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Photo by Leeloo The First You didn’t file a tax return on April 15 and you’re still avoiding the task because you owe more than you can pay. That’s a terrible reason. You actually are making things worse. Penalty and interest charges automatically started running as soon as your tax filing and nonpayment became delinquent on April 16. So you need to act now, first by filing a return, and then by exploring ways to eventually pay Uncle Sam what you owe. Failure to file and/or pay penalty costs: Even if you can't afford to immediately pay the full amount... Read more →


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 →


With the expansion of the white-collar crime of money laundering into financial adviser sectors, federal officials are looking to extend regulations to those areas. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, typically referred to as FinCEN, has in recent months amped up efforts to stop money laundering. FinCEN's latest proposals are designed to close loopholes that officials say foreign and domestic criminals use to launder money through U.S. financial sectors. This week, the changes got support from Capitol Hill and beyond. Seven U.S. Senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen... 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 →


Today's post on the second half of the 2024 Internal Revenue Service's Dirty Dozen tax scams looks at a wide range of schemes and potential victims. Tax pros are targets, as are high income earners in schemes 7 through 12. Together with the Dirty Dozen's first six scams posted last week, there's a scam for almost all of us taxpayers. Take notice and don't become a Dirty Dozen victim. Last Friday, I shared the first six of the Internal Revenue Service's annual Dirty Dozen list. As promised, this post wraps up schemes, cons, and scams 7 through 12. This compilation... 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 fourth, and final, Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday opening is set for May 18. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash The third round of special Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday openings is this weekend, April 13. But don't let the date confuse you. Just because Internal Revenue Service reps will be available to help taxpayers who live near the TACs open across the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on April 13 doesn't mean the tax agency staff will help filers complete 2023 tax returns (or extension requests) due on Monday, April 15. They won't. These... Read more →


Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service is processing millions of returns that are coming in as Tax Day for the main 2024 tax season nears. But thanks to added Inflation Reduction Act money, the tax agency also is looking more closely at some returns. It recently resumed sending automated notices that had been on hold since February 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic problems. And it got even more attention when IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced that his agents were going to crack down on individuals who use corporate jets for personal travel jets. While most of... Read more →


While the Internal Revenue Service is in the midst of revealing its annual Dirty Dozen list another government agency also is taking tax-related action. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) Enforcement Bureau issued a cease-and-desist letter against Veriwave Telco. The letter ordered the Dover, Delaware, company to halt its origination of an apparently illegal National Tax Relief Program robocall campaign. The FCC warned the company that failure to comply with the requirements outlined in the letter could result in mandatory blocking by downstream providers of all traffic from Veriwave. In addition, the FCC's enforcement branch issued a K4 Order, notifying all... Read more →


Perennial tax schemes, some tweaked ones, and a few new scams, make the 2024 version of the IRS Dirty Dozen. And these featured today are just the first six of the 12 cons the IRS calls out in 2024. The final 7 through 12 on the annual infamy list will be posted next week. This week, as it does every week, the Department of Justice's Tax Division announced civil and criminal actions against several businesses and individuals accused of betraying taxpayer trust and cheating the Treasury Department out of tax dollars. Some of those who were part of the tax... 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 →


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 →


Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Danny Werfel recently spoke to a group of students, faculty, and IRS guests at the Kogod Tax Center at American University in Washington, D.C., revealing what has been dubbed the IRS' generational digital transformation plan. That plan is part of what the Biden Administration said it expects from the federal tax agency when it offered Werfel the commissioner job in the fall of 2022. "They told me, the next commissioner could lead the IRS through the most important tech-enabled transformation of a government agency in U.S. history," said Werfel. "So again, my jaw dropped to the... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images The smartest tax move often if hiring a good tax professional. Unfortunately, the tax community is not immune to bad actors. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service warns taxpayers to thoroughly vet the person they want to hire to handle their taxes. Every year, the IRS also issues warning about unscrupulous tax preparers who take advantage of trusting taxpayers and take their money. These alerts also are routinely part of the IRS annual Dirty Dozen scam list; dishonest tax pros is #6 on the 2023 list. (Preview: the 2024 list is on its way... 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 →