Will “Digital Tax” Robots Fix Our Filing Mistakes?
Most people around the world say they’d use artificial intelligence to file their tax return.
How to file tax returns to maximize your refund
Most people around the world say they’d use artificial intelligence to file their tax return.
Filing our taxes was difficult enough, now we have to figure out the new law.
Sounds weird, but interest rates are cheaper than other borrowing options — or a fee for filing late.
H&R Block and Turbo Tax are among the least secure, says a new report.
Health care costs are so expensive Americans put off seeing a doctor until they receive their tax refunds.
Debt.com’s political columnists go head-to-head on what the latest news in Washington means for consumer finance.
At a time when your life is about to be reduced to every nickel and dime made and spent in a year, it might relieve you to know that free tax advice is out there…
You may pocket a little extra cash on your tax refund while saving for your retirement with this little trick.
Here are our Top 4 tax prep options – and advice for picking the perfect one for your finances.
What happens when you combine identity theft with taxes? Double the trouble and twice the pain.
The tax bill has now brought millions of Americans extra cash — and not just on paper. If it hasn’t helped you, just wait.
It might not be you, and it might benefit millionaires more, but it’s still a good thing.
Tax savings are the best present under the tree this year.
He didn’t accomplish a lot, but I’ll give him credit for this.
Don’t worry about the rich. Don’t worry about the economy. Worry about your wallet.
Whichever version of this passes is going to suck, unless there’s a radical change of heart. And brain.
Trump’s tax plan may not sound great to its critics, but it’s great for you.
It’s been a year since America elected Trump. What have we got to show for it?
A reader earns only $11,000 a year, but she’s being garnished $300 a month.
Hint: His name starts with T and ends with rump. But at least it’s not Paul Ryan’s plan, and maybe if he gets a big break he’ll leave us all alone.
A quarter of Americans expecting a tax return will spend their money before they get it.
If you could get out of paying your taxes, would you rather gain 20 pounds, drop Wi-Fi for a year, or see your credit score plummet?
They finish their taxes early and save their refunds out of fear of messing up.
Tax-related identity theft is increasing, and experts say we ignore easy ways to protect ourselves by stressing about filing.
As more Americans plan to save their tax refunds, fewer plan shopping sprees.
Most of us are confident we can file our taxes, but we hate doing it.
We might have had billions of dollars in tax fraud last year but most Americans aren’t worried about getting scammed.
Most Americans will save their money or pay off debt with their returns.
Most of us will stash away our refunds this year, as fewer Americans plan to spend them.
It’s time. Your W-2s and 1099s are likely making their way to your mailbox or inbox right now. Odds are good you’re ready to get your taxes done as soon as possible, since the odds are also good you’re getting a refund. Last year, about 80 percent of Americans got one, averaging around $2,800. But as […]
Forty percent of American families are making thousands of dollars in medical, auto, or tax payments at some point in a year but even after paying, they’re suffering from crippling debt.
The majority of Americans are eligible for a tax credit just for saving retirement money, but aren’t aware this credit exists.
These desperate White House petitions aren’t getting much attention. Some of them deserve it.
You get two extra days to file your taxes, but with some changes that are in effect this year you shouldn’t wait to file. Especially because your refund might be delayed if you claim a certain tax credit.
There are plenty of ways to pay for tax help, but you don’t necessarily have to. The Internal Revenue Service helps millions of people annually file their taxes for free.
Higher tax penalties and lower tax bills projected for 2017.
Yes, you should think hard about what to do with this extra money.
Making these simple moves now can take a big bite out of what you owe Uncle Sam next April.
A reader’s spouse didn’t turn in his taxes this year. What happens now?
Where polling matters most isn’t in politics. It’s in personal finance.
Doing your taxes isn’t fun, but the results can still make you smile.
An IRS plan to focus on helping taxpayers via online accounts could cost you, a taxpayer watchdog warns.
Adding these renewable-energy systems to your home can lower heating or cooling costs — and your tax bill.
Sure, there’s accounting software. But sometimes, you need a human being to help you.
Believe it or not, people are getting more responsible with their tax refunds. But it’s even better for you if you don’t get a refund at all.
While most of us will do the right things, these otherwise intelligent adults will do this.
Give me 20 minutes, I’ll give you a guarantee: You’ll learn how to save big bucks on just about everything.
Most people don’t know that if you’re saving for retirement on a modest income, the federal government will cut you a break on taxes.
A reader wants to know what to do if you owe taxes and cannot pay.
If you make less than $60,000 a year, you don’t have to pay for an accountant or online tax software. You can get free tax prep and a fast refund.
