Tax news

Tax

Tax Tip: Roth IRAs

Confused about whether you can contribute to a Roth IRA? The IRS suggests checking these simple rules:Income To contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have compensation (i.e. wages, salary, tips, professional fees, bonuses). Your modified adjusted gross income must be less than:$160,000 - Married filing jointly. $10,000 - Married filing separately (and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year).
Tax

IRS Auditing More Returns Than it Admits

A recent report about the reduction in number of tax returns being audited by the IRS incited the Senate to respond that there are actually considerably more returns that undergo examination.
Tax

NYSSCPA Grapples With H&R Block Over Ad Campaign

The New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) is not satisfied with H&R Block's current advertising campaign regarding the filing of complex tax returns. P. Gerard Sokolski, NYSSCPA president, believes that the ads are misleading and detrimental to consumers.According to Mr. Sokolski, H&R Block claims that it prepares more complex tax returns than any CPA firm in America. When challenged, Steven A. Christianson, H&R Block Assistant Vice President, said that they define "complex" as individual returns with schedules.
Tax

IRS Data Files May Not Be Secure

The General Accounting Office, Congress's watchdog agency, has published a report citing security lapses in the Internal Revenue Service computer system.
Tax

Tax Tip: IRA Contributions Can Be Made Until April 16

If you haven't put any money into an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) for tax year 2000, or if you've put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time, according to the IRS. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April due date of your tax return.If you make a contribution for the previous tax year, tell the IRA trustee which year the contribution is for. Otherwise, the trustee may report the contribution as being for the year in which it was received.You may contribute up to $2,000 of your earnings each year to an IRA.
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.

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