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RMDs on Inherited IRAs 

RMDs on Inherited IRAs 

Inheriting a retirement account can be a significant financial event. However, it also comes with specific responsibilities, including the need to navigate the rules surrounding Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). These mandatory withdrawals ensure that taxes are eventually paid on the funds accumulated in tax-advantaged accounts. Understanding how RMDs apply to inherited IRAs is essential for beneficiaries to manage their new assets effectively, comply with IRS regulations, and optimize their financial outcomes. This article explains RMDs on inherited IRs, highlighting the rules, calculations, tax implications, and strategies. 

What are RMDs? 

Required Minimum Distributions are mandatory withdrawals that must be taken from certain retirement accounts when an account holder reaches a specific age. These accounts include traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other similar retirement plans. RMDs ensure that individuals do not defer taxation indefinitely on their retirement savings. 

Inheriting a Retirement Account 

When an individual inherits an IRA, the rules surrounding RMDs become particularly significant. The treatment of RMDs from an inherited account varies depending on several factors, including the type of account, the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased, and the date of the account holder’s death.  

Spousal Beneficiaries 

Spousal beneficiaries have several options if they inherited an IRA before their spouse’s RMD date. 

Rollover Option 

If a surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary of an IRA, they can roll over the inherited account into their own IRA. This allows them to defer RMDs until they reach the age of 73 (or 72 if they reached that age before January 1, 2023). The money in the account will be available at any time. However, early withdrawal penalties will apply if you withdraw before age 59 ½.  

Inherited IRA: Life Expectancy Method 

Alternatively, the spouse can treat the account as an inherited IRA. In this case, RMDs will be calculated based on the surviving spouse’s life expectancy. Life expectancy can be calculated using the IRS’s Life Expectancy Table on their website. In this case, RMDs must be taken in the year the decedent would’ve reached age 73 or by December 31 of the year after the decedent’s passing. 

Inherited IRA: 10-Year Method 

Another option is for the spouse to treat the account as an inherited IRA but withdraw the balance over 10 years instead of their life expectancy. The inherited money will be available until December 31 of year 10 after the year the account holder dies.  

Lump Sum Distribution 

Finally, the spousal beneficiary can take a lump sum distribution. Income taxes will be paid all at once if the account is a Traditional IRA, which can move you into a higher tax bracket. Roth IRA distributions are tax-free, unless the account is less than five years old at the time of the account holder’s death. 

Note that if the spousal beneficiary inherits an IRA after their spouse’s RMD date, their options are mostly the same. However, the 10-year option will no longer be available. 

Calculating RMDs 

The calculation of RMDs for inherited IRAs involves several steps.  

  1. Determine the Account Balance: Use the account balance as of December 31 of the previous year. 
  1. Life Expectancy Factor: Find the appropriate life expectancy factor from the IRS Single Life Expectancy Table or the Uniform Lifetime Table, depending on the beneficiary’s circumstances. These are provided on the IRS website. 
  1. Divide the Account Balance: Divide the account balance by the life expectancy factor to determine the RMD amount. 

Tax Implications 

RMDs from inherited IRAs are generally taxed as ordinary income. This means the beneficiary will owe income tax on the amount withdrawn. However, if the account is a Roth IRA, RMDs are typically tax-free, provided the account has been open for at least five years. 

Strategies for Managing RMDs 

Beneficiaries can use several strategies to manage the tax implications and timing of RMDs. One example is spreading withdrawals. Instead of taking large distributions, beneficiaries can spread withdrawals over several years to potentially reduce their tax burden. Another is to make charitable contributions. Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) allow beneficiaries to donate up to $100,000 directly from an inherited IRA to a qualified charity, potentially reducing taxable income. Finally, you can consult a financial advisor. Given the complexity of RMD rules, consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional can help beneficiaries navigate their options and optimize their financial outcomes.  

Tax Help for Those Who Inherited an IRA 

Understanding RMDs on inherited IRAs is crucial for beneficiaries to comply with IRS regulations and manage their inherited assets effectively. The rules can be complex, and they vary based on the beneficiary’s relationship to the deceased and the type of account inherited. By staying informed and seeking professional advice, beneficiaries can make the most of their inheritance while minimizing tax liabilities. Optima Tax Relief has over a decade of experience helping taxpayers with tough tax situations. 

