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Last Minute Tax Tips Before Deadline

Procrastination of tax returns is not a unique phenomenon. In fact, a lot of tax payers file their tax returns in the last two weeks before the deadline. Filing tax returns earlier than the deadlines is better as you are not rushed and chances of making mistakes is also lower. However, if you are racing against the deadline clock for your returns, here are some tips to help you get through.

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Tips For Updating Form W-4 After Doing A Paycheck Checkup

With recent tax law changes, the IRS urges taxpayers to look into whether they need to adjust their paycheck withholding and submit a new Form W-4 to their employer. Taxpayers can use the updated Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to do a quick “paycheck checkup” to check that they’re not having too little or too much tax withheld at work.

Taxpayers who use the calculator and determine that they need to change their withholding must fill out a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Employees will submit the completed Form W-4 to their employers. Read more

Tax Time Guide: Contribute To An Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) By April 17, Claim It For 2017

WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers today that it’s not too late to contribute to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) and still claim it on a 2017 tax return. Anyone with an IRA may be eligible for a tax credit or deduction on their 2017 tax return if they make contributions by April 17, 2018.

This is the sixth in a series of nine IRS news releases called the Tax Time Guide, designed to help taxpayers navigate common tax issues. This year’s tax-filing deadline is April 17. Read more

Claiming Parents As Dependents On Income Taxes

As more and more Baby Boomers are caring for elderly parents, the question often arises: “Can I claim my parent(s) as dependents on my taxes?” The answer to that is, “It depends.”

The IRS does allow parents to be claimed as dependents if certain requirements are met. The IRS always has requirements.

To meet the support requirements necessary to claim your parent as a dependent on your tax return, you must cover 51% or more of their support costs. These costs include food, housing or lodging expenses, clothing, and medical services and/or equipment costs. Read more

Taxpayers Should Report Name Changes Before Filing Taxes

When a taxpayer changes their name, that change can affect their taxes. All the names on a taxpayer’s tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay a tax refund. Here’s what a taxpayer should do if anyone listed on their tax return changed their name:

  • Reporting Taxpayer’s Name Change. Taxpayers who should notify the SSA of a name change include:
    • Taxpayers who got married and use their spouse’s last name.
    • Recently married taxpayers who now use a hyphenated name.
    • Divorced taxpayers who now use their former last name.

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Taxpayers – 7 Reasons Why You Should File Your Tax Return Early

Filing your taxes long before the April 15 deadline might not be your top priority, but there are many benefits to completing your return early. By filing early:

  • You avoid the last-minute stress,
  • Have time to plan for paying taxes you may owe,
  • You can get your refund faster and
  • Avoid fraud by filling out your tax forms sooner rather than later.

1. The Earlier You File, The Earlier You Get Your Refund

  •  A good reason to file your taxes early you’ll get your money sooner.
  • According to the IRS, the average refund was more than $2,800 for 2016 and 2017 Tax Filers…so why miss on that earlier claim and why give you an interest free loan to IRS?

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Some Taxpayers Eligible For A Refund And Do Not Even Know It

Taxpayers who are not required to file a tax return may want to do so. They might be eligible for a tax refund and don’t even know it. Some taxpayers might qualify for a tax credit that can result in money in their pocket. Taxpayers need to file a 2017 tax return to claim these credits.

Here is information about four tax credits that can mean a refund for eligible taxpayers:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit. A taxpayer who worked and earned less than $53,930 last year could receive the EITC as a tax refund. They must qualify for the credit, and may do so with or without a qualifying child. They may be eligible for up to $6,318. Taxpayers can use the 2017 EITC Assistant tool to find out if they qualify.

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FBAR Must Be Filed Electronically Through FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System, Not With The Federal Tax Return

FBAR must be filed electronically through FinCEN’s BSA E-Filing System. The FBAR is not filed with a federal tax return.

Public Law 114-41 mandates a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. To implement the statute with minimal burden to the public and FinCEN, FinCEN will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR annual due date of April 15 an automatic extension to October 15 each year. Accordingly, specific requests for this extension are not required.

Thus, before the FBAR extended due date of October 15, file streamlined FBARs for each of the most recent 6 years for which the FBAR due date has passed (i.e., is delinquent, and of course timely file the current year FBAR too). Read more

Casualty And Theft Losses

It is not unknown for people to suffer a loss in the form of theft and casualty for their personal properties. If you are one of them, you can claim the same as itemized deduction for your tax returns. To do so, you need to fill up the Form 4684 to understand how much of yours loses you can report and then mention the same in the Schedule A of the Form 1040.

It is important to note that you can claim only for those losses that are not covered or reimbursed by any insurance company. Also, in order to qualify for the deductions, your loss should amount to more than 10% of your adjusted gross income. You cannot claim a deduction otherwise. Read more

The Tax Cuts Jobs Act Temporarily Expands Bonus Depreciation

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enhances some tax breaks for businesses while reducing or eliminating others. One break it enhances — temporarily — is bonus depreciation. While most TCJA provisions go into effect for the 2018 tax year, you might be able to benefit from the bonus depreciation enhancements when you file your 2017 tax return. Pre-TCJA bonus depreciation Under pre-TCJA law, for qualified new assets that your business placed in service in 2017, you can claim a 50% first-year bonus depreciation deduction. Used assets don’t qualify. This tax break is available for the cost of new computer systems, purchased software, vehicles, machinery, equipment, office furniture, etc. Read more

IRS Bills, Penalties And Interest Charges

Generally, April 15th is the deadline for most people to file their individual income tax returns and pay any tax due. During its initial processing, the IRS checks for mathematical accuracy on your tax return. When processing is complete, if you owe any tax, penalties or interest, you’ll receive a bill which you’re responsible for paying. Interest and penalties can add up quickly if you don’t pay the full amount right away. Read more

The 6 Most Basic Rules Of Tax Preparation

Dealing with kids and marriages

If you’re married or divorced be sure that you and your spouse’s last names match all social security records, because your return will be rejected if they don’t. Also, if you’re divorced with children, be sure you know who’s claiming the kids. The rule is that whoever files first will initially get the credit and if it’s not the right person, correspondence with the IRS will be required by both parties to resolve the matter. To avoid that mess, it’s something you NEED to work out beforehand. Read more

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