Sometimes Overlooked Tax Deductions

Tax Act

Sometimes Overlooked Tax Deductions

Every year many mistakes are made by US taxpayers as they file their income taxes for the year. Many of the mistakes are related to address, names, and social security numbers. But some of the mistakes are related to tax deductions. If you miss a tax deduction that you are eligible for, you could be missing out on a decent sized amount of money.

State sales tax is a deduction that is sometimes missed. For states that do not have a state income tax, deducting the sales tax is the best selection of the two … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Tax Act

Sometimes Overlooked Tax Deductions

Every year many mistakes are made by US taxpayers as they file their income taxes for the year. Many of the mistakes are related to address, names, and social security numbers. But some of the mistakes are related to tax deductions. If you miss a tax deduction that you are eligible for, you could be missing out on a decent sized amount of money.

State sales tax is a deduction that is sometimes missed. For states that do not have a state income tax, deducting the sales tax is the best selection of the two options to deduct. Local sales tax is also deductible. In some rare causes, deducting sales tax is better than deducting income tax when there is income tax to deduct.

Many taxpayers fail to adjust their basis on investments when dividends are reinvested. This mutual fund mistake can cost you a lot when you claim your capital gains on investments with reinvested dividends. Make sure to step up your basis every time dividends are used to purchase more shares of a fund.

Finally, forgetting to deduct cash contributions to charities can be expensive. Make sure to track the amount of cash contributions you make during the year to authorized charitable organizations and include them with your non-cash contributions on your Schedule A. Those weekly donations for $5.00 can add up quickly and save you money at tax time.

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Tax Assistance from the IRS

Tax Act

Tax Assistance from the IRS

The IRS is the sponsor of two volunteer programs to assist in the preparation of their taxes. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is for taxpayers that earn less than $49,000 a year. While the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program is designed to help anyone over the age of 59. The programs provide volunteers who are specially trained to help these two groups. The volunteers want to make sure tax payers are filing their returns with the correct tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Credit for the Elderly.

In partnership … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Tax Act

Tax Assistance from the IRS

The IRS is the sponsor of two volunteer programs to assist in the preparation of their taxes. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is for taxpayers that earn less than $49,000 a year. While the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program is designed to help anyone over the age of 59. The programs provide volunteers who are specially trained to help these two groups. The volunteers want to make sure tax payers are filing their returns with the correct tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Credit for the Elderly.

In partnership with community centers and nonprofit organizations, the IRS has setup 12,000 tax assistance sites and plans to open more. The AARP is a major organization involved in establishing these centers with over 5,000 Tax-Aid centers nationwide. Many of the centers also offer language specialist to interrupt the tax laws in your first language.

The military is another large organization that is in partnership with the IRS to assist in the preparation of tax returns. Military families worldwide can find volunteers to help them prepare their taxes and ensure they receive all tax credits they are eligible for. Combat zone tax benefits are a major concern of these volunteers. Contact your local community center or non-profit organization for locations and office hours.

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Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?

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Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?

Marital status and your annual income are the two deciding factors in determining how much of your Social Security Benefits are taxable. The really good news is that Social Security Benefits are not taxable if they are your only income for the tax year. And since your only income is not taxable, filing a return with the IRS is not necessary. Two great advantages.

If you did work during the year or had other forms of income then you will need to determine how much of your Social Security Benefits will be taxed. There is … Read more at 2009 Taxes

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Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?

Marital status and your annual income are the two deciding factors in determining how much of your Social Security Benefits are taxable. The really good news is that Social Security Benefits are not taxable if they are your only income for the tax year. And since your only income is not taxable, filing a return with the IRS is not necessary. Two great advantages.

If you did work during the year or had other forms of income then you will need to determine how much of your Social Security Benefits will be taxed. There is a worksheet to complete in the instruction book for the 1040 or the 1040A forms. The quick check is to add 50% of your SS Benefits to your other income and see if the amount is here than the ‘base’ amount for your filing status.

Base amounts are $32,000 for married couples filing jointly, $25,000 for un-married tax filers and married tax filers who did not live with their spouse, and $0 for married couples that are filing separately. Another case were filing separately as a married couple increases your tax burden with the Federal government. For complete instruction take a look at Publication 915.

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The Process of Minimizing Tax Returns

Tax Act

The Process of Minimizing Tax Returns

Claiming an interest payment deduction would help you decrease your taxes. Those who are shouldering the burden of student loans would hardly want to add to the worries by requiring paying interest on the repayable amount to the government. Fortunately, it is possible in several cases to deduct the interest applicable on student loans. This is not a very difficult process provided that you fulfill the prerequisites for claiming the aforementioned deduction on your taxes.

The first step towards this would be to have the correct filing status, which, in this particular … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Tax Act

The Process of Minimizing Tax Returns

Claiming an interest payment deduction would help you decrease your taxes. Those who are shouldering the burden of student loans would hardly want to add to the worries by requiring paying interest on the repayable amount to the government. Fortunately, it is possible in several cases to deduct the interest applicable on student loans. This is not a very difficult process provided that you fulfill the prerequisites for claiming the aforementioned deduction on your taxes.

