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3/27/2014

Be Prepared To File Your Taxes With The Top 10 Tips From AICPA

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) have put together the top 10 tax tips for individual taxpayers. Aren't they sweet.

Every year more and more people take on the exciting task of filing their taxes on their own, and the AICPA want to help you file like the experts, their top 10 tips are:

1. Get Organized.
If you don't have your W-2 and 1099 forms, you can't do your taxes. Put them where you can find them. And keep good records of your deductions. If you keep good records, you won't overpay, and you'll be able to answer any question from the Internal Revenue Service easily.

2.Don't be late.
Your federal tax return must be filed before midnight on Tuesday, April 15. You can get an extension through our sister product ExpressExtension by filing an IRS Form 4868 by April 15th, but you still have to pay your taxes by April 15 to avoid penalties and interest. And check the filing deadline for your state: It may be different than the Federal deadline.

3. Protect your ID.
Your records include important identification information, and identity thieves would love to have that. Got an e-mail from the IRS requesting personal or financial information? It's bogus.

4. Investigate the details if you are filing as a legally married same-sex couple
. Legally married same-sex couples do not have to reside in the state in which they were legally married to qualify. But the new IRS rules do not apply to domestic partnerships or civil unions. Because state income tax laws vary, same-sex couples may want to get help from a local CPA.

5. Prepare and hold.
It's not unusual for taxpayers to receive corrected 1099 forms late in the tax filing season. If you have investments, prepare your tax return now and then delay filing it electronically until just before the April 15 deadline. You can take your time preparing your return and make last-minute changes without filing an amended return.

"If you're going to have a large balance due on April 15, you want to find out now,' says Melissa Labant, director of tax advocacy for the AICPA. "That's much better than a surprise at the last minute."

6. Check your tax breaks.
Just because you got certain exemptions and deductions last year, don't assume you can claim the same ones this year. New rules have kicked in phasing out exemptions at certain income levels and imposing new limits on deductions. For example, medical and dental deductions must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, unless you or your spouse is 65 or older and then it's still 7.5%.

7. Review. Review. Review.
Two of the most common mistakes made by taxpayers:
  • Incorrect Social Security number
  • Incorrect math calculations
significantly slow down the refund process... They're also the easiest to correct. Slow down and double-check your return before it's filed. "It's a common mistake to get the numbers transposed - sometimes for a number of years," Labant says. It's a headache that can be eliminated in a few minutes of review.

8. Use Direct Deposit.
The fastest way to get a refund is to have it deposited directly into your bank account.

9. File Electronically. E-filing is the easiest way to file a tax return. You'll avoid the long lines at the post office, save on postage -- and get your return faster.

10. Don't be shy. What you don't know can cost you - Don't Guess. your local CPA can help you determine how the tax law applies to your specific situation, including whether you qualify for one or more of the special provisions in the tax code. The official IRS website has answers to typical questions or the AICPA's 360 degrees of financial Literacy website has information on a variety of tax topics.

Make sure you have everything you need to file before the April 15 deadline coming up. If you know already you will need more time to file, you can quickly transmit an IRS Form 4868 - Personal Tax Extension with our sister product ExpressExtension.
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3/24/2014

E-File An Extension For The Individual Tax Return Before The Deadline

The individual tax return deadline is Tuesday April, 15. If you know you need more time, ExpressExtension provides Form 4868 - Personal Tax Extension, to extend your time to file. You do not need to explain why you are asking for the extension, but you are required to properly estimate your 2013 tax liability and file Form 4868 by the April 15th deadline.

What is a Form 4868?

IRS Form 4868 - “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” is used to apply for an additional 6 months to file Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR or 1040-SS.

Who is Form 4868 for?
  • All 1040 Personal Federal Returns
  • Sole Proprietorships 
    • A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual with no distinction between the business and you, the owner. You are entitled to all profits and are responsible for all your business’s debts, losses and liabilities.
  • Single Member LLC
    •  a limited liability company that has only one member.
What you will need to file?

Gather the personal data the IRS requires for you to file a tax extension Form 4868: your name, address, social security number. If you’re married and filing jointly, you’ll need the same information for your spouse. Make sure the information you have matches what the IRS has on record. You can verify your information with them by calling 1.800.829.1040.

Once you’ve got your information and estimation in hand, you can create an account with ExpressExtension and simply follow the directions to transmit your Form 4868 to the IRS. Check out this great video for more information on filing a Personal Tax Extension:


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3/20/2014

ThrowBack Thursday: Historical Highlights of the IRS

Are you ready to learn important dates in IRS History? There is a lot more to IRS history than most people realize. Now it might not sound exciting but some of these historical highlights helped shape the United States of America in to what it is today. Everything from famous gangsters like Al Capone, legendary Presidents, and the recognition of the computer age grace the IRS history.

1909 - President Taft recommended Congress propose a constitutional amendment that would give the government the power to tax incomes without apportioning the burden among the states in line with population. Congress also levied a 1 percent tax on net corporate incomes of more than $5,000.

