Tax Season 2014: In a Nutshell

tax 2

By: Ms. J

Have you filed your 2013 taxes yet? The IRS Tax filing deadline is April 15, 2014 for individual tax returns.

For some, tax season is the best season of the year in which they get “free” money from the government, while others feel as if they are scammed because they didn’t receive much money or they owe the government instead.

 

Tax Process
The tax process begins when you become employed. Before you start to work, you are required to fill out a W-4 form. This form provides the government a survey of your household and how much you owe the government for their services such as public works projects, military, safety, health and more. This money is taken out year around and during tax season you are evaluated to determine whether too much or too little was taken by the government. This would explain why some people get large returns and others don’t. If you fill out your W-4 incorrectly, did not update with new details during the course of the year or outright lied on it; filing your tax return is suppose to even it out. This means that if the government took out too much money you get it back; however if they didn’t that means that you owe them. Typically, your refund (if you receive any) should be as low as possible, thereby indicating that the taxes taken out during the course of the year was correct. Any large tax refunds received should be because you have acquired property, started a business, had a baby or got married.

Filing
When it comes to filing, most people give it up to the highest bidder; meaning whoever can provide them with the largest refund tax. There are pros and cons to this method. Some pros are you get more bang for your buck for filing and you receive a bigger refund. Some cons of this approach is that in order for this person/company to give you a bigger refund they may have tweaked some numbers or filled out the form incorrectly. This may not flow through on 2013; however it could affect you when you file for 2014. Also, some tax preparers could be unlawfully charging you based on the amount of money you receive, which is illegal. (pcir230, 10.27).

Pricing
There are various methods of pricing such as :
1. A set fee for each tax form or schedule
2. A set fee plus additional based on the complexity
3. Hourly rate for preparing the return
4. A set fee for each entry

Make sure that you aware of what is included in the service you are paying for. How long it will take. The range of time you are expected to receive your refund. Please note that the IRS states up to 21 days to process plus delivery time depending on whether you request your refund electronically or in the mail. Furthermore, ask you’re preparer to explain certain aspects that you do not understand. Bring everything and ask if you can claim it, a knowledgeable tax preparer would state yay or nay and why. Regardless of whether or not you can file something, asking if you can and getting feedback increases your knowledge about the tax system for next year.

If you have not filed for the previous 3 years, please claim a portion of your $760M. The last day to file for 2010 is also April 15, 2014.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/pcir230.pdf

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Has-$760-Million-for-People-Who-Have-Not-Filed-a-2010-Income-Tax-Return

 

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