Tag: tax deductions

Learn more about what tax deductions you may be eligible for with these RapidTax articles.

Posts Tagged ‘tax deductions’

Tax Reform: Tax Tips for Lowering Rates for 2018 Taxes!

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on March 2, 2018
Last modified: March 2, 2018

tax reform
Be ready for the new tax reform.

Get your to do list out and take some action to reduce your 2018 taxes now! Although taxpayers might be hurriedly finishing their 2017 tax returns before the e-file deadline, some tax deductions will not be there for the next tax season due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (TCJA) Ultimately, the design of the new tax reform is to lower taxes for individuals of all income groups until 2025. Bear in mind that along with that idea, many individuals who itemize their deductions are worried about the tax turmoil they’ll face when filing with each capped or eliminated deduction.

Did you know that can take steps in 2018 to decrease your taxes for next tax season? Here’s a few tax tips for you.

Rack up your medical receipts.


Tax Tips: How to Choose a Tax Preparer

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on January 23, 2018
Last modified: January 24, 2018

Are you stuck on choosing a Tax Preparer?

“One size fits all,” doesn’t apply when choosing your tax preparer. Take a second to imagine this scenario. John is a college student and it’s time to file his taxes for the very first time. Nerve wracking, isn’t it? He has one W-2 statement and a myriad of education expenses that surely affected his bank account. He’s unsure of where to begin and if he should simply file online or visit a tax accountant.

Whether you’re new to taxes, like John, or an experienced taxpayer, filing your tax return can be a demanding process. On top of that, you might be wondering if you should file your tax return online or go to a local tax accountant. Here are some tax tips to consider when making that decision.

Online filing may be right for you.

During tax season, convenience, quality and time are both important. By filing your taxes online, you can complete a self-prepared return by opting to e-file your current year tax return or paper file your prior year return right from the comfort of your own home. Tax preparation sites require you to have: (more…)

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and How the Tax Plan May Affect You

Posted by Manisha Hansraj on December 11, 2017
Last modified: January 12, 2018

New year, new taxes.

President Trump said that he wanted the new tax plan on his desk by Christmas. Nonetheless, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went through the Senate, House and flew by Congress. Ultimately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax plan has a goal to reduce the tax rates for individuals and businesses, which will ultimately affect how much you end up receiving your refund and paying in your tax liability. Most changes will expire in 2025 whereas some will remain permanent.

With the media raving about how taxpayers’ pockets will be affected, here are the changes that the new tax plan will lead to starting January 1st, 2019.

What was eliminated in the new tax plan?


Quick Guide: RapidTax CPA Review

Posted by Robert Flanagan on April 26, 2016
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Afraid to stray from your accountant but also tired of paying the fancy price tag?

I have some pretty fond memories of road-tripping to my parents’ accountant on a beautiful Spring afternoon. I’d wait on the black leather couch with nothing but a bag of pretzels and a Game Boy to keep me busy while they crunched numbers. By the time we were out of there, my parents were balls of frustration and I had lost my sunny Saturday.

RapidTax is here to save the day (and hopefully a few sunny afternoons of your own)! While many have now taken the modern road, preparing their own tax returns online, some of us have stayed in the accountant safety net. Change is hard, and we hear what you’re saying. That’s why we’re now offering you accountant services online with the RapidTax CPA Review service!

Why switch things up? Let’s take a look at the most common concerns when it comes to making the switch.

Is this really just as good as going to an accountant in person?

After doing some research, we’ve found that this is the dilemma holding people back the most from hopping aboard the online tax movement. Yes, it is just as good, if not better. In fact, one of the best parts is not having to go in person at all. Here are some other highlights to choosing an online CPA review with RapidTax: (more…)

Holiday Tax Deductions: Gifts to Charity

Posted by Robert Flanagan on December 1, 2015
Last modified: October 6, 2016

It’s almost time to bust out the wrapping paper and tinsel!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. It’s the season of giving. Before you get wrapped up in holiday parties and stocking stuffers, you’ll want to make sure that you’re mind isn’t blurred with visions of sugarplums and too much eggnog.

January marks the start of tax season and we want to make sure that you’re ready. That includes reporting those holiday gifts to charity as tax deductions.

How do I donate?

We tend to think that the only way we can help out in society is by breaking out our checkbooks and tacking on as many zeros as our bank accounts will allow. Money is great. But it’s not the only way. It’s also probably the main reason why the majority of us end up doing nothing. We simply can’t afford to.

Seeing as our daily lives revolve around checking up on ourselves (our bank accounts, our smartphone notifications, our Tinder profiles), it’s easy to forget that taking the time out for others is also considered a charitable donation.

If you can write out a check, then all the more power to you! If you can’t, don’t downgrade the time you can spend helping out at your local soup kitchen or cleaning out your closet to donate those jeans and blazers you never ended up wearing. Your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army will take them off your hands.

Where should I donate?

The dilemma for some of us is that we don’t know where our hard earned dollars are going when we donate to a charity. We understand! Who wants to spend time researching a reputable charity to support and then not be certain that they are using your money the right way? (more…)

What You Need to Know About Claiming Your Dependent Relative

Posted by Robert Flanagan on February 26, 2015
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Taking care of an aging parent or relative can be hard, not to mention expensive. The good news is that you may be able to claim them on your tax return and get a bigger refund.

