Author Archives: Steve Jones

Should you give back to your school?

English: Cadets of the Air Force Academy Class...

English: Cadets of the Air Force Academy Class of 2003 celebrate at graduation ceremonies on May 28, 2003 as the Air Force Thunderbirds fly overhead. The 974 students marked the academy’s 45th graduating class. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Graduating from college is a wonderful achievement, and you may have spent an appreciable amount of money to make it happen.

Ironically, graduation may tie you to your school even more, and the interaction may last for years to come.

Money Concerns of College Alumni

College is beneficial for the student and the school. The learning institution provides opportunities for your future success, and your successful endeavors after graduation serve as a testament to the school.

Newsflash: Your success is gauged by your income!

Your healthy income is a tangible way for your college to verify their skill in preparing students for their future success.

Many graduates give back to their schools when filing taxes or as part of other financial activities. Reputable publications such as U.S. News and World Report use the percentage of alumni who donate as an important ranking factor, and this is why many colleges begin asking for alumni donations so soon after graduation.

The Benefits of Donating

You may feel grateful for your educational experience, and giving back can be an ideal way to display your appreciation.

You may benefit when filing taxes if you make a charitable contribution to your former college. This deduction may reduce your taxable income and any money that you may owe at tax time, and you may receive more money back if you are entitled to a tax refund.

Your degree can appear more valuable by many aspects as your school maintains or improves its good reputation and ranking.

The Financial Considerations of Donating

You may want to support your college, but it may be advantageous to wait if you have student loan or credit card debt to settle at present. Most colleges have multiple avenues for raising funds, and you can support your college when the time is right for you.

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Maintain Security When Filing Taxes Electronically

How to maintain security when filing taxes electronically

Millions of U.S. taxpayers have used electronic software applications like TuboTax.com to e-file their taxes, many doing so from the home desktops. Roughly six percent more consumers are using this method of submitting tax forms, than the numbers who did so in 2012.

Though e-filing is convenient and easy, it can create a risk to the taxpayer, with the filing of fraudulent tax forms and and identity theft. These undetected thieves were able to get away with over three and a half billion dollars in 2011, according to the Inspector General.

The following tips for protecting your information and identity are offered by experts in internet security

Don’t assume all emails genuinely originated from the Internal Revenue Service!

One method of committing fraud is to send an email to the taxpayer, pretending to be the IRS. This form of gaining access, known as phishing, allows malware access to the user’s computer, to gain access to important taxpayer information. The emails can look like official requests from the government office and may claim some kind of problem with a social security number or taxpayer information. Many taxpayers have provided such information, unaware they are handing it over to an imposter.

The IRS never sends emails or text messages to taxpayers, to clarify personal identity or correct taxpayer information. Any person who receives a suspicious email message should forward it to the IRS, without opening the message itself or any attachment.

Keep Personal Information Safe

Aside from being aware of false email messages, taxpayers can take additional measures to protect personal data. Using a different password for electronic tax filing, from those used for other internet accounts, is one safeguard that makes it more difficult for cyber criminals to get your information.

Avoid sending tax files to the IRS in public locations where wireless internet is available. These connections a re open to all users and can be accessed by anyone, thus improving the changes of gaining access to an individual’s personal computer. Home networks that are password protected are best for sending tax forms.

Social networking sites like facebook are other places criminals hang out to gain personal information. If your site includes minor children, the thief now knows you claim dependents on the tax return, which allows them to make fictitious tax returns look more like the real thing.

Breaches in internet security are another cause for concern. The recent incidents with Target, Sony, and other retailers shows how easy it can be for cyber thieves to get account and personal address information.

No Refund

No Refund (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk)

Though these incidents can occur, the internet e-file process is generally secure. There are red flags to look for the keep your information safe. Filing Taxes using the e-file method and software such as TurboTax.com can make the tax filing process a much simpler ordeal that saves time and money.

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Turbo Tax 2014 Released to Solve Your Tax Return Troubles

Day 56 - Tax Time

Day 56 – Tax Time (Photo credit: absoblogginlutely)

TurboTax 2014 will enable you to get a tax refund that will make you a richer man. It is of significant advantage to you, because it has the capability to find loopholes in the contemporary tax code.

Additionally, TurboTax can also track any changes in the tax code for you only, over several years.

The tax return software guides you through any bureaucratic obstacles in the process of filing the relevant forms. It takes you systematically through each step, while offering you value for your tax return.

