IRS Tax Form 1099-MISC – Instructions for Small Businesses & Contractors

In an effort to help make filing taxes easier this year, we are breaking down the various IRS tax forms to help you know if you need them, and how to use them.

1099 misc tax formIf you’re a freelancer or run a small business and use independent contractors, you’re probably familiar with the 1099-MISC form. This form is used to report income to freelancers, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals who, as their own employer, are generally responsible for paying the employer’s and employee’s portion of taxes.

Thanks to its versatility, businesses and clients use the 1099-MISC form for many different kinds of transactions. It’s very useful, but also potentially confusing because of all the data it can hold.

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How to File Your Tax Return – 2015 Basics & Guide

taxes glassesDoing your own taxes can be confusing, but it’s a life skill that all financially informed people should develop. We’ve gathered information to help you learn about tax basics, prepare for completing your return, and understand the various credits and deductions you may be entitled to.

But it’s not all over once you file. You need to know what might happen after you file and tips to prepare for next year.

Tax Basics

History of Income Taxes in America – Taxes have played an important role in the formation of the United States, and understanding their history helps us understand the tax system today and American history, in general.

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What Is a 1098 IRS Tax Form – 1098-C, 1098-E, 1098-T

In an effort to help make filing taxes easier this year, we are breaking down the various IRS tax forms to help you know if you need them, and how to use them.

There are multiple versions of Form 1098: the 1098, the 1098-C, 1098-E, and 1098-T.

1098 Form


The original 1098 form is used to report mortgage interest to the Federal Government, as well as to the person who paid the interest. That person can then deduct the interest they paid on Schedule A.

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Taxes on Government Benefits – Unemployment, Social Security, Disability & More

social security money government benefitsYou may think that government benefits are tax-free, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, several of the most common benefits claimed by Americans – unemployment, Social Security, and disability – do generate a tax bill. If you receive government benefits, understanding and keeping track of what can be taxed is key to getting the most out of the program and not setting yourself up for any unpleasant surprises.

At first glance, this may seem difficult. However, there are several fairly simple steps to understanding how much tax you must pay on your benefits each year.


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What Is IRS Capital Gains & Losses Tax – Calculate Rates & Deductions

capital gains moneyWhether you’re new to the world of investing, or you’re thinking of selling stocks, bonds, or real estate you’ve had for some time, it is important to consider how you’ll be taxed on those items.

Since you only pay tax on the profit you make, it’s necessary to keep good records from the time you acquire an asset through the sale process. A few different factors, including how long you held the asset and your marginal tax bracket, influence how much you’ll pay.

Below are the definitions and general tax rules for capital gains and losses.

What Are Capital Gains and Losses?

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Filing Taxes After Divorce – Tax Implications & Claiming Children

divorce taxes childIn addition to the many challenges presented by divorce, you must work to untangle your financial situation. And following a complicated divorce, tax issues become more complex than they were when you filed as a couple. Fortunately, the IRS has a comprehensive list of circumstances for divorced and separated individuals in its Publication 504.

The terms of your divorce are unique to you, so work closely with your accountant, especially the first time you file taxes after your divorce is finalized. This can help you figure out your filing status and possible tax deductions and credits.

Your Filing Status After Divorce

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Tax Deductions for Charitable Contributions & Donations

donation boxAs you may know, you can deduct qualified charitable contributions on your taxes – and this is one reason why December is such a great month for many charities. Not only is everyone  is in the holiday spirit, but they are also preparing for tax season.

However, beyond simply writing a check, there are many other ways you can help the less fortunate while lowering your tax bill. The IRS gives generous allowances for many types of donated items, but it’s up to you to save your records and know how much you’re entitled to deduct.

The Basics

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Do I Have to File Taxes and How Much Do I Need to Make?

file taxes womanFiling taxes is nobody’s idea of a good time. The process can be lengthy, confusing, financially straining, and even downright intimidating. However, while many people have tons of questions about tax filing, there’s one that’s not often asked: Do I even need to file a tax return? You may be one of the lucky few who can avoid the process entirely.

There are three factors that determine your filing requirement: age, income level, and filing status. Generally, if you earned less than a specified amount according to those three factors, you won’t have to file.

Tax Filing Income Limits

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Form 1040X Instructions – How to File an Amended Tax Return


1040x tax form

If you finished your tax return and mailed it in by the tax filing deadline, but later discovered you made a mistake, don’t fret. You can still adjust your return.

Essentially, the IRS allows a “do-over” on your taxes in case you make an error or omission. By utilizing Form 1040X, you can fix any mistakes you spot after your initial tax filing – and you may have more time to do so than you think. You can file a 1040X within three years of your original filing, and amend details on your filing status, number of dependents, total income, tax deductions, or tax credits.

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Filing Taxes for Kids: Does My Child Have to File a Tax Return?

business kid taxesIf your kids discovered the joys of capitalism this year, raking in the dough from paper routes or pizza delivery, or receiving stocks or bonds instead of toys for their birthdays, they may also get to experience the joy of taxes this April. You may be surprised to find that, as dependents, your children face different rules concerning when to file taxes, and on what income, than you do.

When you pay your own taxes, you’re entitled to a personal exemption of $4,000 for tax year 2015. Therefore, the first $4,000 of your income isn’t taxed. When you claim your children as dependents, you get to deduct their personal exemption on your taxes, which means they don’t get to use it. 

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