Tax Carnival Ecstasy – December 17, 2013

Welcome to the December 17, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. We start with some information on filing your taxes at the end of the year for the 2013 tax season. We have a TradeKing review from John Schmoll. And finally Mark Wang looks at assets that you can own that create passive income. Make sure to bookmark the carnival on social sites, like on Facebook, Tweet, and share with all your friends.

filing

Bill Smith presents Important Dates For Filing Your 2013 Tax Return Forms posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, “As the year comes to an end, it is important to start thinking about filing your 2013 taxes.”

A Granny Smith apple
A Granny Smith apple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bill Smith presents The TurboTax ItsDeductible App posted at 2010 Tax, saying, “Intuit Inc. announced on December 3, 2013 its new TurboTax ItsDeductible app, had become available for use on the iPhone.”

retirement

John Schmoll presents TradeKing Review: An Online Brokerage Worth Considering posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Investing in the stock market is vital to building wealth and with the variety of options available of where to invest it can be confusing. Choosing a good brokerage that has good offering and low fees can be a great way to help grow your retirement portfolio and get your investing on the right foot.”

John Schmoll presents My Retirement Dream: to Keep Working! posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Many want to follow the traditional retirement dream of working until 65 and then leaving the workforce completely. My retirement dream is different – to continue working. With frugal living and an aggressive investing strategy I believe many can pursue that dream and eventually work for yourself in retirement.”

taxes

Bill Smith presents IRS Forms To File Back Taxes posted at 2008 Taxes, saying, “Even if one is certain there are no mistakes in the forms when following federal tax procedures, a little shiver goes down a taxpayers spine at the very thought of a letter arriving from the IRS.”

Bill Smith presents How To Survive The Holidays posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “The holiday season can be fun yet challenging. Everyone wants to share in showing appreciation and love for those they love.”

Bill Smith presents Voting For Big Game’s Final Four In Last Days posted at 2014 Taxes, saying, “On Feb. 2, 2014, Intuit, the home company of TurboTax Canada, will make one small business a star in the biggest commercial game of the year.”

tips

Bill Smith presents Twitter IPO Vs. Facebook – FastSwings.com posted at FastSwings, saying, “At first glance, it would seem Twitter had no intentions of posting such a high IPO, but their current policy of growth says otherwise.”

Bill Smith presents Burger King Worldwide 2013 Third Quarter Results posted at FastSwings, saying, “Over the years, Burger King have been steadily going from strength to strength, so it comes as no surprise that the third quarter results are so impressive.”

Bill Smith presents Halliburton Profit Jumps 17% posted at FastSwings, saying, “Halliburton beat its earnings expectations with a seventeen percent profit jump this week, owing largely to its operations on a global scale”

Mark Wang presents Which assets produce passive income? posted at The Money MailThe Money Mail, saying, “When it comes to taxes, passive income assets can be completed as in how much they are taxed, how is the income treated and what accounts as income from tax purposes. Let us take a look at the various passive income producing assets in this article.”

Bill Smith presents How Secured Loans Can Help posted at Debt Consolidation, saying, “Consumers who need to rebuild their credit histories can take secured loans to start the process. A secured loan is an advance that a lender gives to a person who is willing to offer some type of collateral.”

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.

The TurboTax ItsDeductible App

The TurboTax ItsDeductible App

Intuit Inc. announced on December 3, 2013 its new TurboTax ItsDeductible app, had become available for use on the iPhone. The app is geared towards assisting the estimated seventy-five percent of US citizens, who make donations to charity, to be able to convert their goodwill into considerable tax deductions. Free of charge, the app is offered on the iPhone with iOS7 app store.

The Turbo Tax Online program is very popular. Persons are able to monitor their charitable donations easily with TurboTax ItsDeductible, through the combination of the convenience and portability of a mobile device. Valuations for over ten thousand items commonly donated, such as toys, sporting goods, clothing, appliances, games, household products among others, are featured on this app.

Most taxpayers are aware that non cash donations can be tax deductible, however they do not always accurately value the goods that they donate. This is usually because they randomly guess the value. An example of this is when bags of clothing are donated, and perhaps valued at $50.00, when in fact the actual value is over $300.00.

Before leaving a donation facility, persons can quickly and easily enter their donated items into TurboTax ItsDeductible. The app will then automatically use the guidelines established by the Internal Revenue Service, to make a fair market valuation. This will ensure that users receive the total deductions that they are entitled to, on their tax returns. Location sensitive technology is used by the app to capture the address of the charity quickly, for the purpose of tax record keeping. So that philanthropists can be rewarded properly for their generosity, they should use this app to monitor their donations.

