Get Your Refund Early by Filing Your Returns Early: E-filing with TurboTax 2014 to Start on Jan. 2
Now that the IRS has set January 31, 2014 as the commencement date for processing tax returns, taxpayers are urged to start filing early. You can now get free TurboTax 2014 version from www.turbotax.com and start filing your returns from the 2nd day of January, 2014. The sooner you file your taxes, the sooner you will get your tax refund.
Tax Refund Ballerz (Photo credit: bornazombie)
The average American taxpayer claims around 3,000 dollars in tax refunds. Furthermore, 8 in every 10 taxpayers in the country claim a refund every tax season. Intuit is encouraging taxpayers to start filing their returns at the soonest possible time to avoid delays in processing their tax refund.
Since TurboTax will start accepting e-files earlier than the IRS, the company will hold the information safely and forward them to the revenue service in a first-in, first out basis. This will go a long way in ensuring that taxpayer’s refunds are processed and sent back without delays, and it is important to note that the IRS does not anticipate any delays in doing this. The agency expects to perform as it did in the 2013 tax season; where 90 percent of all refunds were made in less than 21 days.
The clock is ticking, the game is almost over, and it is down to the big game’s final four. People around the world are in the final days of selecting the winner of Intuit’s Small Business Big Game competition. On Feb. 2, 2014, Intuit, the home company of TurboTax Canada, will make one small business a star in the biggest commercial game of the year.
Having an opportunity for its chance in the spotlight on Super Bowl Sunday are Barley Labs of Durham, North Carolina; Dairy Poop of Nampa, Idaho; GoldieBlox of Oakland, California; and Locally Laid Egg Company of Duluth, Minnesota. The four were among the thousands of small companies who entered the competition. The thousands were narrowed to 20, then to four. A worldwide vote determines which small business has an unprecedented opportunity for success. One vote per person per day will give one small business a chance at huge success.
Intuit and TurboTax Canada are awarding a prime 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl to the contest’s winner. The worldwide voting is in its final days, and four lucky small businesses are in the position to win big with Intuit and TurboTax Canada. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on Dec. 1.
The winner will receive a professionally produced 30-second television commercial during the biggest game of the year with TurboTax Canada and Intuit paying for the advertisement as well as purchasing the commercial time during the game. Voting is at . Small businesses are the heart and strength of the worldwide economy. Intuit, TurboTax Canada and voters are giving one small business a very big chance. You can get in on the game.
You never know when problems can occur, and this year people have experienced their fair share of unexpected problems. This summer alone people across the country are dealing with blazing wildfires, destructive storms with dangerous winds, and other natural disasters. Some people are lucky and come out of the damage relatively unscathed, but others aren’t as fortunate. Some people have had significant damage done to their property, and they’re trying to find a way to rebuild. There are also some people that aren’t dealing with disasters caused by nature, they’re dealing with problems caused by other people. Theft of expensive objects, damage done by vandals, blackmail, and other problems happen to people every day.
Many people don’t know what to do when disaster occurs. People with insurance may be able to get some help from their policy, but some policies don’t have enough coverage to completely compensate the policy holder for their loss. Luckily for tax paying American citizens, Uncle Sam has measures in place to help people in their hour of need. Financial losses incurred because of casualty, disaster, and theft losses may be tax-deductible. Tax payers can report casualty and theft can be reported on Form 4684 and Form 1040 Schedule A.
A casualty is defined as the loss, significant damage, or destruction of property because of a sudden event. In order to claim property as a casualty cost, the event that caused it must be easily identifiable and unexpected. Natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, storms, and wildfires fit the criteria, but Mother Nature doesn’t have to be the only cause of your loss. Losses due to car accidents, terrorist attacks, and vandalism can all be claimed as a casualty loss.
The IRS’ definition of theft isn’t too different from what law enforcement officials view as theft of property. The IRS defines theft as “the taking and removing of money or property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. The taking of property must be illegal under the law of the state where it occurred and it must have been done with criminal intent.” According to the IRS embezzlement, robbery, blackmail, burglary, extortion, larceny, and even kidnapping for ransom all full under the umbrella of theft losses.
