Social Security Scams: What To Listen For

There’s a growing scam where a caller pretends to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and tries to get you to give them your social security number. While it may sound obvious in hindsight, these calls are very tricky. In fact last year more than 35,000 people reported the scam, which was up from only 3,200 people in 2017, and they lost $10 million total. Remember, the SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or ask you to wire money or send cash. Even if the caller ID says it’s the SSA, if you are concerned call the SSA back directly at 1-800-772-1213 to confirm. For more details and to listen to one of the scam calls, click here

Your Taxes and Medical Deductions

This past year brought some big changes to the U.S. tax code, and it's important to understand how it can impact the medical expense deduction. For example, beginning in the 2018 tax year, the standard deduction increased for single filers ($12,000, up from $6,350 in 2017) and married couples filing jointly ($24,000 up from $12,700). As a result, it’s estimated that this year 25+ million Americans will take the standard deduction rather than itemizing. In addition, medical expenses will be deductible if you itemize and expenses are greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Only those expenses over 7.5% will be deductible - and it increases to 10% in 2019. For more information about tax code changes, click here

Note: Please contact your accountant or tax specialist with specific questions related to your taxes.