Summertime: Livin' Easy With Tax Credits & Deductions

Summer is here! A great time for vacations with family and friends, seasonal jobs, and even some free time to organize and begin preparing your tax information in advance. 

Although tax filing and tax returns may not be on many taxpayers mind during this season, it’s encouraged to seize the opportunity to take advantage of some great tax credits and deductions that are usually able to be accumulated around this time of year. 

Here are several ways that you can save money come tax season: 


Child and Dependent Care Credit

The child and dependent care credit allows you to receive credit for expenses used to pay for the care of a qualifying individual to enable you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) to work or actively seek employment. You may not take this credit if your filing status is married filing separately. The credit amount is a percentage of the amount of work-related expenses paid. This percentage depends on your adjusted gross income (AGI). 

Education Credits

An education credit which helps with the cost of higher education by reducing the amount of tax owed on your tax return. If the credit reduces your tax to less than zero, you may get a refund. 


Standard Mileage Rates

  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Business Entertainment Expenses

Generally, 50 percent of meal and entertainment expenses are allowed as a deduction, and you must have records to prove the business purpose.

Home Office Deduction

If you use part of your home for business, you may be able to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. The home office deduction is available for homeowners and renters, and applies to all types of homes. 

Business Travel Expenses

Some deductible expenses while traveling away from home include the costs of travel between your home and your business destination, using your car while at your business destination, fares for taxis or other types of transportation, meals, lodging, tips, dry cleaning and business calls while on your business trip.

Tuition and Fees Deduction

You may be able to deduct qualified education expenses for higher education paid during the year for yourself, your spouse or your dependent. The tuition and fees deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000.

Deducting Gambling Losses

The following rules apply to casual gamblers who aren't in the trade or business of gambling. Gambling winnings are fully taxable and you must report the income on your tax return. Gambling income includes but isn't limited to winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse races, and casinos. 

To deduct your losses, you must keep an accurate diary or similar record of your gambling winnings and losses and be able to provide receipts, tickets, statements, or other records that show the amount of both your winnings and losses.

Deducting Teachers’ Educational Expenses

An eligible educator can deduct above the line up to $250 of any unreimbursed business expenses for classroom materials, such as books, supplies, computers including related software and services or other equipment that the eligible educator uses in the classroom.

Job Search Deductions

In order to claim a job search deduction you must meet each of the following criteria: 
  • You must have enough tax deductions to itemize them
  • The job must be in the same career field as your last employment
  • There is not a significant amount of time passed between your last job and searching for a new one. 
Some job search expenses that can be claimed are as follows: 
  • Resumes - You can deduct the cost of professionally creating, printing and mailing your résumé. 
  • Career Development - Costs from career development seminars, workshops, etc., can be deducted. Any charging fees from employment agencies are deductible as well.
  • Travel - You can claim out-of-pocket travel expenses as long as the trip’s primary purpose is to find a job in the same career field


Those seeking employment for the first time do not meet the principal qualifications for a tax claim. The same rule goes for those trying to make career changes. For example, if you are currently employed in the construction industry, gaining new employment in the field of computer technology will make you exempt from receiving this deduction. Finally, any expenses that are reimbursed by a potential employer are nondeductible. This includes any travel or other costs towards interviews and employment. 

What Should You Do Next?

In order to properly apply these credits and/or deductions when filing you must have impeccable records of all your expenses. Be sure to keep record of all receipts and invoices, make note of all related expenses (mileage log, etc.), and be prepared to provide written or verbal explanations of any costs, especially work related ones. 

In case you misplace some documentation or need more time to gather other info, there’s no need to worry. You can simply e-file IRS Form 4868 with ExpressExtension and get an extra six months to file your personal tax return within minutes. If you have any questions or need assistance with the e-filing process, feel free to call our live, US-based support team in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We are available at (803) 514-5155, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also send us an email 24/7 through

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Get the 411 on Summer Jobs & Taxes

Summertime is here and if you’re like most parents or guardians, you’d like for your child to be productive while they’re on summer break and possibly get a summer job, which would help build their work ethic and take some of the financial burden off of you for a few months. As excited as your child may be to make his/her own money, there are a few things that they should be made aware of prior to seeing that chunk of money missing from their first paycheck.

