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25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Decoding Your Taxes, Health Care Law.

NEW BRUNSWICK — Volunteers from Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting and finance honors society at Rutgers University, will help low- and moderate-income taxpayers file their returns online at the New Brunswick Free Public Library on Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 6 through April 11.The Internal Revenue Service announced the on-time opening of the nation’s 2015 filing season and highlighted a growing array of online services, including features that help taxpayers understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect them at tax time, along with the availability of the Free File program. The free help is part of the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program, a national initiative sponsored by the IRS to assist low-income, senior citizen, limited English and disabled individuals with preparation of income tax returns.

Many Americans have faced the harsh reality that while trying to find answers to their tax questions, they find a combination of tax myths vs tax facts. Attendees should bring their Social Security card and ID, W-2 forms and any tax forms sent by the government as well as records of expenses and a copy of last year’s tax form. Johnson Memorial Library in Endicott, said people who are used to picking up tax forms at their local library should start thinking about adjusting their plans. While filing taxes may be a time of confusion, people can ensure that filing goes smoothly as long as they follow the rules and have the correct information to go by when filing. The library, like others in the county, orders thousands of copies of tax forms and instructions through an IRS service called the Tax Forms Outlet Program.

A week ago, he said, he was notified by an IRS email that the program was being trimmed back. “The only forms we will be getting are the three basic forms,” he said. “There will be no instruction booklets. For the minority of taxpayers who will have to do more, IRS.gov/aca features useful information and tips regarding the premium tax credit, the individual shared responsibility requirement and other tax features of the ACA. “Our employees will be working hard again this season to help the nation’s taxpayers,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “We encourage people to use the tools and information available on IRS.gov,, particularly given the long wait times we anticipate on our phone lines. Those are the big thing because you can’t fill out the forms without the instructions.” While the IRS will continue to fill orders for printed copies of the commonly used forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ, it will provide only a single reference copy of several supplemental instruction books, and will not provide any printed instructions for the Form 1040 series.

Available only at IRS.gov, Free File offers two filing options: Brand-name software, offered by IRS’s commercial partners to about 100 million individuals and families with incomes of $60,000 or less; or online fillable forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms available to taxpayers at all income levels and especially useful to people comfortable with filling out their own returns. Available to those who earn $60,000 or less, this service offers a variety of software programs and walks taxpayers through all the steps of filing their return. For each month in 2014, you and everyone on your return will need to do one of the following: Free File software will ask all the right questions; you supply the answers. Earlier this month, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson reported to Congress that due to years of cuts in IRS funding, taxpayers are likely to receive the worst level of service since 2001, when the agency began tracking its performance. Using the online form takes less time than filling out a paper return and it offers the comfort of filing from one’s own home as opposed to having to spend money on fuel to go to a tax preparation office. · The IRS has software that is available to all taxpayers with income levels that are equal to or less than $60,000.

The report predicted that half of phone calls for assistance will go unanswered, hold times will reach 30 minutes and only basic questions about returns will be answered. For the 2014 tax filing season, budget cuts approved through Congress are giving the IRS the smallest level of funding that they have seen since the year 2008. Getting started is easy: Choose a brand-name software productOnce you’ve gathered your materials, go to IRS.gov/freefile to review the 14 company offerings. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, was one of 162 Republicans and 57 Democrats who voted in favor of the current round of IRS cuts, which were included in the omnibus bill to fund the federal government this year that was passed in mid-December. Taxpayers who purchase their own software can also choose e-file, and most paid tax preparers are now required to file their clients’ returns electronically.

A posting dated Dec. 11 on his official website, titled “Why I Voted Yes on H.R. 83,” notes that “no new funding is included for Obamacare and the bill cuts funding for the Internal Revenue Service.” “The IRS has more than enough resources to efficiently process returns and provide assistance to those in need,” he said. “It should reprioritize and focus on its core mission and stop wasting tax dollars on inappropriate activities and targeting certain political groups. This means that there are roughly more than 10,000 fewer IRS employees to answer the phone lines, process tax returns and issue refunds to those that qualify. It takes longer to process paper returns, and in light of IRS budget cuts resulting in reduced staff, it will likely take an additional week or more to process paper returns; those refunds are expected to be issued in seven weeks or more.

Koskinen also strongly encouraged taxpayers to visit IRS.gov as a first stop for information ranging from the status of their refunds to basic tax information. People should note that in previous years, more than 100 million people throughout the United States tried to contact the IRS by telephone and less than half of those are able to get through to a live representative this tax season.

For example, the IRS estimates that one out of every five taxpayers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable credit for taxpayers with moderate income, fail to claim it. Some moderate-income taxpayers may also qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. A taxpayer who has experienced a number of changes during the year, or who has had complicated returns in the past, should also seek the assistance of an accountant/CPA. It is geared toward taxpayers with middle and low incomes, particularly those age 60 and older, according to Jamie Kelly, director of the Office for Aging. Most taxpayers will simply check a box on their tax return to indicate that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year.

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