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Tips & Free Tax Filing for Military Service Members for 2016, 2017

free military tax filingIf you are a member of America’s armed forces, we know how valuable your time is – even when it comes to tax season. That’s why we have compiled a few tips for you to know as you begin the process of paying Uncle Sam.

You don’t need to be an expert in state and federal tax code, and you don’t need to spend the money on an accountant or go to a retail tax service. You just need your basic tax forms, and TurboTax can do the rest for you.

What Service Members Need to Know When Filing Taxes

Organization is Your Friend

Keep all you tax documents organized into one file, and never leave them separate. There’s a reason why the military taught you a high standard of order, and preparing your taxes is made much easier when you keep these documents together and separate from your other files. You will save time, and that means a faster tax refund.

Take Advantage of Your Deductions and Credits

As a service member, there are many deductions which you can take advantage. Many are the same the civilians can file, but you also get many other benefits thanks to the uniform you are wearing. Here are just a few of the deductions and credits you can claim:

You Get to Keep Your Combat Pay

By including it on your taxes as you determine your earned credits, you remove the danger of reporting no earned income, and that means that you can still qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Just remember that you can only report all or none of your combat pay – there is nothing in between.

For service members serving in a combat zone, all the money you earn is non-taxable. No we did not stutter! Every single penny designated as combat pay is considered exempt under federal law, so you don’t even have to claim it on your taxes. However, if combat pay was all that you earned for the year, there could be an advantage in reporting it. 

Earned Income Tax Credit

Let’s face it, while there are tons of benefits being in the military, pay is not one of them. However, you are not doing this for the money. As a result, you can qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit which can be a nice boost on your tax return.

Moving and Travel Expenses

Moving from one base to another can be a costly affair, but the good news is that you can take advantage of these costs. Unreimbursed expenses are tax deductible so long as they are defined as reasonable by the government. If you are married and have to move the family along with you, you may qualify to have almost 95% of the cost of moving reimbursed.

Child Tax and Child/Dependent Care Credit

If you have children, this credit can definitely be a big help in getting you a bigger return on your taxes. Up to $6,000 dollars if you qualify for this credit.

You Get an Automatic Deadline Extension if You’re on Combat Deployment

As a member of the armed forces, you also get a 180-day extension on filing for your taxes. This benefit extends to your spouse as well if the two of you file jointly. However, it only applies if you are serving in a combat zone, and it begins the moment you return from such a deployment.

No Need to Report Health Insurance

If you are getting your health insurance from the military, there’s no need to file any forms such as the 1095-B or C as required by the Affordable Care Act. You might receive them in the mail, but unlike civilians who must report their insurance coverage, these forms are not required for you to report on your taxes. Just keep them for your records.

 Use TurboTax for the Most Accurate Filing and Maximize Your Return 

Using TurboTax will save you big when it comes to time, and time is a valuable resource in the military. All you need to do is have your tax documentation organized and ready. TurboTax will do the rest.

TurboTax Offers Free Tax Filing

Military personnel, ranks E-1 to E-5, are eligible to file taxes for free using the Turbo Tax Online Federal Free Edition. It asks you simple questions to help you get the right information filed and offers you a huge library of resources that are online in order for you to be as accurate as possible in reporting your income and receiving the tax deductions you deserve.

They even have a free tax refund calculator available that allows you to know the amount of money that you will be getting back in your tax refund. Their online filing services has the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail.

 

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IRS Federal Income Tax Form 1040A for 2016, 2017

tax form 1040aThe IRS form 1040A is one of the three forms you can use when filing your federal taxes. While it is longer than and more complex than form 1040EZ, it is shorter and simpler than form 1040. To use this tax form you must not have a taxable income that exceeds $100,000 and you must claim the standard deduction instead of itemizing your deductions.

Filing Status and Exemptions

You must list out your exemptions and select your filing status before moving on to report your income. This is because each filing status has a different tax bracket for calculating your income.

The good news is your filing status doesn’t affect your exemption amount for yourself and your dependents. Exemptions work like deductions, which mean they reduce your taxable income. Therefore, the more exemptions you have the more your taxable income is reduced, which means the lower your tax liability will be. The top section of the form also includes a section for you to list the name, social security number, and relationship of all of the dependents you are claiming on the form.

