Federal Tax Filing

There are 10 new Tax Savings for 2009 Form 1040

The section in Thomas Hogan Law Office’s Tax Center about filing for your federal taxes has two sections which include the overview guide to the process of federal tax filing and information regarding issues that are related to tax filing.

For your information, select from the two links below.

Guide to filing your federal taxes- the information in this section contains how to select the right form, where to file for your tax return and a step by step guide to file your tax.

Useful information for filing your federal taxes– Important tips regarding itemizing, deduction and also getting extension to file for your return.

Form 1040 on Ten New Tax Savings on 2009

According to Bob D. Scharin who is a senior tax analyst from the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, the pay off for getting new tax breaks is enough on the 2009 version of the Form 1040. He also noted that you will miss on your tax savings if you use the last year’s return as the template of your income tax return form for this year’s filing.

However, it is important that you remember that the new tax break always comes with the income limitations for legibility and the mid-year date thus it is important that you read the find print first and not rely on what is true in the past because it does not necessarily be true for this tax year.

Thus here is a list of 10 new provisions that are available for taxpayers for this year’s tax season:

Sales tax on motor vehicles. If you purchase a motor vehicle from February 17 to December 31 of 2009, then the tax that you paid is deductible. The deduction, however, is only limited to the tax that is around $49,500 of the vehicle’s original price from when it was purchased and that the deduction is phased out if the taxpayer has a gross income of $125,000 to $135,000 individually.

Credit for homebuyers. First time homebuyers are given a refundable tax credit of about 10% of the purchase price of the property. The credit maximum that is given is only $8,000.On the other hand, for homes that are bought after the 6th of November 2009, a first time homebuyer is defined as those who have purchased homes for the last 8 years or so. The maximum credit that will be given for purchases made no later than November 7, 2009 s $75,000 to $95,000 while the phase out of $125,000 to $145,000 is given to properties purchased after November 6, 2009. The change in the phase out suggests that timing counts and that the date in 2009 determines whether your income can let you qualify for a credit

Tax credit on college expenses. More families now can qualify for the Hope Scholarship credit in 2009 thanks to the higher income limitations as well as the student eligibility. In fact, the tax credit has been expanded now and in that the credit has been maxed up to $2,5000 from $1,800 while the credit that is allowed for the first four years has increased from $80,000 to $90,000 for individual filers but is larger for joint filers.

Credit for work pay. When it comes to work pay credit, the withholding tax decreased by up to $400. The thing here is that employers are the ones who should shoulder the adjustment of the withholding tax but the employees still need to claim the tax credit so that they can get the refund. However, some taxpayers are not legible for this particular type of credit and this can arise if their income is $75,000 to $95,000 yearly.

Compensation for the unemployed. About $2,400 unemployment compensation is handed out in 2009. This particular benefit is not included in the calculated adjusted gross income (AGI) and this benefit can also help you to become qualified for tax benefits that are restricted by AGI.

Credit from child tax. The tax credit for having children under the age of 17 still remains at $1,000. However, the refundable portion of this credit has increased to about 15% of the income about $3,000. The effect of this provision is that families who earn low incomes can receive large refunds and that is good news to a lot of families these days.

Energy tax credit. If you make energy efficient structures for you home, then you can claim about $1,500 credit. This credit is usually calculated as the 30% of the price of the energy-saving improvement that you have done for your home. Such energy-saving structures installed for your home includes water heaters, boilers and also insulated walls. However, these structures should be assessed first if they follow the energy efficient standards before the credit will be given to you.

The standard deduction. For joint filers, the standard deduction is $11,400 while other standard deductions are given to heads f household ($8,350) and other filers at $5,700. The standard deductions usually increase yearly. A lot of taxpayers can claim additional standard deductions by purchasing motor vehicles and also properties.

Exemption from AMT. AMT, which stands for alternative minimum tax is similar to the standard deduction in computing the AMT liability. This exemption has increased to about $70,950 for joint taxpayers while $46,700 is given to unmarried people.

Threshold fro Kiddie tax. The kiddie tax is a tax excess investment income of teens under the age of 19 with respect to the parent’s highest tax rate. In 2009, the threshold is $1,900 which is higher than in 2008.

Preparing for your tax return is a very meticulous tasks thus there are people who want to take the easy way out. However, it is important that you consider and look into the tax breaks that you are legible for so that you will be able to get the necessary tax deductions that you are entitled to get.

A Guide To Filing Your Federal Taxes

At Thomas Hogan Law Office’s, you will be given a guide on how to file fore you federal taxes for 2009. Below are some important information that can help you on how to file for your federal taxes easily.

  • Should you file or not? (IRS)
  • Is there a need for you to file? (IRS)
  • Knowing My Filing Status
  • The forms I need to use (IRS)
  • Finding a publication or Tax Form
  • Do I need My Return to be written on Paper? (IRS)
  • The individual’s E-file Options (IRS)
  • Qualifying for “Free File”? (IRS)
  • Is there a due date for filing? (IRS)
  • How to get a time extension for filing (IRS)
  • Making an Income Tax Return
  • Tax Tips for 2009 (IRS)
  • Where Do I File For The Return?
  • Before Mailing Your Tax Forms to IRS, here is a checklist
  • What Next after filing? (IRS)
  • What If I made a mistake in my forms?

See also:
Top Ten FAQs for filing taxes

Knowing My Filing Status?

In most cases, your marital status on the last day of the year usually determines what your status is for the entire tax year. This means that if you are unmarried of if you are separated legally from your partner through divorce for this year, then you do not need to get another filing status as you can make your filing status single.

For those who are qualified to become the head of the household, your status should be unmarried thus you are not allowed to file as a widower or someone who has a dependent. To file for this status, you also need to provide documentation that you contribute more than half when it comes to the maintenance of your home and family. On the other hand, you can also qualify as the head of the household if you are married or if your partner has not lived with your for half the tax year.

For married couples, both you and your partner can file either a joint return or separate returns depending on your preference.
Now if your partner died in the current tax year and you did not consider remarrying by the end of the year, you can still file for a joint return but this will be the last year that you will be able to file for a joint return with a dead partner.

If you became a widow for the last two years, then you are qualified to file as a widower but you have to be able to meet all of the requirements like:

  • You filed for a joint return with your partner before he or she died.;
  • You do not remarry before the current tax year ends;
  • You have dependents such as a child, foster child or a stepchild;
  • You paid more than your late partner when it comes to keeping up a home.

For more details, you can check on the filing status that is found in the Publication 501 of the IRS which is the Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

Making An Income Tax Return

The texts and the links provided below demonstrate how you can fill your tax return and also report your expenses. This also explains how you will be able to complete the IRS forms that will be sent out to you through mail such as the Form 1040, Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ. Before filling out the forms, read the instructors well.

Here are the steps when it comes to completing your income tax return:
1. Get all the records for your yearly income and expenses.
2. Get the necessary forms, publication and schedule you need to complete the return.
3. Complete the form of your income tax return.
4. Check the information of your return and verify its truthfulness.
5. Sign the return.
6. Include all the forms and schedules needed to file for the return.
7. Click on the links below so that you will be able to learn about how to file for your income tax return. These links will lead you to the site of IRS.

2008 Tax Tips

  • When To Report My Income and Expenses?
  • How To Enter Your Social Security Number
  • Necessary Contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund
  • How To Compute and Enter Numbers on Your Return
  • Schedules and Forms Required to Your Return
  • How To Sign Your Return
  • Paid Preparers
  • How To Get a Refund
  • What To Do If You Have Debts
  • Where Do I File For The Return?

Once you have completed your return, the next thing that you should do is to send it to the IRS through email or post mail.
How To Mail Your Return

When you got your tax forms package a few months earlier, it should contain and addressed envelope. Use that envelope to mail your return to the IRS.

On the hand, if your tax form package does not come with the envelope or if you have changed location within a year, click on the link to get useful information on where to mail your return:

  • Where to File for Individual Taxpayers by State
  • List of States – Where to File For Tax Returns
  • Addresses Listed by Return Type: Where to File Tax Returns
  • Where to File for Tax Professionals by State

Electronic Filing Of Your Tax Returns

You can also file for your tax return by using the IRS e-file which is the electronic filing of the agency. There are about 68 million taxpayers who use this system in the current year. For information, click on Is It Necessary To File A Paper Return?

Before Mailing Your Tax Forms To IRS, Here is a Checklist

As soon as you have completely filled in all of your tax forms, the next thing do is to review your information before you mail your tax return forms. Use this checklist to help you verify your income tax return.
Answer Yes/No
____ Are all of your calculations accurate?
____ Are the B copies of your form W-2s already attached?
____ Are the necessary forms and schedules already attached?
____ Are the social security numbers accurate and legible?
____ Do the social security numbers you put in match with their corresponding names?
____ Is the return duly signed and dated?
____ Do the forms have appropriate names and social security numbers?
____ Have you left anything in the form that needs to be filled in?
____ Did you or your computer program update your information?
____ Did you use the right figure from the tax table?
____ Does your check balances with the amount due on your return?
____ Do you have the right amount of postage on the envelope that you will use to mail your return?
____ Did you provide a complete return address?
____ Did you issue a check made payable to the Internal Revenue Service (and not simply use the abbreviation of the agency which is IRS)?
____ Did you provide your social security number, daytime telephone number, tax form number, and tax year on your check?
____ Are you using the correct address to send your tax return?
____ Did you produce copies of your files?

What If I Made a Mistake in My Forms?

Errors can always happen when you file for your income tax return and these will postpone the refund indefinitely. Thus if you discovered that you have made an honest mistake while filing for your return, you need to file and amended return to claim your refund.

Here are some of the things that you need to know about claims of refund and Amended Returns
You need to correct the return if you have discovered that:

– You failed to report some of your income,
– You have claimed deductions that you shouldn’t have done,
– You have not claimed deductions that you should have, or
– You should have used another filingclass. (For instance, once you have filed for a joint return, you cannot file for separate returns. However, you can only do this if you become a widow during the same tax year.

The Form 1040X

An amended tax return can no longer be filed under the e-file system. Instead, use the Form 1040 to correct the return that you have filed.

How to complete the Form 1040X. On the said form, write your deductions, credits and income as you reported on the first return that you made. Moreover, fill out the necessary changes that you have made then calculate the tax based on the checked amount that you entered.

On the other hand, if you owe tax, then pay the entire amount and also fill in the Form 1040X. The tax that you owe won’t be deducted from the amount that you was credited to the estimated tax that you have.

If you were not able to pay the total cost of your return, then asking for a monthly installment plant is your best option.
Now if you have paid more than what you should, then you can ask for a refund or just apply part of it to your estimated tax. If you opt for a refund, then the amount will be remitted independently from the refund that you will get from the original return.

Filing the Form 1040X. As soon as you complete filling in your Form 1040X, make sure that you check all of the information in the form. If you have made any changes, then make sure that you will be able to explain these changes. Moreover, make sure that you attaché the necessary forms and schedules that are needed to support your changes. You can then mail the form to the Internal Revenue Service Centers near you.

Top Ten FAQs for Filing Taxes

You can avoid running into problems with IRS if you know the answers to these ten questions related to filing taxes.

What’s Below:
– What is The length of time that I should store my tax papers?
– What is the length of time that I should be worried regarding my unfiled tax returns?
– Is there still a need to file my return even if I cannot shell out for my taxes?
– Can I get an extension for paying my taxes without getting any penalties and interest?
– My state gives an amnesty period for non-filers. Is this possible with IRS?
– Who can access my IRS file?
– Does IRS gives a prize for whistle blowing tax evaders?
– What to do if I do not get my reimbursement?
– If I incorrectly remitted a reimbursement, will the IRS want it back?
– You do not have to shell out for income taxes: Is it legitimate?
– What is the length of time that I should store my tax papers?
– You can keep your tax papers for three to six years after you have filed your income tax return the fact that the IRS can still asses you for six years if they think that you are doing something illegal. Thus for the purpose of documentation, it is important that you keep records for the last six years upon filing the return.

