taxation

Tax Preparation Scams

“In this world,” Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” Franklin never encountered the 9,834-section Internal Revenue Code that Americans must abide by, otherwise he could add annual tax hassles to the list of life’s certainties. A cottage industry of tax-preparation services has sprouted since Franklin filed his final 1099. In 2007, the most recent year for which U.S. Census data is available, tax preparers reeled in $5.25 billion in receipts. With that much money changing hands -- in addition to even more income, charitable donations and the other tax write-offs preparers are trusted to monitor -- the potential for fraud and...

Ten Terrific Tax Tips

With the tax-filing deadline looming, here are ten tips to help make this year’s filing a breeze. 1. Lost your job? Could be good news!  You might quality for the Earned Income Tax Credit.  And since unemployment benefits do not count towards eligibility, only take your regular wages into account.  For a single, childless taxpayer, you need to make less than $13,980, with two children you qualify with less than $41,952.  2. Report it all! If you did receive unemployment benefits, including disability payments or assistance that falls under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, you should have a Form 1099-G to report your income.  3. Last call for the American Opportunity. The American Opportunity Tax Credit,...