Allowable Income on Form 1040A

You can only report specific types of income on this tax form. You are only allowed to include wages, salaries and tips, interest and dividend income, capital gains, IRS, pension and annuity distributions, unemployment compensation, Alaska permanent fund dividends, and social security benefits. Any other type of income, such as self-employment income, must be reported, but you are required to file the full-length form 1040.

Once you have reported all of your income, you will then be able to claim specific adjustments to get to your adjusted gross income (AGI). Some of these deductions include educator expenses, IRA contributions, student loan interest and tuition payments.

Reporting Tax, Credits and Payments on Form 1040A

The second page of this tax form is where you deduct the standard deduction and your exemption allowances from your AGI to get your taxable income. After this, it is time to determine how much you owe in taxes by finding the correct range for your taxable income and filing status using the tax tables in the instructions.

When you have determined your tax, you will then claim limited tax credits that you qualify for. Some of the allowable tax credits include child and dependent care expenses, the credit for the elderly or disabled and education tax credits. These credits reduce your taxes owed by the dollar. Once this is done you then have to lower the number even more by subtracting the tax payments you already made during the year via withholdings from your employer.

The Difference between Form 1040A and Form 1040

While the filing status and exemption section on the two forms are similar there are differences between these two forms. For example, 1040A is much shorter than the standard 1040 form since you can only report a limited amount of income and make a limited amount of adjustments to your income. The main difference is form 1040A doesn’t allow you to itemize your deductions, but form 1040 does.

Why File with TurboTax?

When you file and prepare your federal taxes with TurboTax, you do not need to know tax forms or tax laws. They ask you simple questions, fill in the correct form, and do all of the mathematical calculations for you.

They even have a free tax refund calculator available that allows you to know the amount of money that you will be getting back in your tax refund. Their online filing services has the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail.

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Free Tax Filing with TurboTax 2016 Absolute Zero

For many tax filers, TurboTax is the leading software to get their taxes done quickly and easily without the ridiculous costs of having to pay someone else to file for them, and we can see why. Turbo Tax online software remains ahead of the competition when it comes to customer satisfaction. Last year, they led the way in allowing tax filers like you to file online for free. All you need to do is qualify by being eligible to file a 1040EZ or 1040A for your taxes and their free program, Absolute Zero is available to you.

TurboTax Absolute Zero

What You Get with TurboTax Absolute Zero:

With TurboTax Absolute Zero, there is no need to have any experience with tax filing. You don’t have to be an expert, and you don’t need to be a tech geek to use the program. All you do is enter your information into the system, and the program takes care of the rest. It will ask you easy to follow, interview style questions to help you along with the process of filing your taxes and alert you to any potential discrepancies that could trigger an audit.

You Can Get Your W-2 Form Online

Many companies are making their employees W-2s available online. These forms can easily be downloaded, as long as your employer automates their W-2 distribution process. Usually, your employer will notify you that your W-2 forms are available online. By importing your w-2, you will not have to wait for a paper copy to arrive in the mail, which allows you to file your taxes sooner. TurboTax online can help you import your W-2 if your employer has made it available and get your taxes started sooner.

Need to ask an expert for advice? Absolute Zero provides many of the same features that users of the paid version know and love. This includes SmartLook, a program feature that allows users to connect with tax experts who can answer any of your questions concerning your filing as well as review the documentation you’ve entered into the program. They can even show you ways to save money on your filing for next tax season.

With Turbo Tax’s innovative approach to filing taxes this year. We highly encourage the use of this program, regardless of your experience in doing taxes. Whether you are completely new to the world of tax filing, or a well-researched and organized expert, TurboTax makes everything easy – saving you time, money, and helping you avoid unnecessary stress. Using TurboTax’s Absolute Zero, is just as resourceful as the paid version of their product, and best of all: it’s free to use!

TurboTax Currently Offers Four Tax Products.

1. You have the free federal edition, which is for those who file forms 1040EZ and 1040A, which includes state filing for free. This version helps you claim dependent and child credits, but you are not able to itemize your deductions.

2. If you need to itemize your deductions, you will have to go to their deluxe version, which is great for taxpayers who itemize or are homeowners. It is not free to file and you have to pay an additional fee to file your state taxes.

