Preparing for tax season can be a challenging time for many people in the United States. The US tax code is extremely lengthy filled and with tons of small print. Since this is such an involved process many people today decide to have their taxes prepared by professionals. However, thanks to tax software programs like TurboTax they don’t have to spend extra money to have their taxes prepared correctly.
Using TurboTax’s software makes it easy for anyone to prepare their taxes themselves. This software will walk you step by step through the tax process. This unique process ensures the user that they are getting all the tax benefits they qualify for. It also ensures that the taxes they prepare are true and accurate when they are filed.
By preparing their taxes themselves using TurboTax people also save money since they aren’t paying someone else to do their taxes for them. It also gives them the convenience of being able to do their taxes at home. This can be a great time saver for a busy family. They don’t have to take time out of their busy schedule to visit a tax preparer giving them more time to focus on other needs their family may have.
Another advantage that TurboTax offers is their online tax service. Users can go to http://www.turbotax.com and register on the site for free. Again they offer a step by step process for filing out the tax forms. After answering a few questions the site will automatically determine which form is best for their particular tax needs. As each step is completed the user is asked to double check the information to make sure it’s correct, then the information is saved and they will be moved to the next step. Once everything is filled out TurboTax will calculate any refunds or payments for the user. Finally, the taxes can be filed with the IRS automatically through their site.
Anyone that uses any of the services offered by TurboTax will be impressed with the accuracy and ease of use they offer. Their services help people to save time and money as well as give them peace of mind that their taxes are being filed correctly the first time.
You Bought a House, Claim the First-Time Homebuyers Credit
There are a number of documentation requirements when you go to file your return for 2009 and you want to claim the First-Time Homebuyers Credit. This great credit of $8,000 helps with fixing up the new house or paying off some moving expenses. But claiming the credit requires a number of documents and filing a paper return with the IRS.
The first statement you will need to attach to your 1040 paper tax return is a HUD-1 Settlement Statement. You will get a copy of this form when you close on your new house. Make a copy of the legal sized page for your credit. Make sure that signatures are included on the Settlement Statement. If your settlement statement does not have your signature, sign the bottom of the form before you mail it in.
If you purchased a mobile home instead of a traditional home, you did not receive a Settlement Statement. Attach a Retail Sales Contract with your tax return to get the credit. And some new homes also do not close with a Settlement Statement. In this instance a Certificate of Occupancy is needed.
The other group able to claim a home buying credit are long-term purchasers. When you have lived in a house for over 5 years and purchase a new home prior to April 30th, you can claim a $6,500 credit. To claim this credit, the IRS wants you to attach five years of 1098 Mortgage Interest Statements to prove your long-term ownership.
Prepare your federal tax return for free and only pay a small $9.99 fee if you print of eFile your return. Why not try it before you purchase? And all versions of the software are currently priced at the low $9.99 price including Simple, Deluxe, Premier, and Ultimate. Only pay more if you have a complex business return.
With the Simple edition from TaxSimple, you can prepare not only your federal tax return but also your state tax return for free. Fees only apply when printing or eFiling your returns. Your return is guaranteed to be accurate and you will get the biggest refund possible for your circumstance.
If you want to complete your return on your home computer desktop there are options available also. Download any number of tax preparation packages including Individual, Business and eFile. The applications update as tax laws change and the federal, state, and city return integrate fully allowing for easy completion of your state and city returns.
The IRS has released their top 10 tax tips for January 2009 and we are presenting the first 5 tips here for you. Make sure to check back with us for more tax tips and great tax services available online for your 2008 tax return.
1. Check you return one more time. When you are ready to file your return online, make sure all the social security numbers are correct and all calculations are accurate.
2. Consider e-Filing. When you file your return online the time it takes to get your refund is twice as fast according to the IRS versus when you file a paper return.
3. Direct Deposit is even faster. When the IRS is able to deposit your return directly into your account, you’ll receive it quicker than if you wait for a check in the mail from the federal government.
4. Take a look at IRS.gov. The government site has all kinds of good stuff including tips, forms, frequently asked questions, and new tax laws that change during the tax filing season.
5. The IRS also answers questions. If you have a pressing question that you cannot find the answer to online, the IRS has a customer service line that you can call with all your tax questions. It is 1-800-829-1040.
A number of tax credits which reduce your tax bill dollar for dollar that you might not have known about or might not have qualified for before are now worth taking a look at.
Income Tax Sappy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recovery Rebate Credit
If the rebate checks that were sent out last tax season didn’t find their way to you because you made too much on your 2007 1040 tax return, you have a second opportunity to receive the credit for the 2008 tax season. Therefore, if you income has decreased for any reason during 2008, make sure to double check your qualifications this year so you can now claim the $600 per taxpayer credit.
First-Time Homeowner Credit
This is an interest free loan to anyone that purchased a house for the first time between April 9th of 2008 and June 30th of 2009. Loans are equal to 10% of the value of the home or a maximum of $7,500. You’ll have to pay back the loan over the next 15 years but a no interest loan from the government cannot be beat.