This software comes with an instruction manual, that originates straight from the IRS. The process is very straightforward and simple to follow, with no stone left unturned. In regards to the filing taxes, these tax programmers are more advanced that most laymen.

Most persons procrastinate when it comes to the filing of their taxes, but TurboTax ensures that you get the best deal on any taxes you pay. Their information processing ability, through the use of e-files, contributes towards the achievement of your goals in an impeccable manner.

Paper and pen, as used in the old school, are now tools of the past. Today, the hyper-textual environment of cyberspace is where everything is focused, and it is common knowledge that anything is possible in cyberspace. The umbrella group for TurboTax is Intuit Incorporated.

A connection to the Internet is all that is required to use TurboTax 2014 efficiently. It can also be downloaded online. There are several benefits of TurboTax, including the fact that the methodology it follows is neither complex nor complicated. Each user of the program is also given individualized treatment.

TurboTax’s deductions and reimbursement plan will satisfy you as you seek to process your tax returns. There are no risks involved and the program is currently the #1 software available on the market. In fact, with TurboTax 2014, you can consider yourself to be in safe and reliable hands.

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Filing Your Taxes With TurboTax 2014

Tax time can be stressful for many reasons, but if you use TurboTax 2014 may be the year that filing taxes becomes as easy as possible. TurboTax software can help you get the tax advantages that you are entitled to, and the following list highlights why millions of people file their taxes with TurboTax.

Easy to Navigate

"YOU ARE ONE OF 50,000,000 AMERICANS WHO ...

“YOU ARE ONE OF 50,000,000 AMERICANS WHO MUST FILL OUT AN INCOME TAX RETURN BY MARCH 15. DO IT NOW^ AVOID THE RUSH…. – NARA – 516202 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best software is easy to follow and easy to use, and this is the hallmark of TurboTax software. The steps take you through detailed questions that verify your information. You will end up with a complete picture of where you are in terms of your tax status and deductions.

TurboTax keeps you from duplicating work since the information from your federal income tax return can be efficiently transferred to your state tax return. This helps keep tax preparation time to a minimum, and the transfer feature helps to maximize the accuracy level as well.

Learn All About Taxes

You can learn a lot about current tax deductions and credits by using TurboTax software, and this knowledge can give you a lot of advantages when you do the work to file your taxes.

Many life events can affect your tax obligation, and things like owning a home or having a child may entitle you to numerous tax deductions. TurboTax can help you itemize important deductions, and tax credits may result in a helpful refund.

TurboTax empowers many people as they grow in their knowledge and understanding about taxes. The straightforward questions that you answer will help you understand your life and financial habits.

Get Help Filing Taxes

Many people appreciate being able to file taxes on their own and online, and the additional resources provided by TurboTax makes the process even easier. The AnswerXchange is an online community that allows you to ask tax questions in real time.

The AnswerXchange representatives include enrolled agents and CPAs who are ready to answer your tax questions. Questions may arise as you work with your TurboTax software, and having experts to help when needed will ensure that you can take advantage of good opportunities for lowering your tax liability.

Tax Software

TurboTax software is easy to use even if you are new to filing taxes this way. The AnswerXchange is an ideal backup for anyone concerned with having an expert available during the process, and you may file your taxes with confidence every time you use TurbTax.

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How To Choose The Right Filing Status For Your Taxes

English: Map showing the status of same sex ma...

English: Map showing the status of same sex marriage in the USA. Same-sex marriage recognized Unions granting rights similar to marriage Unions granting limited / enumerated rights Foreign same-sex marriages recognized Same-sex marriage banned by statute Same-sex marriage banned by constitution Same-sex marriage and similar unions banned by constitution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When filing taxes, it is crucial to indicate your current status. This is because this status actually determines the amount of money you should pay in taxes. It may also be important in deciding whether to file tax returns or not.

Whenever you have to indicate your status, it is vital that you consider the last status you had as at 31 Dec. However, when you are in a situation where more than one status is applicable, it is safe to go with one that will require you to pay the lowest taxes possible regardless of whether you are using TurboTax 2014 or not.

Certain tax rules also bind same-sex married couples regardless of where you were married. If the marriage is legal (performed in a state or country that recognizes same sex marriages), then you should use the married status options in the 2013 federal tax return forms. This is mandatory even if both of you live in a state that opposes same-sex marriages. You can visit www.irs.gov for additional information about your taxes.

In order to choose the right status for filing taxes, here is a guideline that explains each of the five.