Federal income taxes, social security taxes, and in some states, state & local income taxes, will be withheld from each paycheck to stay in compliance with the IRS.

Tips for Students with Summer Jobs:


  • Withholding Tax: Employees usually have their employer withhold taxes from their paychecks.
  • Estimated Tax: Self-employed persons may be responsible for paying taxes directly to the IRS after filing. These taxes can be paid in full or quarterly in a “Pay-As-You-Go” method.
      • 1st Payment ~ April 18, 2017
      • 2nd Payment ~ June 15, 2017
      • 3rd Payment ~ Sept. 15, 2017
      • 4th Payment ~ Jan. 16, 2018
  • When getting a new job, you will be required to fill out a Form W-4 (Employee Withholding Allowance Certificate), which will determine how much federal income tax to withhold from your pay.
  • Keep record of your income and work related expenses (i.e. gas, mileage, tools, etc.) for jobs such as baby-sitting and lawn care. These costs may be able to be deducted, which will reduce the taxes you would have to pay back.
  • Working in a restaurant this summer? If so, did you know that all tip income is taxable? Employees who receive tips should do the following:
    • Keep record of your tips daily
    • Report tips to your employer
    • Report all tips on your income tax return
  • Cash tips of $20 or more received in any single month must be reported to your employer.
  • You may earn too little from your summer job to owe income tax.
  • Employers usually have to withhold Social Security & Medicare Taxes
  • Special rules apply to a newspaper carrier
  • Carriers under age 18 may be exempt from Social Security & Medicare Taxes
  • Other carriers may be considered self-employed if they meet certain conditions
  • Applicable to students enrolled in ROTC
  • Active Duty Pay (for example: Summer Advanced Camp) is taxable
Before you know it, summer break will be over and school will be back in session. So what about those taxes that were taken out from each check? Your employer will provide you with a Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) by January 31 of the following year.

This document will show you how much you earned overall in wages, tips, and other compensation for that year. You must have this form when filing your tax return. Tax returns for 2018 are due by Tuesday, April 18, and can be filed online using ExpressIRSForms.

If you happen to miss that date or need more time to gather information, file a quick and easy extension with ExpressExtension and automatically get six extra months to file!

If you have any questions regarding the e-filing process give the dedicated ExpressExtension support team a call. We’re available Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST at 803.514.5155. We also are available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at

For more tax blogs visit and please share your tips about summer jobs and taxes in the comment section below.

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Catch These Red Flags To Stop Tax Scammers

As technology evolves with new ways to communicate, scammers quickly create ways to take advantage of these systems to swindle innocent victims for their money and personal information. Stay alert and know what to watch out for, because tax scammers will try to trick unsuspecting persons into giving them their sensitive information or money all year long. That’s why we’re going over tax scam red flags today.

What To Look Out For

The IRS is extremely professional and organized, whereas scammers can adopt unorthodox methods, such as getting aggressive over the phone, on social media sites, and even by text message. If anyone from the IRS contacts you in an aggressive manner don’t give them any information and contact your local IRS office or tax preparer first.
If someone calls or contacts you demanding payment immediately or they’ll have you arrested, file a lawsuit, suspend your business license, or take another form of enforcement action, know that it’s a scam. The IRS will never threaten you in that manner. 

Also, know that the IRS will never ask for important information such as your social security number or debit card number over the phone, email, or unsecured sites, so never give up your card information.

Other red flags when it comes to making a payment include being asked to make a wire transfer, pay with a prepaid card, or to pay with gift cards. Those are not forms of payment that the IRS will ask for. Keep in mind that you’ll never be asked for a payment without being able to appeal or question the amount.

In some cases the scammer may not be aggressive, instead, they will say that you’ve actually received a bigger refund and need your information to deposit money into your account. The IRS will never first mail you a bill or notice about a further refund.

