Category: Tax Tips and Tricks

Taxes are confusing and cause many taxpayers stress come tax season but PriorTax is here to help. Learn the tax tips and tricks to get you through the preparation process. You could be missing out on more money from the IRS which is why we want to help. We’ll let you know about hidden deductions and rare credits to report on your tax return to maximize your refund. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment on our blog if you have a question about your tax situation. Also, check back here for new tips and tricks throughout the tax season because our team is on the lookout!

Archive for the ‘Tax Tips and Tricks’ Category

What is a 1098-T Form?

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on February 27, 2019
Last modified: February 28, 2019

1098-t

Unfortunately, education isn’t free for some students.

If you’re a college student, parent, guardian or anyone paying out-of-pocket for tuition, fees, and required course materials needed for enrollment, you will receive a Form 1098-T. This tuition statement form reports all of your transactions, which means the payments you make to your school.

What does a 1098-T statement look like?

(more…)

Time to E-file Your 2018 Taxes!

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on December 28, 2018
Last modified: February 7, 2019

taxes 2018

Are you preparing for the 2019 tax season?

The new 2018 tax return is circulating the web so now we know what it looks like.

Here’s how to be ahead of the game.

Here’s what you need to know

Mark your calendar or set a reminder on your phone because there are some important dates to remember. (more…)

Instructions for Filing the New 2018 Form 1040!

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on December 24, 2018
Last modified: January 8, 2019

2018 form 1040

The IRS finally released the new 2018 tax return.

You’ll see some obvious changes in the new tax return. But first, here’s a breakdown of how to report your tax information.

Keep reading to find out how filing this upcoming tax season will be different.

Introducing Schedules 1 – 6

Form 1040 will be shorter than the previous form because the IRS consolidated tax information into separate schedules. That being said, all additional income and adjustments to income have moved to Schedule 1, taxes moved to Schedule 2, nonrefundable credits moved to Schedule 3, other taxes moved to Schedule 4, other payments and refundable credits moved to Schedule 5, and foreign addresses/third party designee’s moved to Schedule 6.

Here’s how you will be reporting this information. (more…)

How are Charitable Deductions Affected by the TCJA?

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on November 27, 2018
Last modified: November 27, 2018

Generosity has its perks, or rather its tax benefits.

Keep in mind, taxpayers are able to easily itemize once they exceed their standard deduction. This typically happens by taxpayers claiming charitable donations along with any expenses they have. It then becomes greater than their standard deduction. However, the standard deduction is twice the amount for 2017.

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), taxpayers who itemize may face some difficulties next year.

Read on to find out what you can do to be prepared for next year!

“Bunching,” a word that people can’t stop talking about.

If you’re surfing the web for information on charitable donations, you might run into the term, “bunching.” It may be confusing, so we’re here to clear it up for you. (more…)

Cyber Monday is HERE, with some sales tax…

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on November 26, 2018
Last modified: November 26, 2018

online sales tax

We’ll surf through crowds to get our hands on the newest flatscreen tv.

Like most Americans, we rush to get deals on Black Friday, or even better Cyber Monday. However, taxpayers rely heavily on Cyber Monday to buy the items they have on their wishlist because if an online retailer doesn’t have a physical presence in our state, we’re not required to pay any sales tax.

Nonetheless, consumers might notice a difference in the amount in their sales tax (depending on where they live) because of a Supreme Court ruling passed in June 2018.

E-commerce retailers are now required to collect sales tax from online purchases.

Prior to this, online retailers did not have to collect sales tax if they did not have a physical presence in your specific state. (more…)

Prepare for the 2019 Tax Season!

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on November 5, 2018
Last modified: March 19, 2019

tax cuts and jobs act

2018 is coming to an end.

It seems like the year went by so quickly. Now, are you ready for the new tax season? The 2019 tax season brings in a variety of changes that will ultimately affect how you file and Form 1040.

