Avoid the Rush: Be Prepared to Validate Identity if Calling the IRS

The following article was published by the IRS.

phone callThe Internal Revenue Service said mid-February marks the agency’s busiest time of the year for telephone calls. The IRS is reminding taxpayers who have questions about their tax accounts to be prepared to validate their identity when speaking with an IRS assistor. This will help avoid the need for a repeat call.

The IRS recognizes the importance of protecting taxpayers’ identities. That’s why IRS call center assistors take great care to make certain that they only discuss personal information with the taxpayer or someone authorized to speak on the taxpayer’s behalf. Continue reading

Posted in EITC, IRS, Personal Finance, Planning Strategies, Social Security, Taxes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Six Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

The following article was published by the IRS.

man at deskSelf-employed taxpayers normally earn income by carrying on a trade or business. Here are six important tips from the IRS for the self-employed: Continue reading

Posted in IRS, Personal Taxes, Planning Strategies, Self-Employed, Tax Tips, Year End | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Save This Valentine’s Day

While it’s true that we are in the middle of tax season, we are also approaching the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day. For centuries, on February 14, candy, flowers, gifts, and cards have been exchanged in a symbolic act of love towards others.

The key word here is symbolic. It’s not always the gifts themselves, but the thought and meaning behind them that truly matters. With that being said, don’t let the dollar amount you spend this year be wrongly correlated with how much you care. There are many ways to put a lot of creativity into a gift for your loved one without breaking the bank.

Here are a few ideas to start with:

  1. Candy – You can’t go wrong with sweets for your sweetie. Options range from high-end, gourmet chocolates to convenience store racks full of penny candy. Use your creativity and aim for fun, not price.
  2. Flowers – First and foremost, where you buy flowers does matter. Getting a good deal on something that doesn’t last isn’t a good deal at all. Be sure to purchase flowers from a local, trusted florist if at all possible. These have been refrigerated from the moment they were picked and are guaranteed to last.
  3. Food – For many, food is the quickest way to their heart. Try foregoing the usual expensive night out in exchange for a creative, fun night in. A romantic home-cooked meal can be just the trick. But try mixing it up a little and eat somewhere different than usual. Picnic style, anyone?
  4. Jewelry/Diamonds – If you are in the market for jewelry, it goes without saying that you want the most bang for your buck. But make sure you don’t get carried away on price. A woman isn’t going to be wearing the price tag. All that matters is that it’s beautiful and that she loves it. Aim for the most stunning piece you can afford on your budget.

So this Valentine’s Day, let your heart and mind do the talking more than your wallet. Try any of these simple ideas or come up with your own without breaking the bank.

Posted in Holiday Tips, Personal Finance, Planning Strategies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Early Withdrawals from Retirement Plans

The following article was published by the IRS.

rolled up dollarsMany people find it necessary to take out money early from their IRA or retirement plan. Doing so, however, can trigger an additional tax on top of income tax taxpayers may have to pay. Here are a few key points to know about taking an early distribution: Continue reading

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Choosing the Correct Filing Status

The following article was published by the IRS.

man with laptopWhen taxpayers file their tax return, it’s important they use the right filing status because it can affect the amount of tax they owe for the year. It may even determine if they must file a tax return at all. Taxpayers should keep in mind that their marital status on Dec. 31 is their status for the whole year.

Sometimes more than one filing status may apply to taxpayers. When that happens, taxpayers should choose the one that allows them to pay the least amount of tax.

Here’s a list of the five filing statuses: Continue reading

Posted in Accounting, Bookkeeping, E-file, IRS, Personal Taxes, Tax Tips, Year End | Tagged , , , ,