H&R Block Giveaway

If you didn’t win the Powerball, don’t let it get you down. H&R Block is giving away loads of cash during its H&R Block Giveaway. The lotteries will start on Saturday and continue for the next 32 consecutive days. This giveaway is being called a huge historical sweepstake. The company’s chief marketing officer, Kathy Collins, thinks that it might be the biggest one in history.

H&R Block

During the 2014 tax year, H&R Block completed more than 24 million tax returns. In past years, the company prepared tax returns for a 50 percent discount, and this involved other promotions as well. Per Collins, these discounts and promotions helped to get more tax returns filed on time. Basically, if you file your taxes before the deadline, you’ll have a better chance of winning a lottery prize.

During the H&R Block Giveaway, the company will feature two 30-second commercial ads to let people know about the its special promotion. One of the ads has actors dressed up like George Washington. They are all doing a funny dance. The company plans to use social media and local marketing to promote the two ads.

In addition, H&R Block is airing three more commercials that should make people want to do their own taxes. The company is promoting a special $9.90 price for diy customers. The company is also going to air two 15-second commercials and two 30-second commercials with Mr. Garland and Anthony Davis of the NBA. These commercials will be shown during February 15 and March 15 as a way to appeal to those who file their taxes late.

During the last year, H&R Block has been slowly eliminating its premium brand. It was changed to Block Advisers, and it includes 300 new regional locations. This brand is committed to helping those who have very difficult tax returns. This new brand will also feature a distinctive new logo.

Intuit Study Shows Impact Of The Cloud On Small Businesses

Anyone interested in IRS publication 17 and small businesses will be interested in the Intuit study that demonstrates how the cloud will change small businesses. Many more businesses are moving to cloud computing in some way, for efficiency and success in the long term. Cloud technology offers numerous opportunities for small and large businesses alike. Read more about the Impact Of The Cloud On Small Businesses.

Specialized Services

Specialized services present one opportunity for small businesses, particularly in their seamless integration into back-office functions. Cloud services represent an efficient, tailored solution for small businesses, allowing them to concentrate their efforts on their specialties. They need not spend time and resources on tasks that are not critical to their area of expertise. Personnel who understand the scope of IRS publication 17 are not otherwise required to understand all sections or be completely versed in the finer details of taxes and finance.

 Impact Of The Cloud On Small Businesses
English: Cloud Computing Image (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Virtual Offices

Virtual office configurations, sometimes called hives, offer further opportunities for small businesses. Smaller organizations can recruit talent from anywhere, and these employees can collaborate effectively using cloud technology. Highly flexible staffing creates broad opportunities for small companies.

The opportunities inherent in cloud technology allow smaller outfits to compete in a real way with much larger organizations. When small businesses need not be concerned with staffing an entire accounting department, for example, they are free to focus on what they do best. This allows them to put their best foot forward in areas in which it counts when competing for business.

In a similar way, freelancers may come together using cloud technology to accomplish things as a collective, each bringing their specific skills and ideals to the group. Cloud infrastructure and its myriad possibilities and services allow entrepreneurs to put away IRS publication 17 and focus on their business interests. Payroll services delivered via the cloud, for instance, can take an unnecessary burden from professionals, allowing them to concentrate on their industry goals.

Find Out How To Make Your Child Care Expenses Work For You

Get tax credits this summer for your dependent care and Child Care Expenses

A lot of adults pay for day camps or child care during the summer months when they have to go to work. If you are a parent who covers these costs, you may be qualified to receive a federal tax credit that will reduce your taxes. Following are several important facts about the Child And Dependent Care Tax Credit:

  1. You must be paying child or dependent care costs for at least one qualifying person. Dependent children or those who are below the age of thirteen will often qualify. To learn more about this rule, see the IRS publication 503 for Child and Dependent Care expenses.
  2. These expenses have to be related to your work. Thus, you must pay for this care in order to maintain a job or look for one. If you and your spouse are filing a joint return, this rule will also apply to your spouse. A spouse can meet this requirement in any month in which he or she is enrolled as a full-time student. A spouse can also meet this requirement if he or she is mentally or physically incapable of self-care.

  3. It will be necessary to have earned income, such as monies that come in the form of wages, tips or your normal work salary. If filing jointly with your spouse, this individual must also have income as well. Any month that your spouse is enrolled as a full-time student or incapable of caring for his or her self, this can be counted as earned income. This rule is also applicable to you if filing jointly. Check out IRS publication 503 for additional info.

Child Care Expenses
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  1. If you are married you will need to file jointly in order to use this credit. This rule is not applicable, however, if you have left your spouse and live separately or if you are legally separated.

  2. You could be qualified for this credit whether you pay for child care at home, at a day camp or at a daycare facility.

  3. The credit is representative of a percentage of the qualified child or dependent care expenses that you pay. It can be up to 35% of your expenses, as determined by your income level.

  4. The total expense that is applicable for this credit annually is limited. $3k is the limit for one qualified individual and $6 is the limit for two parties or more.

  5. School tutoring costs, summer school costs and overnight camp charges are not qualified expenses. You will not be able to include the costs of care if this care is provided by a a child below the age of 19 or by your spouse. You may not claim a child as a dependent and claim the cost of any care that this child provides. There are special rules concerning dependent care benefits that employers provide.

  6. Diligently maintain your records and receipts. Take note of the address, name and employer identification number or social security number of the individual who provides care. This information will need to be reported when filing your return and claiming this credit.

Considering Your Home Mortgage Tax Deduction

Let Turbo Tax 2014 guide you at tax time.

Many people debate the merits of having a mortgage tax deduction when they file their taxes.