Read below to find out what you need to know before filing your 2018 tax return.

Check your withholding

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), taxpayers may receive a lesser refund or a tax bill because of their decreased withholding. We advise that you should definitely check your withholding if you have a two-income family, work multiple jobs or part of the year, have children to claim the Child Tax Credit or older dependents, you itemize your deductions on prior year returns, receive high tax refunds or tax bills for the prior year or high-income taxpayers in general. Be advised that if you don’t have enough income tax withheld from your employer, you can be subject to a high tax due at the end of the year.

If you did not fill out an updated W-4 for 2018, click here to find out if you should adjust your withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator.

The standard deduction increases

The TCJA doubles all filing status’ standard deduction. Below you will find out how next year will be different. (more…)

April 15, 2019 is the Last Day to Claim your 2015 Refund!

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on October 30, 2018
Last modified: February 28, 2019

2015 refund

Running late on your refund?

Refunds come and go when it comes to taxes. Luckily, for you, you can still claim the 2015 refund that you’ve been delaying. Just remember, you have three years within the original due date of your 2015 tax return to claim your refund.

This is due to the IRS Statute of Limitations, which limits taxpayers in claiming a prior year refund. After the three year deadline, your refund expires and goes to the IRS.

Don’t wait. Get the money you’re entitled to.

Will I be able to e-file my taxes?

(more…)

What do I do if someone else claimed my dependent?

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on October 16, 2018
Last modified: October 19, 2018

someone else claimed my dependent

In the worst case scenario, the IRS rejects your tax return.

Someone else claimed my dependent. What should I do? Luckily, the IRS gives you options in case you’re stuck in this situation.

Unfortunately, the IRS cannot disclose who claimed your dependent. Typically it’s either the other parent, their child claimed themselves as an exemption on their individual tax return, another member of the household such as the grandparent, or any other person that lived with the child for a portion of the year.

What you need to do.

If you’re filing a current year return, you may receive a rejection due to your dependent’s social security number. In this case, you should double-check that you reported their SSN correctly. If it is reported correctly, you will need to paper file your return; meaning you must print, sign and mail your return to the IRS. You cannot e-file it since the IRS will reject it again. (For tax season 2018, the e-file and extension deadline has passed on October 15, 2018. Therefore, you must paper-file your return.)

You may receive a CP87A Notice which notifies each party that if they incorrectly claimed the dependent, they need to file an amended tax form. If you can rightfully claim the dependent, you do not need to respond to this notice. In order to dispute the claim of your dependent, you will need to attach a cover letter (more…)

Can I pay my federal taxes with a credit card?

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on September 10, 2018
Last modified: September 18, 2018

Can you pay federal taxes with credit card

The IRS can’t directly accept credit card payments due to tax laws.

However, they can accept payments through a third-party processor. For example, online tax preparation companies are third-party processors since they are designated by a merchant to handle transactions for merchant acquiring banks. They can then assist you in making your credit card payment towards your tax bill to the IRS.

Here’s what you need to be prepared for when you plan on using the credit route.

There are no flat fees when using your credit card.

(more…)

11 Tax Tips For Your Back-to-School Use!

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on August 21, 2018
Last modified: August 24, 2018

tax free week 2018

Education is expensive, so here’s some helpful tips!

Get your tax break from claiming your kids.

  1. Don’t forget to claim up to $1,000 for the Child Tax Credit.
    (Your child must be under 17, live more than half the year with you, a dependent on your tax return, be directly related to you, a U.S. citizen, national or resident alien)
  2. Claim the child and dependent care credit for child care expenses for your child under 13.
  3. You can claim the Earned Income Credit (EIC) depending on your income.
  4. The Adoption Tax Credit reduces your tax for expenses such as Court, attorney fees, travel and meal expenses. (You can also claim the Special Needs Credits for all relating expenses)
  5. Claim the Education Credit for education expenses if you’re paying for your child’s college education.

(more…)