Archive for June, 2009

Insurance Annuity Leads

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Everyone who gets a migraine filling out their San Ysidro's tax return federal, raise your hand! Did you know that all of the rules and regulations pertaining to the IRS tax code fills sixty feet of book shelf space? Yes indeed. This gives us an immediate clue as to why filing a Federal tax return isn't simple. Tax preparation software is supposed to solve this problem, but it's not foolproof. Should you misinterpret a question and supply the wrong answer, you'll hear about it from the IRS just when you're expecting that envelope to contain your refund or stimulus check. This can be an infuriating, not to mention disappointing experience.

Many years ago, former Governor Jerry Brown made a bid for the Presidency. One of his innovative ideas was to make tax filing easy, using a straight percentage of 10% of your income, no matter who you were, regardless of income level. This sounded like a great idea, but it never materialized. Having years of experience working as an accountant, you'd think I'd have no trouble wading through the infamous 1040 tax booklet.

Although the IRS provides an estimated time required to prepare each section, they must be dreaming or their estimate assumes you're using software. Perhaps I'm just too careful. There are just too many potential pitfalls, so I read the booklet, usually three times, so that when my Federal tax returns in San Diego is sent off, I believe with all my heart it's right. It's funny that that old adage, 'close enough for government work' does not apply to your Federal tax return. The reason I read the booklet instead of relying on software, is that any little detail can blow the whole effort. It's always best to be careful, right?

Well, one serious flaw in the booklet is that it's not written in plain English. It's riddled with IRS jargon, double negatives and the like. It's also not presented sequentially, probably due to that sixty feet of shelf space. You're shuttled from one worksheet to another and then back to where you started. By the time you've made all the calculations, your head is throbbing and you have no idea what the figure on that line of the Federal tax returns in San Ysidro represents! It's unwise to decide you need a break, because by the time you come back to it, you no longer know what the heck they're talking about. Wasn't it Charlie Brown who famously uttered, “Aaaaargh!”

Death and taxes. Both are unavoidable. However, wouldn't it be nice if our government decided to take pity on us poor taxpayers and deliver a booklet in plain English and an abbreviated San Diego's federal tax forms. Here's your income line, next your deduction amount and a straight percentage rate of tax. This is my idea of a dream Federal tax return. How about you? Maybe if our Congressional and Senatorial representatives were deluged with taxpayer requests for a kinder, gentler taxation system, they'd listen. We can only hope.

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In a bind for cash? Is a tax refund anticipation loan the answer? Now that we're into the 2008 tax filing season, if you're anticipating a refund, you naturally want to file as soon as possible. The earlier you submit your tax return, the sooner you'll see that refund. If you're like many millions of other Americans, you might also be currently strapped for cash just now. In addition to what you might have put on a credit card for holiday gift giving, you might also have some of those yearly payments coming due, such as property taxes, insurance premiums, vehicle registrations and the like.

With more and more people now living from paycheck to paycheck, meeting these obligations in a timely manner can become quite challenging. During the winter months, energy bills fuel anxiety and put a strain on your household budget. All it takes is an unforeseen emergency expenditure to put you in a panic. If you're late in meeting some of these financial obligations, you may start to think of outside-the-box solutions to immediate problems. OK, so one of the first to come to mind during tax season, is the Escondido's refund anticipation loan.

You think, 'easy, convenient, fast'. You need fast cash to make it all happen, avoiding overdraft fees and other cash penalties. Many of the big name, offline and online tax preparation services promote a Escondido's tax refund loans in conjunction with filing your tax return, promising you cash in hand within 24-48 hours of filing. When you're in a bind for cash of an immediate nature, this sounds awfully tempting. However, there are a few things you should know before taking your tax preparation service up on such an offer.

When you e-file your tax return, anticipating a tax refund, your tax return preparation service may query you as to whether you'd like to take advantage of their anticipation tax refund loan in San Diego option. They do charge a fee for this service, as the bank which they work with does as well. You need to read the fine print carefully. These fees can be substantial – as much as $100 going to the bank and perhaps $50 to the tax preparation service! How much sooner does your refund come through? Perhaps just 3-4 days quicker than e-filing and waiting for your direct deposit! Is it really worth paying so much? Not likely.