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Student Loans and Taxes: What Current Students & Graduates Need to Know

How taxes affect Student loans

Understanding how student loans impact your taxes is crucial for both current students and graduates. Whether you’re still in school or have already crossed the stage, grasping the tax implications of your student loans can save you money and prevent potential headaches down the road. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about student loans and taxes, from deductions to credits and everything in between. 

Are Students Required to File Taxes? 

Many students wonder whether they’re required to file taxes, especially if they’re working part-time or receiving financial aid. The answer depends on several factors, including income level, filing status, and dependency status. Generally, if your income exceeds a certain threshold, you’re required to file taxes, regardless of your student status. For example, for the tax year 2023, single individuals under the age of 65 are required to file taxes if their income exceeds $13,850. Keep in mind that your student loans do not count as income. Scholarships, fellowship money, and other resources given to you for school are not taxable. The taxable portion of the funds would be expenses such as travel, room and board, or optional expenses. 

However, even if your income falls below the threshold, filing taxes might still be beneficial. You may be eligible for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the refundable portion of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). Additionally, if you’ve had federal income tax withheld from your paychecks, filing a tax return allows you to claim a refund. It’s essential to understand your tax obligations and potential benefits. Consider consulting with a tax professional or using online resources to determine whether you need to file taxes as a student. 

Understanding Student Loan Interest Deduction 

One of the most significant tax benefits for student loan borrowers is the student loan interest deduction. This deduction allows you to reduce your taxable income by up to $2,500 for the interest you’ve paid on qualified student loans during the tax year. However, there are certain eligibility criteria to meet: 

  • You must be legally obligated to pay interest on a qualified student loan. 
  • Your filing status cannot be married filing separately. 
  • Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) must be below a certain threshold, which is subject to change annually. 

It’s essential to keep track of the interest you’ve paid throughout the year. Your student loan servicer will typically send you a Form 1098-E, which outlines the amount of interest paid during the tax year. 

Utilizing Education Tax Credits 

For those who are still in school or have recently graduated, education tax credits can provide substantial relief. There are two types of credits that you may qualify for when you file: the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC).

  1. American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC): This credit is available for eligible students in their first four years of higher education. It can provide a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per eligible student. Up to 40% of the credit is refundable, meaning you could receive a refund even if you owe no taxes. 
  1. Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC): Unlike the AOTC, the LLC is available for students pursuing higher education, including graduate and professional degrees, as well as courses to acquire or improve job skills. The maximum annual credit is $2,000 per tax return. 

Navigating Student Loan Forgiveness and Discharge 

We have seen over $165 billion in student loan forgiveness under the Biden Administration. Student loan forgiveness programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Teacher Loan Forgiveness, can provide significant relief for borrowers. However, it’s essential to understand the tax implications of forgiven or discharged loans. 

Typically, forgiven student loan debt is considered taxable income, unless you qualify for an exception. For instance, loans forgiven under PSLF are not taxable, as they are considered to be discharged due to qualifying employment. However, loan forgiveness under IDR plans are temporarily exempt from federal taxes under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The ARPA states that student loan forgiveness occurring between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2025, is exempt from federal taxable income. At the state level, most student loan forgiveness will go untaxed. There are a few states that have announced their plans to tax the loan discharge as income. These include Arkansas, Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi and Wisconsin.

Tax Help for Student Loan Borrowers 

Navigating the intersection of student loans and taxes can be complex. Understanding the fundamentals can help you make informed decisions and maximize available tax benefits. Whether you’re currently enrolled in school or have graduated and are repaying your loans, staying informed about student loan interest deductions, education tax credits, and potential tax implications of loan forgiveness is essential. By staying proactive and seeking guidance when needed, you can navigate taxes as financially sound as possible. For complicated tax situations, it’s always best to work with a professional when you file. Optima Tax Relief assists clients with unmanageable tax liabilities find relief and remain compliant with the IRS.

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Taxes on Gambling Winnings

gambling income and losses

When we think of gambling, our first thoughts may be of casino games or the lottery. However, the IRS requires all gambling income to be reported, including winnings from raffles, fantasy football, and even sports betting. The IRS has specific regulations for reporting gambling activities, which can significantly impact your tax obligations. Here’s an overview of taxes on gambling winnings.

All Gambling Income Must Be Reported 

All income earned through gambling must be reported to the IRS. Gambling income includes any winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse races, casinos, and other forms of betting. This also covers cash winnings and the fair market value of non-cash prizes such as cars, trips, or other items. Failing to report all income can result in IRS penalties.

