Financial institutions and online services provide some nifty aids for wrestling your information into submission before the April 18 deadline.
You let your taxes go until the last minute. And now you need some help.
Taxes are due April 18, come heck or high water, so if you've procrastinated, here is your one-stop shop for fast and easy tools for getting your business finances organized for the taxman.
None of these are particularly pretty, mind you, but they will get your finances in IRS-ready shape -- and fast.
Most Americans have earned enough this year to pay federal, state and local taxes. Some states celebrated early, but residents of others will be working for taxes until next month.
You might still be working on your 2010 tax return, but your earnings so far this year have been going to pay your 2011 tax bill.
So put down your Form 1040 instruction book and take a minute to celebrate. Today is America's Tax Freedom Day.
That means, according to the Tax Foundation, that U.S. taxpayers on average will have earned enough by today to pay off their 2011 federal, state and local taxes.
The Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan research and policy group has been tracking Tax Freedom Day for 40 years.
This year's Tax Freedom Day is three days later than last year, largely because of income changes rather than statutory tax law changes, said Kail Padgitt, the Tax Foundation's staff economist.
The tax deadline this year is April 18. But if you find that you owe and can't pay, don't bury your head in the sand. File your return on time, then check out these options for dealing with the debt.
More than 140 million individual income tax returns are filed every year -- and every year, a quarter of Americans wait until the last minute, according to the IRS.
Some people are just procrastinators. But others might be reluctant to file due to fear of owing money they don’t have. If you’re in the latter group, there’s a little good news: The filing deadline is not April 15 this year -- it’s April 18, thanks to a D.C. holiday.
Don't try to write off your wedding as a charitable contribution, and those porn magazines probably are not business expenses.
Did you hear about the human sperm deduction? The cop who wrote off his flattop haircut? The interstate cheeseburger incident?
Behold Bankrate's sixth installment of the year's craziest, laughably outrageous, utterly true tax deduction tales, culled from the seasonally imbalanced minds of certified (if not certifiable) public accountants from across the land, some of whom requested anonymity.
Our past forays into tax return weirdness turned up some very naughty behavior indeed as desperate taxpayers sought to slip past the taxman everything from breast implants to barking security systems and an expensive "time monitoring system" made by Rolex.
Follow the rules, take advantage of free help, organize your records and know when you need a pro.
We all want to save money on taxes, but the government insists we pay our fair share. Still, big corporations aren't the only ones entitled to tax breaks.
Just following the rules can save you money, as can using the right tools. When we think of saving money on taxes, we think about little-known deductions, but for most of us the real savings are in the basics.
Here are five tips to save money on taxes:
- File on time. Even if you can't pay all your taxes, you should file a return or an extension to avoid the penalty for not filing on time. Death, by the way, is not an excuse for missing the deadline. As executor of an estate, I filed two years of tax returns for a deceased relative. Because I filed those returns after the deadline, the deceased (actually her estate) was assessed a penalty.
- Take advantage of free online filing options. Yes, you can buy tax software, and if you have a complicated return, you may need it. But if you made less than $58,000 last year, you can use Free File, a partnership between the IRS and vendors of tax software. Each company has slightly different rules. If you made more, you can use free IRS online forms.
Two players argue that much of their income should be classified as royalties and not taxed by the United States. The IRS disagrees.
Meanwhile, the professional golfers' tax attorneys are doing their jobs, trying to convince the IRS that the players' endorsement money was properly reported as royalty income, not payment for personal services.
The difference is important.
The debate centers on whether the incentives only really benefit the wealthy, and whether the government should use tax breaks to encourage Americans to save for retirement.
This post comes from Joe Mont at partner site TheStreet.
Amid a backdrop of deficit concerns, debate over the future of Social Security and Medicare and a looming government shutdown, tax deferrals for retirement plans could be on the chopping block.
Talk in Washington, spearheaded by Congressional leaders including Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., is that tax reform needs to tackle so-called tax expenditures. These incentives, which account for roughly $1 trillion in bypassed budget revenue each year, have been described by Conrad as a "back-door way of spending federal money."
Agency changes course, looking more closely at returns of taxpayers making more than $500,000. Questions include details of magazine subsriptions.
This article is by Laura Saunders of The Wall Street Journal.
The Internal Revenue Service is stepping up audits of wealthier taxpayers as part of a multiyear effort to crack down on tax avoidance.
According to the agency's latest statistical report for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the percentage of taxpayers who were audited increased in every category of adjusted gross income above $500,000, compared with a year earlier.
The biggest jumps came at the top of the income ladder. About 18% of Americans earning at least $10 million were audited in fiscal 2010, up from 11% in fiscal 2009, according to the IRS. For those earning $500,000 to $1 million, the audit rate rose to 3.4% from 2.8%.
Accountants and tax preparers said the IRS's heightened scrutiny of wealthier taxpayers is in sharp contrast to the agency's audit practices during the previous decade.
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