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Archive for the ‘inflation’ Category

IRS Raising Its Interest Rates Again

Posted by taxguru on December 3, 2022

For the fourth straight quarter, IRS will be raising the interest rate that it charges on back taxes and pays on late refunds. As of 1/1/23, it will be 7.0%. This is good news for those who have refunds coming, but not so good if you owe IRS money.

With most banks still paying ridiculously low rates on their savings accounts, we may see the return of a strategy to maximize interest yields by “investing” with the IRS. There have been cases in the past where taxpayers intentionally overpaid their taxes to IRS by “accidentally” leaving off large legitimate deductions. A few years later, they (hopefully) “notice” their mistake and file an amended return (1040X) with IRS to recoup those overpaid taxes and much more interest on top of that than they could have earned with alternative uses of that money.

Anyone considering such a tactic should heed a few warnings:
1. If the 1040X is not submitted within the three-year statute of limitations, the refund will be forfeited and considered to be a gift to the IRS.

2. Amended returns receive much more scrutiny from IRS than original returns, especially when claiming a refund. When examining an amended return, it is not uncommon for IRS to initiate a full-blown audit on other things on the return, not just the item triggering the amendment. I have seen this happen and the ensuing hassles caused the taxpayers to regret ever filing the amended return.

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How long will this upward trend in interest rates continue? No sane person is anticipating a slow-down in the current inflation snowball for at least another two to three years, when there may be a new occupant of the White House. By then, the rate will definitely be in the double digits, which hasn’t been the case since the last quarter of 1991.

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IRS Press Release Announcing the Higher Interest Rate:
Interest rates increase for the first quarter of 2023

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A very handy chart of IRS Interest Rates, going back to the beginning of 1987, including this section for the past few years.

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Posted in inflation, interest, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Raising Its Interest Rates Again

IRS Announces 2023 Inflation Adjustments

Posted by taxguru on October 18, 2022

There are few aspects of life that are untouched by the current Biden created inflation. While most are bad consequences, some are pretty nice. Social Security recipients will have a large increase in our monthly payments. Bank savings accounts are now back to paying actual interest on deposits.

As I have covered for several years, IRS is required by law to index a lot of tax items for the higher cost of living in order to prevent inflation caused Bracket Creep, where raises received by people in order to offset higher living costs push them into higher percentage tax brackets.

Side-Note: Every so often some of our genius rulers in DC will float the idea of doing away with these annual inflation adjustments, citing the huge amounts of extra money the Federal government will collect as a result. Luckily, those plans don’t usually get very far in DC.

The math wizards at IRS have done the calculations and have come up with the inflation adjustments for over 60 items in the Tax Code that will take effect as of January 1, 2023.

The IRS Press Release with a general summary of some of the changes, as well as some obvious typos referencing incorrect years:
IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2023

Many more specific details can be found in this 28 page PDF version of Revenue Procedure 2022-38.

Gift Tax Exemption Increases
Having this info almost two and a half months before the end of 2022 can be quite useful for people working up tax plans that cross multiple years. Besides the effects of these inflation adjustments on income taxes for 2023, a more interesting change is the annual Gift Tax exclusion. As I have described many times before, this figure often remains steady for a number of years before being bumped up because it is only allowed to increase in even one thousand dollar increments based on the cumulative inflation factor since the previous increase. This is the first time that I can recall the amount increasing in two consecutive years: to $17,000 in 2023, from the $16,000 amount we have had for 2022. Many people use these annual gift tax exemptions as part of their long term Estate and Gifting strategies.

Out of curiosity, I dug up the recent history of the annual Gift Tax exemption amounts so we can see how rare it is to have an increase so soon after a previous one.

1997 – 2001 $10,000 per donor (giver) per donee (recipient)
2002 – 2005 $11,000
2006 – 2008 $12,000
2009 – 2012 $13,000
2013 – 2017 $14,000
2018 – 2021 $15,000
2022 – 2022 $16,000
2023 – ???? $17,000

Posted in Gifting, inflation, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Announces 2023 Inflation Adjustments

IRS Interest Rates Continue To Climb

Posted by taxguru on August 15, 2022

In spite of the Biden Gang’s attempts to pretend that there is no such thing as Inflation, IRS is required to adjust how much they charge for late payments and pay out for late refunds.

As of October 1, 2002, the rate will move from the current 5.0% APR to 6.0% APR.

Here is their official press release, announcing this:

IRS announces interest rate increases for the fourth quarter of 2022; 6% rate applies to most taxpayers starting Oct. 1

Three months from now, there will most likely be another IRS announcement of an even higher rate as of January 1, 2023.

