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Tax Preparation

Taxpayer Died Before Filing A Return? Steps Family Members Need To Take

Taxpayer Died Before Filing A Return? Steps Family Members Need To Take

By on Feb 26, 2017 in tax firms, Tax Preparation, Tax Resolution, Tax Tips | 0 comments

If you have lost a loved on in the last year and are looking ahead to submitting your annual tax return, you may wonder if it’s possible to deduct any of the funeral expenses on your taxes.  Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not allow individuals to claim these expenses as deductions unless the funeral was paid for directly by the estate. While you cannot claim funeral expenses as a deduction on your annual tax return, you should know, however, that you might be able to claim medical expenses that have been incurred during the year. You can generally claim medical expenses that are used to prevent or treat a medical illness or condition. Tips for Deducting Expenses Related to a Family Member’s Death While you cannot claim funeral expenses as an individual, it is possible to deduct these expenses if they were incurred as part of the deceased individual’s estate.  The first and most important factor to confirm is whether the funeral expenses were in fact paid directly from the estate. If you are the executor of the estate and are preparing to file taxes, you should plan to use Form 706, which is called United States Estate (and Generation Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, to complete the calculation for estate’s tax liability.  Then you can use Schedule J to report these funeral expenses to the IRS. One thing to keep in mind if you are in charge of an estate is that it may not make sense to take this deduction if the amount of the estate is less than the taxable amount. Take the Stress Out of This Tax Season As tax season approaches, you may have all kinds of questions about this year’s tax return and may already be concerned about how much you might owe. Partnering with a trustworthy, reputable and dependable tax firm can help answer your questions, solve any tax issues you may have, and ensure that you complete your return in a way that maximizes legal deductions and credits while minimizing what you will be required to pay to the IRS.  The team at Success Tax Relief has more than 30 years of experience solving all types of tax issues including:...

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Married Couples: Filing “Jointly or Separately” What’s the Difference?

Married Couples: Filing “Jointly or Separately” What’s the Difference?

By on Feb 21, 2017 in Tax Preparation, Tax Resolution, Tax Tips | 0 comments

As a married couple you have some choices to make when tax season rolls around. There’s no doubt about it, you must file, but should you do it as Married Filing Jointly, or Married Filing Separately? Now some taxpayers are under the assumption that you only need to file Married Filing Separately when you are going through a divorce or separation. However, that’s not always the case. There are some benefits to married couples filing Married Filing Separately. It depends on a few things: Is one person’s annual income more than the other? In some cases, combining your annual income will help you save money, because as a combined income, you’ll most likely rank at a lower tax rate. Although this all depends on how much each person makes. For instance, if both people each brings in $40,000 – $50,000 a year, then whether you filed jointly or separately may not matter because you may end up paying the same in taxes. However, if one person makes significantly more than the other, it might be more beneficial to file Married Filing Separately. However, there are other things to take into consideration that may sway your decision. Was either one of you a student during the tax year in question? If you are looking to take advantage of some education benefits, then it’s best to file Married Filing Jointly because filing separately will not give you this benefit. So it might be wise to take into account how long you were enrolled as a student for that tax year. Many people get continuing education and go to school for a few months. If this is the case, it may not be worth taking the education credit. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of the total adjusted gross income and whether or not it’s worth it to file Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. Do you have any children? Children are another big factor in determining whether or not you’ll want to file separately or jointly. If you want to claim the Child and Dependent Tax Credit you will have file jointly. Filing separately will not allow you to take this credit. So here it appears...

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Why Summer is the Perfect Time to Prepare for Next Tax Season

Why Summer is the Perfect Time to Prepare for Next Tax Season

By on Aug 23, 2016 in Tax Preparation | 0 comments

When the summer months roll around, the last thing you might be thinking of is tax season. Well, you might be thinking about how to spend this year’s refund, but the whole filing thing? That’s next year’s headache, right? Not exactly. Watch Your Money! Here’s the thing: The tax filing process doesn’t really have to be a headache if you don’t want it to be. When it comes to money matters of any kind, the key to staying on top of the situation is keeping a close eye on your credits and debits. Whether it’s your checking, savings, long-term savings, or taxes, it’s best to always keep a watchful eye of how your money and debt moves. Take a Moment to Reassess and Prepare That’s why the summer months are the perfect time to prepare for the next tax season. For one, most people tend to spend more money around the summer months thanks to vacations and activities to keep the kids occupied since school is out—not to mention babysitting expenses. So, it’s around this time where you might want to reassess your income and expenses for the first four months out of the year, because let’s face it, you were probably preoccupied with trying to meet the deadline for this year’s taxes, which is understandable. Other Things to Consider Around the Summer Months So now’s the time to use these summer months to reassess your finances and summer expenses. Some of you may have already taken your summer vacation and have moved right on to some early back-to-school shopping. That’s smart too. Take advantage of any tax-free savings that might be available for Tax Free Holidays. But aside from managing your summer spending, the biggest advantage of planning for the next tax season around the summer months is that you’ll have the opportunity to plan for end-of-the-year holiday spending. Be Smart This Summer If you are in debt—whether it’s from credit cards, a personal loan, home loan, or taxes, consider the money that you would’ve put toward summer expenses and try skimming a couple of dollars to pay any debt you might have. While paying off debt isn’t any fun, spending money certainly will not alleviate it either....

