Financial Ducks In A Row Rotating Header Image

tax preparers

Looking for a tax preparer? IRS can help

Although there are literally tax preparers standing on the street corners (sometimes in ridiculous costumes), it can be tough to find a qualified income tax preparer near you. Of course, word of mouth is a good way to find a preparer, by way of your family or friends – but what if you still can’t find a qualified tax preparer that you can trust?  

Exploring free tax filing

Tax filing season is upon us! As you consider all of your options for filing your return this year, you might consider some of the exploring free tax filing for your return. Recently the IRS published their IRS Tax Tip 2015-06, which details information about two of the options for free tax filing that you might be able to take advantage of. The actual text of the Tip is below:  

Tax Time is Over. Maybe.

For most folks tomorrow marks the one week anniversary of filing their 2014 tax return. Not much needs to be done after they’ve filed except for deciding to have more withheld in 2014 for those folks who had to write a check to Uncle Sam or deciding what to do with the refund (hint: put it in an IRA) for those folks who got a refund. What happens when the return may have been submitted with mistakes or perhaps costly errors? Generally, if the error is minor the IRS will correct errors or accept returns without certain forms or schedules attached. For those returns that have a change in filing status, income, deductions, and credits then filing an amended return will most likely be appropriate. For those folks needing to file an amended return they are allowed to file using form 1040X. Form 1040X will allowing corrections to earlier filed […]

Watch out for scams at tax time

You’ve probably seen news reports about how identity theft is rampant around the time tax returns are being filed.  All sorts of nefarious schemes are out there, via the phone or email. The IRS recently published their Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-02, which details the warnings from the IRS about scams.  The full text of the Tip is below. IRS Warns of Tax-time Scams It’s true: tax scams proliferate during the income tax filing season.  This year’s season opens on Jan. 31.  The IRS provides the following scam warnings so you can protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim of these crimes: Be vigilant of any unexpected communication purportedly from the IRS at the start of tax season. Don’t fall for phone and phishing email scams tha use the IRS as a lure.  Thieves often pose as the IRS using a bogus refund scheme or warnings to pay past-due taxes. […]

Charitable Donations

This time of year many people find it in their hearts to give. They’ll give to friends, family, loved ones and charitable organizations that can help maximize the gift such as a church, charity, or foundation. Last week I had written about the law of reciprocity and giving, and this week I’d like to mention how you can make your giving work in favor when tax season rolls around. As of this writing there are about 11 days left in 2013. Some individuals will be looking to see how much they can give or how much more they can give in order to receive the biggest tax deduction they can for charitable giving. Of course, gifts to friends and family are not deductible, but there are times when gifts or donations are completely deductible and may be to the tax advantage of the person giving or donating the gift. According to […]

Knowing which tax form to file

When filing your own tax returns, it can be confusing to figure our which form you should use.  If you are using tax preparation software, most often this choice is made for you, but if you’re doing it the old-fashioned way, you need to know which form to file. The IRS recently issued Tax Tip 2013-04, which helps you to choose the correct form to file.  The actual text of the Tip follows (I’ve cleaned up a few formatting issues): Choosing Which Form to File IRS e-file makes it easy for taxpayers to choose which tax form to file.  Tax software automatically chooses the best form for your particular situation.  Most people e-file these days, but if you prefer taking pen to paper, the IRS has some tips to help you choose the right form. Taxpayers who choose to file a paper tax return should know that the IRS no […]

Choosing a Tax Preparer

It’s that time of year again – time to do your income taxes.  While lots of folks will opt for the “box”, using one of the many do-it-yourself options like TurboTax, Tax Cut and others, many folks will choose to go to a professional tax preparer to have their returns prepared. There are several types of professionals who are qualified to prepare your tax return: Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), attorneys, Enrolled Agents (EAs), and unenrolled tax preparers.  You’re likely familiar with CPAs and attorneys, so I won’t go into explaining them.  Enrolled Agents (EAs) are enrolled with the IRS and empowered to represent taxpayers before the IRS.  This type of professional must pass a rigorous series of exams to be enrolled, and then must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years to remain enrolled. CPAs, attorneys and EAs (as well as Enrolled Actuaries) are among a group known […]