Tips to Get TurboTax Discounts

Tips to Get TurboTax Discounts

Turbotax software comes in various different versions like Premier, Deluxe, etc. Turbo tax software is used to prepare both State & Federal Income Tax Returns. One of the best things about the software is that it is regularly updated once the IRS completes any revisions to the tax forms. This software is widely used because of its user-friendly interface and its step by step assistance to the tax payers.

Most of the people today are using Turbo tax so that they can prepare their taxes on their own. It’s very popular because it allows payers to easily enter the required information and calculate the amount of the tax that you are required to pay. Turbo tax also helps in reporting the investments in bonds and stocks. It also helps in setting up the information about properties like rental properties or any other. It helps in maximizing your deductions as it helps in determining what items can be used for deductions.

To get Turbo tax discounts, you will have to buy it at a website that offers a discount. The website must also offer various versions of Turbo tax so that you can choose the best one for you. Simply getting one version on the website won’t be useful for you. The site must offer return shipping as well. To such sites that will offer discounts you need to search them online, type in the keyword phrase in the search engine and look for different websites that sell Turbo tax at a discount and select the website where you can buy turbo tax.

Getting Turbo tax discounts takes efforts as well as time. Searching for Turbo tax discounts can be daunting task but once you get it filing tax return becomes much easier and faster.

Free Tax Filing Information And Resources

Free Tax Filing Information

Most federal highway use tax returns are due, with the due date falling on the 31st Aug 2012. Now the use revenue collector, the IRS or internal revenue service is reminding owners of highway vehicles truckers regarding the need to file their taxes. Aug 31st is a deadline when forms such as the tax form 2290 will need to be filed with the IRS as well as payment of the relevant taxes for this particular financial year. This applies to those using the roads on or before July 2012. There is free tax filing information available to tax payers online.

This taxation feature applies to vehicles using the highways that have a gross weight of 55000 pounds or more. Such vehicles include tractors, trucks as well as buses and all others. Vehicles such as vans and pick ups do not fall into this category basically because they have tare weight that’s below 55000 pounds. The cost is usually $550 per vehicle depending on the weight of the vehicle. There are some rules that govern the administration of this tax feature.

Many tax payers are advised to submit their tax returns via the internet. There are electronic forms that need to be filled for this purpose even though the option of filing form 2290 still exists. Tax payers are advised of a public holiday weekend from August 31st to September 4st 2012. As such, they are advised to file their tax returns early. Free tax filing options can now be offered to interested tax payers.

Learn to do Your Own Accounting From Day One

The thought of doing your own bookkeeping is pretty daunting right? That’s the general consensus. Having your own business involves enough work as it is. Why not just leave the accounting bit to the professionals. Fair enough. If you never want to deal with tax offices and worry about learning financials so be it. But you would be surprised how easy it can be.

These days there are superb accounting package and courses. You can sort out your tax online. Even the small things like recording invoice amounts into an excel sheet can save you precious time and money with your accountant.

The first thing you should do is set up a system where everything is filed in the right place every month. All money coming in and out should be recorded on computer, like in an excel sheet. Make sure all your files have dividers for each month. Then get your office organised with the following:

Cash Books

Keep bank statements in a file and print electronic bank statements and file them (these help to cross reference what you have recorded). At the end of the month input this onto your computer in the excel table, or similar.

Invoices

You will need 2 separate files for these. One for your company sales invoices and one for invoices which have been made out to your company. Separate each file into paid and unpaid. As the amount gets paid, mark the invoice paid with the date it was paid and move it into the paid section of your file. Again, at the end of the month input this onto your computer sheet.

Expenses

Make sure your staff and you keep all expense slips. From petrol to stationary anything spent on the company from your own pocket needs to be claimed back at the end of the month. Your driver must have a log book where mileage is recorded with the date and client visited. All petrol slips must be handed in with this log book at the end of the month.

If an employee needs cash in advance for expenses then a petty cash box must be topped up at the beginning of every month. Every time money is taken out the box, a note must be made and put in the box. The employee should sign this and they should also bring the invoice afterwards.

Again this must be recorded each month on a computer spread sheet.

Following these guidelines will prepare you for the end of the financial year calculations.

Donna Van Wyk writes on behalf of Oxbridge Academy, a provider of long distance accounting courses, among other study programs.

5 Tips for Surviving an IRS Tax Audit

If you are chosen for an IRS tax audit, then there is nothing you can do to avoid it. The important thing is that you know what to expect, and that you keep one specific goal in mind: to end up owing the IRS as little money as possible. How do you do this? By complying, first of all, but also by doing everything you can to ensure you don’t trigger the IRS to investigate any items outside of the original causes for audit. Being audited can be a scary prospect; fortunately, there are things you can do to make it as smooth a process as possible, so as to protect your money and your sanity. Here are five tips for surviving an IRS tax audit.

Watch what you say. Do not provide any information other than exactly what was asked of you. Use yes and no answers any time possible. If you are not sure about something, tell you auditor you don’t know. Talking too much can cost you a lot of money. Giving false information, on the other hand, can cost you even more money, and possibly even jail time.

Organize your records. You aren’t expected to keep perfect records, but you are expected to have accurate and comprehensive records. Take your time preparing for your audit, and bring everything you have to support your story to the table. Showing up organized is a sign of respect, and a great way to get on the auditor’s good side from the get-go.

Act natural. This may seem like an oxymoron, but when you’re nervous (which you likely may be when dealing with an auditor), your mannerisms may betray you. Remember that auditors are trained to monitor behaviors for anything unusual, and the last thing you want to appear to be to an auditor is deceptive. Take a few deep breathes, relax, and just be yourself.

Keep your originals. The IRS is known for misplacing documents, and if your auditor loses anything pertinent to your case, you will have to produce it again. Provide only copies to auditors and keep your originals.

