Guidance on Preparing Your Taxes

Usually, tax planning is not included on most people’s lists of new year’s resolutions. However, maybe 2014 ought to be the year when you make the effort to understand more about your taxes. This will allow you to correctly plan and organize your responsibilities.

This resolution will help you once tax season arrives, and it might result in you saving more cash over the long run.

Here’s some advice to help you get started on achieving this goal:

Organize your tax file for 2014. This might be an online file, where you can scan transactions and documents over the course of the year. This will impact on your total tax amount. Alternatively, you could use a bin or folder to store the details.

The advantage of electronic files, like Turbo Tax 2014, is that when your tax is due, you can just email the data to your accountant. Then, he or she can keep the file for use during an audit. Ensure that you have sufficiently backed your data up, just in case an unforeseen problem arises. Including notes on your tax documents will help your accountant understand the transactions, which facilitates the filing procedure.

Examples of important tax documents are: 1099s, W2s, escrow documents for purchase, K1s, receipts for car registration charges and real estate tax, receipts for additional tax deductible purchases, and letters confirming charitable donations made to recognized nonprofits.

All the best to everyone for a healthy, happy, successful and tax conscious 2014.

How To Check Your Tax Return Online

Check Your Tax Return Online

Everyone needs to be updated on the progress of his or her application for a tax return after they file. Failure to do this could unnecessarily prolong the waiting time, which is typically twenty one days. In most cases, the internal revenue service, commonly known as the IRS, is able to meet the 21 day target. However, delays associated with incomplete information or inaccurate details will hold up the process especially if the applicant does not get details of the hindrance. As a rule of thumb, one is advised to keep track of the process by checking the status of his or her tax return online.

There are several ways of verifying the condition of your tax return. To begin with, one can use a telephone to check the status of is of her tax return. The process is simple and it entails calling the IRS hotline at 1-800-829-1954. Besides this toll-free hotline, those with iPhone and Android phones can also check their tax return via a special application, IRS 2go. If you would like to check your tax return status online, the IRS website is the most appropriate place to visit. The website application is easy to navigate through and thus accessible to all and sundry.

The Where’s my Refund IRS web application will help you get the status of your tax return. However, this website is usually updated once in a day. For electrically-filed tax return, the refund information should be available in 24 hours after ISR receives the information. Alternatively, you can check your tax return online by simply having your security number ready at hand while logging in to the IRS website. Going by this option, a number of details would be required, including the exact amount to be refunded. Nevertheless, the goal will be met since one will be able to quickly learn the status of his or her returns.

Check Tax Return Online

Check Tax Return Online

Since the 2008 Economic debacle, the U.S. has looked for ways to maximize income while minimizing expenses. As a government’s chief method of income is the taxation of its citizens, the Federal government has looked to allowing the lapse of Bush era tax breaks, raising taxes where appropriate, and stricter guidelines for tax professionals.

This ethos is trickling down to the state level. In some of the harder hit states, new and tighter regulations concerning the taxpayer and his/her tax bill are coming into existence and the taxpayer is facing new and more intense scrutiny. This effectively translates into greater responsibility and headache for the professional tax preparer.

Already living in one of America’s most highly taxed states, the average citizen in the state of New York may not be aware of the ordinances in place that dictate nearly every phase of the tax preparer’s profession and his/her relationship with corporate and individual clients. Tax preparers have to pay a fee and register with the New York Department of Taxation and Finance if they make a least ten tax returns in a calendar year (deeming them professionals). As the Internal Revenue Service already has tax preparer registration in place, this is a double whammy for tax preparers who reside in the state of New York. Twice represented and twice accessed for the privilege of practicing within New York.

Of course, state and federal governments maintain that this regulation is good for the state and good for the country. Regulating tax preparers provides additional assurance that more citizens are in compliance with tax regulations (regulating at every level will ensure more scrupulous compliance). This regulation may persuade people to seek internet services in order to check tax return online and streamline the entire process.

Completing Your Taxes

Completing Your 2010 Taxes

Completing an annual tax return is a responsibility that is shared by all American wage earners.  If you fail to file a tax return in any given year, you could face both legal and monetary penalties.  If you have not yet filed past due tax returns for your 2010 taxes or previous years, it would be a good idea to file a complete tax return for those years as soon as possible to avoid being penalized.

