Francetic Tax Resolution LLC - January 2021

JANUARY 2021

262-752-6992

WWW.FRANCETICTAXRESOLUTION.COM

KEEPING IT ALL IN THE FAMILY

My Older Brother, John, Is Joining FTR!

As crazy as it sounds, 2020 was my busiest year ever. Apparently, when people can’t get together at movie theaters, restaurants, or concerts, they decide it’s time to solve their tax problems! It’s been a real honor to help so many of you negotiate with the IRS and file your tax returns over the last 12 months. Given this big jump in work, when I sat down to think about this tax season, I realized I couldn’t do it all alone. I want to keep giving you the best possible service, so I decided to bring on another accountant to help me out with tax return filing and resolution work. It didn’t take long to realize that my older brother, John, was the perfect guy for the job. John has been an accountant and bookkeeper for years, and he’s one of the most diligent, trustworthy people I know. It took some wrangling, but I talked him into leaving his part-time bookkeeping job and helping me out at Francetic Tax Resolution. I am lucky to have him! John already had an accounting degree and years of experience. The only thing he hadn’t done was pass the IRS Enrolled Agent Exam, which would allow him to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of our clients. After quite a lot of studying, he passed all three parts of the exam on his first attempt, which is not easy to do. I know the studying seemed overwhelming to him at times, but I was so proud of how he handled the challenge of learning about something so complicated. Tax resolution work can be very delicate. I deal with sensitive information like Social Security numbers, salary details, and debt loads all the time, so when I started looking around for a second accountant to bring on, I knew that I couldn’t hire just anyone. I needed a right-hand man whom I could trust completely and who wouldn’t go blabbing your confidential information to his friends. That’s why I decided to keep Francetic Tax Resolution all in the family. “JOHN HAS BEEN AN ACCOUNTANT AND BOOKKEEPER FOR YEARS, AND HE’S ONE OF THE MOST DILIGENT, TRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE I KNOW.”

oriented. Plus, it will be fun to swap childhood memories with him while we work — I’ve already got his home office set up right next to mine!

Tax season is just getting started, but it’s not too early to get in touch with me and John about preparing your 2020 tax return. We’re also here around the clock to do resolution work for you, your friends, and your family members. If you or someone you know has had a nagging tax problem hanging like a black cloud over their holidays, now’s the time to tackle it. You can give us a call any time or visit 262tax.com to schedule a free consultation.

I’m looking forward to helping even more people in 2021!

Paul Francetic

I’d trust John with my life, so I have no worries about putting confidential information in his capable hands. There’s no one on the planet more detail-

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NEW TAX RULES FOR CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2020

DON’T FORGET THE CARES ACT’S SPECIAL BONUS!

Many people tackled deep-cleaning projects while spending more time at home last year. If your cleaning spree ended in donating items to a local charity, or if you donated funds to help local organizations supporting pandemic relief, you can look forward to some tax breaks! To feel confident in claiming them, here's what you need to know about filing your 2020 taxes, including some unique additions from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. ITEMIZED VS. STANDARD DEDUCTIONS When filing your taxes, you’ll need to first decide whether you want to itemize your deductions or take the standard deduction set by the IRS. Even those who cannot claim other tax credits or breaks qualify for the standard deduction. However, if you do have qualifying deductions and they add up to more than the standard deduction, it’s smarter to itemize your deductions.

Take note that the standard deduction was increased in 2020 because of the CARES Act. In 2019, the standard deduction for a single person was $12,200; in 2020, it’s $12,400. For those who are married and filing jointly, the standard deduction was $24,400 in 2019 and $24,800 in 2020. And the standard deduction for heads of household in 2019 was $18,350 and it’s $18,650 in 2020. DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS If you choose to itemize your deductions, almost any gift to a qualified charitable organization can be deducted against your taxable income. It’s very important to keep records of all your contributions. According to the IRS, when donating items to a local charity like the Red Cross or Goodwill, the deductible value equals the fair market value of your items.

If you made cash donations in 2020, there is a special rule to be aware of: Donations to public charities are now 100% deductible instead of 60%. However, this doesn’t apply to private foundations. AN ADDITIONAL CHARITABLE DEDUCTION If you choose to take the standard deduction rather than itemize deductions on your 2020 tax return, you may qualify for a new dedication courtesy of the CARES Act. If you donated to a qualified charity before Jan. 1, 2021, you can deduct up to $300, for single filers, or $600 per married couple. The CARES Act can save you hundreds of dollars on your 2020 tax return. Use this guide to navigate the upcoming tax season. Happy filing!

t NEED FURNITURE REPAIRED LOCALLY? I KNOW A GUY!

Just over a year ago, I got a call from a local couple who needed help with a tax problem. They were going up against the IRS and wanted an experienced tax resolution specialist in their corner — a role I was happy to take on. That couple was David and Debi Rengers, the husband-wife owners of Furniture Renaissance right here in Racine. Their business specializes in furniture repair and restoration. It opened in 1990, but the Rengers bought it in 2014 and turned it into a family affair. “David has been with the business 20 years or more,” Debi says. “He’s what they call a conservator, so he repairs the furniture and refinishes it. We also do upholstery, so he does that and I do the bookkeeping.” Furniture Renaissance has just one other employee, Justin Miller, who works with David as a junior conservator in the shop. Their team may be small, but it’s mighty. David has been working with furniture (and following in his

father’s footsteps) for almost 50 years, and he’s trained in museum-quality restoration and conservation techniques. “We handle a mix of things, and [David’s work] never ceases to amaze me. We had a chair come in once where a dog had chewed one arm quite extensively, and when my husband was finished with it you couldn't even tell which arm was chewed!” Debi says. When the Rengers called, I listened carefully to their concerns and went to bat for them against the IRS right away. “Our experience working with Paul has been excellent,” Debi says. “The IRS can be very intimidating and confusing, and he helped eliminate that confusion and set us on the right track.” I’ve enjoyed working with Debi and David, too! They do great work, and I’m always proud to help out good people and support a local business.

