Tuesday, February 27, 2007

IRS Urges Taxpayers To Check Returns

Last week the IRS released statistics on the tax returns that they have received this tax season, and many people are not claiming the phone tax refund. Out of the thirty million tax returns that were filed before February 16th nearly 10 million did not claim the refund. Even more shocking, nearly half of the returns were prepared by a tax preparation office. The IRS is now encouraging taxpayers to check their returns to make sure they are aware of the one time phone tax refund, even if a tax preparation company prepared it. For more details on claiming your phone tax refund visit the IRS’s official site.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

US House Passes Minimum Wage Tax Breaks

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved small business tax breaks to be attached to the new minimum wage bill in a 360-45 vote on Friday. The House tax breaks include over 1.8 billion dollars in tax cuts compared to 8.3 billion the Senate approved on a similar minimum wage bill. Although House Democrats had originally hoped to pass the minimum wage bill without any associated tax breaks, it saw problems in the Senate where it was feared the bill would not receive any necessary Republican votes without including small business tax breaks. According to Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus it should take two or three weeks for House and Senate negotiators to reconcile the two variations into one bill. Source: Yahoo News.

Common Tax Questions Answered

The Plain Dealer at Cleaveland.com has compiled a list of the most common tax and IRS questions with answers from Mary Vanac. Some topics include common tax return errors, important tax deductions, help on getting a refund, amended returns, new tax laws, and more. Click here to read the full article.

Friday, February 16, 2007

IRS Cracking Down On Abusive Tax Returns

Over the past week the IRS has been sending out IRS criminal investigators to tax preparation offices in seven major cities. The raids are part of the IRS’s crack down on tax preparation companies claiming thousands of dollars in phone tax refunds for clients who should only be getting $30 - $60 phone tax refunds. Investigators served search warrants for offices in Atlanta, GA; Dallas, Tyler, and Athens, TX; Riverside, California; Miami, Fla.; and New Orleans, LA. IRS agents have been temporarily closing businesses, and seizing computers and documents for evidence. The IRS is advising every one to stay away from tax preparers who make exaggerated claims about phone tax refunds. For more information check out the IRS’s website, or Yahoo News.

IRS Reached 2.3 Billion Dollar Agreement

On Valentines day the IRS announced they had reached a 2.3 billion dollar deal to resolve several tax disputes with Merck & Co., Inc. and its subsidiaries. Among the issues resolved were a few issues that resulted from the company’s use of minority equity interest financing transactions. The 2.3 billion dollar payment to the United States federal government is said to resolve the tax issues for the tax years 1993-2001. Although the settlement is one of the largest in IRS history, it is 40% below the $3.8 billion the IRS originally said it was seeking in November. Source: MarketWatch.com.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Deciding Whether or Not To Itemize

Each year during tax season there is one decision every taxpayer has to make, whether or not to itemize deductions on your tax return. Deciding to itemize depends mostly on how much you spent on certain deductible expenses last year including medical expenses, mortgage interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions, etc. You should itemize if the amount you spent on those expenses is higher than the standard deduction amount according to the IRS. For more help deciding if you should itemize or not check out this article.

Energy Savings = Tax Savings

If you have made recent upgrades to your house then you may qualify for additional tax credits. There are many different home improvements that qualify for the energy credits including insulation, water heaters, air conditioners, fans, furnaces, skylights, windows, doors, solar panels, and certain roofs. The credit is usually around ten percent of the cost, but can vary depending on the type of upgrades. Keep in mind that only home improvements that reduce a home’s "heat loss or gain" are eligible for the credit. Thus, the credit may not apply to common household appliances such as dishwashers or refrigerators even if they bear the Energy Star label. For more details on getting an energy credit, visit DailyNews.com.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

IRS To Prevent Telephone Tax Refund Abuse

In reaction to some tax preparers improperly claiming thousands of dollars in phone tax refunds the IRS has started a campaign to curb this abuse. According to the IRS’s website, they are finding instances of tax preparers claiming thousands of dollars in phone tax refunds, when their clients are only entitled to a fraction of that amount. In many cases the refunds appear to be for the entire amount of the taxpayer’s phone bill, rather than just the three-percent tax. To combat this the IRS is sending agents on special site visits to some tax preparation offices and will not process tax returns for taxpayers that claime more in phone tax refunds than they are entitled to claim. To get help with properly claiming this on your tax return, visit the IRS’s Telephone Excise Tax Refund page.

Top 5 Tax Audit Red Flags

CNN has compiled a list of the top five red flags in tax returns that might cause you to get audited. Included in the list is making too much money, giving too much to charity, taking too many credits, making careless errors, and failing to submit an alternative minimum tax schedule (if your earnings qualify). For more details on each of the five red flags, check out CNN.com.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

IRS Issues Advice For Non Efilers

The IRS has begun processing the tax returns that claim the tax provisions enacted in December and is urging people who cite these deductions to not file using standard paper forms. These provisions include: State and Local General Sales Tax Deduction, Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction, and Educator Expense Adjustment to Income. The changes were made too late to appear on hard copy forms, so if you are going to claim these deductions then you will need to follow the IRS’s detailed instructions by clicking here.

Getting A Tax Refund For Driving

There are numerous different ways to get a tax refund from driving in your car. Although you cannot deduct expenses for your regular commute to work there are some other deductions that may be of value to many people. The tax laws regarding driving deductions are somewhat complicated, but USNews.com has an article detailing how to easily claim driving related deductions on your tax returns. Some of the deductions include driving to get medical care, driving to volunteer for a charity, and driving to relocate for a new job. For a full explanation of the driving related deductions, check out USNews.com

Monday, February 05, 2007

Looking for that 1099? Some 1099 Forms Will Arrive Late

At least five major brokerage houses, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia Securities, Edward Jones and Raymond James, are delaying the mailing out at least some 1099 forms. They have received a month long extension from the IRS, and hope the extra time will avoid errors created by recent tax law changes. Two other brokerage houses, Fidelity and A.G. Edwards, plan to mail the forms out on time, but warn that some will need corrections. For more information visit USAtoday.com.

Many Early Filers Are Missing Out On the Phone Tax Refund

According to the IRS more than a third of taxpayers filing their returns early are not claiming the onetime phone tax refund that they are entitled to claim. A basic phone tax refund does not need any documentation and entitles taxpayers to a refund of at least $30, depending on the number of number of exemptions one claims. If you need more help to claim your phone tax refund, the IRS has set up a page with tips and advice that you can visit by clicking here.

Roni Deutch Tax Center Grand Opening Press Release

"It was fun for the whole family at the grand opening of the first Roni Deutch Tax Center on January 27 in Fair Oaks, CA. The company celebrated with free food and drinks, thousands of dollars in free gift cards and prize giveaways. Founder and president, Roni Deutch, spoke on the exciting plans of the company. "

Yahoo: Family Fun at the Grand Opening of First Roni Deutch Tax Center

PRweb: Family Fun at the Grand Opening of First Roni Deutch Tax Center

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