‘Start Here’: Executive privilege, Colorado shooting heroes, Trump’s taxes

It’s Thursday, May 9, 2019. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
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Mnuchin refuses to turn over Trump taxes to House Democrats

After two missed deadlines, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is again due to tell House Democrats on Monday whether he plans to hand over President Donald Trump’s personal tax returns.


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The Best Way to Electronically File Taxes, Plus, Deductions You May Have Missed

Today is the day that all taxes are due. So how do you digitize your taxes and claim your deductions? For starters, use online services like TurboTax. It makes filing extremely seamless. Here is a list of deductions that you should look into and take full advantage of:

1. Home Office Tax Deduction

The eligibility rules for claiming a home office vary, but remote workers and self-employed filers make sure you claim this break. You are also eligible to write off expenses that are associated with the portion of your home where you exclusively conduct business. These expenses include rent, utilities, insurance, and housekeeping.

2. Business Expenses

If you drive for Uber on the weekends or rent out your house on Airbnb, you could qualify as a business owner and should be filing a Schedule C tax form. As a general rule, freelancers can write off business-related expenses but they have to be necessary.

3. Student Loan Interest Paid

You can deduct up to $ 2,500 of student loan interest per return, per year. You can claim the student loan interest tax deduction as an adjustment to income. You don’t need to itemize deductions to claim it. Go to your student loan provider to access the forms and upload them on TurboTax.

4. Moving Expenses

Don’t be fooled. The moving expense deduction is no longer available in tax years 2018 – 2025 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) but there are some exceptions to the rule. If you moved to a new location because of work and are a member of the military, you may qualify to use IRS Form 3903 to claim the cost of your moving expenses as a deduction on your federal income tax return.

5. Claim your Dependents

New tax laws allow you to claim a dependent credit, either $ 500 or $ 2,000 depending on the status of the dependent.

Don’t be late and remember if you need to file an extension, you can do so here.

The post The Best Way to Electronically File Taxes, Plus, Deductions You May Have Missed appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Hedge fund slammed over $6.8B in unpaid taxes seeks deal with IRS: report

In a move that could severely ding investors, secretive hedge fund Renaissance Technologies is in talks to settle a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over billions in unpaid taxes. RenTech’s flagship Medallion fund was determined to have avoided up to $ 6.8 billion in taxes over a 15-year period by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on…
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Side Hustlers: Are You Putting Enough Aside for Taxes? Read Our Tax Guide

Dave DiVerniero admits that when he started freelancing about 10 years ago, he didn’t use trial and error to figure what qualifies as a business expense when he did his taxes — it was mostly just error.

During his first full year of freelancing, he didn’t know that you can deduct a home office even if it’s not a separate room, or that the miles traveled to meet with clients counted as business expenses.

“When you file a return, [the IRS is] not going to tell you that you missed a bunch of deductions, so it was really just error until I educated myself,” says DiVerniero, who now runs a coaching website for freelancers called Freelancer Advocate.

In addition to deductions, there are many pitfalls to consider when filing taxes as an independent contractor, self-employed person or gig worker. One of the biggest traps is not knowing how much to pay the taxman. So how much should you set aside?

What Kinds of Taxes Do Side Hustlers Have to Pay?

Taxes for side gig workers are a little different than those for regular employees. The most obvious difference is that taxes are not already taken out of a side hustler’s paycheck. That check is not all take-home pay, and it’s up to gig workers to pay their fair share to Uncle Sam.

If you look at a pay stub from an employee at a company, you’ll see federal income tax, Medicare tax and Social Security tax automatically withheld — often in addition to deductions for health care and retirement contributions. Employees usually have withholdings from their paychecks of 6.2% for social security and 1.45% for Medicare, a total of 7.65%.

For the self-employed, Social Security and Medicare taxes combined are a fixed 15.3% (also known as the self-employment tax). The reason they’re doubled is that the employer pays the other half.

