Some Tips On Doing Your Own Taxes

Trying to do your own taxes may appear daunting, in a lot of cases however it is really not that difficult. In order to be successful with it though, you will need an accurate record of your expenses and incomes, and will also need to become familiar with the available tax codes. If you have questions for a tax professional on this topic just ask your question ateHow.com.

TurboTax

Instructions

1
You should generally stay organize and keep a record of your incomes and expenses throughout the entire year. You will need a dedicated binder or file system to keep your tax related files/documents together.

2
You should know the type of deductions you can make from your total income. You will need to itemize your deductions or take a standard deduction. Using some calculations or a tax software can help you to determine which is better for you. If your medical costs are low, and you are not paying a lot of mortgage interests or taxes on real estate, it may be better for you to take a standard deduction with your filings.

3
You will also need to become familiar with the tax forms. A lot of households will generally file the Form 1040. You can provide the details of your incomes online or may fill them in on the W-2s tax forms. If you had earned over $400 in self-employed incomes through freelancing etc, you will need to fill the Schedule C and SE forms and will need to deduct any business related expense against your self-employed income.

4
You should make use of some tax file and software online for accuracy and simplicity. You can make use of free software like TaxAct, TurboTax etc. Some banks (USAA etc) may provide some eFile services for free too.

5
You may key in your deductions, income, personal information and tax credits into a tax software/application or you can fill them in on some paper tax forms. You will need to include your W2 forms with your paper forms, or you can fill in your information when you are filing or generally doing your own taxes.

6
You can file your tax returns and then provide your bank details for direct withdrawal/deposit or could mail in your check. When you file your tax on the web, you should get an email acknowledgement, returns that you mailed will generally not get an acknowledgement however. If you get a refund or your payment is withdrawn from your specified bank account, you will then know that you have done what you should do right.

Doing Your Own Taxes photo
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Tips And Warnings

For taxes that are complicated and other issues you should contact an accountant.

You should also avoid getting any red flags with your tax filings (some tax software can alert you on this), in order to reduce the likelihood of your refund being audited by the IRS.

Create Your Post-College Budget In 6 Easy Steps

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

Investment
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.
H&R Block gives amazing tips for investing.

Take Advantage of Pre-Tax Dollars

Use a Health Savings Account or a Flexible Savings Account to save pre-tax dollars. Do you have forthcoming medical expenses that you can cover with pre-tax money? Braces, contacts, glasses, doctor visits and prescriptions are things that you can use this money for. These savings are automatic.

Wisely Choose Your Housing
It is very easy to move into a luxury apartment after graduating. This is what I did. In retrospect, I wish I chose an apartment that was more affordable.

Housing advice varies. Some people say that you should spend no more than 30% of your earnings for a rental or 28% for your mortgage.

List Your Monthly Expenses
List all of the bills that you need to pay each month including sewage, water, rent, Internet, electricity, groceries, cable, car insurance, gym fees, debt payments, renter’s insurance, 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.

Income Tax Considerations And Changes

Politicians across the country debate about ways to fund worthwhile programs, and the new mayor of New York City has received considerable attention regarding his proposed agenda. Mayor de Blasio has outlined a progressive agenda aimed at funding afterschool and early education programs, and his approach pushes for higher tax rates for wealthy individuals. You may have a lot of tax questions regardless of your income level, but using Turbo Tax 2013 may help you make sense of current and future tax scenarios.

Bill de Blasio
Bill de Blasio (Photo credit: Kevdiaphoto)

Mayor de Blasio would like to impose a tax increase on residents who report an excess of $500,000 in taxable income, and he wants this tax increase to be in effect for five years. Taxes 2013 and beyond may be affected by such a measure, and the rate would move from 3.88% to 4.41% under the de Blasio proposal. New York city resident tax rates have been as high as 4.46% under previous administrations, and the additional funds were intended for education and crime prevention.

A little over one percent of New York city residents would be affected, and the additional tax revenue raised would be approximately $500 million annually. This is in line with the goal of establishing continuous funding for education programs, and having this additional revenue may give Mayor de Blasio time to establish other funding sources once the higher tax rate has expired. Any discussion about proposed tax rate changes can lead to numerous questions, but Turbo Tax 2013 may help you find good ways to save at tax time.

Important Dates For Filing Your Tax Return Forms

Important Dates For Filing Your 2013 Tax Return Forms

As the year comes to an end, it is important to start thinking about filing your 2013 taxes. While it is true that taxes are not due on the first of the year, it is still important to understand the important dates on the IRS calendar for 2014. There are a few dates you should know.

January

On the 15th all estimated taxes for the last quarter of 2013 are due. Also the 31st is the deadline for employers to send out tax information. This is also the deadline to file your 2013 tax return forms without penalty if you did not pay your taxes for the previous year.

March

The 17th is the date when corporations must file their taxes by.

April

The 15th is recognized as tax day for individuals and partnerships.

June 16th

If you got an extension on your individual tax return, then this is the date it is due. This only applies to military personnel and people traveling abroad.

September

The 15th is the deadline for business extensions on tax returns to be filed.

October 15th

This is the due date for individuals who were granted a 6 month extension on their tax returns.

Keep in mind that these are only dates that are specifically related to fling your 2013 tax return forms. There will be other dates you will want to keep in mind with your taxes and for these you can turn to the IRS website. Here you will find all the information you need as well as great resources for ensuring you pay your taxes correctly.

The Government Shutdown Will Delay The Start Of The January Tax Season

Delay The Start Of The January Tax Season

The government shutdown will have an effect on the tax season in 2014. There could be a one to two week delay on filling your 2013 tax return forms as a direct result of the government shut down in 2013.

The IRS lost sixteen days of work during the shutdown which came at a time when the IRS is typically very busy preparing for the upcoming rush of the tax season in January. Loosing nearly three weeks of work in the fall, is very difficult to make up before January.

Day 093/365 - Tax Time Phat Cash!
Day 093/365 – Tax Time Phat Cash! (Photo credit: Great Beyond)

They will not accept or process any returns, online or in paper, until January 28 to February 4th. This falls at least one week later than the typical yearly start of January 21. You can send in your paper 2013 tax return forms early but they will not look at them until opening day, and you can not file an online form at all until the date they open for the season.

The IRS is doing everything they can to make the delay shorter but the new bill has changed many forms and these changes take time.

You can still prepare your tax return from your end as you always have, as long as you have current software as there are many updates that come with the new bill. You can also prepare with an adviser in advance so you will be prepared on the first day the IRS will take the 2013 tax forms.

It should also be noted though, that the filing deadline for tax payer remains the same, April 15. So there is a shorter season all around.