Optima Newsletter

Optima Newsletter – July: How the Economy Affects Your Taxes

How the Economy and Inflation Affect Your Taxes

The IRS updates certain tax provisions annually to account for inflation, so your tax and investment plans should change accordingly.

How to Avoid Having Your Tax Refund Garnished

CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Phil Hwang discuss these circumstances and what you should do if you’re thinking your refund could be at risk for IRS seizure. 

Trading Stocks and What it Means for Your Taxes

While stocks may seem like an effortless path toward financial stability, they do affect your taxes. Understanding what’s expected when you file can keep you out of trouble with the IRS.

Tax Reduction Strategies

While taxes are inevitable, you want to make sure that you’re not paying more than you have to. You can legally reduce your taxes by using strategies that you may not be aware of.

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Optima Newsletter – June: Can the IRS Automatically Complete Tax Returns?

Can the IRS Automatically Complete Tax Returns? A new study shows that the IRS may be able to complete nearly half of the nation’s tax returns automatically. The study proves that over 60 million pre-populated tax returns can be correctly auto filled with information that the IRS previously collected.

What if I Can’t Pay My Installment Agreement? In this episode of The Tax Show for People Who Owe, the hosts discuss solutions to unaffordable payment plans. What should you do if you can’t make a payment? Tune in for suggestions.

Student Loans and Taxes: What Current Students & Graduates Need to Know Not all students are required to file taxes. However, there are instances where it may benefit you to report student loans.

What are Non-Taxable Earnings? There are instances where income will not be taxed, whether or not you report it during tax season. Understanding which earnings are taxable versus non-taxable could save you a lot of time and trouble when you file your tax returns.

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Optima Newsletter – May: IRS Unclaimed Tax Refunds

IRS Unclaimed Tax Refunds The IRS announced that it has $1.5 billion in tax refunds from 2018 and gave taxpayers until the end of the season to claim their money. If you missed out on claiming your refund, there are steps you can take to make sure you claim other refunds from 2019 and on.

Where is My Tax Refund? The IRS backlog has caused delays in millions of tax refunds, but not all refunds are delayed due to the pandemic. Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang and CEO David King discuss how you can avoid refund delays when you file and how your refund may be affected by various circumstances.

What to do if You Missed the Tax Filing Deadline The end of tax season was officially April 18, 2022, which means the IRS is diving into enforcements and catching up on notices. What should you do, and what should you expect if you missed the filing deadline?

Payroll Taxes: What they are and how to file As a business owner, you have the responsibility of paying payroll taxes. It’s important to keep in mind the benefits of e-filing and to consider using this method for your payroll tax return.

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Optima Newsletter – April: IRS sends large tax bills for 2021 Unemployment Benefits

IRS Sends Large Tax Bills for 2021 Unemployment Benefits While some were able to return to work in 2021, approximately 25 million people received unemployment benefits and didn’t withhold taxes. The IRS is now looking to collect back taxes for the $325 billion in total benefits and mailed millions of large tax bills this season.

Does Inflation Affect Your Tax Debt? The state of the economy can be detrimental to your IRS or state tax liability. What exactly happens to your tax debt during inflationary periods? CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Phillip Hwang discuss the difference in interest rates, deadlines, and what to do if you find yourself in this circumstance.

IRS Backlog to Clear Up by End of 2022 Many American taxpayers have been waiting for refunds that are a year or more behind. In recent weeks, Commissioner Charles Rettig stated that the IRS backlog is due to clear up by the end of 2022.

Gas Stimulus: What You Need to Know In California, the average cost for regular gas is now up to $5.82, or $6.21 for premium. Recently, the government has decided to step in on federal and state levels to alleviate costs and provide support to the public. This has led to the creation of a new gas stimulus, which would support households that own vehicles.

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Optima Newsletter – March: Can you use cryptocurrency to pay taxes?

Can You Use Cryptocurrency to Pay Taxes?
While cryptocurrency has left many people skeptical of its value, the American government is validating its use with some surprising changes in taxes. In the last few years, states have been racing to make cryptocurrency mainstream, in hopes that one day Americans can use it to pay their taxes.

Can the IRS Garnish Your Social Security?
Many taxpayers rely on Social Security to get by after retiring. Unfortunately, taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities may be at risk of a levy on their retirement funds. How much can the IRS take and what should you do? CEO David King and Lead Tax Attorney Phillip Hwang discuss everything you need to know about Social Security garnishments.

2022 IRS Interest Rates Increase
Beginning April 1, 2022, the IRS will raise its interest rates for the quarter. These changes apply to quarterly taxpayers, such as corporations and self-employed filers.

Reporting Cryptocurrency to the IRS
The topic of crypto gains more mainstream attention as the IRS takes interest in digital assets. In early March, the IRS sent out about 10,000 letters to taxpayers with digital asset transactions, requiring them to report ownership.

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Optima Newsletter – February: Reduced Refunds

Reduced Refunds: Will Your Refund Be Garnished?
You may have already received your tax documents for the 2022 season and it’s time to file. Many taxpayers experience some anxiety around filing season because of uncertainty. Will you owe the IRS? Will your refund be garnished? There are a few instances where you can expect the IRS to reduce your refund, or garnish the whole thing.

