American Tax Service

Helping Americans File Their Taxes

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H&R Block Emerald Refund Advance Loan

Do you believe that you’ll receive a tax refund this year?

You might have heard that to stop tax fraud, refunds are going to be held longer. This applies especially to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

But with H&R Block, you can get the money you need right now.

What is a Refund Advance Loan?

H&R Block emerald advance loan

A refund advance is something several tax platforms offer. You apply for a refund advance, and the money is loaned to you.

Instead of paying it back, the money is taken from your tax refund instead. Essentially, you’re just getting your refund earlier than everyone else.

This year H&R Block is offering refund advances from January 4th to February 28th. So, you don’t have much time to apply.

How Much Can I Claim as Part of My Refund Advance?

H&R Block operates a robust application procedure, so you’re never going to be able to take out more than you expect to get back as part of your refund. See how much your tax refund is with the free tax refund calculator from H&R Block.

These loans are not supposed to be large. You can claim five different loan amounts, which are: $250, $500, $750, $1,250, $3,500.

Remember, this is still a loan. It’s not your tax refund.

Why Have I Never Heard of This Before?

This tax-filing season is a special tax season because this is the first time that the H&R Emerald Refund Advance program has been available to online users.

Previously, you could only get a refund advance if you applied in an H&R Block store.

Understandably, for many taxpayers who didn’t live in major cities, they didn’t have this option.

That’s why the rolling out of this program is a great counter to the extended waiting period for tax refunds.

What are the Interest Rates?

What makes the H&R Block refund advance a standout option is the interest rates are different. The big change is that there’s no interest charged on refund advances.

This may come as a shock for many because practically every other tax platform does charge interest on the refund advances, they give out.

To be honest, if you must pay interest on money you’re already entitled to, it makes sense to wait instead of taking out a refund advance.

But with H&R Block’s scheme, now you can get a refund advance without paying more.

How Do I Get My Money?

Once you have been evaluated, you should find that the money has already been deposited into your account on the same day. Take note that this money will never be placed in your bank account. It will be placed on the prepaid H&R Block Emerald Mastercard. You can use this in the same way as any other type of credit card. However, there’s no overdraft protection, so make sure you have a high enough balance prior to making a purchase.

What’s the Approval Process?

There are no credit scores to worry about when you deal with H&R Block. Axos Bank is the lender, in this case. The approval process works differently from a conventional personal loan.

The main piece of criteria is how much you’re entitled to based on your tax return. All you need to provide is evidence of your refund through your taxes and appropriate identification.

It’s a different type of loan because it’s a type of advance. And the loan time usually only lasts a couple of months at the most.

Who Should Use the H&R Block Emerald Refund Advance?

You should always consider whether a refund advance is right for you. Even though this is a ‘no risk’ loan because you can’t spend more than your loan amount and the interest rate is 0%, you still need to figure out if this is the correct move for you.

We always recommend thinking about whether you really need the money right now. Unless you have an emergency expense to take care of, you may decide that it’s not worth applying for a refund advance.

It’s widely expected that refund advances will be far more popular this year, though, due to the additional waiting time for receiving refunds. However, you can’t truly decide until you have a rough idea of how much you could get back through your taxes this year.

How to File with H&R Block Today

H&R Block doesn’t just offer a refund advance loan with no application fees and 0% interest. They also offer a tax platform that can be used by most American taxpayers.

They have a range of forms that are available for Americans with simple to complex tax affairs. It couldn’t be easier to create an account and get started with them today.

It only takes minutes to start on your taxes, and it’s even faster if you’ve used them in the past because you can simply import your previous information.

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Tax Refund Schedule Dates 2022, 2023

What are the 2022, 2023 Tax Refund Schedule Dates?

Find out what the IRS tax refund schedule dates are this year.The IRS tax refund schedule dates according to the IRS are 21 days for e-filed tax returns and 6 to 8 weeks for paper returns.

So, in theory, if you e-file your tax return, on the starting day of January 27th, 2022, you should receive your tax refund by February 16th or a paper check between March 9th and March 23rd.

When Can You Expect to Receive Your Tax Refund?

