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.

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.

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.