Category Archives for "Income"

Bartering Produces Taxable Income and Reporting Requirements

Bartering is the trading of one product or service for another. Often there is no exchange of cash. Some businesses barter to get products or services they need. For example, a gardener might trade landscape work with a plumber for plumbing work.

If you barter, you should know that the value of products or services from bartering is normally taxable income. This is true even if you are not in business.

A few facts about bartering:

Bartering income. Both parties must report the fair market value of the product or service they get as income on their tax return.
Barter exchanges. A barter exchange is an organized marketplace where members barter products or services. Some operate out of an office and others over the Internet. All barter exchanges are required to issue Form 1099-B, Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions. Exchanges must give a copy of the form to its members who barter each year. They must also file a copy with the IRS.
Trade Dollars. Exchanges trade barter or trade dollars as their unit of exchange in most cases. Barter and trade dollars are the same as U.S. currency for tax purposes. If you earn trade and barter dollars, you must report the amount you earn on your tax return.
Tax implications. Bartering is taxable in the year it occurs. The tax rules may vary based on the type of bartering that takes place. Barterers may owe income taxes, self-employment taxes, employment taxes or excise taxes on their bartering income.
Reporting rules. How you report bartering on a tax return varies. If you are in a trade or business, you normally report it on Form 1040, Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business.
Go to the Bartering Tax Center on IRS.gov for more information.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

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Self Employed? Check Out These IRS Tax Tips

If you are self-employed, you normally carry on a trade or business. Sole proprietors and independent contractors are two types of self-employment. If this applies to you, there are a few basic things you should know about how your income affects your federal tax return. Here are six important tips from the IRS:

SE Income. Self-employment can include income you received for part-time work. This is in addition to income from your regular job.
Schedule C or C-EZ. You must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040. You may use Schedule C-EZ if you had expenses less than $5,000 and meet certain other conditions. See the form instructions to find out if you can use the form.
SE Tax. You may have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax if you made a profit. Self-employment tax includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. Use Schedule SE, Self-Employment Tax, to figure the tax. If you owe this tax, attach the schedule to your federal tax return.
Estimated Tax. You may need to make estimated tax payments. Try IRS Direct Pay. People typically make these payments on income that is not subject to withholding. You usually pay estimated taxes in four annual installments. If you do not pay enough tax throughout the year, you may owe a penalty.
Allowable Deductions. You can deduct expenses you paid to run your business that are both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and proper for your trade or business.
When to Deduct. In most cases, you can deduct expenses in the same year you paid, or incurred them. However, you must ‘capitalize’ some costs. This means you can deduct part of the cost over a number of years.
Visit the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center on IRS.gov for all your federal tax needs. You can also get IRS tax forms on IRS.gov/forms anytime.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

Additional IRS Resources:

Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
Publication 535, Business Expenses
IRS YouTube Videos:

Estimated Tax Payments – English | Spanish | ASL
IRS Podcast:

Estimated Tax Payments – English | Spanish

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What You Need to Know about Taxable and Non-Taxable Income

All income is taxable unless a law specifically says it isn’t. Here are some basic rules you should know to help you file an accurate tax return:

Taxable income. Taxable income includes money you earn, like wages and tips. It also includes bartering, an exchange of property or services. The fair market value of property or services received is normally taxable.
Some types of income are not taxable except under certain conditions, including:

Life insurance. Proceeds paid to you upon the death of an insured person are usually not taxable. However, if you redeem a life insurance policy for cash, any amount you get that is more than the cost of the policy is taxable.
Qualified scholarship. In most cases, income from a scholarship is not taxable. This includes amounts used for certain costs, such as tuition and required books. On the other hand, amounts you use for room and board are taxable.
Other income tax refunds. State or local income tax refunds may be taxable. You should receive a Form 1099-G from the agency that paid you. They may have sent the form by mail or electronically. Contact them to find out how to get the form. Report any taxable refund you got even if you did not receive Form 1099-G.
Here are some items that are usually not taxable:

Gifts and inheritances
Child support payments
Welfare benefits
Damage awards for physical injury or sickness
Cash rebates from a dealer or manufacturer for an item you buy
Reimbursements for qualified adoption expenses
For more on this topic see Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income. You can get it at IRS.gov/forms anytime.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

IRS YouTube Videos:

Taxable and Nontaxable Income – English | Spanish | ASL
IRS Podcasts:

Taxable and Nontaxable Income – English | Spanish

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IRS Issues Nine Out of 10 Refunds in less than 21 Days

IRS YouTube Videos

When Will I Get My Refund: English | Spanish
Welcome to Free File: English
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that it issues 90 percent of refunds in less than 21 days. The best way to check the status of a refund is online through the “Where’s my Refund?” tool at IRS.gov or via the IRS2Go phone app.

“As February approaches, more and more taxpayers want to know when they can expect their refunds,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “There aren’t any secret tricks to checking on the status of a refund. Using IRS.gov is the best way for taxpayers to get the latest information.”

Many taxpayers are eager to know precisely when their money will be arriving, but checking “Where’s My Refund” more than once a day will not produce new information. The status of refunds is refreshed only once a day, generally overnight.

“Where’s My Refund?” has the most up to date information available about your refund. Taxpayers should use this tool rather than calling.

Taxpayers can use “Where’s My Refund?” to start checking on the status of their return within 24 hours after IRS has received an e-filed return or four weeks after receipt of a mailed paper return. “Where’s My Refund?” has a tracker that displays progress through three stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.

The IRS2Go phone app is another fast and safe tool taxpayers can use to check the status of a refund. In addition, users can use the app to find free tax preparation help, make a payment, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get the latest IRS news, and subscribe to filing season updates and tax tips. The app is free for Android devices from the Google Play Store or from the Apple App Store for Apple devices.

Users of both the IRS2Go app and “Where’s my Refund” tools must have information from their current, pending tax return to access their refund information.

The IRS reminded taxpayers there’s no advantage to calling about refunds. IRS representatives can only research the status of your refund in limited situations: if it has been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, more than six weeks since you mailed your paper return, or “Where’s My Refund?” directs you to contact us. If the IRS needs more information to process your tax return, we will contact you by mail.

The IRS continues to strongly encourage the use of e-file and direct deposit as the fastest and safest way to file an accurate return and receive a tax refund. More than four out of five tax returns are expected to be filed electronically, with a similar proportion of refunds issued through direct deposit.

The IRS Free File program offers free brand-name software to about 100 million individuals and families with incomes of $62,000 or less. Seventy percent of the nation’s taxpayers are eligible for IRS Free File. All taxpayers regardless of income will again have access to free online fillable forms, which provide electronic versions of IRS paper forms to complete and file. Both options are available through IRS.gov.

See the “What to Expect for Refunds in 2016” page for more.

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Who Should File a 2014 Tax Return?

Most people file their tax return because they have to, but even if you don’t, there are times when you should.   You may be eligible for a tax refund and not know it.  This year, there are a few new rules for some who must file.  Following are six tax tips to help you determine […]

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IRS Starts 2015 Tax Season

The Internal Revenue Service announced the opening of the 2015 filing season.  The IRS Free File program, available at IRS.gov, opened Friday, and the IRS will begin accepting and processing all tax returns on Tuesday – January 20th.  Taxpayers have until Wednesday – April 15th to file their 2014 tax returns and pay any tax […]

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Choosing the Right Filing Status

  Using the correct filing status is very important when filing your tax return, it can affect how much you pay in taxes and may even affect whether you must file a tax return.  When choosing a filing status, keep in mind that your marital status on Dec. 31 is your status for the whole […]

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