Category Archives: Tax Credits

Saving Money With Tax Services

Locating free 2012 tax filing services would be a great idea for anyone that has a need to save some money. Spending hundreds of dollars on tax software is likely something you cannot afford when dealing with the large burden of taxes. However, it is important that you find a way to get your taxes done as quickly as possible. When you use out of the best free options on the market today, you will be able to keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket. Throwing away money on software is likely something you cannot justify on a limited budget, free options can help you to get great results while also allowing you to save some money in the process. There are many companies that attempt to make it difficult to get taxes done, this helps them to ensure that they are able to profit off of your need for help.

However, free 2012 tax filing services offer many alternatives that can put the power back into your hands. The company you select to complete your taxes is very important. Making the right choice would help to limit your tax burden. Additionally, you can eliminate much of the time that goes into filing your taxes. The turbo tax 2012 software would be one of the best options that you could find available to you today. This program is very simple, it takes just a few minutes to enter all of the required information. Once you have put all of your finance information into the program, you will be able to see your savings and enjoy the ability to count on professional presentation and reliable customer service if you need help at any point.

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Tax Carnival Ecstasy – January 2, 2013

Welcome to the January 2, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. Alex Fennings starts off our carnival edition with an article on How do you Buy Stocks Online? Bill Smith takes a look at 2011 Federal Tax Filing. We also take a look at the Fidelity New Markets Income Fund (FNMIX) in a post by Habeeb. Hope you enjoy the articles, bookmark, share, tweet, like on Facebook and come back soon.

Alex Fennings
presents How do you Buy Stocks Online? Learn all there is to know! | The Forex Base posted at The Forex Base, saying, “Learn all the information you need to effectively trade stock online and turn a profit”


JD Blake
presents Rhode Island Court says SSQ client offered best price ever posted at Structured Settlement-Quotes Blog, saying, “SSQ company review. We buy structured settlement for a lump sum. Get not one but six free quotes.”


Nicholas Jackson
presents Who Wins?: The ethics, risks, and practicalities of selling a structured settlement or other annuity stream posted at Nicholas Jackson, saying, “Having pension is good, but if you want to have cash, SYSS will arrange for the purchase of full or part of your annuity so you can use it almost immediately.”

Economic Map of the World: Emerging Markets an...

Economic Map of the World: Emerging Markets and Developed Markets as of June 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

credits

Daniel Rosenstein presents Are your finances on autopilot? | Miss Money Bee posted at Miss Money Bee, saying, “Most people operate under the mindset, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” This can be a great way to set a routine that works for you and keep to a schedule that helps you avoid forgetting about responsibilities, but when you apply this mindset to your finances, you may be missing out on opportunities to improve yourself and bolster your savings account.”

retirement

Habeeb presents Fidelity New Markets Income Fund (FNMIX) posted at Dividend Paying Mutual Funds, saying, “Fidelity New Markets Income Fund (FNMIX) has $5.5 billion in assets under management and pays an outsized 5.2% dividend. The fund has a strategy of investing 80% of its assets in debt securities of emerging markets including sovereign bonds, agency bonds, corporate and treasury bonds. Examples of emerging market countries include Venezuela, Mexico, Turkey, Qatar, Brazil, etc. If you had invested $10,000 in this fund on July 11th, 2002, your portfolio would be worth $33,085.59 as of July 11th, 2012. This means an average annualized rate of return of 12.8% which is superb”

taxes

Bill Smith presents 2011 Federal Tax Filing posted at 2011 Tax, saying, “If you think 2011 federal tax filing is confusing, maybe this will help you. Below are some things that you will need to know for the tax season.”
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Technorati tags: tax carnival ecstasy, blog carnival.

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Turbo Tax Program

TurboTax 2012

If you are looking for information on turbotax 2012, maybe this will help you. Turbo tax is a company that specializes in filing taxes. You can file your 2012 tax with them relatively easy.

The company asks you questions and then puts those answers on the right tax forms. Their products include the EasyGuide feature which gives you step by step instructions through your taxes just like the GPS does. These steps are clear and easy to follow and will give you your maximum refund. The company can even speed up the refund you are going to get with their TurboTax refund card. You can have your refund deposited into a re-loadable prepaid VISA card without waiting for a check or using a bank account. You will get your refund in about 7 days when you e-file.

If you have questions or concerns while filing your taxes, the company can help you by answering those questions to the best of their ability. The company has a tax expert service that will help you at no cost to you. They can help you have peace of mind so that you no you are filing correctly and that you are getting all of the deductions that fit with your life. You can access the tax expert by going to TurboTax online or visit TurboTax Support and click on the contact us button to get the advice you need.

