Tax Help Available at IRS.gov

The following article was published by the IRS.

Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov for quick access to helpful tax information and tools that can help them with their taxes. Here are some things taxpayers can do when they visit IRS.gov:

Find Out How to File Tax Returns Electronically. IRS e-file, is the easiest, safest and most popular way to file a complete and accurate tax return. The fastest way to get a refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.  On IRS.gov, taxpayers can see if they find software options to e-file their own taxes or find an authorized e-file provider.

Get Answers to Tax Questions. The Interactive Tax Assistant tool and the IRS Tax Map answer many tax-law questions. Many IRS tools and products are also available in other languages, including Spanish.

Find a Tax Preparer. Taxpayers can use the Directory of Tax Return Preparers tool to find a list of tax preparers near them. Taxpayers can search based on the credentials and qualifications they want their preparer to have. Continue reading

Posted in Accounting, E-file, Government, IRS, Personal Finance, Planning Strategies, Tax Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tax Extensions: What You Need To Know

We are coming down to the wire – Tax Day is now just a day away. While most people have already filed their taxes, others are only just now ready to file. Still, there are those who will need to file an extension.

The reasons for filing an extension are many, but are often due to circumstances such as not receiving a necessary document on time or waiting on financial information to finalize. Regardless of the reason, extensions are available to those who qualify.

So what is an extension exactly? It is a request to the IRS to grant an additional six months to file one’s taxes. You may file at any time between April and October using the typical methods of paper filing, electronic filing, or utilizing the services of your tax professional. Continue reading

Posted in Government, IRS, Personal Finance, Planning Strategies, Tax Credits, Tax Extensions, Tax Tips, Taxes, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tax Time Tips from the IRS

The following article was published by the IRS.

The tax filing deadline is Tuesday, April 17 this year. This is because April 15 falls on a weekend and the following Monday is a holiday in the District of Columbia. Even with an extra two days, the IRS urges taxpayers to avoid waiting until the last minute to file their taxes.

For those who have yet to file, the IRS has a few quick ideas to help:

1. Gather Records. Good recordkeeping is important. It helps to ensure that nothing gets overlooked. Records such as receipts and cancelled checks also provide expense documentation.

2. Use IRS Online Tools. The IRS has many useful online tools, including the Interactive Tax Assistant, which provides answers to many tax questions. It gives the same answers that an IRS representative would give over the phone. Continue reading

Posted in IRS, Personal Finance, Planning Strategies, Tax Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here’s What Americans Do With Their Tax Refunds

It’s finally springtime, and with it comes excitement and anticipation of warmer weather, longer days, and also tax refunds for many. Having a cash windfall is always a good thing, but the way we spend it isn’t always ideal.

Here is a look at some smart ways to spend whatever amount you get back from Uncle Sam: Continue reading

Posted in Personal Finance, Planning Strategies, Tax Refunds, Tax Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IRS Dirty Dozen: Watch Out for these 12 Scams

The following article was published by the IRS.

The IRS reminds taxpayers to watch out for scams and schemes that put them and their personal information at risk. Each year, the IRS releases the top 12 scams, known as the Dirty Dozen. The schemes run the gamut from simple refund inflation to technical tax shelter deals.

Here’s a recap of this year’s Dirty Dozen:

  1. Phishing: Taxpayers should watch for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or tax refund. Don’t click on links in these emails claiming to be from the IRS.
  2. Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers.
  3. Identity Theft: Taxpayers should be alert to tactics aimed at stealing their identities. The IRS continues to pursue criminals who file fraudulent tax returns using someone else’s Social Security number.
  4. Return Preparer Fraud: Most tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. However, there are some dishonest preparers who scam clients. These preparers commit refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers.
  5. Continue reading

Posted in Data Security, Fraud, IRS, Personal Finance, Tax Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Simplify Your Financial Life

There’s no doubt about it, we live in a stressful, fast-paced, crazy world. But deep down, most of us long for simplicity and peace of mind. One of the biggest contributors to our stress is our financial life. Simplifying this can go a long way towards lowering our overall stress and ultimately giving us peace of mind.

Here are some steps to help accomplish this:

  1. Consolidate – If you have multiple credit card, bank, and brokerage accounts, eliminate as many as possible and streamline your finances through a minimal number of accounts. This will help you track your finances better and keep tabs on any issues that may arise.
  2. Go Paperless – Getting digital copies of your statements, usually as a PDF file, will make them easier to store, easier to find, and much safer to keep than having a filing cabinet full of paper statements.
  3. Pay Cash – Using good old-fashioned cash instead of plastic will help you avoid debt, credit card statements, and impulse purchases. With this method, you can’t spend what you don’t have.
  4. Automate – With today’s plethora of apps and websites dedicated to financial automation, it is easier than ever to automate your financial life. Make sure your paycheck is direct deposited, your savings are auto-transferred, and your transactions are auto-tracked. The more things that are automated, the fewer things you have to worry about on a daily basis.
  5. Stop Buying Stuff – Clutter is costly and stressful. One way to help limit this is to make a rule that requires you sell or donate two items for every one that you buy. Things don’t make us happy, but reducing clutter helps!

Bottom line, life is way more stressful the more complicated you allow things to be. By implementing these five tips to help simplify your financial life, you will go a long way towards discovering peace and stress-free living.

Posted in Personal Finance, Planning Strategies, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,