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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Turbo Tax 2013 advertisements were undoubtedly memorable and those who have seen them will not soon forget them. It is also impossible to deny that these advertisements were more aggressive in than previous advertisements aired by the company. Despite the fact that TurboTax is one of the most popular tax programs on the market, the company is definitely trying as hard as it can to put down the competition.
Why Were the Ads Controversial in the First Place?
The Turbo Tax 2013 ads emphasized the fact that many tax preparation companies hire trained professionals who do not work as accountants year round. The ads clearly displayed various people who prepared taxes during the tax season later going back to their regular jobs. More specifically, one individual in question worked as a sales clerk while another worked as a plumber.
The ads did not mention H&R Block by name, except to note at the very end that TurboTax handles more tax clients than H&R Block and all other similar companies combined. However, the fact that Turbo Tax was trying to undercut H&R Block and other, similar companies was unmistakable.
H&R Block retaliated with a swift, harshly worded statement against Turbo Tax before taking the tax software giant to court. In court, H&R Block made a few valid arguments against Intuit, the company that owns and runs Turbo Tax. H&R Block noted that the company puts down those individuals who do not work as accountants on a year round basis, without noting the fact that these individuals do have the training required to properly prepare tax forms. The ads also did not note the fact that many of H&R Block’s employees have extensive experience. Furthermore, the lawyers also note that the ad portrays an unflattering picture of those who work in sales or plumbing.
While the court noted that these arguments were valid, in the end TurboTax won the case and is able to play the ads when and where desired. The courts found that the ads did not breach any laws and, more specifically, did not cause illegal harm to H&R Block. Given this ruling, it is not unrealistic to expect more, similar Turbo Tax ads next tax year.
While Turbo Tax has won the first round of this battle, this is u
nlikely to be the last battle between these two giants. H&R Block does tax preparation in person while TurboTax is a software program that a person can use on his or her own. However, both these companies are vying for the same clients and so are likely to continue attacking each other and other, similar businesses in an effort to reduce the competition and get a larger share of customers.
2013 tax filing season gets crazier for some H&R Block, TurboTax customers
March is coming and many businesses out there know what this means. This period officially marks the time to file in business taxes back to the government. Due to this hectic activity, pressures go high thanks to the labor intensive, time consuming nature of this act. Fortunately, there is Turbo Tax to aid you in your task.
Unfortunately, there are numerous software programs out there which claim are capable of easing your way around tax filing, but the thing is, most are mere half baked truths offering dead ends. According to the tax act, there are severe punishments for those found tax evading; hence it is always a good idea to give Caesar what belongs to Caesar.
During this tax season, instead of rushing to that guy you know why you don’t try out the turbo tax as seeing this software is quick, reliable, and cheap and is compliant with the law. In this short article, you will have a quick glimpse into the reasons why TurboTax 2013 is by far better compared to other software programs such as H&R Block or Taxact.
In business, the key point is to always maximize on profits while minimizing the overall cost of doing business. With that in mind, turbo tax will help you save money on taxes thanks to up to five e-filings per purchase capability. 1040EZ fillings are absolutely free.
Ease Of Use
The program is designed to easily integrate itself with each and every specific states tax filing system, thus offering you great ease while filing for your taxes. Moreover, there is a professional customer care support staff always on stand-by ready to help you in any way possible.
Ease Of Access
With turbotax, you have the ability to access your tax files from any computer. So, whether you are at a friend’s house, at home or just outside the office and you need a copy of your tax file, you can easily print it out.
Welcome to the February 19, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start with a post from David de Souza who looks at 3 Ways To Pay Less Tax On Your Savings. Kurt at Mymoneycounselor.com has tips on the best way to Choose a Tax Preparer. Have you ever wondered if You need to Pay Taxes on credit card rewards from reward points? William has the details. And finally, John Schmoll examines 5 Easy Ways to Save the Money you Lost Due to the Payroll Tax Increase. Hope you like the material, share on Facebook, tweet, bookmark, and come back soon.
David de Souza presents 3 Ways To Pay Less Tax On Your Savings posted at TaxFix Feed Update, saying, “This blog post will provide 3 tips on how you can maximise your tax efficiency on your savings.”
William presents Tax Time: Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Credit Card Rewards? posted at Card Guys Blog, saying, “So, the question becomes this: Are your credit card rewards actually considered income? As always, with our somewhat ambiguous tax code, the answer is: It depends.”
John Schmoll presents 5 Easy Ways to Save Money Lost Due to the Payroll Tax Increase posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “The Payroll Tax Holiday went away at the beginning of 2013. Some families were prepared, some were not. This is a list of ways to help make up for that, or if you’re looking to live more frugal and save money in general.”
David de Souza presents Which countries pay the most tax? posted at Tax Credits, saying, “If you think that you pay too much tax in the US you should compare what you pay to other countries in the world. This blog post looks at which countries pay the highest tax.”
Bryan presents Best Short Term Investments posted at Gajizmo, saying, “Even multi-billion dollar corporations are always trying to maximize the returns of their cash and short term investments, so why shouldn’t you? Here is a comprehensive list of all the best short term investment options, from online checking accounts, money markets and Treasuries to “I-Bonds”, corporate bonds, and property tax certificates. Find out the pros and cons of each and where you feel comfortable parking your cash for the short-term before you invest it at higher yields.”
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.