The EITC Not Always Claimed for Taxes

You would have been given a refund had you filed your 2011 tax return, but you never did. The IRS is holding onto $1 billion in unclaimed funds that will become the property of the federal government if tax filers don’t claim the funds before the end of the tax filing period. Over 1 million houses failed to file and are owed the money.

Tax payers have three years to file a return and claim funds that they are owed. The people that do not normally file when owed tax refunds are part-time workers or students who do not make much money and therefore feel they will not be getting a refund. But they pay more into the system than is required and therefore would have gotten a refund had they filed.

Earned income tax credit
Earned income tax credit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one big area of refunds that are not filed. These are refundable tax credits and therefore are given to filers that have not paid much into the system but have earned some income. In 2011 the EITC was as high as $5,700 if your family size was large enough. There have been stories about illegal immigrants gaining the right to file 3 years of returns to obtain three years of EITC. Those numbers are not yet included in this report by the IRS.

Are Annuities a Good Investment

Are Annuities a Good Investment

There are two different types of annuities: deferred annuities and immediate annuities. The type of annuity you choose depends on how soon you expect to receive payments. If you are looking for a long term investment where you plan on making withdrawals once you reach retirement then you might choose a deferred annuity. If you are looking to make withdrawals sooner than you may want to choose an immediate annuity.

English: Types of Annuities
English: Types of Annuities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Either type of annuity can be fixed or variable. A fixed annuity acts like a CD from a bank but in this case it is an investment with an insurance company. You have a fixed interest rate that you receive for the annuity and it is usually a higher percentage than a normal CD would bring at a bank.

The guaranteed interest payment from these fixed annuities as well as the minimum amounts that you have to invest makes the fixed annuities appealing for those who are not confident in the ways of the stock market.

Another nice thing is that you do not have to pay taxes on the interest gained until you decide to start withdrawing the money from the annuity. A disadvantage with fixed annuities is that the interest rates might be high to begin with but can drop after the first year of having the annuity. This unknown factor can be a turn off for some who are hoping that they can maintain the rates that they first received when they started their annuity.

If you do not like the new rates and want to withdraw your annuity before it matures then you might be stuck paying surrender charges that will cut into your profits. With a variable annuity you can choose from a variety of investments to put your money into and the rate of payment you receive depends on how well the investments performed. With variable annuities you invest in several different stock or bond like accounts that will help your investment grow over a long period of time. Just like with the fixed annuities you pay no taxes on your gains until you begin withdrawing from your account.

Although with variable annuities you may have an opportunity to have greater growth potential with your investment there are some drawbacks as well. The investments you chose may take a turn for the worse causing your potential growth to plummet. There are drawbacks with the tax rates when you decide to withdraw you money,as well as fees if you decide to withdraw early and there can be high sales commission fees. It is good to do your research before you decide which annuity is best for you or even if an annuity is a good investment.

Implications Of Passing A Senate Bill Enacting An Online Sales Tax

The Senate Bill Enacting An Online Sales Tax

Congress is currently moving forward with a Senate bill that could place sales taxes on buyers who place orders for items housed out of state. This proposed law applies to e-commerce sites, and the main goal of this online sales tax is to generate revenue for cash-strapped state governments in jurisdictions where online retailers are headquartered. The bill has its opponents among online retail giants such as eBay, and it also has supporters among the President and a number of state government officials.

Oregon - no sales tax
Oregon – no sales tax (Photo credit: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious)

Only online retailers that gross more than $1 million per year in sales will be subject to this online sales tax. Shoppers at large online retailers such as Amazon will see slightly higher bills for each order they place, and the tax will also apply to brick-and-mortar retailers who sell items online. A few of these vendors include Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and many others.

Proponents of this online sales tax Senate bill argue that it will level the commerce playing field for both physical store locations and online retailers. Some believe that online vendors have had an unfair competitive advantage of being free from such sales taxation until now. According to this viewpoint, having a set of laws that taxes both types of sellers equally is considered a fair rule of doing business in the digital age. Depending on the individual taxes rates in different geographic regions, some states could have an online sales tax of 7% per purchase while others could have one as high as 9%.

Strange Federal Tax Deductions

2011 Federal Tax Deductions

Everyone is looking for deductions for their 2011 federal tax situation.  We’ve all heard of the mortgage deduction, the medical deduction, and even deductions for owning an electric car–but are those all the deductions you can find?  It’s important to know all the deductions, so you can maximize your own personal benefits this tax season.  There are many “unique” deductions that are perfectly legitimate that most individuals probably are not even aware exist.  These deductions have been used in the past and are still on the books. Perhaps they might even help you this tax season. Take a look at this list of the top ten strange and weird deductions.

10 Strange But Legitimate Federal Tax Deductions
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Back Taxes – Getting Back Tax Money

Back Taxes

Getting professional help with your 2011 Federal Tax Filing would allow you to get your Back Taxes and obtain the money that belongs to you. If you have not been able to get your information ready in time, you probably missed out on the date that you were supposed to file your taxes. When this happens, you likely have money that is owed to you. However, not filing also means that you are not able to obtain this money because of the fact that you took too long to complete the filing process. If you find yourself in this position, you want to do what it takes to get the money that the government has been holding for you. Instead of allowing them to keep the money, you can have someone help you to get this money back into your pocket.

Doing 2011 Federal Tax Filing is not something that you should worry about when you have the assistance of a team that knows what they are doing. Through the use of these services, you would be able to get your taxes done quickly, this would allow you to get the money that belongs to you into your bank account as quickly as possible. It is very likely that you do not have a large amount of extra money, you should do what it takes to claim what is yours today.

Rapper Ordered To File Back Taxes

File Back Taxes

“I was underground” was the excuse Grammy-winning singer and rapper Lauryn Hill gave to explain why she did not file back taxes between 2005 and 2007.  The IRS claims she owes three years in back taxes.  On her Tumblr account, Ms Hill said she had not filed because she wanted to protect her family.   Being “underground”, she surmised that filing her taxes would endanger herself and her family.  However, the government did not agree with her and said she is facing three counts of misdemeanor for not paying back taxes on her $1.6 million income.

Ms. Hill asserted in her Tumblr account that she had every desire to “rectify this situation.”  The 37-year-old resident of New Jersey said that she had left public life to get away from the “distortion and compromise.”  In the early part of her career, Ms. Hill gladly paid her taxes.  The former star of the Fugees posted that she did not abandon her fans on purpose.  She did what she felt was right for herself and her family.   She said she had the right to resist a system that was opposed to her personal survival.  Making her file back tax would have jeopardized that.

Lauryn Hill has been ordered to appear before the court on June 29th.  If convicted, Ms. Hill could serve a one year imprisonment and pay $300,000 dollars in fines because she did not rectify the situation.   The court rejected her reason as to why she did not pay back taxes.  Although this is not a great deal of money for the singer-actress, she feels she has a legitimate case against having to file back tax.