Tax news

Tax

Refunds - How Long Should They Take?

Are you expecting a tax refund from the IRS this year? The IRS says that if you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, your refund should be issued in about six to eight weeks from the date IRS receives your return. If you file your return electronically, your refund should be issued in less than three weeks, and even faster when you choose direct deposit.You can have a refund check mailed to you, or you may be able to have your refund deposited directly into your bank account. Direct deposit into a bank account is more secure because there is no check to get lost.
Tax

New Report: Filing Mistakes Cost Taxpayers $1 Billion a Year

To individuals who are not tax professionals, navigating the world of itemized deductions is a confusing, cloudy process of rules, loopholes, opportunities and landmines.
Tax

Andersen Mulls Ground-Breaking LBO of Tax Practice

As an alternative to the offer from Deloitte & Touche (D&T), Andersen is considering a management-led leveraged buy-out (LBO) of its entire tax practice. The proposed transaction would help stem layoffs, and it presents clear benefits for Andersen.
Technology

Criminal Investigation: The IRS Agent You Never Want to Meet

Recently, in a widely-viewed Webcast entitled "Criminal Investigation: The IRS Agent You Never Want to Meet," Tax Talk Today explored the largely obscure, yet intriguing process known as Criminal Investigation, at the IRS. Although the Criminal Investigation (CI) branch may be comprised of the agents "you never want to meet," the session confirmed the importance of taking a closer look at the CI process, to grasp exactly how this branch succeeds in furthering confidence in our tax system while promoting compliance.
Tax

Amended Returns

Oops! You’ve discovered an error after your tax return has been filed. What to do? You may need to amend your return, according to the IRS.The IRS usually corrects math errors or requests forms (such as W-2s) or schedules left out. In these instances, do not amend your return. However, do file an amended return if any of the following were reported incorrectly:– Your filing status– Your total income– Your deductions or creditsUse Form 1040X, “Amended U.S.
Tax

Haven't Filed Last Year's Tax Return? Here's What to do

The IRS says it hears many reasons from taxpayers for not filing a tax return. You may not have known whether you were required to file. Whatever the reason, it’s best to file your return as soon as you can. If you need help, even with a late return, the IRS is ready to assist you.The failure to file a return can be costly — whether you end up owing more or miss out on a refund. If you owe taxes, a delay in filing may result in a "failure to file" penalty and interest charges.
Tax

IRS Suspends Requirement to File Form 5500, Schedule F

Effective immediately, the Internal Revenue Service has indefinitely suspended the requirement for taxpayers to file Schedule F (Form 5500) "Fringe Benefit Plan Annual Information Return." This is part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to reduce unnecessary taxpayer burden."This IRS effort will simplify tax administration and eliminate the filing of about 200,000 forms each year," said Larry Langdon, Commissioner of the IRS’s Large and Mid-Size Business Division.The suspension of the requirement to file Schedule F is outlined in Notice 2002-24.
Tax

H&R Block Offers No-Interest Loans to Cash-Strapped Customers

In a continuing effort to find ways to secure the loyalty of its customer base, H&R Block has announced that it is offering 90 day no-interest loans on amounts ranging from $300 to $5,000 to help its customers who owe money to the IRS.Block's Easy Pay balance-due loan is interest free if paid off by July 13, 2002. All outstanding loans will be assessed a finance charge retroactive to April 15, 2002."We wanted to provide the millions of taxpayers who will end up owing taxes with three months of interest-free breathing room," said Mark A.
Tax

Common Errors to Avoid

The IRS recommends reviewing your entire tax return to be sure it is accurate and complete. Even a simple mistake can cause problems with your tax return, which might lead to delays in processing your return and receiving your refund.Want to avoid frequent trouble spots? Check these areas, which can reduce problems:Use the peel-off label. You may line through and make necessary corrections right on the label. Be sure to fill in your Social Security number in the box provided on the return.
Tax

What to do if You Can't Pay Your Taxes

If this year’s tax filing deadline will be a “pay” day for you and you cannot pay the full amount that you owe, you should still file your return by the due date and pay as much as you can. The IRS may allow you to pay any remaining balance over time in monthly installments through an Installment Agreement or possibly even settle for less than the full amount owed through its Offer in Compromise program.If you find that you cannot pay the full amount by the filing deadline, you should file your return and pay as much as you can by the due date.
Tax

