TaxSlayer Blog is your source for tax preparation news, tips and advice.
We all appreciate the sacrifice that our soldiers make for our country. This is one of the reasons that TaxSlayer.com offers free e-file for military members and families. There is more good news due to a new law, and many military families may be eligible for a stimulus payment this fall. Because of new legislation, the HEART Act (Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008) will offer a stimulus payment. Before the new act, some military members or families did not receive payment because of an absence of a SSN for a spouse or a child. Below is a quote from the IRS Commissioner: "The IRS wants to make it as easy as possible for military families to get the stimulus payments authorized by the new law. People who already have filed don’t need to do anything else to get their money. We’ll do the rest,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We will work as quickly as possible to put these new provisions in place while making sure the rest of the stimulus payment program continues smoothly through the summer and fall." This November, the Treasury Department will mail checks and make deposits to the qualified military families. Time frame for payments has not been set, but there will be an announcement later in the year. The number of families is estimated to be around 10,000. The IRS has even gone so far as to work with the Department of Defense. They want to make sure that eligible families get their payments from the HEART Act. There are complexities with making the new payments, but the IRS should be commended for doing their best to take care of military personnel and their families. You must have filed a 2007 federal tax return to get the stimulus payment. Even if you e-filed your return, as long as your return was accepted, you are eligible. If you are a married couple that filed a joint return, you don’t need to take any further action. For those that qualify, you should receive a payment up to $1,200 and $300 for each child under 17. Remember that these stimulus payments for military members are based on 2007 returns so if you have not filed a 2007 tax return, make sure to do it as soon as possible.
Scams are everywhere. In hard times, they seem to be especially prevalent, and scams don’t exclude taxes. First of all, email is one of the easiest ways to fall for a scam. The IRS released a recent disclaimer to avoid unsolicited emails about electronic federal tax payments. These scam emails include references to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The most recent email claims that tax payments made through this system have been rejected. Then, the email has a link for those that believe they have not paid yet. There is a falsified transaction report in the link. Once it has been clicked on, a virus will be downloaded onto your computer. This particular malware sends personal and financial information from the taxpayer’s computer. The information is then used for identity theft. For these reasons, the IRS and the Financial Management Service (the Treasury bureau that owns EFTPS) does not send direct notices through email. They recommend not opening any links or attachments included with an unknown email. Also, do not reply to the sender that pretends to be from the IRS or EFTPS. According to the IRS website, “EFTPS is a tax payment system that allows individuals and businesses to pay federal taxes electronically via the Internet or phone. It is committed to taxpayer privacy and uses industry-leading security practices and technology to protect taxpayer data.” Identity theft is a huge problem, but there are ways to combat it. There is an IRS strategy for fixing identity theft here. A key term to remember about scams is phishing. Phishing is anything that tricks a person into disclosing personal and financial information for identity through email. Many people are afraid to use online e-file because of fear of loss of personal information. This is a legitimate consideration, but only if you go to websites that aren’t secure and open emails from unknown sources. TaxSlayer knows the ins and outs of security when it comes to taxes. The system is updated constantly to ensure the safest e-filing of taxes in the industry. As long as you stick with the recommended sites for personal tax preparation, you’ll be good to go.
Check out these summertime yard tips. These tips can help your lawn be the best that it can be and also help your wallet! • Service your lawn mower – Regularly clean the air filter and check the oil level to ensure your mower lasts. Also check your blade a few times a year and make sure it isn’t dull. • Check watering habits – If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it only comes on early in the morning or late in the day. Otherwise, you could potentially waste water due to evaporation. • Treat your own yard – Instead of paying a professional to fertilize and spray for weeds, consider doing it yourself. • Plant intentionally – Make sure you plant drought-tolerant plants in sunny areas; plant shade-tolerant plants in shady areas.
Ever wonder what your refund will be while you’re on the go? TaxSlayer.com has taken care of that with the new phone app. Answer a few simple questions, and you will have an estimate of your tax refund for the year. It’s simple, quick, and easy. The following steps will give you an estimate in no time: • Fill out your filing status • Use a pay stub • Get the results When entering your pay stub, make sure to clarify whether it is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. When tax season comes around again, use TaxSlayer.com to get the largest refund. There is something to look forward to about taxes. A large refund can be a great start to the new year. It is never too early to start preparing. Package Size:0.091 MBInstall Size:0.17 MB. The app is available on the Droid market, and a push has been made to get it on the IPhone as well. Angry birds, Scrabble, Banking. All of these kinds of phone apps have taken off in popularity. Why not taxes? It may seem a little dry at first, but how many of those other apps guarantee money in your pocket? Companies are getting into the smart phone market, and TaxSlayer.com is no different. We want to reach our customers in every way. This app is completely free too. Taxes may seem intimidating; but the more familiar you become, the easier it will be. If you plan on working your job all year, it makes it even simpler. Paying those federal and social security taxes do have a benefit. Before filing next year, it is crucial that you get your W-2 before finalizing tax preparation. Using a pay stub alone can give you a great estimate, but there are countless cases where people get trigger happy at the beginning of the year by just using their pay stub. This can lead to the dreaded amended return that can delay your refund by weeks. TaxSlayer.com is with you the whole way for tax help. Take a look at the phone app just to get a feel for your refund now. When it comes time, use our services for simple web e-file of taxes.