How to Report Gambling Income 

When you win a significant amount, the payer (such as a casino or lottery agency) must issue a Form W-2G to report the winnings to you and the IRS. The thresholds for this reporting vary by the type of gambling: 

  • $600 or more in winnings (if the payout is at least 300 times the wager amount) 
  • $1,200 or more from bingo or slot machines 
  • $1,500 or more from keno 
  • $5,000 or more from poker tournaments 

Even if you do not receive a Form W-2G, you are required to report all gambling winnings, both cash and non-cash, as “Other Income” on your Form 1040. 

You Can Deduct Gambling Losses If You Itemize  

Reporting cash winnings is straightforward. However, taxpayers should know that they are not allowed to subtract the cost of gambling from their winnings. In other words, if you place a $10 bet and then win $500, your taxable winnings would be $500, not $490. While you cannot deduct the cost of your wager from your winnings, you can deduct your losses if you itemize your deductions on Schedule A. 

You can deduct losses up to the amount of the gambling income claimed. For example, if you won $1,000 but lost $3,000, you can only deduct $1,000. You must also include the $1,000 won in your income. To claim these deductions, you must keep accurate records of your gambling activities, including: 

  • Receipts, tickets, statements from the gambling establishment 
  • Form W-2G, if applicable 
  • Canceled checks or credit records 
  • A detailed diary of your gambling activity, noting the dates, types of gambling, amounts won and lost, and the names and addresses of the establishments. 

You Can Deduct More If You’re a Professional Gambler  

If you gamble to make a living, you are also not allowed to deduct losses that exceed your winnings. However, you would be considered a self-employed individual and would be able to deduct “business expenses” using Schedule C. This can include magazine subscriptions that relate to gambling, internet costs if you place bets online, and travel expenses. 

Professional gamblers can also carry forward net operating losses to future tax years, which can help offset income in those years. However, like any other business, you will be responsible for paying self-employment tax and estimated taxes each quarter. Remember that state tax laws vary, and some states do not allow the deduction of gambling losses. Additionally, certain types of gambling may be illegal in some jurisdictions, which can complicate the tax reporting process. 

You Should Keep Adequate Records  

If you are ever audited, the IRS will expect to see detailed records of your gambling winnings and losses. Whether you gamble professionally or casually, you should record the date, name of the gambling establishment, type of wager made, amount won or lost, and the names of anyone with you during the gambling. You should also keep copies of receipts, W2-G forms, wager tickets, and anything else that can supplement your gambling log.  

Tax Relief for Gamblers  

Whether you gamble casually or professionally, you must always report all gambling winnings. It may be tempting to report large losses and downplay your winnings, but reporting losses typically raises red flags with the IRS. This means higher chances of being audited by the IRS, which is a whole other issue. In short, it’s always best to report your gambling income and losses accurately. Optima Tax Relief is the nation’s leading tax resolution firm with over $3 billion in resolved tax liabilities.   

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

What is the Single’s Tax?

What is the Single’s Tax?

Living alone can be liberating, offering independence and autonomy. However, it often comes with a financial burden dubbed the “singles tax.” This term refers to the additional costs incurred by individuals who choose to live independently, without the financial support or cost-sharing benefits that come with living with a partner or family. Here we’ll break down the single’s tax, including the nuances and its potential impact on solo dwellers. 

Understanding the Single’s Tax 

Living alone often entails shouldering the full financial responsibility for housing expenses, without the benefit of cost-sharing that comes with cohabitation. The single’s tax can affect several areas of life, an obvious one being housing. However, it doesn’t stop there. It can also impact areas such as travel, health, food, and others. We even see it in the tax benefits singles qualify for versus married couples. Let’s look closely at the areas where the single’s tax is prominent.  

Housing

One of the primary contributors to the single’s tax is housing expenses. Solo living typically means shouldering the full cost of rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and household maintenance without the benefit of splitting these expenses with a partner. As a result, individuals living alone may face higher housing costs relative to their income compared to those who share living expenses with a partner or roommate. 

The real-estate marketplace company, Zillow, completed a 2023 study on how much singles spend on one-bedroom homes around the U.S. New York City singles spend an additional $20,100 on average per year. Singles in San Francisco spend nearly $13,500 more per year and those in Washington, D.C. spend almost $11,500 more.  

