ING 1099’s Now Available

January 24, 2009

Just noticed that the 2008 1099 tax forms are available online from ING Direct. Tax season has begun! It’s never too early to start on your taxes. I’m going to be using TurboTax again this year as I’ve done done for the past couple years. Remember, as the saying goes, death and taxes!

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With tax season looming in the not-too-distant future, we should all make plans to start at least thinking about taxes and how to pay for them or how much of a refund we’re going to get. TurboTax (which is the software that I use to file my personal income taxes) is offering one free answer by phone about any tax question ($29.95 value) you might have from one of their tax experts!

Just to to their website (www.freetaxquestion.com) and submit your question by January 31st and they’ll call you back within 24 hours for free (up to 20 minutes)!

2008taxcutsoftware

In the spirit of Christmas, I am giving away a copy of H&R Block’s 2008 TaxCut Premium Federal ($35 value)! All you have to do is comment right on this post about what you love most about the Christmas season! I will randomly select one person (with a valid email) to win the free tax software!

How do I win?

  • Write a comment below about what you love most about Christmas along with a valid email address.
  • Do it before 7 pm PST December 31, 2008.
  • The winner will be selected randomly and announced right here.
  • Enter only once; duplicate entries or IP addresses will be disqualified.
  • I cannot guarantee safe delivery of items. In the rare case that mail is lost, stolen, etc. I cannot be held responsible.
  • All local laws, rules, and regulations apply.
  • Sign up for the Christian Finance Blog RSS feed to keep up to date on the winner and any upcoming giveaways!

If you can’t get enough of free Christmas giveaways, my friend Bob over at Christian Personal Finance is giving away some iPods and some other cool stuff! Check it out!

bushbailoutsign

By now, most of us have heard about the news of the $700 billion bailout signed into law by President Bush on October 3rd, 2008. The bill is designed to bailout the numerous banks throughout the country that were making bad mortgage loans. The government (read: we, the taxpayers) are now going to own $700 billion worth of homes and hopefully sell them later for a profit. How much later is in question.

Do I support the bailout? It doesn’t matter. It has already passed. What I can do is try to analyze the effects of the bailout to you and I. Joe Doughnut. The average American. I definitely don’t like the idea of using taxpayer money to bailout any huge corporation that made bad decisions. They should be allowed to fail. This is a free market capitalist country. I’m afraid America is moving more and more toward socialism and that’s scaring me. But enough of that.

The real question is why does it matter to me personally? After all, this is a personal finance blog. Along with the huge amount of “bad” in the bailout, there some “good” thrown in there as well. For example, the bill increases the FDIC insured limit from $100,000 to $250,000 deposits at all banks and credit unions (that are FDIC insured). That means more protection for you! Hopefully it will get you to save more and spend less, too! This expires December 31, 2009.

Also included in the bill is about the alternative minimum tax. It was expected to hit 20 million taxpayers with an unexpected tax increase this year but it was originally supposed to affect 155 high-income households who owed little or no taxes at the time when it was introduced.

So what does the bailout mean for me? What does it mean for you? It means that I’m doing everything I can to get out of debt and avoid my own “credit crisis”. If I don’t have any debt and a have whole bunch of cash, I won’t have a credit crisis! If I don’t need to borrow, I don’t need credit! What a concept!

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Great news! The Treasury Department said Thursday that the special economic stimulus rebates would be distributed five days earlier than first said. The first round of rebates are expected to be sent starting Monday, April 28 rather than May 2 as previously thought.

About 800,000 tax filers will receive rebates on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. An additional 5 million will be distributed on Friday. The economic stimulus plan signed in February by President Bush will distribute more than $110 billion to 130 million taxpayers.

So what are you going to do with the money? Most people I’ve talked to and read about seem like they aren’t spending it but rather paying down debt and/or boosting their emergency funds and not necessarily the economy. I’m doing the same.

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taxrefundpiggy

I just received my federal income tax refund yesterday! I filed on April 5th and my refund came exactly 13 days later. That was pretty quick! I’m glad I e-filed for the first time this year. I think I’m never going to mail in my tax return ever again. The benefits simply outweigh any of the negatives.

Here’s how to check the status of your refund. Just go to the official IRS “Where’s My Refund” page (can also be accessed from the main IRS website) and enter your social security number, filing status, and exact refund amount shown on your tax return. It showed that mine would be direct deposited on April 18th and it showed up exactly on April 18th in both accounts (I split my refund into two accounts). Most states also have a way to check the status of refunds. Check your particular state tax websites for more information.

Now I’m just waiting for the economic stimulus rebate to arrive. It will be direct deposited to the same account that I filed with (only the first one). Check out this post to find out when you can expect yours.

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april15deadline08

The tax deadline is fast approaching! If you’re like many Americans and have procrastinated so far, here are several ways to prepare and file your taxes for free! Nothing beats free!

All you have to do is go through the IRS Free File page. Generally, your adjusted gross income (AGI) needs to less than $54,000 for 2007 unless otherwise noted.

Here are some of the companies that provide this service and are recommended:

1. TurboTax Freedom Edition
The limitation here is that your adjusted gross income (AGI) needs to less than $30,000. If you qualify, this is a great way to do your federal as well as state taxes (AL, AR, AZ, GA, ID, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, NY, ND, NC, OK, OR, RI, SC, VT, WV) for free!

2. H&R Block’s TaxCut
This is available as a free access to the TaxCut software. Adding a state return costs $24.95.

3. TaxAct
Available with a free federal return. A state return will cost $12.95.

4. CompleteTax
A state return will cost an additional $9.95.

5. Tax Engine
A state return will cost an extra $10.

6. TaxSlayer
This comes with a free state return if you prepare a federal return with it. Otherwise, a state return will cost an additional $9.95.

All of these can be accessed through the IRS Free File website. I filed my taxes last weekend and I’ve already received my state return direct deposited. My federal refund should arrive within a week or so. I’m glad that I e-filed this year and used direct deposit. I used the paid version of the TurboTax software. Just be aware that if you purchase the retail version, you’ll have to pay $17.95 each return to e-file. So if you file a federal and state return it will cost $35.90 in addition to the software cost. Just so you know. If you haven’t filed yet, get to it! This is the last weekend to file your taxes. Hope this helped.

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