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Education Tax Credits: Two Benefits to Help You Pay for College

 

Did you pay for college in 2014? If you did it can mean tax savings on your federal tax return. There are two education credits that can help you with the cost of higher education. The credits may reduce the amount of tax you owe on your tax return. Here are some important facts you should know about education tax credits.

American Opportunity Tax Credit:

Claiming a Tax Deduction for Medical and Dental Expenses

 

Your medical expenses may save you money at tax time, but a few key rules apply. Here are some tax tips to help you determine if you can claim a tax deduction:

Ten Facts That You Should Know about Capital Gains and Losses

 

When you sell a capital asset the sale results in a capital gain or loss. A capital asset includes most property you own for personal use or own as an investment. Here are 10 facts that you should know about capital gains and losses:

1. Capital Assets.  Capital assets include property such as your home or car, as well as investment property, such as stocks and bonds.

2. Gains and Losses.  A capital gain or loss is the difference between your basis and the amount you get when you sell an asset. Your basis is usually what you paid for the asset.

Social Security Benefits and Your Taxes

 

If you receive Social Security benefits, you may have to pay federal income tax on part of your benefits. These IRS tips will help you determine whether or not you need to pay taxes on your benefits. They also explain the best way to file your tax return.

Form SSA-1099.  If you received Social Security in 2014, you should receive a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, showing the amount of your benefits.

Only Social Security.  If Social Security was your only income in 2014, your benefits may not be taxable. You also may not need to file a federal income tax return. If you get income from other sources you may have to pay taxes on some of your benefits.

Taxable or Not – What You Need to Know about Income

 

All income is taxable unless the law excludes it. Here are some basic rules you should know to help you file an accurate tax return:

  • Taxed 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 taxable.

Some types of income are not taxable except under certain conditions, including:

Five Good Reasons Why You Should Choose Direct Deposit

 

The best way to get your tax refund is by direct deposit. Here are five good reasons to join the 84 million taxpayers who chose direct deposit last year.

IRS Direct Deposit:

1. Is Fast.  The fastest way to get your refund is to electronically file your federal tax return and use direct deposit. Use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file your federal return for free.

2. Is Convenient.  With direct deposit, your refund goes directly into your bank account. You won’t have to wait for your check to come in the mail. There’s no need to make a trip to the bank to deposit a check.

3. Is Secure.  Since your refund goes directly into your account, there’s no risk of having your refund check stolen or lost in the mail.

What You Should Know if You Changed Your Name

 

Did you change your name last year? If you did, it can affect your taxes. All the names on your tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay your refund. Here’s what you should know if you changed your name:

Report Name Changes.  Did you get married and are now using your new spouse’s last name or hyphenated your last name? Did you divorce and go back to using your former last name? In either case, you should notify the SSA of your name change. That way, your new name on your IRS records will match up with your SSA records.

Dependent Name Change.  Notify the SSA if your dependent had a name change. For example, this could apply if you adopted a child and the child’s last name changed.