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Fixing your Tax Mistakes

April 23rd, 2015

tax tip

If you made a mistake on your tax return, you may want to amend your tax return to fix the problem.  Here are a few tips about amending your tax return:

  1. Use Form 1040-X to amend your federal tax return.
  2. Do not amend your tax return if you simply made a math error. The IRS automatically corrects your math mistakes. As an added benefit, they will not make you show your math work.
  3. Do not amend your return if you made a mistake on your healthcare tax premium form. The IRS will most likely catch your mistake and send you a letter regarding your healthcare.
  4. If your amendment will result in a refund to you, you must amend the return within three (3) years of its due date. Otherwise, it is too late and you can kiss that refund goodbye.
  5. You must send in a separate Form 1040-X for each year that you amend.
  6. You can track your amended return by using the IRS’ service Where’s My Amended Return.
 

Tax Procrastinator

April 21st, 2015

tax tip

Tax day (April 15) has come and gone.  If you didn’t file or forgot to file your income tax return, you may be hit with a few penalties.  The failure to file penalty is assessed when a taxpayer does not file a return or request an extension by April 15.  The penalty is usually 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month the tax return is late.  The failure to pay penalty i s assessed when a taxpayer does not pay their tax bill in full by April 15.  The failure to pay penalty is usually .5% of the unpaid taxes for each month the payment is late.  However, under certain circumstances, you may be able to avoid the penalties.  The lesson here is send the IRS some money, before April 15, even if you have not filed yet so that you can avoid or decrease one of these penalties.  Also, if you know you cannot file by April 15, file an extension request.  If you have not filed all of your tax returns, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

Retiring your Retirement

April 17th, 2015

retirement

Here are a few facts (according to Money.com) about retirement accounts.  How do you stack up?

  1. The average retirement account balance for men is $121,000. The average for women is $78,000.
  2. The average contribution to a 401(k) account is $9,600.
  3. 67% of Americans say that they plan on saving more for retirement in the new year.
  4. The average savings rate for an employee is 8.1% of their income.
  5. The cities with the highest 401(k) savings rates are San Francisco, San Jose, Raleigh, Houston, and Hartford.

If you are feeling more in debt than you think you should, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

No Money, Better File

April 14th, 2015

tax tip

Did you prepare or are getting ready to prepare your income taxes?  If so, and you owe more than you can afford to pay, don’t make the mistake of not filing your income tax return.  Even if you cannot pay or fully pay the taxes you owe, you still want to follow these tips:

  1. File the return. By filing the return, you avoid the failure to file penalty.
  2. Pay as much as you can. The more you pay, the less interest and penalties that you may have to pay later on.
  3. Don’t ignore the tax bill. Don’t forget to pay the taxes or contact our office for assistance. Just because you hide your head in the sand doesn’t mean the IRS won’t find you.

If you are having tax trouble, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

Major League Bankruptcies

April 10th, 2015

major league bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can happen to anyone.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  Bankruptcy can be a tool to assist those in need.  However, if you are thinking of filing bankruptcy and wondering who has been in your same situation, take a look at these major league teams that have filed bankruptcy in the past:

NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy twice.  The first time was in 1975 because they owed $500,000 to the IRS and were $6.5 million in debt.  The second time was in 1991 when the team owed more than $90 million to creditors and had asked its players to defer their salaries to help pay the bills.

NHL Cleveland Barons

The Barons filed for bankruptcy in 1978 due to a struggling fan base.

NHL Los Angeles Kings

The Kings filed for bankruptcy in 1995 when their owner defaulted on a $90 million loan.

NHL Ottawa Senators

The Senators filed for bankruptcy in 2003 when they owed their creditors more than $200 million Canadian dollars to creditors.  One of their creditors happened to be the NHL.

MLB Seattle Pilots

The Pilots filed for bankruptcy in 1970 after having been in existence for one season.

MLB Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles filed for bankruptcy in 1993 when their owner made a series of bad investments.  At the time, the owner invested in a consumer electronics company.

MLB Chicago Cubs

The Cubs filed for bankruptcy in 2009 when its parent company, the Tribune, filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

MLB Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in 2011 when their owner went through a very bad divorce.  After the filing of the bankruptcy, the team was taken over by the MLB.

 

Tips about Donations

April 9th, 2015

When giving a gift to charity or your church, no matter how big your donation may be, be sure to take into account these tips:

  1. Donate to a qualified charity. If they do not have their tax exemption from the IRS, you cannot deduct your donation.
  2. You can deduct your donations, whether in cash or property, by itemizing on your tax return.
  3. Get nothing back. If you receive something in return for your donation, then the value that you received cannot be deducted.
  4. Keep good records. In order to deduct a donation, you must keep records to prove that the donation was actually made.
  5. More paperwork. If you donate $250 or more in cash or property, you must receive a written statement from the charity.

If you are having tax trouble, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

Explaining Estimated Tax Payments

April 8th, 2015

Any taxpayer that owes $1,000.00 or more on their most recent tax return must pay estimated taxes.  Estimated tax payments are tax pre-payments that must be made throughout the year, before the return is filed, to make the IRS feel better about collecting their taxes from you.  In order to determine how much estimated taxes you need to pay, be sure to use Form 1040-ES.

A taxpayer usually must pay estimated taxes when they have a life change, such as a marital status change, birth of a child, or a change in employment.  To pay your estimated taxes, you can mail your payment, pay online, or pay over the telephone.

If you are unsure about your tax situation or are in need of tax assistance, feel free to contact our office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

Speeding Convict

April 7th, 2015

speeding

If you received a speeding ticket and are thinking of pleading guilty and just paying the fine, you may want to think again.  Not only will the cost of your car insurance go up and you will receive points on your driving record, but you may be pleading guilty to a bad ticket.  Missouri courts have stated that, unless the police officer tested the radar gun before shooting your vehicle, any speeding tickets given using that un-tested radar gun are no good.  If you received a speeding ticket and would like some help, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

Adoption Tax Benefits

April 2nd, 2015

tax tip

If you adopted or tried to adopt a person in 2014, not only are you a great person, but you also may be entitled to some tax benefits from Uncle Sam.  Here are a few things you should know about adoption tax benefits:

  1. The credit is non-refundable, meaning that it can reduce your tax liability to $0 but it will not put money directly in your wallet or purse;
  2. The maximum benefit is $13,190 per child;
  3.  If the credit is more than your tax for the year, any overage amount can be used for future tax years;
  4.   In order to claim the benefits, the adopted person must be under age eighteen (18) or physically or mentally handicapped;
  5.  There are special rules if you adopted a special needs child; and
  6.  The richer you are, the lesser benefits you may receive.

If you are needing assistance filing your income tax returns this year or you need tax assistance in general, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 

Tips About Employee Business Expenses

April 1st, 2015

If you are an employer who has paid your employees for certain expenses, or you are an employee who receives paid benefits from your employer, you may want to read these tips:

  1. As an employer, you can only deduct expenses that are ordinary and necessary.
  2. Some common examples of employee business expenses are work clothes or uniforms, business use of a car, meals away from the office, travel, and employee training.
  3. If you are a teacher, you can deduct up to $250 in school expenses that you purchased out of your own pocket, such as books, supplies, and other school equipment.
  4. Maintain your records.
  5. Maintain your records. This tip is so important, we had to say it twice.

If you need help with your tax situation, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or www.Hoorfarlaw.com.

 
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