What to do if Your W-2 Form is Missing

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When tax season comes around it is not uncommon for you to wonder when your W-2 is going to arrive, so you can get your taxes filed as quickly as possible. Employers are supposed to have your W-2s in the mail no later than January 31st.

The W-2 is where your annual wages will be reported along with your federal taxes that were withheld for the year. You must have this form to file your federal tax return.

How Long to Wait For Your Return to Arrive

The IRS suggests that you wait for two weeks for your return to arrive. This means that you should receive your W-2 from your employer no later than February 14.

What to Do If You Think Your Employer Did Not Send Your W-2

  • Follow up with your employer to see if and when they mailed your W-2
  • Make sure that your employer has your correct mailing address on file. You should pay special attention to spelling and abbreviations to insure it was not delivered to the wrong address.
  • Ask for another copy.
  • Ask your employer if they have your W-2 available online so you can easily import it with Turbo Tax.

What to Do If Two Weeks Has Passed and Your W-2 Has Still Not Arrived

  • Call the IRS for assistance at 800-829-1040. When you call, you should be prepared to provide your name, address, social, employers name, address, telephone number, employment dates, and estimated wages based on your current pay stub. This allows the IRS to contact your employer and remind them to send you your W-2.
  • Download or request Form 4506-T. This form allows you to get the information that the IRS has received from your employer free. If you do not have the ability to download the form you can always call 800-829-1040 to request a copy of the form.
  • Request or download Form 4852 and mail it in to the IRS. This form servers the purpose of a substitute W-2. It allows you to estimate your earnings based on your last pay stub of the year.
  • TurboTax is great when it comes to assisting you with filling out this form. However, keep in mind if you have to take this route, you will have to file an amended return if your estimations are not accurate to the W-2 or W-2C.

 

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Are There Any 2015 Tax Refund Cycle Charts Available Yet?

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The IRS may not have issued their 2015 Refund Cycle Chart, but there are plenty of them spread throughout the web. However, they are composed of estimates based on trends from previous years. Usually, they are based on how you opted to get your refund – check or direct deposit.

When looking at tax refund cycle dates keep in mind that the dates on the chart are not set in stone. These dates are composed of previous year’s trends. Additionally, your return may take longer than projected because there could have been some issues that came up when an IRS representative was reviewing your tax return. This is why we always recommend that you wait a couple of days after you have filed your return to check the Where’s My Refund Tool.

The 2015 tax season is currently will start in January and should end on April 15, 2015. This means that you need to file your tax return with Turbo Tax as soon as possible to receive your largest refund ever within 21 days. They have tax experts to help you through the process and their software is very easy to use.

Filing your taxes with Turbo Tax has never been so easy. Start filing your federal tax return free and be sure to use some of the amazing Turbo Tax discount promo codes that are floating around the web.

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How Your IRS Income Tax Refund is Calculated

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Many US taxpayers look forward to receiving their tax refunds during the tax season. However, if you have never prepared your own tax return, it can be mysterious as to how the refund amount you receive is determined. The good news is the process is easy.

Once your taxable income has been determined, a tax table is used to figure out how much income tax you have for the year. Then, that number is compared to the amount of money that you paid throughout the year. If you paid more than your tax, you will receive a refund for the amount over. However, if you did not pay enough you will be expected to pay money rather than receive money back.

Withholdings Explained

When you work for an employer, you have a portion of your salary withheld from your paycheck. The government does this so they can be 100% positive that they are going to get their money. They understand that individuals run through money and if they take it before you have the chance to spend it they will have nothing to worry about.

The amount that you have to pay is based on an estimation of the amount of taxes you will owe when the end of the year arrives. Your employer bases the amount off your estimated annual income and your exemptions. It is very important that you keep your W-4 form up to date so you can have the correct amount of money being withheld from your paycheck each pay period. Here is a free w4 calculator.

How Withholdings Are Determined

You may or may not be aware of which tax bracket percentage you are in. If you are aware, you also may have noticed that your employer withholds more money than the tax bracket requires too. However, this is because they also factor in social security, Medicare, and state taxes.

Social security taxes take up 6.2% of your earnings while Medicare taxes takes 1.45%. Therefore, before any money is taken out for income taxes you have already had 7.65% of your income withheld.

Determining Your Refund Amount

The refund amount that you will receive is determined by analyzing the income tax and the federal income tax that was withheld throughout the year. In the event that you had too much federal income taxes withheld from your paycheck, you will receive a tax refund during tax season. Here is a free tax refund calculator.