Spending 

Managing finances as a single individual can be difficult. The impact of the single’s tax on spending habits, particularly in areas such as food and travel, is also notable. One of the primary factors contributing to the single’s tax is the lack of economies of scale in food expenses. Unlike couples or families who can buy groceries in bulk and share meals, single individuals often have to purchase smaller portions, leading to a higher cost per unit. Cooking for one can be less cost-effective than cooking for multiple people. In addition, singles may also spend more on dining out or ordering takeout to socialize or avoid the hassle of cooking for one.  

When it comes to travel, singles often face higher accommodation costs compared to couples or groups who can split the cost of hotel rooms or rental properties. Participating in activities and entertainment while traveling, such as guided tours, excursions, or admission fees to attractions, can also be more expensive for solo travelers. One good example of this is a cruise booking. The cost of one person is usually double because ship staterooms are based on double occupancy. Some cruise lines are beginning to offer cabins for solo travelers, but the prices are still inflated.  

Health 

The single’s tax can also impact health, including medical expenses. Single individuals often bear the full cost of health insurance premiums, whereas married couples may have the option to access family plans, which can be more cost-effective per person. Sometimes, these premiums are too expensive for a single person to afford on their own and they opt out of paying for insurance at all. Studies show that unmarried individuals are much more likely to be uninsured than married couples. Without a partner to share medical expenses, single individuals may face higher out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services, prescription medications, medical supplies, and even mental health services. These factors may put more pressure on singles to prioritize self-care activities, such as exercise, mindfulness, and hobbies. These can help single individuals maintain their physical and mental well-being despite the challenges of solo living. 

Economic Disparities 

The single’s tax disproportionately affects certain demographic groups, including women and older adults. Women, on average, earn less than men, making it more challenging for them to afford the financial burdens of solo living. Additionally, older adults who live alone may face higher healthcare and retirement expenses, further exacerbating the single’s tax.  

Mitigating the Single’s Tax 

While the single’s tax presents significant challenges, there are strategies individuals can employ to mitigate its impact. This includes careful budgeting, seeking out affordable housing options, and exploring opportunities for shared living arrangements or co-living spaces. Additionally, fostering social connections and building a support network can help combat feelings of loneliness associated with living alone. 

Tax Help for Single Individuals 

The concept of the single’s tax sheds light on the financial realities faced by individuals who choose to live independently. From higher housing costs to emotional challenges, solo living comes with its unique set of burdens. Understanding these factors is crucial for policymakers, employers, and individuals alike to address economic disparities and support the financial well-being of solo dwellers. By acknowledging the single’s tax and exploring solutions to mitigate its impact, we can strive towards greater equity and inclusivity for all individuals, regardless of their living arrangements. Optima Tax Relief has a team of dedicated and experienced tax professionals with proven track records of success.   

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Tax Tips for Rideshare Drivers

Tax Tips for Rideshare Drivers

The gig economy has revolutionized the way people work, providing flexibility and autonomy like never before. Ridesharing platforms like Uber, Lyft, and others have become a popular choice for those seeking extra income or a full-time job. However, amidst the freedom and flexibility, rideshare drivers often encounter challenges when it comes to understanding and managing their taxes. With income coming from multiple sources and a variety of deductible expenses, it’s crucial to maximize your profits and minimize your tax liability. Here are some essential tax tips tailored specifically for rideshare drivers. 

Know Your Employment Status 

One crucial aspect for rideshare drivers to understand is their employment status. Most rideshare companies classify their drivers as independent contractors. It’s essential for drivers to know the implications of being classified as independent contractors versus employees. As an independent contractor, you have more flexibility and control over your schedule, but you are also responsible for covering your expenses and paying self-employment taxes. On the other hand, if you were to be classified as an employee, the rideshare company would be responsible for certain benefits and taxes, but you may have less control over your schedule. Understanding your employment status can help you make informed decisions about your tax planning and overall business strategy. Stay informed about any legal developments or changes in employment classification laws that may impact your status as a rideshare driver. 

Know Which Tax Forms to Expect 

As a rideshare driver, you can expect to receive various tax forms from both the rideshare company and other sources. The most common tax forms you’ll receive are the 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC or 1099-K, which report your earnings from the rideshare platform. The 1099-NEC reports non-employee compensation, such as bonuses and incentives. The 1099-K reports your gross ride receipts, including fees and commissions paid to the rideshare company. Form 1099-MISC reports other income, including prizes and legal settlement money. Additionally, if you drive for multiple rideshare companies or other gig economy platforms, you may receive multiple 1099 forms. It’s essential to carefully review these forms for accuracy and use them to report your income accurately on your tax return.  

