Even if one is certain there are no mistakes in the forms when following federal tax procedures, a little shiver goes down a taxpayers spine at the very thought of a letter arriving from the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service blundered recently when the office sent penalty notices to business owners who had requested an extension in filing tax return Form 5500 to file back taxes. An error in programming caused the mistake regarding the required Form 5558, the Application for an Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, before filing Form 5500. Normally, taxpayers are penalized if the Form 5500 is late or unfinished. However, the notice to those taxpayers who filed the proper forms in the right order received the penalty notice, CP 283, Penalty Charged on Your 5500 Return.
A letter of explanation concerning the inaccuracy was instituted November 8th to IRS employees. Citizens received a penalty notice before the Form 5558 had an opportunity to post to the accounts. Therefore, letters of explanation were prepared while telephone assistors and tax examiners were instructed to apologize to callers. Penalties were removed in all cases, up to five if the caller was a person with multiple plans or clients. If the person was responsible for more than 5 accounts, they were requested to solicit their abatement in writing. The Internal Revenue Service accepted responsibility for the penalty notice to the taxpayers and the charges were removed. It seems filing back taxes can be simple most of the time, but one small computer error can create a fiasco of work.
Welcome to the October 1, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start with an article from Matt Becker on the deductability of mortgage interest and why it’s not the great tax deal everyone thinks. Bill Smith reports on TurboTax and eHealth working together and the IRS Fresh Start Program. Laura Anderson has some Nanny Tax Myths that you should know about. Hope you enjoy all the articles, bookmark, share, tweet and come back soon.
Matt Becker presents Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction For Real? posted at Mom and Dad Money, saying, “When people talk about the financial benefits of home ownership, one of the big points they typically make is that the interest paid on the mortgage is deductible. This is only semi-true and in any event is not really the big win that many people claim it is. So today I’d like to run through the reasons why the mortgage interest deduction is not always all it’s cracked up to be.”
Bill Smith presents TurboTax Is Integrating With EHealth posted at 2013 Taxes, saying, “eHealth, the United States’ predominant private Internet health insurance exchange, has announced that it will enter into a partnership with Intuit Inc..”
John Schmoll presents Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest in the Stock Market First? posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “There can be a fine balance between paying off debt or investing in the stock market first. The truth is that it’s a personal decision and one that will aid your wealth building, debt reduction and saving for retirement at the same time.”
John Schmoll presents When It Comes To Investing, Be The One Who Dives In Head First posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Many allow fear to hold them back when it comes to investing in the stock market. However, if you give yourself some practical lessons you can put yourself in better standing to build a retirement portfolio and begin to grow your wealth.”
Laura Anderson presents Expert Insights: Nanny Tax Myths with Guy Maddalone of GTM Payroll Services, Inc. posted at eNannySource, saying, “When it comes to employing a nanny, it’s important to know what’s true and false. Guy Maddalone, founder and president of GTM Payroll Services, Inc. and household payroll and tax expert, provides some important insight that can help separate fact from fiction.”
Bill Smith presents IRS Fresh Start Program posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “There is a new system called the IRS Fresh Start Program which aims to make it easier for people to pay back taxes and avoid a lien coming against them. There are three major parts to the IRS program.”
Bill Smith presents Free SCORE Tax Tips posted at 2010 Tax, saying, “Having your own small business can be a rewarding experience. There are many aspects that can be difficult to accomplish on your own though.”
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.
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 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.
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.
Each year, millions of people find that they are unable to file their taxes in time for the April deadline. While the IRS can be very unforgiving about some aspects of their collections, one thing that they do make available for all tax payers is a tax extension available for several months. You can use TurboTax 2013 software in order to take advantage of this tax extension.
Begin by using the TurboTax 2013 software to actually file you taxes, putting in as much information about income, securities, investments, and deductions that you are able to, even if it is only a smidgen. You want to do this now so that there are no surprises you may have missed once you sit down to do the full job. Once you have that done, find out when you are able to finish the extension to the closest date. Log into TurboTax 2013 software and either e-file an extension or print out the paper copy.
Paper Or Digital
While most people might be more comfortable with filing their tax extension by mail, you can do so digitally with the TurboTax 2013 software. In fact, since this process is instant, it is not recommended that you file an extension by mail since it will take a few days to reach the IRS offices and runs the risk of becoming overdue if it is not postmarked by April 15th. Once you have sent it in, you have until October 15th of 2013 to fill out the full tax form.
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.