“When you’re self-employed, now you have to pay that full amount yourself, so you are liable for 15.3% of the net profit from your self-employment income,” says Jorge Soriano, a certified financial planner with GTE Investment Group.  

But what about federal income tax? How much you’ll owe depends on how much you make annually doing your side hustle. In 2018, the tax brackets for a single filer are:

  • 10% (Earning $ 1 to $ 9,525)
  • 12% (9,526 to $ 38,700)
  • 22% ($ 38,701 to $ 82,500)
  • 24% ($ 82,501 to $ 157,500)
  • 32% ($ 157,501 to $ 200,000)
  • 35% ($ 200,001 to $ 500,000)
  • 37% (Over $ 500,000)

For example, if you made $ 5,000 as a ride-share driver and that was your sole source of income, your federal income tax rate would be 10%.

Unfortunately, that’s not all the taxes side hustlers have to pay. Most states require workers to pay state income tax and — in some areas — local income tax. Each state is different, so look up your state’s income-tax rate and find out if your city or county has an additional local income tax.

How Much Money Should I Set Aside for Taxes?

Drew DuBoff, a freelancer who coaches entrepreneurs on scaling their business, is usually cautious when saving for taxes. He sets aside 30% of his income for taxes every time he gets paid. Even though his self-employment, federal and state income taxes total less than 30%, he feels better having a buffer.

“I’d rather get a [tax refund] than have to pay more at the end of the year,” DuBoff says.

Soriano says that saving 30 cents of every dollar for taxes is a good standard. That way you’re not scrambling to figure out how to pay what you owe at the end of the quarter or year.  

He says the worst-case scenario of overpaying is that you get a refund. Even though you don’t want to give Uncle Sam too much of your money when those funds are not gaining interest, it’s easier to reassess your withholdings for the following year than end your first year in debt to the IRS.

Do I Need to Pay Estimated Quarterly Taxes?  

Federal income taxes and self-employment taxes run on a “pay-as-you-go” model, Soriano says. That means people need to pay throughout the year as they earn money.

Usually, those taxes are withheld from employees’ paychecks by their employer, but for side hustlers, it’s on them to pay quarterly. People need to pay estimated quarterly taxes only if they expect to owe more than $ 1,000.

Below are the dates estimated quarterly taxes are due for the following periods:

  • April 15 (January 1 to March 31)
  • June 15 (April 1 to May 31)
  • Sept. 15 (June 1 to Aug. 31)
  • January 15 (Sept. 1 to Dec. 31)

Please note that if a due date for estimated taxes falls on a weekend or a holiday, payments can be made the next business day and still be considered on time, according to the IRS. Soriano says if you do pay less taxes throughout the year than required, you’ll be charged a penalty.

Follow these IRS links to pay your estimated quarterly taxes using a bank account or a credit or debit card.

What Forms Do I Need to File to Pay My Freelance Taxes?

1099 miscellaneous form is shown

As a side hustler, you are considered self-employed by the IRS, regardless of how much (or how little) you earn.

You should receive 1099-MISC forms from any businesses that paid you more than $ 600 in a calendar year. But you’ll need to report all income even if you don’t receive a 1099 — that includes if your side hustle paid you in gift cards or non-cash prizes.

Here’s the overview of tax forms you may need:

  • Form 1040: Due to the 2018 tax changes, this is now the form used by all U.S. taxpayers to file an annual income tax return. Forms 1040S and 1040EZ are no longer available. (Many of the entries that were on those forms are now found in the schedules mentioned below.)
  • Schedule C or C-EZ: Here’s where you, as the sole proprietor of a business, figure the net profit or loss for your business. If you meet the listed requirements, you can use the shorter EZ form. You’ll enter the final number on Schedule 1 (Form 1040).
  • Schedule SE: This is the form you’ll use to figure your self-employment tax if your net earnings are $ 400 or more. You’ll enter this figure on Schedule 4 (Form 1040).
  • Form 1040-ES: Use this form to figure and pay your estimated tax.

