Displaying 1 - 10 of 92 Forum Posts1 2 3 4 5 Next
  • Jan 18, 2019 06:06 PM
    Last: 2d
    68

    Why the IRS Just Cut Taxpayers Some Slack

    Since all the changes to the tax code are happening from 2017 to 2018, the IRS decided to lessen the penalty on underpaying your taxes, either through withholding or estimated tax payments throughout the year.

    The standard rule is if you ended up paying less than 90% of your tax burden through either of these 2 methods, you had to pay an underpayment penalty. Since the tax code changed so dramatically for 2018 filing (what you will file in 2019+), they cut it to 85%. ---

    What the IRS did to lessen the penalty

    The IRS has always given taxpayers some leeway in underpaying tax without owing a penalty. If your ending tax bill on your return is less than $1,000, then no penalty applies. In addition, if you've paid at least 90% of your tax for the year either through withholding or timely estimated tax payments, then there won't be a penalty.

    The latest action from the IRS centers on that 90% requirement. For purposes of waiving the penalty, the IRS reduced that 90% figure to 85%. That'll give you a bit more room to have underpaid your taxes without facing the penalty.

    IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig explained the move. "We realize there were many changes that affected people last year," Rettig said, "and this penalty waiver will help taxpayers who inadvertently didn't have enough tax withheld."

    So hopefully that alleviates stress for at least some of us.

  • Dec 22, 2017 03:37 PM
    Last: 2d
    14k
    Mine are staying just about the same. Standard deduction increases take place of most other deductions I was getting that Trump cut. So all in all not great for me. Now, if I was a multi-millionaire..
  • Jan 02, 2019 02:13 PM
    Last: 17d
    593
    JFoster Wrote: Definitely will keep this link in mind. I wanted to see how much it has increased from 2004 to 2018. I wasn't surprised what I saw. One thing that I couldn't quite figure out was on the first line of 2018 on Household size 1, I see that it says "48 States, DC, Guam, and US Virgin Islands," but then when I look at 2004, it just says "48 States 1." Did they not count Guam in 2004? I'm really fuzzy on my politics from 2004. I could have sworn there was some territorial dispute going on, at least with tax brackets.

    Good question. Not sure on that. I did some digging and only thing I could find was this paragraph from A Short History of SNAP:

    State food stamp agencies worked with contractors to procure EBT systems for delivery of Food Stamp and other State-administered benefit programs and benefitted from technological innovations in the commercial sector. As of July 2004, all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Guam operated statewide, citywide, and territory-wide EBT systems to issue SNAP benefits.

    That makes it sound like Guam wasn't fully funded by the US for SNAP until mid 2004. So maybe that's the case. But another paragraph seems to say it was supported as early as 1970/1971:

    The Food Stamp Act Amendment of 1970 (P.L. 91-671) passed on January 11, 1971 and established uniform national standards of eligibility and work registration requirements; required that allotments be equivalent to the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet; limited households' purchase requirements to 30 percent of their income; instituted an outreach requirement; authorized the Department to pay 62.5 percent of specific administrative costs incurred by States; expanded the FSP to Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the United States; and provided $1.75 billion appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 1971.

    Make of that what you will.

  • Jan 02, 2019 02:13 PM
    Last: 17d
    593

    Every year the government adjusts the SNAP (or food stamp) program's numbers to account for cost of living increases. Found a really good resource that shows you all the changes per year, since 2004, and it's updated every year so it's always current:

    Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Information

    Changes include new income eligibility standards, different deductions and different minimum and maximum allotments. Per the site:

    We adjust SNAP maximum allotments, deductions, and income eligibility standards at the beginning of each Federal fiscal year. The changes are based on changes in the cost of living. COLAs take effect on October 1 each year.

    Maximum allotments are calculated from the cost of a market basket based on the Thrifty Food Plan for a family of four, priced in June that year. The maximum allotments for households larger and smaller than four persons are determined using formulas that account for economies of scale. Smaller households get slightly more per person than the four-person household. Larger households get slightly less.

    Income eligibility standards are set by law. Gross monthly income limits are set at 130 percent of the poverty level for the household size. Net monthly income limits are set at 100 percent of poverty.

    So if you're looking for a good place to see the yearly changes to SNAP, bookmark this one.

  • Aug 17, 2018 04:23 PM
    Last: 19d
    5.7k

    Looks like this program is seeing cost of living increases this year. (probably every year). There's a good quick read on it-

    Most Tricare Fees Could Change Again in January

  • Nov 07, 2018 12:42 PM
    Last: 25d
    645
    JFoster Wrote:

    With that being said, do you think it's true? Will this large influx of female electees significantly shape U.S. politics in the years to come? I argue that it will. Perhaps the Government not being such a "boys club" will have a significant impact on legislation in the future.

    Hmm maybe. How do you think it'll change things?
  • Dec 24, 2018 06:46 PM
    Last: 24d
    3.3k
    Good to see the COLA increase, and even go a bit higher than last year's increase which was 2.2%. The max tax earnings increase and retirement age continuing to go up I'm sure don't make people happy though. Makes me wonder what full retirement age will be when I retire in some decades...
  • Dec 23, 2018 02:56 PM
    Last: 28d
    1.9k
    At least the standard deduction will almost cover my cost for filing taxes. Very Happy Thanks for the share; all good to know!
  • Dec 14, 2018 03:18 PM
    Last: 27d
    201
    If the Court of Appeals says the judge is correct, how would that work exactly? Can a single state operate as if the ACA is unconstitutional while the rest of the country does not? Or is this judge trying to set a legal precedent solely to get the entire country to label the ACA unconstitutional?
  • Dec 21, 2018 01:33 PM
    Last: 30d
    448

    Curious if anyone here can answer this from an economic standpoint.. how will an economic/market crash effect Social Security? I guess the logical way to think about it is how did the financial crisis of 2006-2008 effect Social Security just a few years ago? Did the country see a spike on retirees claiming benefits early, either because they had to or to hedge their bet in case their 401(k) really did tank to nothing?

    I'm wondering what it will look like for Social Security if and when the US experiences another market crash. With so many folks' retirement tied up in the stock market in one way or another, do you think if we see a prolonged crash of some kind (that many consider is coming, its just a matter of when) that programs like SS will be relied heavily on, almost like a version of the 1920's bank runs? Or is the system set up in a way that SS can't be hit too adversely, even in very financially unstable times?

    May be hyperbolic, but thought it an interesting thought experiment if nothing else.