Phishing emails and text messages trying to get personal and financial information are currently on the rise. Just as scammers work very hard to impersonate IRS representatives over the phone, they’ll try to make their emails and texts seem as legitimate as possible.

They’ll even illegally use the IRS name and logo, but the IRS does provide updates about this fraudulent use. Remember, the IRS will never make initial contact about a bill or refund via email.
Some guys don’t stop at fake emails and build fake filing or e-filing sites. Before trusting a site make sure that they have the legitimate ‘IRS authorized’ logo. There are certain rules and standards put in place for the use of the logo. If it’s pixilated or looks like it was copied and pasted then don’t provide the site with your information.

A legitimate business will have a professional look and design. Plus, the site will be safe and secure. They may even list which company they use to keep their client’s information safe.

If a site looks like the real deal, but you still aren’t sure about it, Google the company and see what you find, read the reviews, ask someone for a second opinion, etc.

Keep Your Information Safe

Even though we aren’t in the main tax season, tax scams occur every day. If you receive an aggressive phone call, email, text message, message, and more, keep your wits about you and never give out your information. You can always contact the IRS or your tax professional if anything seems strange or fishy.

For more tax blogs visit and please share your tips about tax scams in the comment section below.
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New Job Tax Deductions And Tips

Summer creates a booming time for the workforce. It’s generally the time of year that people seek new jobs, employers decide to bring on more staff, kids get out of school and have the opportunity to work, and more. Even though the big tax season boom has passed taxes should never be forgotten, so don’t let these job deductions and tax reminders slip your mind this summer.

What To Deduct 

If you’ve found yourself unemployed you can get a slight tax break from Uncle Sam to help you with the costs related to job hunting, regardless if you get the job or not. Just keep in mind that these expenses can’t be deducted if this is the first job you’re looking for. Also, You can’t deduct the total miscellaneous expenses that exceed 2% of your new total income. 

So what exactly can you deduct when it comes to job hunting? The cost of advertising yourself, related to the expense of printing your resume, and business cards, plus any postage needs in regards to mailing your resume. You can also deduct the costs incurred by employment agencies.

You can deduct transportation costs that relate to your job hunt. For example, If you drive your own vehicle to job hunting related interviews and meetings you can deduct up to 53.5% of the mile and the costs of parking and tolls. Cab fare can also be deducted. Sometimes job searches take you to faraway places, that require an overnight stay but don’t fret. If you have to travel out of town for your job search you can deduct the cost of food and lodging.

If you’ve graduated and you just got your first job, congratulations! If you have to move to a new location to take the position then you can deduct a few of the costs. Just keep in mind that your new job has to be at least 50 miles away to qualify.

You can actually deduct the costs of new items for your household items for your new living space if you qualify. Also, if you drive your own care while moving you can deduct up to 17 cents per mile.
Kids grow up so fast, don’t they? If your kid is a teen old enough to work, then you might enjoy the peace and quiet of them being out of the house and can relax as they earn their own money to pay for summer fun.

If your kid is self-employed through various jobs such as babysitting or lawn mowing they will have to file a tax return if they make over $400. Meaning you will probably have to help them file. If your kid works for an employer either part time or full time remember to have them get their W-2 to make the process easier.

Also, if you want to claim your child as a dependent then they can’t earn over half of their own financial support then you can’t claim them.

Good Luck With Your New Adventure

If you’re looking for a job, landed a new job in a new city, or your teens are entering the workforce we wish you the best of luck. Destress by remembering that there are deductions you can take while job hunting and for your dependents. Also, remember to take a little time for yourself to relax and have some fun this summer!

For more tax-related blogs visit and please share your new job tax tips in the comment section below.
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The 990 Extension Deadline Is Here!

We know you’re busy right now as events and work for your nonprofit organization are really starting to pick up. As you find yourself getting busier and busier don’t let important deadlines fall through the cracks. For example, for some organizations, their Form 990 is due today by midnight.