Recap

Each year your refund is determined based on how much money you paid in federal taxes from your paycheck throughout the year. The amount you owe is determined when you file taxes and if you have paid, too much you will receive a refund.

Additionally, majority of the money that you have taken from your salary is not going to paying taxes. Instead, it has to go to state taxes, Medicare tax, and Social Security tax. In addition, keep in mind if you have a premium through your employer, money could be taken out for that, which makes the amount of money coming out of your paycheck even higher.

 

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When to Expect Income Tax Refunds

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One of the top questions that taxpayer’s research from the middle of February until April 15 is when they will receive their income tax refund. This answer depends on a few things; however, the good news is there are numerous tools that can assist you with an estimation date.Tax Refund - Red Button

First, if you file your tax return with a tax professional you can ask them to provide you with an estimated date. Additionally, once you have filed your return you can go to the official IRS website and they have a tool called, “Where’s My Refund?”, that gives out estimation dates.

The IRS started processing returns on January 31 2014, for all of the taxes paid and owed during the year of 2013. The IRS says that they usually try to get refunds processed and issued within 21 days for those who e-file.

However, keep in mind the 21-day period is not set in stone. Additionally, if you paper file you may have to wait much longer. Both tax professionals and the IRS always recommend that taxpayers file their tax returns electronically.

How quickly you receive your tax refund depends on when you file and whether or not you opted to get a paper check or direct deposit. Sometimes there is increased traffic when many taxpayers file their taxes at the same time.

Therefore, when tax season is at its busiest the wait for funds can be delayed longer than the 21-day period. In addition, this happens to filers who wait to file the last week before the April 15 filing deadline.

The tax refund chart has the estimated dates you will receive your refund. Additionally, if you have not filed your taxes yet we recommend that you file with the Turbo Tax discount and save money as well as getting your largest refund ever.

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How to File Corrected W-2 Forms

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Sometimes employers may provide you with an incorrect W-2 and later they have to go back tax statement W-2and fix something, which results in them sending you a W-2C.

Reasons to Receive a Correct W-2

There are numerous reasons that you may receive a corrected W-2. Some of the most common reasons include, but are not limited to, incorrect name, incorrect social security number, or incorrect dollar amounts.

When you notice an error, you have to go back to your employer and ask them to issue you a corrected W-2. Once the errors have been fixed, your employer will provide you with a correct W-2, also known as W-2C, and send a copy to the Social Security Administration.

Filing Taxes With a W-2C

A W-2C contains the original reported information as well as the correct information. You will see two columns that read, “Previously reported” and “correct information”. The correct information column is the information that you will want to be sure that you put on your tax return.

If you have already, imported incorrect information on your tax return through TurboTax you are going to have to go in manually and make the edits to insure that nothing holds up you receiving your tax refund.

Make sure that before you submit your return you have compared the information with the correct information column to insure your return is accurate.

E Filing With W-2C or Substitute W-2

The IRS allows taxpayers to e file with a W-2C; however, they do not allow taxpayers to e file with a substitute W-2. In the event that you have to file with a substitute W-2, you will have to print it out and mail it to the IRS with your federal tax return. In the event that your estimations are wrong, you will have to file an amended return.

Conclusion

Corrected W-2s can be confusing when you have to go in and change information. However, if you file with TurboTax they have tax experts to help you through the process if you find yourself stuck.

Not only will your tax return be accurate and you will be backed by audit protection; but you can also get a TurboTax discount coupon to use when you file. If you ever find yourself in doubt during tax season, know that Turbo Tax has your back!

 

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Here’s How to Claim the Child Tax Credit

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For those of you that didn’t know, there was a $1,000 Child Tax Credit that was developed fromHow to claim the child tax credit the Bush tax cuts.  This $1,000 credit was supposed to expire at the end of the 2012 calendar year. However, it has actually been extended!

This is obviously very good news for all of us with children. The reason it got extended was because of the fiscal cliff deal which was signed on January 3, 2103. This gave a 5 year extension to The Child Tax Credit.

The Details of the Child Tax Credit

Some of you might not know what The Child Tax Credit is. It’s simple, it’s offers $1,000 worth of credit per child in your household for tax payers that qualify. Now keep in mind this is only if your child is a dependent and meets certain criteria

For those of you with a lot of children that are dependent on you, the good news is there is no limit to the amount of children you can file for. However, if you do file for a lot of children then you may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

How Do You Know If You Can Claim The Child Tax Credit?