The first step towards this would be to have the correct filing status, which, in this particular case, implies that every kind of filing is applicable other than being married and filing taxes separately. The reason for exemption of this status is not very clear; however, to avoid wasting time filling out a deduction which you are not eligible to claim, you should take note of this rule.

You should also remember that you are not eligible to claim a deduction in case you claim to be another individual’s dependent or associated with tax exemption on their tax forms. This should be easy for those who have graduated from college and in the process of repaying their education loans. Even then, it is wise to make absolutely certain that no second person claims you as tax deduction in their own forms.

Moreover, you are eligible to claim deduction of taxes only after you have paid the applicable interest on your education loan. This is applicable only in cases where you are the sole individual to have any obligation to repay the loan. This means that in case you are liable to pay interest on a loan amount that both you and your parents are obliged to repay, or a parent PLUS loan, you are not eligible to claim this particular deduction.

In case you are paying interest on an education loan made in the name of a dependent of yours, you are eligible to claim the interest as a deduction. However, it should be remembered that this claim for deduction holds ground only if you are the person responsible for repaying the loan. In this case, you would also be required to claim an exemption based on your tax return.

Help Me In My Tax Preparation

Tax Act

Help Me In My Tax Preparation

Nothing can make you grind your teeth more than the thought of tax preparations. Fortunately, there are some people making a living out of this.

If thinking about preparing your taxes raises your anxiety level, then stop, you don’t have to worry. This tax preparation job can be easily outsourced to other people. These people are known as tax preparers who prepare and file tax returns throughout the year. It will be of help to know the different types of tax preparers available in the market.

The basic tax preparers work at … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Tax Act

Help Me In My Tax Preparation

Nothing can make you grind your teeth more than the thought of tax preparations. Fortunately, there are some people making a living out of this.

If thinking about preparing your taxes raises your anxiety level, then stop, you don’t have to worry. This tax preparation job can be easily outsourced to other people. These people are known as tax preparers who prepare and file tax returns throughout the year. It will be of help to know the different types of tax preparers available in the market.

The basic tax preparers work at a low fee and have the least expertise. Most of these professionals are part-timers. For a simple tax condition such as basic W2 salaries without any home ownership, it is the best choice.

A more advanced form of tax preparers are the enrolled agents. IRS provides licenses to these people and they need to keep up their educational standards to protect their licenses. But they don’t have any formal education in tax or finance. Compared to basic preparers, the enrolled agents are more competent, but much less compared to a CPA. For a tax situation that requires basic 1040 filing along with some schedules, an enrolled agent would be a good choice. But if you need more sophisticated actions such as reducing your tax payments, then you would be better off approaching a CPA.

A certified public accountant or CPA is licensed as well as highly trained. It’s really a difficult task to pass the boards in order to become a CPA. After becoming a CPA, he or she is needs to pursue approximately another 40 hours of education. But the bottom line of using a CPA is that with higher competencies, the cost of service also rises proportionately. Most CPAs are worth the money you spend on them as they can guide you well with all your overall tax planning.

Then there are tax attorneys. They can provide you with more sophisticated tax plans to save huge money. The tax attorneys also can look after situations when you get pulled for an audit by the IRS. CPAs are good enough to handle any tax issue raised by IRS, but they hardly have any clue regarding evidentiary laws. For any kind of legal issues raised by the IRS, you will need a tax attorney to fight for it.

So, who would be the right person for your tax preparations? The answer to this question rests on the type of financial condition you are in and your objective. Normally the equation is simple: more complexities need more competencies. If you can afford it, go for a CPA. If the CPA is good enough, your savings will be far more compared to the fee are paying.

Tax Tip: Double Check Payroll Withholding

Tax Act

Tax Tip: Double Check Payroll Withholding

The IRS has released a new tax tip for 2009 which describes why it is important to double check your payroll withholding during the year so you will not be surprised when you file you taxes and did not without enough federal tax. With the reductions in withholding under the Making Work Pay Credit passed by the government, some Americans may not be withholding enough tax based on their incomes.

Affected Groups

Groups that might fall into this category include multiple job holders, spouses that both work, and workers that are claimed as dependents … Read more at 2009 Taxes

Tax Act

Tax Tip: Double Check Payroll Withholding

The IRS has released a new tax tip for 2009 which describes why it is important to double check your payroll withholding during the year so you will not be surprised when you file you taxes and did not without enough federal tax. With the reductions in withholding under the Making Work Pay Credit passed by the government, some Americans may not be withholding enough tax based on their incomes.

Affected Groups

Groups that might fall into this category include multiple job holders, spouses that both work, and workers that are claimed as dependents on their parents tax return. If these groups do not adjust in time to collect additional taxes during the year, they may owe taxes when they file in 2010.

Making A Change

Taxpayers can visit the IRS website to learn more about adjusting their withholding and can also read the instructions that accompany the W-4, Withholding Allowance Certificate, form. Once completed, returning the form to your employer will correct any necessary withholding issues that you currently have.

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