It’s always difficult to be caught up in a mad rush at the end of the tax season to get your federal taxes filed on-time. Filing at the last minute is bound to be particularly stressful this year due to the scaled back phone support from the IRS and the additional requirements set by the Affordable Care Act. Here are some tax changes to take note of now so you are not surprised down the stretch.
Sales tax can be deducted once again thanks to the last minute efforts in Congress. The primary beneficiaries of this measure are resident of states that have no income tax, as well as those living in states will considerably low income taxes. There is an IRS Sales Tax Deduction Calculator online to help assess the amount covered.
Mortgage insurance premiums may also be deducted in some cases. Only people with a 2014 gross income that is less than $109,000 and who took out the loan after 2006 are eligible for the tax break. Programs like TurboTax Online will make the calculation for you automatically when you enter your income and your mortgage insurance paid.
Seniors are also going to get a couple additional breaks this year thanks to Congress. Those who are 70 and a half years of age may transfer as much as $100,000 from their individual retirement account (IRA) to a qualified charity. This will not be included in the gross income but instead count as the required minimum distribution. This may reduce taxes on Social Security benefits and avoid the Medicare high income surcharge.
Note that these tax breaks are only for the 2014 tax return. Congress has not made them permanent and the changing political landscape is likely to affect their renewal for the following year. Make sure to check several online tax resources next tax season to make sure they were renewed again.
Investment Income Tax
Single taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes in excess of $200,000 and married taxpayers with $250,000 or more may have to pay 3.8% surtax on their investments. Tax-exempt interest is not covered by the surtax.
The small business deduction is one of the most advantageous income tax benefits for company owners in Canada. The deduction lowers the amount of the Part 1 tax otherwise required of business owners. As of the first of January, adjusted tax rates allow a small corporation to qualify at the tax rate of 4.5% in the province of Ontario. Others will still need to pay the standard tax rate of 11.5%. Owners of Canadian businesses are encouraged to examine the tax guidelines to see if they qualify for this lower rate. A useful tool for this purpose is TurboTax Canada.
The Canada Tax Agency has released a chart detailing the varying rates of corporate taxes for different types of businesses. Data is listed for all provinces except Quebec and Alberta, which are exempt from corporate taxes. To qualify for this lower rate, Canadian companies need to meet certain criteria. Each needs to be a Canadian-controlled private company and must meet all the rules set forth in the T4012-T2 Corporate Tax Guide. Each corporation needs to have been incorporated in Canada after the first of June 1971 and must operate fully in the country for all of the given tax year. The CEO of each corporation must also be a full-time Canadian resident. Shares of each qualifying corporation must also not be traded in overseas stock exchanges.
You may be surprised at how many people wait until close to the tax deadline to finish and file their taxes. This may have nothing to do with pure procrastination and everything to do with feeling overwhelmed about the process.
Many people may be focused on the prospect of dealing with penalties for improper filing, but following the good advice from TurboTax can eliminate these types of fears.
Electronic filing is safe and straightforward with TurboTax, and your return will be received much faster than if you mail a paper income tax return. The Internal Revenue Service will inform you within 48 hours whether or not your income tax submission has been accepted.
No Income Tax! (Photo credit: sjrankin)
You can receive a tax refund by a traditional paper check, but selecting direct deposit is quicker and safer as well. Electronic filing and direct deposit eliminates the potential for lost documents, lost checks, and longer waiting due to document delivery time. TurboTax even has free Federal tax filing options for qualifying income tax filers.
File Now, Pay Later
You should file your taxes as soon as possible even if you end up owing the government. The IRS will let you submit your income taxes and set up a payment for a later date, and you may set up an automatic withdrawal. You can pay through your bank account, debit card, or credit card without penalty as long as you make your payment by the April 15th deadline.
Income tax time is a nightmare for most people, but it doesn’t have to be. TaxSlayer, like TurboTax.com, is an easy and free way to do your taxes. Why set up an appointment and pay someone else $100 when you can use Tax Slayer? This software is programmed to get you the maximum amount of money back possible.
TaxSlayer is easy, free, and is 100% guaranteed to make all your calculations correctly. You can do them online or download a CD, or do them from your tablet or phone. No matter where you are in the process, TurboTax.com or TaxSlayer and their software will
Kara DeFrias (Photo credit: TEDxCoMo (Columbia, MO))
double check all information so no mistakes are made. The software checks over 350 tax deductions and credits, ones that you would most likely miss. TaxSlayer also offers free help support by phone or by online chatting, from income tax professionals. If you run into problems, they’ll be there to guide you every step of the way. TurboTax.com lets you prepare your tax return, e-file it, and rest easy. No worrying about mistakes or wrong entries, and you’ll get the maximum return possible.
Editions of TaxSlayer
TaxSlayer specializes in personal and small business tax assistance. You can get the free edition, or if your return is a bit more complicated, there’s also the TaxSlayer Classic, or the TaxSlayer Premium Edition.
Income tax time can be stress free if you go to TurboTax.com and check out all their free and guaranteed programs. TaxSlayer is the only way to go if you want your taxes done right!
