Success Starts with the Right Tools
Welcome to the Resources section, a curated list of the tools and websites that can help you with your finances and taxes.
IRS 1040 Resources
Amend Taxes on 1040-X
- Electronic amendment for tax year 2019, 2020 available.
- Tax Form 1040-X for 2021
- Amendment instructions as PDF
- 1040-X Frequent Questions (FAQ)
- Where is my Amended Return status check?
- After 3 weeks of mailing, it will show up in the system (electronic amendments are faster).
- Processing takes up to 16 weeks or longer.
Before you start preparing your taxes, you need to gather all your tax documents, starting with W-2s, 1099s, and other records. In order to receive credits and deductions, related expenses and receipts are necessary.
For anybody on the tax return, you will need personal information, such as Social Security Numbers (SSNs), the correct spelling of everyone’s name, and date of birth.
You can make the process less taxing by proactively organizing your documents into an annual folder, binder, or an envelope. Indicate the tax year on it, such as Tax Year 20XX.
6 Month Extension
- Due October 15
- Form 4868
- Only extends time to file not to pay
There are four main ways to file your taxes:
- Use IRS Free File tax software by:
- Use free tax return preparation sites run by IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. You come in person and volunteers do your taxes. Many of the TCE sites are run by AARP.
- Use Commercial Software such as that by:
- Tax prepares at retail locations. Check the tax pro-IRS database on authorized IRS e-file providers.
Where's My Refund?
- You can download IRS2Go app to check your refund status
- Electronic filing speeds up refund processing.
- Check refund status (you will need SS/ITIN numbers, filing status and refund amount).
- You can obtain tax forms from many years back not just the current three years.
- For prior year 1040 type in https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040–XXXX.pdf and replace the XXXX with a year such as 1920 so it reads https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040–1920.pdf that will get you to form 1040 from 1920.
Set-up IRS Online Account
- Set-up an IRS online account which will allow you to:
- Access your tax records
- Make and view payments
- View your balance
- Set-up payment plans
- View tax pro authorizations such as Power of Attorney
How to Pay Your Taxes
- You can create an online IRS account.
- You can pay as a guest with a bank account.
- Pay with a cc (fees apply).
- Make business payments.
- Apply for a Payment Plan.
- As an alternative, you can file for free using IRS Free File or online fillable forms.
- When paper filing, there are different addresses depending on your location as well as whether you have a payment to include.
- Different forms also have additional addresses to mail the paperwork (now you know why e-filing is the best way to go).
- If you can’t find your previous tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, etc., you can obtain them from the IRS by requesting a transcript.
- The fastest way is by obtaining it online but you will need to verify your identity.
- You can also request them via mail but they will take much longer.
Tax Law Rules
US Code Title 26 of Internal Revenue - Subtitle A - Income Taxes
- CHAPTER 1—NORMAL TAXES AND SURTAXES (§§ 1 – 1400Z–2)
- CHAPTER 2—TAX ON SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME (§§ 1401 – 1403)
- CHAPTER 11—ESTATE TAX (§§ 2001 – 2210)
- CHAPTER 12—GIFT TAX (§§ 2501 – 2524)
- CHAPTER 23—FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT TAX ACT (§§ 3301 – 3311)
- CHAPTER 24—COLLECTION OF INCOME TAX AT SOURCE ON WAGES (§§ 3401 – 3451)
- CHAPTER 25—GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT TAXES (§§ 3501 – 3512)
- CHAPTER 48—MAINTENANCE OF MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE (§ 5000A)
- CHAPTER 61—INFORMATION AND RETURNS (§§ 6001 – 6117)
- CHAPTER 62—TIME AND PLACE FOR PAYING TAX (§§ 6151 – 6167)
- CHAPTER 63—ASSESSMENT (§§ 6201 – 6241)
- CHAPTER 64—COLLECTION (§§ 6301 – 6361)
- CHAPTER 65—ABATEMENTS, CREDITS, AND REFUNDS (§§ 6401 – 6432)
- CHAPTER 67—INTEREST (§§ 6601 – 6631)
- CHAPTER 75—CRIMES, OTHER OFFENSES, AND FORFEITURES (§§ 7201 – 7345)
- CHAPTER 80—GENERAL RULES (§§ 7801 – 7874)
Should I Itemize?
- The standard deduction amount varies depending on your income, age, whether or not you are blind, and filing status.
