Dear Clients, Family and Friends:
Another exciting year has passed. Time to begin the gathering process for your upcoming tax needs. Before we get to this let us take a moment to introduce the Serenity family:
Deni Lorenzi – Boss Lady & Enrolled Agent – What is an Enrolled Agent? It means she gets the privilege to talk to the IRS whenever they call. She gets to have all the fun. Deni also continues to provide bookkeeping services and training for clients.
Sheri Murray - Office Manager – Sheri keeps the office running and handles a list of bookkeeping and payroll clients. She, as always, is available for questions. She is still our go-to girl to get things done.
Skye - Office Manager in Training - Skye is Sheri’s daughter and comes in occasionally to do random tasks around the office.
Dina Suwanski - Administrative Assistant - Dina is generally the one you will hear on the phone and is responsible for all aspects of tax return processing. Give her a call or email if you want your 2019 tax organizer. 218-464-1510 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dani Fahlsing- Staff Accountant/Tax Preparer. Dani is new to Serenity this year. She comes to us with over 20 years of accounting background. Many of our bookkeeping and payroll clients are already familiar with her and her talents. For our tax clients and others not familiar with Dani, she comes to us from Wisconsin and brings these tax laws into sharper focus. Dani is looking forward to expanding her client base with your tax needs!
John Ludwig, AFSP- John continues his tax geek ways. Along with his tax preparation, he has become our tax return checker. His research talent continues to be a driving force showing his abilities, if we don’t know something, we go to him! So, bring on all your tax questions, he is always looking for a challenge!
DJ (Diane Johnson) - DJ works part time and therefore primarily works with our drop off and mail-in returns. She has branched out and has started working on bookkeeping for some of our smaller clients.
As you can see, our staff is more streamlined this year. It is all designed to give you the client a better experience and most accurate service. You can visit our website at www.serenityduluth.com, which is always updated to better serve you! You can request a tax appointment or tax organizer on our website as well as see all the other services that we offer. Of course, you can always call us.
And now, some exciting news from the IRS and other Taxing authorities! Of course, taxing authorities cannot leave well enough alone. All of us at Serenity have been diligently training and absorbing their respective changes, all in the name of taking care of your most difficult and not so difficult tax needs. Below is a snapshot of what we have learned but is by far not all inclusive. If you have a question you feel is unique, please feel free to reach out to us personally!
Standard deduction. It is now indexed for inflation:
Dependent $1,100 (or earned income +$350)
Mileage rates: Business .58
Child Adoption Credit: max credit of $14,080
Phaseout Range increases to $211,160 to $251,160
Child credit: No changes from 2018, including other dependent credit (ODC)
CTC $2,000 ($1,400 is refundable)
EIC. Income levels changed for maximum credit and phaseout credit amounts
# children MFJ Non MFJ
Maximum Cr Phaseout range Maximum Cr Phaseout Range
0 $6.920-$14,450 $14,450-$21,370 $6,920-$8,650 $8,650-$15,570
1 $10,370-$24,820 $24,820-$46,884 $10,370-$19,030 $19,030-$41,094
2 $14,570-$24,820 $24,820-$52,483 $14,570-$19,030 $19,030-$46,703
3+ $14,570-$24,820 $24,820-$55,952 $14,570-$19,030 $19,030-$50,162
Retirement age: if you were born 1943 – 1954 retirement age is 66
If you were born 1960 or later retirement age is now 67
Foreign Income Exclusion: $105,900 maximum
401(k) contribution limits: $19,000 ($25,000 catchup for over 50)
IRA Contributions: $6,000/person ($7,000 catchup for over 50)
IRA Deduction Phaseouts:
AGI phaseout begins AGI fully phased out
Single $64,000 $74,000
MFJ/QW $103,000 $123,000
Spouse not covered by plan $193,000 $203,000
MFS $0 $10,000
HOH $64,000 $74,000
Premium Tax Credit (health insurance):
There is no penalty this year for not having health insurance. However, if you received subsidized health insurance through MN Care, you still need to reconcile this on you tax return. BE SURE TO BRING IN YOU 1095-A.
No personal exemption—still allows dependent exemption
Standard deduction increases to align with federal
Social Security subtraction increase:
MFJ/QW - $5,150
S/HOH - $4,020
MFS - $2,575
Every year it seems as if we have issues with this topic, so we thought it prudent to include. For those clients that have college students, and are claiming these students on their return, please caution your dependent (the student) to NOT claim themselves. If they do, you will not be able to claim the child (the student) and therefore the accompanying education credits that are more beneficial to you as a parent. The “after the fact” solution to this situation is to amend the dependent child’s (the student) return, and then paper file your return. Amendments are charged at $140 + any state(s) and refunds are delayed.
Everyone asks about pricing. Rest assured we at Serenity are aware of this and as a result your 2020 tax season will not see any significant price increases. However, as some Federal tax forms have been modified, added, or deleted, Federal pricing may change slightly. Minnesota tax forms have had some additions to Serenity reporting requirements and therefore a slight modification is needed. The form M1PR (Property tax rebate, renters rebate) will increase to $30 (this increase goes to $50 for those clients that ONLY file a M1PR with Serenity)
For those clients that have dependents (children) on their tax return and want Serenity to complete their returns (if applicable), Serenity will no longer charge a flat rate for these returns. Dependent returns will be priced at 50% of whatever the tax return would be priced at.
IRS e-file acceptance: January 27, 2020
Federal/State filing 2019 Filing deadline businesses: Monday March 16, 2020
Federal/State filing 2019 Filing deadline 1040: Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Non Profits (990): Friday May, 15, 2020
Estimated payments: Quarter 1 (Jan, Feb, Mar) April 15, 2020
Quarter 2 (Apr, May, Jun) June 15, 2020
Quarter 3 (Jul, Aug, Sept) September 15, 2020
Quarter 4 (Oct, Nov, Dec) January 15, 2021
Tax season office hours (starting 1/27/2020):
Monday thru Thursday 8:30 am to 8:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
First daily tax appointments will be scheduled for 9:00 am and the last appointment will be 1 hour before close. As always, drop off, US MAIL and email information submission is always accepted.
**** Due to changing IRS and due diligence requirements, tax clients will be asked to sign a form prior to tax preparation. If you are one of those clients that drop off and/or mail your tax documents, please be sure you get this form to sign to speed the completion process
One last item. We are here because of you. Your faith in us through your personal recommendation to others is humbling. As usual, for your personal recommendations to new tax clients, we discount your next year’s tax preparation by $15 as a thank you. Your loyalty, support, and friendship to the Serenity family is why we are here. We appreciate the opportunity to serve all your tax preparation needs and look forward to seeing you in the year 2020!
Deni, Sheri, Dina, Dani, John, DJ, Skye