1918 - The Revenue Act of 1918 raised even greater sums for the World War I effort. It codified all existing tax laws and imposed a progressive income-tax rate structure of up to 77 percent.

1919 - The states ratified the 18th Amendment, barring the manufacture, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages. Congress passed the Volstead Act, which gave the Commissioner of Internal Revenue the primary responsibility for enforcement of Prohibition. Eleven years later, the Department of Justice assumed primary prohibition enforcement duties.

1931 - The IRS Intelligence Unit used an undercover agent to gather evidence against gangster Al Capone. Capone was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years.

1933 - Prohibition repealed. IRS again assumed responsibility for alcohol taxation the following year and for administering the National Firearms Act. Later, tobacco tax enforcement was added.

1942
- The Revenue Act of 1942, hailed by President Roosevelt as "the greatest tax bill in American history," passed Congress. It increased taxes and the number of Americans subject to the income tax. It also created deductions for medical and investment expenses.

1943 - Congress passed the Current Tax Payment Act, which required employers to withhold taxes from employees' wages and remit them quarterly.

1944 - Congress passed the Individual Income Tax Act, which created the standard deductions on Form 1040.

1952 - President Truman proposed his Reorganization Plan No. 1, which replaced the patronage system at the IRS with a career civil service system. It also decentralized service to taxpayers and sought to restore public confidence in the agency.

1953 - President Eisenhower endorsed Truman's reorganization plan and changed the name of the agency from the Bureau of Internal Revenue to the Internal Revenue Service.

1961 - The Computer Age began at IRS with the dedication of the National Computer Center at Martinsburg, W.Va.

1986 - Limited electronic filing began. President Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act, the most significant piece of tax legislation in 30 years. It contained 300 provisions and took three years to implement. The Act codified the federal tax laws for the third time since the Revenue Act of 1918.

1992
- Taxpayers who owed money were allowed to file returns electronically.

1998 - Congress passed the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act, which expanded taxpayer rights and called for reorganizing the agency into four operating divisions aligned according to taxpayer needs.

2000 - IRS enacted reforms, ending its geographic-based structure and instituting four major operating divisions: Wage and Investment, Small Business/Self-Employed, Large and Mid-Size Business and Tax Exempt and Government Entities. It was the most sweeping change at the IRS since the 1953 reorganization.

2003
- IRS administered another mid-year refund program, this time providing an advance payment of an increase in the Child Tax Credit. Electronic filing reached a new high - 52.9 million tax returns, more than 40 percent of all individual returns.

For a full list of the IRS historical highlights visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Historical-Highlights-of-the-IRS
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3/17/2014

Tax Deadline: Today Is The Deadline To File Your Business Tax Returns or File A Business Tax Extension


The Business Tax Filing deadline is Today at midnight according to your time zone. If you need more time to file your business tax return with the IRS, you can extend your filing deadline up to 5 or 6 months by filing a Business Tax Extension through ExpressExtension.com


More About Form 7004:

Form 7004 - “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns,” will automatically extend the filing deadline for 32 different IRS returns. The IRS typically grants automatic extensions of five (5) or six (6) months, depending on the return for which the extension is filed. IRS Form 7004 can be used by Multi-Memember LLCs, C-Corporations, S-Corporations, Partnerships, Trusts and Estates.



  • Please note: IRS Form 7004 does not extend the time for payment of taxes, it’s only an extension to file your return. Generally, payment of any estimated taxes is due at the time of filing the extension.

Steps to E-File From 7004 with ExpressExtension:
  1. Create an Express Extension Account
  2. Estimate the total income tax payment for the filing year - if you owe money that is.
  3. Click Create New Extension on the Dashboard page and follow the steps to transmit your return to the IRS
ExpressExtension will walk you through each step of the process in less than 10 minutes. Everything is spelled out in easy to read instructions, not confusing tax jargon. However, should you have any questions about E-Filing Tax Extensions, you can call, email or chat online with the Express Tax Support Center in Rock Hill, SC at 803-514-5155
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3/12/2014

IRS Tax Deadline: File Form 7004 By March 17th

Business Extension Form 7004 is due next Monday March 17th. If you are not fully prepared to file your business taxes, you can quickly and easily file a business extension with ExpressExtension in just a few minutes.

More About Form 7004:
The official title of Form 7004 is Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns. Try saying that 3 times fast. Filing a business extensions automatically extends your filing deadline up to 5 or 6 months. This form can be used by:
  • Multi-Member LLCs
  • C-Corporations
  • S-Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Trusts & Estates  
Note filing this type of extension does not extend your time to pay the taxes due.  Generally, payment of any balance due according to IRS Form 7004 is required by the due date of the return for which this extension is filed.

Why Should I Use ExpressExtension To File Form 7004?
ExpressExtension is the safest, fastest, most efficient, and most affordable way to file a tax extension with the IRS. The best part is...with its streamlined design and user-friendly system, ExpressExtension will walk you through each step of the process in less than 10 minutes. Everything is spelled out in easy to read instructions, not confusing tax jargon.

