File My Taxes Online

Forget the forms and file online

By

How Much is the Child Tax Credit?

 

How Much do You Get Back in Taxes for a Child?

The child tax credit for 2016 is worth up to $1,000 per child that is under 17. To be eligible to claim this credit your child or dependent must first pass all of the following tests:

  1. Must be 16 or younger on the last day of the year
  2. Must be a US citizen, US national, or a resident alien
  3. Must be claimed by you as a dependent
  4. Must be related to you by blood, or step relationship, or legally adopted child/foster child
  5. Must have resided with you for more than half of the year (special rules apply for special circumstances such as divorce)
  6. You must have provided them with more than half of their support

Your 2016 Child Tax Credit Amount

Child tax credit 2016, 2017

  • The credit is worth a maximum amount of $1,000 per child.
  • Until 2017, the Child Tax Credit is partially refundable if your earned income was more than $3,000.
  • The Child Tax Credit decreases if you have an AGI of $75,000 ($110,000 for married filers and $55,000 for separate filers).
  • You must include foreign income exclusions when calculating your income for this specific credit.

Claiming the Child Tax Credit

Any parent or legal guardian with a child age 17 or younger at the end of a tax year can claim said child for the child tax credit. The child must reside with the claiming parent for more than 50-percent of the year. The child also cannot financially support themselves with at least half of their own expenses.

When you prepare your taxes with TurboTax you automatically are asked the right questions to determine if you qualify and how much do you get back in taxes for a child.

TurboTax Child Tax Credit Video

The Additional Child Tax Credit

The Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) is a refundable credit that taxpayers who receive a larger child tax credit than their income owned receive if their earned income is greater than $3,000.

Form 1040 (Schedule 8812) helps determine if you qualify and the amount of the credit that you will receive. If you e-file your return the software will do all of the math for you. Worksheets for eligibility can be printed from the IRS.gov website anytime of the year.

Dependents on Multiple Returns

Only one taxpayer or couple can claim the child for the Child Tax Credit and ACTC. If more than one person tries to claim the child, the IRS will determine who gets to claim the child using the tiebreaker rules.

Other Child Related Tax SavingsHow much is the child tax credit

Most parents and legal guardians are aware of the earned income credit (EIC) and child tax credits that they can qualify for to reduce their tax liabilities.

Some do not know that adoption credits can be taken as well as paying out-of-pocket (OOP) for child/dependent care. These deductions can help reduce your tax liability, and in some cases, result in a refund.

Earned Income Credit (EIC) – In order to qualify for the EIC, you must meet income limitations and have the required number of qualifying children for your income level. The income thresholds can change. An example is the recent 2015 earnings year. Families with a single child filing jointly cannot have an adjusted gross income (AGI) more than $44,651. For single/head of household and surviving spouses, the income limit for a single child is $39,131

Child and Dependent Care Credit – You could deduct up to $3,000 for one dependent, or up to $6,000 for more than one with this credit. The percentage of child and dependent care costs that you can claim, as an allowable expense is 20 to 35-percent based upon your AGI. If you have a single qualifying child, the maximum credit amount is $3,000. For two or more children, the maximum credit is $6,000.

Adoption Tax Credit – If you have already adopted or are in the process, you may qualify for this credit. The process of adopting a child is costly. Some employers assist employees with adoption expenses. This “income” can be deducted and claimed as employer-provided adoption assistance. You can also claim any monies paid to an adoption agency for the adoption of a child that qualifies for the credit.

You cannot receive any excess funds. The maximum credit can change, view the yearly guidelines set by the IRS. Leftover monies are rolled forward as credits on upcoming tax returns.

Student Loan Interest – Student loan interest can be deducted up to the amount of $2,500 per school/tax year. The modified adjusted gross income constraints to claim this credit require that those filing single do not have more than $80,000 income. For those that are married, the income threshold is $160,000 if you file jointly

Filing Status – If you are unwed and your child resided with you for more than half of the year, you could qualify for a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates with the Head of Household filing status.

Exemptions – Receive the standard exemption for each child that qualifies.

How TurboTax Can Help

You don’t need to worry about figuring all this out. TurboTax makes it easy. After asking you a few simple questions about your family, TurboTax will determine for you who qualifies as a dependent on your tax return. That way, you’ll get the biggest tax refund possible with the least amount of hassle.

child tax credit turbotax

 

Pin It

By

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.

The Most Common 1040 Forms and Instructions:

  • 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 available 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 2016 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 2016 – 1040 Form is usually due by April 15th 2017, 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).

When Getting Ready to Fill out Your Tax 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.

1040 Tax Form Video by TurboTax

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

form 1040 onlineWhen 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.

 

Pin It

By

Estimated IRS Tax Refund Schedule Dates for 2017

Some taxpayers may experience a delay in receiving tax refunds in 2017. This is for tax returns due by April 15, 2017. Part of the reason for the schedule delay is a new tax law that goes into effect in 2017.

IRS tax refund schedule dates

Quoted from an IRS press release, John Koskinen, IRS Commissioner said, “We don’t want people caught by surprises if they get their refund later than the normal date.”

