What’s New For Taxes

We have made it to our next tax season!  While your taxes are not due for several weeks still, this is the month that you will be receiving the documents you need to turn in: all of your W-2s, any 1099s you may have received for investments, and so on.  If you do not have a system in place to take care of your 2011 tax filing, now is the time.

Thanks to April 15 being on a weekend this year, taxes are not due until April 17 this year.  If you cannot get your taxes filed by that point, you also have the option of filing for an extension until Oct 15.  This is for filing, and not paying your taxes.

The IRS has made some adjustments to the way it requires people to file their income, particularly for capital gains taxes.  They have developed a new form, Form 8949, that you will use for these gains or loses.  This will be especially useful if you are reporting sales of stocks.

There has been a payroll tax on the books for the past couple years, and Congress has extended it to February 29, meaning you will be paying 2% less on social security wages through February at the least.  If you make more than $110,000 per year, you will not need to pay social security.

Another major change is that a health insurance deduction for self-employed workers no longer offsets the self-employment tax.  If you pay these premiums you can still deduct them from your 1040 however.

Finally, the Making Work Pay tax credit is no longer offered.  For the past couple years many Americans got a $400 credit for working traditional daytime jobs.  This has expired and there are no plans to renew it in the future.  These changes have not drastically changed 2011 tax filing, but they are new for 2012 and are something to make note of.

Find Out Everything You Need To Know About TaxACT

TaxACT(R) Offers Taxpayers Affordable and Easy Tax Filing Solutions With Fast Refunds

 

TaxACT 2011 Enables Users to Maximize Their Tax Savings Within a Short Time

The latest version of TaxACT 2011 which is also the Final Version has just been released by 2nd Story Sofware(R).

Lance Dunn, the CEO of the company claims that the new version makes is easy for taxpayers to file their returns and get refunds. Using software to file returns is much cheaper than opting for storefront operations.

With the Deluxe, State and Federal editions of the TaxACT software for iPads, taxpayers can now e-file state and federal 1040 returns.

The program also allows users to transfer key data from last year’s returns regardless of how they filed last year’s 1040 returns. For instance, taxpayers who are using the Deluxe can import the TaxACT returns from last year while other users who are using any of the other 11 solutions can import last year’s returns in form of PDF.

The software has tools that allow users to do their taxes confidently. The program has robust search capabilities as well as free personalized help. In case of any problem, users can contact customer support for technical assistance.

The website www.taxact.com allows taxpayers who file their returns online to check the status of their state and federal returns 24 hours a day. Users can also check their returns using their mobile phones at m.taxact.com.

Taxpayers who are using the program have several refund options. Users can get refunds from their federal returns in as little as seven days.

The Free Federal Edition of the program has no restrictions and can be used to file complex returns. This tool is the best solution when it comes to filing both complex and simple returns.

The Federal Edition makes tax filing very easy as it has e-filable forms. It has schedules and forms for rental property income, self employment investment and business income.

All the products from TaxACT are affordable, risk free and come with price and money-back guarantees. Furthermore, State and Deluxe users are not required to pay unless they view PDFs, print or e-file their returns.

Best Use of the Tax Refund

Tax time starts creeping up as soon as the calendar turns to the New Year. No matter how you feel about the experience, it is one that has to be done. What you do after filing your taxes may be the key to setting the tone for your financial future. Finding the best use for the tax refund starts with careful planning and then continues with consistent follow through.

Making Plans for the Tax Refund

1.      Make a list of all the places you would like to use the tax refund.

2.      Put them in order of most important to least important.

3.      Estimate cost of each of the items.

4.      See how far the tax refund would go if you were to spend it on each of the items on the list.

5.      Repeat the process several times over the next few weeks to see if your needs, wants or desires begin to shift.

6.      Only begin to make your purchases AFTER the tax refund has been deposited.

Possibilities for the Tax Refund

  • Look at the big expenses. The last year was a tough one for many people trying to meet the expense of a mortgage. A portion of the tax refund could be used to set up an account that would cover three to six months worth of mortgage expenses if necessary. It would provide some security for the upcoming year.
  • Consider the unexpected. The cost of insurance deductibles, surprise auto repairs or even medical expenses can hurt a budget that is already on tight ropes. One of the best uses of the tax refund can be in setting up an emergency account that would only be used to cover any of those unexpected costs.
  • Pay off a debt. The release that comes from paying off a debt can be a great motivator for tackling the next debt. Review any rotating credit balances or other outstanding debts. Consider using a portion of the tax refund to pay off that balance in full.
  • Invest in the future. Now may be the best opportunity to attend that seminar or take that class that will help you move up the ladder in your career. Measure the amount of increase you will receive with the amount of investment (including time, energy and finances) that it will cost and then thing about taking that leap.
  • Give it away. Put a portion of your tax refund to work for others. Setting aside as little as 10% can go a long ways towards helping your favorite charity meet its budget demands.
  • Invest in a little fun. The tax refund represents a full year of work. Splurge a little on something fun or exciting for the family. Set aside a portion of the tax refund for a great vacation or for a toy the whole family could enjoy (like that outdoor pool table you have been talking about).

There is never one way to spend the tax refund, but there can be one best way. It all starts with preparation. Thinking about the money and how it should be spent will start the process moving in the right direction. Evaluating the options several times begins to focus in on the best choices. Waiting until the check has been deposited will help to complete the package.

No matter when you plan to face down the tax man, start planning on the refund right now. The more time you invest in planning how to best use the tax refund then the more likely you are to make choices that will push you towards a solid financial future.

Nicole has been in the finance industry for 3 years, currently she blogs about the different ways for people to maximize their savings through the use of a brokerage account.

Do You Know Your Options For the Tax Season?

Preparing and filing your federal tax return is quite simple with the IRS e-file free tax filing program. The Internal Revenue Service provides this program to help ensure that you can get your taxes done fast and easy. In addition, the IRS E-File is safe, free and ensures that you get the highest refund amount entitled to you.

There are two ways to take advantage of free 2011 tax return filing from the IRS. You can choose to use easy tax software or file electronically online. If you earn less than $58k per year, you are eligible to take advantage of Free File Software.

If you are one of nearly 100 million who are eligible for free 2011 tax filing, you can access the IRS e-file online forms by visiting the government IRS website. Once you begin, you will be assisted in finding free software and after choosing the right one for you, you will then be instructed through the filing process for your 2011 tax forms. The best thing about e-file is that it eliminates the high costs of having a professional complete your tax return and most anyone can successfully file their return online for free without prior tax knowledge. If the government owes you money, such as the EIC, the software will automatically apply your earned income credit to your refund.

Of course, safety and security is always a concern when filling out private information online and the IRS takes this into consideration with Free File. To date, the software has been used both securely and safely by millions of people since the year 2003.

If you are not comfortable doing your 2011 tax return online, there are still options that allow you to mail your tax forms. Although it takes longer to receive a refund when you file by mail, it is still preferred among some tax payers and will likely remain an option when 2012 tax time rolls around as well.