Tax Season Is Here

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Believe it or not, the IRS has announced that the tax file season has opened, and it’s on on-time this year.  We can look forward to many online services for the 2015 season.  Some features will assist U.S. taxpayers learn about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will influence their taxes, as well as the Free File program which will be available to all taxpayers.  As usual, the tax filing deadline is April 15, 2015 to file 2014 tax returns, which included the payments you owe the federal government.  

This year the IRS anticipates that approximately 150 million individual tax returns will be filed, and 80% are expected to be e-filed.  This year, the IRS is offering the Free File program, which is available on the IRS website.  This program will be available starting January 16, 2015 in preparation for the acceptance of your 2014 tax returns which will be accepted and processed starting January 20th.  California tax lawyers, the Strategic Tax Lawyers, say that this year, questions will be asked about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the first time.  For 75% of taxpayers, this will simply require a check mark to confirm that they have health insurance.  For those 25% who do not have coverage, there are tips on the IRS website.  The IRS, as always, wants taxpayers to file electronically and use the tools online instead of calling the IRS call center, as they are expecting a heavy call volume, which could take as much as 30 minutes to talk to a live person.  That’s why they are offering the Free File system which is available on January 16th, before the tax season starts, on January 20th.   The Free File system will offer electronic fillable forms for taxpayers at all income levels.  The California tax lawyers, the Strategic Tax Lawyers, say this will be convenient for those who want to fill out their own tax returns.  But remember to double check your submission for errors, have documentation for everything and be truthful about your income since you don’t want to send any red flags to the IRS.

If you want a quick refund, make sure to e-file and request a direct deposit.  It is easier not to avoid any mistakes with Free File.  Even paid tax professionals use e-file to expedite the process and reduce any mistakes.

This year, the IRS would like to issue 90% of refunds within 3 weeks of electronic submission, like in 2014.  Of course, paper returns will take longer to process.  Also consider that the IRS is short staffed so expect the IRS to take longer to process paper returns.  Also,California tax lawyers, the Strategic Tax Lawyers, recommend that you pay close attention to the Affordable Care Act portion questions so that you don’t red flag the IRS.  The requirement is for taxpayers and every family member to check a box if they qualified for coverage during the year.   You could qualify for an exemption when you file the tax return.  If so, you will need to include Form 8965 and include it with the return.

Don’t take these tips lightly, say California tax lawyers, the Strategic Tax Lawyers.  Contact the Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP if you have a tax-related issue.  Call (800) 669-4775 for a free case consultation.