When do I get my tax refund is the question on everyone’s mind when tax season comes around. The good news is the IRS aims to process all e-filed tax refunds within 21 days.

But, if you claim the earned income credit or additional child tax credit, you’ll have to wait a little longer. Although it’s usually worth the wait for the additional amount of money you can get by claiming these tax credits.

These two tax credits take longer to process because of the rigorous additional checks the IRS must carry out on applications for them.

Take note these timescales are based on when the IRS receives your forms and your payment method of choice.

Filing your taxes online and opting for direct deposit as your payment method is the fastest way to get your refund.

Get Your Refund Fast With Online Tax Filing

Online tax filing is the most efficient and quickest way to receive your tax refund. Filing your taxes online also gives you the guarantee that they will help you get the largest refund possible.

Online filing services have the ability to import your W2 information into your tax return so you can avoid worrying about your forms being delivered by mail.

How Can I Check My Refund Status?

Do you want to know about your refund status? Then you can visit the IRS website. Just click ‘Check My Refund Status.’

Just enter your social security number, the refund amount shown on your return, and your filing status. This only works if you have the exact refund amount on hand, though.

If you’ve entered the information correctly, you’ll get a status update on your tax refund, so you’ll get a better idea about when your money is going to arrive.

What Should You Do with Your Refund?

Consider your financial goals if you don’t already have plans for your refund. Think about how you can use it for paying off debts, meeting your savings goals, or building your emergency fund.

You may want to put it in a high-interest savings account. These are the safest options for preserving and growing your savings fund.

Invest Your Money

Another option you may want to consider is investing. Putting your tax refund into an investment account could help you create a golden financial future for yourself.

Look into the different options for investment accounts as they all come with different qualifications.

Do you have plans for your tax refund yet?

How to File Taxes Online Using TurboTax

When you file with TurboTax Online they will search over 350 tax deductions and credits to find every tax break you qualify for so you get your maximum refund.​

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Dependents – The Tax Deductions They Bring

Kids can be stressful at times, but the good news is they can save your butt during tax time. Today we are sharing some of the tax benefits that kids and other dependents bring to you.

Dependent Tax Deductions

dependent tax deductionsYou may be able to claim more dependent tax deductions and credits as a family than single taxpayers. However, if you’re not aware of these deductions and credits, you might be losing out on significant tax breaks.

Child Tax Credit

The child tax credit is better than the deductions because your taxes are reduced dollar for dollar. In addition, claiming this credit gives up to $3,600 for children under 17. Married couples qualify if they don’t make more than $110,000, and single parents qualify if they don’t make more than $75,000.

Child and Dependent Care Credit

Uncle Sam understands that childcare is expensive. Therefore, working parents or parents actively pursuing employment for dependents under 13 can claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

This credit is another dollar for dollar reduction of your taxes for up to 35% of your expenses. This equals $3000 for one child or $6000 for two or more children. Depending on your income, 20% – 35% of your childcare expenses (based on your income) can be reduced. Nursing school, private kindergarten, daycare, and after-school programs all qualify.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit is available to W-2 employees and self-employed people who make less than a certain amount. How much you get depends on the number of children you have. Below are the phase-out limits.

  • 3 or more children – $51,464 ($57,414 for married joint filers)
  • 2 children – $47,915 ($53,865 for married joint filers)
  • 1 child – $42,158 ($48,108 for married joint filers)

The credit ranges from $1,502 (no children) to $6,728 (three children). The best part is this is a refundable tax credit so it can result in a tax refund.

How to Claim Dependent Tax Credits

The next time your kids are working your nerves, remember that they save your butt big time during tax season. If you file your taxes online, they will make sure that you claim all the tax credits you deserve, and all you have to do is answer a few simple questions.

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What is Capital Gains Tax on Your Home Sale?

What is the capital gains tax rate on homes and real estate?Are you wondering if you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on your home sale?

Many people do not know that a large portion of homeowners who sell their homes can avoid capital gains tax on their home sales.

How Much is Capital Gains Tax on the Sale of a Home?

When selling your primary home, you can make up to $250,000 in profit or double that if you are married, and you won’t owe anything for capital gains. The only time you will have to pay capital gains tax on a home sale is if you are over the limit.