 

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Which “Perks” need to be Declared on your Tax Return

A perk or fringe benefit is a financial benefit that your employer provides for you.  Whether that benefit is taxable depends on a number of factors.  The tax implications of many fringe benefits are well understood.  Here are some less familiar tax implications:

Airline Miles Become Taxable

Earlier this year (prompted by a claim by Citibank that the miles it grants its customers upon opening an account (among other items) are gifts and therefore the recipient is on the hook for paying taxes) the IRS publicly stated that the value of frequent-flier miles are “provided as a premium for opening a financial account” that those should be deemed taxable income. The miles earned for purchasing a ticket? Still unclear…

Health Insurance Benefits

Under federal law, certain fringe benefits provided to employees are not taxable. For example, health insurance benefits that an employer provides to an employee are not taxed (on the employee), as long as benefits go to the employee, spouse or dependents.  However, this definition excludes domestic partners, who are not spouses under the law.

If your employer offers health insurance to you and your “domestic partner”, the added cost of covering your domestic partner may be taxable as “imputed income”.  Imputed income in this instance is the monthly value of your domestic partner’s coverage. This amount is added to your gross income and subject to federal income tax withholding and employment taxes.

Depending on whether your state gives legal recognition to various forms of domestic partnerships, this type of benefit may be exempt from state taxes.

Transportation Benefits

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), popularly known as the Stimulus Bill, beginning in March of 2009 tax exclusions on a monthly basis for employer-provided commuter highway vehicle transportation as well as transit pass benefits was increased to $230.  This fringe benefit, which gave transit and vanpool users the same tax break as drivers, was extended through December 2011.

However, Congress allowed this benefit to expire.  Starting January 2012, the amount that can be excluded from reported wages for individuals who buyrail, bus, or other mass transit licenses or passes under their employer-sponsored program will decline from the previous $230 per month exclusion to a $125 per month exclusion.  On the other hand, the monthly fringe benefit exclusion for workplace parking is increasing to $240 from $230 this year.

Employees in 2012 may still exclude from income up to $125 per month in transit benefits and $240 per month in parking benefits.  Employees are eligible to receive benefits for commuting, transit passes and parking during the same month. As part of the Act, these benefits are not considered part of the employee’s gross income for federal income tax reasons and are excluded from reported payroll wage figures.

Education benefits

Job-related educational expenses may be excluded from an employee’s income as a working condition fringe benefit.  This exclusion is available for any form of educational instruction or training that improves the job-related abilities of an employee.  Employees and contractors of government employers may qualify as well.  Educational expenses may include tuition and books, as well as certain transportation and housing costs.  For example, you may deduct expenses from driving your car at a statutory rate.

There are multiple provisions in the tax code for educational exclusions.  If an educational expense does not qualify under one provision, check the others.

For example, an employer may also help pay for an employee’s education, when the education is not job-related.  In this case, the employer is required to have a written educational assistance plan, and may not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees.  Tax-exempt assistance is normally limited to $5250 per employer.

The firm of Katz & Phillips, P.A. believe that each American should have a comprehensive team of financial and legal advisors identified for commonly encountered problems, from tax preparation to personal liability protection. With a team identified you won’t be scrambling to find appropriate assistance when an issue crops up. When considering an Orlando DUI Lawyer, please keep Katz & Phillips, P.A. in the forefront of your mind and Rolodex.

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Reduced Tax Assessments Sought By North Jersey Homeowners

Last year, Nora and Pat Sfarra were in the unenviable position of watching the market value of their eighty two year old home in Teaneck decrease, while their property taxes simultaneously increased.

Assisted by a tax appeal firm, the Sfarras managed to put this right and got the assessed value of their home decreased from $351,000 to $310,000. This gave them the benefit of saving $1,000 worth of tax, which is a real gain when you are paying in excess of $8,000 in tax. Nora Sfarra was happy that she “got something off” in any event.

Dorothy Monoopli was in a similar scenario and had to appeal as the Sfarras did on how much her condo in Hackensack was assessed for. She ended up saving $30,000 as a result of her lower tax assessment.

Both Ms Monoopli and the Sfarras are among many thousands of North Jersey residents who have contested tax assessments on the real estate that they own, a necessity with the drop in the value of homes in recent years. And it is a scramble for these people to get their paperwork in order for the April 2 deadline.

The town budgets are being adversely affected by the sheer scale of these appeals for lower tax assessments. The League of Municipalities’ executive director, William Dressel, has admitted that problems are being caused for communities statewide.