If yours is due today, stay calm. You can get more time to file by quickly e-filing Exempt Organization Form 8868 and learn about helpful Form 990 tips here today!

About Form 990 And Your Extension

Form 990 is the Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax and it is used by the IRS to provide the public with financial information for nonprofit organizations such as charities, religious organizations, educational groups, and more. It’s also used to make sure that these organizations aren’t abusing their tax-exempt status.
To know whether your Form 990 is due today or not depends on your tax year because Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month of your organization's tax year.

Most organizations run on a calendar tax year. This means their tax year runs for 12 consecutive months beginning on January 1st and ending on December 31st, and their Form 990 is due on May 15th.

If you have a fiscal tax year meaning your tax year runs for 12 consecutive months and ends on the last day of another month besides December then your Form 990 due date depends on the beginning of your tax year. For example, if your tax year began in February then your Form 990 would be due on June 15th!

Don’t freak out if you’re just realizing that your Form is due because you can head to ExpressExtension to e-file Form 8868 which is the Exempt Organization Tax Extension Form. It’s used by nonprofits to get an automatic 6-month extension to file their return.

The process only takes a few minutes, and it’s incredibly easy. All you need is some basic information about your organization like its name, address, tax-ID/EIN, tax year, and which Form 990 you usually file.
If you aren’t sure which 990 you need to file keep in mind that Form 990-EZ is the Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, used by groups with total assets that are less than $500k, with annual gross receipts that are less than 200k.

Form 990-N, the e-postcard or the Electronic Notice for Tax-Exempt Organizations are for nonprofits that aren’t required to file Form 990 because they’re smaller organizations that have less than $50k in gross receipts for the year. 

Form 990-PF is the Return of Private Foundation. Private organizations are required to file this form to list their fiscal date and the list of grants they received during their tax year.

But seriously, Form 8868 is super easy to e-file and you’ll have your extension almost instantly. You’ll be notified via email when your extension is approved, simply follow ExpressExtension’s step by step guide to quickly complete the process.

Note: Form 8868 can’t be used to extend the due date of Form 990-N (e-postcard) and Form 8870 can't be e-filed with part I or part II, but we can print Form 8870 for you to complete and mail.

Need Any Help?

Well, luckily the dedicated ExpressExtension support team is here to answer your questions. Give us a call at 803.514.5155 Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST, live chat with us, or take advantage of our 24/7 email support at
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Is Your Form 990 Due This Month?

We hope you and your nonprofit organization are enjoying some summer fun. Summer is one of the best times to raise funding for a good cause. However, sometimes we can get caught up in so much summer entertainment that we forget about tax time! Depending on the tax year for your organization then your Form 990 could be due on the 15th!

Is Your Form 990 Due?

In case you need a little refreshing Form 990 is the Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Tax-exempt organizations like religious groups, educational groups, charities, and other nonprofit groups are required to file Form 990 to provide the public with financial information about their organization. Form 990 is also used to make sure that financial organizations aren’t abusing their tax-exempt status.

The due date for Form 990 depends on your tax year. It’s due on the 15th day of the 5th month of your tax year. If you have a calendar tax year then your tax year consists of 12 consecutive months beginning on January 1st and ending on December 31st.

If your organization has a fiscal year which consists of any 12 consecutive months ending on the last day of any month besides December. So, the due date for your Form 990 being on the 15th day of the 5th month of your tax year depends on the first month of your fiscal tax year.

For example, if your tax year started in February then the 5th month would be June, making your Form 990 due on June 15th! If this deadline snuck up on you, don’t panic. We can help. Head to ExpressExtension to e-file Exempt Organization Tax Extension Form 8868.

IRS Form 8868 is the form used by charities, nonprofits, and other tax-exempt groups to apply for an automatic 6-month extension on their returns. Because this form is automatic all you have to do is complete your form by the deadline to have your extension approved. Form 8868 is due by your original tax deadline.

The e-filing process is incredibly simple. It only takes a few minutes in order to gain 6 extra months to file your return. All you have to do is head to and create your free account. Then click “Create Exempt Org Tax Exemption” in the dashboard.

