American Tax Service

Helping Americans File Their Taxes

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What You Need to Know about the New Child Tax Credit

The original child tax credit, known as the CTC, was first introduced back in 1997, before becoming available to claim in 1998. In the beginning, this was a simple nonrefundable credit for $400, which applied to each qualifying child if they were under the age of 17.

child tax credit

There have been many changes over the last 20 years, with qualifying children being worth a tax credit of $1000 per child. This was refundable for taxpayers who had at least $3,000 of earned income.… Read the rest

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How to File Taxes With H&R Block for Free

There are so many free tax filing services online today. The problem is choosing the right one. Not every free tax filing service offers the features and the standard of service you would expect.

H&R Block free tax filing

You require accuracy in your tax returns, and you need to make sure you’re going to receive the biggest refund possible. Even small mistakes can cost you big time in late filing fees, audits, and the refund you receive.

You need to know what you’re getting from a free online tax filing service.… Read the rest

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What Are H&R Block Tax Preparation and Filing Prices?

Preparing and filing your taxes can be stressful and intimidating. There are lots of different companies that 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.… Read the rest

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New Tax Refund and Reform Calculator at H&R Block Online

The major tax law changes implemented and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has a lot of people worried about what it could mean for their taxes. People have a lot of questions, but we can help prepare you for the things that lie ahead.

tax refund reform calculator

To provide a range of useful tools to their clients, H&R Block has unveiled a brand new feature to help taxpayers understand the impact of the recent tax reform.

You’ll be able to find out your new tax liability.… Read the rest

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How to Get a Fast Tax Refund Date

A tax refund can go a long way in changing the life of its receiver, whether it is saving or paying debts. In fact, in 2018, the total tax refund amount was approximately $2800 for almost 75% of taxpayers receiving a tax refund. So, how to do you get your tax refund faster?

The recommended way is to efile and use direct deposit to get the fastest tax refund.

tax refund dateDuring the last tax season, 58% of taxpayers received their tax refunds through this method.… Read the rest

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IRS Tax Forms You May Need to File

If you are planning to paper file, you should know that the IRS no longer sends your paper tax packages in the mail.

1040 tax form

If you file your taxes with H&R Block Online, you will find that it is super easy when it comes to getting the right tax form.

This is because the online tax software automatically selects the form that is the best fit for your unique tax situation.

Alternatively, you can order the forms and have them sent to you in the mail by calling the IRS, 1-800-TAX-FORM.… Read the rest

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What is EIC/EITC and Who Qualifies?

The EIC/EITC is known as the Earned Income Tax Credit. This tax credit is available for those who have a low or moderate-income.

EIC, Earned Income Tax CreditThe amount that you receive for this credit is determined based on the filing status you use and your salary for the year.

Those who qualify pay less in federal taxes and can claim the earned income credit when they file their tax returns.

Basic Requirements to Be Eligible

  • You have to have a qualifying child, and they must have a social security number
  • You cannot file married or file separately
  • Your investment income should be no higher than $3,300
  • You have to be a U.S.
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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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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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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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New H&R Block Tax Software Features Available

There are several new additions to the H&R Block software being released this year, including the “drag and drop” feature to easily import relevant tax information into the software from a range of sources.

What New Features Are Available With H&R Block?

This coming tax year, taxpayers are going to have the option of using the “drag and drop” feature. Users will be able to use this new feature to import their tax returns from the previous year into H&R Block.… Read the rest

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Federal Tax Deductions for Home Renovation

Tax Deductions for Home RenovationThere are many strategies to use house remodeling and upgrades to reduce your taxes.

Remodeling of your house is not usually a cost that can be deducted from your federal income taxes. However, there are many techniques that you can utilize for home remodeling and upgrades to decrease your taxes. This includes both tax breaks and tax incentives for remodeling and enhancements made to your house, either when you bought the home or after.

Making Use of Your Mortgage to Make Property Upgrades

A good way to reduce the expenses of home remodeling would be to make the upgrades to the residence when it is purchased.… Read the rest

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The Child Tax Credit & Additional Child Tax Credit

One of the most beneficial and popular federal tax credits is the Child Tax Credit. This is a nonrefundable tax credit, and it’s worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child.