3. The premier edition is the one you would use if you have investment and rental property income to report. However, as with the deluxe version, you will have to pay extra to file your state taxes.

4. Lastly, you have the home and business edition, which is for those who have small business or self-employment income. This is the most expensive option, but it includes everything, excluding the state return, which can be filed for an additional fee.

Turbo Tax is the Best Solution for Solving Your Tax Situation

With Turbo Tax’s innovative approach to filing taxes this year. We highly encourage the use of this program, regardless of your experience in doing taxes. Whether you are completely new to the world of tax filing, or a well-researched and organized expert, TurboTax makes everything easy – saving you time, money, and helping you avoid unnecessary stress. Using Turbo Tax’s Absolute Zero, is just as resourceful as the paid version of their product, and best of all: it’s free to use!

Many users say that TurboTax’s process is “as close to common sense as possible” and that “it felt like it would be a lot easier from the start. The guided interface is super helpful and the life event topics help tax filers understand the deductions and credits that they are eligible for, such as mortgage interest, childcare expenses, and charitable donations.

 

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How TurboTax 2016 Helps You Find More Tax Deductions

An increasing number of people are turning to TurboTax to get their income tax prepared and filed every year. They take all the hard work and stress out of tax form preparation and will always get you the largest refund.

As you go through the process of importing income and expense information into
the TurboTax 2016 Online Software, you will see possible deductions appear on your screen. This will let you know what you may qualify for and how much money you can save on your tax bill.

See Which Deductions You Can ClaimTurboTax 2016

This deduction log is one of the great benefits Intuit TurboTax has to offer. You will get immediate information about deductions claimed on your taxes already and ones that you are eligible to claim.

TurboTax is dedicated to making sure you save as much money as you can on your income tax bill each year.  This is the goal of any American and they value the same thing. Using this system to file your taxes is all about getting the maximum number of deductions and reducing your payment obligation.

TurboTax Does the Work for You

Have you ever been confused by the language or directions for the IRS tax forms? Do you have trouble determining which forms you have to use?

TurboTax’s main goal is to simplify the yearly income tax process for you. They lead you step by step using conversational English to choose the correct forms, whether it is 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ, and fill in the forms correctly so you do not have to worry.

They are also capable of automatically filling in information from your place of work, banks and other financial institution which saves you time and reduces the paper work load. All you have to do is provide some basic information and they put everything in the proper places.

Get a Discount

You can already see how the TurboTax preparation system is easier than anything you have done before. It gets even better if you use this discount coupon code. They will automatically fill in forms based on last year’s information and ask if anything has changed to ensure accuracy. All of your data is secure, perfectly private and saved in their system in case you have to stop the tax preparation process and come back to it later.

Their Smart Check scans for any errors so you can rest assured that the IRS is getting correct information. Their guarantee that is so strong that they will pay any IRS penalties a plus interest if there is any error on your report. Intuit TurboTax has the latest tax laws, updates frequently, uses top of the line security features and guarantees accuracy.

Free Tax Refund Calculator

The TurboTax refund calculator shows you approximately how much your refund will be. Their online filing service gives you the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via the mail.

 

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Two Websites That Can Calculate Your 2016 Tax Refund

By now, you’ve probably gotten taxes out of the way for the 2015 tax season. However, if you want to be a financially conscious person you should already be preparing for the 2016 tax filing season.

Tax Refund Calculator 2016If you are expecting a refund, you probably want to know just how much of a refund you can expect.

Having a real life number will allow you to plan the remainder of your year correctly. However, coming up with an accurate estimation is not always easy. Therefore, this article will discuss two websites that help calculate tax refunds and estimated taxes.

H&R Block Online Calculator

H & R Block has been helping American’s with their taxes since 1955, when their first office opened. Back then, they were offering high interest loans based on someone’s estimated tax refund.

Now that those programs have been discontinued, they still make it their business to help you see what amount you can expect in your tax refund. Just go here if you would like to use the H & R Block tax refund calculator. You can rest assured it’s up to date by the latest IRS tax figures.

TurboTax Online Calculator

An increasing number of people are turning to TurboTax to get their income tax prepared and filed every year. Their user friendly tools take all the hard work and stress out of tax form preparation and will always get you the largest refund.

