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23 февраля, 22:00

Obamacare’s limbo befuddles taxpayers

Republicans’ stalled campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act is sowing confusion among those now trying to do their taxes. Many taxpayers believe Republicans have already repealed the law, tax preparers say, and they’re surprised and upset to learn they are still subject to Obamacare’s penalty for failing to have health insurance — a charge that climbed this year to more than $2,000 per family.President Donald Trump’s recent executive order targeting the law has only added to the confusion, some practitioners say. It ordered federal agencies to do what they can to ratchet back the law and, in response, the IRS said it would not automatically reject returns that fail to indicate whether the filer had health insurance last year. Some have interpreted that as a green light to ignore the law’s individual mandate, and Intuit, maker of the popular TurboTax, is now updating its software to allow users to file their returns without answering Line 61, which asks about coverage.But many experts complain that neither the executive order nor the IRS’ subsequent announcement actually changed the Obamacare insurance requirement. And while they readily admit the IRS is unlikely to chase down people who ignore the mandate, some tax preparers say they won’t sign off on client’s returns that skip the insurance question because they consider omitting information from returns to be unethical, even if the IRS is unlikely to do anything about it. All of that is adding up to a lot of uncertainty, plenty of inconsistency and some uncomfortable conversations with would-be filers this tax season. “Some people are quite indignant,” said Christine Speidel, an attorney at Vermont Legal Aid, a nonprofit, who provides free tax help to low-income people. “They don’t want to pay it, and they don’t want to believe the provision is still in force.” It is an example of the unexpected fallout from the delays in Republicans’ bid to repeal the massive health care program. Republicans have promised to immediately junk the penalty as part of their plan. But Republicans are deeply divided over how far they need to go to replace the program, and there's no agreement in sight. Asked last week when Republicans would repeal the ACA, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “just as soon as we have the votes.”Meantime, millions of Americans are now doing their taxes, and the requirement to have insurance is not only still on the books — the penalty for failing to carry coverage has jumped. Democrats, worried about the penalty’s unpopularity, slowly phased it in when they wrote the health care law. This year is the first it will be fully phased in, at $695 per adult and as much as $2,085 for families, or 2.5 percent of annual income, whichever is larger. Last year, 6.5 million paid the penalty. Given the Republicans’ chesty rhetoric on Obamacare, and the fact that they now control the entire government, many filers assumed Obamacare was already history.“There’s been a little bit of education necessary for taxpayers because some heard that Obamacare went away,” said Mark Steber, chief tax officer for Jackson Hewitt. Practitioners also blame Trump’s very first executive order that directed agencies to “take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the act.” In response, the IRS said it was killing plans to automatically reject so-called silent returns that skip the question asking about insurance. Though it was sometimes lost in the announcement, the IRS said the underlying insurance requirement remains unchanged and warned that people who don’t have coverage can still be on the hook for the law’s “shared responsibility payment.”“Processing silent returns means that taxpayer returns are not systemically rejected by the IRS at the time of filing,” the agency said. “When the IRS has questions about a tax return, taxpayers may receive follow-up questions and correspondence at a future date.”Many practitioners complain the news media has misconstrued the administration’s actions as an indication the individual mandate has either gone by the wayside or will not be enforced. “It didn’t change the law one iota — and nor does this policy change the IRS just announced change the law one iota,” said Chris Condeluci, a former Republican tax aide in Congress and expert on the health care law. But Intuit says it’s updating its do-it-yourself software to allow people to file returns without answering the insurance question. “Beginning March 2, TurboTax customers can e-file their return without indicating if they had health coverage last year,” said spokeswoman Julie Miller. Some tax preparers readily admit the IRS is unlikely to pursue those who skip Line 61, given Republicans’ efforts to repeal the law and the IRS’s chronic budget woes. But preparers like Speidel say that makes no difference because they have an obligation to truthfully fill out their clients’ returns, which they note are filed under threat of perjury.“If you owe a penalty and you’re not assessing that deliberately, that’s a false tax return,” she said. “Tax professionals are not permitted to file a false tax return or encourage that just because the taxpayer probably won’t get caught.”John Dundon, who owns a small Denver accounting and tax firm, says he too won’t sign off on clients’ returns that skip the question — and that it’s costing him business. “The customers are saying, ‘You guys are a dime-a-dozen, and I’m going to go to Bill Smith down the block who’s willing to that,'” said Dundon, who also blogs about taxes. “I’m flat out losing customers because I’m not going to sign a tax return that is knowingly omitting information.”“It is dividing the practitioner community,” he said. Jackson Hewitt is telling its uninsured clients who don’t have an exception from the coverage mandate that they are going to have to pay up. “We are answering the question for all of our clients, based on their information,” said Steber. “The customer could be contacted later in the year for additional information like, ‘Why didn’t you put the penalty on there?’” “The law is still the law,” he said.H&R Block, which runs both walk-in offices and offers do-it-yourself software, declined to say how it’s handling the insurance question.“This is a complex issue and we are evaluating the appropriate solution and potential impact for our clients and tax professionals,” the company said in a statement. Though tax season is barely a month old, some preparers are already advising clients to postpone filing their taxes — and to request an extension giving them until October to act — in order to buy time while Republicans agree on a plan. But others are skeptical that will make a difference.Any agreement in Congress won’t kill the tax penalties owed this year, predicts Condeluci, because that could require millions to file amended returns to recover penalties already paid. Tax season began Jan. 23, and 42.5 million returns have already been filed. “It’s too much of a mess administratively for them to do it retroactively,” said Condeluci.

