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Top Ten Tax Tips

***These tax tips have been provided by the IRS*** Gather your records …now ! It is never too early to start getting together any documents or forms you will need when filing your taxes: receipts, canceled checks, and other documents

Tips for Planning to Start a Business

If planning to start a business is on your horizon or you have just opened your doors, it is important to know some general information regarding the tax implications. Here are five basic tips as outlined by the IRS to get you started

Tax Tips for Newlyweds

Congratulations on your new marriage! A change in your marital status brings a change in your taxes. Here are some tips to help you make the transition and prepare for your upcoming tax return. Social Security Information: It is important

Tips to Start Planning Next Year's Tax Return

For most taxpayers and TaxSlayer customers, the tax deadline has passed and you have already filed your returns, but planning for next year can start now. Here are a few tips that you can do to make filing your next years tax return

10 Tips to Ease Tax Time for Military

Military personnel have some unique duties, expenses and transitions. Some special tax benefits may apply when moving to a new base, traveling to a duty station, returning from active duty and more. These tips may put military members

Tips if You Are Recently Married, Divorced, or have Adopted

If you were married or divorced recently, there are a couple of things you will want to do to ensure that the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration. If a taxpayer takes their spouse’s last name or if both spouses hyphenate their last names, they may run into complications if they do not notify the SSA. If the newlyweds file a tax return using their new last names, IRS computers would not be able to match the new name with their Social Security Number and reject the return. After a divorce, taxpayers who change back to their previous last name also need to notify the SSA of the change. Informing the SSA of a name change is quite simple. File a Form SS-5 at your local SSA office. The form is available on SSA’s Web site at , by calling 800-772-1213 or at local offices. It usually takes about two weeks to have the change verified. Taxpayers who adopt will want to make sure their adopted children have an SSN. Taxpayers must provide SSNs for each dependent claimed on a tax return. For adopted children without SSNs, the parents can apply for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number – or ATIN – by filing Form W-7A , Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions with the IRS. The ATIN is a temporary number used in place of an SSN on the tax return. The W-7A is available on the IRS Web site at , or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Links: Social Security Administration Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card (PDF)

Tips for Taxpayers If Your Address Has Changed

You can change your address on file with the IRS in several ways: Correct the address legibly on the mailing label that comes with your tax package if you are paper filing. Write the new address in the appropriate boxes on your tax return if paper filing or enter the new address within your TaxSlayer account . Use Form 8822 , Change of Address , to submit an address or name change any time during the year. Give the IRS written notification of your new address by writing to the IRS center where you file your return. Include your full name, old and new addresses, Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or Employer Identification Number (EIN)and signature. **If you filed a joint return, be sure to include the information for both taxpayers. If you filed a joint return and have since established separate residences, both taxpayers should notify the IRS of your new addresses. Should an IRS employee contact you about your account, you may be able to verbally provide a change of address. Be sure to also notify your employer of your new address so you receive your W-2 forms on time. If you change your address after you have filed your return, do not forget to notify the post office at your old address so your mail can be forwarded. Taxpayers who make estimated payments throughout the year should mail a completed Form 8822 , Change of Address, or write the IRS center where you file your return. You may continue to use your old pre-printed payment vouchers until the IRS sends you new ones with your new address. However, do not correct the address on the old voucher. **If you prepared Estimated Payment Vouchers using your TaxSlayer account, you can update your address within the Basic Information section and then print your Estimated Payment Voucher's with the updated address. The IRS does use the Postal Service’s change of address files to update taxpayer addresses, but it is still a good idea to notify the IRS directly. Visit for more information about changing your address. You can find the address of the IRS center where you file your tax return or download Form 8822, Change of Address. The form is also available by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). If you need to update IRS records with your new business address, please fill out Form 8822-B.

Tax Tips for Students and Parents Paying College Expenses

Whether you are a recent graduate going to college for the first time or a returning student, it will soon be time to get to campus – and payment deadlines for tuition and other fees are not far behind. The Internal Revenue Service reminds students and/or parents paying such expenses to keep receipts and to be aware of some tax benefits that can help offset college costs. Typically, these benefits apply to you, your spouse or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return. American Opportunity Credit - This credit, originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has been extended through the 2017 Tax Year. The credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student and is available for the first four years of post secondary education. Forty percent (40%) of this credit is refundable, which means that you may be able to receive up to $1,000, even if you owe no taxes. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, course related books, supplies and equipment. The full credit is generally available to eligible taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is below $90,000 ($180,000 for married couples filing a joint return ).* Each eligible student must be enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period beginning during the year. * Lifetime Learning Credit - In 2014, you may be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses paid for a student enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for an eligible student, but to claim the credit, your modified adjusted gross income must be below $63,000 ($127,000 if married filing jointly). Note : This is a nonrefundable credit which means the credit is limited to the amount of tax you must pay on your taxable income. * Available for one or more courses .* Tuition and Fees Deduction - This deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000 for 2014 even if you do not itemize your deductions. Generally, you can claim the tuition and fees deduction for qualified higher education expenses for an eligible student if your modified adjusted gross income is below $80,000 ($160,000 if married filing jointly). Student Loan Interest Deduction - Generally, personal interest you pay, other than certain mortgage interest, is not deductible. However, if your modified adjusted gross income is less than $75,000 ($155,000 if filing a joint return), you may be able to deduct interest paid on a student loan used for higher education during the year. It can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $2,500, even if you don’t itemize deductions. For each student, you can choose to claim only one of the credits in a single tax year. However, if you pay college expenses for two or more students in the same year, you can choose to take credits on a per-student, per-year basis. You can claim the American Opportunity Credit for your sophomore daughter and the Lifetime Learning Credit for your senior son. You cannot claim the Tuition and Fees Deduction for the same student in the same year that you claim the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. You must choose to either take the credit or the deduction and should consider which is more beneficial for you. For more information, visit the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center. American Opportunity & Lifetime Learning Credit - click here Tuition and Fees Deduction - click here

What if I had income from tips that I didn't report to my employer?

Sometimes, you may receive tips for work or services you performed, but you don't report these to your employer. If you have such income, you are required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on that income. Since you didn't report

Ten Tips on Tax Credits for Child and Dependent Care Expenses

if you are married filing jointly – could work or look for work. 3. You – and your spouse if you file jointly – must have earned income from wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee compensation or net earnings from self-employment