Author Archives: Eric Buechler

Cryptocurrency: It’s “Property” And It’s Taxable, IRS Says

Internal Revenue Service lately has been sending out reminders to people who trade in bitcoins and other financial creations that exist only in the digital world.   The message is:  Yes, this is all taxable. Bitcoin is perhaps the best known “cryptocurrency,” or virtual currency, being traded in exchanges on the Internet. The digital encyclopedia Wikipedia says there might be 4,000 types out there. The currencies are used both as assets like stocks and as payment for purchases like money.  Some employees even receive pay in bitcoin. But, while they are not legal tender, they have value. For tax purposes, the … Continue reading

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No Dawdling With Early IRA Distributions!

Taking an IRA distribution before age 59½ is one of those times when a worker must watch the calendar. You’ll want to be acting quickly and counting the days, as you’ll see here. Sometimes a taxpayer wants to move money from one retirement account to another, or perhaps he/she receives an unexpected distribution directly from a retirement account. If the taxpayer is younger than 59½ years old, a clock starts ticking on arrival.  He/she must roll over that money in a similar retirement account within 60 days, or the money will be heavily taxed.  This is not a time to … Continue reading

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HRA: Three letters That Might Help With Health Expenses

It hasn’t been much noticed, but employers will be able to help their workers afford health expenses to a greater degree beginning next year.  Remember the Health Reimbursement Arrangement, or “HRA”? It allowed employers to provide pre-tax dollars for their workers to pay health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses. It has a history that dates back to 1954. The HRA pretty much disappeared when “Obamacare” (Affordable Care Act) arrived. It survived on the books only in limited fashion. Now the HRA has reappeared in its former glory! Employers large or small can offer it. Their employees also have fewer constraints. The Internal Revenue Service … Continue reading

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Minnesota Rewards College Savings Accounts

On Wednesday this week, taxpayers who help to pay for college educations officially could celebrate. Did you take time out to cheer National 529 College Savings Day? Well, it probably wasn’t high on the day’s to-do list for most of us.  But, Minnesotans who contribute to a college savings plan ought to take a hint from the observance and look into two of the state’s educational tax breaks. Many will be eligible for either the Education Savings Account Contribution Credit or the similar Education Savings Account Contribution Subtraction. Both of these allowances are broad. They apply to contributions to any … Continue reading

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Minnesota Gives Tax Salutes To Its Military

One way Minnesota recognizes its military members and their service comes in their tax returns! The state Department of Revenue decided that this month, which is National Military Appreciation Month would be a good time to recap the list of tax deductions and other courtesies available to Minnesota’s men and women in the Armed Forces. They often include Minnesota residents serving actively with regular forces, reserves or National Guard You can look up a list of tax breaks at one Internet address. Minnesota Revenue’s military information page  is:  https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/individuals/individ_income/Pages/Members_of_the_Military.aspx Here are a few to note: Active duty military pay subtraction … Continue reading

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Storm-struck Counties Get One More Week To File Minnesota Taxes

Storm-struck Counties Get One More Week To File Minnesota Taxes Minnesota authorities have extended the April 15 tax deadline by one week for taxpayers in 64 counties hit hard by last week’s winter storm. The Minnesota Department of Revenue said individual taxpayers and businesses now have until April 22 to file their state income tax returns. They will not face late penalties or interest for submitting returns during that extra week. The extension affects only Minnesota tax returns.  Federal returns still are due on April 15. The new deadline follows Gov. Tim Walz’s declaration of an emergency because of Winter … Continue reading

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Still Figuring? Extend Tax Deadline– Automatically!

If the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t heard from you yet, it’s time to think about taking an extension! April 15 really is Tax Day this year; there are no weekends or holidays pushing back the filing deadline, as in some previous years.  And, while there’s been some talk in Congress about giving everyone more time to file, those proposals haven’t turned into law yet. Nonetheless, the government does give taxpayers six more months to file the paperwork. An extension can be filed online or by mail. Better yet, it’s automatically approved. The IRS won’t ask you why you need it. … Continue reading

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A Special Dispensation For Farmers and Fishers

Both the Internal Revenue Service and Minnesota’s Department of Revenue agree.  Taxpayers who farm or fish for a living deserve a break this time around! Most Individual farmers and commercial fishermen make a single estimated tax payment on Jan. 15 each year. If they don’t pay by March 1, they normally can be hit with penalties. But, the IRS changed some rules for 2018 returns and apparently sowed some confusion into the mix for many of those taxpayers.  Specifically, the IRS says it “anticipate(s) that farmers and fishermen may have difficulty accurately determining and paying their tax liability for the … Continue reading

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This Could Get A Little Complicated!

Minnesota taxpayers now are discovering that what works on their federal income tax returns doesn’t always work on state returns. There is an unusual disconnect between the two systems this tax season. In short, the federal government made sweeping changes that began in the 2018 tax year, and Minnesota’s government hasn’t yet coordinated with them as it has in the past. The result?  Minnesotan and their tax preparers now are dealing with numerous adjustments and some extra forms to undo those federal changes when filing state returns. Let’s take a couple of examples that affect most taxpayers. The tax reforms … Continue reading

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