Tax News Blog

Can I Deduct Donations Made to Any Organization? | IRS Qualified Charities

Posted by admin on December 18th, 2014
Last modified: December 18, 2014

Contributions to Tax-Exempt Organizations aka “IRS Qualified Charities” are Tax Deductible

If you itemize your deductions (rather than taking the standard deduction), your donations are tax deductible. Don’t get too excited though, you’ll only be able to deduct contributions made to qualified charities and organizations.

Not sure what organization to donate to this year? We’re here to help clarify what types of charities are IRS qualified to lower your taxable income. Then, once it’s time to report the contributions you made, we’ll guide you through filing your taxes!

How Do I Know if a Organization is Qualified Tax-Exempt?

If you donated (or plan on donating) to a specific organization, you may be unsure if you’ll be able to include the generosity on your tax return.

Luckily, the IRS has a search tool on their website, allowing you to enter the organization’s name and location to find out whether their considered an “exempt organization” and tax deductible.

In order to deduct a contribution, the organization will either need to;

How To Deduct Donations: Charitable Contribution Tax Tips

Posted by admin on December 15th, 2014
Last modified: December 15, 2014

Plan on Deducting Donations on Your Tax Return? Here’s a few Tax Tips to Keep in Mind

What’s better than getting a larger tax refund from your tax return? Giving to a good cause.

In fact, in WebMD.com’s article “The Science of Good Deeds”, explains that giving to others not only gives something called a ‘helper’s high’, it also leads to a longer, healthier life.

What’s better than giving to others while also receiving a larger tax refund? Not much.

Before you start spreading some donation love, you’ll want to first make sure you’re going about contributing the right way. Not everything you donate is tax deductible.

Tax Tip #1: You’ll have to Itemize Your Deductions to Deduct Contributions

If you’re debating between taking the standard deduction or itemizing your deductions, if planning to deduct your charitable contributions you’ll have to pick the ladder.

Luckily, you won’t have to do the calculations on Schedule A yourself. The RapidTax do all the hard work for you.

Tax Tip #2: You Must Donate to a Qualified Charity

If you planned on giving your mom a car for Christmas and counting it as a deduction on your taxes, you’ll have to reconsider your plan. In order to deduct a gift, you’ll have to donate to a qualified charity. Read the rest of this entry »

What You Need to Know about Working Remotely Taxes

Posted by admin on December 9th, 2014
Last modified: December 9, 2014

Working remotely taxes can be confusing, especially if you live in one state and work for a company located in another state.

For most, working remotely from home is much more convenient than commuting to a job. There’s no train rides, sitting in traffic or obnoxious co-workers to sit next to.

However, trading in your commute to the office for working from the comfort of your own home can come with a price, especially when it comes to filing taxes.

If you work remotely for a company that’s located in a different state than your resident state, you may be forced to file multiple state tax returns. Sound confusing? We’re here to help!

Tax-Free States

If you work remotely for a company in another state than where you live, you may forced to file both a resident tax return and a non-resident return.

However, some states are income tax-free, meaning you’re off the hook from filing state taxes. The 9 states without an income tax are as follows;

  1. Alaska
  2. Florida
  3. Nevada
  4. New Hampshire
  5. South Dakota
  6. Tennessee
  7. Texas
  8. Washington
  9. Wyoming

File a Return to Each States Listed on Your W-2

If both the state you live in and the state your company is located in falls within the list above of income-tax-free states, then you won’t need to file any state tax returns. Lucky you!

However, chances are the company you work for and/or your home is located in a state with income taxes. In this case you will have to file at the least, a resident tax return. Read the rest of this entry »

What Is The 2014 Standard Mileage Rate?

Posted by admin on December 2nd, 2014
Last modified: December 2, 2014

The price of gas has gone down in 2014, and so has the Standard Mileage Rate!

Tax Season 2015 is around the corner. Before it’s time to file your 2014 taxes, you’ll want to organize any receipts related to the costs of your vehicle if used for business, medical, charity or moving reasons.

It pays to stay organized; the more expenses you end up reporting, the larger your refund check will be.

Standard Mileage Rate 2014

Small business owners, employees, self employed individuals and other taxpayers, can use the standard mileage rate to calculate their tax deductible vehicle costs. These costs must be related to business, charity, medical or moving purposes.

According to the IRS, the standard mileage rate for the use of a cars, vans, pickups, and panel trucks are as follows;

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven

  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes

  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The 2014 mileage rates for business, medical and moving expenses have decreased one-half cent per mile from the 2013 standard mileage rates.

However, the standard mileage rate for charitable expenses hasn’t changed since the Clinton era. In fact, this rate is fixed and can only be changed by Congress.

Keep in mind, there are a few rules of who can and cannot use the standard business mileage rates;

AMT Calculator 2014

Posted by admin on November 25th, 2014
Last modified: November 25, 2014

No need to use an AMT Calculator 2014, the PriorTax application will do the Alternative Minimum Tax Calculations For You!

Trying to figure out your AMT? There’s Alternative Minimum Tax Calculators out there to help you figure out your AMT total for 2014. You also can calculate AMT yourself.

Be honest- do you really want to take the time out of your day to calculate your Alternative Minimum Tax? Probably not.

Rather than finding a 2014 AMT calculator, or doing the work yourself, use the PriorTax tax application to file your taxes and your AMT will be calculated for you.

What is the Alternative Minimum Tax?

The Alternative Minimum Tax is an additional tax calculated separately from regular tax. Individuals with a higher income are often subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT sets a limit to the number of benefits someone can claim to reduce their tax total.

