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Maximizing Qualified Tuition Program Contributions

Qualified Tuition Programs, commonly referred to as Section 529 plans (named after the section of the IRS Code that created them), are plans established to help families save and pay for college in a tax-advantaged way and are available to everyone, regardless of income. These state-sponsored plans allow you to gift large sums of money for a family member’s college education, while you maintain control of the funds. The earnings from these accounts grow tax-deferred and are tax-free if used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. 529 plans can be used as an estate-planning tool as well, providing ...

Are You In Danger of An Audit

During fiscal year 2013, the IRS collected almost $2.3 trillion in taxes (net of refunds) and processed more than 240 million returns. More than 118 million individual income tax return filers received tax refunds that totaled $312.8 billion. In fiscal year 2013, the IRS spent an average of 41 cents to collect each $100 of tax revenue.

So what are your chances of being audited?A total of $1,404,931 individual income tax returns were audited, out of a total of $145.8 million individual returns that were filed in the previous year. This is about 0.8% of all individual returns filed, down from the previous year. This downward trend ...

Find Lost Money

Unclaimed property refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for a period of one year or longer (depending upon state law). Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.

Financial institutions and companies will turn ...

Tax Facts About Summertime Child Care Expenses

Many parents who work or are looking for work must arrange for care of their children during school vacations. If you are one of those, and your children requiring care are under 13 years of age, you may qualify for a tax credit that can reduce your federal income taxes.

Here are some facts you need to know about the tax credit available for child care expenses. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is available for expenses incurred during the lazy, hazy days of summer and throughout the rest of the year. You must claim the qualifying child ...

Scammers Getting More Brazen

We have previously cautioned you not to be duped by Internet and mail scams dreamed up by some pretty enterprising thieves. Most of those revolve around the Internet and e-mails, trying to steal your identity or have you pay tax liabilities that don’t exist.

The latest schemes revolve around phone calls from individuals claiming to be IRS or State agents who demand immediate payment for fabricated tax liabilities. Don’t get caught up in these scams. Always remember, the first contact you will receive from the IRS or state is letter, never a phone ...