Tax Carnival Ecstasy – February 7, 2013

Welcome to the February 7, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start with a post on Xero by Rachel Frishe who examines why to switch to the bookkeeping software from a different option. Bill Smith has a couple of tax filing articles about the system you need to run TurboTax 2012 on your PC and a new service from Intuit to help small business find a CPA in their area call CPA Select. Finanly Basit has some tax planning tips for employees that receive a W2 tax form. Hope you find the information useful this tax season, bookmark, share, like on Facebook, tweet on Twitter and come back soon.

Bill & Don
Bill & Don (Photo credit: iluvcocacola)

Rachel Frishe presents » Why should I switch to Xero? posted at Virtual Techniques, saying, “Xero offers an efficient, collaborative environment for bookkeeping and account with robust reporting and excellent customization options.”

filing

Bill Smith presents TurboTax2012 System Requirements posted at 2013 Taxes, saying, “Filing Tax is one of the tedious tasks to accomplish. However, since a last few years, there has been a change in the process.”

Bill Smith presents Pros And Cons Of Filing Your Taxes With TurboTax posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, “Filing your taxes with TurboTax or another online tax program is something that people often loathe doing, therefore they try to procrastinate or push it off for later hoping that they would be excused and the year would pass by.”

Bill Smith presents Intuit Unveils TurboTax CPA Select posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “TurboTax CPA Select is designed to connect small and medium business owners who require someone to file their taxes with a CPA.”

Bill Smith presents Super Saturday In Ohio: Day Of Help For Filing Taxes posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “Super Saturday is a day of help in Ohio for residents in need of help filing taxes. Formerly known as the Franklin County EITC Coalition, the Tax Time Coalition of Central Ohio is ready with professionals in the tax business to help others in need of their services.”

retirement

John Schmoll presents How to Take the Emotion Out of Investing posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “The stock market is driven largely by emotion, some say upwards of 90%. If you have a solid investment plan though you can easily separate the emotions from the day to day activity of your investments.”

taxes

AYOUBBLIDI presents Tekenen en symptomen Mange Honden posted at Over Honden.

Bill Smith presents Tax Preparation Reviews posted at 2013 Taxes, saying, “Clients continue to use TurboTax every year as it is easy to use.”

basit presents Tax Planning for Salaried Employees- A Last Minute Guide posted at Fintotal.

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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Features Of The Federal Free TurboTax

Features Of The Federal Free TurboTax

It is now possible for people to file their Federal taxes free with the help of Free Turbo Tax.  Federal Free Turbo Tax was designed with people having tax returns in mind, in view that they do not require a lot of tax guidance irrespective of their income level. The free edition provides an easy way of getting free tax preparation, by searching for the tax credits that one is eligible for to get the highest possible refund amount.

English: United States Internal Revenue Servic...
English: United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division Badge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Federal Free TurboTax has several notable features, including guidance for first time users on how to complete their taxes. It asks questions in plain English then arranges the answers for the filer on the correct forms. It also skips the questions that do not apply the person filing the taxes, enabling him to finish the process faster. Moreover, it guarantees one to get the biggest refund possible.

The feature finds every credit that a person remitting his taxes deserves. Every year, many taxpayers get a lesser refund than they deserve since they fail to capitalize on the entire tax credits for which they qualify. Federal Free Turbo Tax has an audit support center that can be downloaded. It provides the taxpayer with guidance on what he needs to know and do in case the IRS contacts him. A notable feature of it that with it one can pay his taxes as he pleases, any time of the day. One can even access it without having to create a user ID.

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.

Home Business, Yay or Nay?

While the old American dream was once to land a steady job with good benefits and an early retirement, the updated version often entails becoming an entrepreneur and being your own boss. There are many challenges in steering your own ship, and yep many rewards as well. One advantage to working for yourself is that you know that you’ve got at least one person on board that really genuinely cares. As your own boss you can also guarantee that your opinions will be heard. But before making that big jump, you should really make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Here are some often overlooked changes you will experience…

Taxes

If you once were able to file a 1040EZ those days will soon be ones of the past. Taxes for your business will be involved, to say the least. And your personal taxes will doubtless be affected as well. Then you’ve got the cross-over items and the difficulty of trying to decide what can legitimately be itemized and for which. As an entrepreneur you will want to keep an eye on mileage costs and keep receipts for any business-related transactions.

Also be sure to check into any specific licensing or certifications you may require for your business and keep up to date on any registration renewals, if any.

Home Office?

A home office can obviously cut down on fuel costs and time spent going to and fro. Working from home can also keep you more connected with loved ones and may even get you tax breaks, if set up correctly. Though if you business is customer or client-based you may be required to have specific permits for such and to also carry extra liability insurance, should anything happen to someone on your property.

