Taxes 2014: What You Should Know To File

The tax filing season starts at the end of Jan. The IRS said that people can start filing their taxes 2014 returns on January 20.

Despite a last minute tax law that was passed by Congress, the tax-filing season will still start on schedule, according to the IRS.

Congress passed a bill that extended more than 50 tax breaks, which were due to expire next year. Under the new law, the breaks will not expire anytime soon, which allows taxpayers to claim them when they go and file their taxes. The law was signed by the president on December 19.

Taxes 2014 photo
Photo by mleinet Taxes 2014

In the past, when tax laws were passed at the last minute, the filing season was delayed. However, that is not the case this time around, according to the IRS Commissioner.

The Commissioner said that the agency has reviewed all of the changes and they feel as if there is nothing that can prevent them from updating their systems and testing it out.

Many returns are filed during the first few weeks of the season, and this is mainly due to the fact that taxpayers want their refunds as soon as possible.

The IRS said that most refunds were issued within 21 days, if those returns were electronically filed. In the past, the agency said that filing taxes this way is the quickest way to receive a refund.

Refunds average around $2,800, and taxpayers should use TurboTax to file their tax returns, as they are a reputable service that has helped many taxpayers.

How to Choose A Good Accountant or Tax Attorney

Depending on your situation, you may look to obtain services from a tax preparer such as an accountant or tax attorney in completing your income taxes. A tax professional can help assure you receive all deductions you qualify for and make sure your income tax return is filed according to standards set within tax laws.  The following tips can help you find the right person to assist you in tax preparation.

Learn about different tax professionals and types of tax preparers.  This allows you to choose someone that is qualified based on your financial situation.  There are preparers and professionals that deal with tax issues related to divorce, small businesses, rental property and more.  Titles may include Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Enrolled Agents (EA) and Accredited Tax Advisors and Tax Preparers.

Review their qualifications.  Qualifying professionals may have affiliation with different organizations that provide ongoing education and resources for tax professionals.  Practicing tax professionals should have a preparer tax identification number.

Review their history with the Better Business Bureau.  Know the status of their license and learn of any disciplinary action taken against them.  There are state board organizations that can provide status of a tax professional.

Learn about services they provide and fees charged.  Those who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or claim they get you a higher refund amount than another preparer should be avoided.

A tax professional you are considering to work with should be easily accessible. Should you have questions or concerns after filing your return, you should be able to contact them.

A reputable tax preparer will review records and paperwork along with asking related questions to your finances.  A preparer should thoroughly review your situation to determine qualifications for deductions review your expenses and take time to learn in depth about your income.

Avoid tax preparers that want you to sign a blank tax return form.

Make sure to review tax forms in detail before signing them.  Ask questions when you are unsure about details and make sure you are comfortable with information on the form being accurate.

By law, a tax preparer should include their prepare tax identification number or PTIN when signing a completed tax form.  The preparer should also give you a copy of your tax return.  Although they sign the return along with your signature, the taxpayer is responsible for information presented on the form.  It is important to make sure items presented are truthful and honest as possible.


Andrew is a tax blogger and financial journalist. He writes about everything tax and finance related, from 401K to tax avoidance and from credit cards to mortgage loans.