New law extends COVID tax credit for employers who keep workers on payroll

The Internal Revenue Service urges employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit, designed to make it easier for businesses that, despite challenges posed by COVID-19, choose to keep their employees on the payroll.

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted Dec. 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the employee retention tax credits previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.

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All taxpayers are now eligible for identity protection PINs

The IRS has expanded the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to all taxpayers who can verify their identity.

The Identity Protection PIN is a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and to the IRS. It helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using a taxpayers’ personally identifiable information.

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IRS pushes start of 2021 tax season as online filing opens to Feb 12

The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation’s tax season will start on Friday, February 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.

Because of the pandemic and stimulus payments, the Internal Revenue Service will not start accepting federal tax returns until February 12, 2021.

The February 12 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.

This programming work is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers. These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.

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Truck stops and Tarmacs

“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.”  Anthony J. D’Angelo, author

We’ve all heard the adage about reinventing the wheel.  Why spend a great deal of time and effort on working through something that someone has already explored?  When Women In Trucking Association was formed, we looked at other trade and professional organizations and determined what parts worked for us and what didn’t.

In fact, we took a lot of ideas from an organization called Women In Aviation International (WAI).  At the time, I was working on my private pilot’s license and joined the WAI because I wanted to meet other women who fly.  The airline industry isn’t all that different from the trucking industry, and both have a very small percentage of women behind in the cab or the cockpit.   Many of our challenges are similar, so why not cooperate on our efforts?

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Most taxpayers who requested an extension to file must file today

Today is the filing extension deadline. Most taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their 2019 tax return must file today.

Those filing today who also owe taxes should pay as much as possible to reduce interest and penalties. The extension of time to file is not an extension to pay. Taxes must be paid on the original due date to avoid any penalty and interest charges.

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For Sale By Owner

Have you ever questioned how some terms or phrases are either outdated or don’t even make any sense?  For example, when was the last time you actually “dialed” the phone?  Except for your great aunt Edna, rotary dial phones are no longer in existence.  We don’t dial anything; we just tap it or touch it.

What about taping a video?  We don’t use tape anymore.  We’re not using VCRs to record anything, we record it with bytes, not footage. Footage implies the film is measured in feet, but there aren’t any length measurements when it comes to recording a video.

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October 15 deadline nears for taxpayers who requested tax filing extensions

Federal Taxpayers should file electronically and request direct deposit for refundseFiling is fast, easy and secured.

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who filed an extension that the Oct. 15 due date to file their 2019 tax return is near. Taxpayers should file their tax returns on or before the Oct. 15 deadline. For those who still owe, pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest.

Convenient electronic filing options, including IRS Free File, are still available. Taxpayers and tax professionals should continue to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments.

Although October 15 is the last day for most people to file, some taxpayers may have more time.

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Business owners should visit IRS.gov for help with tax actions when closing a business

Closing a business is always a difficult decision regardless of the circumstances. With this in mind, the IRS redesigned the closing a business page of IRS.gov to help business owners navigate the federal tax steps when closing a business.

Small businesses and self-employed taxpayers will find a variety of information on the page including:

  • What forms to file
  • How to report revenue received in the final year of business
  • How to report expenses incurred before closure
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For truckers looking to vote early or absentee options for each state during election years

All states allow absentee voting, but there are many differences in their procedures and deadlines.

Forty states plus Washington, D.C., allow voters to come to their polling place in-person days or weeks before the election. There are 34 states, plus Washington, D.C., that allow any registered voter to request an absentee ballot without an excuse. Five of those states – Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Hawaii – conduct their elections with all-mail voting, while also giving voters the option to vote early in-person at the polls.

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What I learned from my “wearable”

I never thought I could be friends with a piece of technology that is exceptionally nosey.  I’m a pretty private person, and the thought of sharing my physical data makes me pretty uncomfortable.

Sharing my sleeping patterns, my eating habits, and how often my heart rate was elevated isn’t my idea of privacy.  However, we recently partnered with Rolling Strong to do a wellness competition, and I donned a Fitbit Versa for the challenge.

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