The Sharing Economy Can Make You Money

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Taxation of this Sharing Economy:

The Internet, along with its rising social media, has created some very new opportunities for people to earn extra cash. This ‘sharing economy’ theme is defined as this – Putting up some unused resource either for sale or for rent (like a skill, parked vehicle, or empty room). This might seem a bit minor at first, but according to one statistic, this sharing economy actually represents as much as a $110 Billion dollar market.

One community marketplace for finding or listing or booking lodging all over the world, is Airbnb. This is done on the Internet and by mobile phones. They carry more than 500,000 listings for 33,000 cities, in 192 countries worldwide.

The Benefits:

If a taxpayer rents out a property for less than 15 days a year, they don’t have to report that income or the expenses on their tax returns. This enables them to rent out property for short periods of time with NO TAX liabilities. In order to qualify for this exception, all you have to do is use your home personally for over 14 days, or for 10% of the overall number of days, that you rented it out to other people for a fair price.

Another Investment Possibility: Prosper and LendingClub

If you are not someone with a spare bedroom or car that you can share, but you have available cash sitting around, you can make some money this way. Peer to peer lending through sites like Prosper or LendingClub gives you the opportunity to earn some extra cash. They allow individuals to either lend or borrow money, with a certain degree of anonymity, using interest rates that are credit score based. Risk levels are also factored in. Both of these sites will allow investors to lend out their money in increments as low as $25.

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Create Your Post-College Budget In 6 Easy Steps

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Establish A Post-College Budget In Just 6 Steps

Congratulations on having earned your diploma and on having received a job offer. This time of life is guaranteed to be exciting.

As you begin planning your next moves, it is vital to have a budget. How do you create a post-college budget? Following are several things that I discovered after having graduated and started my first adult job.

Consider Your Monthly Income

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Investment (Photo credit: LendingMemo)

You might have an awesome starting salary, but you should not use this figure to write out your budget. Determine how much you’re going to be bringing in after taxes every month instead. Remember that federal taxes, social security and Medicare are all going to be deducted from your check.

Employees are going to have to pay 6.2% of their wage earnings, up to minimum wage. A tax rate of 1.45% is paid for Medicare. If you are self-employed, however, these rates are going to be double.

Next, figure your federal income tax rate according to your projected earnings. You will be surprised by how much is going to be deducted from your check.

Think About Retirement
Decide how much you are going to invest in your 401k. Will your employer be matching your 401k? Use this match to your benefit as it is included in your compensation. Invest the minimum in order to receive this match.

If you are able to, make an immediate effort to max out your 401k. Should you invest with pre-tax money, this is going to lower the rate for your federal income tax at the year’s end. Always use low-cost funds to invest.
cell phone services, etc. You will have to allocate you monthly earnings for these expenses. Budgets are used to track and manage this spending.

Save Money!
Put aside monies to create an emergency fund. You never know when car maintenance issues and other expenses will arise.

You can also invest in a traditional IRA or ROTH to take your savings plan a bit further.

Creating a solid financial house early in life will assure you of a comfortable financial future.

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Tax Filing Tips For 2013 Taxes From TurboTax.com

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As the deadline for filing 2013 taxes approaches, beginners are faced with a much bigger challenge. Many of them do not know that there are fines and penalties for missing the deadline. That is because they have never filed tax returns in the past. Mistakes are more likely going to be made, but proper preparation can help to minimize errors. For instance, putting all your financial records for the previous tax year in one place may help.

When filing for the first time, it is important that you consider getting help from a tax preparer. Alternatively, you can use a tax filing service like TurboTax.com to do your own taxes without help. The service can help you with both state and federal tax filing. TurboTax.com can make the process of filing 2013 taxes a pleasant experience for you. By simply answering a series of simple questions about your finances, TurboTax.com will enable you to claim all the tax deductions, credits and benefits for which you qualify, thereby helping you to increase your tax refund or reduce the amount of tax you are supposed to pay. While experience can teach you everything you need to know about taxes, TurboTax.com can be very helpful to first time tax filers.

