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Below are some helpful files for completing personal taxes.
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Tax Incentives for Higher Education
The tax code provides a variety of tax incentives for families who are paying higher education costs or are repaying student loans. You may be able to claim an American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit for the qualified tuition and related expenses of the students in your family who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions.
Check Withholding to Avoid a Tax Surprise
If you owed tax last year or received a large refund you may want to adjust your tax withholding. Owing tax at the end of the year could result in penalties being assessed.
Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. The IRS encourages everyone to get a head start on tax preparation. Not only do you avoid the last minute rush, early filers also get a faster refund.
Oops! You've discovered an error after your tax return has been filed. What should you do? You may need to amend your return.
Filing an Extension
If you can't meet the April 15 deadline to file your tax return, you can get an automatic six month extension of time to file from the IRS. The extension will give you extra time to get the paperwork in to the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. You will owe interest on any amount not paid by the April deadline, plus a late payment penalty if you have paid less than 90 percent of your total tax by that date.
When preparing to file your federal tax return, don't forget your contributions to charitable organizations. Your donations can add up to a nice tax deduction if you itemize on IRS Form 1040, Schedule A.
Earned Income Tax Credit for Certain Workers
Millions of Americans forgo critical tax relief each year by failing to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit for individuals who work but do not earn high incomes. Taxpayers who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or even get a tax refund.
Refinancing Your Home
Taxpayers who refinanced their homes may be eligible to deduct some costs associated with their loans.
Selling Your Home
If you sold your home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain ($500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly) from your federal tax return.
Did you know that you may be able to deduct certain taxes on your federal income tax return? The IRS says you can if you file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. Deductions decrease the amount of income subject to taxation.
If you gave any one person gifts valued at more than $15,000, it is necessary to report the total gift to the IRS. You may even have to pay tax on the gift.
Marriage or Divorce
Newlyweds and the recently divorced should make sure that names on their tax returns match those registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A mismatch between a name on the tax return and the Social Security number could unexpectedly increase a tax bill or reduce the size on any refund.
Filing Deadline and Payment Options
If you're trying to beat the tax deadline, there are several options for last-minute help. If you find you need more time to finish your return, you can get a six month extension of time to file using Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. If you have trouble paying your tax bill, the IRS has several payment options available.
Where's My Refund?
Are you expecting a tax refund from the IRS this year? If you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, your refund should be issued in about six to eight weeks from the date the IRS receives your return. If you file your return electronically, your refund should be issued in about half the time it would take if you filed a paper return.
The Tax Advocate Service, Provided by the IRS
Have you tried everything to resolve a tax problem with the IRS but are still experiencing delays? Are you facing what you consider to be an economic burden or hardship due to IRS collection or other actions? If so, you can seek the assistance of the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Tips and Taxes
Do you work in a hair salon, barber shop, casino, golf course, hotel, or restaurant or drive a taxicab? The tip income you receive as an employee from those services is taxable income, advises the IRS.