January 2020 Newsletter
Happy New Year! I remember when I was a child figuring out how old I would be in 2020 and thinking it was a long way off, but here we are already! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We look forward to working with you in 2020!
Tips For Filling Out Your Tax Organizer
The document that seems to scare us the most is the Tax Organizer. This is the document we send to you to help you collect your tax information. Organizers will be sent out within the next few days. If you don't receive yours within the next week please call or email the office.

The organizer looks like a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some do's and don't's for handling your organizer.
  1. Answer the Questions! The questionnaire page helps the preparer understand any changes in your life and your financial situation. It helps determine which taxes or deductions might apply to you this year. It will also help us ask more questions if needed.
  2. Use the Organizer as a guide. Use the organizer as a guide to identify which forms and information were part of your tax submission last year. This should prompt you to either find the current years information or identify a change in income or deductions.
  3. No supporting document? Write it in the organizer. For any income or deduction for which you do not have supporting documentation, write it in the organizer. If you closed an account, make a note in the organizer. Many accounts have stopped mailing 1099's and other documents. If you think you are missing something, log into your account and print the documentation you need.
  4. It's OK to use your own lists most of the time. For example, if you would like to create a spreadsheet showing charitable donations or home expenses related to your home office, that would be fine. Simply write a note in the organizer saying "see attached list" in the space that asks for that information.
  5. Do write in the organizer any information that is not in your supporting documents.
  6. Don't write information that is already provided by your supporting documents. For example, you don't have to write in your wages if you have provided a W-2.
  7. Do write any questions you may have in the organizer on the page that prompted your question. For example, if you aren't sure if massage therapy is tax deductible, write that question on the page that asks about medical deductions. If you have a general questions, write it on the notes page.
  8. Send Supporting Documents.Please include W-2's, all 1099's for interest, dividend or miscellaneous income, mortgage interest statements(1098), property tax bills, closing documents for the sale or purchase of a home, and HSA documents including 5498SA and 1099SA.

Following these tips will help you properly complete your organizer and provide us with the information we need to complete your taxes. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call the office at 810-991-1761. We look forward to working with you again this year!
How May the Secure Act Affect You?
Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act), legislation that may affect how you plan for your retirement. Many of the provisions go into effect in 2020, which means now is the time to consider how these new rules may affect your tax and retirement planning situation.
Here is a look at some of the more important elements of the SECURE Act that have an impact on individuals.
Repeal of the maximum age for traditional IRA contributions. Before 2020, traditional IRA contributions were not allowed once the individual attained age 70½. Starting in 2020, the new rules allow an individual of any age to make contributions to a traditional IRA, as long as the individual has compensation, which generally means earned income from wages or self-employment.
Required minimum distribution age raised from 70½ to 72 for IRA owners and retirement plans participants.  For individuals born after June 30, 1949, your first RMD (required minimum distribution) will not be until the year that you turn 72.
Partial elimination of stretch IRAs. For deaths of plan participants or IRA owners occurring before 2020, beneficiaries (both spousal and nonspousal) were generally allowed to stretch out the tax-deferral advantages of the plan or IRA by taking distributions over the beneficiary's life or life expectancy. However, for deaths of plan participants or IRA owners beginning in 2020, distributions to most nonspouse beneficiaries are generally required to be distributed within ten years following the plan participant's or IRA owner's death (10-year rule).
Exceptions to the 10-year rule are allowed for distributions to (1) the surviving spouse of the plan participant or IRA owner; (2) a child of the plan participant or IRA owner who has not reached majority; (3) a chronically ill individual; and (4) any other individual who is not more than ten years younger than the plan participant or IRA owner. Those beneficiaries who qualify under this exception may generally still take their distributions over their life expectancy.
Expansion of 529 education savings plans to cover registered apprenticeships and distributions to repay certain student loans. Before 2019, qualified higher education expenses didn't include the expenses of registered apprenticeships or student loan repayments. But for distributions made after December 31, 2018 (the effective date is retroactive) tax-free distributions from 529 plans can be used to pay for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for the beneficiary's participation in an apprenticeship program. In addition, tax-free distributions (up to $10,000) are allowed to pay the principal or interest on the qualified education loan of the designated beneficiary, or a sibling of the designated beneficiary.
Kiddie Tax changes. The new rules enacted on December 20, 2019 repeal the kiddie tax measures that were added by the TCJA. So, starting in 2020 (with the option to start retroactively in 2018 or 2019) the unearned income of children is taxed under the pre-TCJA rules and not at trust/estate rates. And starting retroactively in 2018, the new rules also eliminate the reduced AMT exemption amount for children to whom the kiddie tax rules apply and who have net unearned income.
Michigan Minimum Wage
As of January 1, 2020, Michigan has a new minimum wage. There are minimum wage increases scheduled going forward until 2030. If you are an employer, be sure to review your employee's pay rates and make adjustments if needed.
January and February Office Hours
January 6th to January 31st
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

February 3rd to April 15th
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Contact Us
Jellison CPA | Phone 810-991-1761 | Fax 866-642-2025 |     Website