On What Day Will I Be Able To File My Taxes?

The IRS has set the date to open up their filing season, for year 2014, on January 31st. They encourage all taxpayers to take advantage of Free File, e-file, or TurboTax 2014, to get the quickest refunds of their 2014 taxes.

This opening date for filing tax returns for 2013 will give the IRS enough time to properly program and test their updated tax processing systems. There were substantial delays in their system back in October, immediately after they experienced that 16-day government shutdown.

The Acting Commissioner for the IRS, Mr. Danny Werfel, encouraged taxpayers with this statement, “Our team of professionals have been hard at work all throughout the fall season, preparing for this upcoming tax time. This late date in January will allow us plenty of time to get everything in order in regard to programming, testing, and validating our systems. The process is a complex one, and we will remain focused on our main goal, which is to provide a smooth filing platform and speedy refund process for the entire nation.”

The government shutdown caused the IRS to move their original opening date. It was first scheduled to be between January 21st and January 31st. This new date in 2014 is an extra day later than last year’s 2013 filing season date, which began on January 30th after Congress had changed the January tax law on the 1st. This change was made under the ATRA (American Taxpayer Relief Act). The tax changes that took place under the ATRA were quite extensive and affected a lot of 2012 returns. That is what led to the decision to hold a late January opening.

The IRS also made note that taxpayers this year will have several options available for getting their refunds as quickly as possible. There has been new ‘year-end’ tax planning information added onto the IRS.gov website this week.

Additionally, there are a lot of software companies who are anticipating accepting tax returns come January. They will hold on to those tax returns until the exact day of the IRS system opening on the new January 31st date. There will be more extensive details available throughout the month of January.
The IRS wants to caution everyone that it will NOT BE processing any tax returns before their stated date of January 31st. You can gain no advantage by doing your filing on paper any time before this opening date. The fastest returns will go to those who utilize Free File, e-file, or TurboTax 2014, and can take advantage of the direct deposit option.

The deadline date of April 15th has been set, and was done by statute, so it will stay in place. However, any taxpayer who is eligible may request an automatic extension of six months for filing their return. To request this extension, simply fill out a Form 4868, either electronically or on paper.

The updates to the IRS applications, databases, and systems, are done every year. This is done to ensure they reflect the current tax law updates, as well as all business process changes and/or programming updates before the time of the filing season begins.

The closure in October took place during a peak period in regard to IRS system preparations for 2014. There is programming and testing to be done, as well as the deployment of over 50 IRS systems. That’s what it takes to handle the processing of around 150 million tax returns. The updating of these core systems can be extremely complex, and is a process that is on-going all year round. The bulk of this work usually kicks off in the Fall every year.

During the government shutdown, around 90% of the operations within the IRS were closed. Some very major streams of work closed down entirely. That threw the IRS behind by almost 3 weeks behind their solid timetable for being in position to begin the filing season for 2014. They are also dealing with additional programming, testing, and training in terms of their new systems this year. This is for providing protection against refund fraud, as well as identity theft prevention and detection.

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.

IRS Publication 17

IRS Publication 17 For 2013

If you want to do your own taxes, you need to understand the process. Fortunately, you do not need a degree in accounting to figure out how to do your own taxes. The best chance that you have to get through your taxes without making a mistake is to consult the document put out by the IRS for that purpose. IRS Publication 17 is a great guide for those working on their own taxes.

IRS Building
IRS Building (Photo credit: afagen)

IRS Publication 17 is still the most useful IRS publication for figuring out exactly how your income taxes work. The document breaks down the process of preparing your taxes into fairly easy steps, a real necessity for those who still prepare taxes by hand. The document is still useful for those who prepare online, though, as it does contain some basic information that most of the online services glass over. IRS publication 17 is easily the most valuable document that you can use if you are working on preparing your own taxes, and it is fortunately also a free document.

Pub 17 2013 can currently be found on the IRS’s website at . This document is likely to be updated when tax season gets a bit closer at hand, and revisions are likely if issues occur that changes the tax landscape. Remember that Pub 17 2013 is only a guide, and that more definitive information likely needs to come from a tax professional. If you are comfortable working on your own, though, this guide is your best tool.

Tips For Maximizing Your Return

With The Free Turbo Tax 2013 Software

When you use free Turbo Tax 2013, it is important to make sure that you maximize your return. The free TurboTax software makes this easier than it has ever been before since you will be asked a series of questions about your finances; these questions are much clearer than the labels on the tax documents, so you will really understand what you are being asked and what you need to say. The software will then plug your answers into the right boxes so that you have fully official tax documents with all of the right information in the right boxes.

English: To do to migrate to free software?
English: To do to migrate to free software? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Declare Your New Home
One of the best ways to increase your return if you just bought a new home is to list it as your primary residence with the free Turbo Tax 2013 software. You can then get the Homestead Deduction, which can save you hundreds on your state taxes. The free TurboTax program may also be able to help you determine if you deserve a Federal First Time Home Buyer Credit for the year, which can be applied to your Federal taxes, making your one home save you money twice.

Itemize Your Deductions
The free Turbo Tax 2013 software makes it very easy to make a list of your itemized deductions. You should always do this to check and see if the itemized deductions are going to be more than your standard deduction. By using the free TurboTax software to make the list, you can make a wise decision about which deduction will be larger.

Use the Correct Forms
One of the nicest things about the free Turbo Tax 2013 software is that it can help you check to see which form you are using when you enter information. This can make a huge difference. For example, a 1099-MISC form will not include taxes that have already been paid out, so you will be taxed on the totals. A W-2 form, though, will include those taxes that were already deducted, so you may get money back. Use the free TurboTax software to select the type of form that you have so that you do not pay your taxes twice. This way, you actually get all of the money that is owed to you.

