Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:35

Make Plans Now for Next Year’s Tax Return

Most people stop thinking about taxes after they file their tax return. But there’s no better time to start tax planning than right now. And it’s never too early to set up a smart recordkeeping system. Here are six IRS tips to help you start to plan for this year’s taxes:

1. Take action when life changes occur.  Some life events, like a change in marital status, the birth of a child or buying a home, can change the amount of taxes you owe. When such events occur during the year, you may need to change the amount of tax taken out of your pay. To do that, you must file a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to help you fill out the form. If you receive advance payments of the premium tax credit it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace.

Each year, the IRS sends millions of notices and letters to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. Here are ten things to know in case one shows up in your mailbox.

1. Don’t panic. You often only need to respond to take care of a notice.

2. There are many reasons why the IRS may send a letter or notice. It typically is about a specific issue on your federal tax return or tax account. A notice may tell you about changes to your account or ask you for more information. It could also tell you that you must make a payment.

3. Each notice has specific instructions about what you need to do.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 13:12

Unpaid Debt Can Affect Your Refund

If you owe a debt that’s past-due, it can reduce your federal tax refund. The Treasury Department’s Offset Program can use all or part of your refund to pay outstanding federal or state debt.

Here are five facts to know about tax refunds and ‘offsets.’

1. The Bureau of Fiscal Service runs the Treasury Offset Program.

2. Debts such as past due child support, student loan, state income tax or unemployment compensation may reduce your refund. BFS may use part or all of your tax refund to pay the debt.

3. You’ll receive a notice if BFS offsets your refund to pay your debt. The notice will list the original refund and offset amounts. It will also include the agency that received the offset payment and their contact information.

Friday, 18 April 2014 12:21

Where’s My Refund?

As the Tax Season ends, IRS answers: Where’s My Refund?

With the close of the tax filing season, the vast majority have filed their income tax returns and received their income tax refunds. As of last Friday, the IRS had received almost 113 million tax returns and issued more than 85 million refunds, about 78 percent of all the refunds the agency will issue this year.

However, taxpayers who have not yet received their refunds can use the “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov

Friday, 18 April 2014 12:16

Miss the Tax Deadline

If you missed the April 15 tax filing deadline, don’t panic. Here’s some advice from the IRS.

• File as soon as you can.  If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can. This will help minimize the interest and penalty charges. There is no penalty for filing a late return if you are due a refund.

• IRS Free File is your best option.  Everyone can use IRS Free File to e-file their federal taxes for free. If your income was $58,000 or less, you can use free brand-name software. If you made more than $58,000 and are comfortable preparing your own tax return, use Free File Fillable Forms to e-file. This program uses the electronic versions of paper IRS forms. IRS Free File is available through Oct. 15 only through IRS.gov.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:26

Health Insurance Coverage Exemption

Find out if You Qualify for a Health Insurance Coverage Exemption

The Affordable Care Act calls for individuals to have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, have an exemption, or make a shared responsibility payment when filing his or her federal income tax return.

You may be exempt from the requirement to maintain qualifying health insurance coverage, called minimum essential coverage, and may not have to make a shared responsibility payment when you file your next federal income tax return. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014 11:58

Taxpayers Who Owe Taxes

Options for Taxpayers Who Owe Taxes

If you owe taxes but can’t pay in full, the IRS has options for you. Most importantly, make sure you file your tax return and pay as much as you can. Then let the IRS help you choose your best option to pay. Here are some options to consider, even if you can’t pay the full amount right now:

• Borrow the money.  If you don’t have the money to pay all your taxes now, then you may want to get a loan from a bank or other source. The interest rate may be lower than the interest and penalties the IRS charges on late taxes. You also may be able to borrow against your assets or sell them to raise cash.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:51

Facts for Filing and Paying Late

April 15 is the tax day deadline for most people. If you’re due a refund there’s no penalty if you file a late tax return. But if you owe taxes and you fail to file and pay on time, you’ll usually owe interest and penalties on the taxes you pay late. Here are eight facts that you should know about these penalties.

1. If you file late and owe federal taxes, two penalties may apply. The first is a failure-to-file penalty for late filing. The second is a failure-to-pay penalty for paying late.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 12:03

10 Tips for Paying Your Taxes

If you owe taxes with your tax return this year, you should know a few things before you file. Here are 10 helpful tips from the IRS about how to pay your federal taxes.

1. Never send cash.

2. If you e-file, you can file and pay in a single step with an electronic funds withdrawal. If you e-file on your own, you can use your tax preparation software to make the withdrawal. If you use a tax preparer to e-file, you can ask the preparer to make your tax payment electronically.

3. You can pay taxes electronically 24/7 on IRS.gov. Just click on the ‘Payments’ tab near the top left of the home page for details.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 02:31

Last Minute Tax Filing?

Time never flies as fast as it does when Tax Day is approaching. If April 15 is bearing down on you and your tax life is still a muddled mess of documents and figures, it's time to buckle down and make a plan.

If your tax life is simple and straightforward   income from one employer who gives you a W-2 and the standard deduction   you can probably do your own tax return online.

If your tax life is complicated enough that you need an accountant, it's too late to start looking for one this year and still expect to file by the April 15 deadline. But all is not lost. Anyone who wants can get a filing extension, to Oct. 15, just for asking. This is your best bet if you're a last-minute filer who needs professional help to complete your return.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 02:28

IRS Telephone Scam

IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam

As the 2014 filing season nears an end, the Internal Revenue Service today issued another strong warning for consumers to guard against sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, as reported incidents of this crime continue to rise nationwide. These scams won’t likely end with the filing season so the IRS urges everyone to remain on guard.

The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.

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