TO-DOs after filing a TAX EXTENSION

Many people might need to file their taxes late because of the disruption of the pandemic. This could be a result of either not having an income as well as changes in your routine.

If you missed the deadline and had to file for an extension. Here are a few tips to help you keep your tax return on track before October 17.

GATHER all the documentation that you have and create a checklist of missing items.

MARK any estimated amount on the returns so you won’t forget to go back later.

KEEP your checklist UPDATED and ORGANIZE every time your receipts and other documentation arrive.

ENTER any estimated PAYMENTS you made when you asked for an extension.

Did not make the deadline and still need to file your taxes? No worries, Ingram Taxes is still accepting tax clients. If this is you, or someone you know, don’t hesitate to reach out so we are able to take care of you.

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The Benefits of Filing Taxes Early

Taxes aren’t due until April, but there are good reasons not to wait to file your tax return. Millions of Americans must file a tax return every year, but by taking care of the task before the time, you won’t have to stress out over it in April too.

The IRS does recommend that people file as early as possible to get their refund quicker. However, it’s not the only reason to file early! This means more time for double-checking your work, planning payments, and avoiding tax fraud. What’s more, if you owe taxes, you can always file now (and pay later).

You should file your taxes early because filing early wards off tax identity theft. Check these things in this article to learn more about when you can file and what documentation will be needed for you to avoid the risks of tax identity theft.

Benefits of Filing Taxes Early

There are several reasons to complete tax returns early rather than waiting until Tax Day:
• More accurate returns potentially resulting in larger refunds.• Less competition for appointments with tax preparers.• More time to plan for tax payments.• Less chance of tax fraud.

The opportunity to get an earlier refund often prompts people to file during the early stages of the tax year. Rob Burnette, CEO and financial advisor with Outlook Financial Center says, “You used to be able to get a federal refund in 10 days”. Now, the IRS estimates that most people will receive refunds within 21 days after filing. The deadlines depend on how long it takes for your return to be processed by the IRS though, so be sure to stay aware of this if you’re expecting a refund.

Filing early can give you a larger refund. That’s because people who file at the last minute might miss out on deductions or credits. “You don’t know if you have itemized deductions until you add them up.” says Patrick Collabella, Associate Professor of Accounting and Taxation at St. John’s University in Queens, New York City.

If you start your taxes early, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on and more time to get answers from the government. For example, if they don’t provide answers to your questions, you can inquire about it later. Starting early also means that even if a return is filed late there is still time to make up for it by paying off what’s owed.

How to Find a Reputable Tax Preparer Near You | Ingram Taxes

You may want more personalized help filing your tax return this year, and you have a wide range of options and resources.

A tax expert can make sure you get all the tax breaks you deserve, especially in a year where your tax situation may be very different than it had been in the past. Many tax professionals can also help you with tax planning that can save you money in the future.

What Kind of Tax Preparer Do You Need?

When choosing between tax preparers, one of the key factors to consider is their level of experience. They usually have different tiers of services, with some completing just your federal and state returns with little or no additional help offered. But if you had a few different jobs during the year, did some freelance work, started your own business or had other complicated tax situations, then you may need more help. If you’re not really sure what expenses are deductible, an accountant would be able to help you. They might find tax breaks applicable to your business that aren’t even clear to the IRS.

Anyone with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number can prepare federal tax returns. But you should consider the level of their experience and qualifications. Enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys can represent clients before the IRS in audits, payment issues and appeals. The Annual Filing Season Program helps other tax preparers who have completed a specific amount of continuing education to prepare for the tax season. There are also PTIN holders who haven’t completed these certifications and, as a result, they can prepare tax returns but can’t represent clients in front of the IRS. The IRS Directory is the best way to find quality tax preparers near you. Tax season is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to find one! Before you hire a tax preparer, ask family and friends for their opinions on who they’ve worked with in the past. Make sure to also do some research from reputable websites on the company that has been recommended to see if there are any complaints. If everything looks promising, you can then contact them for more details on their services.

Make sure your tax preparer can meet your needs. Do you just need them to file your return, or would you like them to help you with anything else? If you’re just starting out in business, for example, it might be helpful to work with a tax specialist – such as an enrolled agent or Certified Public Accountant – who can let you know about future deductions and tax-planning strategies. If you’re nearing retirement and have a lot of money in your tax-deferred retirement savings plans, it can be a good idea to meet with a qualified advisor who’s also skilled in financial planning and tax preparation. This way you can get professional advice about the most tax efficient way to withdraw from your savings.