AMT tax rates differ from regular taxable income. The AMT Rates are as following;

Single, Married Filing Jointly, Qualifying Widower:

  • 26% for alternative minimum taxable income (AMTI) of $182,500 or less
  • 28% for AMTI over $182,500

Married Filing Separately:

  • 26% for AMTI of $91,250 or less
  • 28% for AMTI over $91,250

Read the rest of this entry »

What If I Missed the October 15 Tax Deadline?

Posted by admin on November 20th, 2014
Last modified: November 20, 2014

Tax Season Officially Ended on October 15 but you can still use PriorTax 2013 Tax Software.

If you planned on filing your taxes by the October 15 deadline but never got around to it, don’t panic.

Although October 15, 2014 was the last chance you had to e-file a 2013 tax return, you’ll still be able to prepare your 2013 taxes online with PriorTax. Thanks to the 2013 tax software, you won’t waste hours doing taxes.

However, you should file your late 2013 taxes sooner rather than later. 

You’ll Have To Paper File Your Late Tax Return

As of October 15, the IRS shut down the e-file system to prepare for the upcoming tax season. You missed your chance to electronically file and will need to mail your late taxes.

Luckily, you won’t need to prepare your tax return completely by yourself. PriorTax is one of the only 2013 tax software services available for late tax preparation. Read the rest of this entry »

Need Help Filing 2013 Taxes Late?

Posted by admin on November 19th, 2014
Last modified: November 20, 2014

If you need help filing 2013 taxes, PriorTax is here.

Have you been putting off filing your 2013 taxes and still need to gather your 2013 tax forms? Maybe you haven’t yet filed your 2013 tax return because you’re unsure of how to fill out a 2013 tax form 1040.

Whatever the case may be, we understand that completing a 2013 tax return may seem overwhelming. However, as much of a headache taxes may appear to be, it’s best to get your 2013 tax return out of the way sooner rather than later.

The good news is that PriorTax makes completing a 2013 tax return easy. In fact,  while other online tax services no longer offer 2013 tax software, you can prepare your 2013 taxes with PriorTax!

Before, getting started, here’s a few 2013 tax return tips to keep in mind.

 #1: Late Fees Increase As Time Passes

If you’re getting a refund, there’s no need to freak out. You won’t face late fees for filing late. However, if you have tax due on your 2013 taxes, then the longer wait to file and pay your tax bill, the worse the penalties become.

There’s two late penalties; a late-filing penalty and late-payment penalty. Here’s what you need to know;

Late-filing Penalty: 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction) your return is late, with a maximum penalty of 25% Read the rest of this entry »

How To File Taxes as an Actor or Performer

Posted by admin on November 12th, 2014
Last modified: November 12, 2014

If you’re an actor than the last thing you may be thinking about is taxes. After all, you have auditions to attend, scripts to memorize and practices to run off to.

Even if taxes fall last on your list of concerns, you’ll need to file a tax return between January and April each year.

The IRS considers actors and performers as self-employed, meaning you’ll be required to report all income you earned on a business tax return. Sound confusing? PriorTax is here to help.

What You’ll Report on Your Taxes

  1. Income from Employed Work: Your employer most likely withheld taxes from your paychecks already, meaning you already pay tax on these earnings.
  2. Earnings from Acting, Performing, etc: you’re required to report any other earnings received, whether it be from acting, performing, doing voice-overs, etc. You’ll most likely still need to pay tax on your acting/ performing gigs.
  3. Expenses Incurred: To lower your tax liability total, you’ll want to report as many deductible expenses as possible. The more deductions you can claim, the less you’ll end up paying to Uncle Sam.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Things You’ll Need to Report On a Self-Employee or Business Tax Return

Posted by admin on November 11th, 2014
Last modified: November 11, 2014

Before Report Self-Employment or Business Income, Know what You’ll Need

If you need to report self-employment income or business income on a tax return, it’s best to organize the papers you’ll need before getting started.

Filing a Schedule C may seem like a daunting task. However, you can avoid complications by keeping your records organized throughout the year .

It’s also good to keep in mind that doing your taxes online will ultimately save you time and money.

Below, you’ll find the information you’ll need to report when completing a business tax return. Keep in mind, if you’re a sole proprietor, do freelance or contract work, you’re considered a self-employee and are required to file a business tax return (SCH C).

What You’ll Need to Report On Business Tax Return (SCH C)

#1: Income

According to the IRS, you’ll need to report ALL income you’ve received.

Make a list of gross receipts or sales from the tax year. If you received 1099 forms from clients or individuals you provided services for, you’ll need to include these amounts.

The IRS requires you to report ALL income so be sure to include payments you received that aren’t reported on a 1099 form

There’s other amounts you may not think of that the IRS considers forms of income. This includes;

  • value of goods or services received through barter transactions

  • bad debts recovered that you wrote off on a prior-year return

  • interest on any business bank accounts

#2: Expenses Read the rest of this entry »

April 15, 2015 is the Last Day to Claim Your 2011 Tax Refund

Posted by admin on October 28th, 2014
Last modified: October 28, 2014

After April 15, 2015, you’ll no longer be able to claim your 2011 Tax Refund

Mark your calendar- April 15, 2015 is not only the deadline to file your 2014 tax return, it’s also the last day you’ll be able to file your 2011 tax return and receive your 2011 refund.

The status of limitations only allows tax filers three years to claim a tax refund.

So where does the unclaimed money go after the three year period has passed? You guessed it- the IRS keeps it.

Don’t hand over your money to the government, file your 2011 tax return today and claim your refund before it’s too late!

How To File Your 2011 Taxes

It’s not yet the 2011 tax return deadline to claim your refund money. That means, you can complete your tax return today and wait for your refund check from the IRS. Here’s how; Read the rest of this entry »