|By Marketwired .||
|January 31, 2013 05:00 AM EST||
MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 01/31/13 -- (Family Features) Going to college; getting your first job; moving into your own place. To these rites of passage add one more: doing your own taxes. And, it's not as scary as you might think.
It's not scary because there's help available. It's called Free File, and it's offered exclusively from the IRS in partnership with nearly 15 leading tax software companies. About 3 million people use it every year.
Free File lets you choose brand-name software that does the hard work for you -- all for free. And, it offers a fast, safe and free option for everyone. Brand-name tax software is available to those who made $57,000 or less in 2012 -- which is about 70 percent of us. Earned more? Try Free File's online fillable forms, the electronic alternative to IRS paper forms.
Three simple steps to getting started
Step 1: Gather Your Tax Information
- Collect your tax information and log on to Free File through the IRS website: www.IRS.gov/freefile.
Step 2: Choose an Option
- The "Help Me Choose A Company" option helps you pick the brand-name software that will guide you through the tax process.
- Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic documents, perform basic math calculations and are for people who are comfortable preparing their own paper tax returns.
Step 3: Prepare and e-file Your Return
- E-file your return for free. No matter what option you choose, IRS and brand-name software providers use the most current technology to ensure tax information is encrypted, so it's safe and secure when it's transmitted.
Free File is also available online 24/7, giving you the freedom to choose when and how you do your taxes.
Checklist of materials to do your taxes
Keep this list as a checklist of the items you will need to do your taxes. The IRS recommends keeping all tax-related documents for three years, in case of an audit. Tracking income-related documents can help you take full advantage of deductions available to you.
- A copy of last year's tax return
- Valid Social Security numbers for yourself, spouse and children
- All income statements, i.e. W-2 forms, from all employers
- Interest/dividend statements, i.e. 1099 forms
- Form 1099-G showing any state refunds
- Unemployment compensation amount
- Social Security benefits
- Expense receipts for deductions
- Day care provider's identifying number
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps you keep more of what you earned
No tax benefit offers a greater lifeline to working families than EITC. Yet, one out of every five eligible taxpayers fails to claim it, according to the IRS. Because of the economy, even more people may be eligible if they have had changes in their earned income. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The maximum credit for 2012 tax returns is $5,891 for workers with three or more qualifying children.
- Eligibility for the EITC is determined based on a number of factors including earnings, filing status and eligible children. Workers without qualifying children may be eligible for a smaller credit amount.
Learn more at www.irs.gov/eitc and use the EITC Assistant, or ask your tax professional. If you are eligible for EITC, you also are eligible for free tax help at VITA sites nationwide or to use Free File at www.irs.gov/freefile.
EITC: Are you eligible?
- You must have earned income.
- Your adjusted gross income cannot be more than the limit.
- Your filing status cannot be "Married filing separately."
- You must have a valid Social Security number.
- You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year.
- You cannot file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ.
- Your investment income must be $3,200 or less.
Did you know?
- Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days.
- Combining e-file with direct deposit is still the fastest way to get your refund.
- Use "Where's My Refund?" to get personalized refund information based on the processing of your tax return.
- You can also use the IRS app, IRS2Go, to check the status of your refund.
- Can't meet April 15 deadline? Use Free File for a free extension; then use Free File to do your taxes by October 15.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
There are thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites nationwide that offer free help to those earning around $51,000 or less. To locate the nearest VITA site, search for "VITA" on www.IRS.gov.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), which is supported by AARP, offers free tax help to people who are age 60 and older. Locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site at AARP.org or call 1-888-227-7669. Some VITA/TCE sites even offer Free File. You can do it yourself on their computers.
About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
This and other food and lifestyle content can be found at www.editors.familyfeatures.com. Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for use in print and online publications. Register with no obligation to access a variety of formatted and unformatted features, accompanying photos, and automatically updating Web content solutions.
Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2203811
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Oct. 23, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,326
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Oct. 23, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,349
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Oct. 23, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,674
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Oct. 23, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 8,315
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Oct. 23, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,094
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Oct. 23, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,735
DevOps is speeding towards the IT world like a freight train and the hype around it is deafening. There is no reason to be afraid of this change as it is the natural reaction to the agile movement that revolutionized development just a few years ago. By definition, DevOps is the natural alignment of IT performance to business profitability. The relevance of this has yet to be quantified but it has been suggested that the route to the CEO’s chair will come from the IT leaders that successfully ma...
Oct. 23, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 16,352
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
Oct. 23, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 685
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Oct. 23, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,920
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Oct. 23, 2016 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,834
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Oct. 23, 2016 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,926
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,305
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,694
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,952
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,442