Completing Your Taxes

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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.

Choosing A Tax Attorney

English: Ewa Łętowska, Polish lawyer
English: Ewa Łętowska, Polish lawyer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Its tax time and that means you need a good Phoenix tax lawyer. A tax attorney can help you by managing your taxes, maximizing your taxes by finding exemptions and tax benefits and even ensuring that any IRS tax problems are managed quickly and effectively.  However, for this, you do need to find a talented professional tax lawyer and we have created a short guide just for this reason.

Step no 1 – Ask around with friends and family to find a reliable lawyer. People who are happy with their lawyers are always happy to recommend them.

Step no 2 — Check qualifications by accessing the American Bar Association website. You can also check whit the BBB and the State Financial Authorities.

Step no 3 — Set up an appointment with the lawyer and discuss your finances. Select an attorney with experience and knowledge in your area of taxation.

Step no 4 — Sign a contract with the lawyer. You may have to pay a small fee upfront to retain the lawyer. Hand over all the paperwork that is necessary for the lawyer but always check back with them to ensure that your tax application is complete.

Avoid hiring a tax lawyer who is your relative. You need a impersonal opinion of your taxes and relatives cannot provide that.

Do I Really Need to Hire a Tax Consultant?

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If you ever start your own part time business, keeping track of your finances is one of the needed keys to a successful business. In addition, learning how to read the tax laws is important as it allows you to keep your hard earned money. However, since the tax laws change frequently, it’s a good idea to hire your own professional tax consultant. It saves you on hassle and if you find a good one, they will do their job better than you ever could. So if you want your business to run smoothly, learn how to find a tax consultant.

First, ask your friends and family if they know someone suited for the job. A tax adviser that someone else knows is more likely to be trustworthy. If not, then it’s time to pick up the phone book and start interviewing everyone. Keep in mind that some people only want your money and aren’t necessary good for your business. Avoid these scammers. If you are interviewing a potential adviser and they demand to be paid for being interviewed, they are a bad fit, drop them fast. Be sure to interview several people before deciding on who to go with. Also, even if you hire someone that sounds good, there is a small chance that it may not work out. If it doesn’t, simply fire them and try again.

You may not need to hire a tax consultant if you are determined to do your own taxes. However, unless you plan to study up on all of the laws, you may make a mistake somewhere. Some people don’t want to get a tax consultant because it costs money, but the resources they save you are worth more than you are paying them. A good tax consultant will be able to save your business money in places that you may not have figured out yourself. Of course, a bad consultant can do the same thing, but they won’t follow the tax laws correctly, leading to trouble down the line. Before you choose a tax specialist, weigh the pros and cons first.