Tax Filing Season Commences January 20

The income tax filing season starts on January 20, 2015, states the Internal Revenue Service. This means that people may begin filing returns for Taxes 2014 on that date. This day will kick-off the filing season even though the United State Congress passed a eleventh hour tax law, and it was signed by President Obama.

In addition, the Congress passed a bill which extends more than 50 soon to expire income tax breaks. The extension goes through the end of 2014 and allows filers to take advantage of them on their 2014 federal income tax returns. The President signed the bill just recently on December 19.

Previously, these kinds of last minute laws have delayed the start of the income tax filing season, but it is not the case this time, stated Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, John Koskinen.

Koskinen has indicted that nothing was stopping the IRS from keeping its systems current and fully tested. Annually, many millions of taxpayers, desiring to obtain their refunds as soon as possible, file their returns during the very first weeks of the tax season.

Most recently, the IRS has indicated that refunds should be issued within 21 days of filing when the process is done electronically with TurboTax or other online means. This is the quickest way to file and get a refund.

Koskinen said that tax refunds may be late because the IRS has experienced budgetary cuts. He did not indicate, though, how late refunds would be.

Average refunds for 2013 were around $2,800 each. The IRS figures on processing around 150 million tax returns for individual taxes this year.

Charitable Summer Giving Equals Tax Deductions

During the leisure-driven summer season, people should still want to increase their charitable giving. Not only is this a noble enterprise, but it also benefits the taxpayer during tax season. There are many avenues of giving that can earn a tax deduction for the average person.

For instance, children’s summer camps provide fun and safe day care to many needy kids. They rely on donations to help parents with summer time care while parents are working and the kids are not in school. Another good avenue is finding a community fan and air conditioning drive which helps families and the elderly avoid heat-related illnesses during the sweltering summer months.

The national debt clock outside the IRS office...
The national debt clock outside the IRS office in NYC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or, finish your spring cleaning in the summer. Donate the clothing, household goods and other items no longer needed to not for profits who refurbish and resell them in their thrift stores.

Here is a caution, however. While charitable giving is important and worthwhile, be sure to check that the organization is legitimately not for profit. Check its references online. Ask friends and relatives what they know about it. Call the organization to inquire about its tax exempt status. Don’t donate unless you know all the proper paperwork is in the hands of the Internal Revenue Service.

To further credential your charitable giving this summer, be sure to save the receipts the not for profit provides with a donation. Use online tax software such as Turbo Tax to keep your donation records in good order. Turbo Tax Its Deductible records everything necessary to give correct documentation to the IRS come tax season.

Remember, no matter how you spend your leisurely summer days, plan to send some money, time and belongings to the charitable organization of your choice. Correctly recorded and documented, those donations will add up to nice tax deductions in April.