Category Archives: Tax Filing

H&R Block’s Message To Trump: We Want A Simpler Tax Code Too

It appears that Trump, the Republican front runner in the 2016 presidential election, is going after H&R Block via one of his many campaign rants. H&R Block’s Message To Trump is quite simple. He says that he wants the federal government to change the tax code so much that it puts H&R Block out of business.

The ability to make the federal tax code easier to understand has always prompted public debate. For the last twenty years, Steve Forbes has proposed a flat tax that requires just a one page tax return.

However, the United States tax code is still very hard for the average person to decipher because it has so many types of deductions, credits, exemptions and brackets to understand.

This image depicts the total tax revenue (not ...

This image depicts the total tax revenue (not adjusted for inflation) for the U.S. federal government from 1980 to 2009 compared to the amount of revenue coming from individual income taxes. The data comes from the Office of Management and Budget’s record of the ‘Budget of the US Government FY 2011’, specifically the ‘Historical Tables, Table 2.1.’ The information is also here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year, one out of every seven taxpayers had their taxes prepared by H&R Block. The company had about 17 percent of the physical tax preparation market share, and about 12 percent downloaded its software to file taxes digitally.

Thus, Trump feels that H&R Block is successful because no one understands the federal tax code. He believes that H&R Block doesn’t want the code to be changed for this reason.

Quite naturally, H&R Block denies this assertion. Its CEO, Bill Cobb, says that his company doesn’t benefit because of the current tax code. He believes that Congress has issued numerous programs that help Americans, but they can’t take advantage of them until their annual taxes are filed. He also says the code is very complex, and his company undergoes advanced training as a result. Cobb, however, agrees that the law could be changed to make things easier for everyone involved.

However, Cobb’s company was recently criticized for another tax reason. The media says that H&R Block wants to make it hard for taxpayers who want to file their own taxes to prove eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, the company claims that it just wants these filers to have the same rights as their paying customers, who by the way, have to file with a complicated tax form. The company also says that it wants to decrease the amount of refunds that the government pays on fraudulent tax forms. This amount is about $16 to $19 billion annually.

It doesn’t look like the federal tax code will change anytime soon, and appears that H&R Block won’t be going out of business either. Since it isn’t regulated as a savings and loan holding company anymore, its balance sheet looks much better. The company’s shares actually went up when it announced a new capital plan.

Trump is on the campaign trail, and HR & Block is still preparing taxes and getting ready for tax season. In addition, taxpayers still need help preparing their taxes. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, taxpayers can look forward to getting their W-2s and a 1095B or C. This is an additional form that says they have Obamacare. But the CEO of H&R Block believes that his company is ready because of the extra training received.

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Why TurboTax 2014 Is So Simple

When you enter you username and password for the TurboTax login, you are going to have the chance to get your taxes done in a record amount time. Studies have shown that the time to prepare your taxes is greatly reduced when using online tax software like TurboTax. You want to have a tax assistant that is going to allow you to finish your taxes without feeling as though you are going to run out of time even if April 15th is approaching. The tax programs of today make your life much easier. And remember that you can use Intuit’s TurboTax program to do any kind of tax return that is needed, from the simple return to the most complicated.

The Simple Return

When you are doing a simple return (like a 1040EZ) on the program, you are going to be able to get it done quickly because you may only have one W-2. More than likely you will also not have to pay to file your Federal tax return. You can enter your information easily, and you will be able to submit your documents without problems. Also, you will be able to enter all your information for getting your refund back, select the best form of payment for you. This is going to get the money back to you quickly, and you will be able to get the process done in a matter of days if not hours.

Complicated Returns

When you are doing more complicated returns, TurboTax is going to ask you for all the information that must be entered to get these returns done. You will probably need to purchase a little bit more expense package, like TurboTax Deluxe. The program is going to ask for all supporting documentation so that you can take all deductions, and you will be asked to enter all the deductions that you can take. This is going to simplify the process, and you can log into TurboTax  any time in the future to keep working on your taxes if filing takes more than one session. The program saves all your progress, and the program will remind you how much longer you have to get your taxes done.

Extensions

You can also use the program to file a tax extension when you know that you need more time. You can file the extension (form 1040X) through the program, and the program will get a response when the IRS receives your request. You will be told how much longer you have to get your taxes done, and you will not have to worry about missing your deadline. An extra 6 months can make a big difference in the accuracy of your return and reducing your chance of getting audited. Make sure to pay any estimated tax due before the original deadline for the tax season.

Printing Your Records

When you are done with your taxes, you will need to print your paperwork for your own records. You can also save a PDF version on a drive that you backup. The paperwork that you keep is going to be proof that you filed your taxes, and you will be able to file your taxes much more easily in the future when you have your old return. Future TurboTax versions will seek out and import prior returns on your hard-drive, saving you time in entering the basic personal and work details.

If you are going to use an online program to file your taxes, you must remember that this program is going to do most of the work for you. It makes your life easier, and it is going to make it easier for you to get them done as fast as possible. Accuracy and speed make for a great tax filing experience.

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Your 2014 Taxes ˗ What You Need To Know

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has earmarked January 20 as the start of the tax filing period.

Yesterday, the IRS stated that US taxpayers can begin filing their taxes for 2014 January 20th. The tax filing period will begin on schedule unlike last year when there were delays, in spite of a late tax rule introduced by Congress and approved by President Obama, according to the taxing agency.

