On January 15, 2015 the IRS announced that it would begin processing the nation’s federal income tax returns on time. The IRS schedule for processing returns begins this year on January 20, although taxpayers who use the government’s Free File system could begin four days earlier, on January 16, 2015. That means the IRS direct […]
Let IRS Apex Give You the Knowledge & Confidence to File Your Own TaxesWe live in a great nation, but let's face it even if you love your country you can still hate taxes. Even if you don't mind paying taxes, you probably don't like all the paperwork involved in preparing your taxes. So we pay someone else to do it for us. But what if you're a do it yourself kind of person? What if you are budget-minded and don't want to pay someone for something you can do for yourself? Is it possible to do your own taxes and come out ahead? Of course it is! The minimal cost of having your taxes prepared for you is $75. That's the average starting cost. Tax prep services and accountants usually charge by the page. That is, the more pages in your income tax return, the more you'll be paying. It can run into hundreds of dollars. You can save at least $75 by doing your own taxes. That's the very least you'll save. The IRS has identified dozens of what they call efile providers that are free. The are on a list of FreeFile providers on the site. See below for a link to that page. You can visit the IRS website for the most up do date list of approved efile companies.
What About National Tax Prep Chains? Don't They Find More Deductions and Credits?Despite dozens of free efile tax preparation websites approved by the IRS, more than half of US taxpayers still shell out the dough to pay someone else to do the work for us. We take our paperwork and W2s and 1099s and receipts to the local office of a large national tax prep company. We hand it all over to them and watch a tax professional type in the numbers and file your taxes for us. But did you know that tax prep "professional" is inputting your numbers into software that you could have for free? Chances are, when you sit down in that tax office and wait for your taxes to be done for you, the person doing the job and making at least $75 is using software you could easily be using right at home. Wouldn't you like to have that $75? $100? $200? Well it's pretty simple, usually. With companies like TaxAct, Turbotax, and other efile providers, you have the software. With websites like IRS.gov and IRS Apex, you have the support.
How Can IRS Apex Help?IRS Apex takes IRS information and translates it into everyday speech and easy to grasp concepts. When you understand your taxes, you'll have the power to do your own taxes and save money. You see, most tax software programs you'd use at home use a question and answer format. The program will ask you a yes/no question and you'll answer. Depending on your answer, the software asks you more questions. At certain points, you'll be entering numbers into the program. The key to doing your own taxes is to know how to answer those questions correctly and to your best tax advantage. That knowledge is where IRS Apex comes in. Not sure how to answer a question on your tax return software? just search on the topic or keyword on our website and get some background information on the subject. Get real life examples of how that particular tax issue is dealt with in various scenarios. Learn how different answers will affect your IRS refund. With IRS Apex behind you, you'll have the confidence to do your own taxes next time.
Can I File My Return here?No, at this time we are not an authorized e-file provider. We simply give tax information so you can understand your tax return. To file your taxes for free, visit the IRS website page that lists FreeFile companies. There's also a list of tax preparation companies that offer tax preparation for a fee. You'll also find a search tool that lets you input your zip code and find a tax preparation professional in your area. Only approved professionals can be on the IRS list.
I’d Rather Pay a Professional So He or She Can Help Me If I Get Audited
Tax programs and website that offer tax software and efile will help you with an audit, too. They have audit support and you can also purchase audit representation when you efile your tax return. It usually runs $40 to $60 and you’re covered if you get audited.
How Does Tax Software Work?
Once you’ve chosen an efile program (like TaxAct or TurboTax) you’ll be guided step by step through a series of questions designed to complete your IRS 1040 or 1040 EZ form easily. It’s called the interview style and it’s so user friendly you won’t notice you’re actually doing your taxes by just answering some simple questions. The software uses your answers to determine which tax deductions and credits you might qualify for. For example, if you answer “yes” to the following question, you might qualify for the Dependent Care Tax Credit.
Each answer alters the path of the interview, based on whether or not you’ll qualify for the deduction or credit that’s about to be presented. And all you do is answer a simple question like the one above!
