Claims that TurboTax Fraud May also Affect Federal Returns

TurboTax photo
Photo by Images_of_Money

Now that the tax season is here, the fears about TurboTax fraud is more punctuated than ever before. Taxpayers were shocked when they heard about TurboTax suspending state tax filings over fraud concerns. Imagine getting the news that someone else filed your tax returns and claimed your hefty tax refund. Fortunately, this problem only affected the state filings, not federal taxes.

Tax Act

Well, this has changed. The details may be sketchy, but the FBI is now investigating claims that federal tax returns may also be affected by this fraud, putting your tax refund in jeopardy. The bureau interviewed taxpayers who claimed that IRS data was compromised, leaving room for fraudulent activities.

Imagine getting a message from the IRS acknowledging receipt of your federal returns even before you do your taxes. Given that all tax filings are done electronically, fraud has become a big threat.

While TurboTax 2015 free version allows taxpayers to make free tax filings, a rival, H&R Block, took advantage of the fraud cases surrounding TurboTax to attract taxpayers who did not want to fall victim to identity theft, among other types of fraudulent activities.

However, it is important to note that no system is perfect, especially when you consider the fact that both the IRS and most states had already put in place sophisticated systems to detect and help prevent theft.

After The Events In Boston And Texas, Charity Scams Are Common

Tax Act

Charity Scams Are Common

When you use TurboTax to file your taxes, you may notice that you can write off the money that you gave to charities. This is a good way to reduce your total tax bill or get a bigger return, and you get to help the victims of tragedies at the same time. However, the IRS has said that taxpayers like yourself need to be aware of common charity scams that can cheat you out of your money.

Walk for Cancer - it's raining!
Walk for Cancer – it’s raining! (Photo credit: miamism)

Many charity scams crop up after every tragedy, and the ones in Boston and Texas are no exception. Most of the time, charity scams will be set up to look like real charities that you may have reported contributions to on TurboTax before. They could mimic the name, the color scheme and other important aspects. Always make sure that you check with the IRS to see if the charity is verified before donating.

It is also important that you never give out your social security number, your credit card numbers, or any other personal information. Some charity scams will use these things to steal your identity, and they can then steal your money later on, above and beyond what you donate so that you can write it off on TurboTax. On top of this, you never want to donate cash just in case the organization is a charity scam. It is easier to report transactions on TurboTax if you donate with a check or a credit card, and this means that you have a record of the transaction if it is a scam.

Helpful Tips that will Guide you with your Late Tax Returns

turbotax

Taking Control of Your Back Taxes If you haven’t paid your taxes yet. It’s still not too late to turn them in; however, there are several important steps to take to ensure that all goes well for you on your taxes.

1) Pull out and Examine your Last Tax Return

First, bring to your table a copy of your last tax return. Then, bring together W-2s and other documents that you need in order to file. If you need any tax documents to file, you can get the documents you need from the Internal Revenue Service and these documents are free. Then, you need to prepare your tax returns or seek help from an attorney or other tax professional. A professional tax preparer can help you gather and complete the tax paperwork. In addition, a professional tax preparer can give you advice and counsel on how to prepare taxes that are late.

2) Be Aware of Audits, Refunds and Debt Collection

Keep in mind that, when you prepare late tax returns, you need to follow certain time limits for audits, refunds and debt collection. It will be important to find out how long it will take to receive refund checks because, if you any money on previous tax debts, you will need to know how much your refund checks will be to pay them off.

Continue reading “Helpful Tips that will Guide you with your Late Tax Returns”

When you are missing your W2 Statements

Tax Act

Make sure you have all your W-2 Forms before you file your 2010 tax return for this year because you will need all of them. You should have gotten a Form W-2 in the mail from each and every one of your employers for the year. The deadline for the employers to get them out to you is January 31st, so wait until then before you begin to worry.

If after that date, you do not have your Form W-2:

1. Call up your employer. Ask them if they sent out your Form W-2. If they did, make sure that they have your correct address. If they send you another W-2, wait for a reasonable space of time to receive the paper.

2. Call the IRS. If by February 14th, you still have not received the Form, then you should call the IRS toll free at 800-829-1040. When you contacting the IRS, you will need to give them information such as your Social Security number, your address, your phone number,  and of course your name, as well as:
• Your employer’s contact information (name, address, and phone)
• The dates you were employed by him or her
• An estimate of how much you earned for that year, and an estimate of the amount of money withheld for your federal income taxes, your dates of employment. These numbers can be obtained most accurately by looking at your final pay stub or consulting your a leave and earnings statement if you have it

3. File for your tax return. Yes, even without the needed Forms, you still have to file your tax return (or for an extension) before April 18th.  Just use Form 4852 instead as a replacement for the missing Form W-2. Send Form 4852 with your tax return and your most accurate income and withheld taxes information. This may delay your tax refund while they verify that your form is indeed accurate.

4. File a Form 1040X. If you do eventually receive your W-2, but you have already filed for your tax return, compare the W-2 numbers with the numbers you filed. If they do not match up, obtain a form 1040X to file a revised tax return.

The mentioned instructions and forms and instructions can be obtained from IRS.gov website or by calling 800-829-3676

Free Online Taxes

Tax Act

It is quite a harrowing situation when you are trying to prepare 2009 taxes, sitting with the tax booklet and form, and all your pay stubs and receipts. At the same time hiring a tax professional is quite costly for just preparing returns. However a good tax service can prove to be both beneficial and economical.

A good tax service has lot to offer and includes services like online submissions for all states, lab testing of possible mistakes and deductions, sales applications which are linked to proper import information, IRS text publications and ability to talk directly with the experts who are preparing the taxes. Such services also offer monetary advice covering topics like preparation of pension, info on rentals and ownership of homes, advice on small business and so on.

A good tax service will offer much more than free online taxes 2009 and will include the basic preparation of taxes and a conscientious strategy and planning of your taxes and finances.

Tax programs are indeed a boon, as a good one is simple to use and will relieve you of the stress and anxiety of preparing your returns.

The tax application if any should be easy to install and set-up, so as to access the online tax service speedily and effectively.

Online software for taxes should provide all the tools and features needed for filing an accurate and complete tax return. Apart from providing the relevant state forms for taxes, a good service will also provide publications from IRS, other program imports, error rectification and deductions, and a suitable audit defense.

The program should be logical and provide proper drop-down menus, relevant icons and the relevant definitions for an effective work flow.

The interface has to be extremely user-friendly as there are many who have never availed a tax service online. The databases should be up to date providing the current tax laws in an easy to understand form without using the complicated tax jargon. The program should also be proof to errors which are likely to be made by the novice tax preparer.

The online tax service should have a proper help system with contextual help menus and in-depth explanation for each step. Apart from this the service should also offer tax advice the other support through online chat, email or phone.