One popular tool is the TurboTax tax refund calculator because it is very user friendly and it is attractive. The graphics and sliders make understanding taxes very easy and it updates your estimate as you add in information.

Estimating your tax refund or balanced owed does not have to be complex. In fact, the online calculators make it easy for anyone. All you have to do is answer some basic questions and the calculators provide you with an estimate. Many taxpayers find that using the calculator only takes them a few moments.

Step 1 – Run Your Numbers in the Calculator

Answer the simple questions the calculator asks. You don’t have to be 100% exact, you just have to give a good estimate. If your tax situation changes you can always come back to the calculator again.

As you answer the questions, you will see that the information that you enter changes. You will even have access to your total income, adjustments, deductions, and other important numbers in the form of a tax summary.

Step 2 – Consider “What If” Scenarios

Did you go through the calculator and find out that your refund is low or your balance due is too high. If so, try playing around with different scenarios so you can reach a number that you are satisfied with. For example, you could increase your charitable contributions or add in some energy saving home improvements.

In the event that you foresee your income changing, you may want to try estimating taxes with a lower or higher income so you can see just how much of a difference it makes when tax time rolls around.

Step 3 – Estimate Again Once Time Has Passed

Anytime something changes with your tax situation you want to come back to the calculator again. This will allow you to ensure that you are always on the right track financially. The more you estimate your taxes, the better prepared you can be when it comes time to file.

Tax laws change throughout the year, but by using a tax calculator, you can make sure that you are prepared. By utilizing a tax calculator, you can have a peace of mind knowing that your tax outcome is going to be the best one possible.

When Will You Get Your Refund?

Once you have your return accepted by the IRS your refund is based on the IRS E-file Refund Cycle Dates. It is estimated that if you electronically filed and selected direct deposit as your payment receivable method, you should get your refund in no more than 2 weeks. However, if you are waiting for a paper check it can take an additional week.

get your tax refund faster with efileWhen you eFile, you will be able to check your tax refund in real time using the “Where’s My Refund Tool” by the IRS within 24 hours after it has been received. Paper filing can take up to a month to be able to track your refund status through this tool.

Additionally, in order to use the tool you have to provide your social security number/EIN, filing status, and the exact amount of your projected refund. When you enter this information your estimated refund release date will be added. The date provided is not set in stone, which means you should check the status on a weekly basis.

Closing Thoughts

Estimating your refund does not have to be hard, thanks to the Free TurboTax refund calculator and the Free H&R Block refund calculator. You can plan and make sure that you spend your refund wisely when it arrives. The IRS says that taxpayers should expect to receive their refunds within 21 days after they file their tax returns.

Lastly, keep in mind the child tax credits, earned income credits, and federal income tax brackets change yearly, therefore, you could be getting an even larger tax refund when the new laws go into place.

 

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Getting Your 2015, 2016 W-2 Form Online

When you’re doing your income taxes, you will require a number of forms and probably the most significant one is the W-2 form.

Every business that you were employed at in the course of the previous year is liable for supplying you with a W-2, which must be sent by January 31 of the current year. You may be able to get yours sooner online.

Two Places You Can Get Your W-2 Online

W-2 Tax Form

Many Employers are making their W-2 forms available on the internet since it makes submitting income taxes less complicated.

Once you get your W2 you have the option to begin filing or download and print out your W-2 so it can be included with your tax return.

H&R Block Online will find and import your W2. When using a web based company like, H&R Block you will have the capability to import your W2 data into your current tax return therefore you don’t have to worry about the paper work getting sent by mail.

TurboTax Online will find and import your W2, which allows you to file your taxes as soon as you are ready. Alternatively, if you know the EIN of your employer you can enter this information and some of your own personal information to search for your W2 online.

When using web based submitting companies like, H&R Block or TurboTax you will have the capability to find and import your W2 data into your tax return and get your refund as soon as possible!

W-2s Explained

A W-2 is a tax form that documents financial activity from your employer such as your earned income and the taxes you paid. It includes your commissions, tips, wages, and the taxes that were withheld from your income for federal, state, and social security purposes.

This document has all of the information that you will need to fill out the financial information for your personal taxes. If you have worked, the IRS requires that you use your W-2 to file, and then they determine the amount of taxes that you should have paid the federal and state governments.