Remember to track business-related costs you can deduct as an independent contractor. There are more expenses you can deduct than if you were an employee.

How to Simplify Saving for Taxes

Now that you know how much you have to set aside for taxes, DiVerniero and DuBoff both recommend side hustlers open a separate business bank account. DuBoff says it can be challenging to sort through personal expenses to find business expenses at the end of the month from the same account.

Your business account can be the place to deposit all your side hustle earnings, pay expenses and put aside enough income for taxes. That way you’ll be in great shape on April 15 and keep your tax-related fears at bay.

“A lot of people get worked up [about taxes], but it’s a lot more simple than people think,” DiVerniero says. “Once you get a handle on it, it’s very straightforward.”

Matt Reinstetle is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Staff writer Tiffany Wendeln Connors contributed to this story.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Doing your own taxes? Here are the best tax software options for freelancers.

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Freelancing isn’t all sweatpants and snooze buttons. 

Well, sometimes it is. But most of the time, it’s cabin fever, caffeine withdrawal, fickle cash flows, and fierce competition for clients. 

When you boil it down, being your own boss is really hard work — and no time is that more apparent than during tax season. 

Compared to those with a typical 9-to-5 job or even small business owners, freelancers and self-employed workers face a unique set of challenges in terms of filing an annual income tax return. For one thing, you need to maintain thorough records of all your business-related expenses throughout the year so that you’re organized once it’s time to start prepping your return. You’re also responsible for completing relevant paperwork on your own while hoping-slash-praying that you haven’t missed any deductions or tax breaks. Perhaps most frustratingly, you then have to cough up the year’s worth of taxes all at once because the money wasn’t automatically deducted from your paychecks. Read more…

More about Business, Personal Finance, Taxes, Mashable Shopping, and Tech


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You Could Be Paying Less in Taxes With These 7 Strategies

They say it because it’s true: The only certain things in life are death and taxes.

While we’re still working on the whole immortality thing, we have found some ways to reduce that pesky bill from Uncle Sam each April.

Don’t worry, we’re not talking about tax evasion. Throwing some bones to the government is a way better alternative than going to jail. (And besides, who doesn’t like roads and public libraries?)

But there are some totally aboveboard ways to keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.

Here are some ways to save money on taxes that won’t get you in trouble with Uncle Sam.

1. Reduce Your Taxable Income

One surefire way to not pay income tax: don’t earn any income!

Of course, for most of us, that plan won’t work. Unless you’re independently wealthy (or Bear Grylls-ing it in the woods somewhere), you need money to live on.

But there are ways to reduce your taxable income while still earning a living — and doing them might put you in a lower tax bracket. (To review: the amount you pay in income tax depends on how much of that income you earn, with higher earners being required, sensibly, to pay a higher percentage.)

The easiest way to reduce your taxable income — without throwing in the towel at work, of course — is to contribute to a tax-deferred retirement savings vehicle, like your company’s 401(k) plan.

Wages you defer to a 401(k) don’t count toward your taxable income for the year you make the contribution, though they will be taxed when you make withdrawals later.

Depending on how much you earn and how much you put away, you might be able to edge yourself down into a lower tax bracket… all while feeding your growing nest egg and setting yourself up for a comfortable retirement. Smart finances all around!

Which leads us to our second suggestion…

2. Contribute to a Traditional IRA

Woman managing the debt

Even if you already have a retirement savings account at work, like a 401(k) or a 457(b), you can still open and contribute to a traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account) — you just need to have earned taxable income and not yet have reached age 70 ½.

What Is a Traditional IRA?

Just like that company-sponsored retirement plan we were talking about, the funds you contribute to your IRA don’t count toward your taxable income.

The exception: a Roth IRA, in which contributions are taxed today but then grow tax-free thereafter.

How Much Can You Contribute?