Supporting a relative can impact many areas of your life.  The most obvious are the changes to your living situation, amount of free time you have, and your finances.

To help relieve the financial strain of caring for a relative, you can report these relatives as dependents on your tax return. Doing so can save you thousands of dollars in taxes, because for every qualified dependent you claim your taxable income is reduced by $3,950.

Your dependent will belong to either one of the two following categories:

  • qualifying child 
  • qualifying relative

To learn more about claiming a qualifying child, refer to this RapidTax post.

Who Can I Claim as a Qualifying Relative Dependent?

The term “relative” may be unclear. For example, is your cousin’s wife considered your relative? How about his ex-wife? (more…)

What You Need to Know About Claiming Your Dependent Child

Posted by Robert Flanagan on February 25, 2015
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Here’s what you should know about claiming a dependent child on your taxes…

When filing your taxes, you’ll want to report the expenses that come along with the responsibilities of raising a child.

One way to do this is by claiming your child as a dependent. Each dependent you claim on your tax return will lower your total taxable income by one exemption. That means you’ll end up receiving a larger tax refund!

Keep in mind however, each dependent can only be claimed by one tax filer. Additionally, the dependent you’re claiming must qualify as either of the following:

  1. a qualifying child
  2. a qualifying relative

Who is considered a Qualifying Child Dependent?

In order to claim someone as your qualifying child, he or she must meet the following criteria:

  • Be your biological or adopted child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, half sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these
  • Be under the age of 19 or,  if he or she is a full-time student, under age 24 (There is no age limit if the child is permanently disabled.)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
  • Be unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
  • Have lived with you for at least half the year, unless absent due to illness, education, business, vacation, or military service
  • Have not provided more than half of his or her own support (more…)

How To Choose Between Itemizing Deductions or Standard Deduction

Posted by Emma Lawrence on March 10, 2014
Last modified: October 6, 2016

To take the standard deduction or to itemize deductions- that is the question.

If you usually take the standard tax deduction and debating on itemizing your deductions this year, then you might find yourself unsure on what deduction amount to take when filing your taxes. The answer; whatever results in a higher deduction amount.

Before creating an account to file your 2013 taxes, you can first read our guide to help decide if itemizing your deductions or taking the standard deduction is right for you;

1st: Understand if you can take the standard deduction.

Those who don’t qualify for the standard deduction include married couples file separately with one spouse itemizing deductions. In other words, if you are married filing separately and your spouse is itemizing, then you must itemize your deductions.

2nd: Learn your standard deduction amount based on your filing status.

The IRS standard deduction amounts are as follows for those under the age of 65;

  • Single: $6,100
  • Married Filing Jointly: $12,200
  • Head of Household: $8,950
  • Married Filing Separately: $6,100
  • Qualifying Widow(er): $12,200.


10 Facts To Know Before Taking the Medical Expenses Deduction in 2014

Posted by Emma Lawrence on February 27, 2014
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Medical expenses fall among the list of IRS deductions. Before filing 2013 taxes, first learn if you qualify.

If you are generally healthy then you probably won’t be able to take a medical tax deduction. However, if you racked up countless medical and dental bills over the tax year, you might qualify for the medical expenses deduction.

Whether your deducting medical expenses or not, you can file your taxes on RapidTax. To help your filing process of claiming medical expenses on your 2013 tax return, here’s ten important facts;

1. You must Itemize: Don’t plan on deducting medical expenses if you’re taking the standard deduction. You can only claim a deduction for medical expenses if itemizing your deductions.
2. The AGI threshold has increased to 10%: In the past, if your list of medical expenses totaled a number exceeding 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), then you could deduct them. Starting on 2013 tax returns, that percentage has increased by 2.5%. Meaning, your total medical expenses must equal at least 10% of your AGI.

What Types of Donations are Tax Deductible?

Posted by Emma Lawrence on November 29, 2013
Last modified: October 6, 2016

If you made a charitable donation over the past year you may be wondering what you can write off on your taxes.

You may want to make a donation for the sake of the holiday season or to use it as a tax deduction (or both).  Keep in mind, only if you are itemizing your deductions while filing your taxes, you can write off charitable donations to those falling within “Qualified Organizations” list.

Charitable Contribution Deduction Facts:

  • You may deduct charitable contributions of money or property that you made to a qualified organization only if you itemize your deductions on Form 1040 .
  • Generally charitable deduction limits are up to 50% of your adjusted gross income
  • Contributions must be paid in cash or other forms of property before the end of the tax year in order to be deductible when itemizing your tax deductions
  • For items of property (items other than cash) donated, the fair market value of the item will be deducted on your tax return.
  • When making donations, it’s best to write checks (that way you can easily track your offerings)
  • The IRS  Publication 526 explains Charitable Contributions and tax deductible donations.

What Organizations are considered “Qualified Organizations” to donate to?

In order to consider a charitable contribution a tax deduction when itemizing your deductions it must be made to certain types of organizations. The list of qualified organizations is as follows: (more…)