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Kara DeFrias (Photo credit: TEDxCoMo (Columbia, MO))

During childhood, the word taxes may have meant very little to you. However, taxes may be the most important word in your adult life. To learn more about tax credits, deductions, filing deadlines and other important tax-related information, you may want to visit www.TurboTax.com. The site has everything you need to file your taxes correctly.

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Tips on Doing Your Own Taxes In 2014

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If you would like to do your own taxes, you will be happy to know that the process is actually simpler than most people think. Paying tax accountants to prepare your taxes may not be the best option especially if your finances aren’t complicated. To do your own taxes, you will need three things; accurate records of your annual income, some basic knowledge of the country’s tax code, and adequate time to work on your returns. The following is a step-to-step guide on doing your own taxes. If you have any outstanding questions, make sure to post your question here.

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Income Tax Forms (Photo credit: Manchester Library)

Tax Filing Tips
1
Keep all your receipts for the year in an organized manner. Ideally, you should have a binder or a dedicated filing system for keeping all your tax-related documents. When it comes to doing your taxes, having everything neatly organized can be very helpful.

2
Go over your expenses and decide whether to itemize or claim the standard deduction. You can do the calculations on your own and use the higher amount. You may want to consider taking the standard deduction if you do not have high medical costs, or if you don’t pay real estate taxes or a high mortgage interest rate.

3
There are many tax forms, but the 1040 is the most popular. You will need to attach the W-2 form from your employer to show your annual income. If you have done some freelance work outside your regular working hours, you can declare it under business income if it exceeds $400.

4
For accuracy and simplicity, consider filing online or using a tax software. For instance, you can use free software like TurboTax and TaxAct online. The USAA, as well as many other banks, offers eFile services free of charge. Therefore, you may want to check with your bank first to see if this service is offered.

5
When filing your taxes, all you need to do is enter your personal details, annual income, tax credits and deductions into the appropriate tax forms or software. You can choose to send the W-2 form together with other forms, or enter the information in the corresponding boxes when eFiling. Tax forms usually have instructions to guide users on how to add and subtract different entries as required. Be sure to use a calculator for accuracy.

6
After submitting your tax returns electronically or through mail, you will need to enter the details of your bank account for withdrawal or direct deposit. While you can simply write a check to the IRS, this is not a popular option. After filing, you will receive an email from the IRS confirming receipt of returns.

Warnings and Tips

If your finances are complicated, be sure to consult with tax accountants.

Be sure to watch out for red flags because they can make your tax returns more likely to be selected for auditing.

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IRS Options For Avoiding The President’s Day Rush

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The President’s Day is a holiday that forms part of the busiest times for IRS telephone lines. The wait can however be avoided as the IRS is equipped with easy options for taxpayers to find the answers they need. They can save time by visiting IRS.gov. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions by taxpayers about taxes 2014 and how answers can be quickly found.

Taxpayers always like to know the status of their refund. Most refunds are issued by the IRS in not more than 21 days. Status of a refund can be checked on the IRS.gov site or via the newly updated IRS2Go Smartphone app. to get the refund status; a taxpayer would need certain information from his or her tax return. The information is updated every day, so checking more often than that is not necessary.

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Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: LendingMemo)

Some individuals may have missed getting a Form W-2. Employers are supposed to send this form, which is a Statement of Earnings, to their employees by 31st January. If someone has not gotten it by mid-February, he or she should first contact the employer to ensure they have the correct address in their records. Once all options with an employer have been exhausted, one can contact the IRS and they will send the employer a letter. It is however advisable to call when the President’s week has ended to avoid the long phone waiting times.

A taxpayer may wonder if he or she can get a copy of their tax transcript or return. Such a copy can easily be ordered on the website, on the Smartphone app or by mailing a Form 4506-T to IRS. Others may wonder what happens if they cannot pay their Turbo Tax 2014 bill. If someone owes taxes but cannot pay, the Online Payment Agreement Tool can be used. The tool can help someone figure out if they are qualified for installment agreement with IRS in a few minutes. For those with more serious tax obligations, there is an Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier. It helps determine if someone qualifies for an IRS agreement in which his or her tax liability will be settled for an amount that is less than owed.

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