For 2018, you can contribute up to $ 5,500 to an IRA, or $ 6,500 if you’re over the age of 50. (Looking ahead to the future? 2019’s contribution caps have been raised to $ 6,000 and $ 7,000, respectively.)

Keep in mind that you have until tax day to max out your contribution for the previous calendar year.

An important caveat: If you’re a relatively high roller (i.e., you earn more than $ 100,000), you may not be able to deduct your full IRA contribution or any contribution at all.

Your specific eligibility will depend on whether you’re filing singly or jointly and whether or not you’re covered by a retirement plan at work; head to the IRS website for full details on these phase-out limits.

3. Consider a Health Savings Account

While IRAs are widely available and applicable to almost everyone, quite a few other investment accounts can get you this same kind of tax break.

What Is a Health Savings Account?

A Health Savings Account (HSA), is a tax-exempt option if your healthcare plan has a high deductible. Not only are your contributions deductible, but withdrawals aren’t taxed, either, as long as they’re used for qualified medical expenses.

How Much Can You Contribute?

In 2019, you can contribute up to $ 3,500 to an HSA if you have individual coverage, and up to $ 7,000 if your high-deductible health care plan (HDHP) covers a family.

And you don’t have to spend it all, either — you can leave funds in your HSA indefinitely since they’re not subject to required minimum distributions. (And if you’re like most of us, you’ll have more health care-related costs as you get older, anyway.)

However, do keep in mind that if you receive Medicare coverage, you might not be eligible to make HSA contributions, since you’ll have coverage outside of your HDHP.

4. Put Your Kids Through College

If you’ve got kids, chances are you’re already gritting your teeth just thinking about paying for college — even if you’re not planning on paying for all of it.

According to U.S. News & World Report, average costs range from $ 9,716 to $ 35,676 for a single year of education, so it’s important to get ahead of that bill now.

What Is a 529 Plan?

A 529 plan is an investment vehicle specifically built for educational savings. You can use it to pay for your kids’ college tuition — or even to send yourself or your spouse to school. The exact tax benefits vary by state, and the contributions aren’t deductible on your federal return.

But more than 30 states offer full or partial tax deduction or credits on 529 contributions, and the funds are allowed to grow tax-free. They won’t be taxed on withdrawal, either, so long as they’re used for qualified educational expenses.

What Expenses Qualify for the 529 Plan?

What qualifies, you ask? College tuition, fees, books and computers all count, and in some cases, it’ll cover room and board.  You can also take out up to $ 10,000 per year to pay for tuition at private or religious K-12 schools. (That’s $ 10,000 per beneficiary.)

But if you try to take the money out to pay for red Solo cups, you’ll be subject to regular income tax on the withdrawal, as well as an additional 10% penalty. So keep those noses in the books if you want to keep your own books nice and tidy!

5. Give It Away

Woman sorting through clothes in her home.

Looking for a way to save money on taxes… and get that warm, fuzzy feeling? Charitable donations are tax-deductible, and they can be a great way to lower your overall tax liability.

The easiest way to go about this strategy might be to just write a check to your favorite charity. But if you’re KonMari-ing your life, you can also itemize those trash-bagged Goodwill donations as deductions. (Of course, you will need to say “yes” when the attendant asks if you want a receipt, should you want to do so.)

But Keep the Books

Of course, doing so does mean keeping track of the estimated value of each of those old t-shirts and coffee makers. But lots of tax software includes tools to help you.

For instance, TurboTax’s ItsDeductible module will keep a running tally of your donations year-round, and help you make those value estimations in the first place.

The cans you drop off at the local food bank count, too, as do certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred by volunteering, such as gas and mileage.

You’ll save money while serving your community — what more could you ask of a tax-reduction strategy?

6. Know Your Deductions

You may already know that certain expenses are tax-deductible. But which ones, exactly?

Major medical bills: If you’ve spent more than 7.5% of your AGI (adjusted gross income) on qualified medical expenses, you may be able to write them off.