Many sellers are surprised that this is true, especially if they live in their homes for years. This is because, before 1997, the only way you could avoid paying taxes on the profits from a home sale was to use it to purchase an even more expensive house within two years.

Taxpayers over 55 had other options. They could take a once-in-a-lifetime tax exemption of up to $125,000 in profits. This required Form 2119 to be filed too.

Thankfully, in 1997, the Taxpayers Relief Act was introduced, and millions of residential taxpayers had the burden lifted. The lifetime option was replaced with the current sale of home exclusion amounts. This change makes it easier for homeowners to sell their current residence if they want to.

What is the Capital Gains Tax Rate When Selling a Home?

In 2021, long-term capital gains will be taxed at 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on the investor’s taxable income and filing status, excluding any state or local capital gains taxes.

For assets held less than one year, short-term gains are taxed at regular income rates, which may be as high as 34% based on the taxpayer’s individual income. As a result, investing for more than a year is recommended to benefit from reduced long-term capital gains tax rates.

Do I Have to Buy Another House to Avoid Capital Gains?

No, but there is a limit. Profits earned on the sale of real estate are regarded as capital gains. However, suppose you utilized the property as your principal residence and met specific additional criteria. In that case, you may deduct up to $250,000 of the gain ($500,000 if married), regardless of whether you purchase another home.

How Can I Avoid Capital Gains Tax on a Home Sale?

If you used the rules before 1997, it does not mean that you are disqualified from claiming the exclusion on any sales now.

You also don’t have to worry about using your profit from the sale of your home to purchase another home, either. Another great benefit is there is no limit on the number of times you can claim the home-sale exemption. Usually, you can keep those tax-free profits each time you sell one of your homes.

There are some requirements that have to be met to avoid paying capital gains tax after selling your home.

1. The property has to be your principal residence (you live in it). If it is an investment property, you will have to follow the usual capital gains rules.
2. You have to live in the residence for two of five years before selling it. (This is also a sneaky way of saying you can only sell a home once every two years at the minimum).

The good news is, if your gain does not exceed the limit, you don’t have to file anything with the IRS.

Capital Gains on Sale of Second Home

If you own multiple homes, it may not be as easy to shelter sale profits as it was in the past.

The Housing Assistance Act of 2008 was designed to provide relief for homeowners on the edge of foreclosure, yet it could cost the owners when they decide to sell.

You used to be able to move into the second property, make it your primary residence, live there for two years, and profit from the gains.

Even when your second piece of real estate is converted into your primary home, you will be taxed on part of the gains based on how long the home was used as a second home and not the primary residence.

Rules for Married Couples

Married couples can profit more from the rule; however, their sales may not always be tax-free.

Either spouse can meet the ownership test. For example, it’s okay if you owned the home for two years but only added your husband when you were married six months ago. Then, you will pass the ownership test with flying colors.

However, when it comes to the “use test,” both partners have to pass. The good news is if you were unwed and living together for a period that equals two years, the IRS will allow you to pass. Nevertheless, if that isn’t the case, you won’t get the tax exclusion unless you wait until he meets the two-year mark too.

Keep in mind the two-year eligibility rule when getting to know your spouse. Remember, you are only able to sell a home once every two years. Therefore, if your new spouse sold a home in the past two years, it will prohibit you from being able to sell until their two-year time span expires.

Determining the Sale of Home Exclusion Amount

Now, once you decide you are eligible to sell and meet the exclusion rule, you have to do some math, so you can avoid pulling out your checkbook after you sell. But, first, keep in mind that you have to think about more than the money you received during the sale. It is important, but other numbers play a factor too.

You have to consider your gain. It is what decides whether you will have a tax bill. For example, you could sell your home for $750,000 and not owe any money because you didn’t gain more than $250,000 ($500,000).

1. To get to your gain amount, establish your basis in the home. (Usually, this is what you paid for the residence and the capital improvements that you made)
2. Compare the basis amount to what you received from the sale (excluding commissions and other expenses). This number provides you with the gain on the sale.

Usually, you will find that you got some profit, but it isn’t large enough for you to have to pay taxes on it.

