Tax Tips from Tax & Accounting Plus – Part 2

The team at Tax & Accounting Plus will seek to provide their customers with the best customer services available. They pride themselves on going the extra mile and that is what helps separate them from the competition. That’s why their company motto is “We Word For You!”

New Tax Tips are released weekly. Contact Tax & Accounting Plus to schedule your appointment today by calling 309-827-4010.


If you use your personal vehicle for your work, you may be able to write off the costs on your tax return. To qualify you must use your car in your own business. You must maintain adequate records to prove your business use. If you can meet these requirements, then your auto expenses may be deducted.

Ideally, the record should be prepared at or near the time of the business use. The best way is to keep a logbook handy in your automobile to record your miles as they occur. Also, there are some very good mileage tracker phone apps that are free or very inexpensive.

If you plan on taking an auto deduction this year, be prepared to answer the following questions for each auto when you file your tax return, in addition to your daily mileage log.

  1. Do you have evidence to support your deduction?
  2. Is your evidence written?
  3. What is the total business and total personal mileage for the year?
  4. What was the beginning and ending odometer reading for 2022?

There are generally two methods for computing your auto expenses; the standard mileage rate method and the actual cost method. Normally, you can use whichever method gives you the largest deduction. Whether you’re using the standard mileage method, 58.5/62.5 cents per business mile for miles driven, or you’re writing off your actual costs, you will need to keep your daily mileage log. Make sure you have all these totaled & documented before you come to see your tax preparer.


 2023 2022 
 Before 7/1 After 6/30
Business65.5 cents58.5 cents 62.5 cents
Medical22.0 cents18.0 cents 22.0 cents
Moving22.0 cents18.0 cents 22.0 cents
Charity14.0 cents14.0 cents 14.0 cents
Depreciation28.0 cents26.0 cents 26.0 cents

Childcare Credit The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 made some positive changes to the Childcare Credit, which helped out many taxpayers. Unfortunately, those changes were only for the 2021 tax year. For tax year 2022, the rules revert back to the rules and regulations that were in place prior to the 2021 tax year. For 2022, the Childcare Credit is 20% to 35% of your childcare expenses and is available for working parents who pay childcare for their children under the age of 13. The amount of eligible expenses is $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more children. To be able to claim this credit, you must know the total amount paid to each childcare provider, the provider’s legal name and Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number, the provider’s address and phone number.

Childcare Excess Benefits: If benefits received are more than the amount that can be excluded, the excess is included in taxable wages on line 1, Form 1040 labeled “DCB”. Dependent care benefits are not subject to FICA and Medicare tax even if excess benefits are included in taxable wages on line 1, Form 1040.

Office In Home Expenses will be allowed for the place of business which is used by the taxpayer for the administration or management activities of the taxpayer’s business if there is no other fixed location of the business where these activities are substantially performed. The home office must still be used regularly and exclusively, but no longer needs to be the place where the income- producing activities take place. You may use either the standard method or simplified option.

Substantiating Your Expenses. The TCJA eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation. However, for 2021 and 2022, taxpayers may deduct 100% of the cost of business meals that are purchased in a restaurant. Business meals purchased at any other venue are still subject to the 50% limitation, unless one of the other 100% provisions apply.

The taxpayer (or employee of the taxpayer) should be present and the food or beverages are not considered lavish or extravagant. Proper substantiation of your expenses is still required. You should substantiate each of the following four elements of your expense:

1) Time & Place                2) Business Purpose

3) Dollar Amount              4) Business Relationship

In addition to recording this information you will need receipts, tickets or other supporting documentation for expenditures of $75.00 or more (other than lodging).


You may be eligible for earned income credit this year if:

  1. Your earned income is less than $43,492 ($49,622 if MFJ) and you have one qualifying child. You may be eligible to receive up to $3,733 of EIC.
  2. Your earned income is less than $49,399 ($55,529 if MFJ) and you have two qualifying children. You may be eligible to receive up to $6,164 of EIC.
  3. Your earned income is less than $53,057 ($59,187 if MFJ) and you have three qualifying children. You may be eligible to receive up to $6,935 of EIC.
  4. Your earned income was less than $16,480 ($22,610 if MFJ) and you are at least age 25 and under age 65. You may be eligible to receive up to $560 of EIC.

Failure to meet qualifying child tax ID requirement. Effective for all tax years beginning after December 31, 2020, taxpayers who have one or more qualifying children that do not meet the taxpayer identification number requirement are allowed to claim the Earned Income Credit under the no qualifying children rule.

Investment Income Limit. The investment income limitation for the Earned Income Credit is increased to $10,300.

NOTE: Please bring some sort of documentation for each child indicating they lived with you in 2022, i.e. school record, medical statement, piece of mail, etc.

A Qualifying Child of More Than One Person. If a child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can treat that child as a qualifying child and claim the EIC using the child. You and the other person can decide who will claim the credit using that qualifying child. Ask your preparer at Tax & Accounting Plus for details.

Gift Exclusion. The annual exclusion for gifts made to a donee during 2022 is $16,000 and will increase to $17,000 for 2023.

Day Care Providers. Family day care providers can choose to use a standardized rate to claim a deduction for meals. The rates are Breakfast – $1.40, Lunch/Dinner – $2.63 and Snack – $.78. The standard rate is allowed for up to 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner & 3 snacks per day per child, provided the meals & snacks are actually purchased & served.


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…