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Continuing our effort to provide you with valuable, practical tax information, we will periodically update this page with useful income tax tips and income tax advice from the best sources — information on issues that you commonly deal with. Be sure to check our newsletter from time to time to stay on top of the latest and most effective tax strategies.
CompleteTax will provide income tax tips that will help you save money when it's time to file your tax returns. It's a good idea to use a well planned strategy so that you aren't surprised in April. Using CompleteTax Income Tax Preparation Software and keeping good records could mean the difference between paying a large chunk of money in April and receiving a big refund check. Use our income tax tips as part of your ongoing preparation.
Natural Disasters and Taxes: What You Need to Know
When you are standing in rubble that used to be your home or staring at images showing your town under water, you probably are not thinking about your tax situation. However, it is important to know that you may be able to amend your last year’s tax return and get a refund quickly to help with your immediate financial needs.
In order to take advantage of this relief provision, you need to be in a federally declared disaster area. If you are, you can elect to claim a 2011 casualty loss by amending your 2010 tax return. This means that you can have a refund within weeks, rather than sometime in the spring of next year. In addition, the IRS often grants relief from filing deadlines that occur near the time of the disaster. For example, the June 15th due date for estimated taxes has been extended for those in many of the federally declared disaster areas.
For more information on disaster losses, including links to updated disaster declarations and IRS relief announcements, read Natural Disasters and Taxes: What You Need to Know.
Casualty and Theft Losses
If you've suffered the results of a theft, accident, fire, flood, or some other casualty during the year, you may be able to deduct some of your unreimbursed losses. If your losses occurred in a federally declared disaster area, you can amend last year’s return to get a quick refund. For the details, please read Casualty and Theft Losses.
Avoiding or Dealing with a Tax Audit
The IRS is ramping up its enforcement activity in order to close what it sees as a $346 billion “tax gap.” This means that now, more than ever, you should do all you can to avoid IRS scrutiny. And, if you are audited, you want to make sure you handle the process effectively. To learn more about this increasingly hot area, read Avoiding or Dealing with a Tax Audit.
Vacation Home Rentals
If you have a second home—whether it’s a cabin in the woods, a houseboat or a recreational vehicle—and you rent it out for part of the year, you may be able to deduct some of the expenses associated with it. Find out if you can take advantage of these deductions by consulting Vacation Home Rentals.
Business or Hobby?
In order to be able to take advantage of business expense deductions, you need to be engaged in a trade or business. How do you establish that you are running a business and not simply indulging in a hobby? Read, Business or Hobby?
Consider Hiring Your Children This Summer
If you are a small business owner, you may want to hire your children to work in your business during the summer. Not only will you benefit from knowing where they are, your business’ bottom line will benefit from employment tax savings. Consider Hiring Your Children This Summer.
Reminder: Estimated Tax Payments Due June 15
If you are a small business owner, an independent contractor or other taxpayer who may not have sufficient amounts withheld to cover your income tax liability, then you may need to make a quarterly estimated tax payment by June 15th. Reminder: Estimated Tax Payments Due June 15.
You've Received a Notice from the IRS. Now What?
You open your mailbox to find what every taxpayer dreads: a letter from the IRS. As much as you might want to ignore the situation, you are better off confronting the issue and working out a resolution. You've Received a Notice from the IRS. Now What?.
Summertime Child Care Expenses May Qualify for a Tax Credit
If you have to pay child care expenses so you can work, you may be eligible for the dependent and child care credit. Although the credit is available year-round, it can be especially helpful during the summer when school is out. Day camp expenses, as well as in-home care expenses can qualify for the credit. Summertime Child Care Expenses May Qualify for a Tax Credit.
Past Tax Tips Newsletters
Each month, CompleteTax sends out the informational Tax Tips Newsletter.
Read past Tax Tips Newsletters.