W-2’s Online

Many companies, including the military, have their employees W-2’s available online. The documents can be downloaded via a variety of outsourcing companies so the distribution process of the W-2’s are automated. Your employer should alert you as to whether or not you will be able to access your W-2 online.

If they do allow you to access it online, you will get the benefit of being able to file your taxes earlier in addition to not waiting for paper copies, and eliminating the security risks that come along with having that information sitting around on paper.

Getting Multiple W-2s from the Same Employer with Different Amounts

Usually, if you have multiple W-2s from the same employer, with different amounts you need to enter all of them. Turbo Tax or H & R Block can help you get all of the W-2s entered and will calculate the combined income. You may have to file multiple W-2s if any of the following situations apply to you:

  1. You worked for a temporary agency that sent you on different jobs. This will cause you to have multiple W-2s with different amounts but the same Employer Identification Number.
  2. Your employer changes their payroll or placement agency who is responsible for your pay
  3. Your employer was purchased or merged with another company
  4. Different divisions of your company paid you. In this case the Employer Identification Numbers will differ
  5. Your employer reports additional compensation, such as reimbursement for employment business expenses

In the event that all of the Employment Identification Numbers, addresses, and names are the same you may want to contact the payroll department to see why the W-2s were issued like this. If it is a payroll error, you will have to get a correct W-2.

Prior Years W-2s

The IRS is able to provide you with prior years W-2s free. Alternatively, you can order a copy for $50.

 

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When Can I File My 2015 Taxes in 2016?

Are you wondering when you can file your 2015 taxes?

Currently, the date for this tax seasons opening is Jan 20, 2016. The good news is anyone can get started today with online tax filing and get a head-start on their tax refund. TurboTax and H&R Block will securely hold and then submit customers’ tax return to the IRS as soon as they begin accepting returns. There is no faster way for taxpayers to get their tax refunds.

When Can I File My 2015 Taxes in 20161. If you file with TurboTax online you can easily prepare and file your own taxes. TurboTax offers advanced tools to help you pay the least amount of tax possible. They also provide extremely fast refunds.

2. If you’re ready to get your taxes filed, join the many tax filers who use H&R Block’s online tax filing. With features online such as the Free Tax Refund Calculator and W-2 Finder, you can’t lose.

Tips for Filing Your Taxes

  • Organize – Make sure that you have everything that you need before you even begin working on your returns.
  • E-File – E-filing comes with so many benefits such as ease of use, quickness of filing, and identity protection.
  • Sign Up For Direct Deposit – If you want to receive your tax refund in the quickest amount of time, you need to sign up to have it direct deposited.
  • Ask Questions if Needed – If you are unsure about something ask questions. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Getting a Fast Tax Refund

When 2016 rolls in you can start preparing your tax return online. Once you have it completed, you will be among the first of taxpayers who have their returns processed and their refunds issued.

Keep in mind when you file your taxes with TurboTax or H&R Block the process is easy. They provide you with the largest refund possible by insuring that they ask the correct questions to find out which deductions and credits you qualify for.

You can also use their free tax refund calculators to see how much your tax refund will be. When you file your taxes online there is no way that, you can go wrong and many taxpayers are able to file their federal tax returns free or at a discount.

What to Do if You Have Not Received Your W-2

You need a w-2 form to file a tax return

Before you can file your tax return, you have to have all of the documents needed, including your W-2. All of your employers are responsible for sending you this yet they do have until February 2nd to do so. In the event that you have not received your W-2 yet, you can follow these steps.

Contact Your Employer – If you have not received your W-2 yet, you need to contact your employer to see when they put it in the mail. It is possible that it was returned to them due to incorrect mailing details. Once you have contacted them and found out the status give it a reasonable amount of time for your W-2 to arrive.

Contact The IRS – If you have not received your W-2 after February 14th, it is time to call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for assistance. When calling make sure you have your name, address, social security number and phone number. Additionally, you will need your employer’s name, address, phone number, your employment date, the estimate wages earned from them during the year and estimated federal income tax that was withheld. To make an estimation you should refer to your most recent pay stub.

File Your Return – Even if you do not have your W-2, the IRS expects you to file by April 15, 2015 or request an extension. You can use Form 4852 Substitute for Form w-2, Wage and Tax Statement. This form should be attached to your return, however, keep in mind your refund may be delayed since the IRS has to verify your information.