15 февраля, 19:40

Remarks by President Trump in Listening Session with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and Member Company CEOs

Roosevelt Room 10:40 A.M. EST THE PRESIDENT:  So it's nice to see we have some great retailers here today and we're going to go around the room and we'll all introduce ourselves.  Some of you I've read about on the covers of business magazines and it's great to have you here.  Thank you very much. I'm pleased to host all of you at the White House.  The CEOs -- you're some of the great CEOs of our country and the biggest in the retail industry, which is very important to the country in supporting millions and millions of jobs -- really one of the great job producers.  Probably, would you say, almost number one?  Pretty close, right? MR. KUSHNER:  I agree. THE PRESIDENT:  It is number one. There's a lot of confidence in our economy right now.  There's a great confidence level.  You've been seeing that in the stock market.  You've been seeing that in businesses.  And you've been seeing that at every chart that's taken.  There's evidence also by the jobs report that just came out for January -- 227,000 jobs added.  My administration remains very focused on the issues that will encourage economic growth -- that's what we're all about.  We have a lot of plants moving back into various states, including the state of Ohio, the state of Michigan, Pennsylvania.  You have a lot of companies moving back in, coming back into the country, bringing the jobs with them. We're cutting regulations big league.  We are really cutting them by massive amounts.  The auto industry just left a week ago -- they were here in the same room -- and they are very happy with what we're doing and everyone is.  I think just about every -- the financial industry.  We're having a lot of the different industries in and we're cutting regulations in just about every industry.  In fact, I can't think of any that we're not.  If I do, we have a major story, okay, because I think just every industry we're cutting, some more than others.  You have a very, very big regulatory problem and we're going to take care of that because I want more jobs.  We're doing that because we want more jobs. As you know, the overregulation costs our economy an estimated $2 trillion a year, which is incredible -- $2 trillion -- and it costs your businesses a lot of money, tremendous amounts of money and time.  I've taken executive action to create a permanent structure of regulatory reduction by creating one and one.  So basically, for every one regulation, two are out.  So we knock out two.  So we put in one, but to put in one, you have to knock out two.  That's the least of it, but it's an important symbol. In addition to reducing government regulations, we'll also reform our tax code to help middle-income families and American businesses grow and thrive.  Tax reform is one of the best opportunities to really impact our economy.  So we're doing a massive tax plan.  It's coming along really well.  It will be submitted in the not-too-distant future, and it will be not only good and simpler; it will be -- you're talking about big numbers of savings.  And we're talking also middle income and very much for business.  And the business is for middle income because you can employ a lot of people.  So we hope you're going to do that.   We're going to provide tax relief for families.  We're going to simplify very greatly the tax code -- it's too complicated.  We're going to bring down the number of alternatives, and I think it's going to be just a much, much simpler tax code.  In fact, H&R Block probably won't be too happy -- that's one business that might not be happy with what we're doing.  Other than H&R Block, I think people are going to love it. We're going to lower the rates very, very substantially for virtually everybody in every category, including personal and business.  And I just want to go around the room.  I'd like you to introduce yourself and then I'll tell you a little bit more, and you're going to tell me what you're looking for.  But we want jobs.  We want jobs brought back to the country.  We want them brought back fast.  We want you to expand your stores.  And you'll tell me why you will or why you won't.  And tell me why you won't -- we'll work on you a little bit, right, Vice President Mike Pence?  (Laughter.) So go ahead. MS. SOLTAU:  I'm Jill Soltau.  I'm with JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores. MR. PECK:  Art Peck with The Gap. THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Very good. MR. JOLY:  Hubert Joly with Best Buy. THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Great store. MR. RHODES:  I'm Bill Rhodes with AutoZone. MR. CORNELL:  Brian Cornell with Target.  THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  The Tar-get -- right?  (Laughter.) MR. PESSINA:  Stefano Pessina, Walgreens Boots Alliance. MR. SANDFORT:  Greg Sandfort with Tractor Supply. THE PRESIDENT:  Yes. MR. ELLISON:  Marvin Ellison with J.C. Penney. THE PRESIDENT:  I read a good report on you.  (Laughter.)  Good job. MR. ELLISON:  Thank you.  (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT:  So maybe we go around the room a little bit.  I guess we can let the press go now, right?  Do you suggest that?  Go ahead.  Thank you all very much. END  10:46 A.M. EST

