Choose the Right Filing Status

Your federal tax filing status is based on your marital and family situation. It is an important factor in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction and your correct amount of tax.

Your marital status on the last day of the year determines your status for the entire year. If more than one filing status applies to you, you may choose the one that gives you the lowest tax obligation.
 
There are five filing status options:

1. Single. Generally, if you are unmarried, divorced or legally separated according to your state law, your filing status is Single.

2. Married Filing Jointly.  If you are married, you and your spouse may file a joint return. If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry, you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.

3. Married Filing Separately.  Married taxpayers may elect to file separate returns.

4. Head of Household.  You generally must be unmarried and you must have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying person.

5. Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. If your spouse died during 2005 or 2006, you have a qualifying child and meet certain other conditions; you may be able to choose this filing status.

For more information about filing status see publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information available on the IRS website at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAXFORM (800-829-3676).

Remember that for the genuine IRS Web site be sure to use .gov.  Don’t be confused by internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is www.irs.gov.

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Many entrepreneurs believe a bunch of myths about entrepreneurship, so here are ten of the most common and the realities that bust them…

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101 Tax Deductions for Your Online Business

picture of tax forms

Today I was reading I Help You Blog’s “101 Great Posting Ideas For Your Blog”.
It is a great post with lots of ideas and it inspired me to write 101 Tax Deductions for Your Online Business.

These deductions are all perfectly legal, however, the IRS is picky about how you take them. So make sure to do some research, or engage the services of a professional, before you take these deductions on your tax return.
Now, on to your 101 Tax Deductions!

Online Deductions

01. Web Hosting
02. Internet Connection
03. PayPal Charges
04. AdWords Ads
05. Web Designer Fees
06. E-Books Purchased for Business Use (Not for Sale, those would be inventory and that’s another post!)
07. Affiliate Fees
Continue reading “101 Tax Deductions for Your Online Business”

Seven Ways to Get a Jump Start on Your Taxes

Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. Taxpayers are encouraged to get a head start on tax preparation, especially since early filers avoid the last minute rush and get their refunds sooner.

Here are seven easy ways to get a good jump on your taxes long before the April deadline is here:

1. Gather your records in advance. Make sure you have all the records you need, including W-2s and 1099s. Don’t forget to save a copy for your files.

Continue reading “Seven Ways to Get a Jump Start on Your Taxes”

Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, choose that preparer wisely. Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their own tax returns even if prepared by someone else. So, it is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare personal returns. Most return preparers are professional, honest and provide excellent service to their clients. Here are a few points to keep in mind when someone else prepares your return:

  • A Paid Preparer is required by law to sign the return and fill in the preparer areas of the form. The preparer should also include their appropriate identifying number on the return. Although the Preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return. In addition, the preparer must give you a copy of the return. Continue reading “Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer”

2008 Standard Mileage Rates

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 50.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 48.5 cents per mile for 2007. The new rate for medical and moving purposes compares to 20 cents in 2007. The rate for miles driven in service of charitable organizations has remained the same.

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile; the standard rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study. Runzheimer International, an independent contractor, conducted the study for the IRS.

The mileage rate for charitable miles is set by law.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle, for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

Revenue Procedure 2007-70 contains additional information on these standard mileage rates.