Remember that improvements increase your basis, so a smaller portion of the selling price is considered a gain. For example, the American Relief Act is 20% for higher-income taxpayers and 15% for many individuals, and 0% for some sellers.

Partial Exclusion is Still Good

Even if you cannot meet all of the tests, it does not mean that you will not get any sort of tax break at all.

If you are selling because of special conditions, you are eligible for a prorated tax-free gain. In this case, you would calculate the fractional amount of time that the two-year use test was met.

Special Rules – Special Circumstances

Military members also have special home sell considerations. Thanks to redeployments, soldiers can find it hard to meet the residency rule and end up paying taxes when they sell. However, in 2003, it was put into law that military personnel are exempt from the two-year use requirement for up to 10 years, allowing them to qualify for the full exclusion when they have to move to fulfill their duties.

In 2008, a new rule was put into place for those who sell after a spouse dies. Instead of having to sell during the same year the spouse passes, a widow/er can take up to two years to sell and have up to $500,000 excluded from taxes.

Therefore, if you want to sell your home, consider what we have discussed today. You may find out that you won’t have to pay Uncle Sam a dime when you sell your home.

How to File Taxes for Capital Gains Home Sale

Keep in mind, if you file online, they will ask you the correct questions to help you claim the capital gains deductions you qualify for and guarantee you will receive the largest refund ever.

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What Does H&R Block Tax Filing Cost?

Preparing and filing your taxes can be stressful and intimidating. However, many different companies can help you with the process.

H&R Block tax filing pricesH&R Block is one such tax company that provides you with all the tools and services necessary to help you file your taxes on your own.

But what about the cost of filing your taxes?

How Much Does H&R Block Cost?

Doing your taxes yourself will save you money in most instances.

For example, H&R Block allows its clients to complete their own taxes online and offers a 35% discount for doing so. With H&R Block online software, you’re going to be able to claim every credit and deduction available to you.

There are 4 online versions to choose from:

  1. Basic – Best for simple tax situations Free
  2. Deluxe – Best for homeowners $49.99
  3. Premium – Best for self-employed or rental property owners $69.99
  4. Business – Best for small business owners $109.99

How Much Does Assisted Tax Preparation Cost?

How much is assisted tax prep and filingThis is the big question everyone has. Some believe that it isn’t worth the cost. However, H&R Block gave an example of their costs. They said the average tax preparation fee was $225, including state filing fees. Yet the average IRS refund was $2,763.

But, as a rule, the more complex the tax situation, the more you’re going to have to pay.

Someone who has no dependents, renting an apartment, and has a low income will have the easiest time filing taxes. Therefore they won’t pay as much.

Someone who owns a home runs their own business, and has various investments will find it costs more to file through a professional. Therefore, in their case, it’s best to invest time into learning taxes, or even taking a tax preparer course, so that taxes can be done without assistance.

Understanding the Value of the Service

You need to know that the value of tax preparation is more than the fee. Not every single organization is the same. Here are some of the things you should be looking for.

Flexibility in Filing – Whether you want to file online or through an office, you should be able to do it. You should be able to get as much help or as little help as you require to file your taxes and claim your deductions.

DIY Choices – Look for a tax preparation assistant that provides you with access to cutting-edge software and tax experts. It shouldn’t take long for you to make sense of your taxes.

Try filing online with H&R BlockThe Right Professionals – Ensure that you’re speaking to tax experts who have years’ worth of experience in their field. They should also offer a friendly and professional service and be easy to work with. You should have confidence in their ability to do the job right.

Guarantee of a Great Experience – Doing your own tax preparation shouldn’t fill you with nervousness. Many of the leading companies, including H&R Block, offer a guarantee. For example, if the IRS doesn’t accept your tax return, you don’t have to pay a thing.

Get the Maximum Refund – The value of an outstanding tax preparation company is getting the biggest refund you can. It’s now common for tax companies to provide a guarantee that you will get the maximum refund, and nothing will be forgotten. This is where the real value of a tax preparation service comes from.

Try Filing Online With H&R Block

Companies like H&R Block are there to give you the professional, friendly, and fast service you deserve. So give their online tax filing a try and get your taxes done for a lot less than hiring someone.