On April 18th, restaurants will be offering tax day deals, discounts and freebies in an effort to get their share of the more than $330 billion in tax refunds that are being issued to taxpayers by the IRS. Following is a summary of some of the deals to be found across the U.S.
In honor of the form taxpayers complete, you can get a half-chicken meal for $10.40 rather than the regular $11.77 at Boston Market. Visit the website for Outback Steakhouse, and print out a 15% off coupon which can be redeemed on April 18th. Or, get the coupon on Outback’s mobile app.
At Miami’s Trump National Doral resort or the BLT Prime in Charlotte, New York, Waikiki, White Plains, or Washington, D.C., you can get drinks for half price on April 18th.
At Schlotzky’s, enjoy a free small Original sandwich with the purchase of a 32 oz. drink and a bag of chips. Also, you can get prizes by uploading a pic of your sandwich to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #TaxDayBites.
For tax day deals featuring discounted burgers, some McDonald’s locations in Dayton and Cincinnati are offering a buy a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder at regular price and get another for just 18 cents. In Toledo, the offer applies to Quarter Pounders. Sonic Drive-in will offer a single-patty cheeseburger at half price. And, at participating Hard Rock Cafe‘s, those 18 and over can karaoke outside the restaurant and get a free Legendary Burger, which is regularly priced at $17.95.
Taxpayers Warned: Watch Out for Fake TurboTax Emails
If you received an email telling you that TurboTax Online is no longer available, they you received a scam email. Similar scams tell you your account has been deactivated due to inactivity, or suggest your refund money is being rejected by your bank. These kinds of phishing scams are posted on the Online Security Center at Intuit.
Phishing sites like these are trying to get you to click a link to a fake website where you are asked for personal and bank account information. Don’t click on these kinds of links or you are likely to fall victim of a phishing scam.
Intuit spokesperson Julie Miller says, “We take customer privacy and security very seriously. Tax season brings out a lot of these kinds of phishing scams like the TurboTax emails. We post all the information we get about these scams onto our security center page and urge customers not to open suspicious emails.”
Intuit offers this advice if you are receiving scam TurboTax emails:
* Do not open any attachments sent with the email.
* Do not forward the TurboTax emails to anyone else, except,
* Sent a copy to [email protected]
* Delete the TurboTax emails from your email inbox.
* Subscribe to a good quality anti-virus application and keep it updated.
* Install the latest patches and releases for your operating system on your computer.
* Never reply to any email asking for account numbers, credit card information, bank accounts, or passwords to any accounts.
* Intuit does not send out any software updates via email. Do not open attachments claiming to be an update.
* Ignore any text or voice mail messages requesting you to call and give your account number or PIN.
* Make sure you have strong passwords on all of your files and computers.
When people look for online tax preparers, they need to consider various factors. Choosing the right tax software option is vital to maximizing a tax refund after all. Therefore, individuals must focus and search for their best tax preparation solution. Each person is going to require something slightly different from their online tax prep service.
TurboTax 2013 from last year provided ample safety measures. Unfortunately, not all preparation services take safety seriously enough. The last thing a person wants to do is lose their personal information. Others have become victims of identity theft and lost their returns. The best tax prep options implement strict safety protocols today.
Tax refund theft continues to grow at an alarming pace. More taxpayers find themselves victims each tax filing year. While tax prep companies try to combat this fraud, cases will slip through the cracks. By choosing the safest option, taxpayers can minimize their risk of becoming a victim.
These days, people tend to prize convenience and efficiency over other factors. It’s important to check out a tax service’s extra features. Turbo Tax 2013 was prized for its variety of useful features. Typically, such features aren’t core to the tax filing experience. They do, however, provide certain taxpayers with extra tools that can be used for various purposes.
In the end, consumers must consider price and a handful of other factors, too. TurboTax is often considered the best tax preparation software available today. Anecdotal and usage figures seem to support the validity of this idea. Still, each taxpayer needs to find the tax preparation service that’s right for themselves.
Researchers have unveiled an ignorance on the part of the American public: a full 48 percent of people in the United States do not know that they must report their health insurance status on their 2014 federal income tax returns.
The tax-filing season is soon on its way, and most Americans 18 and over do not realize that health care and income taxes are connected. This information was uncovered by an online Intuit TurboTax Health Survey which was conducted by the well-known Harris Poll group.
According to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise dubbed “Obamacare,” all Americans have to show that they have qualifying health insurance coverage. Proof has to be presented when they file their 2014 income tax returns. If they do not, they can face a penalty.
The study also shows that many Americans who do not have health insurance–a full 62 percent of them–know that they will incur a penalty if they do not have health insurance. However, 87 percent of people do not know that the time to avoid a tax penalty for the year 2014 has already come and gone. Insurance purchased during the current open enrollment time which goes through February 15th will be applied to income tax returns which are filed in 2016.
Sacha Adam, Affordable Care Act product leader for TurboTaxsoftware, says that many people in the United States do not understand there is a correlation between income taxes and health care insurance.
The Intuit survey also showed that 9 of 10 Americans have insurance, but those living in the South are less likely to have policies. Also, almost half of Americans do not know that premium tax credits are available to make health insurance more affordable for low to moderate income families. In addition, three-quarters of Americans who got health insurance through the government marketplace will renew it next year.
For more information on this important issue, go to TurboTaxHealth.com.
Tax preparers who voluntarily enroll in continuing education courses covering basic tax filings, tax updates, ethic of tax preparation and other related issues will now receive a record of completion noting their efforts. The purpose of the IRS program is to help taxpayers find qualified individuals to prepare tax returns and to help them avoid unethical practices. A study indicating that 42 million Americans have used a tax preparer with no credentials and who operates under no state regulations or minimum standards is the impetus for this program. That figure represents about 54 percent of all returns prepared by someone other than the tax filer.
In a letter supporting the program, H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb encourage the United States government to continue promoting voluntary certification actions, indicating that his company believes the U.S Congress should set standards for professional tax preparers. Until Congress passes such legislation, however, Cobb believes a voluntary certification program is essential to protect the concerns of consumers. Such a program should also include components of the Registered Tax Return Preparer Program that the IRS previously implemented, including registration, competency measures, screenings and continuing education.
Cobb has previously commented that on an appeals court ruling that the IRS cannot regulate tax preparer, indicting that the ruling hurt honest taxpayers who are entitled to basic protections.
Kansas City-based H&R Block is one of few companies that requires minimum standards from its staff. All company tax preparers must have at least 75 hours of tax law and tax return courses in the first year of employment with 15 hours of continuing education for each subsequent year. Also required is 35 hours of system, policies and procedural training.