- If you are MFS and your spouse itemizes you can’t use standard deduction. You have itemized as well.
- You should itemize deductions if your allowable itemized deductions are greater than your standard deduction.
- You itemize on Schedule A.
- Had large uninsured medical and dental expenses
- Paid mortgage interest or real property taxes on your home
- Had large uninsured casualty or theft losses from a Federally declared disaster
- Made large contributions to qualified charities
Statute of Limitations
- You can claim your refund for withholding or estimated taxes within 3 years of the return due date. So during tax season 2022, you can file taxes for the tax years 2021, 2020, and 2019. After the April deadline, you can no longer claim a refund for the year 2019, so don’t wait.
- If you have a filing requirement but don’t file, the IRS may create a substitute return for you. That type of return may not give you all the credits and deductions so if you receive a substitute return, you should try filing yourself.
Apply for Payment Plan
- There are long-term and short-term payment plans.
- The long-term payment plan is if you owe $50,000 or less in tax, penalties, and interest.
- Short-term payment plans are for taxpayers with $100,000 or less in tax, penalties, and interest.
- You will need to create an IRS account online.
- To pay now, there are no fees.
- To set up a short-term plan (180 days or less) there are no fees to set up.
- For long-term plans with direct debit, there is a $31 set-up fee (with some waiver for low-income taxpayers).
- For plans with non-direct debit, the set-up fee is $130.
IRS provides publications that explain in detail rules for specific forms and situations. Few that are helpful relate to:
- Pub 17 (2021), Your Federal Income Tax
- Pub 334 (2021), Tax Guide for Small Business
- Pub 463 (2020), Travel, Gift, and Car Expenses
- Pub 501 (2021), Dependents, Standard Deduction, & Filing Information
- Pub 502 (2021), Medical and Dental Expenses
- Pub 503 (2021), Child and Dependent Care Expenses
- Pub 504 (2021), Divorced or Separated Individuals
- Pub 505 (2021), Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
- Pub 523 (2021), Selling Your Home
- Pub 525 (2021), Taxable and Nontaxable Income
- Pub 526 (2020), Charitable Contributions
- Pub 527 (2020), Residential Rental Property
- Pub 530 (2021), Tax Information for Homeowners
- Pub 535 (2020), Business Expenses
- Pub 536 (2020), Net Operating Losses (NOLs)
- Pub 554 (2021), Tax Guide for Seniors
- Pub 583 (01/2021), Starting a Business and Keeping Records
- Pub 587 (2021), Business Use of Your Home
- Pub 590-A (2021), Contributions to IRAs
- Pub 590-B (2020), Distributions from IRAs
- Pub 596 (2021), Earned Income Credit (EIC)
- Pub 915 (2021), Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits
- Pub 929 (2021), Tax Rules for Children and Dependents
- Pub 970 (2021), Tax Benefits for Education
Settle IRS Debt
- Offer in Compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe.
- The criteria that the IRS looks at before they accept you into the program is based on: your ability to pay, income, expenses, asset equity, hardship.
- If you are in a bankruptcy proceeding, check the IRS pre-qualifier if you would be accepted into the Offer-in-Compromise program.
- Look at the Form 656 booklet for more information.
- Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) refers to the stimulus payments (and economic impact payments (EIP)) that taxpayers received in the tax year 2020 and 2021. There were three stimulus payments that taxpayers could have received.
- Stimulus Payment 1 & 2 are accounted on the 2020 tax returns.
- Stimulus Payment 3 is accounted for on the 2021 tax returns.
- Stimulus payments were not taxable, however, you are asked the information on whether you received them or not because if you qualified but didn’t receive them, you can claim RRC and receive them with your refund.
- Check your bank whether you received the payments as direct deposits.
- You will receive Notice 1444, 144-B and 144-C for each stimulus.
- Criteria for the stimulus payments varied slightly.
|EIP – Single Filer (Child)||RRC Tax
|EIP 1 – $1,200 ($500)||2020|
|EIP 2 – $600 ($600)||2020|
|EIP 3 – $1,400 ($1,400)||2021|
What’s your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the year. Provide your account balance, your age, and spouse information, if applicable, to calculate the amount of RMD you have to withdraw in the current year.
Tax Refund Calculator
Based on your filing status, a number of dependents, income, and deductions, the calculator will show you what you can expect as your refund in 2021.