File Form 1040X – If you receive your W-2 after you have filed your taxes, you must amend your return by filing Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

To ensure that you receive the maximum refund possible it is suggested that you file your taxes using online software. It makes filing taxes easy and when filing your taxes electronically your tax refund can be returned to you sooner.

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Estimated IRS Tax Refund Schedule Dates for 2016

The IRS has a general response for taxpayers who are curious to know when their refund will arrive. The IRS usually issues 9 out of 10 refunds in 21 days or less. This means that you can generally expect your funds to arrive in no more than three weeks after your tax return has been filed.

IRS Tax Refund Schedule Dates Cycle ChartHowever, keep in mind the IRS tax refund schedule dates are an estimation and is not set in stone. Sometimes there are delays, which may cause your refund to take longer than 21 days to reach you.

It is recommended that you file your tax return using TurboTax Online or H&R Block Online because it will be processed quicker and you will receive your return in the shortest time possible. If you mail in your tax return your refund could be delayed for several weeks.

Calculating Your Tax Refund

H & R Block and TurboTax both have free online tax refund calculators. To use them you have to have your filing status, deductions, income, and dependent information on hand. You won’t have to enter any overly personal or identifying information, but the more information you provide, the more accurate your estimations will be.

Estimating your refund does not have to be hard, thanks to these two websites. You can plan and make sure that you spend your refund wisely when it arrives.

You Can Be first in Line for Your Tax Refund

“More than 80 percent of taxpayers get a tax refund. Last year, federal tax refunds averaged almost $3,000. That’s why we’re encouraging people to file as soon as they can. Anyone can get started today with TurboTax or H&R Block. There is no faster way for taxpayers to get their tax refunds.”

Both firms will securely hold and then submit customers’ tax return to the IRS as soon as the agency begins accepting returns. Both firms will process tax returns on a first-in, first-out basis. Although the IRS does not anticipate refund delays, taxpayers are encouraged to e-file and use direct deposit as the fastest way to get their refunds. As it did last year, the IRS expects to issue nine out of ten tax refunds in 21 days or less.

What to Expect When Filing Your Taxes Online

Making the decision to file online is your key to making tax season less stressful. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your tax situation, have your information put on the correct tax forms, and the online system will bring to your attention the deductions and credits that you are eligible for.

This way you can keep more of your hard earned money. They even have a free tax refund calculator so you can see how much of a tax refund you should expect.

Checking Your Refund Status via the IRS

You no longer have to worry about using the IRS Refund Cycle Chart or schedule to try to find out when your refund will arrive. Instead, thanks to technology, you can use the Where’s My Refund” tool that is located on the IRS website.

It will provide you with the status of your refund and alerts – Tax Return Received, Tax Refund Approved, and Tax Refund Sent. If you have filed a paper return, it will take up to four weeks for your Return Received alert to show. However, if you e-file the alert usually shows within 24 hours.

To use the tool you have to enter your personal information, such as your social security number, filing status, and refund amount.

Checking Your Refund Status via the Phone

Alternatively, you can call the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954. You will still have to enter the same information as you would if you were to check your refund status via the internet.

Checking Your Refund Status via Smartphone

If you have a smartphone, you can download the IRS2GO app and check your refund status directly from your phone. It is available for Apple and Android phones. You will still have to enter your personal information to obtain your refund status.

If you have e-filed your tax return with TurboTax, you can check your status using MyTurboTax. You can even check your status on the go from your mobile device using TurboTax free app MyTaxRefund.

If you haven’t e-filed your taxes yet, you can start today. You may even be able to e-file your federal tax return for free and have your biggest tax refund in your pocket within 21 days.

Closing Thoughts

Now you have learned quite a few different ways for you to check refund dates and the status of your refund. All you have to do now is go with the option that works the best for you. Good luck on your federal tax refund!

 

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Where to Find IRS Form 1040 and Instructions

Are you aware that there are a few different kinds of IRS form 1040 and instructions? It’s best to know which income tax form suits with your specific circumstance and lets you declare the earnings, deductions, credits, etc. that relate to you.