Ask questions about the return so you understand what they’ve done and the credits and deductions they’ve taken, which can help you know how to take the tax breaks in the future. “A good tax preparer will explain each step of the process with a taxpayer and allow them to ask questions.” 

Inquire about their back-up support if you have any questions in the future. Avoid tax preparers who only operate a few months a year and will not be there after an IRS audit. In addition to protecting your data, you want to find a tax professional who can help you year-round in case you need to amend a return or if the IRS comes back with questions.

Conclusion: As you can see, there are many benefits to hiring a tax preparer. 

When you’re done filing your own taxes, you may find yourself making the same mistakes year after year. Hiring a professional can help save time and money, while also ensuring that your taxes are filed correctly. Here at IngramTaxes.com, we’re dedicated to helping all our clients receive the best possible results when it comes to tax preparation and filing.

Contact us today for more information about how we can help you! If you are looking for the best tax filing services, we can help. Get in touch by texting/calling us at +1 866-824-1440 or email us at info@ingramtaxes.com. Our professional team is available to take care of your needs and make sure you get what is rightfully yours.

Tax Credits You May Qualify for This Year | Ingramtaxes.com

A tax credit is not the same as a tax deduction. Tax credits are used to offset taxes owed and can be applied to reduce how much you owe in taxes. A deduction reduces how much of your income is taxed and is often higher in value than a tax credit. Some credits are refundable, which means they will result in a refund if the amount of the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed. Other credits are nonrefundable and can wipe out a taxpayer’s bill but won’t result in a tax refund. Because credits are so valuable, the government usually places income limits or other restrictions on who can claim them. These restrictions can vary for each credit. What’s more, both states and the federal government may offer credits for similar expenses, but each has its own eligibility criteria. The best way to make sure that your business is as financially viable as possible is to do your homework and know exactly what it is that you are getting into. Make sure you have a full understanding of the costs, the benefits, and the responsibilities. The IRS offers many credits, such as moving expenses and education credits, to help reduce your tax bill. However, some of these credits are nonrefundable and can be used to wipe out your tax bill. Some credits are limited to specific taxpayers, so you should know whether you qualify before you file.

In general, most people who do the credit math come up with a negative number. They’re not wrong – it’s just that there are two sides to every story. Here’s the reality: If you have a big refund coming your way, it could be the result of one of the following.

If you get a $600 refund, you may be eligible for:

• American opportunity credit

• a lifetime learning credit

• a child tax credit

• a dependent care tax credit

• an investment tax credit

If you get a $1,000 refund, you may be eligible for:

• the American opportunity credit

• The lifetime learning credit

• a child tax credit

• a dependent care tax credit or an investment tax credit

• The Adoption Credit

• The Earned Income Credit

• The Premium Tax Credit

• The Recovery Rebate Credit Tax Credits for College Tax Credits for college, Bump-up to a bigger credit:

If you don’t get the full amount with the American opportunity tax credit, you can apply it towards your taxes if you earn up to $100,000 a year. The same is true for parents of dependent students. As with the American opportunity tax credit, they’re eligible for a $2,500 per student credit for the first four years of undergraduate education. Of that, up to $1,000 is refundable. Eligible expenses include tuition, fees and expenses that are required for attendance in class, such as books. The other option is the Hope scholarship. “To claim the credit, students must be enrolled at least half time for one academic period, be pursuing a degree or other recognized education credential and not have previously claimed an American opportunity credit or the former Hope credit for more than four tax years. Eligible expenses include tuition, fees and expenses that are required for attendance in class, such as books.” This is a good example of how a simple phrase can become very confusing to someone who doesn’t know what they’re reading about.

In this case, the confusion comes from the words “phased out” which means that the credit is only available for students with incomes up to $31,500. You may only claim the lifetime learning credit if your modified adjusted gross income is below a certain amount for each filing status (married filing joint: $138,000; married filing separate: $69,000; single: $69,000. The credit is limited to the total of $2,000 you have claimed for the year. If you enroll in an Amazon University course that lasts for one or more years, you can receive a lifetime learning credit, regardless of your age or where you enroll. You don’t need to complete a degree program to enroll in a class. Tax Credits for Families There are some other new tax credits for families in place, like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, which is designed to provide financial relief to lower-income individuals and families.

