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Photo by Ahsanjaya You just got your federal tax refund it was not what you were expecting. In fact, it’s much less than the amount your Form 1040 calculations showed. What the heck happened? There are several reason why a refund amount could be less that amount on your filing. The most common smaller refund situations involve math errors in computing your tax bill, or the claiming of incorrect credits or deductions. In these cases, you should have heard from the Internal Revenue Service via a notice about the discrepancy. But another common reason your tax refund is much smaller... Read more →


April 15 was Tax Day for most of us. That included President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. When Biden and Harris took office, they reinstated the annual tradition of our country's top elected officials voluntarily releasing their tax filings. The 2023 tax year returns of the Bidens and Harris/Emhoff earn this weekend's Saturday Shout Out. You can see the details at the White House's official Tax Returns online page. In addition to this year's filings, there are links to the returns filed by the president and... Read more →


Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash You made it through Tax Day. Now it's time to store all that information you used to fill out your Form 1040. While it's tempting to just toss it all, don't. It often takes the Internal Revenue Service a while to process filings. The agency could come back weeks, months, or even years from now with a question about an entry on your return. Just to be safe, you need to hang on to some of the material for as long as the IRS has to question your filing. Once that statute of limitations... Read more →


Getting a tax refund can feel like it's raining money. (Photo by Eugene Lisyuk) You filed your taxes, and now are awaiting a refund. The Internal Revenue Service's data shows the average it had issued as of April 5 was $3,011. That three grand average is a nice chunk of change. Even a smaller amount is welcome. So, what are you going to do with that money? Everyone's personal, financial, and yes, tax, needs are different. But here are some suggestions for all y'all getting a refund. 1. Open or add to a savings account or emergency fund. I know,... Read more →


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto The Internal Revenue Service's big tax party was yesterday and you didn't RSVP. Not even by filing Form 4868 to get an extension to show up as much as six months later. In fact, you didn't attend the Tax Day soiree at all. Maybe you had a good reason for not filing a Form 1040 on April 15. Maybe you simply forgot. Or maybe you started your return and got discouraged. While the IRS won't take your failure to file your return and pay any tax you owe personally, the agency isn't going to overlook your... Read more →


Federal tax returns get most of the attention during the annual tax season. That's because Uncle Sam's individual income tax laws apply across the country. But state taxes also are demanded of most Americans. And in most of the 43 states and District of Columbia that tax some type of individual earnings, April 15 also is the due date. No individual income tax states: The only states with no personal income tax at all are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. Tax savvy readers probably noticed that the Evergreen State is not on that list. That's because... Read more →


Running out of time to finish (or start) your 2023 tax return? Then get more by filing for an extension. (Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash) Put down that tax return. You know you aren't going to get it done by Monday, April 15. Instead, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. This Internal Revenue Service form is the tax procrastinator's best friend, whether you've put off filing because, well, taxes or you're still waiting for some tax statements that arrive annoyingly late every year. Yes, I'm looking at you Schedule... Read more →


Tax Day 2024 is Monday, April 15. Have you filed your 1040 yet? By the end of March, the Internal Revenue Service had received more than 90 million tax returns. Sounds like a lot, right? But that's just 70 percent of the almost 129 million returns the tax agency is expecting to get this tax season. So a lot of taxpayers (or their tax preparers) are busy this weekend. Of course, not all those 39 million yet-to-be-filed returns will be finished by April 15. A good portion will be extended, giving the taxpayers (and their tax preparers) until Oct. 15... Read more →


Millions of people will be celebrating on Monday, April 15. The arrival of Tax Day means they are done with dealing with the Internal Revenue Service for another year. For many others, however, it's just the beginning of another round of collections. The annual federal filing (and paying) deadline also is the start of the current year's estimated tax payment cycle. Extra payments for certain income: The U.S. tax system is pay as earn. That's taken care via paycheck withholding if you're an employee. But even if you have a job where income (federal and state, if applicable) tax is... Read more →


A scenic overlook is always worth a stop when traveling. But when it comes to taxes, you definitely don't want to overlook tax breaks that could save you money. (Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash) There are two ways to reduce your tax bill. You can take deductions, which reduce the amount of your money that's taxable. You also can claim tax credits, which cut any tax you owe dollar-for-dollar, and in a few cases get you refund. The options are not mutually exclusive. But they don't do you any good if you don't claim the ones to which you're... Read more →