Here are the most familiar kinds of 1040 income tax return forms:

  • IRS Tax Form 1040 (Individual Income Tax Return in the U.S.)
  • The Long Form or Form 1040 (Individual Income Tax Return in the U.S.)
  • The Short Form or Form 1040A (Individual Income Tax Return in the U.S.)
  • Form 1040EZ (Income Tax Return for Unmarried and Combined Filers Who Have No Dependents)
  • Form 1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return)
  • Form 1040NR-EZ (U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Non-resident Aliens Who Have No Dependents)

There are various methods to get tax form 1040 & instructions. The quickest and most effective choice is to download the tax form to your computer. In addition, almost all post offices and neighborhood libraries have tax forms and instructions throughout tax season, and forms are also available from a tax center or an IRS office.

Additionally, you could ask for a tax form to be delivered to you from the IRS by U.S. Mail.

IRS Form 1040 is known as the long formIRS form 1040 and instructions

Form 1040 is the usual federal income tax form widely used to record an individual’s gross earnings (e.g., income, products, real estate, and services). It is usually referred to as “the long form” since it is more in depth compared to the shorter 1040A and 1040EZ income tax forms.

Also in contrast to the various other tax forms, IRS form 1040 permits taxpayers to claim several expenditures and tax incentives, list deductions, and modify income. Although the 1040 usually takes more time to fill out, it rewards taxpayers by offering them extra possibilities to reduce their income tax bills.

The 1040 Form is due by April 15th, except if you request an automatic tax extension. Should you not submit by this date, you are usually subject to fines and/or overdue charges. It is possible to ask for a tax extension by sending in IRS Tax Form 4868 by the initial submitting due date (April 15).

Getting ready to fill out your forms

Even before you start doing your 1040 tax forms, you need to have the following material ready:

  • Valid identification
  • Submitting status and Residency status
  • Social Security Numbers for yourself (and also your partner and any dependents)
  • Birth dates for yourself (along with your partner, plus any dependents)
  • A duplicate of your previous income tax return
  • Documents of salary received (e.g., W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, etc.)
  • Statements of interest/dividends from finance institutions, brokerages, etc.
  • Evidence of any tax credits, tax deductions, or tax exemption
  • Your checking account number and routing number (for Direct Deposit)

Keep in mind that IRS Tax Form 1040, with payment amount, is owed by April 15th. A 6-month tax continuance may be allowed (with IRS Tax Form 4868) for overdue submitting, however payments still have to be made by April 15th. You can file Form 1040 by paper mail, via IRS e-file, or by way of a certified tax preparer.

Get your refund faster by filing online

Filing income taxes online is usually safer, quicker, and simpler ― and you can get your tax refund a lot faster should you opt for the Direct Deposit method. While there are a few income tax forms to pick from when preparing your federal income taxes, a reliable option is to use IRS Form 1040 when you are not sure if you will be eligible for the 1040A or 1040EZ.

  • The standard guideline is: If uncertain, submit Tax Form 1040.
  • You have to submit Form 1040 once any of the following apply:
  • You have taxable earnings of $100,000 or higher
  • You have self-employment earnings of $400 and up
  • You had income tax being taken from paychecks
  • You made anticipated income tax payments, or have overpayment that is applicable to the current tax year
  • You have listed deductions (e.g., mortgage, interest fees, or charitable donation)
  • You generate revenue from a company, S-corporation, partnership, trust, rental, or farm
  • You have sold real estate, stocks, bonds, or mutual funds
  • You are claiming revenue alterations (for tuition, educator fees, relocating costs, or health savings accounts)
  • You got an advance payment for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from a company
  • You have a W-2 that indicates uncollected tax (from tips or group term life insurance coverage), or a W-2 that demonstrates a code Z (earnings from a 409A non-qualified deferred payment program)
  • You owe excise tax on insider stock payment (from an expatriated enterprise)
  • You are a person in debt in a Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy case (submitted after October 16, 2005)
  • You make foreign income, paid foreign income taxes, or are claiming tax treaty benefits
  • You are obligated to repay any further special taxes (e.g., recapture taxes, household employment tax, alternative minimum tax, etc.)

Help at tax time

When you file your taxes online it will be like an interview. They will ask easy to answer questions while filling in the correct tax forms for you behind the scenes.