Then the step-by-step e-filing guide will take you through the entire filing process. You’ll start by entering the basic information for your organization, such as the name, address, and EIN/Tax-ID. Then you’ll enter in which 990 form you usually file.

After that, we will present you with an information summary of your form so you can make sure that you entered all of your information correctly. Then will perform an audit check to catch any basic errors.

Once any corrections have been made pay for your form and transmit it directly to the IRS. You’ll be notified via email when your form is approved within minutes of transmitting it and you can also view live status updated about your form in your account.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the e-filing process give the dedicated ExpressExtension support team a call. We’re available Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST at 803.514.5155. We also are available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at We will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
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Don't Forget About Deductions This Summer

Summer is heating up out there and for most small businesses that mean things are starting to really pick up. People get out and moving in the summer. They make deals, they travel for business, they upgrade their office spaces, and more. One thing that probably isn’t on your mind is taxes, even though the number one tax mistake made is the failure to claim deductibles! Don’t forget about keeping track of your deductions this summer!

Summer Tax Deductions

Where is your business located this summer? If you have a home office remember that you can deduct it. Just make sure that your home office meets the requirements. It must be a space that solely devoted to your business.

If your children use the area to play then it doesn’t count. Also, using a laptop at your kitchen table won’t make the cut. However, you don’t have to devote an entire room to your home office, part of the room will work.

Thinking about upgrading to a bigger business space because your team is growing? Well, be sure to remember that you can deduct the cost of renting a space for your business, and you can deduct the interest on your mortgage loan if you own the space.

In the summer you’ll have to keep the office cool, but don’t sweat it because you can deduct the cost of utilities! Your AC bill, phone bill, internet bill, and more can be deducted. Just remember that for your home office your family landline can’t be deducted, but a 2nd line for business calls only can be. You can also deduct the percentage of your phone calls that are used for business calls from your mobile phone bill.

You know what your team might need to pick things up in the summer? The proper supplies! Materials such as pens, pads, sticky notes, and other various office supplies can be deducted. Cleaning supplies to keep your space nice and spotless can be deducted as well.

If you need furniture upgrades to make sure your team is comfortable and to make sure your office looks professional, don’t worry, you can deduct those costs as well. Also, you can deduct the cost of software subscriptions, making it easier to afford the tools that your team needs.
Gotta travel to make some deals? No problem, you can deduct the travel costs. Airfare, train tickets, and more can be deducted. Need a place to stay during your trip? That’s fine, deduct your lodging costs. Just remember while you’re wining and dining that you can only deduct up to 50% of the cost of meals and entertainment.

Deducting travel costs probably sounds awesome, but you can’t deduct the costs of a long daily commute. However, if you have to travel to work remember to keep up with the mileage because you can deduct that.

An unfortunate part of life is that sometimes things break and need maintenance. Nothing runs perfectly forever but needing a repair something isn’t to stress out about. If your equipment or something in your office needs to be repaired, keep calm and remember to deduct the costs.

Cheers To Your Business This Summer

Have a great summer quarter. We know that summer is a much busier time of the year for smaller businesses, but we know you can handle it as your business grows. Just remember to get tax breaks where you can by taking advantage of the deductions you qualify for.

For more tax blogs visit and please share your advice about common tax deductions that businesses don’t take advantage of in the comment section below.
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Do You Qualify For The Dependent Care Credit?

All across the country kids are getting out of school for the sweet taste of summer freedom! Maybe you’re happy for your kids and their 3 months off to play and have some fun, but you might find yourself stressed out because you have to pay for some form of care for them over the summer, but don’t worry, you can actually claim child and dependent care expenses on your Income Tax Return.

Child and Dependent Care Expenses

Can You Claim The Credit?

If you’re busy working and need to pay for care you may qualify for a credit for up to 35% of the care expenses for your child or dependent under the age of 13 or for your dependent or spouse if they are unable to physically or mentally care for them self. To claim this credit you must qualify for it and claim it on  Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040NR.

