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.

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.

Know the Impact of Bankruptcy on Your Taxes

Know the Impact of Bankruptcy on Your Taxes

The term bankruptcy is considered as a legal status of an individual or company that happens to be unable to repay their incurred debts from their creditors. In most cases, bankruptcy is being imposed by the court orders. It is usually initiated by the debtor. However, sometimes the weight of the issue is given to the debtor from the creditors.

YOU ARE ONE OF 50,000,000 AMERICANS WHO MUST F...
YOU ARE ONE OF 50,000,000 AMERICANS WHO MUST FILL OUT AN INCOME TAX RETURN BY MARCH 15. FILE YOURS EARLY. – NARA – 516201 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The IRS pub 17 2013 signifies the legal implications on income taxes. This involves the possibility of declaring bankruptcy and its variable forms. Chapter 11 bankruptcy pertains to the debts of the person being reorganized. In this scenario, the debtors have ways to repay some or total amount of their debts. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of the debtor’s assets and liabilities. In this situation, the debtors have no means to repay most, if not, the total amount of their debt.

How can Bankruptcy Create an Impact to Debts

Basically, filling of bankruptcy is very complicated. This makes it important for you to consult a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure that all actions you make are done appropriately. In general, bankruptcy does not create impacts to your income tax return, even if there is a cancellation of debt, which is normally taxable on your tax returns.
The reason behind this is that any sources of debts discharged in bankruptcy are excluded from the incomes under the income tax regulations. The regulations pertaining to bankruptcy in relation with income tax returns are:

1. If you are being audited, filling of bankruptcy will not stop the auditing. However, it will stop the collection process while the bankruptcy is on pending status. Moreover, the time collection activities stop, such as during the time that you are deemed as not collectible or during the processing of the compromise state is extended. Always consider these concerns before declaring bankruptcy.

2. Not all of tax debts are entitled for discharge in bankruptcy. Items that are considered as priority debt are not dis-chargeable, as well. This includes student loans, child support, fines stemming from committing of felonies, and drunk driving cases. The priority debts should be fully repaid, which are classified under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Forgiveness of debt is usually considered as taxable income. However, it becomes ineffective to insolvency and bankruptcy. Sometimes, it is good to present offer in compromise by settling your tax debt. It is still suggested to confer your debt issues with a tax professional and bankruptcy attorney in order to come up with a set of appropriate course of action. This can help you eliminate the possibilities of applying legal actions, which are not suitable for your specific case.

TaxCaster: The Mobile Tax Calculator For Taxpayers

TaxCaster: The Mobile Tax Calculator For Taxpayers

Tax calculators are popular tools for consumers these days. Before filing one’s taxes, a person can take advantage of a calculator. Such tools require some personal and financial information in order to generate a tax refund estimation. An individual will know in moments whether they owe money or will be receiving money from the Internal Revenue Service. With that in mind, TaxCaster from TurboTax is the best option available.

The national debt clock outside the IRS office...
The national debt clock outside the IRS office in NYC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Currently, TaxCaster is available for iOS and Android devices. A smartphone user can download this app in minutes and start using it right away. The app asks for basic information upon the first use and subsequent uses. Such information is necessary to figure out a person’s tax situation. After a user enters their annual income information, the app will return a rough estimate of their tax refund or dues.

There are plenty of other tax calculator options on the market. Unfortunately, most of them don’t provide accurate responses for taxpayers. TaxCaster is known for its accuracy and simplicity. Other programs, especially mobile apps, don’t really stack up to TaxCaster right now. The average tax calculator asks for a lot of extra, unnecessary personal information, too. No taxpayer should be forced to divulge such information.

TaxCaster offers plenty of benefits over the competition. As a tax calculator, it requires only moments to receive a refund estimate. Customers will immediately know whether they owe money to the IRS, too. In the end, a tax calculator like TaxCaster is a fantastic option for most taxpayers. Anyone with a mobile phone or Internet access can utilize this app with ease.

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – March 28, 2013

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – March 28, 2013

Welcome to the March 28, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start out with an article from Bill  Smith on the recent fight between H&R Block and TurboTax over the advertisements that Intuit has been running about part-time tax preparers. We also have a great article John Schmoll from Frugal Rules on why financial adviser compensation is an issue when selecting a professional to invest your money. Hope that you like all the articles, share on Facebook, tweet, bookmark, and come back real quickly.

Tax time
Tax time (Photo credit: slworking2)

filing

Bill Smith presents Turbo Tax Television Ads Will Continue posted at 2011 Tax, saying, “H&R Block has failed its lawsuit and injunction attempts two times against Intuit’s TurboTax.”

Bill Smith presents An Overview Of The Turbo Tax Military Edition posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, “Preparing and filing your taxes on time and to your best advantage may be difficult at any point in your life, but being in the military may pose additional challenges.”

retirement

John Schmoll presents Financial Advisor Compensation – Why it Matters posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “A financial advisor can be a great way to help you grow your portfolio when you have long term goals in mind. Make sure you do your homework and hire one that you feel right about and best fits your needs and goals.”

taxes

Bill Smith presents Innovations For Turbo Tax 2013 posted at 2013 Taxes, saying, “Professional accounting can help business owners save time and resources, and the Turbo Tax 2013 CPA Select edition by Intuit may be the ideal solution for tax filing season.”

Bill Smith presents Tips For Maximizing Your Return posted at 2009 Tax, saying, “When you use free Turbo Tax 2013follow, it is important to make sure that you maximize your return.”

Bill Smith presents Easy Online Tax Filing With Free Turbo Tax 2013 Software posted at 2009 Taxes, saying, “Having expert tax assistance can be the best way to avoid financial penalties, complete your filing on time, and maximize your refund.”

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Helps Users Get More Accurate Tax Returns posted at 2010 Tax, saying, “Each year, Americans are forced to go through last year’s financial information and prepare a tax return.”

Bill Smith presents The Benefits Of Using TurboTax 2013 To File Your Taxes posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “If you have never used Turbo Tax before, you need to consider filing your taxes with this computer program this year.”

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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