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Tag Archive for tax refund

Tax Return Tips For Your 2015 Tax Returns

John Stancil

As The United States Tax Code gets more complex, one would think that the number of individuals utilizing a paid preparer would be on the increase. However, that is not the case. More and more individuals are filing their own returns. I see at least two reasons for this. The individual tax return market can be viewed as consisting of two segments – very simple returns with no itemized deductions or other complications in the return and more complex returns utilizing multiple tax schedules and tax forms. As the standard deduction increases, more taxpayers are taking the standard deduction, so their tax return is fairly simple to prepare. Adding to the simplicity of the return is the second factor – availability of inexpensive or free preparation software. Since these typically guide the taxpayer in preparation, the task becomes even simpler.

However, taxpayers of all stripes should be aware of certain factors involved in filing their returns. I have provided my “Ten Best Tips for Filing your Return.” These tips can be useful for those preparing their own returns, but they can also guide the taxpayer using a CPA or other professional preparer in assembling their information for the preparer.

• File tax returns on time, even if you cannot pay now. You will be assessed a penalty and interest for failure to pay, but you will avoid the failure to file penalty. This penalty is 5% per month of the amount of taxes owed, up to 25%. If you don’t owe, there shouldn’t be a penalty. Read more

Unpaid Debt Can Take Your Tax Refund

TaxConnections Member Barry Fowler

As the 2015 tax season approaches, you may be getting excited about your potential tax refund.

However, that excitement may be premature if you have outstanding federal or state debts. The Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) issues federal tax refunds, and Congress authorizes BFS to reduce your refund through its Treasury Offset Program (TOP) to pay:

• Past-due child and parent support;

• Federal agency non-tax debts;  Read more

Are Lower Income Taxpayers Taking Full Advantage Of The Earned Income Credit?

Milton Boothe-9-24-15

The earned income credit (EIC) is a major tax credit that is specifically designed for lower income working families and individuals. The amount of the credit varies depending on your level of income and how many dependents you support. You can claim this credit with or without qualifying children, but greater tax credit is given to those who have qualifying children. This credit can be valued at over $6,000 if you have three or more qualifying children. The earned income credit is a refundable credit, which means that you will receive a tax refund whether or not you had any taxable income.

As the name implies, the earned income credit is provided as an incentive for individuals to work. Consequently, to qualify for this credit, you must have some form of earned income during the year. Earned income includes wages you get from working, and Read more

Is Your Refund Too High or Do You Owe Taxes? You Probably Need to Adjust Your W-4

TaxConnections Picture - W-4 - 4-24-15 - square

Article Highlights:

• Large Refund or Tax Due
• Employers Withhold Based on W-4
• IRS Online Withholding Calculator
• Self-employed Taxpayers

If your income is primarily from wages and you received a very large refund—or worse, if you owed money—then your employer is not withholding the correct amount of tax (but it probably isn’t your employer’s fault). Sure, you like a big refund, but you have to remember you are only getting your own money back that was over-withheld in the first place. Why not Read more

Want To Know How To Check Your IRS Refund Status In Less Than Two Minutes?

Tax refund ahead clock

We love to make life easy for anyone who visits www.taxconnections.com.

We are going to teach you exactly how to check the status of your IRS Refund.

Click on this link and fill it out to receive the status of your federal tax return refund:

https://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp

 

🙂

Read more

Tax Refund Delays

There’s a massive traffic jam on the IRS website. What’s causing the delay? An overabundance of eager taxpayers asking “Where’s My Refund?” In an unusual posting, the IRS has alerted taxpayers and professional practitioners that the Where’s My Refund? feature and other related applications may not be available due to the  extra‑high volume of inquiries. To avoid disruptions, the IRS is requesting that taxpayers check on their refund status only once a day.

It makes sense because IRS systems are updated on a daily basis, usually overnight, and the same information is available on the Internet, IRS2go smartphone app, or the IRS toll‑free line. So there’s nothing to be gained by trying to contact the IRS several times during the day.

The IRS provides three updates:

1. When the tax return is received

2. When the refund is approved, and

3. When the refund is sent.

It says that the best time to check on refunds is during the evening hours and on weekends. Here are some tips to help clients with their refund questions:

1. Have the right tax information ready before using any of the IRS refund tools. This includes your Social Security number, filing status, and refund amount.

2. There’s no need to check Where’s My Refund? more than once a day.

3. To avoid system delays, the best times to check on refunds are evenings and weekends,

4. Don’t bother to call the IRS about your refund. The telephone service has the same information that’s available on the IRS web site “Where’s My Refund?”

The IRS has touted the Where’s My Refund? feature as a 24/7 service. Taxpayers can check on the status of their federal income tax refunds twenty‑four hours after the return has been e‑filed. If a paper return is filed, they can check four weeks after the mailing.

Despite some complications over forms and schedules that had to be updated after the “fiscal cliff law” was signed in January, the IRS claims the tax filing season is off to a good start. Typically, nine out of ten taxpayers will receive their refund in less than twenty‑one days when the return is filed online and they arrange to have the refund deposited directly into a bank account.

The IRS is already receiving more than one million returns a day, and the volume – as well as the number of inquiries about refunds – is expected to increase during the President’s Day weekend.

Approximately 75 percent of individual filers are in line for refunds. For last year’s filing season, the average refund was $2,803.

By:  Ken Berry

Edited and posted by:  Harold Goedde, CPA, CMA, Ph.D. (Taxation and Accounting)

Tax Year End In South Africa

TaxConnections Picture - Africa Money and Flag XSmallTax year-end in South Africa, for smaller companies and all individuals, is on the last day of February 2013.

In terms of the collection process, South African Revenue Services (SARS or the equivalent of IRS and HMRC, the competent taxing authority in SA)  expects all provisional taxpayers to be either 80% or 90% correct in the end February provisional tax estimate, compared to the final assessment or IT34.

Irrelevant I hear the expats shout, as non-resident taxpayers face withholding taxes and are not required to pay provisional tax. True, I agree but non-resident for purpose of the provisional tax exemption, refers to a person that is either actually tax non-resident or was never tax resident and to a person exclusively tax resident of another country in terms of an applicable double tax treaty.

SA expats residing in the USA relying on anything less than a green card is probably exclusively tax resident in South Africa, as the SA Expats in Australia are exclusively SA tax resident (normally) until they receive a Permanent Residence (PR) Permit. The USA PR obviously is the green card and most others are not adequate to change the tax treaty tie breaker outcome. Read more

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