11 февраля, 08:58

12 Surprising Tax Deductions You Didn’t Realize Existed

The taxman cometh, whether you want him to or not. But savvy taxpayers can reduce their tax bill by taking all their available tax deductions.

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08 февраля, 16:25

H&R Block's stock falls 2.7% premarket after rival Intuit's profit warning

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

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06 февраля, 19:00

IN THE MAIL: Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff. Plus, today only at Amazon: Save…

IN THE MAIL: Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff. Plus, today only at Amazon: Save on H&R Block 2016 Tax Software. And, also today only: Save Big on select Stanley products. And, of course, Fresh Lightning Deals, Updated Every Hour. Browse and save!

03 февраля, 19:44

IBM Watson Announcing Major Consumer-Facing Partnership

As we are in the beginning of tax season, millions of Americans are eager to learn what this tax season holds for them. For many Americans tax season is officially their Christmas -- a big refund is what they are anticipating. For others, they just want to break even so they do not owe any money to the IRS. Wherever you fall along these lines, you want to make sure that your taxes are accurately being prepared to ensure that you experience no issues with the IRS. H&R Block has introduced a new partnership with IBM Watson to bring its customers a new and improved tax preparation experience. Watson is an artificial intelligence technology that continuously learns from the data fed into its system. As more customers' tax information is processed by Watson, it will apply the knowledge it has retained in order to give tax preparers the best advice for their customers. The technology is so in-depth because it was given a large amount of data about tax laws and codes, allowing it to gain deeper insight into the varied situations that affect an individual's tax return. This is tremendous as the technology can dig deep into it's reservoir of information and provide the best answers -- something that is hard for human preparers to do at the spur of the moment. Having this type of technology to help during the tax season can potentially fix major issues that tend to happen during the tax season. Issues such as long preparation times and incorrect information being used on tax forms could be drastically reduced by using this technology. What customers ultimately want, though is the best deductions and credits that will help them pay as little taxes as possible and provide them with maximum refund possible. As Watson continues to be used over the years, it will continue to improve the tax preparation process -- making customers happier in the process. H&R Block will highlight the partnership with IBM Watson during the first quarter of the Super Bowl, which shows how much they believe this union is a very big deal for the company. "This partnership with IBM to apply Watson represents a huge innovation in the tax preparation industry," says Kathy Collins, H&R Block's chief marketing, and strategy officer. "We are launching it on the biggest stage - the Super Bowl - to ask consumers to rethink their current tax preparation method, and question whether they got back everything they deserved. We know there is nothing more important than optimizing their outcome - or, in other words - getting their taxes won." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 января, 18:03