Seek professional help. Although it’s not necessary, you might want to consider enlisting the services of a professional tax preparer. Accountants understand the audit process and know how the IRS operates; therefore, having one on your side can improve your chances of surviving the audit with as little damage as possible.

No one wants to face an IRS audit. Unfortunately, many people do, any you might be one of them. Follow these tips to get through your audit and make the process as painless as possible.

About the Author: Jake Saechao is a full-time tax accountant who knows how stressful receiving an audit notice can be. At the end of a long day he enjoys sipping a cup of oolong tea, searching www.goldenmoontea.com for new blends, and simply trying to forget about the numbers running through his head.

Some Weird Small Business Deductions

So, the holidays are over and you’re adding up your books (you’d BETTER be adding up your books-tax time is coming!). You know full well to add up your monthly income and common deductions like EI and CPP for your employees. But what are some deductions that you may have missed that could be costing hundreds of dollars? Here are some weird small business/self employed deductions that may never have occurred to you.

  • Cost of replacing materials. If you’re a writer/artist/photographer, etc and you need to buy new equipment, you can claim the new piece as a tax deduction. Even repairs can be deducted! Feel a little better about that new laptop now? (I know I do!)
  • Utilities/Telephone. If you work at home, you can claim a small percentage of your utility bills as business expenses (after all, you need power, heat and phone or internet to work!) Keep track of each bill because you may see a bit of it coming back to you.
  • Pet food. Did you know that if your animal is a service animal or are outdoor animals which guard your livelihood in some way, you may be able to deduct the cost of feeding the animals?
  • Child care. Even if you work at home and farm out the little monkey to a daycare or babysitter, you may be able to deduct the costs as a business expense so long as you worked while the kid was away.
  • Trips. If you headed off to a convention on entrepreneurship or on something related to your business, you may be able to deduct a good portion of your costs.
  • Transit passes. Don’t drive to see your clients but take the bus instead? Buy monthly passes, keep the receipts and claim them. Anyone can take advantage of this green friendly deductions, not just business owners.
  • Charity. Donating to others not only feels good, but can give you a good deduction come tax time.
  • Home maintenance. If you put in a new office for your business, new furniture, new plumbing, new power or something else that improves your business, you will be able to claim the expenses on your taxes. Neat huh?
  • Moving. If you’re moving to get closer to business opportunities, you can claim the move as a deduction. And don’t forget your pets! You can also claim expenses related to them such as pet carriers, vaccinations and having to pay deposits on hotel rooms
  • Erm… enhancements. That’s right, if you work in the… entertainment… business, you may be able to deduct a fairly busty amount from your taxes. But you have to show that the enhancements actually helped your work.

In short, keep receipts from anything even remotely related to your small or self-employed because you just never know when a small pile of minor expenses can add up to a solid deduction on your taxes this spring!  If you’re unsure, you could always ask a qualified Canadian accountant or even get more specialized and search through specialty regional websites for the exact thing you want such as Halifax tax planning.

There’s an App for That: Taxes from Your Phone

We do pretty much everything from our phones these days, turns out, taxes are no different. Accountants and techies are combining forces as new ways develop for those who choose to file from their phone. From an easier way to track and report expenses to hand-held glossaries and customer service, exploring ways to file from your phone will change the way taxes get done.

Tracking Expenses

Deducting expenses is essential for businesses owners or the self-employed. Keeping track of those expenses however can be incredibly cumbersome. Travel, meals, supplies, and mileage really add up and the ability to immediately input related data and transfer that information to taxes can keep things clear and easy when the time comes to report.

  • iXpenseIt offers password protected expense tracking which can be programmed and stored in customizable categories.
  • ShoeBoxed integrates snap technology and expense reporting into one package. The app allows users to snap photos of receipts and upload them into an organizationally customizable online platform.
  • TripCubby provides the ability to track and record mileage and other travel data. The data collected can be exported into Excel using email or automatically added into deduction categories in the app itself.

Estimates

Mobile devices are especially handy for retrieving pertinent information for those who need an estimated income tax return but lack the actual W-2. Tax Caster by TurboTax doesn’t require exact figures to calculate return estimates which enable users to fulfill tax-based qualifications or anticipate amounts of returns without having to retrieve the actual tax information this includes more in-depth tax issues such as deductions related to family size, properties, alimony, and vehicles.

Much like expense reporting for businesses, keeping track of personal donations and other charitable activities is essential. A group of accountants created the iDonatedIt app which generates an itemized list of donated items, values and the date and location at which they were dropped off. Additionally, the app supports snapped photos of the donations which can be uploaded via email.

Questions and Support

Taxes can get confusing, particularly for those with more tax materials than the basic W-2. H&R Block has created the Tax Answers app which allows for a chat-based Q&A with their representatives. The app also provides FAQ categories and checklists as well as a handy glossary.

  • Internal Revenue Code (IRC) app by LawToGo.net is aimed at professionals or filers with complex returns and contains a searchable database of the various codes determined by the IRS.
  • TaxMama is an app which generates a costume tax calendar to suit various filing needs for those with different tax forms which carry different deadlines.
  • IRS2Go, produced by the IRS allows users to check the status of their filed tax return and refund while also providing information on pertinent updates.
  • MyTaxRefund by TurboTax can also track tax refund status, determine whether the return was accepted or rejected by the IRS and produce the expected date of refund arrival.

Filing

Phones have turned actual filing into a snap. Particularly with SnapTax which fills out the 1040EZ form using a snapped photo of a W-2. The information is filled automatically and can be filed after review. However, SnapTax is currently available only for Californian 1040EZ filers.

Katei Cranford is a freelance writer and tech lover who insists on filing taxes properly and helping others do the same.

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