For those people trying to maximize their return on investment, this presents an opportunity to earn much more than banks are paying. In earlier times when IRS interest rates were higher than bank savings accounts, I can recall some clients and others holding off on filing amended refund returns for longer than normal in order to accrue more interest from IRS. I’m not necessarily advising this, but just noting that it is a tactic that some people do in times like this.

Posted in inflation, interest, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Interest Rates Continue To Climb

IRS Raises Standard Mileage Rate For Second Half of 2022

Posted by taxguru on June 9, 2022

IRS has released this press release with a slightly misleading headline today:

IRS increases mileage rate for remainder of 2022

Although the “remainder of 2022” includes the rest of June, the increased rates don’t take effect until July 1, 2022.

For Business purposes, the IRS allows 58.5 cents per mile for what was driven between 1/1/22 and 6/30/22 and 62.5 cents per mile for 7/1/22 through 12/31/22.

For Medical and Moving deductions, IRS allows a deduction of 18 cents per mile from 1/1/22 until 6/30/22 and 22 cents per mile for the second half of 2022.

For miles driven on behalf of charities, the rate remains fixed at 14 cents per mile because of the idiocy of our rulers in Congress who omitted any inflation adjustments.

Posted in inflation, IRS, Vehicles | Comments Off on IRS Raises Standard Mileage Rate For Second Half of 2022

Expect IRS To Increase Standard Mileage Rate

Posted by taxguru on May 20, 2022

In normal years, IRS adjusts its standard mileage deduction rate once a year for those taxpayers who don’t want to keep track of their actual expenses, as well as for employee reimbursements.

The standard rate, which has been 58.5 cents per mile for business purposes since the beginning of 2022, is intended to include the operating and ownership costs of an “average” car based on prior year (2021) costs. These include such things as fuel, insurance, oil changes, repairs, registration, washing, and tires. It also includes a factor for the depreciation of the vehicle.

Having been in the tax business for over 45 years, I can remember some years where fuel prices shot up as quickly as they are currently doing. In some of those cases, IRS increased their mileage rates mid-year. Sometimes this was as of July 1, while in other cases it was as of October 1. This meant that taxpayers had to keep track of and report their business miles separately for each time period.

I haven’t seen anything from IRS indicating that this will happen this year, but, given the insane price increases in gasoline and diesel we have been dealing with all over the country, it seems inevitable. The higher purchase prices for both new and used vehicles makes an increase in the depreciation component of the standard mileage rate also very likely.

Whether IRS raises its standard deduction rate or not, this is a perfect example of why it is important for everyone to keep track of their actual vehicle expenses because they will almost certainly be higher than whatever standard rate IRS allows for 2022.

Update 5/25/22: During today’s CPELink Monthly Tax Update, there was a mention of a recent letter that some CongressCritters wrote to the IRS Commissioner, requesting an increase in the standard mileage allowance to account for the drastic increases in fuel prices since 2021.
Press Release From Arizona Congressman
Copy of Letter

Posted in inflation, IRS, Vehicles | Comments Off on Expect IRS To Increase Standard Mileage Rate

IRS Interest Rates Continue To Rise

Posted by taxguru on May 20, 2022

Unlike most State tax agencies, which don’t ever change the interest rates that they charge on late tax payments (Arkansas has always been 10%) or adjust them annually (California, et al), IRS modifies its rates every three months to stay in sync with the overall financial markets.

As anyone would have expected, IRS has just announced that, as of July 1, it will be bumping up the rate it will be charging to 5% from the current 4%.

Here is their press release: IRS interest rates increase for the third quarter of 2022

If you want to consider a good side to this, besides charging taxpayers more on late tax payments, this also means that IRS will be paying taxpayers more for delayed refunds. Those millions of people who still have tax returns stuck in the IRS backlog of unprocessed returns will be earning much more from IRS than any banks are currently paying on savings accounts.

Posted in inflation, interest, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Interest Rates Continue To Rise

Inflation Hits IRS

Posted by taxguru on February 23, 2022

Every three months, IRS looks at the current inflation rate and determines how much interest they will be charging taxpayers on late tax payments and paying out to taxpayers for delayed refunds. For the past seven quarters – since July 1, 2020 – it has been three percent (3.0%) APR. It’s not per day. It’s an annual rate.

As we all know, inflation is currently at its highest pace since Jimmy Carter’s reign. IRS has just announced in this press release that, as of April 1, their main interest rate will be a whopping four percent (4.0%) APR.