If you don’t know what IRS eFile is by now, take a moment to read this and you’ll be glad you did. IRS eFile is how every taxpayer should be filing his or her federal income tax returns. The “e” in IRS eFile stands for electronic and it means filing your tax return online instead […]
Thank goodness the IRS has entered the modern age. Now, making an IRS payment is easier and faster than is was just a few short years ago. If you owe money on your tax bill with the IRS, you can now use your credit card to make a payment. This is just wonderful news for […]
Do you know how much of your income goes to the IRS? If someone were to ask you what percentage of your salary you pay in federal taxes, what would you say…10%? 30%? 45%? You can consult IRS tax tables of course, but they only tell you what your marginal tax rate would be. You […]
What do you know of in the business world that hasn’t changed in twenty years? Still thinking? Check out the Federal Corporate tax rates from 1994 to 2012 (make that almost twenty years). They haven’t moved a bit and it’s only now that the President has suggested lowering the corporate tax rate in exchange for […]
Now that you are a high-roller and you invest in stocks, chances are you might make some money at some point if you sell your stocks at the right time. That’s considered income so of course the IRS gets involved. When you file your income tax, don’t forget to tell the IRS about your dividend […]
The Medicare tax rate is quite low, considering the benefit you’ll get when you retire. Medicare is for retired persons and supplies basic coverage in old age, disability and a few other situations, for people who can’t work. The Medicare tax rate is just 1.45% of taxable income. Your employer pays another 1.45% of your […]
If you are an employer who pays your employees to travel, then you need to learn as much as you can about per diem. This translate to “per day” and it means a daily rate for which employees are paid to travel. Per diem is money you give your employees to cover costs of eating, […]
For tax year 2013, you may be eligible for a new tax credit under the Affordable Care Act. If you purchase health insurance then the amount you pay for the premiums may be worth a nice fat tax credit when you file your income tax return in 2014. This will either reduce your tax bill […]
The Gift Tax is the IRS’s way of preventing wealthy people from avoiding income and estate taxes. If rich people can just give away all their money right before they die, there wouldn’t be any estate to tax and the IRS would lose out on billions of dollars each year. The IRS gifting rules call […]
Income taxes are all about taxing your inbound money. The large chunk of income for most of us is our jobs. But humans are crafty folk and of course we’re always devising ways of making cash on the side as well. Money makes the world go ’round! What Does Capital Gains Mean? One way to […]
How fair is the payroll tax? As the income-generating arm for our Social Security system, it’s gotta be fair as well as sufficient. There are people who argue that the social security tax rate is neither. What do you think? Is the Social Security Tax Rate Fair? There are two things to consider here: the […]
As you probably know, there are a whole lot of things that can affect the amount of federal income tax you pay each year. Tax code changes all the time, as does your personal financial situation. As your life becomes more complex and you diversify your money-saving strategies, you will more than likely become interested […]
Do you know how much of your income goes towards paying taxes? Do you know how to find out? How much we really pay in federal taxes is a pretty popular subject with politicians, bloggers, and hotheads out there, so if you read about it online you’re going to find some pretty exclamatory stuff. Here’s […]
Thanks, IRS, for making the EIN application process a lot faster and easier. To get an Employer Identification Number all you need to do is go to the IRS website and verify a few things then voila: you have an IRS EIN within minutes. It’s free. There are services that will offer to help you […]
If you are starting a business then one of the first things you may want to do is get an EIN from the IRS. EIN stands for Employer Identification Number and it behaves like a Social Security Number. It’s a SSN for your business. You may be thinking, I just want to start developing my […]
Did you know that you’re supposed to keep a copy of your federal tax returns forever? What, you say? How is that possible, given how often we move, suffer natural disaster, lose things, or misplace them in our piles of stuff. Short of tattooing your old tax returns on your body, how does the IRS […]
If you need to speak with an actual IRS representative, there are several IRS phone numbers you can use. It depends on what your question or issue will be, but here are some of the IRS hotlines you can use in various situations: Received an IRS notice? call 1-800-829-1040 Need help preparing your taxes? call […]
For the most part, the average tax refund amount has hovered around $3,000 for the past few years. It is hard to tell whether or not the direction of these refund amounts is relative to any other statistic. A better analysis would be around the actual tax amount, and whether or not that amount has […]
