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Tax

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Your Return

Here's hoping you didn't make any of these mistakes and that you get through tax season with your bank account and good humor still intact!Making math errors. Not including Social Security numbers. Not signing and dating your return.Not using the pre-printed label and envelope from the tax package. Forgetting about interest and dividends. Forgetting to donate unwanted items to charity. Not including all your forms. Not properly tracking your investment basis. Using the EZ form when a longer form could cut your taxes.
Tax

Tax Tip: Amended Returns

Oops! You've discovered an error after your tax return has been filed. What should you do? You may need to amend your return. 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 credits Use
Tax

Tax Tip: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Are you puzzled by the tax law and which credits and deductions you can take? If so, then why not take advantage of the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program, both of which offer free tax help. VITA and TCE sites are located at convenient community locations. These sites provide free basic income tax return preparation to individuals with low to moderate incomes, individuals with disabilities, non-English speaking taxpayers, and the elderly.
Tax

Tax Tip: Refunds - How Long Should They Take?

Are you expecting a tax refund from the IRS this year? 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, 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. And it takes the U.S.
Tax

Three Sales Tips for Tax Season

By Terri M. SommellaClient service is a hot issue in firms around the globe. When partners think of client service, they hardly equate the subject with selling. Yet questioning and listening skills, which are the foundation of any good sales program, are also the skills needed to give better client service and strengthen our relationships. During tax season, your contact with clients and prospects is at its peak.
Tax

Tax Season Humor!

There was once an accounting firm where the senior CPA knew every thing there was to know about accounting. He could answer any question. He knew all the tax laws: There wasn't a better accountant anywhere.Every morning when he came to work, he would unlock his desk drawer, open it up and look inside for a minute, and then close and lock it again.This puzzled all of his co-workers, because it was the only eccentricity that this person exhibited.
Tax

Tax Tip: Changing Your Address? Notify the IRS

Have you changed your home or business address? If so, you may want to notify the Internal Revenue Service to ensure that you receive any IRS refunds or correspondence. The IRS is now using the Postal Service's change of address files to update taxpayer addresses, but you may want to notify the IRS directly.There are several ways to do this. You may correct the address legibly on the mailing label that comes with your tax package or write the new address in the appropriate boxes on your tax return when you file.
Tax

Taxes: Electronic Filing Errors Blamed on Users

According to a recent CNN report, the IRS is rejecting thousands of electronically filed tax returns due to user error. So far, almost 17 million taxpayers have filed electronically this year, and the IRS expects to receieve more than 42 million electronic returns by April 15. The problem seems to be with the PIN (Personal Identification Number) system which allows taxpayers to submit a completely paperless tax return.
Tax

Tax Mama Highlighted in Inc. Magazine

A recent article in Inc. magazine analyzed seven top web sites where tax pointers can be found. Included in the seven was Eva Rosenberg's site, www.taxmama.com, and the article described the site as "A joyful and occasionally informative romp through the tax world." The site is geared primarily toward the consumer. Visitors can submit questions and read Q&A's in Tax Mama's e-mail newsletter. Ms.
Tax

Tax Tip: IRS Has Plenty of Free Publications

From aardvark to zyzzyva, the IRS has a publication that covers it - free for the asking. The IRS has numerous publications on a variety of tax-related topics available by phone, fax, or the Internet at www.irs.gov. Are you a student seeking knowledge on the lifetime learning credit? Check out Publication 970. Are you a first-time home buyer?
Tax

Tax Tip: Form W-4 - The Key to Tax Withholding

When you start a new job, you must complete Form W-4, "Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate," so your employer can withhold the correct federal income tax from your pay. Detailed instructions on the form and its worksheet can help you figure your correct withholding amount, according to the IRS.
Tax

House Passes President's Tax Cut

One down one to go - the House votes "Yea," and the tax bill is on to its appointed rounds in the Senate, where legislators promise it won't have quite such an easy ride.The House voted 230-198 on Thursday and passed a $958 billion tax cut which will lower tax rates for nearly all Americans retroactive to January 1, 2001. Ten Democrats and one Independent joined 219 Republicans to pass the bill by its narrow margin.If the bill passes in the Senate, the tax rate reduction will be completely phased in by 2006.
Tax

Tax Tip: Tax Changes For Business Owners

At tax time, many business owners want to make sure they are aware of the latest changes that could affect their taxes. If you are one of these owners, a good source of information is IRS Publication 334, "Tax Guide for Small Business." It includes a listing of tax changes for 2000 returns, plus explanations of the changes. It also includes some of the changes for 2001.
Tax

IRS Announces Drop in Interest Rates

The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc.The IRS has announced that interest rates for the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2001, will drop one percentage point to 8% for overpayments (7% in the case of a corporation), 8% for underpayments and 10% for large corporate underpayments. The overpayment rate for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000 will be 5.5%.
Tax

Back Taxes Owed by Members of Congress

It seems that those who make the laws aren't always known for setting the best example. A recent report by the IRS on tax compliance by government employees showed that 5.03 percent of House members their employees and 4.44 percent of Senators and their aides owed back taxes or have one or more delinquent tax returns.The total amount owed by government employees in all agencies totals $2.53 billion. This amount does not include any amounts owed for which an installment agreement has been entered into."Our system of taxation relies on voluntary compliance," Charles O.
Tax

Tax Tip: Tax Materials and Assistance In Spanish

If you need federal tax information in Spanish, you can find it in the form of recorded tax topics, free tax publications and toll-free telephone assistance from the Internal Revenue Service. TeleTax is a toll-free automated service, in English and Spanish, providing helpful tax topics and refund information. You can find a list of the 151 TeleTax topics in the instructions for Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. TeleTax can also help you if it's been at least four weeks since you filed your return and you want to check on the status of your federal refund.
Tax

Kinder, Gentler IRS Losing Billions

Staff reductions and other cutbacks at the IRS have resulted in fewer audits, which in turn have resulted in fewer taxpayers paying their full share, according to former IRS Commissioner, Donald Alexander. "The more the IRS fails to enforce the law the more people take advantage of that failure," Mr.
Tax

IRS Gets Clean Bill of Health

The General Accounting Office couldn't find any problems with the IRS's financial statements for 2000 - a first for the tax service, which in the past has always received qualified opinions on its year-end statements."This is a significant accomplishment and an important milestone in the progress of the IRS," according to Charles O.
Tax

Tax Tip: IRS Notices - What To Do

It's a moment any taxpayer dreads. A letter arrives from the IRS - and it's not a refund check. But don't panic. Many of these letters can be dealt with simply and painlessly.Each year, the IRS sends millions of letters and notices to taxpayers to request payment for taxes, notify them of a change to their account or request additional information. The notice you receive normally covers a very specific issue about your account or tax return. Each letter and notice offers specific instructions on what you are asked to do to satisfy the inquiry.
Tax

Tax Tip: What's New for 2000 Taxes?

Do you want to learn about the principal tax law changes that could affect your 2000 tax return? IRS Publication 553 highlights the tax changes in these areas: Interest on student loans. Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) - including traditional IRA income limits, and returned contributions and recharacterizations. Capital gain distributions. Foreign earned income exclusion. Standard mileage rate.

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