Deloitte to Absorb a 'Significant Number' of Andersen Tax Professionals

Andersen announced on Thursday that a significant number of its U.S. tax partners and other professionals will join Deloitte and Touche. A memorandum of understanding outlining the plan was signed by Andersen. The deal is expected to be finalized by April 30."This transaction is fully consistent with our commitment to move quickly on the Andersen reforms initiated by Mr.
Tax

Ensuring Proper Credit of Payments

When the bottom line of your tax return says, "Amount You Owe," the IRS reminds you to be sure to make your check or money order payable to the "United States Treasury." Do not mail cash with your tax return.Whether you are filing your current year’s return, a prior year’s return or an amended return, always provide your correct name, address, Social Security number, daytime telephone number, tax year, and form number on the front of your check or money order.
Tax

Options For Paying Your Taxes

If you do not pay your taxes when due, you may have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty. To avoid this penalty, the IRS suggests several ways to pay your taxes.
Technology

IRS Explores Feasibility of E-Filing for Exempts

Determined to involve its stakeholders in the planning and development stages of its new systems, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that it is seeking comments by April 18, 2002 from exempt organizations, state regulators, research and oversight organizations, practitioners, software vendors, and others on the proposed development of an electronic filing system for tax-exempt organizations. Pros and consAlthough e-filing for tax returns of exempt organizations has lagged behind other types of returns, it seems to make economic sense for the government.
Tax

'Shed Those Pounds, Shed Your Tax Bill' Says the IRS

In a ruling announced yesterday, the IRS has indicated that it now recognizes obesity as a disease, and will therefore allow medical deductions for weight loss expenses prescribed by a doctor.Prior to Tuesday's ruling, medical deductions were allowed only if a doctor prescribed weight loss measures to treat specific diseases. Tuesday's ruling brings obesity into the definition of "disease" and now allows for these deductions.To take the deduction, a taxpayer will have to participate in a weight-loss program for medically valid reasons.
Tax

Extensions of Time to File Your Tax Return

If you can't meet the April 15 deadline to file your tax return, you can get a four-month extension of time from the IRS. The extension will give you extra time to get the paperwork in to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You will owe interest on any amounts not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have paid less than 90 percent of your total tax by that date.You must make an accurate estimate of any tax due when you request an extension.
Tax

IRS Catches Up On EINs, Learns Valuable Lessons

In a recent letter to Larry R. Levitan, chairman of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Oversight Board, IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti said the Service is well on the road to recovery, following some fairly significant delays in the processing of employer identification numbers (EINs) earlier this year. He also said the IRS learned some valuable lessons along the way. Altogether, the IRS issues over 4 million EINs a year to sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts and other entities for tax filing and reporting purposes.
Tax

Need Last -Minute Tax Help? Don't Panic

If you’re trying to beat the tax deadline, the IRS says there are several options for last-minute help. If you need a form or publication, the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov has copies available. If you discover you need more time to finish your return, get a four-month extension with Form 4868. And if you have trouble paying your tax bill, the IRS has several payment options available.To get the automatic extension, file Form 4868, “Application for Extension of Time to File U.S.
Tax

IRS Offers Stress Reducing Tips For Approaching Deadline

The Internal Revenue Service announced that it has already received half of the 132 million returns it expects this year and the agency offered some tips to reduce “tax time stress” for those who have yet to file.GET GOING. Don’t put off your 2001 taxes any longer. The filing deadline is less than three weeks away. Give yourself too little time and you’re more likely to overlook something. Gather the income reports you got from employers and financial organizations.
Tax

IRS Softens Requirement for Contribution Documentation

As part of its continuing effort to uncomplicate the income tax rules that apply to people even indirectly affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Internal Revenue Service has announced a new rule that eases the requirement for obtaining substantiating documentation for charitable contributions.Taxpayers who make charitable contributions after September 11, 2001 and before January 1, 2002 have been given an extension of time until October 15, 2002 to obtain documentation supporting their donation.

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