photo by David Reber
What I have found is that the subject of taxes can be very intimidating to many. Some people find it difficult to understand even the very basics about their tax situation, while others are given bad information by so-called experts!
It is my hope that you find this guide useful to both learn the basics about taxes (or at least what pertains to you), and sort out all of the misinformation that you have heard over the years! If you have any questions, be sure use the search function on this website (upper right-hand section of the site) to find exactly what you are looking for.
Below are a few links to various guides and articles to help you better understand your tax situation:
IRS website – This is the first place to go when you need tax help. Many of the articles/publications are written in layman’s terms.
Publication 17 – The IRS’s comprehensive guide to Federal Income taxes – a “one stop shop” for tax help
The Motley Fool Tax Guide – Contains advice for many topics related to taxes; from preparing a return to how various life decisions will ultimately effect your situation. Also in layman’s terms with a forum full of helpful experts.
Don’t Mess with Taxes Blog – Blog written by expert and journalist, Kay Bell. Her site is comprehensive and her writing is very detailed, yet very clear.
Free Spreadsheet to Track Business Expenses for Schedule C – Paul Williams at Provident Planning, a Financial Planner and Tax Preparer operating out of PA, has provided this wonderful resource!
W-2 Instructions – Guidance on how to read and understand your Form W-2.
About.com’s List of Deductions and Credits
I will be adding to this list often, if you have a blog or site to recommend please click here to contact me.
Here are a few articles from KNS Financial regarding taxes:
Many people will be receiving (or have already received) a tax refund in the near future. Most people that I know plan to blow it on something that will not provide a benefit for their lives. Instead of wasting your refund and regretting your decision, try one of these 8 tips! What To Do With […]
For many people, meeting the IRS’s April 18th tax return deadline for filing and paying the 2010 taxes will prove impossible. Unfortunately, the IRS did not automatically extend the deadline because of the tax filing delay! Fortunately, the IRS allows taxpayers to file for an extension of the deadline to October 17th. The process for […]
The IRS has more than $1.1 Billion in unclaimed refunds for nearly 1.1 million people who did not file an income tax return for 2007. Many taxpayers may have chosen not to file a return because they did not earn enough income to require filing an income tax return, even though they had taxes withheld from […]
Normally, when we talk about tax deductions, we immediately think of IRA contribution limits, the standard mileage rate, or self employment tax. However, with so many people being out of work or working part-time hours, the job market is being flooded with applicants. This is why it is important to look at the tax deductions […]
Some tax laws and guidelines affect every person who may have to file a return – this includes rules governing tax exemptions and dependents. Ever since I became involved in preparing taxes, I have noticed a lot of confusion regarding exemptions and dependents. Apparently, so has the IRS. Therefore, they have released a bulletin outlining […]
Since tax filing season is upon us (after waiting for the tax filing delay to be over), many people will have questions regarding which filing status to use when completing a tax return. Because of that, the IRS has given use several tips/facts that can help us to choose the proper status: Tax Filing Status […]
Even though employers had until January 31st to get all of their Forms W2 mailed out to their employees, there are still many people who haven’t received one as of yet. If you are missing one of more of your forms W-2, the IRS has procedures in place to assist you. What Information Is Included […]
H&R Block was kind enough to provide us with several free copies of their H&R Block AT Home Tax Preparation software. Free Tax Software You Can Trust Many of you already know that H&R Block provides professional tax preparation all across the country. However, like TurboTax, they also provide software with which, you can prepare […]
In discussing which of the free tax forms you should use, we mentioned that the IRS has stopped mailing out paper tax packages. Because of this, tracking down Internal Revenue Service tax forms can be a bit of a chore. Thankfully, the Internal Revenue Service tax forms and publications can be found in a number […]
Many people are confused by the different free tax forms available to use. Of course, if you come to KNS Financial for tax preparation, then you won’t have to worry about finding free tax forms! Choose The Simplest Free Tax Forms For Your Situation In order to file a tax return, you will have to […]
In a previous article, we discussed the fact that many people are not required to file an income tax return. However, there are some instances when you may want to file a tax return even though you are not required to do so. Why You Should File A Tax Return: Recently, the IRS gave seven […]