Below is a list of bullet points that will help you determine whether or not you might qualify.  In order to qualify, the child must:

  • Be your own (son or daughter), your step child, adopted child, foster child, your brother or sister, or a descendant of any of these.
  • Have been living with you for at least six months
  • Not be over the age of 17
  • Be dependent on you
  • Be a US citizen or registered alien
  • Not be older than you
  • Not be in a joint venture with anyone else
  • Not have provided more than half of their own support
  • Be claimed by you

What Are The Income Limitations?

Just like with any other tax break, there are income limitations.  They are:

  • For married couples filing separately it is $55,000
  • Single or widowed it is $75,000
  • Married couples that have joint filing it is $110,000

That is not to say that you won’t qualify at all if you are over that amount, but the credit is reduced by $50 for every $1,000 over the amount you are.

Is The Credit Refundable? Is So How Much?

This is often one of the most asked questions when it comes to any tax credit.  The answer is the same for this as it is for every other tax credit.  If the deductions bring your tax liability to zero, you will not receive a refund. This means you can only hope to break even, you will not be making a profit out of it.

However, if the Child Tax Credit does help you reduce you tax liability to zero, the remaining credit might be returned to you through the Additional Child Tax Credit. It is impossible to say how much of that is refundable because it depends on various factors including how many children you have and your annual income.

If you have one or two children you can receive 15% of your income over $3,000.

If you have 3 or more children you can receive the smaller of the unused amount or 15% of your annual income over $3,000.

Let’s be honest, keeping track of all these crazy IRS rules is not easy and it can get very confusing. That is why TurboTax has decided to keep things simple for you.

All you have to do is fill out the information in the online system and it will make sure you are able to claim every single cent of the Child Tax Credit that you deserve.

 

 

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Tax Deductions for 2014, 2015 – Overview of the Different Types

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Tax deductions make it so you can decrease your taxable income amount. They are calculated by using a percentage of your marginal tax bracket. For example, let’s say you fall in the 25% tax bracket, if you received $1000 in tax deductions you would be saving $250 in tax (0.25 x $1000-$250).

Since tax laws are always being modified and most tax credits and deductions are available for a limited amount of time it is important for you to claim everything that you are eligible for on your income tax return each year.

Most tax payers try to make the most of the benefits that are available to them by deferring their income and accelerating their tax deductions.

When you start preparing your income tax return you are going to have to decide whether or not you want to take the standard deduction or itemize deductions. It is recommended that you compare and contrast both deduction types to see which one can provide you with the most benefits. This can be easily done with TurboTax online software.

The Standard Deduction

The amount of money that decreases your taxable income is known as a standard deduction. It usually adjusts inflation each year. The amount is calculated by your filing status and is subtracted for your adjusted gross income (AGI).

•           $5,950 for single filers

•           $11,900 for married joint filers

•           $5,950 for married taxpayers filing separately

•           $8,700 for head of household filers

Additional Standard Deduction for Visually Impaired Filers and Filers Over 65:

•           $1,450 for single or head of household filers

•           $1,150 for married filers

You can claim the standard deduction on IRS Tax Form 1040, IRS Tax Form 1040A, or IRS Tax Form 1040EZ.

Itemized Deductions

If you are not eligible for the standard deduction you may want to go with itemized deductions instead. Usually, tax payers itemize their deductions when it provides them with more incentives than the standard deduction would. For example, if the total amount of deductible expenses is more than the standard deduction.

Some itemized deductions are calculated using a minimum amount which means the amounts that can be deducted most likely will exceed the specific minimum amount that is in place.

Additionally, when you itemize your deductions you should be aware that there is an income limit in place. If your AGI is more than $166,800 then a portion of itemized deductions is prohibited. This limit is for all tax filers regardless if you are filing jointly or single.

If you decide to go with itemized deductions you have to keep all of your records in detail. This includes the following documents:

•           Medical Expenses

•           Property Taxes

•           Charitable Donations

•           Interest Expenses

•           Non-Business State Income Tax

Above the Line Deductions

Above the Line Deductions are the deductions that are taken before the AGI is determined. Many taxpayers believe that this deduction is more beneficial than the other deductions. Above the Line Deductions are subtracted from your gross income which in return gives you your AGI.

This type of deduction is going to be applicable to you even if you do not itemize your deductions. They were created to insure that you have protection on your personal exemptions and itemized deductions from phase-out.

Above the Line Deductions include, student loan interest, qualified tuition/fees, business mileage, contributions to qualified retirement accounts, job – related moving expenses, early withdrawal penalties for CDs and savings accounts and alimony.

Get Every Legal Deduction with TurboTax

All you have to do is answer a few questions about your tax situation, have your information put on the correct tax forms, and TurboTax online 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 can expect.

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