Monday, March 29, 2010

File Federal State Individual Taxes before April 15

Have you filed your tax return? April 15 is fast approaching.

April 15 is the last day to file an individual income tax return to IRS for both federal and state tax return. You can either print your tax return and submit it to IRS or E-File your tax return online before April 15 to save late return penalties.

There are many options to file your federal and state taxes quick and free including various software offers and listed companies on FFA page.

To file your Federal tax return free, you can choose the IRS free file program to choose the best company that suits you and your situation.

More information regarding Federal tax software and FFA options are describe in the earlier Post. (

If you are not sure, that you are able to file your taxes before that, you can also file an extension (Form 4868) to the IRS to informing about the delay of your tax return. In that case you are not liable for penalty. Most of the software are also supporting the e-file of extension.

Also if you owe money then you have to pay your owe money with this form either by cheques or by direct debit. If you are e-filing then you have a option of direct debit else if you are sending this form as a paper file you need to attach a cheques along with the form. You can find more information about extension filing on

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Calculator for Individuals

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Calculator for Individuals

Before going how to use this application given by IRS, below is some details on what is Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)?

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is a parallel tax system with having its own regular tax, tax income and its related deductions. To figure out whether you owe any additional tax under the Alternative Minimum Tax system, you need to fill out Form 6251.

If the tax calculated on Form 6251 is higher than that calculated on your regular tax return, you have to pay the difference as AMT.

The Altername Minimum Tax Calculator provided by IRS government is intended to provide a simple test who fill out tax returns without using software to determine whether we may be subject to the AMT.

Below is the link from IRS to check the tax liabilities for your AMT called as AMT Assistant.

Answer a few simple questions about entries on draft 1040 and the system will show the results and will tell you that either you do not owe the AMT or that you must go further and complete Form 6251 to find out if you owe the AMT.

All the information are extracted from IRS website. ( and information regarding AMT is taken from

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Credit for Child Adoption Costs-Code 197 for California State Taxes

Credit for Child Adoption Costs — Code 197

If you have adopted a child, you can claim a credit upto 50% of the adoption cost. You can claim this credit on your California State tax return (Form 540, Form 540 NR(long or short)) with credit code 197.

Your allowable credit is $2500 per childern and you can carry over the excess credit to future years.

There are certain rules to claim this credit on your california return and they are as below.
For the year in which an adoption decree or an order of adoption is entered (e.g., adoption is final), claim a credit for 50% of the cost of adopting a child who was both:
  • A citizen or legal resident of the United States.
  • In the custody of a California public agency or a California political subdivision.
Treat a prior unsuccessful attempt to adopt a child (even when the costs were incurred in a prior year) and a later successful adoption of a different child as one effort when computing the cost of adopting the child.

Include the following costs if directly related to the adoption process:
  • Fees for Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency. 
  • Medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance.
  • Travel expenses for the adoptive family.
  • This credit does not apply when a child is adopted from another country or another state, or was not in the custody of a California public agency or a California political subdivision.
  • Any deduction for the expenses used to claim this credit must be reduced by the amount of the child adoption costs credit claimed.
Use same calculation shown bleow for each adoption. The maximum credit is limited to $2,500 per minor child.

1. Enter qualifying costs for the child . . . . . . . . . 1 _______
2. Credit percentage — 50%  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 _______x .50
3. Credit amount. Multiply line 1 by line 2.
     Do not enter more than $2,500 . . . . . . . . . . . 3 _______

Your allowable credit is limited to $2,500 for 2009. Carry over the excess credit to future years until the credit is used.
All the information are taken from California Government Website( Please refer the instruction before claiming this credit on your state tax return.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New York Income Tax Refund Status for Tax Year 2009

Where to find out New York Income Tax Refund Status for Tax Year 2009?

Find the below link from the New York state government website to check out the refund status. 

On the webpage, Enter the below information to get the status of your refund.
- Enter your social security number;
- Select the form you filed; and
- Enter the exact whole-dollar amount of the refund that you claimed.

If you have file your NewYork state tax return and accepted by state government, then this is right tool to locate your state tax refund.

All content and links are taken from the New York Government Website. For more information you can visit on

Friday, March 5, 2010

Calculate your California taxes using California State Tax Calculator 2009

Very Simple but powerful tool to estimate the status of your state tax return (refund or due) is a state tax calculator.

Below is the link of California state tax calculator provided by FTB on california government website.

Choose the filing status and provide the gross income to calculate your state taxes. You can estimate your refund as per your taxes that you paid on your income.

You can file your california state taxes free of cost using government e-file options. You can read more on

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to eFile with Free File service provided by IRS?

IRS Commercials on FREEFile options.

You can file your Free Federal Taxes with IRS using FreeEfile options. If you have your gross income $57000 or less, you can file with any of the 20 companies totally FREE.

You can find out more information regarding this program on

Below is one of the demo publish by IRS.