Showing posts with label Tax Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tax Day. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Handy Tips on Effective Tax Returns

taxes (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

After the back to back financial slumps in and after the year 2008, the structure of the world economy has greatly changed. There are millions all over the globe, who do not have a proper credit history. Hence it becomes a difficult task for them to get a loan. Besides getting the loan, one also needs to make sure that they manage their taxes in a proper way. In this article we will provide the correct tax planning tips that will help one to manage their taxes correctly.

Possessing the correct information on Taxes

Having the correct knowledge of the tax that you need to pay is the most important thing. There are various kinds of tax that one needs to pay such as local tax, federal tax, income tax and others. Often it is found that one finds it difficult to understand the nature of the tax and how much exactly they should pay. In such cases it is a beer idea to hire a professional who has a fair idea in tax returns. Such professional will also be able to help you to find ways to save on your taxes. There are numerous ways in which one can save on their taxes using legal methods.

Maintaining a Record of the transactions

Keeping a record of the tax payable is an effective way of managing your tax payments. That way you will not lose track of the amount of tax that you need to pay and the time at which you need to pay it. Many a times it is found that individuals inadvertently skip their tax and eventually end up paying more. Maintaining a folder or a file will help one to keep abreast of the tax returns that they need to make.

Hiring a Professional Tax Consultant

Hiring a professional tax consultant is of utmost importance. The entire scope of tax returns is huge and it is virtually impossible for an individual to get a proper idea of it. There are numerous ways in which one can benefit by hiring a tax consultant. The most important benefit of hiring professionals is that, they will be able to help you in saving money on your tax. Moreover they will also be able help you to easy ways of tax return.  Hence resorting to the help of a professional is certainly a great way to manage your finances.

On a Concluding note

On a concluding note it can be said that in order to manage your finances in the best possible way, you need to keep in mind all the above mentioned points. A recent study has shown that many individuals lose thousands in penalties for not paying their tax on time. Hence you should consider hiring a consultant to manage all the aspects of tax return. There are many tax consultants out in the market. Make sure that you choose an experienced one to address your needs.

Author’s Bio: Alisa Martin is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Money Exchange Rates focuses on Finance bloggers. You can follow her on Google+

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Does Your Tax Preparer Have the Proper Credentials?

Taxes (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

As we approach the end of the year, many people are starting to prepare for income tax season. Whether you prepare your own taxes or have a professional do it you need to gather the necessary documents. 

I use an accountant to do my taxes. I used to do my taxes myself but they became so complicated I hired an accountant. It's not cheap but I can feel sure they are done right. The last thing I want to have is any encounters with the I.R.S.

All individuals who prepare tax returns for compensation must have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). This requirement generally applies to all attorneys, accountants, and enrolled agents who prepare returns, as well as to registered tax return preparers who are authorized by the IRS to prepare returns.

In order to become a registered tax return preparer, an individual must pass an IRS competency examination. The PTIN requirement also applies to “supervised preparers” who do not and are not required to sign returns, but who are employed by an attorney or CPA firm and who prepare returns under supervision.

Enrolled agents and registered tax return preparers are subject to continuing education requirements set by the IRS, while attorneys and CPAs are subject only to continuing education requirements (if any) required to maintain their professional credentials.

What is an Enrolled Agent?

Enrolled agents (EAs) are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who both spe­cialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. These tax specialists have earned the privilege of representing taxpay­ers before the IRS by either passing a stringent and com­prehensive three-part examination covering individual tax returns, business tax returns and representation, practice and procedure, or through experience as a former IRS em­ployee. All candidates are subjected to a suitability check conducted by the IRS.

What are the differences between enrolled agents and other tax professionals?

The enrolled agent is the most expansive license IRS grants a tax professional. Enrolled agents are generally un­restricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and the IRS offices before which they practice.

Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxa­tion. While CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states, enrolled agents and registered tax return preparers are fed­erally licensed. Registered tax return preparers must pass a basic, one-part exam and complete a minimum 15 hours of continuing education per year. They do not have the unlimited representation rights held by enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys. The enrolled agent license is the highest credential the IRS issues.

