protect taxpayer dataTaxpayers should protect their personal and financial data from criminals who continue to steal large amounts of information. Thieves use the data to file bogus tax returns and commit crimes while impersonating the victim.  
All taxpayers should follow these steps to protect themselves and their data.

The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will increase significantly in 2019, after increasing slightly last year, the IRS announced. For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2019 will be 58 cents per mile up from 54.5 cents per mile in 2018. Taxpayers can use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile.

MoneyThe Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security component of the FICA tax will increase from $128,400 to $132,900 for 2019. This means that for 2019, the maximum Social Security tax that employers and employees will each pay is $8,239.80 ($132,900 x 6.2%). A self-employed person with at least $132,900 in net self-employment earnings will pay $16,479.6 ($132,900 x 12.40%) for the Social Security part of the self-employment tax. The Medicare component remains 1.45% of all earnings, and individuals with earned income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly, $125,000 for married filing separately) will pay an additional 0.9% in Medicare taxes.

Section 199A deduction also known as the Qualified Business Income deduction arises from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017. This is a significant tax break for small business owners but there are rules and limits of course.

per diem rates increasingThe new per-diem numbers are now out, effective October 1, 2018. These numbers are to be used for per-diem allowances paid to any employee on or after October 1, 2018, for travel away from home on or after that date. The new rates include those for the transportation industry; the rate for the incidental expenses; and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.