November 2020

Trying Times

The Covid-19 pandemic is our Flu of 1918. People of the 22nd century, will look back on these times as The Virus of 2020. From governments and researchers to businesses of all sizes and their customers, all right thinking people are trying desperately to limit and possibly eradicate this virus.

The pharmaceutical industry of course is at the forefront of developing antidotes and vaccines. Health care providers are stretched to the limit trying to save lives and ease suffering at great personal risk.

Another group playing its part to understand and address this phenomenon we are facing is the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis economists. These social scientists have developed a model which could well play a role in guiding society in a manner that could go a long way toward virus mitigation while minimizing economic costs. For those so inclined there is an article by Douglas Clement, managing editor at the Minneapolis Fed, which may be seen here.

Economic Impact Payments for Students

Many college students are at that threshold where they may still live with their parents but no longer qualify as a dependent. They may no longer be regarded by the IRS as a Qualifying Child: Age 19 or older at the end of the year, or now providing more than half of his or her own support for the year are some of the criteria to consider.

That student may not have filed a tax return for 2019 but was not claimed by another taxpayer. That individual should file an application to receive funds from the US Treasury. You need to hurry up to take advantage as time is running out. The deadline for filing is November 21, 2020.

If a student was claimed on the tax return of a parent, that parent is the individual eligible for the payment. Please go here for more information.


Annual IRA Distribution Requirement Waiver

Due to the pandemic the RMD has been waived for 2020. See IRS Notice 2020-51, Guidance on Waiver of 2020 Required Minimum Distributions.

Normally investors older than age 70 ½ are required to withdraw a certain amount from a qualified retirement plan each calendar year. The amount to be distributed is calculated each year by the custodian holding your account and is referred to as a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). This is a compulsory amount that if not taken, will be subject to a 50% penalty on the sum that should have been distributed for that calendar year.