When looking to complete a return for 2010 or a previous year, the first thing that you need to do is gather as much of your financial records as possible.  If you have lost or thrown away pay stubs or bank statements, you should be able to get everything you need by contacting your employer, bank, brokerage firm, or any other entity that provided you with tax information that needs to be reported.

You are one of 50,000,000 Americans who must f...
You are one of 50,000,000 Americans who must fill out an income tax return by March 15 do it now! …. (Photo credit: Keijo Knutas)

Once you have gathered all of your financial information, the next thing to do is prepare the tax returns.  Be sure that you prepare the tax returns based off of 2010 forms.  Since the tax law changes from one year to the next, 2012 tax forms will not be usable to complete the 2010 tax return.  These forms are available through either the IRS directly, your accountant, or any tax preparation software.

After you have completed the return, be sure to mail it in as soon as possible.  It would be a good idea to also include a check for any owed taxes, but you should be prepared to have to pay interest or fees on any past due amount.

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – May 24, 2013

Welcome to the May 24, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start with an article from Bill Smith on TurboTax having an issue with their service at the very end of the tax season this year. John Schmoll from Frugal Rules discusses the financial concepts that he understood before he left college in a nice post. And finally Edward Webber looks at the amount of income you can earn before you need to file a tax return. Hope you like all articles, bookmark, share on Facebook, Tweet, and come back really soon.

English: The headquarters of Intuit Consumer T...
English: The headquarters of Intuit Consumer Tax Group at the northern end of San Diego. This is where Intuit develops its flagship tax return preparation product, TurboTax. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

filing

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Survives Twitter Panic posted at 2009 Taxes, saying, “The 2013 tax season was fraught with unprecedented problems caused by government budget fights and IRS delays in updating forms.”

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Sees Glitch, #Fails On Twitter posted at 2010 Tax, saying, “Filing taxes is a stressful task no matter how anyone puts it, and if anything goes wrong during the filing, it becomes a nightmare.”

retirement

John Schmoll presents 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Graduated From College posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “It’s sadly been too long since I graduated from college. There are a number of things I wish I knew before I did, chiefly among them avoiding debt, investing early for retirement by taking advantage of a 401k and networking all with the intention of growing professionally as well as growing my wealth.”

John Schmoll presents Online Brokerages I’ve Used: Etrade Review posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “There are many online brokerages to use as you look to invest in the stock market. The good ones are there to meet your needs and help make sure you’re doing what you can to be investing for things like retirement.”

taxes

Edward Webber presents How Much Can You Earn Without Paying Taxes 2013? posted at TaxFix Feed Update, saying, “Do you want to know how much you can earn without paying any tax in the UK? This article provides all the details and how the limit has been increased.”

tips

Simpsonsparadox presents Tax Evaders! posted at Geek Insider.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Why Does Intuit Want To Strike Down Return-Free Tax Filing?

Why Does Intuit Want To Strike Down Return-Free Tax Filing?

Most Americans don’t know much about return-free filing, but it’s popular in certain countries. In applicable countries, the government prepares a taxpayer’s return each year. This government-prepared return is created using employer and banking records. A taxpayer can submit this return to the government free of charge without making any changes. By using this concept, taxpayers can save time and money each year.

YOU ARE ONE OF 50,000,000 AMERICANS WHO MUST F...
YOU ARE ONE OF 50,000,000 AMERICANS WHO MUST FILL OUT AN INCOME TAX RETURN BY MARCH 15. FILE YOURS EARLY. – NARA – 516201 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, the parent company of TurboTax, Intuit, has been fighting this idea for years. Intuit has lobbied congress against return-free filing on multiple occasions. TurboTax, of course, offers free tax filing for millions of taxpayers. In each instance, Intuit defended its actions by saying that it’s attempting to protect taxpayers from government intrusion. Higher costs are cited as a consequence of return-free filing, too.

However, the largest opponents against this concept are the tax filing companies. TurboTax stands to lose a lot of money due to 100% free tax filing offered by the government. In other countries, such a system saves billions of dollars every decade without any consequences. Tax return services comprise a large chunk of a filing service’s revenue annually. Therefore, these same companies are spending millions fighting return-free filing.

Completely free tax filing from the federal government comes with plenty of benefits. Currently, many Americans waste countless hours and dollars on their annual tax returns. This concept, if handled properly, could eliminate all of that waste. Intuit and TurboTax offer great services, but they’re fighting a completely justifiable program. Free tax filing is still available to most Americans already, though.