Tax Tips and Incentives for Individuals

There are many tax incentives available for individuals … if you know where to look.

Tax Incentives for Higher Education

The tax code provides a variety of tax incentives for families who are paying higher education costs or are repaying student loans. You may be able to claim an American Opportunity Credit (formerly called the Hope Credit) or Lifetime Learning Credit for the qualified tuition and related expenses of the students in your family (i.e. you, your spouse, or dependent) who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions. Read More »

Check Withholding to Avoid a Tax Surprise

If you owed tax last year or received a large refund you may want to adjust your tax withholding. Owing tax at the end of the year could result in penalties being assessed. On the other end, if you had a large refund you lost out on having the money in your pocket throughout the year. Read More »

5 Tips For Early Preparation

Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. The IRS encourages everyone to get a head start on tax preparation. Not only do you avoid the last-minute rush, early filers also get a faster refund.

There are five easy ways to get a good jump on your taxes long before the April 15 deadline rolls around: Read More »

Amended Returns

Oops! You’ve discovered an error after your tax return has been filed. What should you do? You may need to amend your return. Read More »

Ayuda en Espanol

If you need federal tax information, the IRS provides free Spanish language products and services. Pages on the IRS.gov, pre-recorded tax topics, refund information, tax publications and toll-free telephone assistance are all available in the Spanish-language. Read More »

Filing an Extension

If you can’t meet the April 15 deadline to file your tax return, you can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file from the IRS. The extension will give you extra time to get the paperwork into the IRS, but it does not extend the time you have to pay any tax due. Read More »

Car Donations

The IRS reminds taxpayers that specific rules apply for taking a tax deduction for donating cars to charities If the claimed value of the donated motor vehicle, boat or plane exceeds $500 and the item is sold by the charitable organization, the taxpayer is limited to the gross proceeds from the sale. Read More »

Charitable Contributions

When preparing to file your federal tax return, don’t forget your contributions to charitable organizations. Your donations can add up to a nice tax deduction for your corporation (if you are a member of a flow-through business entity) or your personal taxes if you itemize deductions on IRS Form 1040, Schedule A. Read More »

Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs)

The Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit, originally enacted under The Energy Policy Act of 2005, allowed a tax credit for some popular hybrid vehicles, however, this tax credit expired at the end of 2010. Although the former credit for many hybrid vehicles is no longer available, for 2012 and future tax years, a tax credit of up to $7,500 is still available for vehicles classified as plug-in electric vehicles, or PEVs. Read More »

Earned Income Tax Credit for Certain Workers

Millions of Americans forgo critical tax relief each year by failing to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal tax credit for individuals who work but do not earn high incomes. Taxpayers who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund. Read More »

Refinancing Your Home

Taxpayers who refinanced their homes may be eligible to deduct some costs associated with their loans. Read More »

Credit for the Elderly or Disabled

You may be able to take the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled if you were age 65 or older at the end of last year, or if you are retired on permanent and total disability, according to the IRS. Like any other tax credit, it’s a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill. The maximum amount of this credit is constantly changing. Read More »

Selling Your Home

If you sold your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain ($500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly) from your federal tax return. This exclusion is allowed each time that you sell your main home, but generally no more frequently than once every two years. Read More »

Foreign Income

With more and more United States citizens earning money from foreign sources, the IRS reminds people that they must report all such income on their tax return, unless it is exempt under federal law. U.S. citizens are taxed on their worldwide income. Read More »

Deductible Taxes

Did you know that you may be able to deduct certain taxes on your federal income tax return? The IRS says you can if you file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. Deductions decrease the amount of income subject to taxation. There are four types of deductible non-business taxes: Read More »

Gift Giving

If you gave any one person gifts valued at more than $14,000, it is necessary to report the total gift to the Internal Revenue Service. You may even have to pay tax on the gift. Read More »

Marriage or Divorce

Newlyweds and the recently divorced should make sure that names on their tax returns match those registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A mismatch between a name on the tax return and a Social Security number (SSN) could cause your tax return to be rejected by the IRS. Read More »

Deduction of State and Local Taxes

If you itemize your deductions, you may choose to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes. Read More »

Filing Deadline and Payment Options

If you’re trying to beat the tax deadline, there are several options for last-minute help. If you need a form or publication, you can download copies from the IRS Forms page under Tax Tools on our website. If you find you need more time to finish your return, you can get a six month extension of time to file using Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. And if you have trouble paying your tax bill, the IRS has several payment options available. Read More »

Refund, Where’s My Refund?

Are you expecting a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service this year? If you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, your refund should be issued in about six to eight weeks from the date IRS receives your return. If you file your return electronically, your refund should be issued in about half the time it would take if you filed a paper return — even faster when you choose direct deposit. Read More »

Ten Ways to Avoid Problems at Tax Time

Looking for ways to avoid the last-minute rush for doing your taxes? The IRS offers these tips: Read More »

The Tax Advocate Service, Provided by the IRS

Have you tried everything to resolve a tax problem with the IRS but are still experiencing delays? Are you facing what you consider to be an economic burden or hardship due to IRS collection or other actions? If so, you can seek the assistance of the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Read More »

Tips and Taxes

Do you work at a hair salon, barber shop, casino, golf course, hotel or restaurant or drive a taxicab? The tip income you receive as an employee from those services is taxable income, advises the IRS. Read More »