Student loan debt interest: Deductible up to $ 2,500

Mortgage interest and local property taxes: These may both be eligible for partial deductions — and if you’re a first-time buyer, you may be able to make penalty-free withdrawals from that IRA we were talking about earlier.

Charitable donations: These have a tax-deductible status, as mentioned above.

Business-related deductions: If you’re a freelancer or you work from home, you should also look into business-related deductions, like the cost of your home office space.

You might also be able to deduct certain supplies, travel expenses, and even meals and entertainment. Here are the full deets on freelancing deductions.

Itemizing your deductions does take time, however, and not everyone has enough to supersede the standard deduction — which is a fairly hefty $ 12,000 for single filers and $ 24,000 for joint filers in 2018.

So if you haven’t footed any of the expenses we mentioned, consider skipping this strategy.

7. Take Advantage of Tax Credits

In certain scenarios, the IRS extends credits to eligible taxpayers — for instance, those pursuing continued education or returning to school.

American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Credits: Depending on your enrollment status, AGI, and how you’ve paid for educational expenses, you may be entitled to the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Credits, along with tuition and fee deductions. (Check out this quick quiz from the IRS, which will tell you if you’re qualified in just 10 minutes.)

Earned Income Tax Credit: If you’re not quite making fat stacks, you might be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a benefit the IRS extends to low-to-moderate earners.

Your credit depends on your exact level of income as well as your marital status and number of dependents. For details, check out the IRS’ Earned Income Tax Credit fact sheet.

The cool thing about tax credits is that they don’t just reduce the amount you’ll pay in income taxes. Rather, they count as an actual reduction of your total tax bill.

So, for instance, if you would have owed $ 500 and claim $ 1,000 in tax credits, not only will your payment be waived — you’ll also receive a $ 500 return.

3 Ways to Save Money on Taxes Today and Tomorrow

A young couple going through their paperwork together at home

While the strategies above are great ways to get ahead of a nasty tax bill this year, taking a proactive approach can help you pay less in taxes every year hereafter. Here are our suggestions.

1. Adjust Your Withholdings.

If you work for an employer, you’ve filed a W-4 — which is the document where you specify how much of your wages should be withheld for taxes.

It might seem intuitive to keep your withholdings as low as possible so you keep more of your paycheck in your pocket. But if you found you owed money in April, you might want to go in and tweak it so you don’t run into the same problem next year.

2. Automate Your Contributions to Those Tax-Deferred Accounts.

Chances are your employer automatically deposits your deferrals into your 401(k). But if you open an IRA, HSA or 529, you’ll have to make contributions manually… and it’s all too easy to forget to do so (or, let’s be honest, spend the money on something else.)

Most account providers will allow you to set up automatic contributions on a regular basis, be it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. That way, you’ll be sure to add enough funds to the account to significantly lower your tax bill while boosting the savings you’ll use for those qualified expenses down the line.

3. Work for Yourself? Don’t Forget to Pay Your Quarterlies!

Freelancers get a lot of autonomy, but it does come with a substantial drawback: Nobody’s withholding your taxes for you, so you’ve got to pay them yourself.

And if you don’t keep up with your estimated quarterly tax payments — or if you forget about self-employment tax, which adds an additional 15% to the usual 20% — you could be facing a downright scary situation come April.

So funnel about a third of every paycheck you make into a separate account, and label it “PROPERTY OF UNCLE SAM: DO NOT TOUCH.”

It can be painful to see how much of your hard-earned hustle money has to be shipped off to the government… but not nearly as painful as having to cut a five-figure check come springtime.

Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool, Roads & Kingdoms and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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How to file back taxes

taxes due logo

If you didn’t file you taxes last year (or any year before that) and you’re trying to figure out how to file back taxes, it can be difficult to know where to start.

But take a deep breath — we’re about to walk you through it.

Filing taxes late? Here’s what you need to know

Money expert Clark Howard has long said that when you can’t afford to pay your taxes, you should go ahead and file anyway and pay whatever you can.