The advantage of working with an enrolled agent lies not only in the depth of experience and understanding of how to prepare a tax return, but the knowledge of tax law that may be used to represent taxpayers before the IRS. If you get a letter from the IRS, or worse, are audited or are the target of a collection action, your EA can speak directly to the IRS on your behalf.

How can an enrolled agent help me?

Enrolled agents advise, represent and prepare the tax re­turns of individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts and any other entity with tax reporting require­ments. EAs prepare millions of tax returns each year and their expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS. In addition to tax preparation and tax representa­tion, many enrolled agents offer other business-related ser­vices which may include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial planning or budgeting
  • Payroll services
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Mortgage assistance

Are enrolled agents required to take continuing professional education?

In addition to the stringent testing and application pro­cess, the IRS requires enrolled agents to complete 72 hours of enrolled agent continuing education every three years to main­tain their licenses. The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) raises the bar even further in that its members are required to complete at least 90 hours in a three year period.

What are the key points to remember when hiring a tax professional?

Your tax needs are best served by an enrolled agent. How­ever, no matter who you hire there are certain things to keep in mind.

  • Always use a qualified professional to prepare your return.
  • The preparer should always sign the return and include their Professional Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
  • Beware of preparers who encourage you to lie or otherwise modify your information in order to get a bigger refund.
  • The taxpayer is responsible for what’s on a tax return.
  • Enrolled agent continuing education requirements are met.

Reputable preparers will ask to see receipts and will ask multiple questions to determine whether ex­penses, deductions and other items qualify. By doing so, they are trying to help their clients avoid penalties, interest or additional taxes that could result from an IRS examination.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Tax Day Freebies 2011

Ice creamImage via WikipediaTax day freebies are freebies given out by businesses on the day taxes are due, to soften the blow and make the day a little more fun. These tax day freebies can make an otherwise dreary day a little bit brighter.

Tax day freebies 2011 include free Cinnabon bites, free ice cream sundaes at MaggiMoo's, a free workout at Bally Total Fitness, and a free massage from HydroMassage.

1. Free Cinnabon Bites

Stop in on Monday, April 18 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. for this scrumptious tax day freebie called "Tax Day Bites."

Participating Cinnabon bakeries will be handing out two Cinnabon Bites to each customer who stops in.

I recommend calling your local Cinnabon before you head out to make sure they're participating in this tax day freebie.

2. Free Ice Cream Sundaes at MaggieMoo's

Here's a tasty tax day freebie for you! On tax day, Monday, April 18, 2011, you can stop by MaggieMoo's to get a free mini ice cream sundae during their Sundae Stimulus.

The free ice cream sundaes are MaggieMoo's Crumb Cake Fundae which features cinnamon Hostess crumb cake, cinnamon ice cream, caramel, sauce, mixed nuts, and whipped cream.

This tax day freebie will only be given out from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

3. Free Workout at Bally Total Fitness

After you've eaten your tax day freebie goodies, some exercise might be a good idea. Stop in on Monday, April 18 and non-members can get a free workout at Bally Total Fitness.

If you're already a member of Bally Total Fitness then they have a tax day freebie for you too. Sign up at your local Bally's and get a free 30 minute personal training session April 15-21.

4. Free Preview of HBO and Cinemax

This tax day freebie will really help you relax and spend some time with the family.

DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon FIOS, and some Cox Communications customers will be getting a free preview of HBO and Cinemax over tax day weekend - April 15 to April 18.

Check with your provider for more details about this tax day freebie.

5. Free Massage From HydroMassage

After mailing in those taxes you're going to need a relaxing tax day freebie like this free massage from HydroMassage.

Click the link above to find a HydroMassage near you and print out the coupon to get a free massage from April 14-18. They suggest calling ahead to schedule your free massage.

6. Tax Day Cheapies 2011

These aren't tax day freebies but they're some great deals that are being offered on tax day.
  • California Tortilla - Stop in and get an order of free chips and queso with any purchase on April 18.
  • McCormick & Schmick's - They're offering some $10.40 entree specials and tax relief drink specials.
  • P.F. Chang's - Dine-in or carry-out some food at P.F. Chang's on April 18th and you'll get 15% off your food order.

Have Fun.

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