Good morning Taxpayers, [Happy Superbowl 43! Steelers vs Cardinals]
***Here is an update on the new Free File Forms available from the IRS Free File link.
Go to www.irs.gov, in the Search Box, type Free File. You will be directed to a split page. The top portion of the page gives income limitations for Free File using approved Software. The IRS gives two options with Free File with Software; 1). You choose the Company, 2). The IRS will choose for you after you answer a couple of questions. http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html
The next option on Free File using Software is that you choose your own. There are different reasons to choose, but find the one who best suits your needs without charging too much.
On the Bottom half of this page, Taxpayers are given the option of choosing their own forms; 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.
***** No income limits for using these forms. Some Forms for the more complicated returns will not be available until March of 2009. This is when Congress is done with 2008 Tax Law, and it is final.
***** Five Star rating for any Dependent who needs to file an income tax return. Remember Parents and Guardians; if you claim a dependent on your Tax Return who has earnings, they are required to File a Tax Return. After working for years at one of the big name tax firms, I can tell you the prices charged for a Dependent 1040EZ is too much. By getting your youngster started with Free Forms, this will give them a better understanding of their 'tax life". Oh yeah; It is completely free to file electronically. I have run into a glitch on the start-up, but on Monday I will be in touch with the IRS to find out Whatz up.
My tax return is more complicated because I legally take every penny possible, and I was up to 8 forms & worksheets last night when I realized I could not locate the place to enter W-2, 1099, 1099R [incoming money] forms. Again, I probably missed something on the sign in, but it should not be so hard to locate these areas of entry. Follow-up Monday night if I can get off of Eternal Hold.
~ Software - TaxSlayer is still my favorite. They are user friendly, provide links to information to what you are doing without charge. Under certain income limits; it is Free Fed & Free State = 9.95 E-File.
Many have used the same company for years. If you have had no problems and you are happy with the ease of use; don't change. Keep in mind when you purchase the Software in the stores, you are paying a lot more than 9.95, or 14.95. As they say, if you don't know how to use it correctly it will be problems without measure and you can be barred from the IRS by doing your own taxes.
Records, Records, Records. You must have them compiled before you File!
If you use a tax professional, do not put them in the position of "guessing" close to your numbers. This year more than ever, your Tax "people" will be held accountable for erroneous numbers. Do not let any Tax 'people' convince you to "use a Dependent" that you cannot prove the dependency.
I heard one guy in a school for a certain Large name firm say, "they told us no one ever goes to jail for that..."
Try this, go to the Department of Justice website, search Tax Firms & Preparers. Perhaps print out the 20 - 30 pages of firms that have been closed, the tax pros that have been fined and their punishments.