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Why You Should Prepare for Tax Season Now

Why You Should Prepare for Tax Season Now

By on Jan 21, 2016 in tax companies, Tax Preparation, Tax Tips | 0 comments

Tax season can often be one of the most stressful times of the year. However, it doesn’t have to be. Some of the added stress comes from not being prepared. The frustration of digging through filing cabinets, shoeboxes, and piles of deteriorating documents to find that one form needed to complete annual taxes can often be the tipping point to throwing one’s hands up and simply ignoring his or her tax obligations resulting in a late filing or worse, neglecting to file. If at all possible, the best time to start preparing for the next tax season is in the month of January! This maybe difficult to do as most are preparing to account for the previous year, but it’s not impossible. It simply takes planning and organization. Here are some helpful tips to follow to make the next tax season less frustrating: TIP #1 – Make Sure All Legal Documents are Accessible  This is when it’s time to make sure that every person who will be included in the annual filing has all of his or her legal documents. Be sure to have legal United States (US) identification with a picture I.D. such as a driver’s license, passport, visas, green cards, adoption papers, marriage certificates, social security cards—anything that proves that individual is a legal US citizen. These types of documentations will always have a series of unique numbers that will identify a person. Even if the taxpayer knows these numbers by heart, it is still important that one has legal documentation to back up every bit of information provided in an annual filing.  TIP #2 – Gather Tax Documents  Usually at the beginning of the year, one can expect tax documents to show up in his or her mailbox. It’s quite common to not have a clue what they are for! Some may look familiar and others won’t. The type of tax documents one receives depends on what they did that previous year. For example, if someone started college that tax year, he or she will receive a 1098-T statement indicating the amount of qualified expenses that student has paid. If a person started a freelancing job and earned over $500 that tax year, he or she...

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Avoiding Tax Problems By Pre-Planning

Avoiding Tax Problems By Pre-Planning

By on Nov 30, 2015 in Filing Taxes, Tax Preparation, Tax Tips | 0 comments

In order to make sure that your annual tax filing goes through a smooth, glitch-less process, there must be some proactive steps that have to be taken. Even then, there is no guarantee, but as a filer, you have the responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that your tax filing process is processed in an effortless manner. The only way to do that is to pre-plan. Track Your Income and Expenses This actually applies to every taxpayer but for entrepreneurs especially, it is crucial to keep an accurate record of all your expenses and income. For those who are employed by a company, half the job is already done as these companies supply you with annual W2 forms. Yet, if you are receiving additional income, you will need to report it on your taxes. In order to do that, there needs to be documentation to support your additional earnings. It is just as important to track your expenses. While the government will supply each taxpayer with a standard deduction that ranges from approximately $6,200 – $12,400, it is possible that your expenses may have exceeded that amount. Yet again, the only way to find out is to keep accurate records of your expenses. This might seem like a tedious task, but with online banking, it can sometimes just be a matter of keeping track of your monthly statements. There’s also the tried and true method of saving all of your receipts in a shoebox—the options are there!  File on Time!  If you want to be one of the taxpayers who fly under the radar during tax season, the best thing you can do is to file on time! Late filers are frowned upon, and because of that, they are penalized. Try to avoid delays and penalties by making sure you meet the filing deadline.  File! This probably shouldn’t have to be stated, but many taxpayers are taken to court regularly simply because they didn’t file their taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) isn’t interested in excuses either. Neglecting to file annual taxes can result in wage garnishment and worse, prison time.  Find a Trusted Tax Preparer  Many people have been burned because they trusted the wrong people to...

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How to Prepare for Tax Season This Fall

How to Prepare for Tax Season This Fall

By on Nov 3, 2015 in tax companies in houston TX, Tax Preparation, Tax Tips | 0 comments

With the fall season well underway, many people are usually recovering from the expense of back-to-school shopping only to be re-introduced to a medley of festive holidays to follow. After everyone has recovered from that, in comes the W2s and now tax season has officially started! In short, tax season is not that far away. So to better prepare yourself for that sometime rewarding, yet exasperating season, the best thing to do is be proactive by preparing for it as early as possible this fall season. Here are a few ways you can make the upcoming tax season easier for you:   Start Collecting Information that Might Take Weeks to Get  When it’s time to file your annual taxes, one of the most annoying things is not having the proper documents to file. At the bare minimum, tax filings will require a social security number and birth certificate. As it is likely that you already know your own, if you have a spouse or dependents that you are including in your filing, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will want to know theirs as well. Even if you have an excellent memory, it is still very important to have these documents on hand to support what your are entering in your filing. If you do not have these documents, it is recommended to go to the county city building and/or the social security office to request a duplicate copy.  Create a Folder For Tax Related Documents  It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a free spirit or an organized individual. When it comes to paying taxes, there must be some level of responsibility taken. At the very minimum, it is recommended to create a folder dedicated for taxes only. This way, once you begin receiving documents in the mail marked “tax-related documents” or the like, just slip them into your new tax folder. It is not always necessary to know exactly what it is for. If any document you receive recommends you to save it for your taxes, do just that! When it’s time to file, all you have to do is give that folder to your tax preparer and rest easy! Should you choose not to do this, when...

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