What You Need to Know About the 2021 Recovery Rebate Stimulus Payments

The President has officially signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. Within this new stimulus bill are a third round of a direct checks to eligible Americans, called “recovery rebates”—of up to $1,400 for every “eligible individual.”

Sounds great, right? Of course, the devil is in the details.

How Much Will You Receive?

Each eligible individual in your household should receive $1,400. Eligible individuals include:[1]

  1. You, as an individual taxpayer
  2. Your spouse (if you are filing a joint tax return)
  3. Any dependents you are claiming on your tax return, regardless of their age

For example: A married couple filing jointly and claiming three dependents on their tax return would be eligible for $1,400 x 5 = $7,000. This is the case even if the dependent is, say, an adult child in college, or a parent in assisted living.

The catch? Whether you receive a full, a partial, or no rebate depends on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on your tax return:

If you are …You receive a full rebate if your AGI is … You receive a partial rebate if your AGI is …You won’t receive a rebate if your AGI is …
Single, or married filing separateUnder $75,000$75,000–$80,000Over $80,000
Head of householdUnder $112,500$112,500–$120,000Over $120,000
Married, filing jointly Under $150,000$150,000–$160,000Over $160,000

 

All this begs the question: Which AGI are we talking about? Technically, the stimulus payment is a 2021 Recovery Rebate. But like our Great American Pastime (baseball), you actually get up to three “at bats,” or years in which to qualify for a full or partial rebate.

Pitch #1: Your 2019 or 2020 Tax Return, Already Filed

Initially, the IRS will look at the AGI reported on the most recent tax return you’ve already filed, whether that’s your 2019 or 2020 return. If your AGI falls within the “full rebate” parameters above, you can expect to receive your full 2021 Recovery Rebate. Where will the money go? If the IRS has a checking account on file for you, they should be able to issue a direct deposit into that account. Otherwise, they should mail you a check or debit card to your address on file.

Note: Even if you end up reporting higher income in subsequent years, you will get to keep the full amount of any payment you receive from Pitch #1. The IRS will notContinue reading

Ultimate Guide to IRS Penalty Abatements

Being assessed a tax penalty on top of the taxes you owe can greatly increase your total tax liability. The Internal Revenue Service states that it assesses tax penalties to encourage people to voluntarily comply with the tax laws. You are deemed to be voluntarily complaint when you make a good faith effort to meet your tax obligations. However, receiving a tax penalty can make it difficult for you to pay everything you owe. Fortunately, the IRS provides several methods for seeking an abatement of the penalties you might be assessed.

What are IRS penalty abatements?

Penalty abatement is a process through which you can ask the IRS to remove penalties you have been assessed. There are many different types of penalties that can potentially be abated. However, you have to go through the correct process before your tax penalties will be removed.

If you have been assessed a failure to file or a failure to pay penalty, you will have to request abatement to have the penalty removed. The IRS’s computer system automatically assesses these penalties when you file a return late or when you make a payment with a due balance.

Other types of tax penalties are normally assessed during IRS investigations or audits, including the fraud and accuracy penalties. You can request an abatement of a return accuracy penalty after it is assessed, but you might need to undergo special IRS procedures.

The three primary methods of securing tax penalty abatements include administrative waivers or first-time abatements, reasonable cause abatements, and Form 843 abatements. We’ll take a look at each of these processes below.

Administrative waivers/First-time abatements

If you meet the criteria for a first time abatement, the IRS might provide you with administrative relief for certain penalties, including the failure to file, failure to pay, or failure to deposit penalties. The first time abate program is available to you the first time you are assessed one of these types of penalties on one return. However, you must also meet the following specific eligibility guidelines to receive an administrative waiver or first-time abatement:

  • You have filed all required returns or extensions for any returns that are currently due.
  • You have made payment arrangements for any currently do taxes or have paid them.

You will be considered current with your tax return filing if you have either filed all tax returns that are due or have filed extensions for them. You cannot have … Continue reading

Podcast Episode #17: Email Marketing for Tax Firms with Nate Hagerty & Christian Jones

 

Nate Hagerty and Christian Jones from digital marketing agency TaxProMarketer join me to discuss the importance of email marketing in your tax practice. We discuss why you need it, how to optimize it, the type of emails to send, how frequently, and how this helps converts leads into paying clients..

To schedule a chat with with the TaxProMarketer team, visit TalkToTPM.com.

To hear more from Nate and Christian, check out there podcast: https://welcome.taxpromarketer.com/podcast/

Download PDF of SlidesContinue reading