Understand Your Deductions 

As a rideshare driver, you are considered self-employed, which means you can deduct business expenses to reduce your taxable income. These expenses would be deducted using Schedule C

Operating Expenses 

You can deduct operating expenses such as the cost of your phone plan and internet expenses used for business purposes, such as communicating with passengers, navigating to pick-up locations, and managing your rideshare app. Other items in this category might be expenses related to providing a safe and convenient experience for passengers, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, phone mounts, chargers, tire inflators, and water bottles, can also be deducted. You can also deduct services you obtain for your rideshare business, including roadside assistance plans, car washes, mileage tracking software, accounting software, or electronic toll transponders. 

Insurance and Licenses 

You can deduct the cost of your rideshare insurance premiums. If you use your personal vehicle for ridesharing, make sure you have a policy that covers both personal and commercial use. Deduct any fees associated with obtaining or renewing your driver’s license, vehicle registration, or any other required licenses or permits. 

Vehicle Expenses 

A big portion of your deductions will likely be vehicle expenses. You have two options for this category. You can use the standard mileage deduction or deduct actual expenses incurred for the year. The mileage deduction is one of the most significant tax benefits for rideshare drivers. You can deduct a set amount for each mile driven for business purposes. In 2024, this amount is 67 cents per mile driven for business purposes. Keep track of all miles driven while working, including driving to pick up passengers, driving between rides, and driving for business-related errands. 

The actual expenses method allows you to deduct a portion of your vehicle-related costs, including gas, oil changes, repairs, maintenance, car washes, depreciation, registration fees, and even lease payments or loan interest if you own your vehicle. This method requires detailed records but can be very beneficial if your vehicle is expensive to maintain. 

Keep Detailed Records 

Maintaining accurate records of your income and expenses is vital for tax purposes. Keep track of every mile driven for business purposes, including both passenger pickups and driving between rides. There are plenty of apps that can help track both mileage and expenses easily. The IRS looks into these expenses very closely so proper record-keeping is essential for this type of business. It’s also crucial to keep your personal and business expenses separate. Consider getting a separate bank account and credit card for your rideshare business to streamline your record-keeping process and make it easier to track deductible expenses. 

Know Your Tax Responsibilities 

As a self-employed individual, one of your biggest responsibilities is to ensure you’re paying quarterly estimated taxes to the IRS. This is because the IRS requires tax to be paid as income is earned. As a self-employed individual, you do not have the benefit of automatic tax withholding through an employer. This means it’s your job to make sure taxes are paid each quarter. Failure to pay these taxes throughout the year can result in penalties and interest charges. Use Form 1040-ES to calculate and pay your estimated taxes each quarter. This process can be confusing. Don’t be afraid to consult with a tax professional for clarification on this. It’s better to ask for help now than to be surprised with a tax bill later.  

Save for Retirement 

As a self-employed individual, you don’t have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. However, you can still save for retirement through options like a Solo 401(k) or a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA. Contributing to these retirement accounts can help reduce your taxable income while saving for your future.  

Consider Hiring a Tax Professional 

While it’s possible to handle your rideshare taxes on your own, it can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a tax professional, especially if you’re unsure about complex tax issues or have significant deductions. Tax laws and regulations are subject to change, so it’s essential to stay informed about any updates that may affect rideshare drivers. You can always do your part by subscribing to newsletters or following reputable tax resources online. However, a tax professional can help you maximize your deductions and ensure compliance with tax laws.  

Tax Help for Rideshare Drivers 

In conclusion, managing taxes as a rideshare driver requires careful planning and record-keeping. By keeping detailed records, understanding your deductions, and staying informed about tax laws, you can minimize your tax liability and maximize your profits. Consider seeking the guidance of a tax professional to ensure compliance and take full advantage of available deductions and tax-saving opportunities. With the right approach, you can navigate the tax landscape with confidence and focus on growing your rideshare business. Optima Tax Relief is the nation’s leading tax resolution firm with over $3 billion in resolved tax liabilities. 

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Tax Checklist for Moving States

tax checklist for moving states

Moving to a new state is often an exciting adventure, but amidst the hustle and bustle of relocation, it’s easy to overlook important details, such as how the move will impact your taxes. State tax laws vary widely, and failing to understand and plan for these differences can result in unexpected financial consequences. To help you stay ahead of the game, here’s a comprehensive tax checklist for anyone considering a move to a different state. 

