Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

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Tax Returns Errors = Delay in Refunds

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Taxes on June 1, 2014 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

homerMake No Mistake About It: Tax Return Errors Delay Refunds

Tax day has come and gone, and now you just have to wait. And wait and wait and wait and wait a second, what’s taking your refund so long? The delay might be due to a blooper on your tax return – the IRS will need to contact you to correct it. You’re more likely to make a mistake if you file on paper instead of IRS e-file – twenty times more likely in fact.

identity_theft3For example, you might have written in the wrong SSN or even forgot to put it at all. That’s usually the case – we forget the most important thing because we’re so focused on the little details. It’s okay to peek at your SSN card to make sure you got your own number right.

Everybody has crazy spellings of their names nowadays with silent consonants, extra vowels, and missing letters all over the place. Be sure to spell the names of everyone on your tax return exactly as they’re printed on their SSN cards.

help+calculatorFiling status might seem like a guessing game. A lot of folks accidentally file as Head of Household instead of as Single (the former does sound more impressive). Luckily, the Interactive Tax Assistant can give you a helping hand with filing status.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASimple arithmetic gets complicated fast when a lot of numbers are involved. If you’re tempted to show that calculator who’s boss and do everything with the old noggin’, don’t. Math mistakes are a common error on tax returns, especially when you don’t have tax preparation software doing the calculations for you.

stop-read-instructionsRead all the instructions. This goes for everything in life, but is especially important when it comes to baking, setting up expensive electronics, and figuring tax credits or deductions. A lot of filers botch up when figuring their EITC, Child and Dependent Care Credit, and the standard deduction.

Choosing direct deposit will get you your refund fastest. However, choosing direct deposit and using the wrong bank and account numbers on your return is a sure way to get your refund slower.

pen_signatureWhew, you made it through the tax return, double-checking your math and ensuring everyone’s names have all the extra letters they’re supposed to have. But all that work will be for nothing if you don’t put your John Hancock on there, along with the date. And go find your spouse if you’re filing jointly – the return isn’t valid unless both of you sign.

You can’t exactly sign with a pen when you’re filing electronically. Well I mean you can try to, but your computer screen won’t look too great afterwards. Instead, use a PIN to sign the return. If you know last year’s e-file PIN, use that. If not, enter the Adjusted Gross Income from your originally-filed 2012 federal tax return, but don’t use the AGI amount from an amended or IRS-corrected 2012 return. 

internet-32340_640To err is human – which is why it’s best to rely on IRS e-file in the future.

Sufen Wang, M.S.Accountancy
www.sufenwang.com
Wang Solutions, Long Beach, CA (562) 856-0793
Editor: Hannah Huff, M.F.A. Creative Writing: Poetry, (626) 806-5805

 

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Going Rogue:

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Taxes on May 11, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , ,

The Risks and Responsibilities of Hiring Independent Contractors

 

America: it’s the land of the free and the home of the brave. We Americans pride ourselves on our independence, and, now, with the economy still slowly making its way towards recovery, more businesses are hiring independent contractors than ever, and more people are working as independent contractors than ever.

I recently came across this article by Ronda Jones of Forrest T. Jones & Company. It’s all about what you need to know before you hire an independent contractor or accept work as an independent contractor. It’s a helpful article, and if you’re thinking about hiring an independent contractor, you should definitely give it a read. But here are some tidbits to whet your appetite.

If you’re thinking about hiring an independent contractor:

    • Consult an attorney and draw up a basic work contract. Make sure that it includes a “hold harmless” clause, a non-competition clause, and insurance clauses, and make sure that it addresses jurisdictional issues in your city and state.
    • Make sure that the independent contractor has adequate insurance to cover their work.
    • Consult your insurance agent to see how hiring an independent contractor will affect your coverage.
    • Request and retain invoices from your contractor.
    • You may also want to run a background check or even run an internet search to make sure that there aren’t any unpleasant surprises in store for you.
    • Make sure that you know how to issue Form 1099-MISC at the end of each tax year for your contractor.

If you are working as an independent contractor:

  • Review the company’s independent work contract. You may want to have your attorney go over it to make sure that it’s okay to sign. Make sure that you are only held accountable for liabilities resulting from gross negligence or willful misconduct. You may also want to insert a liability limitation cap so that you aren’t still held liable for errors or omissions that are discovered years down the line.
  • Ask the employer for copies of their certificates of insurance so that you can make sure that they have general liability and auto liability insurance, if applicable. You should also ask to be listed under their professional liability or errors & omissions insurance, if applicable.
  • Keep a log of the projects you’ve worked on, just in case your involvement is ever called into question.

Ask the contractor periodically to meet and review the terms of the contract to make sure that it adequately covers the work that you’re actually being required to do.Working with an independent contractor is a great way to save money for services you need, compared to hiring someone full-time that you don’t really need full-time. Working as an independent contractor is a great way to get work during times when work is difficult to find.

And if you go about it the right way, then neither party will have to hire Chuck Norris to take out the other.

  • On the Money,
    Sufen Wang
    Wang Solutions

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Show Me the Money: When Will I Get My Tax Refund?

In Taxes on April 26, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , ,

Money

Another Tax Day has come and gone, and you’ve survived. Whether you filed your taxes the second you got all of the necessary documents or at 11:59pm on April 18th, you’re probably all asking the same question:

“Where’s my tax refund?”

Well, if you filed your taxes online this year, the IRS has a handy-dandy refund chart that can show you when your refund will be processed.

refund cycle chart 2011

For example, if you e-filed your taxes and they were accepted by the IRS on March 15th (I’m going to assume that you were all good boys and girls and filed early this year), then you should either have gotten a direct deposit on March 25th or a check was processed and mailed out to you on April 1st (no joke).

If you check the chart and your refund should have gotten to you by now, you can head over to the IRS website to check your refund status. Be sure to have your 2011 tax return handy so that you can enter the necessary information to get your refund status. You can also call the IRS Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954, or the IRS TeleTax system at 1-800-829-4477.

Once you find out the status of your refund, you can proceed from there.

Just don’t spend it all in one place, now.

On the Money,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions

Articles

The IRS’ Dirty Dozen: The Top 12 Tax Scams of 2011

In Taxes on April 19, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , ,

Ja Rule

Rapper Ja Rule was convicted of tax evasion in March 2011.

We’ve all heard stories about rich and famous people running afoul of the law — not because of drug use or anything particularly glamorous, but for simple tax evasion. It might seem silly to the rest of the world, but some of these celebrities make a lot of money, and that means that the taxes they pay are significantly higher.

But celebs aren’t the only people tempted by tax scams. Middle class Americans can get sucked into these scams, too.

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has compiled a list of 2011’s top tax scams. If any of these “Dirty Dozen” sound familiar to you, be sure to avoid them and the people who suggested them to you!

• Hiding income offshore
• Identity theft and phishing
• Tax return preparer fraud
• Filing false or misleading forms
• Frivolous legal positions or arguments
• Nontaxable Social Security benefits with exaggerated withholding credit
• Abuse of charitable organizations and deductions
• Abusive retirement plans
• Disguised corporate ownership
• Filing phony wage- or income-related returns to reduce wages to zero
• Misuse of trusts
• Fuel tax credit scams

If you’re engaged in any of these, you should know that the IRS is probably onto you, and that you’ll likely be getting audited sometime in the near future.

But if you’ve never heard of any of them and would like to avoid them in 2012, you can get full descriptions of each of these scams from the IRS.

On the Money,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions