Married Same Sex Couples Gain Equal Tax Benefits

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Married Same Sex Couples

Regardless of which state that they live in, all lawfully married gay couples can now file back taxes in the United States and can obtain the same tax benefits that married heterosexual couples receive. This means that whether a married gay couples lives in a state that recognizes gay marriage or one that does not, the marriage tax benefits applies nationally. This is because of the invalidation of an important part of the Defense of Marriage Act federal law of 1996 on June 26.

This act had previously recognized marriages only between a man and a woman. The invalidation of the act now provides for definiteness for gay couples that want to file back taxes and gives them access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax laws. The implication of this ruling is that same sex couples in states that do not recognize same sex might move to states such as New York where same sex marriage is legally permitted.

The ability of gay couples to file back taxes goes back to the 2010, 2011 and 2012 tax years and such couples can seek tax refunds by filling amended tax returns. Filling tax returns will change their tax status because couples can choose to file taxes as married filing jointly or married filing separately. But the change is also both positive and negative because it has benefits as well as penalties.

The positive side of the ruling is that spouses that are legally married will be exempted from federal state tax. A gay couple that is in a certain income bracket may get charged with the marriage penalty tax that heterosexual couples are usually faced with. Same sex couples will receive the file back taxes benefits as long as they are married without regard to where they reside.

Intuit TurboTax Class Action Lawsuit

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Intuit TurboTax Class Action Lawsuit

Intuit TurboTax began drawing a lot of customers to their site when they began marketing, ‘file 2008 taxes free‘. However, a class action lawsuit was filed against Intuit TurboTax stating that the company was not revealing fees being charged. The lawsuit stems from TurboTax allowing filers to have their preparation fees deducted from their tax return. TurboTax charged an additional $29.95 if online customers opted to have fees deducted.

Class Action (film)
Class Action (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lawsuit alleges Intuit’s processing fee was not disclosed as a finance charge so an APR or annual percentage rate was never provided. Since TurboTax essentially lent money to filers who chose this option, an APR should have been present. There was another class action lawsuit, Smith v. Intuit, Inc in February, 2013, which was resolved with the new lawsuit pending.

Intuit has denied that it was involved in any deception or wrongdoing and agreed to give customers full refunds through the class action settlement fund.

Currently there is a $6.55 million Settlement Fund. How much each person will receive depends on the number of people who actually file a valid claim form. The deadline to submit a claim form is October 28, 2013.

Anyone who used TurboTax online and opted to have their TurboTax fees deducted from their refund between January 12, 2008 and May 28, 2012 can take part in the settlement. Claims can be filed online at the official website, TurboTax Class Account, which makes the process easier for anyone wishing to file.

Intuit TurboTax is a very popular online software tax preparation that walks people through the process of filing their federal and state income taxes. They check the return for errors and you have the choice to e-file, which makes getting refunds faster.

Handling IRS Notices For 2017

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Handling IRS Notices For 2013

Once you file your taxes, they are in the hands of professionals at the IRS. If you get IRS notices for 2013, you will need to take action immediately to avoid any penalties for ignoring the government’s request for further information or payment. Typically, IRS notices arrive after the tax year has passed and taxes have been filed. However, you may also hear from the IRS in advance of a tax year, especially if taxes you have recently filed will impact what you owe or receive as a refund in the 2013 tax year.

If you receive IRS notices for 2013, don’t panic. It’s quite possibly you are simply being asked for some additional information. Take your notice to your accountant or tax professional if you have one. If you prefer to do your own taxes and you use a system such as TurboTax, you may need to file your notice until it is time to do your 2013 taxes. Put it in a place that you keep all of your tax documents so you remember it at tax time.

The IRS will always offer to help you when you receive a notice from them. Look for a contact phone number on the notification and if you do not understand what you are being asked to do, call a representative and talk about your case. Sometimes, the IRS will notice a correction that needs to be made to your taxes, which will affect the refund or the amount owed. Whatever you do, don’t ignore notices from the IRS. They will not go away.

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – April 15, 2013

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Welcome to the April 15, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this final edition for the 2013 tax season we have a number of good articles beginning with one from John Schmoll on last minute tax deductions for those that still need to file. Bill Smith has a post on the popularity of Turbo Tax for online tax filing. And if you are wondering the status of your tax refund since you have already filed and not seen a check from the IRS in the mailbox, KC Beavers covers finding the status of your refund in a great piece. Hope all the articles are helpful, make sure to bookmark, like on Facebook, tweet, and come back for additional tax information throughout the year.

deductions

John Schmoll presents Looking For Last Minute Tax Deductions? Try Making a Ringtone About Yourself! posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “It’s the end of tax season and people that are waiting til the last minute are commonly looking for deductions to take. Here’s a look at some of the crazy ones celebrities have tried to get past the IRS.”

Tax Day, New York City
Tax Day, New York City (Photo credit: @superamit)

filing

Bill Smith presents Checking Your Tax Refund Status After Using TurboTax 2013 posted at 2010Taxes, saying, “After filing your taxes with TurboTax 2013, you’ll immediately begin wondering about the status of your refund.”

Bill Smith presents United Way Offers Free Tax Preparation To Qualified Earners posted at 2012 Tax – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “It is that time of year again; time to get out your tax documents, records, and W2s and do your taxes.”

Bill Smith presents The Benefits Of Using TurboTax 2013 To File Your Taxes posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “If you have never used Turbo Tax before, you need to consider filing your taxes with this computer program this year.”

Bill Smith presents Top Tax Scams To Avoid With Turbo Tax 2013 posted at 2014 Taxes, saying, “Using Turbo Tax 2013 is a good way to avoid tax scams in the first place, seeing as how you can e-file your paperwork with confidence that it will go directly to the IRS.”

taxes

KC Beavers presents Where Is My Tax Refund? posted at Generation X Finance, saying, “So your taxes should be done and filed by now. Now one of the most common questions we ask is where is my refund?”

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Continues To Grow In Popularity posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, “Millions of people utilize TurboTax in order to file their income taxes annually. In fact, Intuit recently reported that sales for its products have increased since last year.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Most Taxpayers Don’t Cheat

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Most Taxpayers Don’t Cheat

Paying taxes is required for both citizens and non-citizens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are racing to get your taxes done by the April 15 deadline, you are not alone. Millions of Americans will file their taxes this year, and more than ever will file taxes online. One of the most common misconceptions about tax filing is that everyone cheats on their taxes. Studies have shown, however, that the majority of Americans are against cheating on taxes.

Who Cheats on Taxes?

Surprisingly few people cheat on their taxes. Aside from the big news stories about wealthy real estate magnates evading taxes, it is rare to hear about tax cheating. With a variety of deductions and credits that reduce the average tax bill, most people don’t see the advantage of cheating on their taxes.

According to a poll conducted by the IRS, the majority of Americans agree that cheating on your taxes is never okay. Only a small percentage of taxpayers surveyed said that they regularly cheat on their taxes. The IRS depends on the self-reporting of taxpayers to uphold the integrity of the tax system. They report that only 1% of taxpayers are ever subject to an IRS audit.

With safeguards in place to prevent dishonesty, it is difficult to cheat on your taxes. When you receive tax forms such as interest income forms from your bank, the IRS also receives a copy of that information. Banks, employers and other financial institutions are required to report this income to the IRS at the end of the tax year.

Software like Turbo Taxes has checks and balances in place to ensure that all of the information you input is factual and correct. The software will even allow you to go back and check past returns for errors.

Filing Your Taxes Online

Filing your taxes online with Turbo Taxes is easy. With a team of tax preparation experts at your disposal, you can be sure that your taxes will be filed correctly every time. When you file your tax return online, it is electronically submitted to the IRS for immediate processing. You will be notified of the status of your return within a few days.

Get the refund you deserve when you file your taxes online. Although most taxpayers will never face an audit, you can be assured that you have support should the IRS need more information from you. With audit protection, you never have to worry about facing an IRS audit alone.

Don’t let the April 15 tax filing deadline creep up on you. File your taxes today.

87% say it’s never okay to cheat on taxes

 

Higher Mortgage Rates?

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Higher Mortgage Rates In 2013?

The news that renters and home buyers do not want to hear is that 2013 will almost certainly see higher housing costs, higher rents and various mortgage fees.

This year also sees the introduction of several new mortgage regulations, and anyone applying for a mortgage will potentially be affected by these.

English: Sign of the times - Foreclosure
English: Sign of the times – Foreclosure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you apply for a FHA mortgage and have a lower down payment, you will have higher rates for your mortgage insurance.

In an ongoing effort to add to its reserves, the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) has implemented various raises to insurance premium costs since 2008, and analysts seem to think that trend will continue. One such increase will be a 0.1 percent increase in the yearly insurance premium that is added to the monthly mortgage payment of borrowers. Currently, the charge for FHA borrowers is about 1.25 percent.

Janneke Ratcliffe of UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina points out that once rates rise, this seemingly small increase will be noticeable.

Rental prices are rising due to a poor job market, a high number of foreclosures and tight mortgage lending, and in addition, the supply of rentals is low in many areas. Real estate firm Reis pointed out that in the 4th quarter of 2012, apartment vacancies stood at 4.5 percent, an 11 year low.

Whereas earlier refinancing options have not worked effectively, President Obama is likely to push for more effective legislation to help owners with an ‘underwater’ property, predict some analysts, including Julia Gordon of the Center for American Progress.

Consumers could be affected for better or worse when a series of new mortgage regulations are introduced early this year. One of the most important is a rule stipulating that a borrower must prove to a lender that they are financially able to pay back the loan.

Mortgage rates usually go up when investors move from Treasury bonds and mortgages to stocks, and this week was no exception. A 30 year fixed mortgage increased to 3.77 percent, while a 15 year fixed increased to 3.03 percent and a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage increased to 2.78 percent.