8 Reasons Why Filing Separately May be Right For You

Posted by Tax Advisor on October 29th, 2014
Last modified: October 29, 2014

Depending on your situation, Married Filing Separately could actually be the right filing status for you

Whether you’ve been married for decades or recently tied the knot, you probably share just about everything with your spouse. Bills, chores, children (or maybe just a pet), a house, the list of what couples share goes on and on.

Should what’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine also apply to your tax return?

For most couples, filing jointly means more tax incentives. However, this filing status isn’t for everyone. In fact, there’s reasons why filing separately may be a better idea.

When it’s a Good Idea to Choose Married Filing Separately

In most cases, you’ll find that filing a joint tax return ends up saving you and your spouse money. However, there are certain situations that when filing separately ends up being the better option. Below are eight reasons to file separately;

 1. You have a large amount of Medical Expenses:   In order to qualify to deduct medical expenses, they have to total more than 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). That means, if your filing jointly and your Adjusted Gross Income as a couple  is $110,000, then the total of your medical expenses has to be at least $11,000. However, if your AGI is $40,000, and your spouse’s is $70,000, then when married filing separately, you could deduct your medical expenses as long as they  are at least $4000.

2. You’re Reporting a Long List of Employee Business Expenses: Like medical expenses, qualifications to report employee business expenses, such as mileage on your tax return is directly linked to your income. To deduct employee business expenses, they must total at least 2% of your income. In other words, this 2% will be a much larger number when taking into account your spouse’s income in addition to your own. Read the rest of this entry »

You Can File 2013 Taxes Late

Posted by Tax Advisor on October 28th, 2014
Last modified: October 28, 2014

You’ll no longer be able to e-file, but you can still file your 2013 Tax Return

The deadline to e-file a 2013 tax return was October 15, 2014. In other words, you’ll still be able to prepare your 2013 tax return online, but you’ll need to mail it to the IRS rather than electronically filing.

Luckily, you won’t need to prepare your tax return alone. With RapidTax, you can file 2013 taxes late. We’ll do the handwork for you. All you’ll have to do is enter your information and after your return is prepared, you’ll print and mail it to the IRS.

Whatever you do, don’t put off doing your 2013 taxes. The later you file, the more you’ll end up handing over to the IRS. Save your money, and the headaches and get it out of the way!

You Can Still Get Your 2013 Tax Refund

If you’re late filing 2013 taxes and expecting a tax refund, you’ll be happy to hear you can still collect your refund.

The IRS Statute of Limitations allows tax filers three years to collect a tax refund. That means, you have until April 15, 2017. After this date the IRS will no longer send out 2013 tax refund checks. Read the rest of this entry »

How To Report Side Job Earnings on a Tax Return

Posted by Tax Advisor on October 23rd, 2014
Last modified: October 23, 2014

Even if you didn’t receive a 1099-MISC or W-2, you still need to report side job earnings on a tax return…

If you earned money from a side job and didn’t receive a form 1099-MISC or W-2 form, then you may think you’re off the hook from reporting it on your tax return. Think again.

The IRS requires taxpayers to report all income from any source. Even if it’s from a side job.

In fact, you’ll need to report it as self-employment income on a business tax return (Sch. C).

Reporting Money Earned From Side Jobs

You might be confused and asking “I don’t have a business-Why would I file a business tax return?” According to the IRS, “All income earned through the taxpayer’s business, as an independent contractor or from informal side jobs is self-employment income, which is fully taxable and must be reported on Form 1040.” 

In other words, even if you don’t consider yourself a business owner or self-employed, if you’re 18 years or older, you’ll still need to report income earned from side work as self employment income on a Business Tax Return (even if it’s less than $600).

This includes fees received from;

  • caretaking
  • babysitting
  • tutoring
  • housekeeping
  • dog walking
  • lawn cutting
  • repairing computers
  • working as an independent contractor Read the rest of this entry »

Can I File My 2011 Taxes in 2015?

Posted by Tax Advisor on October 15th, 2014
Last modified: October 15, 2014

File your 2011 taxes by April 15, 2015 to get your refund!

Yes, you can still file your 2011 tax return. Even though you’re filing late (2011 tax returns were originally due on April 15, 2012), you’ll still be able to collect your 2011 tax refund! However, this will change after April 15, 2015.

Thanks to the IRS statute of limitation, you only have three years from the original tax return due date to get your refund. Once the three years passes by, don’t expect to see a penny of your refund money.

This means that the very last day you can file your 2011 taxes and receive your 2011 refund is April 15, 2015. 

If You Still Need To File Your 2011 Taxes & Owe Tax…

If you still need to file your 2011 taxes, you should do so as soon as possible. If you aren’t expecting a 2011 tax refund and instead have tax due, you should keep in mind that failure-to-file fees, failure-to-pay fees and interest increase by the day. The longer you wait, the more you’ll end up paying. Read the rest of this entry »

When Does E-File Begin for 2015?

Posted by Tax Advisor on October 13th, 2014
Last modified: October 13, 2014

You may be wondering how early you can file 2014 taxes…

Last year, tax season started later than usual. Tax filers weren’t able to file a tax return until January 31, 2014.  Cross your fingers that the 2015 tax season won’t follow suit.

The IRS has yet to release the official start of the 2015 tax season for filers to e-file a 2014 tax return, but you can take an educated guess that it will most likely be sometime between the middle and end of January.

You can expect to get started on your 2014 taxes a few weeks before the official start of the 2015 tax season with RapidTax.

It’s also good to keep in mind that regardless of when the 2015 tax season begins, you can plan on the tax deadline to remain at the usual tax day, April 15th. Read the rest of this entry »

Capital Gains Tax 2014

Posted by Tax Advisor on October 10th, 2014
Last modified: October 10, 2014

What You Should Know about 2014 Capital Gain Tax Rates

Did you sell certain assets such as stocks or bonds during the tax year? If so, you’ll need to report it on your tax return as a capital gains.  The tax you pay on it will be dependent on the type of capital gain it is and your income tax bracket.

As of 2013, the capital gains tax rate has become significantly more complicated. Fortunately, RapidTax is here to help clarify how much you’ll need to pay in capital gain tax. We’re also here to help you report your capital gains; both short term and long term.

Difference Between Long Term & Short Term Capital Gains

You may incur capital gains if you sell a certain asset such as;

  • stocks
  • bonds
  • property owned & used for personal purposes
  • property owned & used for investment purposes

Do note however; not all capital gains are the same. The IRS divides capital gains into two categories; short-term and long-term. Short-term and long-term capital gains are taxed differently. Before learning the capital gains rates, you’ll first need to know the difference between the two;

  • Short-term capital gains: assets held for one year or less and sold
  • Long-term capital gains: assets held for longer than one year and sold Read the rest of this entry »

Do Unemployed File Taxes?

Posted by Tax Advisor on September 30th, 2014
Last modified: September 30, 2014

If you’re unemployed, plan to file a 2014 tax return. Unemployment benefits are taxable.

“Do I pay taxes on unemployment benefits?”, “Do I file taxes if I’m unemployed”. If you’re unemployed, these questions may sound familiar.

The answer to both is yes.

The bottom line is this; you’ll need to file a  tax return and report all income received, including any unemployment benefits received.

Being unemployed in 2014 doesn’t mean your free from filing a tax return. You’ll need to report your unemployment compensation sooner or later. It will be to your advantage to get it out of the way on time, during the 2015 tax season.

How to Report Unemployment Benefits on a Tax Return

Any income you received during the tax year counts as income that needs to be reported on a tax return. The IRS considers unemployment benefits as income that must be reported on a tax return. Read the rest of this entry »

How To File State Taxes If You Have Dual State Residency

Posted by Tax Advisor on September 26th, 2014
Last modified: September 26, 2014

If you live in one state and work in another, you’ll need to file two tax returns

When it comes to filing state taxes, it can get confusing, especially if you spend time in multiple states.

You may be wondering if you can even be a resident of two states or if you’ll need to file taxes to more than one state.

The RapidTax team is available to help you with an tax questions you may have. In fact, you’ll be able to report your income from multiple states with RapidTax!

Although it’s not yet time to file a 2014 tax return, it’s good to know what state tax returns you’ll need to file before the start of the 2015 tax season.

There’s a variety of reasons why you consider yourself a resident of more than one state. For example, you could;

  • have moved during the year
  • work in a different state than you live in
  • work in multiple states
  • spend a large amount of time with family or spouse in a different state
  • have multiple houses in various states
  • spend summer in the north and winter in the south (lucky you) Read the rest of this entry »

What are the 2015 Refund Cycle Dates?

Posted by Tax Advisor on September 26th, 2014
Last modified: September 26, 2014

Bookmark this page to refer back to once your 2014 tax return is filed!

In the past, the IRS released a refund cycle chart. This chart allowed tax filers to know exactly when they would receive their tax refund. Sounds helpful, right?

Unfortunately, the IRS no longer posts the refund cycle chart. Luckily, there are charts out there which give a pretty accurate prediction on when you’ll get your refund.

Although the 2015 tax season isn’t even here yet, you may want to know how long it will take to receive your tax refund once you file your 2014 tax return. 

Keep in mind however, these dates are NOT definite. They are only expected dates, based off of previous year trends. Read the rest of this entry »

Can I Still File My 2013 Taxes?

Posted by Tax Advisor on September 22nd, 2014
Last modified: October 16, 2014

Although the Tax Deadline to file 2013 Tax Return has passed, you can still file your 2013 taxes!

The final deadline to e-file 2013 taxes was October 15, 2014. However, you can still prepare a 2013 tax return with RapidTax!

If you requested an extension on your 2013 tax return, and you still haven’t filed your 2013 taxes, you’re officially late. That means you may have to pay penalties and interests.

Avoid Paying Penalties  & Interest

If you have a tax liability from your 2013 taxes, you’ll want to keep in mind that the longer you wait to file, the more you’ll end up paying the IRS in late penalties and interest. Late fees include the failure-to-file penalty, failure-to-pay penalty and interest.

Each of these fees grows larger with every day that your return goes unfiled or your tax liability unpaid. Read the rest of this entry »