Side Hustles and Taxes: What You Need to Know
Philip Hwang, Lead Tax Attorney, and Optima CEO, David King provide useful tips so that you can understand whether or not you owe, and when you should file your side-hustle income.

Pending Status on Previous Tax Returns Can Delay this Year’s Return
Millions of Americans have been waiting for tax returns and refunds from previous years, causing even more delay for 2022. If your returns from last year are still pending, then your return will be delayed this year as well.

Court Upholds Rulings on Passport Denial for those with Major Tax Debt
Trips that require a passport, however, may be postponed for Americans with tax debt. The IRS previously authorized State Departments to revoke or deny your passport if you have delinquent tax debt. 

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Optima Newsletter – January: 2022 Filing Reminders

2022 Filing Reminders

It’s the start of a new year, which means that tax season is right around the corner. A few things have changed in the last couple of years, so it’s important to make sure you’re up to date on current tax news before you file.
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IRS Enforcement is Back! What You Need to Know

CEO David King highlights the difficulties of dealing with IRS Enforcement; otherwise known as Collections. Optima’s Lead Tax Attorney, Philip Hwang, shares his insight and offers “Tax Pro Tips” ranging from IRS authority, to what you can expect when you’re subjected to IRS collection actions. 
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Retirement Distribution Tips

Retirement accounts can help reduce your taxable income and possibly increase your tax refund. Some accounts may have a year-end deadline for your contribution and required distributions, while others allow additional time.
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Rules for Claiming a Dependent

Dependents are usually children or relatives in your household that require your care. These characteristics allow you to be eligible for some tax deductions and credits. Knowing when to claim a dependent and how will be vital to preparing your tax return this season.
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What are Gift Taxes?

What are Gift Taxes?

The holiday season is upon us, and so is the season for giving. Gifts are wonderful ways to show your appreciation to those around you, but are you aware of gift taxes? By federal definition, a gift is something of value transferred to another individual. Gift taxes are federal taxes paid by the individual that gives the gift.

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7 Year-End Tax Tips

As we approach 2022, Optima wants to wish you a happy holiday season and remind you to take advantage of this special time of year. The end of the year is the perfect time to organize your tax records and prepare to file! Optima CEO David King prompts thought-provoking topics as Lead Tax Attorney Philip Hwang provides comprehensive tips for year-end tax filing. Ensure your tax return is as accurate as possible and cement a successful tax season with this video guide from Optima Tax Relief!
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Claiming Charitable Donations on Your Tax Return

The holidays often inspire more taxpayers to donate than any other time of year. Charitable donations are often deductible when filing returns and can provide you with more money back for your refund. However, if you are expecting an itemized deduction, you should know that there are limitations for qualified contributions.

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IRS Changes Offer in Compromise Policy

Tax debt relief may have gotten a little easier. The IRS has just announced a major adjustment to the offer in compromise policy that will remove some obstacles for potentially eligible taxpayers. 

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The Future of Child Tax Credit

Child tax credit has been a reliable source of additional income for families struggling through the pandemic. While there were plans to continue the monthly checks for at least another five years, it seems the program will be coming to an end in about one year.

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Revenue Officers and Small Businesses

Many small business owners are at risk of being assigned a Revenue Officer (RO). If a small business withholds taxes from their employees but fails to hand it over to the IRS, the IRS can assign an RO, garnish bank accounts and wages, seize property and real estate, and even show up at your place of business. Here are some helpful tips for small business owners if they are assigned an RO.

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Optima Wins BBB Torch Award for Ethics

Optima Tax Relief is proud to announce that we have earned our second BBB Torch Award! This award puts the spotlight on businesses with exceptional dedication to integrity and ethical business practices. The Torch Award is just the latest in the series of awards Optima has earned this year, including the Orange County Civic 50, Top Workplaces USA, and several Stevie Awards for best-in-class Consumer Service.

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How to File Business Taxes for an LLC

It’s important to choose how you want your earnings to be taxed because the IRS will automatically treat your business as a partnership. This designation doesn’t fit if you’re a sole proprietor or prefer to file as a corporation. Once you choose your tax rules, you cannot change the designation again for five years, which is why you must choose wisely.

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IRS Signs Three New Collection Agencies

The IRS recently signed contracts with three private-sector collection agencies, taking effect Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Taxpayers that are behind on payments toward their debts may be contacted by one of the new agencies. Here’s what you need to know:

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What Is An IRS Revenue Officer?

Revenue Officers deal with the most advanced tax collection cases that the IRS has on file. If you owe a large sum of money to the IRS, you could potentially have a Revenue Officer assigned to you. Optima CEO David King and in-house Revenue Officer expert and Enrolled Agent, Rosie Steele, provide helpful tips on what individuals can do if they have been assigned a Revenue Officer.

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Payment Service App Taxes

Since 2009, apps such as Venmo have been evolving into common payment methods for businesses and individuals. Now, peer-to-peer payment apps are gaining the government’s attention regarding unreported income. To remain compliant with the IRS, there are some things to consider if you utilize these apps for business.

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What is the Vehicle Mileage Tax Program?

The Senate recently passed President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, which includes a pilot program for vehicle mileage tax. This tax would charge drivers based on how many miles they drive in a year. The vehicle mileage fee will likely bring in revenue for transportation and future infrastructure projects.

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