6 Easy Ways To Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

First time home owners know that buying a home is one of the most important investments that you can make. And while signing the papers on your first home can feel like putting down roots in your perfect pad, the reality is that most millennial homeowners end up moving multiple times, due to changing family and career factors. That’s why your home’s resale value should be a primary focus right from the get-go. Selling a first home can seem even more stressful than purchasing one, but these simple tips on boosting your home’s resale value can go a long way in removing the stress from the equation. That’s why we’ve partnered with H&R Block to bring homeowners a guide to home improvement projects with the best return on investment. Whether you’re looking to sell now or in the distant future, knowing how to boost your property value is a great investment in your future. 1. Landscape Wisely Like a good haircut, a yard should frame the face of your house in the most flattering way possible. After all, your yard is wholly responsible for your property’s first impressions. While it’s pretty obvious advice to keep your lawn mowed and weed-free, certain outdoor renovation projects are more likely to add value than others. Forget about add-ons like a pool or hot tub, which can signal to potential buyers more maintenance than enjoyment. Instead, focus on the classics. Making sure your yard has a couple of healthy, thriving trees is a trusty way to boost your home’s resale value more than you may think. Check out the National Tree Benefit Calculator to see how trees in your zipcode affects property values, stormwater runoff, and other homeowner considerations. You’ll also want to landscape with native plant species, which will boost your home’s value without adding significant maintenance costs. When considering whether to tackle a yard renovation project, think about whether it will appeal to most people. A deck? Yes. A hedge maze? Not so much. 2. Refresh Your Front Door If you’ve wowed house hunters with your stellar landscaping, the next place their eye will travel to is the front door. And it plays a big factor in your home’s resale value. In fact, according to a Cost vs. Value report conducted by Remodel, replacing an outdated entryway can have one of the biggest returns of any home improvement you could do yourself. Update the appearance of your whole home with a door that uses modern materials and a new color scheme. 3. Refinish The Floors Floors are another make or break factor for most buyers. Gone are the days of wall-to-wall carpeting signaling luxury; instead they just signal lots of dust mites and vacuuming. Wood is always a classic choice, with varieties like oak being safe bets amongst house hunters. Replacing floors that have signs of wood rot or termites is another great way to add value to your home. To show your floors some less costly TLC, repair broken tiles or add a well-placed nail to conceal a pesky squeak. 4. Make Your Home More Energy and Cost Efficient According to an annual survey done by the National Association of Realtors, millennials comprise 35 percent of all first-time homebuyers. This tech-savvy generation is looking for properties with smart home technology upgrades that will offer enhanced security, energy efficiency, and savings. Smart thermostats, lighting, and door locks can be a big draw for millennials, who value the ease of controlling their home by a smartphone app, even when they’re away from home. And smart thermostats can save up to 10 percent annually in home heating costs, proving that connected home apps aren’t just a passing trend. Energy efficient upgrades can also bring tax credits to homeowners, so be sure to check out which updated homeowner credits are available through the U.S. Department of Energy. A 30 percent tax credit for installing solar energy systems has been extended through 2019, and credits are also available for several other energy efficient home improvement projects. 5. Update The Kitchen The average cost of a kitchen remodel is $20,000, according to Home Advisor. This is no small renovation cost, but when you consider that updated and modern kitchens are a main selling point, the cost of remodeling can significantly boost your resale value. And you may not need to go all-in on a renovation when a facelift can go a long way. Consider adding some combination of new stainless steel appliances, cabinets, flooring and a modern countertop to refresh your kitchen on a smaller budget, depending on which aspect of your current setup could most use a facelift. 6. Refresh The Bathroom While a kitchen remodel can get pricey pretty quickly, there’s a lot of mileage you can get from a bathroom upgrade in the $500 range. Cleaning grout, re-caulking the tub, and replacing an outdated vanity for a granite version can make an outdated bathroom look clean and modern in time for open house day.   H&R Block believes that healthy finances are at the heart of finding happiness as a homeowner. For more than 60 years, H&R Block has been the go-to source to help you not just get your taxes done, but get them won, with more options to file online for free. Because we want you to focus on filling your home with happy memories instead of stressing about filing your taxes. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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23 января, 08:01

