Important Quarterly Tax Due Dates & Deadlines – IRS Tax Calendar

tax return due

Taxes are a hassle. Dates and deadlines seem to sneak up without warning despite being relatively consistent from year to year. However, getting organized and preparing throughout the year can make the traditional tax season less dreaded and much easier to navigate.

Keep these major 2016 tax dates in mind and mark them on your calendar. And note that if the date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day.

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List of the Most Common Federal IRS Tax Forms

irs tax forms pileEach year many of us receive or fill out a lot of tax forms, and each of those forms has a specific purpose. Outlined below are some of the most common. You can find more detailed information by clicking on the form’s name.

Form 1040

The most important of them all, Form 1040 is the basic form on which you file your personal income taxes. There are additional forms and schedules you may need to calculate line items on the main Form 1040, but you can’t file your taxes without it. There are also different versions you may use, depending on your tax situation, such as the 1040EZ, 1040A, and 1040X.

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What is a 1099 IRS Tax Form – 1099-INT, 1099-R, SSA-1099 Variants

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 tax forms stack computerIRS form 1099 covers many different kinds of income other than wages, salaries, and tips. Since you don’t have to submit copies of 1099s with your 1040 form when you file on paper, you generally only receive one or two drafts of this form.

While there are nearly two dozen variations on form 1099, the most common ones are 1099-INT, 1099-R, and SSA-1099. Another version you’ll see often is the 1099-MISC, which businesses use for payments that don’t fall under the other 1099 categories.

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11 Ways to Reduce and Save Money on Utility Bills

utility bills moneyIt is common for many families to stare dejectedly at $200, $300, $400, and sometimes even $500 in utility bills every month. That can be an especially hard pill to swallow when times are tight – especially with gas prices rising.

This issue hits close to home for me as well. My dad lives in Lousiana, and his monthly bill is an astonishing $430 per month. And, that’s living in the Sunny South!

So what can you do to reduce your utility bill without being forced to move? Well, according to Energy Star, half of all the energy we use in our homes goes toward heating and cooling. A significant amount goes towards water as well.

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IRS Federal Tax Form 1040 – Types, Schedules & Instructions

1040 form pencilThe 1040 tax form was introduced in 1913, and its basic setup has remained essentially the same over the past century. The 1040 conveniently collects all of your income, credits, and deductions in one place. In fact, while there are dozens of other forms and schedules that you can use for additional calculations (such as Form 8863 for education credits or Schedule A for itemized deductions), each final number from all these forms is tallied on your 1040.

1040 Form Types

The 1040 comes in several different varieties:

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  • The regular 1040 is sometimes called the “long form” because, at two pages, it is the most lengthy.

W-4 Withholding Tax Form – Instructions for Claiming Exemptions & Allowances

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.

w-4 tax formEach time you begin a new job, one of the forms you’ll be asked to fill out is a Form W-4. This form helps your employer determine how much to withhold from your paycheck in taxes, based on the number of exemptions you claim on your tax return.

While this method is not very precise, it is fairly flexible, as you can adjust the number of exemptions you put down (i.e. adjust federal income tax withholding allowances).

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W-2 Form – IRS Tax Form Filing Instructions Online

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.

w2 form penIf you were working as an employee and were paid during the year, you should receive a W-2 from the company you worked for, postmarked by January 31st. It will show information on all compensation you received during the calendar year, even if the actual time you worked was in the year before, or your company uses a different fiscal year.

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How Much to Save for Retirement – Planning Strategies for Every Age

retirement fund binYou’ve heard plenty of lame one-liners and empty tokens of advice: Save 15% of your income to retire comfortably; save two grand per month to retire a millionaire; save a million dollars to retire comfortably; plan to withdraw 4% annually in retirement.

Financial advice isn’t helpful if all you get are platitudes and generalizations. Too often, experts toss around figures about how much you need to save and invest, without considering your long-term personal financial goals.

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4 Best Kids Educational Software Programs to Teach Your Kids About Money

kids computerSure, your home computer provides plenty of entertainment and gives your kids a chance to play games or interact with their friends. But have you considered how useful computers are when it comes to teaching kids about finance and how to handle their money?

While it was important for us to learn about money basics when we were growing up, our kids will face financial challenges that we never dreamed of. Luckily, some excellent software programs can help you teach your kids the basics of money management in fun, interactive ways.

Check out these four tools for preparing your kids for the future.

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3 Types of Mortgage & Housing Scams to Watch Out for – Don’t Be a Victim

mortgage home scamRecession-related job loss, cut backs, and bank crackdowns have left many debt-mired homeowners wondering what they can possibly do to save their homes from foreclosure. Unfortunately, for every downtrodden soul, there is a scumbag con artist waiting to take advantage.

These crooks disguise themselves as well-meaning, competent professionals who are capable of helping honest people avoid foreclosure. But, behind the masks, their eyes are targeted at your checkbook, or the title of your home, in some creative mortgage reconstruction scams.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs and make sure you don’t become their next victim.

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