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Tag Archive for Publication 505

You Came Up Short

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Governments will try to get away with almost anything during wartime. In the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus so federal authorities could lock up suspected Confederate sympathizers and throw away the keys. This action was more than mere ink on paper; it was very vigorously enforced, especially in Maryland and other Border States. He also signed the Revenue Act of 1861, which put an income tax into effect. The government gave up in 1862, partially due to Constitutional concerns regarding the Apportionment Clause (all taxes must be apportioned between the states), but mostly because the Revenue Act simply didn’t raise much money.

Congress took care of that Constitutional technicality with the 16th Amendment in 1913. But it wasn’t until 1943 (yet another war) that the money started rolling in. (See Video Read more

Include A Few Tax Items In Your Summer Wedding Checklist

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If you’re preparing for summer nuptials, make sure you do some tax planning as well. A few steps taken now can make tax time easier next year. Here are some tips from the IRS to help keep tax issues that may arise from your marriage to a minimum:

• Change of name.  All the names and Social Security numbers on your tax return must match your Social Security Administration records. If you change your name, report it to the SSA. To do that, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The easiest way for you to get the form is to download and print it on SSA.gov. You can also call SSA at 800-772-1213 to order the form, or get it from your local SSA office.

• Change tax withholding.  When you get married, you should consider a change of Read more

Still Time To Act To Avoid Surprises At Tax-Time

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Even though only a few months remain in 2014, you still have time to act so you aren’t surprised at tax-time next year. You should take steps now to avoid owing more taxes or getting a larger refund than you expect. Here are some actions you can take to bring the taxes you pay in advance closer to what you’ll owe when you file your tax return:

• Adjust your withholding. If you’re an employee and you think that your tax withholding will fall short of your total 2014 tax liability, you may be able to avoid an unexpected tax bill by increasing your withholding. If you are having too much tax withheld, you may get a larger refund than you expect. In either case, you can complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate and give it to your employer. Enter the added amount you want withheld from each paycheck until the end of the year on Line 6 of the W-4 form. Read more

6 Tips On Making Estimated Tax Payments

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If you don’t have taxes withheld from your pay, or you don’t have enough tax withheld, then you may need to make estimated tax payments. If you’re self-employed you normally have to pay your taxes this way.

Here are six tips you should know about estimated taxes:

1. You should pay estimated taxes in 2014 if you expect to owe $1,000 or more when you file your federal tax return. Special rules apply to farmers and fishermen.

2. Estimate the amount of income you expect to receive for the year to determine the amount of taxes you may owe. Make sure that you take into account any tax deductions and credits that you will be eligible to claim. Life changes during the year, such as a Read more

Estimated Tax Payments Due June 16th!! Don’t Forget!

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Tips On Making Estimated Tax Payments

If you don’t have taxes withheld from your pay, or you don’t have enough tax withheld, then you may need to make estimated tax payments. If you’re self-employed you normally have to pay your taxes this way.

Here are six tips you should know about estimated taxes:

1. You should pay estimated taxes in 2014 if you expect to owe $1,000 or more when you file your federal tax return. Special rules apply to farmers and fishermen.

2. Estimate the amount of income you expect to receive for the year to determine the Read more

Working Overseas? Do You Understand Self-Employment Tax?

TaxConnections Picture - JOBWhat is Self-Employment Tax?

The self-employment tax is a social security and Medicare tax based on net earnings from “self- employment”. We’ll review what it means to be “self-employed” later in this posting. The dollar threshold trigger for paying self-employment tax is quite low – you must pay self-employment tax if your net earnings from self-employment are at least US$400.

For self-employment income earned in 2013, the self-employment tax rate is 15.3% imposed on your net earnings. The rate consists of two parts: 12.4% for social security (old-age, survivors, and disability insurance) and 2.9% for Medicare (hospital insurance).

If you are a “self-employed” United States citizen or United States resident, the rules for paying self-employment tax are generally the same whether you are living in the US or living and working overseas.

Effect of Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)

You must take all of your self-employment income into account in figuring your net earnings from self-employment, even income that is exempt from income tax because of the FEIE. Briefly, for those who may not be familiar with the FEIE, Americans working abroad may be eligible to exclude certain foreign earned income (wages, compensation for services) from US taxable income under the rules governing the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), and certain foreign housing costs paid by their employers. If one is self-employed, then instead of taking a housing exclusion, a housing deduction is taken which further reduces the amount of taxable income. For self-employed persons, both the FEIE and the housing deduction will be calculated based on the individual’s net income as figured on Schedule C or Schedule F. Calculating the right amount of the exclusion depends on figuring one’s business income accurately. Read more

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