5 Simple Ways To Build And Maintain A Healthy Credit Score

If you’ve ever tried to rent an apartment or take out a mortgage on a new home, then you know that your credit score can make or break the approval process. Ditto applying for an auto or personal loan with a desirable interest rate. And if your credit is subpar, credit lenders are less likely to approve your application for a new credit card. And job hunters, beware: even employers may be weighing a prospective employee’s credit history as part of the hiring process. But don’t despair! The good news is that maintaining or even rebuilding a healthy credit score is well within reach—provided you approach the process with equal doses of patience and consistency. We’ve partnered with H&R Block to highlight five simple ways to optimize your credit score so that a three digit number doesn’t hold you back from living life to the fullest. 1. Understand Your Score It may sound obvious, but the first step in improving your credit score is to know exactly where you stand. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report every year from all three credit reporting bureaus―Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax―to see just how your credit score adds up. While each of these bureaus calculates slightly different numbers based on their access to slightly different financial info at any given time, the FICO methodology is accurate based on all three. Creditors care about your credit risk or the likelihood that you won’t repay your loans. This risk is what the credit score is assessing, ranging from 350 at the riskiest end of the spectrum, up to 850 as the least dangerous. The higher your score, the more appealing you are to lenders. Ideally, you’ll fall somewhere above 700 on the scale, which is considered to be within a good credit range.   2. Dispute Any Errors You’ll want to read your report annually to ensure that there are no errors in the information that credit reporting companies have included. Inconsistencies in your report may include specific amounts owed to lenders, your past addresses or even your SSN, and these can have all negative impact on your score, and in the worse cases, indicate identity theft. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to having these potential errors investigated within 30 days, and corrected when applicable. To do so, you’ll need to send a letter by certified mail to both the reporting company and the lender in question, along with supporting documents. This small hassle is worth it if the resulting fix improves your score! 3. Pay Down Your Credit Balance Whether you have several small balances on many different credit cards or a few cards with balances hovering above the recommended 30 percent of your credit threshold, paying them off or down will help your score go up. The number of credit cards you have is also a factor in your score. While it can be tempting to spread your charges around, many financial advisors will cringe at this strategy. Instead, pay off the small balances—but don’t close those cards—and shift your strategy to only using one or two main cards, with those balances kept below that 30 percent level. This technique will help you manage your credit utilization ratio, which takes into account your available credit versus your total credit limits. Keeping your revolving credit as low as possible signals lenders that you’re not living above your means. 4. Make On Time Monthly Payments Payment history is a top factor in your credit score, so the sooner you get in the habit of making on-time monthly payments, the better. Falling behind on a single payment on a loan or credit card may not seem like a big deal at the time, but once this delinquency gets reported to the credit reporting companies, that negative mark can negatively affect your credit score for up to seven years. The best way to avoid this happening is by scheduling all your monthly payments on your calendar and paying by autopay. 5. Don’t Close Old Accounts Once you’ve paid off outstanding balances, it can be tempting to cut the card and close that account immediately. But remember that another large factor in your credit score is your credit history, or how long you’ve maintained accounts. Once you get all your accounts in good standing, keep them open so that they work towards building your credit history. On the flipside, don’t open too many new cards at one time, which can signal a risk to lenders and pull your score down. Remember that building good credit is a marathon, not a sprint. With patience, discipline, and a healthy respect for the power of your credit score, you’ll be well on your way to a score that won’t hold you back from getting approval on that loan or mortgage. And even more valuable, building a good credit score will give you the peace of mind and confidence to be ready for all the life decisions that are on your horizon. H&R Block believes that healthy finances are the foundation of a healthy and happy life. That’s why for more than 60 years, H&R Block has been the go-to source to help you not just get your taxes done, but get them won. Take the stress out of tax season by learning all the ways H&R Block can help you get the most out of your returns. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 января, 20:21