Who is Considered a Qualifying Child?

child tax credit additionalThe IRS considers a qualifying child to be a child that meets all of the criteria below:

  • Under the age of 17 at the end of the year
  • Has resided with you for more than half of the year
  • Is your dependent on your federal taxes
  • Is a US citizen and has a valid SSN
  • Is a relative such as your child, sibling, stepchild, stepsibling, foster child, legally adopted child, or a descendant from any of the previously mentioned individuals.
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Home Energy Tax Credits

Tax season is going to be here before you know it. Therefore, now is the time to make sure that you have made all of the energy-efficient upgrades to your home.

By having an energy efficient home, you will save money on your bills and pay less money in taxes. Learn how you claim home energy tax credits if you qualify.

Non-Business Energy Property Credit

home energy tax creditsYou can get a 10% credit for your energy efficient improvements. Things that fall under this category include:

  • Water heaters
  • Electric heat pumps
  • Central air conditioners
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heaters
  • Qualified oil furnaces
  • Qualified oil hot water boilers
  • Some air circulating fans
  • Insulation that reduced heat loss or gains
  • Exterior windows, skylights or doors
  • Storm windows and doors
  • Solar panels
  • Metal and asphalt roofs that reduce heat loss or gain

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit

This energy tax credit will allow you to have a 30% credit for the alternative energy equipment that you have had installed.… 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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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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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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What is the IRS Mileage Rate Tax Deduction?

Under current IRS rules, you can deduct a certain amount in mileage rates if you are using your vehicle for business reasons. Every year, the IRS publishes a list of the current standard mileage rates and the amount you can deduct on your taxes.

Let’s look at the standard mileage reimbursement rate and the types of mileage that are tax-deductible.

How Much is the Current Standard Mileage Rate?

current standard mileage rate

The current standard mileage rate is calculated through an annual study of businesses, where the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle for business is calculated.… Read the rest

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New Homeowners Tax Credit

homeowner tax creditsIf you recently purchased or built a new home, you might be wondering what tax incentives are available and if there is a new homeowners tax credit.

While there is not a direct tax credit available for buying your home, there are tax advantages to homeownership.

This article will summarize some of these benefits as well as outline the tax changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 that will affect your filing as a new home buyer.

Is There a Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers?

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Deducting (PMI) Private Mortgage Insurance

Homeowners are usually well informed about the home-related tax deductions that they can make at filing time. However, when purchasing a home, other costs can quickly accumulate. For buyers who can’t come up with a 20% down payment on the purchase price, they will have the added cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI).

The PMI is a policy that is taken out by the homebuyer to protect the lender against possible default on the mortgage loan.

PMI is Tax-DeductiblePMI Private Mortgage Insurance

This income tax deduction was developed as an element of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 and initially added to private mortgage insurance (PMI) plans issued in 2007.… Read the rest

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The New H&R Block Tax Calculator

As the year ends, many folks are starting to look at their taxes and assess how much money they might be getting back in their tax refund. H&R Block has a great tax calculator available online for free that we highly recommend.

See how much your refund is with the H&R Block Tax Calculator.

Given that this tool comes in so handy, we wanted to breakdown the process behind the H&R Block Tax Calculator and to provide a little education on how the tax calculator/estimator works.

Why Use an Online Tax Calculator?

There are numerous “free tax calculators” that you can find online that will help in the process of estimating your tax situation.… Read the rest

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Earned Income Tax Credit & Credit Table

Although an incredible number of families currently claim this valuable tax break, the IRS says many more qualify for this refundable tax credit yet neglect to take advantage of it.

Check out the earned income credit table and see how much you qualify for.

The guidelines for (EIC) Earned Income Credit Table were recently increased; therefore, many more families meet the requirements and can claim the earned income credit. Take a couple of minutes to ensure you don’t pass up a credit that might provide you with a bigger refund check.

How Much are the EIC, Earned Income Credit Table Amounts for 2019, 2020?

Read the rest