If you haven’t already, it’s time to file your taxes before they are due this upcoming Tuesday, April 15, 2014. For those who are self-employed, you also have to make sure cover your estimated taxes for the first quarter.
When are Estimated Taxes Due?
Estimated taxes are due on an almost quarterly basis. Our tax system in the United States is basically pay as you go – when you work as an employee your taxes are deducted from your paycheck each time. If you’re self-employed you are responsible for making the deductions.
Here are the upcoming due dates for 2014.
April 15, 2014 (1st Quarter)
June 16, 2014
September 15, 2014
January 15, 2015
Payment Methods for Estimated Taxes
The goods news is that paying your quarterly taxes is pretty simple, with several options open to you.
I personally pay my federal and state taxes online. It’s quick and it’s easy. If you want to find out how to enroll for EFTPS, check out my post on TurboTax’s blog to find out. If you underpay your taxes, there are penalties. The IRS will send you the bill.
Thoughts on Quarterly Taxes
How many of you have already taken care of your estimated taxes for the first quarter? How’s business going this year?
With many people filing their taxes now to get their refunds, con artists are eager to get their hands on your money. The IRS updates its site to include the latest tax scams and hoaxes. They are several, but I want to share two common ones that you should be aware of this tax season.
Identity Thieves Masquerading as the IRS
One popular way thieves get their hands on your money is phishing scams. For those unfamiliar, these scams involve someone impersonating a company or agency, like the IRS and contacting you with the hopes of tricking you into giving them personal and financial information.
Just know that the IRS does not ask for financial or personal information via email. The con artists can create very authentic looking emails and website, so please contact the IRS directly by phone at 1-800-829-1040 or search for your local office to get answers. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, DO NOT CLICK on any attachments. You may download a malicious virus onto your computer. You can forward the suspicious email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another elaborate scam that the IRS is warning about is where people receive a phone call from a supposed IRS agent who is demanding an immediate payment on back taxes. Sometimes that masked their numbers and make it appear that the call is coming from the IRS, but it is a scam. Report the attempt to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
Please be aware the IRS only initiates taxpayer contact by mail and only accepts payment in check or bank transfer, traceable means. If the caller wants you to pay now with a debit or credit card, hang up.
Protect Yourself and Your Money
If you want to get more information, the IRS has a dedicated page on some of the more popular scams out there right now.
For the last several years we have been using TurboTax to file our federal and state returns and we’ve been very happy with them. We used to purchase the software, but now we handle it online. Every year, I’ve noticed upgrades and improvements and this year is no exception.
Finding Your Tax Information and Answers Easily
One feature I personally enjoyed that I’m sure other returning users will appreciate is the customized home base that contains their previous tax returns. In addition, TurboTax also includes a Affordable Care Guide to help users better understand the new requirements.
If you’re looking for an answer to your specific situation, AnswerXchange is fantastic resource. You have access to both tax experts and to experienced users who can point you in the right direction. If you prefer the phone, you can call and speak to a Certified Public Accountant.
Which TurboTax Edition is Right for You?
There are several different editions that you can choose from based on your family’s particular needs.
Free Edition: If you’re one of the almost 60 million Americans who qualify for a 1040EZ/A, TurboTax’s free edition is a wonderful options as they’ve made the filing process even easier.
Deluxe: Many people will find this a suitable option to take care of their tax deductions and credits for families and homeowners.
Premier: This edition is designed for those who have numerous investments or if you own rental properties.
Home & Business: Entrepreneurs with either sole proprietor, consultant, contractor or single-owner LLC business will find this edition more than capable of handling their business.
Business: If you have a corporation, partnership or multi-member LLC, TurboTax can help you optimize your tax return.
We’ve been happy with TurboTax and how easy it is for us to file using their services. Find out which edition of TurboTax is right for you.
TurboTax Giveaway- File Your Federally Taxes for Free!
Now to the best part – Couple Money, My Financial Reviews, and TurboTax would like you to file your federal taxes for free. I am giving away codes for TurboTax’s premier edition for interested readers. To enter, it’s simple – just let me know what you plan to do with your tax refund – are you saving it, investing it or spending it?
You can either leave a comment below, tweet me (please tag me so I can see), or share your tax refund plans on Facebook. I’ll compile the entries and pick winners this upcoming Monday (February 3, 2014) so you can get your taxes filed and done as soon as possible. If you know someone who would love a chance to get their federal taxes filed for free, please send them a link to the giveaway through email or share this on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you again for being a part of the Couple Money Community!
Since TurboTax has been kind enough to sponsor the prizes, please feel free to send them a tweet if you win 😉
I know some people are nervous about filing their own taxes and have limited income, but there are some wonderful and free options for you. Every year the IRS updates a list which includes sites that allow you to file your federal tax return free.
List of Free Federal Tax Filings
Please check each site to verify the qualifications which can include state of residence, age, and income. Here’s the current list that the IRS has for free tax filing on federal returns.