The answers you provide will enable them to see which deductions and credits you qualify for. In the event that you are unsure how to answer a question there are tax experts readily available to help you.

Online tax filing insures that you get the largest refund possible. There’s even a free tax refund calculator available that allows you to know the amount of money that you will be getting back.

 

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Earned Income Credit Table Amounts and Qualification

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a credit that is for low to moderate-income taxpayers to get ahead and have more money in their pockets. It can boost refunds significantly if you are able to meet the criteria’s required to claim it.

See the earned income credit table amount

For example, if you are employed, but your income is considered “low” by the IRS you may be able to take advantage of this credit, which currently has a maximum credit amount of $6,242.

To determine your credit amount all you have to do is enter your information into tax software and it will automatically calculate the amount you will receive.

Below you will find some of the most common questions that taxpayers have about the Earned Income Credit.

Do I qualify even if I did not have tax withheld from my pay and I am not required to file taxes?

Yes, you can qualify for the EITC and get a refund. This is a refundable credit, however, in order to receive it you have to file even if you are not required to file.

Does my income have to be very low to qualify?

If you do not have qualifying children, you must have a low income to be able to claim this tax credit. For 2015, you have to have earned less than $14,820 to qualify ($20,330 for couples) if you have no children. However, if you only have one qualifying child the income limit is $39,131.

How much are the credit table amounts?

Dependents       Maximum Credit          Adjusted Gross Income

0

              $487.00          $14,340.00
(Jointly $19,680.00)

1

$3,250.00

         $37,870.00
(Jointly $43,210.00)

2

$5,372.00

         $43,038.00
(Jointly $48,378.00)

  3+

$6,044.00

         $46,227.00
(Jointly $51,567.00)

Who qualifies for the EITC?

In order to qualify for the EITC you have to meet the income criteria’s for the current year. However, you, your spouse, and children can qualify as long as you all have social security numbers and you should be working for yourself or as an employee. You aren’t able to claim this credit if you use the status “married filing jointly” and you must be a U.S. citizen or married to one.

If you can be claimed by another person as a qualifying child or are not between the ages of 25 and 65 you will not be able to claim. You also cannot have to file Form 2555 or any variation and you are not allowed to have more than $3,400 in interest, dividends, or other investment income.

Will military combat pay affect my credit?

If you have received military combat pay, you do not have to disclose this information. Usually, this income does not affect your taxable income. However, it depends on your total earned income and family size whether or not you will receive this credit and the amount. Sometimes it could be beneficial to include combat pay as taxable income so you could receive the EITC. Lastly, if you decide to include your combat pay, remember that it is “all or nothing”.

Can the credit be added to my paycheck during the year?

The IRS used to allow the Advance Earned Income Credit throughout the year. However, this ended in 2010.

Can I claim this credit if my child’s other parent claims him as a dependent?

Usually, if your child lived with you for majority of the year, you would be able to claim this credit without having to claim the dependency exemption.

It is important to remember that the number of children that are claimed, as dependents are not always the same number that qualify you for this valuable credit. In the event that the time evens out amongst parents, the parent with the highest AGI takes the credit. Only one person can claim the child and noncustodial parents are not allowed to claim children for the EITC.

Determining if your child qualifies for the EITC

  • Age or disability – The child has to be under 19 or younger than 24 if they are a full time student for at least 5 months. The child must be younger than you. If they are permanently and totally disabled, they can be any age.
  • Relationship – The child has to be your son, daughter, stepchild, sibling, stepsibling, foster or adopted child, or a descendent of any of these.
  • The child must have resided with you in the US for more than six months.
  • Your child cannot be required to file a joint return.

Can I go back and claim the EITC if I qualified but didn’t do it in past years?

You can file an amended return to receive the EITC for past years that you qualified but didn’t claim.

If you did not get the credit because you didn’t file or you were not sure if you could claim a child that lived with you, you have to file a separate return for all of the years you qualified. However, you cannot go back indefinitely. Usually, you are only able to file amended returns for three years back.

Claim your credit the easy way by filing online

Keep in mind, if you file online with H&R Block or TurboTax they will ask you the correct questions to let you know which deductions you qualify for and guarantee you will receive the largest refund ever.

Their online filing services have the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered via snail mail. You can also use their free tax refund estimator to see how much of a refund you can expect.

 

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