What's new in 2021-2

American Rescue Plan Act 2021

Xspouse has been updated for the American Rescue Plan Act 2021 changes to:

In order to implement these updates the following user interface changes have been incorporated:

In addition to the user interface changes, the accompanying calculations steps are as follows:

Earned Income Credit

For 2021 under the no children scenario:

A background briefing of what the above steps mean is available at https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN11610/6

Child Tax Credit

For Year 2021, the child tax credit of $2,000 per child under age 17 at the end of the year has been extended to include children aged 17 at the end of the year. Additionally an amount of $1,600 is available for children under the age of 6 at the end of the year and an additional $1,000 for children aged 6-17 at the end of the year. Both components of the CTC are fully refundable subject to two different phase-out rules.

The additional credit components phase-out at a rate of $50 for every $1,000 or part thereof above the following thresholds:

The original $2,000 credit continues to be reduced by $50 for every $1,000 that modified AGI is more than $400,000 for married couples filing a joint return and $200,000 for all others.

In order to handle the above changes, a second page has been added to the Publication 972 tax form in Xspouse that calculates the additional credit and phase-out, then adds this amount back to Line 10 on Page 1 of Publication 972.

Further, as both components of the 2021 CTC are fully refundable, the calculation of the Additional Child Tax Credit on Schedule 8818 has been modified for Year 2021 so that the additional credit is equal to the amount on Line 5 of Schedule 8812.

Child and Dependent Care Credit

For 2021, eligible taxpayers can claim qualifying employment-related expenses up to:

The maximum percentage has been increased to 50% (up from 35%) and the phase-out threshold raised to $125,000. Above the threshold, as previously, the percentage is decreased by 1% for every $2,000 or part thereof that the adjusted gross income exceeds the threshold down to 20%. Thereafter, the percentage remains at 20% until a secondary threshold of $400,000 is reached above which the percentage is again decreased by 1% for every $2,000 or part thereof that the adjusted gross income exceeds this secondary threshold, until the credit fully phases out at an adjusted gross income over $438,000.

For 2021, the CDCC is fully refundable so the amount from Form 2441 in 2021 is written to Form 1040 Schedule 3 rather than to Schedule 2 as in other years. A note explaining this change has been added to the bottom of Form 2441 in Xspouse.

Browser view and printing

2021-2 fixes a bug in the browser preview where, in some scenarios, the incorrect spouse label was being exported to the browser view.

What's new in 2021-1

Added Schedule D Tax Worksheet

The federal Schedule D Tax Worksheet has been incorporated into the tax calculations within Xspouse, as well as triggers to determine which worksheet to use to calculate federal tax; ie:

New field for pre-tax contributions to 401(k) plans

A new data input field has been added to the main screen for entering pre-tax contributions to 401(k) plans.

Additional data input fields

Fields for 28% rate gain and Unrecaptured 1250 gain have been added to the detail windows for both "Other taxable income" and "New spouse income".

Fields for lines 4e and 4g from Form 4952 have been added to the detail window for "Ded interest expense".

A field for Charitable contributions has been added to the detail window for "Adjustments to income".

More detail in display of Schedule CA (540)

The display of Schedule CA (540) under "Taxes/Tax Forms" has been significantly expanded to show more lines in Part II, Adjustments to Federal Itemized Deductions". The expansion of this section of the display will make it much easier to see how the figure for line 18 is calculated.

What's new in 2020

Browser preview for child(ren) timeshare

The child(ren) timeshare views can now be opened in your browser. To open the timeshare views in your browser, click on the "Browser" button that has been added to the timeshare window in Xspouse.

The first page that will open after you click on the "Browser" button in Xspouse will be the list of children.

An ellipsis (...) beside a child's name indicates that more information is available by clicking on the ellipsis. For example, if the child's timeshare was set using the "Table" option, then clicking on the ellipsis beside that child's name will show which option in the table was selected for the child.

Similarly, if the child's timeshare was set using the "Worksheet" option, then clicking on the ellipsis beside that child's name will display the worksheet for that child. The browser display is interactive and you can click on any month or either parent to see that month's and/or parent's data.

Printing a worksheet from the browser will allow you to choose whether to print just this month for the currently selected parent (this is the default print setting), or to print all months and/or print for both parents.

Changed settings are cleary identified

In order to make it easier for the user to identify which settings have been changed, all settings that trigger the “Settings changed” warning on the main screen are now displayed in red font in the Settings window when changed from those shipped with the program.

If a setting is changed back to the Xspouse default, then its font returns to black. That makes it very easy in the Settings screen to identify which settings have been changed.

Health insurance detail window

In the Health insurance detail window, with the removal of the federal individual responsibility payment, the federal input has been simplified by having the user enter the net payment after the premium tax credit has been accounted for. At the same time, with the introduction of a state based individual responsibility penalty, provision is included for entering the penalty.

Young Child Tax Credit

California has introduced a Young Child Tax Credit if a qualifying child is under the age of 6 years. A YES/NO toggle is provided in the detail input window for #Exemptions to indicate this. The default is NO.

QBI coop patron reduction

An additional option has been included on the QBID calculator to allow for a coop reduction.

A subwindow opens up on pressing the Coop button to allow the required input.

What's new in 2019

Qualified Business Income Deduction Calculator

Xspouse 2019 provides a fully-integrated qualified business income deduction calculator that is accessible via the detail window for the "Qual bus income ded" field on the main screen. As with other input fields on the main screen, a value for QBID can be entered directly into the field, or the QBID value can be computed by opening the detail window to display the QBID calculator, and entering the qualified amounts for QBI, W2-wages, and UBIA.

The calculator provides buttons for adding and deleting PTBs and SSTBs, and for aggregating/disaggregating PTBs. The QBID calculator automatically takes the filing status, taxable income, and capital gain information from the currently open case in order to calculate the various parameters, such as the applicable threshold, phase-in range, applicable percentage, and others.

If businesses with a negative QBI are added, the calculator automatically follows the netting rules set out in the regulations.

If a QBID value is entered directly into the "Qual bus income ded" field on the main screen, any data that had previously been entered into the QBID calculator will be ignored (but not deleted). If the calculator is subsequently re-opened, and the 'OK' button clicked, then the QBID value that is computed by the calculator will again replace any value that had been entered directly into the field on the main screen.

Taxable/non-taxable, deductible/non-deductible spousal support

Xspouse 2019-1 builds on Xspouse 2018-1.1 in treating spousal support judgements post 2018 as being non-tax items federally, and treated as adjustments to income for state taxes.

In conformance with the new FL-150, Xspouse 2019-1 includes new input fields for taxable and non-taxable spousal support payment in the detailed input windows under “SS paid prev marriage” and “Other taxable income”.

Additionally, a switch has been added to the Settings screen to allow activation of federal tax for spousal support, if required.

If this switch is set to “YES”, a new warning message is displayed on the main Xspouse screen to indicate this fact.

Note: The default in Xspouse is 'NO', as this conforms to the federal tax changes.