5 tips for first-time income tax filers

This article was written by PolicyGenius staff writer Paul Sisolak. Tax time is here, and if this will be your first time filing paperwork for Uncle Sam, it can trigger dreaded thoughts of drowning in confusing paperwork, and then, after filling out something incorrectly, owing the IRS every cent to your name. Not only is this worst case scenarios highly unlikely, in reality, filing your taxes is easier than you might think. All it takes is some prep work and gathering up the right basic information so you don't miss out on money you could be saving, not paying. What tax forms do I need to file my taxes? There are dozens of IRS tax forms, but to file your income taxes for the first, you'll only need these main documents: Form W-2 If you've been on the payroll of one or more employers this last year, you should be receiving a W-2 from each one. It will list all of your wages and earnings for 2016, plus any state and federal taxes paid from that particular employer. Your W-2 isn't a form you need to fill out; it's an informational form that you'll need to refer to when filling out your income tax return. Form 1099 If you're a freelancer or independent, non-salaried contractor, you will receive a 1099 form from each client or employer you've been paid more than $600 in wages during the calendar year. Your 1099 form will list all of your annual gross earnings, but won't list any taxes deducted. Like the W-2, there's nothing to fill out or submit on your 1099; the information on it is provided for you for filing purposes. Form 1098 Mortgage and student loan borrowers will need form 1098 to declare interest deductions on their payments. For home loan holders, you'll receive a standard 1098; for student loan holders (federal and private), the 1098-E is what you'll need. Form 1040 Your 1040 is the form you'll use to file your tax return, where you'll list the income you've earned over the last year. This information is used to determine if you'll owe taxes or receive a tax return. In some circumstances, filers with zero dependents, single/married people filing jointly, or people who earn less than $100,000 can submit a simpler 1040EZ to the IRS. If you plan on claiming any deductions (more on that below), you'll need to complete a 4506T-EZ, a request form to obtain your 1040. You can get a copy direct from the IRS. Your tax forms -- namely, W-2s or 1099s from employers -- have a due date of January 31 and should be postmarked and mailed to you before that date. However, if you haven't received yours by that time, don't assume it wasn't sent. It could be mixed up with other pieces of mail, or you may have at some point inadvertently specified paperless statements from the IRS, and your W-2 has been sitting in your email inbox the entire time. If for any reason you haven't received your W-2s, 1099s, or 1098s by the due date (or if there's erroneous or incorrect information on them), this guide will take you through the steps of following up with your employer(s) and the IRS, is necessary. What deductions should I be on the lookout for? Tax deductions are one way to reduce your taxable income. By reducing or adjusting your gross income, your net income is lowered, meaning you'll have fewer taxes to pay. In general, you can choose to file your deductions as standard or itemized. Standard deductions are at a fixed dollar amount that help reduce the amount of taxes you'll pay. It's a way of bundling together you deductions together. Going the standard deduction route won't save you the most money on your taxes, but will save you time as you file. For 2016, tax filers under 65 can claim these standard deduction amounts: Single/married filing separately: $6,300 Married filing jointly or widowed: $12,600 Head of household: $9,300 You can also itemize your deductions line by line if they total more than going the standard deduction route, but you'll need to calculate each deduction individually. More than one-third of filers itemize their deductions. Tax deductions, both standard and itemized, range from the obvious to the obscure, but here are some common ones to start off with: Mortgage interest: This is where your 1098 form comes in handy. If you have a home loan, you can deduct the interest you make on your loan repayments, significantly reducing the amount of income taxes you'll owe this year. Medical/dental expenses: If doctor's or dentist's expenses have exceeded 10 percent of your adjusted gross income, you can claim them as a tax deductions. These deductions can include everything from travel expenses to and from the doctor's office, medical equipment and supplies, and select uninsured, out-of-pocket expenses. Charitable donations: Contributions and donations