Retirement plans can be useful for lowering taxable income and, hey, they're not so bad in retirement either. © Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Corbis You can be forgiven for not obsessing about taxes year-round. For one, there's usually no reason to be that terrified of our federal and state responsibilities. Despite lots of whining and jokes at the expense of the IRS, paying taxes has become downright simplified. We can file online and benefit from the guidance of automated software and quick turnarounds on refunds. But that doesn't mean that you should wander through the world, blissfully unaware of your tax status until mid-April. They say that only two things in life are certain: taxes and Kate Middleton's shiny hair (that's the phrase, right?). But there are still some ways you can reduce your income on your tax return to give you a bit of break when that tax liability bill hits. If you know your taxes are going result in a check to the government this year, taking a few … [Read more...] about What can you do to save on income tax payments?
Status of efile tax return
Update, 5:00 PM EDT: The IRS has restored service to its e-file system this afternoon. Our original story continues below. At midday on the busiest day of the year for the Internal Revenue Service's electronic tax-filing infrastructure, the Modernized eFile (MeF) system has gone offline. Acting IRS commissioner David Kautter informed members of the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing at 10:00am ET that a number of systems associated with tax filings were down and that the IRS is working to resolve the issue. As of 2:15pm, a status message on the IRS' MeF site still read, "The MeF System is currently down. We are working this as a priority." An IRS spokesperson told Ars via email, "Currently, certain IRS systems are experiencing technical difficulties. Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would." Individual taxpayers don't interact directly with the MeF system. MeF is only accessible through approved e-filing services, … [Read more...] about IRS E-File system crashes on Tax Day [Updated]
From the 1st of July, the revenue service will no longer provide certain forms at their branches including forms to register 1. As a taxpayer (IT77C for companies and IT77TR for trusts) 2. As a VAT vendor (VAT101) 3. As an employer (EMP101) Also forms to apply for tax directives ((IRP3(a), (b), (c) and (d)) will be available at a Sars branch too. The abovementioned transactions along with the filing of income tax returns, payments and the uploading of supporting documents can be done electronically through eFiling. Those who need help can check out Help-You-eFile or speak to someone at the contact centre if they get stuck. With tax season coming soon, Sars has also increased the size threshold of files from 2MB to 5MB. The increase in digital transactions will mean that there will be a significant decrease in the costs of printing, paper and couriers. It will also cut down on the traffic that goes in and out of the Sars offices, which was one of the objectives from … [Read more...] about Sars moves towards achieving tax season goal
Attention early birds: starting Tuesday, Jan. 17, you can officially file your taxes electronically. And the sooner, the better — if you’re expecting a refund and have all the necessary documents. “Typically, the volume is lower early in the year so that will usually result in getting a refund faster,” said Ed Walsh, spokeman for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. “Filing electronically also can have the benefit of making your refund go faster, because there are typically more mistakes associated with paper filing. And there is more manual work to process.” Those filing immediately can expect a state refund to arrive by the end of January if there are no mistakes or complex issues, Walsh said. It should take between 16 and 30 days on average. For Federal income taxes, the majority of refunds are processed within 21 days. “We’ll issue refunds to taxpayers in as few as 10 days when they file … [Read more...] about When can you file your taxes? Here’s our early-bird guide