Losses You Can’t Claim
The government offers IRS tax help to taxpayers that have experienced hardship, but there are some situations where you won’t be able to claim the property and finances you lost over the year. Property that was misplaced cannot be claimed as a loss, nor can property that was accidentally broken. Tax payers may also not claim any property that has gone through progressive deterioration. In order to be tax-deductible the damage must be cause by a sudden and unexpected event. As an example, if your home was significantly damaged in a storm you would be able to claim that. If your home was damaged because of termite infestation or mold over a period of time, you would not be allowed to claim that.
There’s an accounting joke (yes, they exist) that goes like this:
Q: What is a CPA?
A: It’s someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.
Even if that joke doesn’t make you laugh, it does contain an interesting bit about the necessity of a tax professional. The IRS certainly isn’t your friend, but it also isn’t your enemy. It is an organization operating on a mind-numbing system of complexities, the kind most people just aren’t cut out to navigate. The truth is, if you have a business of any size, you need professional help with your taxes. This comes in the form of tax preparers, enrolled agents, CPAs and tax attorneys.
If you’re as confused by the line-up as me, here’s a little clarity on the biggest differences between the bottom and top of the totem pole.
Tax preparers are trained in the general structure of tax returns. The majority of preparers are educated by whatever franchise they work at (H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, Liberty Tax Service). Independent preparers may attend tax preparer courses, but no formal training is needed to start a practice.
Tax attorneys must obtain a specialized law degree. Beyond the basic degree, many tax attorneys obtain a Master of Laws degree in taxation as well as a mandatory Juris Doctor degree. In addition to this rigorous education, specialized courses are required covering advanced topics in business taxation. Many tax attorneys also have experience as certified public accountants.
Anyone can become a tax preparer. On Jan. 18, 2013, the District Court put a stop to IRS requirements for registered tax return preparers to complete competency testing or secure continuing education. In fact, all it takes to offer the public service of tax preparation is the acquisition of a preparer tax identification number (PTIN), which costs all of $64.25.
Tax attorneys must pass the state bar. After completing the years-long process of law school, tax attorneys must pass the bar exam of whichever state they wish to practice in.
3. What they can do for you:
Tax preparers are capable of assisting you with basic, straightforward tax returns. If you have no special needs or complications involved in your taxes then a tax preparer is a good call. Whatever choice you make, be sure to ask about the full extent of your tax professional’s capabilities.
Tax attorneys can navigate your tax needs at every possible level. If you run a business and require assistance with complicated tax matters, or need year-round accounting, the seasoned tax attorney is your best bet. They’ll keep you from getting in trouble with the IRS by guiding you through your finances before tax season and/or representing you in front of the U.S. Tax Court if that’s necessary.
4. Who should hire them:
Tax preparers are appropriate help for anyone with an ordinary tax structure. The ideal client of a tax preparer is an individual with run-of-the-mill tax needs who forgoes the option to fill out taxes themselves. A small business without complicated tax structure can use them also, but it is advisable to seek a more experienced professional. It’s worth noting that chain tax services like H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, or Liberty Tax Service employ people with varying levels of experience, and it’s a good idea to ask if any CPAs are employed there. If the answer is yes, request to work with them.
Tax attorneys are the choice for anyone with intricate tax needs, or issues with the IRS. If you get audited by the IRS or owe an excessive amount of money ($10,000 or more) you should seek the help of a tax attorney. It’s a good to be proactive and hire a tax attorney for management of a more involved account where a traditional accountant will not suffice. This would include businesses with payroll, international business or estate planning. One option is to turn to a company like Burkett, Burkett and Burkett that staffs experienced CPAs and tax attorneys. These kinds of firms benefit from the shared experience of a group.
5. What they will cost:
Tax preparers charge in a number of different ways, but are generally affordable. From independent preparers to franchise services, methods of billing range from flat fees to hourly and scaled fees by level of complexity. The average 2012 price for H&R Block was $192 per return where Liberty Tax Service averaged $173.