to nonprofit organizations and charities are eligible for tax deductions. When preparing your tax return, gather up receipts of cash and check donations you've made throughout the year. You may also be able to make a charitable deduction for the fair market value of goods donated. College loan interest: Paying down your student loan interest while you're still in school is a way to reduce your debt in advance, but whether you're paying off your loans before or after graduation, you can file for a tax deduction on your interest, as well as the cost of your tuition and associated fees. Should I do my taxes on my own or get help with them? Handling your taxes on your own for the first time takes time and patience. It's estimated that you'll need to set aside 16 hours to complete your tax returns from start to finish, roughly two full days of full-time work. Some people may prefer having a hand in every aspect of their tax filing process, and today, it's become easier with downloadable tax forms from the IRS and e-filing software to get the job done. Hiring a professional ensures that your taxes will be filed in good hands, taking any of the guesswork (and legwork) out of going the DIY route. Plus, a tax professional can give you advice on deductions to make and other money-saving income tax filing hacks that you might not have thought of yourself. However, this won't come cheap; the average cost to hire a tax preparer is $273, and a slightly reduced $159 without itemized deductions, according to the National Society of Accountants. What you pay for convenience and expertise can cut into your tax refund, so weigh your options. How do I file my taxes? Filing your taxes is free, but some tax prep software will cost you a bit if you decide to e-file on your own. Our favorites are Intuit's TurboTax ($54.99 retail); H&R Block's e-filing software ($26.24 with 25 percent discount at checkout); TaxAct ($14.99); and TaxSlayer ($12.99). You can't go wrong with any of these user friendly services to guide you through the often labyrinthian maze of filing your taxes. Or you could seek out tax professionals who are officially certified or accredited. A Certified Public Accountant with a Personal Financial Specialist, or PFS, designation and current licensure are titles to look for, as well as accredited tax advisers and preparers. Searching through the National Association of Tax Professionals database or the IRS' Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications are good places to start. Tax filers will also want to interview candidates before hiring a professional to see what level of service or specialty they can provide; a full-service tax preparer will be able to calculate your taxes, fill out the forms and file the entire return in one (seemingly) fell swoop, though you may only need assistance with a portion of it. How much will they charge? Always check their credentials against resources like the American Institute of CPAs or other professional tax associations -- or even a simple Google search -- to see if customer complaints or past negative history with the IRS steers you clear of working with them or avoiding a tax scam in the making. What else should I know? Get to know the unique tax climate where you live. Your home state may have exemptions or exceptions that other states don't -- and if you're unaware of them, you might end up paying more in taxes than you'd hoped or projected. For instance, did you know that New York City residents pay city and state income taxes? Or that states like Alaska, Nevada and Texas don't charge individual income taxes? Florida has no state property taxes, but homeowners in the Sunshine State will need to remember that high local property taxes are still levied. Several other states, as well as Washington, D.C. also charge estate taxes. If you've inherited property or assets from a deceased family member or loved one, you may owe the government taxes on the property's value. While filing your own taxes for the first time may seem daunting, it's a prospect that comes down to a matter of perspective. By doing some research in advance of the forms and information you'll need, the resources you can tap into, and the tax professional help at your disposal, tax filing doesn't need to be a taxing experience. *** PolicyGenius is rethinking insurance from the consumer's perspective - because it's about time somebody did. We're making it easy to learn about, shop for and buy insurance. Our digital insurance advisor and online quote engines for life insurance, health insurance, pet insurance, renters insurance and long-term disability insurance will help you to get the coverage you need. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 января, 01:49