The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit for individuals and couples with income below a certain level. It provides money back in the form of a monthly payment, and it can be used for almost any purpose, such as paying down debt or making home repairs. The amount you can claim is based on your age and number of children. Parents who received advance payments in 2021 will need to file a tax return to reconcile the payments they received with the amount they are owed. Those who are eligible for the full credit will have the remainder applied to their tax return. If someone received advance payments and is not actually eligible for the credit, they may be able to keep the money depending on their income.

For 2022, the child tax credit reverts to its previous level of $2,000 for each child younger than age 17 who lives with a taxpayer for more than half the year. Marriages between two individuals who are either married to each other or live together and file jointly generally result in higher income than a single taxpayer or one person living alone. Child and dependent care tax credit. The child and dependent care tax credit is another tax credit that got a boost in 2021. Normally, the maximum credit that can be received is 35% of $3,000 in allowable expenses for a single child or $6,000 in allowable expenses for two or more children. However, for 2021 only, the credit can be claimed on up to $8,000 of qualifying expenses for one child and $16,000 of expenses for two or more children. This credit is available to those who pay for childcare so they can work. However, the credit and the exclusion can’t be for the same adoption costs. Qualifying expenses include care for children younger than age 13, spouses who are physically or mentally incapable of self-care or other qualifying individuals who are incapable of self-care. In all cases, the person receiving care must live with the taxpayer for more than half the year. Adoption credit. This credit can help reimburse parents for their legal fees and other costs associated with adoption.

In addition to a credit of $14,400 for a qualified adoption, taxpayers may be able to exclude $14,400 from their income in 2021 if an employer pays for qualifying expenses. If you’ve been thinking about starting a side business, this is a great place to get started. It walks you through the basic steps of how to begin, what to expect when you’re ready to launch your side business, how to market your business, and what type of products or services you should consider offering. Tax Credits for Income-Eligible Households The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is available for families who qualify, and it can be lucrative if you qualify. It’s also one of the most overlooked tax credits, but if you’re eligible, you may be able to claim the full amount. The maximum credit is $6,728 for a family with three or more children, and it varies based on household income and number of children.

Income limits for dependents who are eligible to claim the earned income tax credit range from $12,600 for a single taxpayer with no children to $31,700 for a married couple filing jointly with three or more children. Taxpayers may claim this refundable credit only if their modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is below the threshold, and not above a phaseout threshold. The Affordable Care Act includes the Premium Tax Credit. It is available to any income-eligible household that buys health insurance through the government’s health insurance marketplace. The amount each eligible household receives depends on the price of health insurance and income in their area. At tax time, people need to file a return and include the amount they received in subsidies. A significant increase in an individual’s income means they might have to pay back some or all the credit. Recovery rebate credit.

The government sent out several rounds of stimulus checks – also known as economic impact payments – to help American households during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who were eligible but didn’t get a payment can claim a recovery rebate credit on their 2021 tax return. If you missed your first or second stimulus payment, you’ll need to file or amend a 2020 tax return. Your eligibility for the third stimulus payment was limited to those with incomes of less than $160,000 for those who are married and filing jointly. The income limit for heads of household is $120,000, and it is $80,000 for other tax filing statuses. Tax Credits for Investments Foreign tax credit. If you have paid foreign taxes on dividends you have earned from certain investments, you may be able to get a credit for them when you file your taxes. This credit is available even to middle-class taxpayers. It can be worth thousands of dollars for a family with investments in a foreign fund. Retirement savings contributions credit. This credit is available to individuals who are 18 years or older but not full-time students. It provides a tax credit of 10%, 20% or 50% of contributions to an IRA, employer-sponsored retirement plan or ABLE account. “It’s worth contributing to these accounts to get the tax benefits,” says Susan Schwartz, CPA and managing director at Avera McKennan’s Accounting and Business Advisory Services. “Income limits are higher for the tax credits on retirement savings accounts versus the standard income deduction.” Married couples filing jointly can’t have an adjusted gross income of more than $57,500 in 2021. You’ll get 20% of your credit score if you earn between $39,501 and $43,000 and 10% if you earn between $43,001 and $66,000.

Whether you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck, you need to understand which tax credits you can claim. Each credit has its own threshold, and some credits are better than others. This article helps you understand how tax credits differ from deductions and which federal tax credits apply to your situation. Conclusion: Tax season is upon us, and if you want to reduce how much you pay the government, you should learn about tax credits. They are an efficient way to lower a tax bill, but there are some that are confusing and others that only apply to certain situations. If you would like more information on this subject or any other business consulting services we offer, please get in touch today by calling us at +1 866-824-1440 or email us at info@ingramtaxes.com. We look forward to helping you get set up and ready to pay taxes this year!