The concept of a tax refund may be one of the most misunderstood concepts in the United States. Many people believe this is some type of free money that is owed to them at the end of the year by the government. The truth couldn’t be further from this. In basic terms, a tax refund […]
For the most part, the deadline to file your federal tax return with Internal Revenue Service has been April 15th. The specific date may fluctuate a little with respect to weekends or holidays, but more often than not, the deadline will fall on April 15th. In 2012, the deadline to file your 2011 tax return […]
Tax brackets, also known as tax rates, are percentages used by the IRS to determine the taxation rate of a given range of incomes. Knowing which bracket you fall into can help you understand how much you might owe when you file your taxes, and can also help with future financial planning, like when considering […]
You might be ready to do your taxes, but you find yourself waiting weeks—or sometimes, even months—for all of your necessary numbers and forms to come from your employers and arrive in the mail. Other times, you might have all the materials you need, but you just can’t find the time to sit down and […]
So you’ve compiled your W2s, entered your information, crunched your numbers, and double-checked your data… and you’ve discovered that the refund check you were expecting is actually a big IOU addressed directly to the IRS. Don’t fret! Many people discover that they owe a balance after preparing their taxes, and the IRS even facilitates an […]
You know that the income you earn is partially responsible for the amount of tax you owe to the International Revenue Service each tax season. But did you know that a variety of other factors, like your filing status, exemptions, and deductions, also contribute to the amount of tax you pay? Tax tables use each […]
Americans aren’t known for their patience. With many Americans eligible for tax refunds, that means that many Americans are also left wondering when they will get their refunds. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service has developed a pretty user friendly tool that allows for checking on the status of any return, whether electronically filed or through […]
Each year, the most common questions heard from American taxpayers has to do with the when they expect to receive their federal tax return back. Over the past few years, the amount of time between filing your return and receiving your refund check has drastically reduced. In the past, weeks would pass before you would […]
There are few things more frightening to an American than the idea of getting audited. Often times, they feel this way simply because they do not know what to expect from an IRS audit. In reality, scores of taxpayers each year go through audits and come out of them completely unscathed. While it may seem […]
The IRS mileage rate will see a slight increase from 2012 to 2013. It is typical to see the standard mileage rate adjust from year to year to reflect the current economic realities, namely gas prices. In 2012, the standard rate was 55.5 cents per mile. For 2013, the standard rate will increase to 56.5 […]
Every once in a while, changes are made to the tax laws and a lot of behind the scenes work need to be completed in order to get the IRS systems up to date. Any change needs to be run though the system and tested to ensure compliance with the new rules. Typically, the IRS […]
Americans love tax refund time. In fact, many taxpayers will already have their tax refund earmarked for a specific purpose well before they receive their check in hand. Often times they know what they will spend their money on before they even file. With their refund burning a hole in their pocket, some US citizens […]
Why the 2013 Tax Filing Season Was a Week Late With the recent tax law changes under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ACTRA), the 2012 IRS tax refund schedule began on January 30, 2013. There were some system updates and additional programming required to ensure that the new changes are captured, but it looked like […]
Tax season is one of the most eagerly awaited times of the year for many Americans. Most lower to middle class families typically are entitled to refunds, and getting a nice sized check from Uncle Sam is a pretty good way to start off the year. Filing your taxes is only the start of the […]
The IRS E-File System The year 2013 has been one in which the IRS has really begun using online tax returns filing. This has made it easy for both the IRS and the taxpayer to update and confirm the progress of the already filed tax returns respectively. This has been made possible by the launch […]
The IRS Refund Schedule in a Nutshell The Internal Revenue Service refund schedule can be described as a schedule that helps give an estimated period of the timeline or dates within which the Internal Revenue Service will release a tax refund. This timeline is usually based on the exact time at which the returns are […]
What is an IRS Refund? As discussed on before, and IRS refund is the money that the taxpayer paid in excess of the agreed tax returns and is therefore returned or refunded to the taxpayer by the IRS at the end of every fiscal year. The due dates for IRS tax returns is usually announced […]