Archive for December, 2008

Documents Needed for Filing Tax Returns

December 22nd, 2008 -- Posted in Help Filling Tax Forms | 2 Comments »

One of the most common questions related to tax form assistance is what records to bring in order to file tax returns without any further trouble. Filing tax returns can be daunting, but when you prepare the right documents, you can have a relatively easy time and be done with the task sooner than you think. Furthermore, when you prepare the necessary documents, they will be readily available and you can be as organized as possible.

There are different kinds of documents you must have at hand when you decide to file your tax returns. Of course, the first thing you need is proof of identification, which may be any valid ID card. You’ll also need the required earnings and wages statements, namely Forms 1099-R, W-2, W-2G, and others. You’ll need a copy of your tax return last year, bank routing and account numbers, and dividends and interest statements given to you by banks, brokerages, and other relevant financial institutions. Naturally, you’d want to claim exemption for yourself, your spouse, and people you can claim as your dependents. Thus, you’ll need your, your spouse’s, and your dependents’ birth dates, which you may verify through birth certificates. If you paid for childcare, you’ll need the amount you spent, as well as the tax identification number of the childcare provider whose services you chose to hire. Finally, if you took part in any charitable work, you’ll need to present the receipts for all the charitable donations you made.

With preparation, you can beat the expected hassle that comes with filing tax returns. For more questions on anything related to tax form assistance, search the worldwide web.

When to File Form 1040A

December 21st, 2008 -- Posted in Tax Form Questions | No Comments »

There are three types of form that you should consider when you set out to file your tax return. These forms are Form 1040, Form 1040EZ, and Form 1040A. This article gives you tax form assistance by telling you when you can file Form 1040A. If you don’t wish to use Form 1040EZ, which is used in filing simple tax returns, you can turn to Form 1040A and use it only if every circumstances listed below are true.

You can file Form 1040A if your income comes only from wages; salaries; tips; Alaska Fund dividends; any dividends; IRA pensions, distributions, and annuities; mutual fund capital gain distributions; taxable railroad retirement benefits; taxable social security benefits;  pay from jury duty; interest aside from exempt private activity bonds; or unemployment compensation. Moreover, the adjustments to your income must only come from IRA deduction; penalty from early withdrawal of your savings; tuition and feeds deduction; student loan interest deduction; or pay from duty pay given to your employer, if any.

Aside from these, you also have to check if the tax credits you claim are child tax credit; additional child tax credit; education credit; childcare and dependent care expense credit; earned income credit; or retirement savings contribution credit. Plus, your taxes should only be from the tax table; advanced earned income credit payments; alternative minimum tax; recapture of education credits; qualified dividends tax worksheet; capital gain tax worksheet; and Form 8615.

When to File Form 1040

December 20th, 2008 -- Posted in Tax Form Questions | No Comments »

In filing tax returns, three types of forms are offered to taxpayers. Each of these forms is to be used only when all the requirements for using them are satisfied. Basically, there’s Form 1040, Form 1040A, and Form 1040EZ. Tax form assistance is given to taxpayers who are confused and do not know which type of form they can file. This article provides information about Form 1040 and when you can use it when you file your tax return.

Form 1040EZ is the simplest type of form there is and can be used when filing simple tax returns. Form 1040A primarily takes into consideration the income source of the taxpayer, as well as his or her credits, deductions, etc. If you are not eligible for Form 1040EZ and Form 1040A, your only option is to use Form 1040 in filing your tax return. However, any of the following circumstances must be true: that your taxable income amounts to at least $100,000 or more; that you are itemizing your deductions; that you received the amount of $20 or more in tips in any single month but did not employ such to your employer; that your form W-2, box12, shows a code A; that your form w-2, box12, shows some uncollected tax on group term life insurance or tips; that you are in debt on excise tax made on insider stock compensation from a corporation that has been expatriated; or that you are considered a debtor in a Chapter-11 bankruptcy case (filed after the date of October 16, 2005).

Different Tax Statuses

December 19th, 2008 -- Posted in Tax Form Questions | No Comments »

The only sure things in life are death and taxes, so the old adage says. Of the two, many would rather meet the first one than comply with the second one. This is because filing tax returns can be such a hassle, not to mention a burden on your finances. When you file tax returns, one of the things that need tax form assistance is your tax status. What status are you going to put on your tax form? You can file as single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or head of household. This article talks about the first three possible tax statuses.

Filing singly needs no long explanation. You can file as single if you are not married or considered not married for the entire duration of the year. If you have dependents who you can claim as exemptions, you may be qualified to file your tax return as head of household, which can lead to a lower tax. Filing as married is more complicated and needs further explanation. Basically, there are two types of married statuses available for your choosing. You can either file as married filing jointly or married filing separately. If you are married or can be considered married, you and your spouse may both agree on using the married filing jointly status. Compared to married filing separately, married filing jointly is a status that results in a lower tax. You and your spouse can be held responsible (separately or together as a couple) for the tax, as well as any penalty or interest due on your tax return. However, you and your spouse may also agree on using the married filing separately status. By doing so, you each file a separate return and report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. This usually leads to a higher combined tax.