Then, if you can pay the remainder within four months as part of an payment plan, you’ll usually only incur a minimal penalty.

We should also note that if you’ve never been in trouble with the IRS before, you may be able to qualify for a first-time penalty abatement. Just one call to the IRS could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in penalties and fees!

So there is a strong case to be made that filing late by a couple months is much better than not filing at all.

What to do if you haven’t filed back taxes for years

But if it’s been a year or more since you last filed, you’re probably going to have to scramble to come up with the necessary paperwork, like old W2s.

Fortunately, getting the documents you need may be easier than you think!

First off, when you’re ready to file after a long period of not filing, you’ll want to start out by getting prior-year tax return forms. The IRS makes them conveniently available online going back through the decades.

Once you start filling them out, you may find that you need past wage and income information that you don’t readily have available. If that’s the case, there are two routes you can go:

  1. Contact your employer for the required info
  2. If you can’t get in touch with the employer, file out Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, and check the box on line 8
IRS form 4506 request for transcript of tax return
IRS

You may also need info from a prior year’s tax return. While money expert Clark Howard says you should keep your tax returns forever, maybe you didn’t heed that advice!

In that case, you can use the IRS Get Transcript feature to request what you need.

Meanwhile, if you get deep into the weeds and find you need help filing your back taxes, you can always enlist free help from the IRS.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides help to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. Call 1-800-906-9887 to locate the nearest VITA site.

Free tax return prep help is available for those over 50

If you want another option for free help preparing your tax return and you’re of a certain age, you might consider checking out the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax prep for anyone who is 50 or older — no AARP membership required!

More than 5,000 neighborhood locations in places like libraries, community centers and senior centers will offer the free help. Find a location near you here.

Here are some more articles you might enjoy from Clark.com:

The post How to file back taxes appeared first on Clark Howard.

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Fox News Corrects Guest’s False Claim That Top 1% Earners ‘Pay 99% of the Taxes’

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Shortly after an on-air guest made the false claim that the top one percent of earners pay 99 percent of the taxes in the U.S., Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy issued a correction and informed the show’s viewers that the richest Americans don’t pay nearly that much.

While railing against socialism and the Democratic Party on Thursday morning, former Republican congressional candidate Maria Elvira Salazar sounded the alarm on “handouts,” claiming that redistribution turns poorer citizens into “parasites of society.”

Taking aim at Medicare for All, Salazar said she’s not opposed to universal access to health care but argued that the U.S. cannot provide for it without taking away the incentives for rich people to “produce wealth.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Briefing Room: Virginia scandal, shutdown talks, Trump’s taxes, climate change, Green New Deal

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Hate Doing Taxes? Here’s How to Easily File Them — Without Even Leaving Home

Do you procrastinate on taxes until April 15 every year? Does the sight of a W-2 form make your eyes cross? Does pricy tax software make you want to run and hide?

C’mon, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Help is available at an affordable price, and you don’t even have to leave your home.

That’s what you’ll get from H&R Block, the biggest tax-preparation company in the world. Because they’ve been in business since 1955, you might think they’re stodgy and old-fashioned. Nope — they’re keeping up with the times, rolling out innovative new ways to make filing your taxes easy and affordable.

Tax Filing From Home

If your taxes are super simple, you can file for free from your phone, tablet or computer with H&R Block Free. You can also file for free if you’re paying tuition or receiving student loans.

The Penny Hoarder writer Carson Kohler tried H&R Block Free last year and was pleasantly surprised by how easy and quick it was.

“I poured myself a giant cup of coffee and settled in for the afternoon,” she wrote. “Little did I know, this would be over in about 20 minutes.”

She downloaded the H&R Block app on her phone and created an account. That made it easy to switch over to her computer at any point without losing any of her information. She snapped a photo of her W-2 and answered a few quick questions. Once she reviewed her information, her part was basically done.