By this time, most people should have received all of the necessary tax forms in order to prepare their income tax return. Many people have questions about various deductions, credits, and exemptions. However, there are a large number of people who never get that far, because they have one major question: Do I need to […]
Earlier on this site, we made the following announcement, “According to an IRS bulletin, about 50 million taxpayers will face an income tax filing delay this year. If you itemize your tax deductions, then you will have to wait until mid to late February in order to file your tax return.” Now the IRS has […]
The Income Tax Rates for 2011 haven’t changed much from 2010. This is because the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 was signed into law on December 17, 2010 (Click here if you would like to read the full bill). This Act included a last minute extension of the Bush-era tax […]
According to an IRS bulletin, about 50 million taxpayers will face an income tax filing delay this year. If you itemize your tax deductions, then you will have to wait until mid to late February in order to file your tax return. The Reason For The Income Tax Filing Delay The reason for the income […]
Below you will find the IRA Contribution Limits for 2016, 2015, and 2014. Unfortunately, there were no adjustments made to the 2015 contribution limits of IRAs – both Roth and Traditional. Therefore, Roth IRA contribution limits and Traditional IRA contribution limits will remain the same as this year. Combined Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits: […]
Below you will find the 401k Contribution Limits for employees, employers, and also for participants who will be at least 50 years old by the end of the calendar year. You should also consult the IRA contribution limits before completing your retirement plan. As you can see, there was no cost of living adjustment from […]
Recently, we looked at 5 ways you can still increase your 2010 tax return! You’ll notice that using up your entire flexible spending account was listed under additional tips – that is because of the way in which an FSA is structured. For those who have a Flexible Spending Account, you have a limited amount […]
photo by JD Hancock The end of 2010 is fast approaching, but there are still moves that you can make now that will decrease your 2010 tax liability. This hopefully means a larger 2010 tax return (or a smaller check for you to write out in April)! Here are five things that you can still […]
[ad#Google Adsense – Large Rectangle] A few months ago we wrote about how many non-profits were set to lose their tax-exempt status on May 17th. That date has come and gone with thousands of non-profits still failing to file the necessary returns. Because of this the IRS has initiated a relief program. Here is part […]
Those of you who have been following my recent CVS shopping trips know that I have a flexible spending account. However, the list of Flexible Spending Account Eligible Expenses will see some major changes for 2011! How a Flexible Spending Account normally works – before the changes to the list of Flexible Spending Account Eligible […]
If you are in the military, you already have a lot of important things to worry about and keep track of. You don’t need to go through the year and realize that you haven’t taken full advantage of opportunities that the government has given you. Especially when it comes to taxes. Yes I know, it […]
Over the last month, I have written about a couple of CVS shopping trips in which I saved a good deal of money by using Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) , CVS coupons & deals, and manufacturer coupons. In that article I also mentioned that we purchased over-the-counter medicine through our Flexible Spending Account (FSA), in […]
I have to admit that I didn’t care what team Lebron James decided to sign with last night – my teams (Phoenix and Detroit) weren’t in the running. However, I was correct in my assumption that he was going to sign with Miami. Here is the official announcement: Of course I believe that signing with […]
This is a continuation of our series on giving. At first we asked the question: “What Does the Old Testament Teach About Tithing?” What we found is that the various tithes required of the Israelites served as taxes to fund the government and the national religious festivals. Then we asked, “What Does the New Testament […]
This article is part of a larger series on giving. We are starting by examining what the bible teaches about tithing – which is by far the most popular form of giving taught in the church today. Then we will look at voluntary, sacrificial giving and ultimately determine what God’s will truly is for His […]
The IRS is holding an Open House on Saturday, May 15th to address any tax related questions that you may have. For more information, see the IRS bulletin below: The Internal Revenue Service will host a special nationwide Open House on Saturday May 15 to help small businesses and individuals solve tax problems. Approximately 200 […]
This will be the first installment on a series on giving. I pray that we all will be blessed by what the Word of God’s teaches us about giving. First we need to take a look at a few concepts before taking a deeper look. The first thing we will discuss is tithing. Because tithing […]
Since today is the deadline for both filing and paying your 2009 taxes, I figured it would be a good time to look recap some of the more popular topics that we have written about this year. So, here we go: First, you need to determine if you should file a tax return, even if […]