How to e-file Tax Forms

December 18th, 2008 -- Posted in How to file Taxes | No Comments »

When it comes to filing tax forms, most people get so confused and distraught. They worry about not filing the right form, not filling out the forms correctly, not filing with the right government agency, not filing on time, and many other things. Some people choose not to file their tax forms at all because of the hassle that filing entails. When you file your tax forms, you usually have to go through a number of processes that can leave you perplexed and utterly tired. You have to stand in line for the longest time or deal with people who cannot give you the tax form assistance you are looking for.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through all that anymore. You don’t have to stress yourself out just because you decide to be a good citizen and file your tax forms. Now, the state rewards your patriotism and diligence by offering you a service that can provide extreme convenience: tax e-filing. As its name suggests, tax e-filing allows you to file your forms from the comforts of your home. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection, and voila! You can file your taxes via cyberspace within a matter of seconds.

In order to file your return, you must prepare it using a tax preparation program or software package. There are several tax preparation programs that cater to those inclined to DIY challenges and are easily available for your choosing. Some of these tax preparation programs come with a price, so be ready to purchase them online.  Or, if you wish, you can hire a professional to prepare your tax forms or return for you. Either way, you can be sure that with the tax e-filing system, you won’t need as much tax form assistance as before.

Who Qualifies as Head of Household?

December 17th, 2008 -- Posted in Tax Form Questions | 1 Comment »

Many people wish to file as head of household; filing as such typically results in a lower tax compared to filing singly or filing separately even though married. Not all taxpayers can file as head of household, of course. There are requirements to be satisfied. People seeking tax form assistance usually wonder what these requirements are and try to see if they can somehow become qualified as the head of their household.
If you are single or unmarried, you can file as head of household if you pay more than half of the cost needed to maintain a home, had a qualifying child or relative that lived with you in said home for more than half of the year, except when the qualifying relative is your parent, in which case he or she does not have to have lived with you for any period at all. If you are married, you can only file as head of household if you can somehow be considered unmarried, such as when all of the following circumstances prove true: that you and your spouse file separately; that you pay over fifty percent of the expenses needed to maintain your household; that your spouse did not – for at least the past six months of the year – live in the home; that your household is the principal home of a qualifying child or person; and that you have the option to claim an exemption for that qualifying child or person. If you meet these requirements, you can file as head of household and enjoy a lower tax.

Advantages of e-filing Tax Forms

December 16th, 2008 -- Posted in How to file Taxes | No Comments »

These days, technology provides us with hundreds upon hundreds of conveniences we get to enjoy every day of our lives. Through technology, tasks are completed much faster, time is used much wiser, and life has become no doubt easier. One of the many responsibilities that technology helps us accomplish without the hassles of the past is filing our tax returns.

Filing tax returns is one of the most troublesome obligations we have to comply with. Most people need tax form assistance every time they file their tax forms. Thankfully, there is now what we call as tax e-filing. Tax e-filing is one of the advantages given to us by the creation of the Internet over a decade ago. Nowadays, you have the option to just stay at home and avoid standing in long lines to file your tax returns and pay what is due the government. You can simply log on to a credited online service and file your tax returns via the worldwide web. You can even find tips on what, how, and where to file in the website empowered to accept e-filing transactions, so you don’t have to worry about not getting tax form assistance even when you’re using a computer instead of facing a real, live person.

Aside from being convenient, tax e-filing is also accurate. According to studies made by the IRS, this hi-tech system reduces errors on returns and the chances of receiving error notices. Tax e-filing also assures your privacy and security. You can select a five-digit PIN that will act as your electronic signature as you file your tax forms online. Plus, you won’t need much tax form assistance after the transaction because the IRS will immediately send you (we’re talking 48 hours after you e-file the necessary tax form) an electronic acknowledgment as proof of acceptance of your return.

Tax Form Assistance for Preparing Returns

December 15th, 2008 -- Posted in Help Filling Tax Forms | No Comments »

Filing tax returns seems like a complicated task. The truth is that it can be made easy through the help of tax form assistance. There are several options you can turn to if ever the thought of filing your tax returns feels overwhelmingly daunting.

Your first option is to prepare your tax return all on your own. These days, you can find many websites that offer information on what you need to do in order to file your tax returns without any difficulty. You won’t have any trouble looking for tax form assistance on the Internet. Plus, you can use a tried and tested tax software program to lend you a virtual helping hand. Tax software programs can make the preparations for filing tax returns a whole lot easier, and they can make you understand better each of the deductions and credits that you are eligible for. Moreover, with the use of a tax software program, you can conveniently e-file your taxes – that is, you can simply file tax returns online.

Another option is to hire a professional. You need to exercise caution in this endeavor and hire someone that is both qualified and credible. Ultimately, you are still the one responsible for filing your tax return and the IRS won’t put the blame on anyone else in case errors occur. Before signing your tax return, make sure to comprehend every entry and check if all the pieces of information included in your tax form are accurate. Moreover, sign only a finished tax return and have the professional sign it in your presence.