New Tax Relief For Education

New Tax Relief For Education

The Lifetime Learning Credit 2010 gives a tax credit of up to $2,000 dollars for types of higher learning. It differs from the American Opportunity Tax Credit because it can be claimed for part-time students  and even for courses that don’t count towards a degree. This credit has been made available through 2011, 2012, and again this year. Eligible Expenses include Tuition but not room and board, Books, Equipment, and fees that may be required by the University. The Lifetime Earning Credit isn’t eligible with tuition paid fro by a scholarship, employer funds or a grant. Even if multiple students are eligible the Lifetime Learning Credit can only be claimed once a year per household. The tax credit reduces taxes by 20% for non qualified expenses for up to $10,000 dollars for a total of up to $2,000.

A construction project to repair and update th...
A construction project to repair and update the building façade at the Department of Education headquarters in 2002 resulted in the installation of structures at all of the entrances to protect employees and visitors from falling debris. ED redesigned these protective structures to promote the “No Child Left Behind Act”. The structures were temporary and were removed in 2008. Source: U.S. Department of Education, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may claim the credit if you, a dependent or your spouse attends an eligible university or educational institution. even if only one class is taken, the tax credit may be claimed. All accredited colleges and universities are eligible as well as vocational schools as long as their also eligible for the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Programs. Single head of households and qualifying widows earning between $53,000 and $63,000 have been phased out for 2013. If you’re married and filing jointly, the phase amount is $107,000 to $127,000. This amount is up from 2012’s phase out range of $52,000 to $62,000 for qualifying widows and single, head of household and a range of $104,000 to $124,000 for Married couples filing jointly.

Money Saving Tax Filing Tips

Money Saving Tax Filing Tips

The IRS indicates that the average tax refund was around $3,000 last year, meaning that many of us are actually looking forward to filing our taxes.

The following tips can help you to save money during the upcoming tax season:

* Both TurboTax.com and the IRS website offer free tax filing to those who have an adjusted gross income of less than $57,000 per year.

* You can take advantage of all the deductions that you are allowed, by using tax filing software for your tax filing, and there is no need to pay one of those expensive tax filing franchises. The market leader is Turbotax, with expert advice available from CPAs and even support if you are audited.

Free tax preparation here!
Free tax preparation here! (Photo credit: Neighborhood Centers)

* Jeff Noll of Chicago is just one of thousands who has benefited from Turbotax. Noll points out that he has been confident he is getting every tax refund he is entitled to, and made the switch from a tax pro when learning that TurboTax included the advice of CPAs when needed.

Some tax software companies offer a generous discount to those in the military, and if you are military, you should take advantage of the Free File program offered by the IRS. Military filers often have specialized or unique tax filing requirements and you should look for a tax preparer or provider that can accommodate these.

You can even file your tax return directly from your mobile phone, if you use SnapTax, which lets you photograph your W2, and is just one of several low cost or free mobile apps that allow you to file and check on the status of your refund.

CPA Lisa Greene-Lewis also points out that you will receive your refund sooner if you e-file and choose direct deposit. Once the IRS accepts your return, you can potentially have your refund in as little as three weeks by doing that.

Free e-filing of your Federal tax return is offered by most online tax preparation websites; tax filing electronically also has the advantage of being more accurate.

Keep more of your money this tax season by following the above money saving tax tips.

Change Your Life By Filing Your Tax Return

2010 Tax Return

Someone who has not filed his 2010 tax return may be a little nervous. The IRS, the most ruthlessly efficient collection agency in the country, tends to take a dim view of people who do not file their tax returns in any year. The organization wants to make sure the government gets the money it feels that it’s owed. Whether or not the taxes are fair or not is an irrelevant issue. The government needs to make sure it has the funds it needs to continue running. This is especially true with the current national debt.  It may seem to be a little clichéd, but filing 2010 tax returns can change your life.

It will not bring the great change promised by certain self-help pundits, but it certainly will bring relief.  A person does not need to lie awake at night wondering if he has filed his taxed properly or if he is going to suffer from any unwanted visits from the IRS agents. He may prefer to think of the agents as men in black, but that is unlikely to bring a person any comfort. Fortunately, the IRS will do its best to make it easy for a person who owes back taxes to give it money, even if the amount it is demanding is not in line with what the person thinks he owes. Filing his 20120 taxes can prevent a larger problem down the road.