American Tax Service

Helping Americans File Their Taxes

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What is a W-2 Form?

w2 form 2019 2020The W-2 Form is one of the most essential forms in the tax world. It details what you’ve been paid by your employer.

The first point is to remember that the W-2 form is entirely different from your W-4 form. This details any payment that has been withheld as tax by your employer. Any employer that has paid you at least $600 during the tax year must send you a W-2.

Contractors and freelancers will receive 1099s because they don’t have employers; they have clients.… Read the rest

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What is The New IRS 1040 Form?

The new Form 1040 is different from the old one. This new draft may seem confusing, but we are going to help you understand it. Here are the five things all Americans should know about the new IRS Form 1040.

The New 1040 Form is the Size of a Postcard

new 1040 form

One of the main promises Donald Trump made during the 2016 presidential campaign is he wanted to change the tax code to make it simpler. He said that he wanted the average American to be able to file their taxes on something the size of a postcard.… Read the rest

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Federal Remodel Incentive Programs and Tax Relief Options

Federal home remodel incentives

Do you want to get a refund the next time you remodel your home?

There is a variety of different local, state, and Federal remodel incentive programs that can help you improve the value of your home.

There is also a range of tax relief options and low-interest loans you can take advantage of, but many of them are difficult to find.

What are the Basic Requirements?

The programs offered by the government are limited to things that increase the value of your home.… Read the rest

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Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit 

What is the child and dependent care tax credit?When you have young children, one of the most difficult financial burdens is paying for dependent care, but some good news is that there are some relief options when it comes time to file your taxes.

What is the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit?

The child and dependent care tax credit is available for almost anyone who has a dependent and is working.

The dependent care tax credit is different than the child tax credit, and this article is intended to help you understand how to claim the childcare tax credit.Read the rest

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Rental Property Tax Deduction

Deciding to become a landlord can be extremely beneficial for yourental home financially. However, it also comes with a significant amount of work.

As well as the general responsibilities associated with running a rental property, you need to find tenants, pay all your expenses, and ensure you have insurance.

In personal tax terms, renting out a property can complicate the situation. There are rental property tax deductions available to help you out with running your business, though.

Different deductions are available from the IRS.… Read the rest

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New Tax Credits and Deductions

Do you want to reduce your tax bill this year? You can maximize your tax savings by checking to see if you’re eligible to claim any of the new expanded tax credits.

The difference between a tax credit and a deduction is a deduction reduces your taxable income, whereas credits reduce the amount of tax you pay directly. Refundable credits are even better because they can reduce your tax bill even if the credit is worth more than you owe. Non-refundable credits are only valid up to the amount you owe.… Read the rest

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Tax Deductions For Mortgage Refinancing

mortgage interest tax deduction

The largest tax deduction most people can claim on any type of mortgage is on the interest paid on the loan.

In most cases, mortgage refinance interest is tax-deductible, which means you can take it off your taxable income for that tax year.

But there are rules that apply.

Rules for Making Tax Deductions on Mortgage Interest

First of all, the loan must be on either your primary residence or a secondary residence. If you are taking the deduction on a second residence, this can’t be a rental property.… Read the rest

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What is Capital Gains Partial Exclusion for Home Sale?

There are some instances where you may not meet all the tests, but you would be eligible for a partial tax break. If you sell your home due to special or unforeseen circumstances, your tax preparer can talk to you about a capital gains partial exclusion for home sale. These instances would be such as unemployment or a change in your health.

Capital Gains Partial Exclusion for Home Sale

This figure is calculated as a fraction of the time that you would have met the two-year test. Let’s say you lost your job and sold your home after only being in it a year and three months.… Read the rest

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How Can I Get  My W2 Form Online?

Employers are obligated to send out W-2 Forms by January 31st, or the next business day if it falls on the weekend or a public holiday.

But that doesn’t mean you have to receive it by that date. This can be highly frustrating if you just want to file your taxes and get the whole process over and done with.

w2 form online

That’s why services like H&R Block’s W-2 Finder were created. You can get an electronic copy through H&R Block free of charge, so that you can get started on your taxes as early as possible.… Read the rest

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Tax Credits for New Home Construction

Are you building a new home?

There are tax breaks available for people in this situation. They come in the form of tax deductions and tax credits. A credit is used to reduce the amount you pay, and a deduction reduces your total taxable income.

Here are some of the tax write-offs available to you now.

Did You Pay Interest on a Construction Loan?

new home construction

If you took out a construction loan to build your home, then chances are you paid interest on that loan.… Read the rest

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How the Student Loan Interest Tax Deduction Works

Student loan interest can quickly add up. That’s why the Federal government introduced the student loan interest tax deduction to help ordinary students out. If you made interest rate payments on your student loans during the tax year, you can deduct up to $2,500 in interest paid.

student loan interest tax deduction

If you happen to qualify for the 22% tax rate, you have the best deal because your maximum deduction is $550. A few hundred dollars in your wallet for doing very little sounds great, so how can you make sure that you claim the maximum deduction amount available to you?… Read the rest

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The IRS Form 1040A Explained

Form 1040A is one of the forms that can be used when filing federal taxes in the US. This form is shorter than the original 1040 form; however, it is more complex than the 1040EZ form. All taxpayers can use form 1040, yet there are restrictions as to which taxpayers can use Form 1040A.