Previously this month, a bill was passed by Congress that extended over fifty tax breaks, which had expired this time last year. This new congressional tax rule prolongs the tax breaks to the end of the year, permitting taxpayers to take the tax breaks while filing their tax returns for 2014. President Barack Obama approved the bill on December 19.

During the past couple of years, late rule changes introduced by Congress have held up the start of tax filing periods. That will not be the case on this occasion though, said John Koskinen — the current IRS Commissioner.

In an interview, Koskinen stated that the IRS had examined the late changes to the tax laws, and decided that nothing should prevent them from carrying on upgrading and testing their systems.

On a yearly basis, TurboTax free tax returns are filed by millions of people throughout the initial weeks of the tax period. The IRS will be ready to receive this huge influx of tax returns at the start. Taxpayers should be able to obtain their tax refunds quickly after the start of the tax season.

Recently, the IRS stated that it managed to take action on the majority of tax refunds in three weeks. This applies to tax returns that were electronically filed. The IRS states that electronic filing is the quickest method of acquiring a tax refund and recommends it.

Lately, Koskinen informed journalists that tax refunds may be held up, due to agency budget cuts made after the IRS TeaParty targeting scandal. Nonetheless, he would not say how long they would be held up. Many consider this to be the agency hoping for an increase in funding by claiming the tax season will be slow due to a lack of resources.

The Internal Revenue Service will process roughly 150 million tax returns this tax season. For the 2014 reporting period, tax refunds averaged approximately $2800.

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Easy And Convenient Tax Prep With TurboTax.com

First time tax filers may be anxious about completing their taxes. Some even wait until the last minute without being aware of it. Filing your 2013 taxes is a necessity. Knowing what mistakes to avoid can make the process easier and allows individuals to submit their taxes right on time.

Those who are preparing their 2013 taxes for the first time may wonder where to begin. They have to think of their tax preparer. Have they even picked one out? Those who haven’t may not know where to turn. Others may already know about TurboTax.com. It offers free federal filing and even offers multiple options for filing state returns. Using the site allows individuals to complete their taxes securely and properly. They will be guided through each step in the tax preparation process to get their 2013 taxes submitted. There is superb customer service to help customers when they want it. TurboTax.com guarantees it will locate the most deductions that individuals qualify for. Individuals can trust their tax prep to the site and get reliable results. Take the plunge and get first time taxes done right.

Part of being a responsible adult is handling financial issues properly. In childhood taxes were likely a foreign concept. This is the time to step into reliability. Take the first step and get started on 2013 taxes. The site lays out the steps clearly and concisely. Users only have to follow along to complete their tax preparation without headaches and drama. TurboTax.com offers an easy to navigate site and all the right feature and help to make tax time simple.

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Tax Tips: I Do Declare

Did you know that there are hundreds of little things that you should be declaring on your tax returns? Here are some of the most important items that must be declared on your federal and state tax return.

All Sources of Income
The tax code of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that all income earned or received must be reported on your income tax returns. The categories of income recognized by the IRS include the following:

•    Wages, salaries and tips
•    Interest on bank accounts, certificates of deposit, bonds and other investments
•    Capital gains
•    Business income
•    Alimony
•    Income from bartering
•    Dividends
•    Annuities, pensions and lump-sum distributions
•    Rental revenues
•    Gambling income
•    Earnings from agriculture and fishing
•    401(k)
•    Unemployment benefits

Each of these types of income must be declared on your income tax return. In some cases, losses in a particular category can be used to offset income earned in that category.

Certain Gifts

Depending on the amount of the gift and the identity of the recipient, you may need to report gifts to others on your income tax return and may be required to pay taxes on these transactions. Unlike donations to charitable organizations, which are generally tax-exempt, gifts directly to someone else are subject to an annual gift limit. The limit is currently set at $13,000. Couples can make gifts of up to $26,000 without incurring tax liabilities for these gifts. Certain types of gifts are not subject to the gift limit; these include the following:

•    Payments directly to universities for college tuition
•    Direct payments to hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities for medical procedures
•    Gifts to one’s spouse
•    Political contributions

Individuals and couples can choose to exclude additional amounts from the gift tax requirements by taking advantage of the Unified Credit. Currently capped at $1,772,800, the Unified Credit allows a greater degree of flexibility when giving gifts to your network of friends and family.

Itemizing Deductions

If you are required to declare gifts on your federal tax return, you must typically itemize your deductions as well. Itemized deduction categories include the following:

•    Mortgage points and interest
•    Medical and dental fees
•    Interest expenses
•    Contributions to charities
•    Business and education expenses
•    Depreciation of cars, trucks and other vehicles used in the course of business
•    Losses due to accidents, disasters, thefts and other critical events

The standard deduction amount may actually provide greater tax savings for your particular situation. Nonetheless, if you are declaring gifts on your tax return, you should usually itemize your deductions as well. This process can be challenging and typically requires the help of a skilled and knowledgeable tax preparer for optimal results. Some studies suggest that itemizing deductions can also increase the chances of an audit. Your tax preparer can assist in your defense if an audit does occur.

Declaring all sources of income and all sizable gifts is required by the tax code. Maintaining compliance with these legal requirements is your best defense against audits, penalties and other consequences that may arise from failure to incorporate these items into your tax return.

 

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