The problems stem from these appeals reducing the amount of property tax revenue the towns would otherwise get, which has an impact on the quality of service that they provide. So it looks as though either a higher tax rate or cuts to those services will be introduced.

One method of responding to the surge in appeals has been for towns to perform their own reassessments to ensure that valuations are in step with the market, giving homeowners little leeway in disputing assessments. After all, they can dispute a property assessment, but not a tax bill. Hackensack based lawyer Martin Sharit puts it bluntly that thinking you pay too much in tax is not sufficient grounds to appeal, as “we all pay too much in taxes.”

While regional house prices have dipped twenty percent since the home price run-up this will not make your tax appeal a certainty. After all, towns change values with a ratio that takes into account the change in house price due to the economy after a revaluation. You can divide your assessed figure by the ratio to see what your real home value is, and find the ratio itself at state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/lpt/lptvalue.shtml.

For instance, Teaneck’s ratio is 104 percent, which would mean that a property with an assessed value of $350,000 is now actually valued at $336,500. It is clear that the town is aware that the assessment is much higher than the real value of the property.

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Tax Considerations for Divorced Parents with Joint Child Custody

When you have children, the divorce process can be very complex. Not only do you need to decide who the children live with and when, but you also must determine who is responsible for paying what. One issue that often gets overlooked in favor of the all-important child custody agreement is the issue of how to handle claims on your tax forms come tax season. Here are some tax considerations for divorced parents with joint child custody:

Get it in writing. Of course, you know that claiming dependents on your tax returns comes with benefits, in the form of credits and deductions. Therefore, if you share joint custody with your ex-spouse, it is a good idea to establish who gets to claim the children (and thus reap the tax benefits) by outlining it in the divorce decree and/or the custody agreement. This is where having a good family lawyer becomes very important.

Child support versus alimony. It is important that you understand what counts toward your income when it comes time to file your taxes. Basically, child support does not count as a form of income, while alimony payments do, and must be reported. Alimony (or spousal support) must be included in tax forms as taxable income by the person who receives it, and can be written off as a deduction by the person who pays it. Child support, on the other hand, is neither taxable nor deductible.

Child care credit. If you or your ex-spouse pays for all, or even a portion of, the child care, then a child care credit will be up for grabs when it comes time to file taxes. Therefore, you and your ex will need to work out who gets either the whole credit, or a portion of it, when you draw up the divorce agreement. You can’t both claim it on your tax forms, so the dispersal will need to take place outside of the tax filing process. Again, get this in writing.

When you can and can’t change your filing status. If you were married for more than half of the year and either you or your ex-spouse can claim the other on your tax forms, then you won’t be able to each claim head of household (and the right to the child tax benefits). If this is the case, then you and your ex need to discuss which status you will file, as well as how you will go about splitting the child tax credit portion of your refund.

As you can see, child custody after a divorce can greatly complicate the tax filing process. Follow these suggestions to simplify tax season.

About the Author: Kurt Claro is a fiannce consultant who often works with divorced couples to figure out everything from who will pay for rent and phone services to who will pay for a child’s clothing. It’s not an easy task, but the fact that two people are even willing to sit down for a conversation always makes the process a little easier.

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Learn More About The Tax Breaks That Will Expire At The End Of This Year

End of Tax Breaks: All You Need To Know About the Expiring Tax Breaks

There seem to be changes in the IRS tax code every single year. The only advantage they have is that they keep accountants employed.

It is important that you stay informed about tax code changes regardless of whether you use computer software to do your taxes or you have your accountant do it for you. Knowing changes in the tax code will help you to file the right returns and get your refund quickly.

The first tax breaks to go are Bush Tax Cuts that gave high income earners huge tax deductions. They are expected to expire towards the end of 2012. The expected changes will affect:

Retirement

When Bush tax cuts are phased out, people will have to pay higher taxes when they retire. Taxpayers who benefited from Bush tax cuts should convert to a Roth IRA, as this will allow them to pay taxes upfront and enjoy their full retirement benefits when they retire. This will save them the hassle of filing income tax returns in their old age.

Converting to the new Roth will be costly for taxpayers who benefited from Bush Tax cuts in 2010. Generally, they will have to pay up to 35 percent tax rate on a rollover. This rate may increase after these tax cuts expire.

Home sale

Homeowners who lose their homes to foreclosures, a short sale, or had their debt reduced through mortgage restructuring will have to pay taxes on the difference between the actual debt and the new debt, or between the outstanding balance on the mortgage and the sum recovered from a short sale.

There are many other changes that will affect education and health care among other industries.

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