Do the math. If you'll be late on your energy bill, a phone call letting them know you'll be paying within ten days won't cost you more than a couple of bucks, if that. Property taxes generally give you a discount for paying on time, with a lesser percentage discount when paid within 30 days of the due date. Before you go for the refund anticipation loans in San Diego, go through your budget and see which items can be postponed at the least additional cost. Auto insurance generally carries a grace period before you are assessed a late fee. Credit card and mortgage payments should be a top priority, as late payments carry not only penalties, but can damage your credit. First things first.

Rare is the situation where the 3-4 days a tax refund anticipation loan makes a difference that's worth these hefty fees. Your best bet is to file your taxes electronically, as early as possible and have your refund deposited directly to your bank account. With just a modicum of planning, there's no reason to pay someone else to get your own money!

Tax questions? Your best resource is the horse's mouth – the IRS! With spring bulbs sprouting and flowering trees in blossom, spring is one of my favorite seasons. However, there's a good-news bad-news aspect we can't ignore. The bad news is that it's also tax season. I sometimes wonder if Mother Nature didn't brighten the view out of the window to provide a little cheeriness to the task of filing taxes!

As I pore through the magazine sized instruction book the IRS provides, when my mind starts to glaze over and the aspirin is in my near future, I can glance out my window for a little mental refreshment. I don't know about you, but every line after the name, address and exemptions section produces a tax question in my mind. At the very least, those IRS folks should put a glossary of terms at the back of the booklet so that the average person can understand what it all means. JMHO, but I'd bet I'm not the only one who could benefit from this helpful addition to the tax instructions!

Even the online tax filing software doesn't answer all your San Diego's tax questions. Some of the tax questions put to you by the software leaves you wondering whether you need to check that box, or say yes or no. Here are some suggestions you can put in place to ensure an accurate return that also puts your finances in the best position. If you use tax software, you can make a note each time you encounter a tax question that has you scratching your head. (You can always back up later and correct any discrepancies before you file.)

Answer the question to the best of your knowledge and understanding, but make a note of each tax question that crops up during the process. Before you finish and send it off, take your notes and call the IRS for clarification on each tax issue. Although the IRS entity probably doesn't have many fans, you've got to hand it to those IRS telephone agents. They can answer all of your San Diego's income tax questions and give you references to boot. When you've got all your income tax question in El Cajon, problems and issues straightened out, you can go back to the software and apply the correct information for each line, schedule or whatever.

BTW, when you call the IRS, log the date, time and agent's ID code to back you up, should your tax filing be rejected for inaccuracies. If you prepare your taxes the old fashioned way, with only the booklet and penned in figures, do the best you can and then take all your tax question in El Cajon to the IRS 800 number agent for verification. For me, there's nothing worse than laboring over this tax filing, downing coffee and aspirin like nobody's business, only to file it and find they detected errors and thus, reject your tax return.

If you're entitled to a refund, you certainly don't want to short yourself on your own money – which has been lounging in the IRS coffers all year long. On the other hand, if you must pay a balance due, you want that to be as small as possible. You should never feel reluctant to call the IRS for clarification. Unlike a tax accountant, the phone call and service is free. I shouldn't even say it – what if they were to start charging to answer tax questions, as some airlines are now doing for the privilege of using the lavatory in flight? Now wouldn't that take the cake!

Finding San Diego Tax Advice Expert

Looking for tax advice? To begin with, file early! Read on. Maybe it's the crowd I hang with, but I have never met a person who enjoyed preparing their tax return! Even if you use a professional tax preparation service, you've still got to gather up all those receipts. You think you've got every piece of documentation to get the job done, only to arrive at the tax accountant's office and find you don't have the data to fill out one of the hundreds of schedules that might pertain to your tax filing situation.

Here you thought it would all be over in a single visit! Ha! Back to the drawing board, searching through your files for some obscure, but required document that will allow you to finish the task. Another appointment must be made and more time is wasted. This is why (trying) to file your taxes early is a good piece of San Diego tax advice. If you procrastinate, you might run out of time and be required to file for an extension on your tax return.