Intuit has played around a bit more with TurboTax 2014, and has done things such as making fonts and graphics bigger. The TurboTax support page has also been replaced, with what is known as the TurboTax AnswerXchange.
Users returning will find that their 2014 taxes are easier to do because the data that has moved over, and there is even a personal guide to the Affordable Care Act.
TurboTax Chat Community Overloaded On Tax Day (Photo credit: John Swords)
An Easy Walk-Through
The software searches through more than 350 deductions and credits, which can help you claim everything that is allowed according to the tax code set forth by the IRS.
TurboTax Deluxe, as well as its competitors take your information, which you provide, and then it does the required deductions. It also drops your answers into the correct fields on IRS schedules and forms. All of this goes on in the background, and all you need to do is click buttons in order to move forward and back.
Navigation That Is Top-Notch
The navigation is top-notch, and you will find that navigating TurboTax Deluxe is easy. Your federal review is divided up into three sections, with the first two being Wages & Income and Deductions and Credits. The third section is Other Tax Situations. You will find that navigating through each section is a breeze.
You will also be pleased to know that there are other ways that you can navigate the site. You will notice that four links opens when you click on the tools icon, which is located to the left side. You will be able to look for a topic in a list that is very lengthy, or you can arrange the list in alphabetical order. All you need to do is click on the topic of your choice. Once you have done this, you will be taken to that screen. Another thing you can do is create a flag for a specific page, and this will remind you that you need to go back to the page and fill some information in. The fourth link that is available for you to click on displays all of your fees.
TurboTax Deluxe allows you to move forward and backwards, which is something that H&R Block Deluxe does not allow you to do. Their software requires you to finish a screen before you can move on to the next screen. Once you think you have entered everything that you were required to enter, TurboTax, as well as its competitors, will review your return, and if there were any errors or omissions that you have made, then you will know about it, but they will be revealed one at a time. TurboTax Deluxe only shows you the relevant portion of an schedule or form, and then you will be provided with a field where you can input your answer.
Tax preparation help at the library (Photo credit: Newton Free Library)
Filing your income taxes is one of those necessary evils that nobody looks forward to. It’s a time consuming, highly detailed process that typically requires several hours of your attention. Luckily, in today’s digital world, filing your taxes doesn’t have to be such a headache. Thanks to advances in technology, you can now work with an accountant to file your taxes from the comfort of your own home. There are a couple of different options for electronic filing that help you to save time and money when you’re doing your income taxes.
Let’s face it: we’re all busy and sometimes we just don’t have the time to sit through an hours-long appointment with a tax preparer. When you add in the time spent commuting across town and finding parking, in-person meetings can really start to add up. A number of firms out there that now offer virtual income tax preparation. Some even provide online drop off service, so that you can simply send all of your tax documents in electronically without ever setting foot in a physical office. Nothing is more convenient than that.
You can either choose to work with a large tax preparation service like H&R Block, or an accountant in your area that offers virtual tax preparation services. It’s simply a personal choice based on your comfort level and preferences. Either route you choose, it’s likely you will need to have some face time with your accountant. This can be done in a few different ways. The most common way to connect is through video conferencing that’s done via the web. Some accountants will also connect with you over the phone or through a chat feature that is offered on their website.
Scheduling time to talk via video conference, phone, or live chat ensures that your taxes will be prepared according to your needs and preferences. Generally, filing your income taxes virtually requires a simple conversation at the beginning of the process in order to hammer out necessary details before your accountant gets down to the nitty-gritty of doing your taxes. You then converse by email or phone if there are questions during the process or after the return has been prepared.
Tax preparation software
An estimated 81% of people in the United States filed their taxes electronically last year. While virtual accountants are starting to become more prevalent, it’s likely that the bulk of these individuals used tax preparation services to simplify the filing process. Tax preparation software has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade, with the development of popular programs like TurboTax by Intuit which allow you to complete the filing process online from start to finish.
The program’s popularity is largely attributed to its convenience. TurboTax provides an inexpensive, easy to follow, and convenient solution for filing your income taxes. You can simply download the software or purchase it at a nearby store, run it on your computer and begin entering information from your W-2s and other tax forms. It simplifies the deduction process by taking you step by step through common (and uncommon) tax deductions. Generally, the software helps to maximize your return because it covers all the bases with tax deductions.
If you don’t finish doing your taxes on TurboTax in one sitting, you can always come back to them. The program saves your progress online or on your computer, so you can simply pick up where you left off. Once you’ve completed your tax returns, you can file with the click of a button and opt to receive your refund electronically, or via paper check in the mail. You can also pay your taxes electronically if you end up owing money. It’s a highly convenient solution with little margin for error, and a great choice if you are not particularly confident in your skills when you’re filing taxes on paper.
Thanks to today’s technology, there are a few great ways to minimize the hassle of filing your income taxes, including Intercall’s virtual events and other tech options. If you would like to explore a more convenient solution for filing, look into options for virtual accounting or consider purchasing tax preparation software to simplify the process. Tax software will save you a lot of time and potential frustration!