Getting Your Maximum Tax Refund

As a working citizen, you are responsible to file a tax return every year regarding your yearly salary. There are ways that you can do in order to receive the maximum amount of your tax refund. First, is by starting the process as early as you can. If you wait for the last minute before filing your tax refund, you will need to rush everything and you will be in huge risk of making a mistake. Any mistake may affect the amount of refund that you will get.

Tax Refund CalculatorTo avoid this risk, start sorting your documents way before the last minute. This will make it easier for you when filing your tax return. If you’re not familiar which documents you will need, you may search the internet to see which documents are needed to get the maximum amount of your tax refund.

As you organize your documents, you must also make sure that they are accurate. If you end up filing the wrong information, your tax refund will be affected. Having the correct and appropriate documents will make it less complicated to find the information needed and will save you from the risk of making mistakes.

You must also be familiar with all credits that you may be qualified for. Make sure that you claim them to receive the maximum amount of your tax refund. Some credits are the earned income credit and child and dependent care credit.

You may also fill out the return for free. There are several online sites that provide this service. They allow the users to file their tax refund hassle-free. You just have to be careful with these sites. Make sure that you research about the site you want to use first before filing. There are qualified volunteers that may then help you on your location.

To estimate your monthly or yearly taxes that you’ve paid, just punch your details into the salary calculator.

Doing Your Own Taxes

Doing your own taxes may be quite difficult. Seeing those thousands of tax codes may make you very confused.  But you don’t have to worry; there is some tax software that is now available for your use so you can conveniently do your taxes yourself.

If you do your taxes yourself, you would be able to save a lot of money since you don’t have to hire a tax preparer.  The service of tax prepares mostly cost around $100 and up even in the simplest tax returns. There is also a possibility of mistakes or miscalculations that may cost you missed tax deductions, penalties and interests.  You may rather use the free online software that the IRS website offers. Its design is perfect for simple tax returns. You may also use any of the filing programs offered by the partners of IRS and members of the Free File Alliance.  But for more complicated tax returns, there is FFA partners propriety online software that may help with those too.

doing taxesDoing your taxes yourself may have some disadvantages too, especially when you are not knowledgeable on how it must be done. There is a larger possibility of you making a mistake than a professional tax preparer, and they could usually be your representative if ever you have been questioned about your tax returns or worse, subjected to cases of tax audit.

Hiring a tax preparer is not an assurance though.  You cannot be exempted from getting audited even when a professional did your taxes for you. If you want to hire someone to do your taxes, you must consider hiring a certified public accountant (CPA). CPAs are professionals that possess the knowledge, capability and experience to accurately prepare your taxes. In case of penalties or tax audits, they could represent you and defend your tax return. Tax preparers that are not CPAs do not possess the right to defend you in these situations.

Now, when do you need to hire a professional to do your taxes? It would be best to hire tax preparers when you have some investments, real estate transactions, a business with employees and special situations or entitlements. You have to be certain that you choose a CPA tax preparer that specializes in doing tax return that is suited to the condition that you are in. CPAS are not the same, they have different expertise. Make sure to interview them before hiring. Know about their experiences and if they are capable of doing your taxes. This is a step not to be missed, especially when large amounts of money are involved where even small mistakes may result to a loss of thousands of dollars.  It can also be confusing dealing with state income tax rates.

To sum it all up, preparing your taxes yourself is not very difficult. There is free online software available in the IRS and FFS websites that could help you lessen the burden of doing your taxes.  For more complex tax situations like the ones specified above, it is advisable to hire a Certified Public Accountant. This would reduce the risk of going through errors and being subjected to fines, penalties or tax audit. It doesn’t mean that if a CPA did your taxes means you’re safe from tax audits, but they are allowed to defend you when this situation occurs. Remember to evaluate the cost of hiring a CPA alongside your estimated tax liability.

Tea Party Taxes

The Tea Party has been the root of the biggest turnover for the last 72 years. And I guess this group won’t be going anywhere for a while.  It’s amazing how this group lasted all those years, this just proves that America doesn’t want to go though progressive socialism yet. They’re not ready, and they think that socialism is not going to lead us anywhere.  They see socialism as regressive and the history proves it.tea party

There is a history behind the name of Tea Party. It was from the Townsend Act, the cause of the revolutionary war and the beginning of the well known United States of America. I was able to have a discussion about Tea Party with a New Yorker lately. He is pro Tea Party and he wants lesser taxes. Good thing when the topic is about taxes, I was able to share at least a few things.

I have been around and I have observed a lot of waste from the government. It’s absolutely astounding to see the waste. I agreed with him when he said lesser taxes. I live in California and I believe New York is not very different with the monetary challenges that California is going through. New York may not be suffering as much as California but they are having a hard time solving the problem as well. Paterson just dismissed another 898 state workers. I think he intended to keep it below 900 so it’ll sound less depressing?

