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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.
Getting Ready for Tax Season: Perfect New Year's Resolutions
Few people relish the annual ritual of gathering up the documentation necessary to prepare your annual income tax return. Yet, making resolutions to get your records in order and to familiarize yourself with the tax rules in effect this year can pay off in less stress and a lower tax bill.
To get more pointers on how to make this your easiest tax season yet, be sure to read our article in New Year's Resolutions to Help Get Ready for Tax Season.
Exemptions and the Dependency Test
In most cases, it's easy to tell who is your dependent is and who isn't your dependent. But if you provide support for a relative who is not your child or for an adult child, or if you are divorced, suddenly those easy rules get tricky. Consult the article Exemptions and the Dependency Test to learn more.
Keeping Good Records
If you don't have good records, you are most likely going to cheat yourself out of valuable tax savings. While the IRS might allow you to claim some portion of unsubstantiated deductions, they certainly won't do so without a fight-and, some of the most valuable deductions, such as travel and entertainment-can't be claimed without proper substantiation. Learn the rules by reading Keeping Good Records.
The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
For most taxpayers, your home not only shelters you and your family from the elements, it also shelters your income from the tax collector. We explain the rules regarding the deductibility of mortgage interest payments in The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction.
Recordkeeping and Substantiation
Now it the time of year to make sure that you have proper substantiation for any business expenses that you may have incurred during 2011 and to get a head start on your record-keeping for 2012. Learn what the IRS wants to see in order to support your deductions by reading, Recordkeeping and Substantiation.
Payroll Tax Cut Continues-At Least Through February 2012
At the eleventh hour, Congress acted to preserve the two-percent reduction in the employee-share of the social security tax-but only for two months. The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 allows the employee-share of the Social Security tax to remain at the current 2011 rate of 4.2 percent instead of reverting to 6.2 percent. The extension is valid through February 29, 2012. Payroll Tax Cut Continues-At Least Through February 2012
IRS Issues Identity Protection PIN to Aid ID Theft Victims
If you have had your identity stolen, you don't need tax issues compounding the problem. The IRS will issue you a six-digit identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN) to help you keep your tax information safe. Obtaining and using this annually issued IP PIN also will help avoid delays in processing federal income tax returns. IRS Issues Identity Protection PIN to Aid ID Theft Victims
Say Goodbye to Many Tax Breaks
Nearly 70 tax breaks disappeared or were greatly reduced when the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2011. While many of these provisions were aimed at larger businesses, individuals may feel the impact of AMT changes and credit reductions. Small business owners will certainly miss the enhanced expensing election and the 100 percent bonus depreciation, Time to Sing Auld Lang Syne for Numerous Tax Breaks
IRS Targets Deductions on Form 1040 Schedules A, C and E
Thousands of tax return preparers have received letters from the IRS stating that the Service is targeting deductions found on Form 1040 Schedules A, C and E-schedules that many middle-income taxpayers and small business owners will file this year. Among the targeted deductions are travel and meal expenses, charitable contributions, rental expenses and ordinary and necessary business expenses. IRS Targets Deductions on Form 1040 Schedules A, C and E
Past Tax Tips Newsletters
Each month, CompleteTax sends out the informational Tax Tips Newsletter.
Read past Tax Tips Newsletters.