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.

Finding Free Tax Tips For Your Taxes

Free Tax Tips

No one wants to make a mistake when filing his or her taxes to the federal government. Unfortunately, filing on your own can be a bit difficult. If you want to file correctly, you probably want to take the time to look at free tax tips. Below are a couple sources of free tax tips for your 2013 or 2014 filings.

One of the best places to start looking for tax tips is always with the IRS (www.irs.gov). Not only is this the official source for tax information in the United States, but its tips are actually quite easy to follow. If you want a bit more information, it might be useful to take some time to look at some of the tax processing sites out there. Sites like TaxAct (www.TaxAct.com) and TurboTax (www.turbotax.com) have a great deal of filing information available even for those who do not choose to use the services. If you want to go straight to a trusted information source for even more, though, you might want to check out CNNMoney (money.cnn.com) for information when it gets closer to tax time.

If you are looking for more traditional sources, large tax processing services like H&R Block tend to have information about filing taxes available around tax time. In fact, it may be possible for you to get a quick class on how to file your own taxes from a similar giant, or even from a local tax accountant. Free classes tend to pop up around January each year, so taking the time to look at these information sources can be helpful.

TurboTax Sees Glitch, #Fails On Twitter

TurboTax Sees Glitch, #Fails On Twitter

Filing taxes is a stressful task no matter how anyone puts it, and if anything goes wrong during the filing, it becomes a nightmare. That is what exactly happened last month when TurboTax users faced a glitch as the deadline to file federal tax returns loomed.

Day 25-A Taxing Evening
Day 25-A Taxing Evening (Photo credit: Mark Sinderson)

The service run by Intuit was unavailable for approximately an hour for some users during evening, which is considered peak hour for the service. It seemed that all would be well since their problems were resolved and service was issued in less than an hour. That, however, was not the case. During the time the site’s Twitter account kept sending out messages, which, although innocent, the affected users thought were mocking them.

“Dependence isn’t always terrific, but it is at #tax time! Aren’t you curious why? #TaxBreaks #TurboTaxTip,” read a popular tweet. A user was quickly to reply with “#TurboTaxFail” hashtags, adding insult to injury. It did not take too long for users to pile on the account, which was actually designated to send out tips and not help users.

Intuit was quick to notice this, interestingly, and canceled tips and focused on helping their affected customers. Having said that, the damage was already done and users felt disgruntled at how they received no immediate help or notices on Twitter, which is often used by other services to broadcast down times and errors to their users.

As it stands right now, the company has learned from its mistake and is sure to assign someone to manually handle their Twitter account.

TurboTax Helps Users Get More Accurate Tax Returns

TurboTax Accurate Tax Returns

Each year, Americans are forced to go through last year’s financial information and prepare a tax return.  For some people, this is a happy time because they will be getting a tax refund, which can mean several thousand dollars in their bank account.  But for others, they will own more money to the Internal Revenue Service.

Day 093/365 - Tax Time Phat Cash!
Day 093/365 – Tax Time Phat Cash! (Photo credit: Great Beyond)

The Internal Revenue Service can not look at every single tax return because there are simply too many filed each year.  They do audit some returns, but it is only equal to one percent of all tax returns.  Most people will never have to worry about being audited by the IRS in their life time.  People cheat on their taxes to avoid paying more taxes each year or to try to get a bigger refund from the government.

The good news is that the majority of people do not cheat on their taxes.  Perhaps this peer pressure will deter other people from cheat on theirs.

Recently, the IRS Oversight board conducted a telephone survey that found that 87 percent of Americans felt that is is not acceptable to cheat on your taxes.  The main reason they were against cheating on taxes is due to personal integrity and not the possible punishment.  Just over 10 percent of people polled said it was acceptable to cheat a little bit on their taxes.

Some people cheat on their taxes without even realizing it.  They may omit important financial information or deduct something that should not be deducted.  These errors are not made intentionally, but they can mean big trouble if they get caught.

Using free Turbo Tax 2013 can help people prepare their taxes and increase the odds that their taxes will be accurate.

Sometimes an error or omission helps the individual by reducing the amount of tax they owe.  But sometimes it helps the government by raising their tax amount.  When this happens, you may not get as big of a refund as you normally would.

TurboTax is an easy to use program that many people use by themselves without hiring a tax professional.  It is less expensive than hiring a tax preparer, and you can use it at any time.

The computer program walks users through each step of preparing their taxes.  It asks questions and offers advice for every item that you need to enter, and it makes it easy for users to file their taxes.

Not only can free Turbo Tax 2013 help make your tax return more accurate, but it can also increase your refund.  Some people find they are eligible for more tax credits if they use a program to help them prepare their return.  When your tax return is accurate, you reduce the risk of an Internal Revenue Service audit.

Tax Help For The Rest Of Us

For many people doing taxes may seem like an overcomplicated burden which they may not be ready to face. The reality is that there is tax help available with turbo tax.

By using the  services of professional tax preparers your refund may be maximized as well as saving the hassle of paperwork. There are many different services out there offering tax help but some charge enormous fees and may be less than professional in their business dealings. The best thing to do is use a service which is established with a good reputation of customer service.

Depending on how you earn your income changes many things when it comes time to file taxes. Turbo tax has software keyed for all different types of people. For example if you work for wages and do not have any investments you may need to file one kind of form while a small business owner will need something different. To ensure you get all the refund you deserve and to avoid any fees or penalties doing the proper paperwork is the first step. While doing this yourself is possible professionals that deal with these matters on a daily basis have the advantage of here.

So do not despair when it is time to do your taxes. Asking for help in this matter is advisable and there is tax help out there to help you. One of the many places worth looking into is turbo tax to get your refund done correctly and on time.

Top 10 Reasons for a Tax Audit

turbotax

A tax audit can occur for several different reasons that most people are not aware of.  You will have to comply with at least two of these factors before you have anything to worry about.

The most popular reason for a tax audit is unreported income.  Here, there is a lot of paperwork that must be filled out and completed.  When the paperwork contains errors or does not get turned it at all, issues can start to occur.  This type of paperwork is also time sensitive and should be received in order to file by January 31st.

Improperly prepared tax returns are the second most common reason for a tax audit.  In the event that your tax forms are filled out or filed incorrectly, this will definitely have the IRS breathing down your neck.  In this case, many people decide to round numbers or estimate amounts when it comes to their deductions.  When information is repeatedly misrepresented and estimated, the IRS may view this type of activity as a red flag.

A drastic increase or decrease reported income can raise a few eyebrows within the IRS.  When income amounts fluctuate a great deal, whether it is an increase or decrease, this could insinuate that somewhere along the line, income was not reported.  Taxpayers may also be tempted to hide assets such as bank accounts but in many cases, the IRS can find out.

Income that is not enough to support the individual’s current lifestyle can also become an interest of the IRS.  If you report things, such as a mortgage or other type of tax on property but do not show income that can represent proof of these allegations, this may pose additional issues.

Claiming charitable contributions can also get you into trouble with the IRS.  Some may claim to have given a specific amount but the IRS may look for documentation to prove your contribution.  The IRS provides information on how to properly report charitable contributions.  A safe percentage in this case would be anywhere from 2% to 5%.

If you are claiming business expenses, make sure expenses are business-related.  Many taxpayers have reported expenses that have turned out to be personally related.  Also, keep in mind of purchases made with business funds but have been used for personal reasons.  Be sure to document expenses such as travel and equipment purchases correctly in order to obtain the proper credit.

Andrew writes frequently about personal finance as well as issues effecting both consumers and small businesses, covering everything from credit cards to mortgages to how to setup an umbrella company.