Conversations in American Sign Language (ASL) are common. Getting tax help from preparers fluent in ASL, not so common, despite a large hearing impaired or deaf taxpayer community. (Photo by SHVETS production) The U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) says about 3.6 percent of the U.S. population, or about 11 million individuals, consider themselves deaf or have serious difficulty hearing. The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Deafness not only affects individuals, but also their families and friends, their jobs, and yes, taxes. IRS options for deaf taxpayers:... Read more →


Doing your taxes can be stressful, but don't add to it by making an avoidable filing error. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The tax filing, and paying if you owe, deadline is nearly here. Millions of us have yet to send our 1040 forms to the Internal Revenue Service. So next week is likely to be frantic, especially on the part of taxpayers who are doing their own taxes. This also means that these last-minute filers might make some mistakes as they hurry to get their taxes done by April 15. Don't be one of them. Tax... Read more →


Natural disasters aren't the only catastrophes that affect taxes. Manmade tragedies also are taken into consideration. The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers affected by terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel that began on Oct. 7, 2023, that they have until Oct. 7, 2024, to file various federal returns, make tax payments, and take care of other time-sensitive tax-related responsibilities. Who qualifies? The IRS notes that the tax relief is available to any individual whose principal residence is in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza. The tax relief also extends to any business entity or sole proprietor with a principal... Read more →


Updated Thursday, April 4, 2024 via GIPHY Tax Day is less than two weeks away, but some aren't sweating the April 15 filing deadline. They have more time to complete their tax paperwork and, in some cases, may any associated payments. Here's a look at the special situations where taxpayers have more time to file their federal tax returns. International, including military, taxpayers: When it comes to individual taxes, the tax code doesn't care where you live. If you're a U.S. citizen or resident alien, including those with dual citizenship, you must pay tax to Uncle Sam even if you're... Read more →


Daisies enjoying the result of an April shower. (Photo by Kay Bell) Tax Day is almost here, no fooling! We've readjusted, after the COVID-19 pandemic delays, to having Tax Day fall in the middle of this fourth month. This year, it's officially April 15 again for most of us. So filing our return or extension request by then obviously is a prime focus. But there are some other tax matters to consider or complete this April 2024. Here are six. 1. Finish (or start) your 2023 return. Tax Day is just 14 days away, and the Internal Revenue Service is... Read more →


The Nov. 20, 2023, landslide near Wrangell, Alaska. (Image courtesy Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities) Residents of Hawai'ian counties that were devastated by wildfires in 2023 got a bit a good news from the Internal Revenue Service last week. The tax agency now is giving them until Aug. 7 to complete some tax filing and payment tasks. Tribal Alaskans who sustained damages from severe storm-induced land- and mudslides also get more tax time. Their new tax deadline is July 15. As is the usual procedure, the IRS tax relief decisions follow official declarations by the Federal Emergency Management... Read more →


Most taxpayers have always used the standard deduction amount. That group of filers grew even more after the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which dramatically increased the standard amounts. But even if you find the easier standard deduction option the way to file, stop. You might be missing some tax breaks that are available to every taxpayers, both those who claim the standard deduction and those who itemize. All taxpayers can also claim any of the two dozen above-the-line tax deductions for which they qualify. Tax law and form changes: When the TCJA became... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service IRS is expected to process more than 160 million individual and business tax returns this filing season. Through March 15, the IRS had received nearly 71.6 million individual returns. Some taxpayers probably put off filing in the hopes that the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act would be enacted by Tax Day. Several of its provisions could help both personal and business filers. Whether that will happen is still unclear, as the tax bill that cleared the House has hit a lot of speed bumps in the Senate. Other taxpayers, however, aren't that concerned... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska Millions of U.S. taxpayers are concentrating right now on their current tax return filing. But another sizeable group who didn't older returns also have some tax work to do. Almost 940,000 people across the nation have unclaimed refunds for tax year 2020. They missed out on that money because they didn't file a Form 1040 back in May 2021. They still have time to collect their part of the just more than $1 billion in old unclaimed refunds, but it's running out. The Internal Revenue Service says the median old, unclaimed refund amount from three years... Read more →


The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) helped many companies keep workers during the difficult COVID-19 pandemic days. But some ERC claims wrong, and the IRS is successfully recouping some of those incorrectly claimed and/or issued funds. The Internal Revenue Service closed out its Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) on Friday, March 22, on a high note. Going into the day, the VDP, which allowed those who got improper ERC payments to pay back most of the money, had produced more than $225 million from 500+ taxpayers. Another 800 submissions were still being processed, and even more being filed... Read more →