Another thing to consider is if you feel you can truly be productive while working at home. The Internet is distracting enough, what happens when you’re groggy all day and the bed is just a few feet away? Do you actually have enough space to specifically dedicate to an office? Will you and your family be able to agree on some kind of ground rules for specific hours of operation? These things and more should be considered before taking the plunge.

Insurance

As mentioned, if you have a home office you’ll most likely need extra insurance but don’t forget medical insurance and disability as well. An old 9 to 5 might have taken care of that for you but now that you’re the boss you do have to have a backup plan, should anything go wrong.

These are just a few of the I’s to dot and T’s to cross, there’s so much more. However, it’s a pretty terrific time to go into business for yourself – provided you think ahead, plan accordingly, and prepare yourself for the worst so that the worst never comes to call.

Written by Erin Nolan. Hurt yourself at someone’s business? Make a claim: www.accidentclaims.org

Tax Preperation For Real Estate Investing

Tax preparation in real estate investing can seem like tricky business. And why shouldn’t it? The U.S. Tax Code dwarfs the Bible, which at 773,000 words, written over thousands of years, is one of the largest documents known to man. How could anything associated with that system make any sense whatsoever? Nevertheless, you may find prepping for tax season with your real estate holdings easier than anticipated. The government allows a certain amount to be deducted for the interest associated with home ownership each year. That means whatever your final taxable income is, you can subtract the price of the interest paid in from that total, resulting in a lower tax liability, and for millions of American homeowners, a tax refund. But the concerns for tax preparation for real estate investing go a little further beyond this measure even.

When you are holding several properties, you are essentially acting as the landlord to those properties, and you can end up deducting more than one home from your final tax tally. The more you invest, the more you save, to an extent. In addition to this reality, you may also be available for credits or incentives for other actions associated with the house. One of the most obvious is that of the home remodel. If you are remodeling your home, then any monies that you spend on that remodel could also be eligible for a tax credit or deduction. Depending on the appliances you use – and whether they are Energy Star compliant – going right down to the construction of the home remodel itself, the government is there at tax season to reward you for strengthening the housing sector.

To prepare for the real estate investment tax season, make sure that you avoid payoffs as long as you can. Once interest is no longer being paid on the property, you are losing out on a big tax incentive. So even if you have the money upfront, you may wish to carry out payments over time. With the interest rates lower than they have ever been at a fixed level, the next year will probably be the best time to invest.

To take advantage you may want to get your taxes associated with all income assorted, and invest in open properties with the leftover holdings. Without the real estate investor, the market would surely die. And by investing, you give something back to the strength of your country’s economy. In return, the tax incentives are there to help reward you for doing so, but it is important that you do not try to cheat the system. Instead, play within its rules, and you will end up leading a much more rewarding life.

Laguna Beach Homes can be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. But make sure that your Laguna Beach Homes For Sale and the tax requirements surrounding it have been met. For more details, visit our site.

Effective Tax Rate: Not As Simple As It Seems

Mitt Romney recently expressed the belief that his effective tax rate is roughly 15 percent. Most people become incredulous upon hearing this claim.

Their initial thought is that most people pay a much higher rate than that.

The reality is that they really don’t, however.

In fact, based on the specific calculation methodology, Mr. Romney’s effective rate is significantly higher than that of most Americans’.

Comprehending why this is true requires understanding that “effective tax rate” does not equate to your maximum income tax bracket. Those rates range between 10 and 35 percent, depending upon gross annual income.

This figure can be calculated in various ways, however, as no single means of defining tax liability exists. For instance, one might consider only federal income taxes or all federal taxes. Income may likewise be measured in more ways than one. It may be expressed in terms of “gross,” “taxable,” or “adjusted gross.”

In truth, it is impossible to arbitrarily ascertain  Romney’s true effective tax rate to any degree of certainty. That can only be accomplished with a detailed review of his reported income and deductions as reflected within his tax returns.

Even if Romney is right, however, a very simple explanation exists for why his effective rate is most likely much higher than most others’:  Effective tax rate is invariably lower than maximum income tax bracket. Moreover, about 80 percent of US taxpayers’ maximum top rate is 15%. This figure is according to Tax Policy Center Senior Fellow Roberton Williams.

Per Williams, four-fifths of all Americans’ effective tax rate is already less than 15 percent.

When income tax liability is considered by itself, taxpayers whose gross annual income is between $40k and $50k per year is only 3.2 percent, per estimates of the Tax Policy Center.

Even households with gross annual incomes that exceed $1,000,000 can expect to pay only 18.9 percent of this amount in 2012 taxes.

This is due to the fact that many high-income households earn much of their money via tax-advantaged investment vehicles like bonds or other sheletered capital gains.