Normally, if a creditor (bank, mortgage company, credit card issuer) dismisses all or part of your debt, it is considered taxable income. However, if your mortgage debt is partly or entirely forgiven during tax years 2007 through 2012, you may be able to claim special tax relief and exclude the debt forgiven from your income. […]
The IRS announced today that members of the military and certain civilians who provided earthquake relief in Haiti will have additional time to file their 2009 income tax returns (the deadline for making payments was also extended)! Below are some of the important details from that announcement: Deadlines for taking care of a variety of […]
Now that you have completed your tax return, you realize that you owe the IRS more money! This can be a very frustrating and intimidating experience. There are many questions that come up: What are your options? Can you send a check or cash? Can you pay by credit card – and is this a […]
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) has become one of the more controversial tax topics in recent memory. The original intent of the AMT was to ensure that taxpayers who benefit from certain tax advantages pay at least a minimum amount of tax. Sounds like a noble idea, right? I mean, you wouldn’t like the idea […]
Many taxpayers experience a delay in the processing of their tax return due to simple, common errors that can be avoided with a little double checking. According to the IRS, here are nine of the most common errors that can unnecessarily delay your tax return: Incorrect or missing Social Security Numbers – When entering SSNs […]
According to the IRS, many of the victims of the severe storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides that began on March 12 in New Jersey will qualify for tax relief. According to the IRS press release, “The President has declared Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Union counties federal […]
For taxpayers who make eligible contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan or to an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), you may be eligible for a tax credit. Here are several things you should know about the Savers Credit: The Savers Credit, formally known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, applies to individuals with a filing status […]
Due to the state of the economy, many taxpayers may have taken early distributions from retirement plans last year. In most cases, there is a negative tax impact that arises from these early distributions. Because of this, the IRS has released some facts about early distributions. Here are some of the highlights: Payments you receive […]
The current economic conditions in have put many Americans in a tough position. On the one hand, it is a fact that difficult times usually lead to an increase in the number of people pursuing degrees – or looking to gain various certifications. However, in a recession colleges and universities are often scrambling to find […]
A common tax question that we hear is whether certain income is taxable. Generally, most income that you receive will be considered taxable; however, there are a few types of income that are only partially taxable or not taxed at all. To ensure that taxpayers understand the difference between taxable and non-taxable income, the IRS released a […]
The IRS estimates that up to 25% of taxpayers who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) don’t claim it because they don’t realize that they qualify. In fact, many of our clients who are eligible to claim this credit have either never heard of it, or they do not believe that they […]
The Making Work Pay tax credit is worth up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples filing jointly. It is a temporary credit that will only be in effect for tax years 2009 and 2010. For 2009, the IRS implemented this credit by making an adjustment to the federal income tax withholding tables […]
There are various factors which determine if you are required to file a Federal tax return. These include filing status, gross income, age and whether or not you are a dependent (see IRS Publication 501 for details). Even if you are not required to file a Federal tax return, the IRS lists many reasons why […]
The American Opportunity Credit (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) allows more parents and students to qualify for a tax credit for college expenses. To this end, the IRS has developed a brief fact sheet to assist you in completing your 2009 tax return. Here are a few highlights: The American Opportunity Credit […]
A new bill has been passed that will allow taxpayers who make donations for the Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts to claim the deduction on their 2009 taxes. Normally, donors would have to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns in order to claim the charitable deductions; however , according to the new bill (click […]
In addition to having your tax return directly deposited into your bank account, the IRS also gives you the option to purchase US Savings Bonds (up to $5,000). Here are a few things they want you to know regarding this option: You may use a portion of your refund to purchase up to $5,000 in […]