For more info on the Benefits of using ExpressExtension and From 7004, check out:
 Due March 17th - Form 7004: Business Tax Extension

Video: E-File Your Tax Extension With ExpressExtension

Reasons To File A Tax Extension

Contact our Express Tax Support Center via phone: 803.514.5155 or email: support@expressextension.com with any questions you may have about filing a Form 7004 Business Tax Extension.


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3/10/2014

IRS Penalties: Failure to File vs. Failure to Pay



Failure-To-File and Failure-To-Pay are two separate penalties the IRS can charge you with. The law provides that the IRS can assess a penalty on either or both instances, should they occur.

First let's discuss what Failure-To-File means:
Failure-to-file occurs if you do not file by the tax deadline. This penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty, so if you need more TIME to file, you can file a tax extension. ExpressExtension provides the correct forms you will need to extend the filing deadline, and avoid this penalty:
  • The Failure-To-File penalty is generally 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of the month it is late, up to 25% of your unpaid tax.
  • If the return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is smaller.
Now let's get into Failure-To-Pay:
Failure-to-pay occurs if you do not pay by the due date. Filing a Tax Extension only extends the amount of time to file, NOT to pay any tax that is due.
  • Generally there is a penalty of 1/2 to 1% of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of the month after the due date that your taxes are not paid, up to 25% of unpaid taxes.
  • If you filed a Tax Extension and paid at least 90% of your tax due by the original due date, and pay the remaining balance by the extended due date, you will not incur a failure-to-pay penalty.
If both penalties apply in any month, the 5% failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty; unless your return is more than 60 days late. The minimum penalty will be $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is smaller. If you can show reasonable cause for filing or paying late, the penalties may be waived. For any questions you have pertaining tax laws or tax advice make sure to contact your tax professional.

If you have any questions about filing a tax extension, contact our Express Tax Support Center via phone: 704.839.2270 or email: support@expresstaxfilings.com.

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3/07/2014

Tax Extensions: Need More Time To File Your Taxes?

Tax season sometimes just sneaks up on you and suddenly you are in need of more time to file. So what do you do?  File a Tax Extension.

What is a Tax Extension?
A tax extension extends the amount of time to prepare and file your tax return with the IRS. Please note: This does NOT extend the amount of time to pay your taxes.
The easiest way to file a tax extension is through an IRS Authorized e-file provider - such as ExpressExtension.com, where filing your extension only takes a few minutes.


When are the deadlines?
Your deadline to file a tax extension depends on which form you need to file.
  • March 17th - Business Tax Extension - can be filed with IRS Form 7004 for Multi-Memeber LLCs, C-Corporatons, S-Corporations, Partnerships, Trusts, and Estates for an automatic 5 or 6 month extension
  • April 15th - Personal Tax Extension - can be filed with IRS Form 4868 for Individuals, 1099 Contractors, Sole Proprietors, and Single Member LLCs to extend time to file until October 15th
  • May 15th - Non-Profit/Exempt Organization Tax Extension - can be filed with IRS form 8868 for Non-Profit & Exempt Organizations for an automatic extension of 3 months.
Who can file a tax extension?
Anyone can file a tax extension with the IRS. If you have any questions about filing a tax extension, contact our Express Tax Support Center via phone: 803.514.5155 or email: support@expressextension.com.


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3/05/2014

Due March 17th - Form 7004: Business Tax Extension

The official title of the IRS Business Tax Extension is known as - Form 7004 Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain business Income Tax, Information, and Other Return - what a mouthful right?
Form 7004 is a request for an automatic extension of time to file certain business tax returns, and can be easily transmitted to the IRS through ExpressExtension.com. Filing a From 7004 will extend your time to file, not time to pay, deadline 5 to 6 months. The deadline to file a Business Tax Extension is March 17th, 2014.

If you already know you will need more time to file, it is best to go ahead and file an extension. The Business Tax Extension will be granted by the IRS if the business:
  • Completes IRS Form 7004 properly
  • Makes a proper estimate of the tax (if applicable),
  • File the form by the due date of the return to which the Form 7004 applies
  • Pay any tax that is due.
What will I need to file Form 7004?
Gather the business data the IRS requires for you to file a tax extension Form 7004: the business name, address and Tax-ID/EIN. Make sure your information matches what the IRS has on record. You can verify your information with them by calling 1-800-829-4933.

 
What are the steps to e-file Form 7004 with ExpressExtension?
First, you will need to create an Express Extension account and click 'Create New Extension' on your account Dashboard. You'll need to estimate the total income tax payment for the filing year- if you owe money that is. Once you have got your information and estimation in hand, simply follow the directions, fill out the Form 7004 online, and Express Extension will do the rest.

If you have any questions about filing a 7004 Extension call our Express Tax Support Center, located in Rock Hill, SC, via phone: 803.514.5155 or email: support@expressextension.com. We also provide support in Spanish.


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