As of February 2018, the IRS received over 42.5 million individual income tax returns for the 2017 calendar year. Of those, roughly 40 million of those were filed electronically and 21.5 million were self-prepared. Additionally, people visited IRS.gov 142 million times to figure out how to file. That’s a lot of visits and a lot questions about how to file correctly!
The articles in this section offer the latest advice and trends in tax filing, so you can stay up-to-date on the best, most hassle-free ways to file. Below the articles we also provide tips to make filing your tax returns easier. If you have problems with tax debt that you need to solve, please visit Debt.com’s Solution Center.
Individual income tax returns are always due on the 15th of April each year. If the 15th falls on a weekend, they are due that Monday. They don’t need to be received by the IRS that day – only post marked. That means you can mail your return on the 15th and not incur any late fees or penalties.
Tax identity theft is where someone files a tax return in your name and then intercepts your refund. It can happen when someone gets their hands on your Social Security number. If it occurs, the IRS will contact you by letter (they always contact you by letter) to let you know a return was already filed in your name.
Filing as early as possible is the easiest way to prevent tax ID theft, because you get the jump on the identity thieves. You get your return before they can.
People think a tax return extension will stop penalties on tax returns, but they don’t. A tax extension will stop penalties on filing the form, but not on the debt incurred. So, if you end up owing money and file an extension, the bill will be higher by the time October 15 rolls around when the penalty expires.
Let’s say you owe $1,000 on your tax returns. You file an extension on time on April 15, so you have until October 15 to pay it. By October, you’ll owe about $60 more than you owed in April.
This penalty doesn’t apply to refunds. If the IRS owes you, then your refund will not be less in October. However, that’s more months that the IRS keeps your money interest-free!
Although filing a tax extension won’t eliminate penalties, keeping things up-to-date can reduce them. Even if you’re unable to pay taxes, you should file anyway. Filing your return even if you can’t pay reduces the penalties. For instance, the maximum total penalty for failing to file is 47.5%. But if you file, the penalty reduces to a maximum of 25%.
If you can’t pay a tax debt, file anyway then apply for Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status. This tells the IRS that you are currently unable to pay your tax bill due to financial hardship. The IRS may review your finances (debt, assets, budget) to make sure you’re on the up and up. Penalties still apply even if you file CNC – they’ll still accrue on the debt you owe. However, collection actions like wage garnishment or liens won’t occur.
Some people think that IRS audits only happen when you have enough money for it to matter. That’s not true. A 2010 study found that one third of the taxpayers audited that year claimed the earned income tax credit. That was only available to individuals who made less than $35,535 that year or $40,545 for married spouses filing jointly.
Basically, the IRS conducts an audit anytime they see a discrepancy in what you make versus what you filed. Service staff that underclaim tips, consultants or freelancers who overclaim office related expenses – these types of situations can lead to auditing even if you’re in the lowest tax bracket.
Always make sure to file honestly on your tax return. Claim the deductions and credits you legitimately earned, but don’t try to stretch the bounds or you could get audited.
People sometimes think of a tax refund as a windfall of money. Like the government is giving you a reward. That’s not what your refund is.
A tax return is an annual statement of income that allows the IRS to establish your tax liability for the year. A refund happens because the government took too much money out of your paychecks that year. Basically, you overpaid the IRS throughout the past year, so they give you your money back.
The problem with that is you could have used that money in more productive ways. Even just saving it in a basic savings account allows it to earn some interest. The government keeps your money interest-free, so it’s kind of in limbo until they give it back.
This means that if you consistently receive a large tax refund, you need to adjust your tax withholding. If you decrease your withholding, you increase the money in your paychecks. You don’t get as big of a refund, but you really shouldn’t get a huge refund anyways. It’s essentially a waste of time. Just be careful not to decrease your withholding too much, or you can cause tax debt.
In most cases, the IRS recommends that taxpayers should always keep their tax returns for three years. That usually means three years from the date you filed the original return. So, if you filed your 2014 tax returns on April 15, 2015 then you can shred them this year after April 15. This year, you’d keep the tax returns from 2015, 2016 and your new return from this year for 2017.
The exceptions to this rule happens if you owe tax debt or had an issue with filing. If you owe the IRS money, you should keep the returns for that year for two years from the date you paid. That’s usually later than the standard three-year timespan. That time extends if you claim a loss from something like a bad debt deduction. In this case, keep the return for seven years in case the IRS has questions later.
A bad debt deduction is a deduction you claim when you discharge a debt through settlement or bankruptcy. The amount of debt you don’t pay in the settlement is considered taxable income by the IRS. But you can claim a deduction if you can show financial hardship during the time of the settlement. If you do this, then keep your tax returns for six years.
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