• Are You Self-Employed

    If you are your own boss, work as a sub-contractor, or own your own business, you are generally considered self-employed. There are many special tax situations, deductions, and even taxes you must pay when you are self-employed. 

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    Change Your Name

    Did you get married or divorced last year? Did your name change for any reason during the last year? If so, you must change your name legally by contacting the Social Security Administration (SSA) and requesting your name on your social security card be changed. To do so you must provide proof of your name change, such as your marriage license or divorce decree. If your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, still has your previous name, you can still send it with your return. On the Form W-2, simply cross out your previous name and write in your new name.

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    Charitable Contributions

    Making charitable contributions is an easy and effective way to lower your taxes. You are eligible to take a deduction for contributions or gifts made to certain qualified organizations. The contributions can either be in the form of money or property. You must file Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and itemize deductions on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, to take advantage of this deduction.

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    Dependents

    Claiming someone as your dependent may significantly reduce the tax liability on your federal tax return. You may be entitled to a $3,900 exemption per dependent and a Child Tax Credit of up to $1,000 per qualifying child under age 17. Claiming someone as a dependent may also affect your filing status. You may qualify for the Head of Household filing status or the Qualifying Widow(er) filing status if you have a dependent. Additionally, if you pay educational expenses for this person, claiming the person as a dependent may allow you take advantage of education credits, the tuition and fees deduction, or the student loan interest deduction. A dependent does not have to be your child. Dependents can include others who are either related to you, such as a parent, or who have lived with you during the entire year as a member of your household.

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    Earned Income Credit

    The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a refundable federal tax credit for eligible individuals and families who have earned income. You have earned income if you work for someone who pays you or if you work in a business you own. Taxable earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, union strike benefits, long-term disability benefits received prior to minimum retirement age and net earnings from self-employment. If you can take the EIC, it reduces the tax owed. The credit can be refunded even if you do not owe any tax.

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    Education Credits and Deductions

    The education of your children, or even of yourself and your spouse, can be a major investment. Knowing which tax credits and deductions are available can be confusing. Let's look at a brief explanation of each of the benefits that may be available.

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    Employment Business Expenses

    Every year, some people overpay their income taxes due to forgotten expenses or overlooked deductions that could lower their tax liability.

    Do not let this happen to you. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service is in the business of saving you money. If you have un-reimbursed business expenses in the following areas, you might be able to save some dollars if you:

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    Filing Status

    Every year, some employees overpay their income taxes because they use the wrong filing status. Don't let this happen to you. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service is in the business of saving you money.

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    Filing Your Return

    Jackson Hewitt offers two ways to file your tax return. Customers can choose IRS e-file or request a paper return that can be mailed to the IRS.

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    Home Ownership

    Thinking of buying a home? How will this affect your tax situation? Most of the expenses incurred when buying a home are not deductible. There are expenses of owning a home that are deductible.

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    IRAs

    An Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) is a tax-deferred savings plan for retirement. Earnings on a traditional IRA are not subject to tax until they are withdrawn. Contributions are limited to a combined total of $5,500 per year per taxpayer ($6,500 if at least age 50). IRAs are available to all taxpayers with earned income during the year.

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    IRS e-file

    IRS e-file is the electronic transmission of your tax return to the IRS. Jackson Hewitt provides free electronic filing of federal and state returns for all customers who pay for tax preparation.

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    Job Related Moving Expenses

    You may have changed jobs during the year or your employer may have transferred you to a new location. If your job change required you to move to a new location, and you meet the following qualifications, you can deduct your job-related moving expenses.

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    Job Related Vehicle Expenses

    If you want to take a deduction for the business use of your vehicle, you must decide whether to deduct your actual expenses or use the standard mileage rate. Your Jackson Hewitt tax preparer can help you determine which method is most advantageous for you.

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    Job-Related Travel Expenses

    You might be able to deduct travel expenses if you are an employee who temporarily travels away from your tax home for business purposes. You are traveling away from home if both of the following apply:

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    Medical Expenses

    Did you have medical expenses last year?  They may be a tax deduction.

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    Military Personnel

    Are you a member, or spouse of a member, of the United States Armed Forces?  Check out these special tax rules.

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    Older Tax Payers

    There are certain tax situations that may apply to you as an older taxpayer. It is important to understand the way the tax law affects your return to ensure you pay the least amount of tax. Learn more about the following to prepare for an advantageous tax return:

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    Pensions

    Pension plans are set up and maintained through your employer. Your employer sets up a plan based on strict IRS guidelines and offers the plan to each of its employees. There are many types of plans available. The most common types of plans are as follows:

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    Record Keeping

    Income tax regulations place the burden of proof on the taxpayer. Because of this, to prepare your tax return, you need to keep accurate records that support the income, expenses and credits you report. Generally, these are the same records you use to monitor your business or track your personal finances.

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    Rental Property

    If you own rental real estate, you should know how it impacts your personal tax return. Rental income must be reported on your tax return, and generally, associated expenses can be deducted from your rental income. Reviewing answers to the following common questions regarding rental property may help you understand the tax implications of rental property ownership:

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    Uniform Definition of a Child

    The IRS has a uniform definition of a child that is used for filing status determination, the Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and the credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses. The uniform definition of a child is:

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