The IRS Publication 17 And You

IRS Publication 17

IRS publication 17 deals with general instructions and guidance for people using form 1040. Paying income tax can be daunting but reading this publication will aid you in this process. The materials contained in this publication are the interpretation of the Internal Revenue Service of court decisions, treasury regulations, tax laws, and additions to the tax code. It also deals with general rules and reminders to help you file your return.

Paying taxes is required for both citizens and...
Paying taxes is required for both citizens and non-citizens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IRS publication 17 can be extremely helpful for filing your tax returns.  If you are new to the workforce, it can tell you whether you have to file a return and if you do which form to use. It also gives you guidelines as to which records to keep, information on dependents, what is a filing status, and what exactly income is. E filing, how to check the status of a refund, and what to do if you make a mistake are also covered in this publication.

There are many flowcharts, everyday illustrations, and various scenarios of how the tax laws apply to real-life situations. For example IRS publication 17 illustrates tax questions; such as can you claim medical expenses you paid for a deceased spouse if you remarry and file jointly with your new spouse.  The answer is yes; you may claim these expenses. It also clarifies charitable donations with an example of a donated coat that originally cost $300 but the charity thrift store sold the coat for $50; the fair market value of the coat would be $50, which could be shown as a charitable contribution. However, if you are self-employed IRS publication 17 is useful but not all-inclusive; there are other publications that will give you further information on various tax laws and forms for business tax filing.

If you have questions about how to file, where to file, or how to determine income or expenses for IRS form 1040, IRS publication 17 should be the first place you look for information.

Last Minute Tax Tips When Using Turbo Tax

Last Minute Tax Tips

Are you going to use Turbo Tax 2013 to file your taxes this year? Before you head to TurboTax.com, take a moment to read through these tips. With the deadline approaching, you need to know what to do at the last minute to make the filing process successful.

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files (Photo credit: cali.org)

1. File the Paperwork Electronically

Did you know that Turbo Tax 2013 allows you to e-file your paperwork when you are done? This can save you a lot of time; it really only takes a few minutes. You will instantly submit your tax files so that you do not miss the deadline; you can even do this just hours before the cutoff time.

2. See if You Can Get an Extension

If you’ve been on TurboTax.com and you think you’re going to miss the deadline, you might want to file for an extension. The government will give you – if you are approved, of course – an addition six-month period to file your taxes. Wouldn’t you like to take care of them in October instead of April?

3. Know the Penalties

There are two main penalties that you can get if you use Turbo Tax 2013 or TurboTax.com and you do not get the tax documents in on time. The first is for failure to file, and the second is for failure to pay. Both could cost you up to an additional 25 percent of the total amount that you already owe. However, the IRS often gives extensions for people who have filed and not paid. You should at least get the paperwork in by the deadline, and you could end up avoiding both penalties, even if you don’t have the money to pay the taxes right now.

With these three tips and Turbo Tax 2013, you can reduce what you owe, avoid penalties, and make tax season a lot less stressful than it would be otherwise. The tools at TurboTax.com give you the power to file your taxes successfully without a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), so you’ll actually be able to keep all of the return that you get this year.