September highlights from The MWE Advisor newsletter: learn how to maximize tax breaks for work-related costs, the potential downsides of reverse mortgages, and why it’s risky to rely on unofficial IRS guidance.
How to Maximize Tax Breaks for Work-Related Education Costs
Individuals who take work-related courses may be eligible for some lucrative federal income tax breaks. But the rules can be confusing. Here’s what employees and self-employed individuals need to know to make the most of work-related education tax breaks, including the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits, employer-provided educational assistance plans and reimbursements, and miscellaneous itemized deductions for work-related education.
Report Warns Retirees about Potential Downsides of Reverse Mortgages
Some seniors decide to defer Social Security benefits and, instead, apply for a reverse mortgage to meet their cash flow needs. A recent CFPB report points out the risks and costs you should consider before using this strategy. If you don’t carefully weigh the pros and cons, you could jeopardize your retirement nest egg. Here are the mechanics of reverse mortgages and some potential pitfalls to bear in mind.
Why It’s Risky to Rely on Unofficial IRS Guidance
Relying on FAQs and Answers, along with other forms of unofficial guidance posted on the IRS website, may not protect you from IRS audit or additional tax assessments, interest and penalties. Here’s an overview of the different types of guidance the IRS publishes, recommendations from the National Taxpayer Advocate on how to make guidance fairer, and a suggestion on how to minimize penalties on assessments of additional taxes.