Early filers claiming Additional Child Tax Credits (ACTC) and Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) may have their refunds held by the IRS for several weeks. The IRS tax refund schedule dates could be held up until February 15.

An additional factor coming into play is heightened identity theft awareness. Both IRS and state tax authorities are required to take extra steps to prevent fraud. The additional steps required by these entities takes effect for the 2017 income tax filing season.

To prevent a delay in receiving your tax refund when claiming either the EITC or ACTC, make changes to your income tax withholdings for the remainder of 2016. What this does is puts more money in your pocket now but reduces your refund later.

Tax Refund Dates Without a Delay

The IRS usually issues 9 out of 10 refunds within 10 days after efiling. The chart below will help you determine when you should get your refund.IRS Tax Refund Schedule Dates Cycle Chart

However, 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 10 days to reach you.

Anyone can get their tax refund faster by e-filing and opting to receive their refund via direct deposit.

IRS Tax Refund Cycle Chart

Date You Filed Refund Date if E-File +
Direct Deposit
Refund Date if Paper-File +
Direct Deposit
Jan 15 Jan 25 Feb. 25
Jan 22 Jan 29 Feb 29
Feb 1 Feb 11 March 11
Feb 7 Feb 17 March 17
Feb 15 Feb 25 March 25
Feb 22 Mar 1 Apr 1
March 1 March 11 April 11
March 7 March 17 April 17
March 15 March 25 April 25
March 22 April 2 May 2
April 1 April 10 May 10
April 7 April 17 May 17
April 15 April 25 May 25

Be First in Line for Your Tax Refund

More than 80% 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. Be first in line with TurboTax Online or H&R Block Online. There is no faster way for taxpayers to speed up their tax refund dates.

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 schedule 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.

Calculating Your Tax Refund

tax refund cycle chart

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.

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.

It is recommended that you file your tax return 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 date could be delayed for several weeks.

Who Can Get a Quick Tax Refund?

As long as an individual does not owe the IRS any money and has some earned income, they are eligible for a quick tax refund. All these taxpayers have to do is e-file and they should be anticipating a refund check according to the IRS tax refund schedule dates. That is what you call fast because some people wait a month before they are paid for working their daily jobs.

Just remember that in order to get a quick refund you must have all of your tax documents in order so that there are no reasons for the IRS to put a hold on your money. If the information provided to the IRS is, information that does not seem to follow through, they can also put a hold on your refund for that as well. So make sure the information provided is accurate and correct to ensure you receive a refund.

Ways to Receive Your Tax Refund

  • Direct Deposit – This is the quickest way and it can go to your checking or savings account, including IRAs. You can even ask for it to be deposited into your TreasuryDirect account so you can buy U.S. Treasury marketable securities and savings bonds.
  • By purchase of U.S. Series/Savings Bonds up to $5,000
  • Paper check mailed to the address you used when filing taxes

To put a stop to fraud and identity theft, the IRS limits the number of direct deposits that can go to one financial account to three. This also includes prepaid debit cards and if the limit is exceeded a notice will be mailed with a paper check.

This year you also have the option of having your refund partially or fully deposited into your myRA account. This is a new type of retirement account from the U.S. Treasury. However, in order to do this, you have to already have a myRA account before filing your return. You will also need your routing and account numbers.

Splitting Your Return

If you are opting to receive your return via direct deposit, you do have the option of splitting up your return into up to three different accounts. For example, you could put some in your checking, savings, and retirement account. In order to do this you must complete and attach Form 8888 to your federal tax return.

However, you are not able to do this if you file Form 8379. Also, keep in mind that the accounts that you are depositing your money into should be in your name, your spouse’s name, or a joint account, which includes both you and your spouse’s name. Lastly, in order to do the direct deposit option your refund amount has to be at least $1.00.

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

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.

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.

Video Information About IRS Tax Refund Dates

Tax refunds for e-filed returns are usually processed within 10 days of the e-file acceptance date. Refunds from paper returns can take six to eight weeks to process from the date that the return was received. Despite nine out of ten returns going out in this period, if the return is incomplete or inaccurate, further review of the return can cause the refund schedule date to be delayed.

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.

Remember, if you file with TurboTax Online you’ll get the fastest refund possible!

 

Pin It

By

How TurboTax 2017 Helps Find More Tax Deductions & Credits

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 2017 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.

Tax Deductions & Credits You May Qualify ForTurboTax 2016

Finding more tax deductions and credits is one of the great benefits Intuit TurboTax has to offer. You will get immediate information about deductions being claimed on your taxes already and ones that you are eligible to claim.

Here are a few of the best deductions and credits:

Mortgage Interest Deduction One of the best deductions for those who own homes and itemize their deductions is the mortgage interest deduction. This deduction is claimed on Schedule A and as long as your mortgage is secured by your home, you should be able to claim it.

PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums This could be the last year where the PMI deduction can be claimed. However, if Congress renews it for 2017 you will be able to deduct it again (usually they have no problems reauthorizing it). This deduction allows you to deduct the costs of the private mortgage insurance (PMI) as mortgage interest on Schedule A. However, the loan has to have been taken out after 2007.

Earned Income Credit Although it changes yearly, the impact of the earned income tax credit remains the same: It helps fight poverty. To be eligible for this credit, you must file a yearly tax return.

Child Tax Credit Raising children is not cheap. However, the IRS understands this, which is why they have various credits and deductions for taxpayers that have families. One of these valuable tax credits is the Child Tax Credit.

Premium Tax Credit The Premium Tax Credit is one of the refundable credits put in place to allow those who qualify to be able to afford the health insurance that was purchased via the Health Insurance Marketplace. Those with moderate incomes who do not qualify for a government or employer plan usually qualify.

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 2017 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.

TurboTax online filing service also 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.

Guide to Getting Your Refund – TurboTax Video

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

Are you curious to see how much your refund will be? One of the best ways to have an estimation about the amount you should receive is to use one of the online tax refund calculators. The number is just an estimation, so it’s not 100% accurate, but it does give you a number. The TurboTax refund calculator shows you approximately how much your refund will be.

TurboTax Absolute Zero Now Available at No Cost to 60 Million Americans

People who file IRS tax forms 1040A and 1040EZ can now use TurboTax Absolute Zero for free. Available to an estimated 60 million American taxpayers who file these forms, the service enables use of TurboTax Federal Free Edition at no cost.

To qualify, you have to file a 1040A/1040EZ form. Americans with a taxable income of less than or equal to $100,000 are qualified to use these forms and claim standard deductions. Independent contractors, homeowners, and also Americans with medical expenses qualify to use these forms and use TurboTax Absolute Zero.

TurboTax 2017 Help & Support

Help and support is available 24/7 for the entire tax season. You also have access to human tax experts who can answer any questions that you have. Phone assistance does have a price tag, but it is available if you need that one on one help. All tax experts are certified public accountants or enrolled agents.

TurboTax online software also features various help files and explanations that cover numerous tax topics. Most users are able to go through the software without going to the help files, but they are readily available if you need them. They even have video classes and tax guides available in addition to the active user community and social media accounts where tax topics are also discussed.

 

Pin It

By

What to Do If You Don’t Have Your W-2 Form

The tax deadline for filing taxes is nearing for U.S. taxpayers and they are feverishly getting all their documents together so they can file their taxes on time. But the important W-2 is missing or maybe you haven’t received it yet, what should you do? No need to panic, you can easily get your missing W-2 form or you can even file your taxes without it.

What to Do If You Lost Your W-2 Formtax statement W-2

The W-2 form is a vital piece of info for most tax filers as it confirms the income you earned for that tax year. Sometimes known as the Wage and Tax Statement, this is sent out by employers at the beginning of every calendar year.

These businesses, by law, have to mail the W-2 forms by January 31 so that filers have sufficient time to submit their taxes by the April 15 deadline for filing taxes. Your employer also has to send a copy of your W-2 straight to the IRS.

What if you don’t have your W-2 form, what should you do next? As per the IRS, you have a few options to think about:

  1. Contact Your Employer

If you can’t find your W-2 for whatever reason, you can still contact your employer through their HR department and request a new one to be mailed to you. It could have been returned to your employer because of a wrong or incomplete address.

  1. Contact the IRS Directly

You also have the option of getting in contact with the IRS directly. If you don’t get it by February 14, the IRS suggests contacting them TOLL FREE at 1-800-829-1040. When you call be sure to have handy your name, address including city, state, zip code, your Social Security number, phone number as well as the following:

  • Full name, address and phone number of your Employer
  • Period of employment
  • Estimated income earned, federal income tax withheld along with dates you worked for the employer. You can get all of this info from your pay stub but looking at the year to date info.

Once you contact the IRS directly for your missing W-2, they might be able to get the form that was send to them by your employer. Hopefully you will get it in time to file your taxes on time.

  1. Just File Your Return Without The W-2

It doesn’t matter if you have your W-2 or not, according to the IRS you still have to file your tax return or request a tax extension by April 15. In a case where you already contacted the IRs regarding your missing W-2, they will get you to complete a Form 4852 which will function as a Form W-2.

The Form 4825 will have to be attached to your form 1040, where you will have to estimate income as well as withholding taxes as precisely as possible. The IRS states that going this route might delay your refund because they will have to take extra time to verify the info you sent them.

If you get your W-2 after you have already submitted your return using Form 4852 and you notice that your earnings or taxes being withheld are incorrect, you are able to amend the tax return. You can make the amendment by filling out a From 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or you can contact the IRS directly with the correct info.

How to Get Your W-2 Online

You might still  be able to get your W-2 data electronically if for whatever reason it didn’t work out with your employer or the IRS. The authorized IRS e-file providers H&R Block and TurboTax provide free access online for W-2 forms.

Depending on the availability of these documents from your financial institution and employer, this feature will allow you to find and import your W-2 online.

 

Pin It