Erase the Fees
Finally, the free Turbo Tax 2013 software helps you maximize your return simply because you do not have to pay any fees to a CPA. You can do everything yourself, even if you have never studied accounting or tax law. The free TurboTax software is very easy to use, even for those who are doing their taxes for the first time. By erasing the extra fees, you get to keep all of your return.

Strange But Legitimate Tax Deductions from TurboTax.com

Strange But Legitimate Tax Deductions from TurboTax.com

Tax season is anticipated by some and dreaded by others. For accountants and tax professionals, however, it can be a time of amusement. Tax professionals are used to helping people get the maximum deductions on their taxes, but there are some deductions that take the cake. TurboTax professionals often highlight the odd, but legitimate, tax deductions that they see every year.

A boy in a children's swimming pool.
A boy in a children’s swimming pool. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fido’s New Pad Can Pad Your Refund

Did you know that you can claim a deduction for moving expenses for your pet? If you are relocating for a new job, you can deduct the cost of your moving expenses, including extra expenses incurred to move your pet.

Swimming in Cash

Many people think of swimming pools as expensive investments that drain money from your bank account. If you, however, have a medical condition that is relieved through swimming, you may be able to deduct the cost of maintaining your pool as a medical expense.

Lose Weight, Gain Money

If your doctor has recommended weight loss as a means to improve your health, you may be able to deduct the cost of medical weight loss treatments.

Your “Enlargement” Can Result in a Refund Enlargement

An exotic dancer was able to claim breast enlargement surgery as a business expense. She argued that enhancing her appearance allowed her to earn more money in her business.

Tax professionals see it all between January and April. When you are ready to file your taxes, the professionals at TurboTax.com can help you to get every deduction and the maximum refund on your taxes.

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – January 10, 2013

Welcome to the January 10, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we have an article from John Schmoll on the First Steps to Investing in the Stock Market for those looking to save for retirement. Bill Smith looks at President Obama And The Fiscal Cliff Deal that was recently signed after passage in the House of Representatives. And finally we have a post on Ways An IRS Tax Lawyer Help You.  Hope you enjoy the articles in the carnival, bookmark our page, like on Facebook, tweet, share with your friends and come back soon.

James Dean presents Bad Credit Debt Consolidation Loans – How To Find Legitimate Companies posted at Unsecured Bad Credit Debt Consolidation & Personal Loans Online, saying, “Bad credit debt consolidation loans help the borrower to get out multiple debts by simply paying them all off with one single loan payment. This loan payment is often at a lower interest rate than the previous multiple debts and normally, it also has better payment terms. This is like a breath of fresh air for those people that are up to their necks in debt and need help getting their credit rating back up to a healthy place.”

English: Showing how the rapid rise in in mort...
English: Showing how the rapid rise in in mortgage credit distress is being led by subprime ARMs. Conventional loans past due 90+ days and Conventional loans in foreclosure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gregory Arnold presents How The Unemployed Can Get $1500 Fast Cash Advance Loans posted at Online Fast Cash Loans, saying, “It has been a tradition that if one is not working or earning less than 500 dollars a month, they are not legible for a personal loan on low income or against unemployment. This kind of arrangement has changed with time and the risks involved in extending financial aid to unemployed have been bypassed hence giving the lenders like payday and cash advance lenders to extend loans in small installments to the unemployed;”

credits

Gregory Arnold presents Does Anyone Know Reputable Online Cash Advance Lenders? posted at Online Fast Cash Loans, saying, “It is normal for people to face financial problems. These problems can be dealt with easily, but when salary is not expected soon, that becomes very difficult. However, nowadays there are more efficient ways of dealing with such problems. One of them is applying for cash advance. To do this, you need to look for a good lender. So, the question still remains: does anyone know reputable online cash advance lenders?”

filing

Bill Smith presents Free Tax Filing For 2010 Amended Return posted at 2010Taxes, saying, “Even with the best of intentions, mistakes happen. Sometimes they can be costly. But in the case of amended tax returns, fixing them could be free.”

retirement

John Schmoll presents First Steps to Investing in the Stock Market posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Just starting to invest in the stock market can be a daunting task for many. But, with a few simple guidelines you can get started on the road to investing for your future.”

tax law

Bill Smith presents IRS Tax Lawyer Due Diligence posted at 2008 Taxes, saying, “Tax attorneys can help people with IRS problems. The IRS is always willing to work with the tax payer to get issues resolved.”

Bill Smith presents Electronic Version Of Pub 17: Getting Cozy With The IRS posted at 2009 Tax, saying, “The electronic version of pub 17 is in PDF format. It contains valuable information about filing your federal tax return.”

Bill Smith presents President Obama And The Fiscal Cliff Deal posted at 2012 Tax – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “President Obama has left out certain important aspects of the fiscal cliff deal, in a video broadcast on the Web.”

Bill Smith presents The Fiscal Cliff Fact Check posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “Checking the facts on President Obama and the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal.”

Bill Smith presents Fiscal Cliff Deal – 77 Percent Of All Americans Set To Pay More Taxes posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “The President has claimed that the Tuesday night fiscal cliff deal will reduce middle class taxes in America. However, taxes for most Americans will increase in 2013.”

taxes

Bill Smith presents In What Way Can An IRS Tax Lawyer Help You posted at 2009 Taxes, saying, “Even though taxing is such an important subject, it is a pity that quite a number of people are unaware of the depth and importance of taxing.”

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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