More Modern Tax Refund Calculator
A very modern tax refund calculator that is very easy to adjust and see the impact on the bottom line. It is a similar tool to the Tax Refund calculator by TaxSlayer, but visually it is presented in a much more user-friendly layout.
CryptoCurrency Tax Calculator
Calculate how much of your long and short-term cryptocurrency transaction will lead to tax. Provide your filling status and income amount to see which capital gain tax bracket you would fall into.
Provide age, annual household income, amount of current savings and years to retirement to figure out how much you should save and when your savings would run out.
Student Loans Calculator
If you have student loans and would like to refinance them, this calculator will provide you with current refinancing options.
You have to provide your state of residence, credit score, annual income, loan balance, and what is your highest education level.
Education Credits & Deductions Calculator
Even though the calculator looks very dated it is up to date and very useful. It is used by the IRS VITA AAR volunteers.
IT asks you to provide your dependency status, as well as your education situation. Based on that information it will tell you whether you qualify for any education credits & deductions.
Home Sale Calculator
How much will you make selling your home? Provide your costs of purchase, repairs, and the amount of proceeds.
Any expenses such as commissions and closing costs are also included. This will help you determine whether you could qualify for the $250,000 home gain exclusion.
Sales Tax Deduction Calculator
Your total deduction for state and local income, sales and property taxes is limited to a combined, total deduction of $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately).
Pension Amount Calculator
How much will you receive in retirement from your pension? That depends on a number of factors, like your plan type, age at retirement and how long you worked for that employer.
Use this calculator to estimate your annual and monthly benefit.
Capital Gains Calculator
See what is your capital gains on the sale of stocks, homes, the property will be. Provide the sale and cost amount, length of ownership, and filing status to calculate the amount of capital gains tax.
Debt Repayment Calculator
Take any debt, tax, or other, provide the amount you owe, what is the interest rate, and decide whether you want to pay it off by paying a certain amount each month or if you want to pay it off at a certain time.
Annuity/Pension Exclusion Calculator
The IRS says you can use the Simplified Method to determine how much of your annuity or pension payments is taxable and how much is tax-free if the starting date of payments was after November 18, 1996.
The IRS provides a Simplified Method Worksheet to help you do the calculation, but it is rather confusing. The calculator is more user friendly.
Taxable Refund Calculator
Don’t report any of the refund as income if you didn’t itemize your deductions on your federal tax return for the tax year that generated the refund.
You would receive your prior year refund inforamtion on Form 1099-G.
Social Security Earnings Calculator
This is a quick estimate social security earnings calculator based on your current age, retirement age, annual income, and a few other criteria.
What is great about this calculator is that you can easily adjust certain variables to see how the final amount of social security earnings can change. It is quick and easy to use.
Social Security Calculator
This calculator helps your estimate your Social Security benefit based on all your earnings, your age, and other criteria.
This is a very detailed planning tool.
Social Security Claiming Age Calculator
This is a quick tool to help you estimate how your Social Security amount would change based on when you decide to claim it.
It only asks for your age and highest annual work income.
Provide home price, down payment and mortgage rate, plus property taxes, homeowners insurance, to figure out what will your monthly payments be.
Retirement Age Calculator
Do you know your full retirement age based on when you were born? You can quickly find that out with this calculator.
Life Expectancy Calculator
What is your average number of additional years that a person can expect to live based on gender and date of birth?
This calculator can help you evaluate whether it may make sense to start drawing income from SS or your retirement plans, based on your life expectancy.
Historical Stock Prices
The basis of stocks or bonds you own generally is the purchase price plus the costs of purchase, such as commissions and recording or transfer fees.
The broker is required to provide you basis information on the Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions if they were purchased after 2011.
To find historical stock price information on equities that you purchased before (if you don’t have it) you can use the two websites below:
Taxpayer Advocate Service
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS. They fight for taxpayer rights and help resolve taxpayer problems.
TAS can help you with:
- Paying Taxes
- Issues & Errors
- Filing Returns
- Talking with the IRS
- Covid-19 Related Problems
- Small Busines
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC)
These clinics assist low-income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS and provide education and outreach to taxpayers who speak English as a second language (ESL).
In order to qualify for assistance from a LITC, generally, a taxpayer’s income must be below a certain threshold ($33,975 for a family of 1 to $69, 375 for a family of 4, for example), and the amount in dispute with the IRS is usually less than $50,000.
Many clinics are listed in IRS Publication 4134.
You can also use the lookup tool on the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) by providing your location.