Freedom from Religion Foundation opts not to appeal

The Freedom from Religion Foundation, or FFRF, has decided not to pursue an additional challenge of the clergy housing allowance at the Supreme Court level. This means that clergy housing and parsonage allowance provisions will likely to remain in place for tax year 2019 and for years beyond. For those unfamiliar with court events, the…

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Why Did I Owe Taxes This Year? Changes in 2019

In December of 2017 Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This bill took effect for the first time for the 2018 tax year, those due on April 15 of this year. Although called “tax reform,” the TCJA focused on a trillion dollar tax cut. Among other changes this bill significantly lowered taxes, doubled the…

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Solar Credits Maximized in 2019, Decrease in Future Years

Under current tax law, the federal government allows 1040 filers to deduct 30% of the costs of installing a solar energy system, with no cap on the amount you can spend. However, these energy credits start to decrease after 2019. In 2020, you will only get a credit of 26% of your costs. In 2021,…

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Student Loan Forgiven Programs By State

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia all have special student loan forgiveness programs for residents of their states. Many of the programs are in public service fields, such as health care, teaching, dentistry, legal, and more. ​ Remember, there are still Federal Student Loan Forgiveness programs and Secret Student Loan Forgiveness programs as part…

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Do I still need to track Medical Expenses?

In 2018, there were two hurdles to claiming a Medical Expense Deduction. First, you had to spend more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income on medical expenses. If you had a combined income of $100,000, you would first have to spend $7,500 on medical before you could claim any expenses. And that’s unreimbursed medical…

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IRS extends deadline for Severe Flooding in Iowa

The IRS recently announced that tax return filing and tax payment deadlines have been postponed for victims of flooding and severe storms in parts of Iowa. If you are a resident of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona or Woodbury County in Iowa, the IRS has extended tax filing and payment deadlines. This includes the 1040 filing…

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Court Upholds Clergy Housing Allowance

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Clergy Housing Allowance On Friday, March 15, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the clergy housing allowance. In a unanimous 3-0 decision, the judges ruled that the housing allowance is constitutional and cited two legal precedents in support of their ruling. This is a tremendous victory…

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Moving Ministries?

A new Call can be exciting, but the logistics of moving and setting up in a new location can stressful, even before thinking about your taxes. Here are a few things to consider when moving to a new location. Moving Expenses are not deductible Regardless of whether your Ministry pays you or pays the movers…

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Home Ownership Deductions Limited for Itemized Returns in 2018

For those who continue to itemize their deductions, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (or TCJA) has installed several limits on deductions for home owners. First, taxpayers can only deduct mortgage interest resulting from up to $750,000 of debt ($375,000 for those filing single or married filing separately). IRS Publication 936 summarizes the limitations (https://www.irs.gov/publications/p936#en_US_2018_publink1000229991),…

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Miscellaneous Itemized Expense Deductions Cut in 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is changing a lot this year, for better and for worse. One of the bigger changes to 1040 returns is the loss of miscellaneous itemized expenses on Schedule A. What sort of things are included in miscellaneous itemized expenses? Here are some examples: Tax preparation fees Investment fees Safety…

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