If your taxes are a bit more complicated, you might need to pay a small fee to file online. These options include:

  • Deluxe Online Tax Filing: This is similar to the free service, because you do it all online. If your taxes are a little more complicated — for example, if you own a home or have children — this is a better fit. It’s only $ 29.99 — not free, but really affordable for professional tax prep services.
  • Premium Online Tax Filing: Use this if you’re a freelancer or if you own stocks or other investments. It costs $ 49.99.
  • Self-Employed Online Tax Filing: Use this if you’re self-employed or a small business owner. It costs $ 79.99.

Right now, Penny Hoarders get a 35% discount on all of these.

Professional Tax Prep Can Be a Godsend

The exterior building of H&R block.

Once upon a time, if you wanted to have your taxes done by a professional, you’d have to drive to a tax office in person. You’d sit there and make small talk while an accountant flipped through your documents, tapped on a calculator and figured out your deductions.

These days, you can skip the trip. With H&R Block Tax Pro Go, you’ll upload your documents online, and a tax professional will do everything for you and get back to you within five days. Prices start at $ 59 but can increase depending on how complicated your taxes are.

It can help to have a pro do your income taxes, because Uncle Sam keeps messing around with the tax codes. Some new rules are coming into play this tax season. For instance, the standard deduction is higher, but the personal exemption has been eliminated.

If you don’t know what that means, join the club. Maybe it’s time to call in a pro.

H&R Block’s services can help ensure you get the best refund possible at a price you can afford.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. A homeowner with two kids and freelance income, he hasn’t done his own taxes in years.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Franklin Attorney: $3 Million In Back Taxes Paid To IRS

(Photo by AP)

DETROIT (AP) — Aretha Franklin‘s estate has paid at least $ 3 million in back taxes to the IRS since her death in August, an attorney for the late Queen of Soul’s estate said Thursday.

The estate is being audited by the IRS, which filed a claim this month in a county probate court north of Detroit, David Bennett told The Associated Press.

Earlier Thursday, TMZ reported that legal documents it obtained showed the IRS claimed the singer owes more than $ 6.3 million in back taxes from 2012 to 2018 and $ 1.5 million in penalties.

“We have a tax attorney. All of her returns have been filed,” Bennett told the AP. “We have disputes with the IRS regarding what they claim was income. We claim its double-dipping income because they don’t understand how the business works.”

He added that Franklin had a lot of expenses whenever she toured.

“She had to pay for transportation, hotel rooms, backup singers, musicians. When she did that the IRS was questioning the returns she filed,” Bennett said. “We’re going through audits. Returns were filed as timely as we could get them filed.”

Franklin died of pancreatic cancer in August in her Detroit apartment. She was 76.

At the time of her death, Franklin owned a home in Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township. The IRS filed the claim this month in Oakland County Probate Court in Pontiac.

Documents filed in an Oakland County court after Franklin’s death did not mention the value of her estate , which could run into the tens of millions.

Franklin’s estate also has paid money to the state of Michigan and other jurisdictions “where she would have had some income,” Bennett said.

Franklin had been the target of a number of lawsuits by creditors during the late 1980s and 1990s.

In 2008, the singer said an attorney’s mistake caused her $ 700,000 mansion in Detroit to slip into foreclosure over $ 445 in 2005 taxes and late fees. The Detroit Free Press reported then that Franklin owed a total of $ 19,192 in back taxes on the property through 2007.

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Pepsi, Coke said to become a secret force behind ballot initiatives that push back on sugar taxes

Companies including Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Co are trying to stop municipalities from taxing sugary drinks, according to the New York Times. 
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New York Times: Kushner likely paid almost no federal income taxes for years

Jared Kushner, whose net worth is nearly $ 324 million, appears to have paid almost no income taxes from 2009 to 2016, The New York Times reported Saturday.


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White House press briefing likely on NY Times report on Trump taxes, Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford

ABC News

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SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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