When you think of San Diego income tax advice, you probably think first of that tax professional. They have all the answers, right? They have the answers, but you have the documentation. When you consider that tax professionals attend seminars throughout the year, to keep them abreast of the latest tax laws and changes from the previous year, it's only logical that you don't stand the chance of the proverbial snowball in knowing what you need to make a proper tax filing.

The current tax laws occupy a full sixty feet of book shelf space, written in language the average taxpayer cannot comprehend. This is why filing as early as possible is the best small business tax advice in Tecate you'll find. Ask the pros and you'll find they agree. If you opt for online or tax software preparation services, be aware that they're not failsafe. Be sure to read the fine print. They use the data you supply and if you don't have all the required data, your tax return may be rejected, delayed or denied. Nightmare city!

Here's some Tecate's business tax advice that may surprise you. If you think your records may be incomplete or just suspect it won't pass muster due to some lack of knowledge on your part, the 800 number to the IRS tax information line may clear it all up – at least in terms of missing tax schedules or persnickety points on line numbers and the like. When you get tax advice from the IRS information line, be sure to note their IRS employee number as backup, noting the date and time of your conversation.

When you talk to an IRS representative, be sure you know which forms and schedules you need to complete your tax return. All are freely available at the IRS site in their tax forms online page. Believe me, when it comes to tax advice you need all the help you can get to turn in an accurate tax return. Starting early is the secret!

The bright side of tax season: you know you're in the home stretch when you get to the San Diego's state income tax form! I'd rather clean two ovens, stand in line at the DMV for a couple of hours and talk to a telemarketer for an hour, all in a single day, than wade through the process of the yearly tax return! Although I was the resident accountant for a resort for years, there's nothing quite like an IRS tax booklet to make you feel as though you've gone to that fearful place that bad people go after leaving this life!

I truly admire the tax accountants who can whiz through all that IRS non-standard English in just a short while. Of course, they have to attend seminars and workshops throughout the year in order to accomplish this dreaded task with accuracy and nary a ruffled feather. I start breathing again when we get to the state income tax forms of San Diego. When you get to that, you know you're in the home stretch!

Whereas gathering all the necessary documentation with which to fill out the rheems of forms and schedules doesn't have to be a nightmare – if you conscientiously file these papers throughout the year – the problem lies in knowing which line number, worksheet or schedule is appropriate to each document. I daresay this is what keeps professional tax preparers in business.

It's somewhat puzzling that, whether you use a face-to-face tax service, or opt for online software, it's the California state income tax forms that cost you money. As long as your taxes are either simple or your income is not too high, you can file your Federal tax return for free. The state income tax forms are simple, yet that's what you'll pay for before leaving the tax filing nightmare behind you. Odd.

Perhaps there's a law that stipulates that there must be some free e-filing options for the Federal portion, but individual states aren't required to adhere to those laws. In any case, it doesn't seem right that, after paying taxes all year long, you must pay to get a refund, or pay a fee to pay them! Maybe you're supposed to feel so relieved at getting through the mire of the IRS tax forms, paying a fee to file your state income tax forms is a form of comic relief.

Being the skeptical sort, I always feel it's necessary to be conversant in all of these caveats before I go to the pro. So I read all of the unhelpful IRS publications that might apply to my situation, before my tax preparation appointment. Taxes can make anyone paranoid about making even a $5 mistake. Your return might be rejected, raising eyebrows and inciting the IRS to get out their magnifying glass. Do you have all of the necessary documents? Who knows? You can't blame the tax professional for omissions of relevant information you do not supply.

Naturally, once your Federal filing is complete, you're eager to get the whole task done. Get on with the state income tax return forms in San Diego and get the show on the road. Funny, but it would almost be fun to fill out your own state income tax forms. It's just a matter of plugging in numbers from line this and that from your 1040 whatever form. That is, unless you made a mistake! Just go with the pros and forget the minor boost you might get from doing your own state tax return. It's not worth it.

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