As I remind clients who are upset about the IRS’s lengthy delays in sending out refunds, their money will be earning a much higher return from IRS that it would in a bank, where they are still paying less than one percent on savings accounts. It’s the silver lining to a bad situation.

Three months from now, I expect to be writing a similar post about IRS raising their interest rate again, to five or six percent.

Posted in inflation, interest, IRS | Comments Off on Inflation Hits IRS

2022 IRS Inflation Adjustments

Posted by taxguru on November 10, 2021

IRS has officially calculated the various increases for 2022 that are required to be adjusted annually.

IRS News Release with some of the “most popular” changes

Revenue Procedure 2021-45 with all of the details (29 Page PDF)

Not mentioned in either of the above referenced documents is the fact that there should be a huge asterisk with the disclaimer that all of these figures are subject to changes at the whim of the rulers currently in power.  With all of the threats to retroactively increase all tax rates coming from DC, we can only hope that the IRS assumptions of 2022 rates will actually survive.

One noteworthy change for 2022 is the annual Gift Tax exclusion, which can only be increased in $1,000 increments after multiple years of inflation.  For 2022, it will be raised from the current $15,000 per donor (giver) per donee (recipient) to $16,000.  Many people design their long-term gifting strategies based on these annual exclusion amounts.

[Update 11-30-2021]: The good folks at TheTaxBook have produced this handy one page summary of the most popular inflation adjustment amounts for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Posted in inflation, IRS | Comments Off on 2022 IRS Inflation Adjustments

IRS Releases 2021 Inflation Adjustments

Posted by taxguru on October 26, 2020

The Tax Game never ends.  As 2020 nears its end, people are starting to look ahead to what we can expect for 2021.  Every year, many items in the Tax Code are adjusted to reflect the official increase in the Cost of Living since the prior year. 

There are also a lot of things in the Tax Code that have been set in concrete by our Rulers in DC and have not been increased for decades, such as the measly $3,000 of net capital loss that can be used to offset other kinds of income.  I long ago gave up any hope for such concepts as Fairness or Consistency in the Tax Code in order to hold onto my sanity in this profession.

While some tax publishers had already released what they calculated as the inflation adjustments a few weeks ago, it’s not really official until IRS makes its calculations known, which has happened today.

They have a good summary of the changes in their news release:

IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2021

 

All of the nitty-gritty specifics are spelled out in much more detail in the official 28 page Revenue Procedure 2020-45

Besides adjustments that affect Income taxes, there are some that affect Estate and Gift taxes.  One item that is closely watched is the change in the annual amount that can be gifted without the need to file a Gift Tax return (Form 709).  Many people have gifting plans that utilize this allowance in the amounts that are gifted each year.  Unlike the other inflation adjusted items, which normally increase every year and result in “odd-looking” numbers, the Gift tax allowance can only be increased when the cumulative inflation since the previous adjustment is close to an even $1,000.  That’s not happening in 2021.  The annual exemption will remain at $15,000 per donor (giver) per donee (recipient).

[Update 10-28-2020] – As they have done each year, the folks at TheTaxBook have posted this very handy one-page summary of the 2021 figures side by side with what they were for 2019 and 2020.

Posted in inflation, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Releases 2021 Inflation Adjustments

IRS Releases 2020 Inflation Adjustments

Posted by taxguru on November 6, 2019

IRS has done its official calculations of the adjustments that will be required for more than 60 tax provisions in the year 2020.

Their Press Release:  IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2020

All of the juicy details are in this 28 page PDF of Revenue Procedure 2019-44

A handy one-page version of the changes compared to previous years from TheTaxBook: 2019-11-13_Inflation_Adjusted_Amounts_for_2020

 

Gifting Exclusion

The Number One question I constantly receive regarding these IRS inflation adjustments has to do with the annual exclusion from Gift Tax reporting because many people structure their estate plans based on gifting the maximum each year.  Unlike most of the other inflation adjusted provisions, which do increase every year, the amount of the annual Gift Tax exclusion is only allowed to increase when the cumulative inflation factor warrants an increase of a full $1,000.  This does make a lot of sense.  Otherwise, the exclusion amount would be very odd, not round, figures that would be very confusing to keep track of.  For 2020, there will be no increase in the annual Gift Tax exclusion.  It will remain at $15,000 per donor (giver) per donee (recipient).

Posted in inflation, IRS | Comments Off on IRS Releases 2020 Inflation Adjustments