Tag: filing status

Posts Tagged ‘filing status’

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…)

What Are Allowances on a W-4?

Posted by admin on October 18, 2016
Last modified: November 2, 2016

You must pay tax to the IRS but your W-4 form lets you decide when to pay it.

When beginning a new job, you may remember your employer handing over a W-4 form (along with the pile of other paperwork) to fill out. Your W-4 form determines how much tax is withheld from your income based on how many allowances you claim.
You can claim a certain number of allowances depending on your life situation. Allowances conclude how little or how much your employer will withhold from your paychecks throughout the year for taxes. In other words, the size of your tax refund or tax due to the IRS after filing your taxesYou can claim as little as zero allowances or as many as apply to you and your tax situation. The ideal situation is to break even; no tax owed and no tax refund.

How many allowances should you claim?

The details to your specific situation (such as your filing status, number of children, etc.) will determine how you complete your W-4.

If your parents claim you: 

If you’re being claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, you’ll most likely want to claim zero allowances. This is because your parents are claiming you as an exemption, rather than you claiming yourself.

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Can I Still Get My 2012 Tax Refund?

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on February 10, 2016
Last modified: November 2, 2016

Start your engines! The last day to claim your 2012 tax refund is April 18th, 2016.

Many of us recognize April 18th as the deadline to file our 2015 tax returns. Did you know that it is also the last day to file a 2012 tax return and claim a tax refund?

The IRS has a three-year statute of limitations for taxpayers to collect their refund money. Once those three years are up, all unclaimed refunds land themselves amongst others within the IRS walls of tax years past.

Sorry for the dramatization but it’s true. Why give up your refund to the IRS when you can file your 2012 tax return today and get your hard-earned money back?

 

File your 2012 tax return in a few simple steps.

You only have until mid-April to claim your 2012 tax refund. If you start today, you could have that refund in your hand by the end of the month. It’s easy! Here’s how:

  1. Create an account on PriorTax. Select 2012 as your tax year, create a username and unique password.
  2. Enter your tax information. Once you have your 2012 tax documents handy, we’ll ask all the questions.
  3. Submit your 2012 account. The PriorTax team will review your information and make a pdf version available for you to download.
  4. Print, sign and mail your 2012 tax return. Since you cannot e-file a prior year tax return, you’ll need to mail your return to the IRS.

 

Did you forget what the 2012 tax rates are?

We’ve got you covered. It’s probably been awhile since you’ve taken a look at these. Just to refresh your memory, take a look at the 2012 tax rates below: (more…)

How to Complete a W-4 if You’re Married

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on January 13, 2016
Last modified: November 2, 2016

Tie the knot in your life and also on your taxes.

The honeymoon is over and it’s back to reality. With such a huge change in your life, it’s important to pay attention to how it will affect your taxes. Once the wedding bells in your head subside, update your W-4 form with your employer.

Completing a W-4 form can be intimidating especially knowing that your paycheck depends on it. Don’t let your tax return take the fun out of your recent marriage. Let us help you fill out your W-4 so that you can still break even this tax season!

 

You just got married.

Congrats to all of you newlyweds out there! Once you’ve found a place in your cabinets for all of those trinkets on your Bed Bath & Beyond registry, make sure you speak with your employer. You may or may not know already but filing a joint tax return screams ‘tax benefits’!

You should update your W-4 form to reflect your married filing status ASAP. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible so that it reflects on your tax return when you file for the year.

As a married couple with two sources of income, your tax rate is bound to change. Be sure to sit down with your spouse and discuss the household income you’ll both be bringing in. If one of you makes significantly less income, your joint tax rate could be brought down. What if one spouse is earning significantly more? You could be entering into a higher tax bracket.

 

You’re married… and just had a baby!

Babies probably play the biggest role in tax benefits. Funny…considering they can hardly utter ‘W’ or ‘4’. When you have a baby, you can claim an additional allowance. As a married couple planning to file a joint return, it is recommended that the spouse earning the higher income claim the additional allowance(s). The other spouse will not need to update their W-4 form. You may also qualify for the Child Tax Credit or Child Care Tax Credit depending on your income.  

Claiming a higher amount of allowances on your W-4 form will allow for less to be withheld from your paychecks. If you leave your withholdings as-is, your tax refund may be larger than necessary. Plus, you’ll probably need a little extra for Pampers and ear plugs (kidding!) throughout the year.

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How to File your First Tax Return

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on November 13, 2015
Last modified: November 2, 2016

Filing your first tax return is a bit like doing your laundry.

You don’t want to do it. You’d prefer someone just did it for you. But if you don’t do it, you know there will be consequences. 

Unlike laundry, you’ll need to do a bit more sorting, as in sorting through of all those tax forms. And unlike laundry, you really should know the basics before you start. Don’t worry though: you’ll get through it and probably even get a refund afterwards.

 

Find out if you are being claimed as a dependent!

The first thing you should do is talk to your parents. Since they’ve been claiming you as a dependent since before you could even utter the words, ‘tax return’, make sure they know you are planning on filing for yourself to avoid being rejected by the IRS. Each and every person is allowed to claim a personal exemption for themselves or their dependent. However, only one exemption can be claimed per person.

Here’s a classic scenario:

Abby was just hired as a barista at that awesome new cafe downtown. She makes a decent income and her co-worker mentions that she could probably cash in on a nice refund come tax time. Being that Abby is only 17 and earning less than the threshold allotted by the IRS, her parents can still claim her as a dependent on their return. If Abby files a tax return and claims the personal exemption for herself, not noting that she is being claimed as a dependent, and then her parents claim the personal exemption for Abby on their return, the IRS will reject the last tax return submitted.

 

Do you know the age requirements to be claimed as a dependent?

Although your age doesn’t specifically determine if you need to file a tax return, it is a key player in whether or not you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes. When it comes to age, you can only be claimed as a qualifying child dependent if one of the following is true: (more…)