It makes sense to work at lowering your taxable income and getting all of the credits and deductions that you are entitled to, and claiming mortgage interest may be at the top of the list for you. Some homeowners think so much of this deduction that they forgo paying off their mortgage in spite of having enough money to do so. The question becomes whether it makes more sense to keep the savings or eliminate the mortgage debt entirely.

Home Mortgage Tax Deduction
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One example:

Q: I have enough financial resources to pay my mortgage debt in full and still have money left for emergencies. The savings account pays a low interest rate, and I am concerned that paying off my mortgage and losing this deduction will adversely affect me at tax time. I feel that I budget wisely, and I am committed to putting as much money in my retirement account as possible. What would you recommend?

Singletary: I would advise you to pay off your mortgage, but with the following caveat.

Review the items on your return, and remember that a tax credit is different than a mortgage deduction. Tax credits lower your taxable income, and deductions eliminate percentages of your tax obligation. You may pay more in taxes if you do not have a mortgage, but this amount may be much lower that you would pay in annual interest on your home loan. Keeping a mortgage just for a possible tax break does not make sense in the long run.

The caution about eliminating your mortgage refers to using your savings in the current economic climate. You should consider things like your job security, your health, and your ability to find work if you lost your job before you take steps to pay off your mortgage. You cannot predict when you may need an emergency fund of available cash, and tying up your money into your home equity may force you to borrow against your home or sell it. If you can continue to save for retirement and sustain a proper emergency fund, then I would recommend taking the steps to pay off your mortgage.

The Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction Is Being Eliminated

The mortgage interest tax deduction is going to be ditched. The president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, David Stevens, said the MBA is not religiously wed to the deduction. He said this is as long as any change is part of a tax reform proposal that is comprehensive and not just a one-off change.

Almost 44 million taxpayers deducted around $72 billion in mortgage interest from taxes, ending in the year 2014. However, by 2019, that figure may go up as high as $96 billion. This means this will be the largest tax breaks that individuals have ever taken.

Homebuyers who are middle-class benefit the most, as around 43% of taxpayers had adjusted gross incomes between $100K to $200K. Another 40% made less than $100K.

In the past, the MBA appeared to oppose attempts to reduce the deduction or to eliminate it. The statements by the CEO shows they are departing previous opposition.

Intuit Comes out With TurboTax for Health Care

Select the right Health Insurance Products: TurboTax Health Software by Intuit makes it easy for consumers to understand different health care options offered by Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Through their tax preparation software, TurboTax, Intuit has played an important role in simplifying the tax preparation process for the American tax payers. The same group is now coming out with software, TurboTax Health that lets American consumers understand the different health insurance coverage options available under the recently funded Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x.
Icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

U.S Consumers can get in to the online portal of TurboTax health by following the link www.TurboTaxHealth.com . This tool is free to use and provides an interactive experience for the users by providing all the required information through an interview like conversation tone. Users would be able to appreciate the various features of ACA and what it has in store for the uninsured Americans.

Turbo Tax Health helps the American consumers in choosing the right medical insurance package that fits a particular individual in all aspects. Turbo tax Health comes with a detailed guide that contains explicit details regarding the various insurance options available to choose from. This product from intuit poses relevant questions to the consumer and gets their responses. Based on the user responses, the TurboTax health lists all the recommended health insurance options to the user. Turbo Tax primarily helps consumers to get answers to the following three important questions related to Affordable Health care.

1.Ascertain whether the American consumer would be applicable for 2013 Tax rebate and buy Health insurance option at discounted rates

2.Get the required clarification on how much it would cost an average American Consumer to buy an affordable Health care plan

3.Understand the possible consequences of not taking a health insurance policy

Once the individual has decided to purchase a specific health insurance plan, TurboTax Health would automatically connect the user with the state and Federal Level Health Exchanges. Users would also be provided access to the online portal of eHealth, America’s leading private health insurance market place.TurboTax health provides detailed answers to the individual questions raised by the individual on various aspects related to health insurance buying through its social community platform, called the AnswerXchnage Community.

About Intuit Software

Intuit Software has been in the business of creating financial management solutions for small business owners, individuals and accountants. TurboTax main product range includes QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax. These products makes it easier for small business owners and accountants to carry out payroll processing, personal finance planning and Tax Preparation and Filing. Intuit has around 8000 employees and has its presence in United States, Canada, United Kingdom and India among other countries.

Surviving An IRS Audit

Surviving An IRS Audit

An IRS tax audit is requested when the tax filer submits tax information that doesn’t match with that submitted by employers, brokerage firms, banks and other institutions. This document-matching is only one means of identifying tax returns to be audited. The Discriminant Function System (DIF) is a point system the IRS gives each return rating it on its possibility of containing fraudulent information. Informants are still a popular means to detecting who has filed a fraudulent tax return and finally, self-employed persons and persons earning $200,000-1 million are often pursued when their returns appear suspicious.

Any of these circumstances could trigger an IRS audit. IRS Publication 17 is a guide for the individual tax payer that could help them stay off the IRS suspect list. The publication goes over the basics of filing a return. It covers every type of income, adjustments to income, profit gains and losses and deductions. It evaluates deductions and taxes and tax credits. Lastly, it provides a tax table and tax computation worksheet.

By following the IRS Publication 17 closely, the likelihood that you would encounter problems with your taxes dwindles significantly. An audit may still occur if mistakes are made or if you persist in being less than honest about your income. Keep in mind, that anything that can be verified will be verified.

If you are confronted with an IRS audit, the first step you should take is to contact your tax preparer, a good tax lawyer and review your returns before the actual audit. Avoid the IRS discovering improprieties in your returns. Point them out before they are brought to your attention and make compromises where ever possible to mitigate your cost.