations have no “political responsibility.” They have a legal responsibility to maximize return on investment to their shareholders. Corporate sensitivity to social concerns can be justified legally only if it results in a better return on investment to the shareholders.
Eliminating cash will not only allow taxation of your savings through negative interest rates, as I noted recently. It will also allow the government to keep track of every single thing you buy. You think that sounds paranoid? I suggest you think about it not in the context of what you do, but in the context of what others do that is legal, but not favored in polite society. Just how much power do you want to give banks and their regulators to control what you can and can’t do with your money? There’s a thoughtful post on the subject that I recommend if you are interested, at the Simple Justice blog.
Brian Larson, CPA, reminded me today that income tax time will bring some significant changes. For starters, Form 1040 for 2018 has changed dramatically. It looks very different compared to the way it has looked for decades.
What’s more, Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ will no longer be used. You have to file 1040. The good news is that 1040 is much shorter. The bad news is that if you couldn’t use 1040A or EZ in the past, the shorter 1040 isn’t going to be much help, because all the stuff they took off of 1040 is now on one of the six (!) schedules that go with it.
The new schedules are numbered, 1 through 6. I guess Schedules A, B, C, and D, which have also been around for as long as I can remember, are gone.
If you want to find out more, there’s a page on the IRS web site with a condensed explanation of the new 1040 and schedules, with links to the forms.
To be more specific, if you build a tiny house that’s on wheels and has a trailer hitch (in other words, it’s a trailer), then you had better make sure that it is secured, so thieves can’t just hitch it up to their vehicle and haul it away. Seems pretty self-evident to me.
Of course, if your tiny house is parked on land that you own, the obvious solution is to make it so that it’s no longer mobile, by taking the wheels off. With old-fashioned mobile homes, you would take the wheels off, then tie it down to anchors that are permanently set in the ground. That’s called an “affixed” mobile home.
If your tiny house is on land that someone else owns (with their permission of course) you may not want to anchor it to the ground or take the wheels off, but there are other ways you can make sure it stays put.
Lincoln is bringing back suicide doors on the Continental!
Unfortunately, it’s only for a limited edition (only 80 cars) and it’s not even being done at the factory. An outside upfitter is doing the work.
Still, I can hope that they will bring them back for good, even though my spouse says I’m nowhere near old enough to own a Lincoln.
A tangible personal property list is a list you can make to go with your will, if it’s provided for in the will, to specify who is to receive items of your tangible personal property. Read all about it in my Estate Planning Law Report for December, now posted in the publications section at my firm’s web site, deconcinimcdonald.com.
Tangible personal property does not include currency. It also doesn’t include real estate, since that is real property, not personal property.
That reminds me of my favorite bit of dialogue in A Charlie Brown Christmas (which I watch every year, and watched again on Friday):
Lucy: “I never get what I really want [for Christmas].”
Charlie Brown: “What is it that you really want?”
Lucy: “Real estate.”
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.