Tax attorneys are costly. We all know that hiring a lawyer is going to cost and a tax lawyer is no exception. You will more than likely be charged an hourly rate and can expect to see them ranging from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or more per hour. This is obviously what puts such an emphasis on hiring the right kind of professional. If you don’t require complicated tax services, you may be able to get by with a tax preparer or certified public accountant. However, don’t make the mistake of cutting corners in a situation where potential consequence so greatly outweighs the savings.
Legal research (Photo credit: gwilmore (I HATE THE NEW LAYOUT!))
Between January 1 and the end of the first month of the year, most people will find themselves with a variety of tax forms showing up in the mail. From W-2s to financial aid documents for school, just keeping track of all of the information can be a difficult task in and of itself. It isn’t difficult to understand why people often put off filing their taxes until the very last minute, but the job does not have to be as frustrating as most of us let it become. In fact, a lot of people would probably be pleasantly surprised to find out just how easy and convenient filing taxes can be if they follow a few simple guidelines.
Tips For Filing Taxes
Filing taxes isn’t a fun time for many people. Accountants and people who love numbers might have fun with it at first, but even they get bored with it after awhile. It can be hard to stay focused and file your taxes correctly if you aren’t sure of what you are doing. No one wants to pay someone a fortune to help them with their tax paperwork, either, so it can be hard to figure out where to go. Here are some helpful tips that can get you through this tax season and help you into next season, as well.
-Make sure that you pay all of your back taxes or anything that you owe. It might seem like you can just wait until the money comes around again, but the more returns you file with an outstanding balance, the higher your penalties and interest will go.
-If you use online programs, check and double check them for yourself. If your taxes are too complicated to do manually, use two programs to ensure that they both arrive at the same refund or amount owed. It’s important to make sure that the forms are accurate.
-Don’t file online if you haven’t filed other years of taxes. Your return will get flagged in the system and the IRS actually won’t let you file it if you have outstanding returns. Just print it out, mail it in, and wait.
-Use free file programs when you can. Choose companies that are reputable and that actually have free e-filing. They shouldn’t come up with hidden charges or wait until the end to tell you that it’s only free if you do this or that. Just find what’s free. That’s it.
-If you need tax help, ask now instead of later. Getting ahead of the game can make it easier for you to get back on track. Ask for the help that you need with filing so that you can get your taxes in order and get more out of your returns. There’s no shame in asking for help.
Importance Of Taxes
Make sure that you put these tips to work for filing your taxes this year, no matter what you are dealing with. It’s important to stay on top of things and get the help that you need out of your tax services, no matter what you have in mind. Use the resources that are available because they make taxes much less intimidating and can be helpful in keeping you on track. That’s the least that you deserve when it comes to your taxes, no matter what your situation might be.
The Community Manager of www.MyReviewsNow.net website, Stephanie Frasco, wrote this post about filing taxes.
Using Turbo Tax 2013 is a good way to avoid tax scams in the first place, seeing as how you can e-file your paperwork with confidence that it will go directly to the IRS. However, there are people who will try to catch you in a scam this year, so you need to know what to watch out for. You should use www.TurboTax.com to gather information about filing your taxes correctly, in a safe manner, so these scams do not affect you.
Paying taxes is required for both citizens and non-citizens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even if you have already used Turbo Tax 2013 and www.TurboTax.com to file your taxes, you could get an email saying that you are going to be given a second tax return. The email will look official, even down to the IRS logo, and it will state that you just need to resubmit your information to get the extra money. Do not respond to this email, because the information will really be used for identify theft.
If you decide not to use Turbo Tax 2013 and www.TurboTax.com, you might have to hire a tax preparer to file your taxes for you. Be very careful about what papers you sign. Some preparers will have you sign over your entire return so that they get to keep it instead of you, and, since you signed the documents, this is totally legal.
You can claim all of the money that you give to charity as a tax write-off when you file with Turbo Tax 2013. However, make sure that you are not donating to a fake charity, which will simply steal your money as you attempt to save on your taxes.
After you file with Turbo Tax 2013, you might get a call from a fake IRS agent, telling you that you need to provide you bank account into to get a grant. This is a scam to steal money directly from the bank.
Protect yourself this year. Learn all that you can about scams, and then use www.TurboTax.com to avoid them. With a little research, you can protect your identity and your money.