Happy 100th Birthday, Form 1040!

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By Stacey Gorowitz, CPA, MBA  In March 1913, Form 1040 as we know it today was first issued for income tax reporting. Here’s a basic 1040 income tax return history from the Library of Congress: “The origin of the income tax on individuals is generally cited as the passage of the 16th Amendment, passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913… March 1st was the [filing deadline] specified by Congress in 1913, after the passage of the 16th amendment. In 1918 Congress pushed the date forward to March 15th, where it remained until the tax overhaul of 1954, when the date was again moved ahead to April 15th.” Included in this post is an image of the first page of the original form from 1913, as supplied via OurDocuments.gov through the National Archives & Records Administration. Additionally, here is a link to a recreated pdf of a complete 1913 1040 form that is, get this, a whopping four pages long including the form and all instructions. Today’s form and … [Read more...]

How To Select a Tax Preparer

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  It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again - tax time! Although you may not enjoy the process, it is a necessary evil. Hopefully finding the right tax preparer can make it less painful. Nearly 2/3 of all taxpayers use a tax preparer. However, it still may not be appropriate for you. There are multiple free filing software options accessible through the IRS’s website if your income is below $57,000, and 70 percent of all taxpayers make less than $57,000. But if you’re not in this category, then it may be prudent for you to hire a professional. A good tax preparer will help you stay in compliance with the law as well as minimize taxes for your specific set of circumstances. The IRS has some important minimum requirements you should look for in a tax preparer at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Tips-to-Help-You-Choose-a-Tax-Preparer. However, there are some other characteristics that could be important to you as well. When selecting a preparer it is important to: 1)    Be an … [Read more...]