4 Smart Reasons Why You Should Do Your Own Taxes

When that W-2 shows up in your mailbox, does it stir up those feelings of angst every time you think about doing your taxes? It doesn't have to.

03 января, 17:50

Is H&R Block an Appropriate Stock for Value Investors?

Let's focus on H&R Block, Inc. (HRB) to find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now

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18 декабря 2016, 23:00

AT AMAZON, save on Bestselling Appliances. Plus, shop the Fishing Gift Guide. Plus, today only…

AT AMAZON, save on Bestselling Appliances. Plus, shop the Fishing Gift Guide. Plus, today only at Amazon: Save on H&R Block 2016 Tax Software. And, also today only: Save on classic series on Blu-ray and DVD. Plus: Up to 40% off on select Baby Items. And: Save up to 50% on select soccer products. Plus: […]

08 декабря 2016, 16:25

H&R Block (HRB) Incurs Narrower Loss in Q2, Revenues Up

H&R Block Inc. (HRB) reported second-quarter fiscal 2017 (ended Oct 31, 2016).

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08 декабря 2016, 00:22

H&R Block fiscal Q2 loss 68 cents a share, in line with expectations

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

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07 декабря 2016, 20:01

Credit Karma Takes On TurboTax, H&R Block With Free Tax Filings

Credit Karma Takes On TurboTax, H&R Block With Free Tax Filings Credit Karma has attracted 60 million Americans with free credit scores and monitoring. Now, they have purchased online tax preparer AFJC Corporation to broaden their product offering

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07 декабря 2016, 17:00

Credit Karma Takes On TurboTax, H&R Block With Free Tax Filings

The promise? There won't be any gotcha fees, gimmicks or other funny business.

05 декабря 2016, 16:02

H&R Block (HRB): Will it Disappoint Again in Q2 Earnings?

H&R Block Inc. (HRB) is set to report second-quarter fiscal 2017 results after the market closes on Dec 7.

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16 ноября 2016, 23:30

H&R Block downgraded to equal weight from overweight at Morgan Stanley

This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.

05 октября 2012, 17:02

Покинутый город. Детройд

 Покинутый городМичиганский центральный железнодорожный вокзалВо время Октябрьской войны 1973 года между арабскими странами и Израилем Организация арабских стран-экспортёров нефти заявила о прекращение своих поставок в страны, поддерживающие Израиль. В результате этого в США разразился нефтяной кризис, из-за которого обанкротились многие американские автомобилестроители. Больше всех досталось Детройту, где были сосредоточены крупнейшие заводы страны — Ford, General Motors и Chrysler. Отток населения, начавшийся ещё в 1950-х, превратился в тотальное бегство из города. Наиболее состоятельное население продавало свою недвижимость и переезжало в пригород. За ними потянулись банкиры, врачи и владельцы магазинов. В итоге в городе остались только безработные, живущие на пособие, или низкооплачиваемые рабочие, в основном негры. Стремительно начала процветать чёрная преступность.Каким стал город? Ответ ниже.Некогда самый высокий железнодорожной вокзал. Полностью прекратил функционировать в 1988 году. Власти города вроде как всё собираются его снести, но общественность бастует. Достопримечательность как-никак. Скоро ему будет 100 лет.ОтельОтель "Fort Shelby". Закрылся в самом начале нефтяного кризиса. В 1983 году его здание было включено в Национальный реестр исторических мест США. В конце 2008 года отель снова открылся.Отель "American Hotel". Закрылся в начале 1990-х.Отель "Lee Plaza". В 1981 году его здание было включено в Национальный реестр исторических мест США. Перед закрытием вначале 1990-х, в здании были жилые квартиры.David Whitney Building. В начале 2011 года были разговоры о ремонте здания.Farwell Building. В 1976 году включено в Национальный реестр исторических мест США.Farwell Building, 2009 год.Национальный театр, находящийся в Monroe Block.Объединенный театр искусствПресвитерианская церковь. С 1982 года в Национальном реестре исторических мест США.Методистская церковьБаптистская церковьЗаброшенный жилой дом "Rich-Dex".Дома в историческом районе "Brush Park". Все местные здания славились своей стилистикой, пока не были заброшены. Ныне их стараются восстанавливать.Дом Уильяма Ливингстона (март, 2007)Отделение Национального банка ДетройтаПолицейский участок в Highland ParkПубличная библиотекаШкола Уилбура РайтаШкола Св. Маргариты МарииКомпания по производству чернил "General Printing" (2005 год).Металлургический завод "McLouth Steel"Заброшенный завод "Packard Motor Car Company"Здание завода "Fisher Body".Здание завода "Fisher Body", 2008 год.Заводское помещение компании "Fisher Body", которая долгое время являлась подразделением "General Motors" и была расформирована в 1984 году.Результат кризиса - пустая парковка у здания "General Motors" (сентябрь, 1980).Пожалуй, только центр Детройта ныне является пригодным для жизни, хотя и там до сих пор высокая преступность. Недавно, например, трёмя неграми была избита американская актриса Жаклин Стрез со своим парнем. О этнопреступности тамошние СМИ говорить не любят. Так что, не смотря на всякие попытки властей возродить город, вряд ли это получиться у них без белого населения.