Income tax

Tax

Tax Tip: Taxability of Social Security Benefits

Whether your Social Security benefits are taxable depends on your total income and marital status. Form SSA-1099, which Social Security recipients should receive by January 31, shows your total benefits, but determining your taxable benefits requires putting pencil to paper.Generally, if Social Security benefits were your only income, your benefits are not taxable and you probably do not need to file a federal income tax return.
Tax

Tax Tip: Alimony Payments Have Tax Implications

When the end of matrimony leads to the start of alimony, how does it affect your taxes? The answer is, alimony payments you receive are taxable to you in the year received.The amount of alimony received is reported on line 11 of Form 1040. You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. The person making the payment may claim a deduction on Form 1040 in the year paid.
Tax

Tax Law Changes for Individuals

Taxpayers should make sure that they are aware of important changes to the tax law before they complete their 2003 federal income tax forms.
Tax

Tax Law Changes for Businesses

Taxpayers should make sure that they are aware of important changes to the tax law before they complete their 2003 federal income tax forms.
Tax

Tax Tip: How to Figure Your Advance Child Tax Credit

Taxpayers who plan to claim the Child Tax Credit on their federal income tax return should not claim the full $1,000 per child if they received an advance Child Tax Credit payment check in 2003. The payments were actually an advance on the credit’s 2003 amount, when the maximum for each child rose from $600 to $1,000.Taxpayers who received an advance payment should subtract the amount of the payment they already received from their $1,000-per-child total and then figure the remaining amount of credit, if any, to claim on their tax return.
Tax

Tax Tip: Roth IRA Contribution Rules

Confused about whether you can contribute to a Roth IRA? Check these simple rules:Income:To contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have compensation (e.g., wages, salary, tips, professional fees, bonuses).
Tax

Need a Copy of Your Tax Return Information? Look No Further

Taxpayers have two easy and convenient options for getting copies of their federal tax return information - taxreturn transcripts and tax account transcripts - by phone or by mail.A tax return transcript shows most line items from the tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes you, your representative or the IRS made after the return was filed.
Tax

IRS Has Free Publications on Every Topic You Need

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 on this Web site.Are you a student seeking knowledge on the lifetime learning credit? Check out Publication 970. Are you a first-time home buyer? Information on potential deductions is housed in Publication 530.No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it by using one of these easy steps:Access the IRS.gov’s “Forms and Publications” page to find what you need.
Tax

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, according to the IRS.The IRS usually corrects math errors or requests missing forms (such as W-2s) or schedules. 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 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 missing out on a refund. If you owe taxes, a delay in filing may result in a "failure to file" penalty and interest charges.
Tax

Tax Tips for Last-Minute Filers

With the tax filing deadline close at hand, the IRS offers some tips for those still working on their paper tax forms:Put all required Social Security numbers on the return (they’re not on the label) Double-check your figures Sign your form Attach all required schedules Send your return or request a filing extension by April 15 The numbers to check most carefully on the tax return are the identification numbers — usually Social Security numbers — for each person listed.
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

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

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

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 of 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

IRA Contributions Can be Made Until Tax Filing Deadline

If you haven’t put any money into an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) for tax year 2002, or if you’ve put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April due date of your tax return.Be sure to tell the IRA trustee that the contribution is for 2002. Otherwise, the trustee may report the contribution as being for 2003, when it is received.You may contribute up to $3,000 of your earnings for 2002 or up to $3,500 if you are age 50 or more.
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.You can charge your taxes on your American Express, MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. To pay by credit card, contact one of the service providers at its telephone number or Web site listed below and follow the instructions. The service providers charge a convenience fee based on the amount you are paying.
Tax

Filing Deadline And Payment Options

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 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

Where to File Your Return

Once you complete your 2002 federal tax return, you can either file it electronically or mail it to the IRS. If you choose to mail your return, be sure to read your tax instruction booklet carefully to find the address of the IRS center for your area.For this year, the IRS has changed some of its filing locations.
Tax

How to Prepare Your Tax Returns For Mailing

Although electronic filing is becoming more and more the filing method of choice for taxpayers, there are still many who file paper returns. If you are one, the IRS recommends that you take a few minutes to make certain that all information is complete and accurate before sealing that envelope. This simple precaution could help you avoid mistakes that may delay your refund or result in correspondence with the IRS.Here are just a few items to complete prior to mailing your tax return:Sign your return. Your federal tax return is not considered a valid return unless it is signed.

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