What is the length of time that I should be worried regarding my unfiled tax returns?

The government usually has six years before a non-filed return will be considered as a criminal offense. However, if you do not file, then you will have a lot of obligations particularly during the times when you did not oblige yourself to pay for your tax return.
However, do not over worry about a return that has not been filed for more than six years especially if the IRS does not contact you. The thing here is that the IRS do not go after non filers after six years of failing to pay taxes.

Is there still a need to file my return even if I cannot shell out for my taxes?

Even if you cannot pay your taxes, you are obliged to file your return as this puts you away from the likelihood of being charged with a criminal offense. However, this still does not save you from the IRS since you will be consequently be visited by the IRS collector thus try to find ways to also pay your tax as soon as you file them.

Can I get an extension for paying my taxes without getting any penalties and interest?

If you file for an extension, then you are automatically obliged to pay penalties and interests especially if you exceed on the extension date. But if you are incapacitated to pay for your tax, then you can fill in the IRS Form 1127 to plead for hardship but the IRS will require you for collateral which is not a good idea for most taxpayers but nevertheless this particular option is perfect for requesting extension for estate taxes. See Filing and Paying Taxes Late for more information

My state gives an amnesty period for non-filers. Is this possible with IRS?

The IRS doe not give out tax amnesty legislation thus non filers are always prosecuted criminally or fined. This prevents people from abusing the government for filing one amnesty over the other just to be saved from paying income tax.

Who can access my IRS file?

The IRS files can be shared with state agencies thus your information are not solely viewed by the IRS. Moreover, there has been a lot of leakage on the site of the IRS which allows hackers to view the private files of the tax payers. In these cases, anyone caught viewing the IRS files illegally are charged with criminal offense or will be fired if they are IRS personnel.

Does IRS gives prizes for whistle blowing tax evaders?

The IRS gives rewards to those who can turn in tax evaders. The agency pays 8% of the $100,000 prize money. The identities of the informants are kept from the public. However, tax evaders usually know who turned them in such as ex partners and disgruntled business partners.

Recently, the IRS paid a total of $1.5 million to informants and about $72 million were collected. If you want to turn in tax evaders, you can submit the IRS Form 211 but you will never know how the IRS conducts its investigations.

What to do if I don’t get my reimbursement?

If you haven’t filed for your tax return for at least 8 weeks ago, then you can call tax refund hotline number (800-829-4477) of the IRS which is open from 7:00am to 11:30pm from Mondays to Friday. Moreover, you can also call the 24-hour assistance at 800-829-1040.

If you have filed on or before the 15th of April and still you haven’t received your refund after the 31st of May, then the IRS is entitled to give you interest.

However, if you did not get any refund at all, then here are some situations that intercepted you from getting one:
– You owe state or federal taxes
– You are a student with a loan
– You were not able to provide child support
– You were not able to pay for public benefit plans like Social Security, VA and HUD
– With these situations, you will be notified but IRS rarely gives out notifications.

If I incorrectly sent a refund, will the IRS want it back?

The manual for the Internal Revenue states that the taxpayers are not liable for getting interest upon getting an erroneous refund if proven that the IRS is really at fault and if the taxpayer will repay it but if the taxpayer cannot repay, then the IRS will really charge interest to the tax payer.

You don’t have to pay income taxes

Except children, nobody is exempted to file income tax return. If you don’t, then you will be facing criminal charges so it will be too risky to involve yourself in activities that will make you avoid from paying your tax return. Thus never believe in “tax experts” telling you that there are ways on how you can avoid paying your income taxes.

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