Single
This status can be used with anyone who has never been married, is divorced or no longer married according to the statutes of that state.

Married Filing Jointly
When filing taxes using TurboTax 2014, this status indicates that married people can choose to file one tax return as a couple. Even if your partner died within that year, you can still use this status.

Married Filing Separately
This is the opposite of married filing jointly. Each spouse can file their taxes individually and it is useful when you want to reduce the taxes that you pay. Some couples also prefer this for their tax accountability.

Head of Household
In TurboTax 2014 or any other means you use when filing taxes, this status is used by single people who have dependents. To be eligible, you must be the provider of more than 50% of the total costs of running a home. It is also significant to know any other rules that come with this status.

Qualifying Widow/ Widower with Dependent Child
In case you are widow or widower with a child, then this is the right status for you. However, it is bound by number of conditions.

A tax filing software such as TurboTax 2014 can help you choose the right status. You can also refer to 1040 Central on the IRS website for further assistance.

Furthermore, requirements for each status can be obtained from Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information on the IRS website or by dialing 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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How To Use The IRS To Get Free Tax Help

A lot of people require help when filing taxes. Deciding on the forms to fill, number of dependents and how to claim your tax refund are some of the prevalent concerns that taxpayers face.

However, there exists numerous methods that can be helpful during the process. Below are some of the best techniques and practices that you can employ on top of using TurboTax 2014.

English: YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 10, 2009) Volun...

English: YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 10, 2009) Volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The IRS website (www.irs.gov) is a one stop shop for tax payers. “1040 Central” is especially beneficial to those who are experiencing difficulties with filing their taxes. It will give you tips, guidelines and a lot of useful information. Moreover, the page has links to other important webpages such as the latest news and FAQs.

Online tools such as the Interactive Tax Assistant and IRS Tax Map can also be useful in giving you solutions to some of your questions and problems. “Where’s My Tax Refund” will show you the status of your refund while the Earned Income Tax Credit Assistant can tell your eligibility for the tax credit. All this information is available 24/7.

Another great tool found on the IRS website is the Free File. There are various software under Free File such as TurboTax 2014 that you can use to file your taxes electronically. Filing taxes electronically is not only convenient, but guarantees you faster refunds especially if used with direct deposit.

Free File is very useful for those who may have earned less than $58,000 in the last year. You can also use TurboTax 2014 with the same limit if you are in the military. The software has a simple interactive interface with a procedural approach that makes it easy to use for anyone. Those earning more than $58,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms to compute their taxes online.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a program that enables people who make under $52,000 yearly to file their taxes online freely. Tax Counselling for the Elderly is also critical in helping older members (60 years and above) of the community file their taxes. Furthermore, it can be useful for those with low to moderate earnings.

These VITA programs are available everywhere within the country. To find one closest to you, simply search for VITA on the IRS website and select “Free Tax Return Preparation for You”. You can call 800-906-9887 to find out the same information too.

Lastly, those who do not have access to the internet can call the IRS on 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) to get tax forms and publications. You can call 800-829-4477 to know the status of your refund and listen to more than 150 recorded messages on different tax related issues.

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Free File Makes 2014 Tax Filing Easy

FILED Rubber Stamp

FILED Rubber Stamp (Photo credit: Enokson)

Filing taxes is easy if you take advantage of the arrangement between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a group of private sector companies producing tax filing software. These companies allow their products to be used for no cost, and over 40 million taxpayers have safely and easily electronically filed their tax return for free using the software. Filing your return electronically and requesting direct deposit when filing taxes is the fastest way to get your tax refund.

You must go to the IRS website (www.IRS.gov) to use the Free File program and you can prepare, print and then file your tax return once you have chosen a Free File company to work with.

You may be able to find useful tax breaks that you can claim, by using the question and answer format of the Free File software, and the software will do all the necessary calculations for you by choosing the appropriate tax forms. You may also be eligible for the earned income tax credit, or one or more of the other tax credits.

You can use brand name software, such as TurboTax 2014 if you earned less than $58,000 last year. Free File forms that can be filed are available if you are filing taxes and earned more than that amount.

Free File also allows you to request a six month extension if you cant file your taxes by the normal scheduled date of April 15th, and requesting the extension is easy and free. However, you will still have to make a payment by the April 15 deadline, to avoid interest and penalties, if you feel that you will owe money. Filing taxes should not be a headache, and with Free File, it really is quick and easy. Visit IRS.gov/freefile for more information on the Free File system, who is eligible and participating software programs.

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