You qualify for the credit if you have earned income during the year or if you’re looking for work. However, you’ll need to have a job or have earned income before you file your return. Also, if you’re married or filing jointly then your spouse will need a job or to be looking for work as well.

The care expenses must be paid to allow you and your spouse to work or look for work. If you only looked for work or worked during a part of the year then you must prorate the expenses. You can’t claim the credit for any periods of 2 weeks or longer when you were not working or looking for work.

Unfortunately stay at home parents do not qualify. Although, if your spouse is a full-time student enrolled for 5 months of the year or they are unable to care for themselves mentally or physically and live with you for over half of the year then they qualify. Your child must live with you for more than half of the year to qualify as well.

The care payments can’t be made to anyone you or your spouse can claim as a dependent, your spouse, or the parent of your qualifying person if they’re your children and if they’re 13 or older. You can pay your kid for care if you don’t claim them as a dependent and they’re 19 or older or will turn 19 by the year’s end.

If your child turns 13 during the time that care was provided you can still claim the credit for the time during the year when your child was younger than 13.

If You Filed An Extension For Form 1040

If you needed an extension to file your Income Tax Return then you now have until October 17th to complete your return. This gives you more than enough time to read up on the specific requirements for the Dependent Child and Care Expenses Credit. You can always ask a local tax preparer for assistance.

Happy Summer

We hope you have some fun vacations planned for you and your children or dependents this summer. Don’t stress out about their cost of care, see if they qualify for a credit to save a little on your return!

For more tax blogs visit and please share your tips about the Child and Care Expenses Credit in the comment section below.
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All About Student Taxes

Sometimes there can be a little confusion about taxes, especially when it comes to students. Do you if have different deductions? Can you claim your kids if they’re in school? When do they need to file, and more? That’s why we’re here to clear a few things up about student taxes today.

Student Taxes and What You Should Know

First of all parents, you can claim your children as deductibles as long as they qualify. Full-time students qualify as long as they’re 24 or younger. Once they hit 25 you can no longer claim them on your return. If your child isn’t a full-time student you can only claim them until the age of 19. If they're younger than 19 and they provide more than half of their own income then they can't be claimed.

 As far as dependants go you can claim more than just your children. Brothers, stepchildren, grandparents, and more may qualify if they depend on you financially or live with you. 

Some relatives, such as half-siblings, step-children, and more may not even have to live with you to qualify. If you aren’t sure who you can claim or not then refer to your CPA or a licensed tax preparer.

Students or children are required to file their taxes on an annual basis as soon as they start earning an income. Generally, kids start working at the age of 16. Also, they only have to file if their income is more than the standard deduction amount for the current tax year.

So, if you’re a student who is working and earning money you need to file your return. Even though in most cases parents file for their children. You’re also required to file a return if you have unearned income, such as a bond or interest that’s higher than the earned income threshold for the year.

Check with your parents before filing your own return, because qualifying children and their interest can be added to their return. If your parents add or claim you then you won’t have to file your own return.

Helpful tip: When filing your own return be sure to have all of the W-2s for all of the places you worked during the tax year, total income earned during the year, social security number, and deductions.

Students can file for tax extensions, as anyone else would. Simply pick an e-file provider like ExpressExtension to guide you through the e-filing process step-by-step. Remember that extensions must be filed by the tax deadline.  

Also, they don’t extend the amount of time you have to pay your taxes, they only extend the amount of time you have to file them. Any amount owed to the IRS must be paid in full by the original tax deadline.

Students get a few deductions that they can take advantage of themselves. You can also take advantage of these deductions for your spouse or children if they qualify. 

If you pay the expenses of higher education, the expenses for eligible students or the interest on student loans then you can deduct them!

Student Taxes Are Easy

When it comes to your student, as long as they qualify or their expenses qualify you can deduct them. Also, once they start getting enough income they will have to start filing their own returns unless you claim them!

For more tax blogs visit and please share your tips about student taxes in the comment section below.
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