For example, you have to have a taxable income of less than $100,000; you have to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing your deductions.

Filing Status & Exemptions

When preparing this form, you have to list your exemptions and select a filing status before you start reporting your income.… Read the rest

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What Happens if I Cash Out My 401K?

Planning for your retirement is essential. Most people receive a retirement benefit and advice when they join a large company, but even the most stable working conditions can change. Unexpected costs can tempt you to put your retirement savings on hold in favor of access to quick cash.

401 K retirement planCashing out of your 401k is an incredibly risky choice that should only be made under extreme circumstances.

Whether you’re approaching retirement or simply changing jobs, you have probably considered cashing out your 401(k).… Read the rest

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Where Can I Find IRS Form 1040 and Instructions?

1040 tax form

IRS Form 1040 is the basic tax form many Americans will use. It also recently received an overhaul.

The new Form 1040 is now going to be the size of a postcard with 1040EZ and 1040-A removed from circulation entirely. However, there are a variety of new schedules, so you need to be aware that you don’t need to give less information; they’ve just been moved to other forms.

So, let’s look at where you can find IRS Form 1040 and instructions.… Read the rest

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The Six New Form 1040 Schedules

The brand-new Form 1040 has simplified the form and moved many of the original lines to separate schedules. The philosophy behind it is to make filing easier for most Americans, who tend to have extremely simplified tax affairs.

new 1040 form

Most taxpayers never have to use anything other than the new Form 1040. But for those who do need the schedules, we’re going to go through the six new schedules and what they do.

Schedule 1 – Additional Taxes and Adjustments to Income

If you need to report certain types of income or any adjustments, you’ll use this form.… Read the rest

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Self-Employed Tax Deductions That Save You Money

self employed tax deductionsFreelancers, contract employees, and business owners know that taxes can be a financial make or break. Tax season is normally a period filled with dread as you try to justify costs and scratch together last-minute work to prepare for the worst.

Thankfully, there are many ways you can save money if you are self-employed.

Of course, you can only make the most of these self-employed tax deductions if you know what they are. You’ve probably spent most of the year stressing about the taxman taking your hard-earned money, but the truth is that you’ve earned the right to claim the self-employed tax deductions that come with having your own business.… Read the rest

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How Much Do You Get Back in Taxes for a Child?

how much do I get back in taxes for a child

The entire tax code was reformed under President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The TCJA has changed many things about the Child Tax Credit. These new rules apply to the new tax season.

How Much do I Get Back for a Child?

Under the TCJA, the Child Tax Credit saw a substantial increase to $2,000 per qualifying child. Up to $1,400 of this amount is refundable, depending on your income. This has doubled the previous amount, and the Child Tax Credit was previously only refundable if you were also claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit.Read the rest

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What is IRS Form W-4 and How to Fill it Out

 

w4 withholdings formIRS Form W-4 is a necessary form for changing your withholding limits. Withholding is when your employer will keep a portion of your paycheck for the purposes of using it to pay your tax bill at the end of the year.

Smart taxpayers will take advantage of the W4 withholding calculator to ensure they don’t get hit with a large tax bill they can’t pay the following spring.

Here’s what you need to know about Form W-4.

What is Form W-4 in a Nutshell?

Read the rest

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What is the Standard Deduction and When Should You Take It?

The standard deduction is a mechanism that reduces the amount of income that’s eligible for tax. For the current tax year, the standard deduction is worth $12,000 for single taxpayers and $24,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly. If you’re filing as the head of household, it’s worth $18,000.

How Does the Standard Deduction Work?

standard deduction

You can claim the standard deduction even if you don’t qualify for any other tax credits or deductions. Every taxpayer is entitled to it, no questions asked.… Read the rest

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What is a W-2 Form?

If you have ever filed a tax return, then you’ve probably come across the term W-2.

w2 form online

This is an essential tax document that provides an overview of your income and the taxes withheld from your salary every year. You are going to need it to file state and federal returns, so here’s everything you need to know about a w2 form.

Automatic Deductions

Your employer is required, by law, to withhold a portion of your salary to cover mandatory taxes.

Just like you must file taxes, so does your boss – and part of their filing process is a breakdown of how much tax they have deducted from you based on what you earn.… Read the rest

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What is the Home Office Deduction?

In order to claim the home office deduction, you must know the square footage of your entire home and your home office. Auditors do not usually make home visits. If you send them photos of your home office, that is usually all of the verification that they need.

Determine Which Method to UseHome Office Tax Deduction

Percentage of your home – This method allows you to calculate your home office percentage and then claim the home office deduction. You need to determine the square footage of your entire home and the square footage of your office.… Read the rest

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Best Education Tax Credits

Education tax credits are an easy way to help cover some of the costs of education. If one of your dependents is a student, you’ll be able to take advantage of one of two educational tax credits available for this upcoming tax year.

education tax credits

They’re much better for savings than a standard deduction in tuition costs. Credits cut your tax bill dollar-for-dollar. So, if you’re want to claim education tax credits, read about them and see which credit offers the best savings for you.… Read the rest