If you have a piece of furniture that needs some TLC because time and/or pets got hold of it, give Furniture Renaissance a call at 262-633-6040. They’ll have it looking good as new in no time!

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HOW TO ACCESS COVID-19 TAX CREDITS IF YOU’RE SELF-EMPLOYED FTR TAX TIP OF THE MONTH

BIRTHDAY CAKE BAKED OATMEAL FOR ONE (YES, REALLY)

If you were an employee during 2020 and COVID-19 affected your family, you probably received some type of benefit from your company. You might have been eligible for up to two weeks of paid time off if you were infected, had to care for a family member who contracted COVID-19, or needed to stay home to watch your kids when schools closed. These relief measures helped millions of Americans, but they left self-employed people out in the cold — at least, that’s what most of us assumed! In reality, there IS a safety net for self-employed people built into the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed by Congress in March. The difficult part is that if you’re an entrepreneur, you can’t access that relief until you file your 2020 tax return this spring. That process requires a Form 7202, which was released as a draft by the IRS in late November. They’re still finalizing the particulars, but this form will allow eligible self-employed individuals affected by COVID-19 during 2020 to claim a tax credit (a dollar-for-dollar reduction of tax). If that includes you, you’re in luck! You simply need to include a Form 7202 when filing your 2020 tax return. There are two parts to the form. Part one calculates the tax credit you’ll receive if you were directly impacted by COVID-19 (for example if you got sick and tested positive, had to quarantine because you were exposed, or had to take care of a family member who was sick). Part two of the form gives you an additional credit if you had to provide care for a child who stayed home from daycare or school because of COVID-19. The final credit amounts will be calculated based on your net self- employment earnings for 2020. You’ll receive, at most, $7,110 for part one and $10,000 for part two, depending on your circumstances. If you’re in this situation or know someone who is, I can help make sure the Form 7202 is filled out correctly and you (or they!) get relief. Reach out to me today at 262-752-6992 or direct your entrepreneurial friends and family my way.

Inspired by ItsTaylerMarie.org

Did you know that January is National Oatmeal Month? If you tend to think of oatmeal as boring, this fun dessert-themed recipe just might change your mind. To go all out, top with a candle and a dollop of whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS

• • • • •

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 1 browning banana, mashed

• •

Splash of vanilla extract 1 tsp brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and prepare a small oven-safe dish. 2. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the sprinkles. 3. Pour the oatmeal mixture into the prepared baking dish. 4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the oatmeal is golden brown. 5. Let the oatmeal cool slightly, top with sprinkles, and dig in!

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PRSRT FIRST-CLASS MAIL USPOSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

5429 DEERFIELD ROAD MOUNT PLEASANT, WI 53406-1919

WWW.FRANCETICTAXRESOLUTION.COM | 262-752-6992

INSIDE

RETURNSERVICE REQUESTED

Listen to Paul Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. on channel 1050 WLIP-AM or stream online at WLIP.com!

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Paul’s Brother John Joins the Team How to Deduct Charitable Contributions on Your 2020 Taxes Paul Comes to the Rescue of a

Local Furniture Repair Shop Self-Employed? You May be

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Eligible for a COVID-19 Tax Credit Birthday Cake Baked Oatmeal for One (Yes, Really)

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Give Yourself the Boost of Getting Outside

LET THAT FRESH AIR FUEL YOU

3. TAKE YOUR WORK OUTSIDE. If you’re working from home, take some work outdoors. Phone and virtual meetings are a great outdoor option, especially if you’ll just be an active listener and aren’t required to do any work simultaneously. Attach a note to your meeting reminders to get yourself set up outside five minutes before you start. 4. CREATE A SCHEDULE. It might feel strange to set reminders throughout the day to step outside, but you easily get wrapped up in activities and overlook breaks, and these reminders are exactly what you need. Start with 10-minute blocks three times a day. If you stick to them, soon you won’t need a schedule to get outside anymore. Winter weather may be cold, but even when you’re bundled up under a jacket and scarf, just 5–10 minutes outside can do wonders for your mood and energy for hours.

Hunkering down and waiting for the dark and chilly winter season to pass sounds pretty nice. But the reality is, if we deprive ourselves of time outside, we do ourselves a big disservice both mentally and physically. Staying indoors all day affects your energy and mood, which makes it hard to get anything done, so here are four easy tips to make it easier to get a little fresh air. 1. MAKE IT A PRIORITY. Getting outside means making the conscious effort to do so. If you want to reap its benefits, you have to decide to make it a priority in your day-to-day schedule. If you make the act important to you, you have more motivation to actually do it. Waking up and getting the day started can be hard. But studies have shown that natural light helps decrease your melatonin production, which means you feel ready to face the day sooner. So, set yourself a second alarm to head outside and take a quick walk around the block just after waking. Don’t even wash your face or grab coffee. Just get out there. 2. USE MORNINGS EFFECTIVELY.

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