Work Those Kids For The Child Care Tax Credit

Work Those Kids For The Child Care Tax Credit
Let’s face it, kids are expensive. That’s even before they take a magnet to your brand new stainless steel appliances with special fingerprint coating that make it impossible to remove scratches. To help defray a tiny fraction of the cost of these hopefully future productive members of society, the government allows a couple of tax credits. The one ...

How To Handle an IRS Notice

How To Handle an IRS Notice
I’ve been reading Game of Thrones recently, and one of the sayings that keeps showing up is “dark wings dark words,” which is to say that carrier ravens (because carrier pigeons don’t have enough death to them for George R. R. Martin) always bring bad news. Considering the symbol attached to the corner of every ...

5 Surefire Ways To Get An IRS Notice

5 Surefire Ways To Get An IRS Notice
Remember the days when letters meant a hand written, heartfelt note from a dear friend? I don’t either. It’s been years since I’ve gotten anything other than junk mail or inexplicable medical bills. But every now and then, something truly horrific makes it was into the mailbox: The dreaded IRS Notice. I’ve seen plenty of ...

Will You Be Victim To This Round of Tax Scams?

Will You Be Victim To This Round of Tax Scams?
Imagine this: your Federal Tax return is all done, and TurboTax is telling you that Uncle Sam will finally pay you back that $1,000 be borrowed last year. You press send, download IRS2Go to track your refund, and wait anxiously for the money to drop in your bank account. After a couple weeks with no refund, you ...

What I Use For Free Tax Filing – 2014

What I Use For Free Tax Filing - 2014
Every year, I get a few questions about what kind of software I use for my personal tax return. I’m a CPA, so I must use something pretty awesome, right? Unfortunately, no. When I was at Grant Thornton, we used GoSystem, a crazy complex tax return system that managed to cover nearly every tax item ...

Does the Government Subsidize Gambling Losses?

Does the Government Subsidize Gambling Losses?
A while back, I had a client receive a notice from the IRS demanding why he didn’t include his over $100k in gambling winnings on his tax return. “But I don’t gamble!” he promptly reported, figuring that the issue was a mistake and would be quickly put to rest. The IRS responded by sending slip ...

Itemized Deductions — Other Expenses

Itemized Deductions -- Other Expenses
(Get more 1040 help here) The IRS likes to have the littlest item explained in great detail, like the Victor Hugo of the accounting world. But just like Hugo’s best attempts to describe every tiny detail of the Paris sewers in Les Miserables must have passed over a lichen or two, the IRS can’t capture everything in their ...

Deducting Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

Deducting Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
(More 1040 deductions are explained here) The employers I’ve worked for so far have been good to me with the expense account: if something comes out of my pocket, they cough up the dough to put it back in. Not everyone is so fortunate. Congress knows this, and in an attempt to provide some relieve for employees ...

Useless Deductions: Tax Preparation Fees

Useless Deductions: Tax Preparation Fees
(More 1040 deductions are explained here) Let me set up the scene: It’s the middle of the 20th century, and the income tax code, which started out as an adorable 30 page pamphlet, has exploded into a hideous monster like a gremlin given food after midnight. Elected officials all over the nation are fighting to make the returns ...

2014 Excel Tax Forms are Now Available!

2014 Excel Tax Forms are Now Available!
Want to know how to get an accountant excited? Make and Excel version of something. Although I’d like to get into all the amazing games people have made in Excel, my point here is to promote something even more exhilarating: The 2014 1040 Tax Forms are now available in Excel! Head over here to download your copy. ...