Well, I guess federal income tax will continue to increase and further give us a burden as bureaucracy grows as well.  There is an enormous pension obligation and I don’t know if it is even possible to fulfill those promises. “Read My Lips or Read My Tea Leaves – No to Taxes!” I guess that would be the latest cry of the new members of the Tea Party. Honestly, I don’t have any complain on what they’re doing. They have all the right in the world to voice out what they believe in and ask for a change.  I hope that this matter will be taken into account.

If you want to see how these taxes affect your real salary, check out the Salary Calculator

Salary Negotiation Tips

salary negotiationNegotiation is in fact a skill a lot of people are not aware of, until the time arrives wherein they badly need it. When negotiating, it is important to make sure that it is a win-win situation. There must be something in it for the advantage of both parties. It won’t be a successful negotiation if you won’t offer anything in exchange for the benefits the other party may give you. This scenario is very similar with salary negotiations. To be able to earn the salary that you deserve, you must show the company your capabilities. If you want to know the art of salary negotiation, then read on and get the pay raise that you’re worthy of.

The most important factor in the art of negotiation is communication. Through communication you will be able to inform the company about your past work experiences which may imply the salary you deserve. This must also come with the specifications of what you can provide to the company to be worthy of that amount of salary. Communication also involves conveying your messages clearly to your listener and being a good listener as well to understand the situation. You need to keep this in mind when applying for a job or asking for a raise.

Another step in the art of negotiation is being prepared. You cannot just estimate the salary you deserve from out of nowhere. You have to research about this first. Know how much is the appropriate amount of salary you must be paid for your position and your work experiences. Make a list of all the achievements you had during the past years. Show them what you got; it will be like marketing yourself to the employer. You are the product and you have to let them know that you are worth the price and they need you in their company.

Asking for a raise may not be done anytime you want to, and many people make salary negotiation mistakes. You have to work hard for you to earn the salary that you want. You won’t be receiving any raise if you are performing poorly at your work. Salaries rely on the work that you provide to the company. Be responsible and earn the right to ask for a raise.

You have to know what you want and express it with confidence to earn the raise that you want. Make sure that you deserve the salary that you’re asking for and that the company sees the efforts that you’ve been doing for the company. Remember that confidence and aggressiveness are two different things. Cross the line and you’ll surely lose the opportunity.

Negotiation skills are also useful not only at work, but also in the everyday life. You might be negotiating already and you don’t even know it. Just remember the important factors of negotiation skills and you’ll surely be successful in getting the salary that you deserve.

Obama’s Economic Plans & You

obama economics

President Barack Obama has clearly left a mark on history when he won the presidential elections. Eyes are now turned to President Obama as people wonder about his economic plan and what the country would soon face under his regime. How will he take action on the current situation particularly on increasing job opportunities and restoring America’s sinking economy?  Will he take the same path Bush had gone through or will he choose a different way?

A lot of challenging jobs are awaiting our future leaders. Heidi Shierholz who is an economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., stated that America had a devastating decrease of employment during the first 10 months of 2008 by 1.2 million. The situation got worse as the paychecks were adjusted and dropped to 2.5 percent.

Experts say that it is too early to judge the administration of President Obama, but others believe America is ready to resolve the complications that it’s going through. People say that there will be long-term and short-term solutions included in Obama’s economic plan that will handle the situation. There are others though, that believes Obama’s solutions cannot remove but will only reduce the effect of the unavoidable obstacles that America is yet to go through.

I believe modifying policies particularly research and development subsidies, education grants and worker-retaining funds will improve the country in the long run. Education is one of the economic policies that is worthy of the government’s attention. If workers have enough knowledge and training on in-demand jobs, this would come with up to three decades of gains to America.

Obama’s economic plans contain short term income enhancers. The president has included development of unemployment insurance, support in state budgets and improvement of job opportunities to the people of America. $150 billion is invested in clean energy for 10 years to increase jobs by 5 million.

Motivating business people to invest is not very advisable nowadays.  This would greatly affect the number of jobs that can be available to people.  The pains of the credit crisis that the businesses are caught up with are also felt by their employees. It would be better to keep a limit on federal tax rates and not to make any modification on business policies because it would only worsen the situation.

To top it all off, experts believe that Obama’s economic plan should not limit to physical policies alone. America is in desperate need of hope and inspiration to go through these devastating moments. Giving $500 to every employee is not a very wise move to motivate them to work. The people need great leaders that would serve as role models and would stimulate the people to aspire and reach their goals.

Don’t forget to try the salary calculator if you need help figuring out how much you really make with the new tax brackets.