Check the Income Tax Rate 

When researching where to move, finances are sure to be a top priority to keep in mind. Sometimes this means choosing a state that has a lower cost of living. Another thing to consider is the state income tax rate. Certain states do not tax any income. These include:  

  • Alaska  
  • Florida 
  • Nevada  
  • South Dakota  
  • Texas  
  • Tennessee  
  • Washington  
  • Wyoming  

New Hampshire does not tax W-2 wages but does tax certain investment and business income. However, this tax will be eliminated in 2025. California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Oregon and Minnesota currently have the highest income tax rates.

Check Property Tax Rates 

Property tax rates can vary widely from state to state, and even within states, they can vary by county or municipality. It’s essential to research the specific property tax rates in your new location to accurately budget for homeownership expenses. Some states, like New Jersey and Illinois, are known for having particularly high property tax rates. Others, such as Hawaii and Alabama, have comparatively lower rates. Before purchasing a home in your new state, research recent property sales in the area to get an idea of the market value and potential property tax implications

High property tax rates can impact the affordability of homeownership. This is especially true for those on fixed incomes or with limited financial resources. When considering a move to a new state, factor in the property tax implications alongside other housing-related expenses, such as mortgage payments, insurance, and maintenance costs. Property taxes are generally deductible on federal income tax returns, subject to certain limitations. However, the deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes, is capped at $10,000 per year for individuals or married couples filing jointly. 

Check Sales Tax Rates 

Sales tax rates are another critical consideration when moving to a new state, as they can impact your day-to-day spending habits and overall cost of living. Sales tax rates can vary significantly from state to state and even within states. While some states have a single statewide sales tax rate, others allow local jurisdictions to impose additional sales taxes, resulting in varying rates within the same state. 

Certain goods and services may be exempt from sales tax in some states. Common exemptions include groceries, prescription medications, and clothing. Additionally, some states impose special sales tax rates on specific items, such as gasoline, alcohol, tobacco, and prepared meals. Be aware of these special rates and how they may impact your budget. Sales tax rates can have a significant impact on the overall cost of living in a particular state. Higher sales tax rates may make goods and services more expensive, reducing your purchasing power and impacting your budget. When considering a move to a new state, factor in the sales tax rate alongside other cost-of-living expenses. 

Check Your Filing Requirements 

If you lived in two or more states during a year, you would need to check the filing requirements for each state. The requirements are typically listed on the state’s tax authority website. In most cases, you’ll need to file a return in all states you lived in during the tax year. To do this, you’ll need to calculate your earnings in each state and determine the percentage of your income that was earned in each state. You’ll need to file the relevant tax forms in each state, usually as a resident or part-year resident. It’s important to note that two different states legally cannot tax the same income, so moving states does not necessarily mean you will pay more taxes.   

There may be some scenarios in which you moved states, but still work in your old state. In this case, you would likely need to file a tax return in the state where you live, as well as a nonresident tax return in the state where you work. You may also want to check the tax laws in your new state. Finding out how your new state handles itemized deductions, state tax deductions, or federal tax changes can help you avoid unexpected issues during tax time.  

Check Which Income Types Are Taxable  

If you have multiple sources of income, it is vital to check how the income will be taxed in your new state. Interest and dividend income is typically taxed by the state in which you are a permanent resident. In addition, some states require estimated tax payments on some incomes. Not knowing the rules or deadlines for these can result in underpayment penalties.   

Investments that are tax-exempt in your old state may suddenly be taxable in your new state. While all states do not require you to pay taxes on federal bonds, not all states have the same definition of a federal bond, meaning some tax bonds and others do not. Retirement income is also taxed differently in certain states, so if you are moving because of retirement, you may want to check the tax laws surrounding retirement income first.   

Check Your Eligibility for Moving Expense Deductions 

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated the moving expense deduction for taxpayers, unless they are active-duty military members. However, this act is set to expire beginning in 2026.   

Tax Relief for Those Moving States 

It goes without saying that filing taxes after moving states can become very complex, especially if you have several income sources. Sometimes the new state you move to may not be your first choice, like when you’re an active-duty military member or are relocating for a job. In other cases, you may have the option to choose which state you want to relocate to. In these cases, researching tax laws in your new state can save a lot of time, money and stress during tax time. It may be best to seek the help of a credible tax preparer or professional to look at your tax situation. Optima Tax Relief has a team of dedicated and experienced tax professionals with proven track records of success.   

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation