Job Search Expenses Can be Tax Deductible

If you are looking for a new job that is in the same line of work, you may be able to deduct some of your job hunting expenses on your federal income tax return. Here are seven things about deducting costs related to your job search: To qualify for a deduction, your expenses must be spent on a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses you incur while looking for a job in a new … [Read more...]

Automated IRS System Helps College-Bound Students with Financial Aid Application Process

College-bound students and their parents typically want to make every dollar and every minute of the college experience count including money spent on tuition and time spent on the college financial aid application process. The Internal Revenue Service is helping minimize the time spent on the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by automating access to federal tax returns with the … [Read more...]

Prepare for Hurricanes, Disasters by Safeguarding Tax Records

With the early start of this year’s hurricane season, the Internal Revenue Service encourages individuals and businesses to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps. Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically Taxpayers should keep a set of backup records in a safe place. The backup should be stored away from the original set. Keeping a backup set of records –– including, … [Read more...]

FAQ: Education Credits

Question:   Do tuition and related expenses paid to attend a private high school qualify for an education credit? Answer:   No. Expenses paid to attend a private high school do not qualify for an education credit because a high school is not an eligible educational institution.In general, an eligible educational institution is an accredited college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational … [Read more...]

Failure to File or Pay Penalties: Eight Facts

The number of electronic filing and payment options increases every year, which helps reduce your burden and also improves the timeliness and accuracy of tax returns. When it comes to filing your tax return, however, the law provides that the IRS can assess a penalty if you fail to file, fail to pay or both. Here are eight important points about the two different penalties you may face if you file or pay … [Read more...]

IRS Announces More Flexible Offer-in-Compromise Terms

The Internal Revenue Service announced another expansion of its “Fresh Start” initiative by offering more flexible terms to its Offer in Compromise (OIC) program that will enable some of the most financially distressed taxpayers to clear up their tax problems and in many cases more quickly than in the past. “This phase of Fresh Start will assist some taxpayers who have faced the most financial hardship in recent … [Read more...]

Renting Your Vacation Home

Income that you receive for the rental of your vacation home must generally be reported on your federal income tax return. However, if you rent the property for only a short time each year, you may not be required to report the rental income. Below are tips on reporting rental income from a vacation home such as a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home or boat: Rental Income and Expenses Rental income, … [Read more...]

FAQ: Refund Splits

Question: What is a split refund? Answer: A split refund lets you divide your refund, in any proportion you want, and direct deposit the funds in up to three different accounts with U.S. financial institutions. Question: What are the benefits of splitting my refund? Answer: By splitting your refund, you get the convenience of directing some of your refund to your checking account for immediate needs and … [Read more...]

Health Insurance Tax Breaks for the Self-Employed

If you’re self-employed and paying for medical, dental or long-term care insurance, the IRS wants to remind you about a special tax deduction for some insurance premiums paid for you, your spouse, and your dependents. Starting in tax year 2011, this deduction is no longer allowed on Schedule SE (Form 1040), but you can still take it on Form 1040, line 29. You must be one of the following to qualify: A … [Read more...]

More Time to Contribute to IRAs in 2012

You have two extra days this year to make contributions to your Individual Retirement Arrangements. That’s because April 15 falls on a weekend and Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, will be observed on Monday, April 16. That means the due date for filing your tax return and making contributions to your 2011 IRA is Tuesday, April 17. Here are the top 10 things the IRS wants you to know … [Read more...]