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Hrblock com Publication 527 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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IRS Offers Videos to Help Taxpayers Preparing to File in 2014

IR-2014-1, Jan. 3, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is offering taxpayers a number of instructional YouTube videos to help prepare their taxes for the upcoming filing season, which begins on Jan. 31.

Several options are available to help taxpayers prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as possible. Many software companies are expected to begin accepting tax returns in January and hold those returns until the IRS systems open on Jan. 31. This includes the Free File partners that offer access to their software for free at irs.gov/Free File. The IRS will not process any tax returns before Jan. 31, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date. Taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file or Free File with the direct deposit option.

In addition, the IRS has short and informative YouTube videos on a number of tax-related topics in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL). The channels have received nearly 6.5 million views:

Specific videos that taxpayers may view to help them get ready over the coming weeks include:

  • Do-It-Yourself Free Tax Preparation ─ Helps taxpayers find free help from certified volunteers to electronically file tax returns. Taxpayers interested in helping their own communities can also watch a video to learn about becoming involved in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.
  • Do I Have to File a Tax Return? ─ Learn about the requirements for filing a tax return, including income limits and age, and why taxpayers may want to file even if they don't have to.
  • How to Get 1040 Forms ─  Provides tips on the quickest way to get the various 1040 forms on IRS.gov.
  • Tax Scams ─  Offers some tips on how to protect personal information and avoid becoming a tax scam victim.
  • Record-keeping ─  Learn which financial and tax files to keep and how long to keep them.
  • Changed Your Name After Marriage or Divorce? ─  Find out what you need to do if you have changed your name before you file your tax return.
  • Choosing a Tax Preparer ─ Hear some useful tips for choosing a reputable tax preparer.

The IRS uses social media tools and platforms to share the latest information on tax changes, initiatives, products and services. These social media platforms include the IRS2Go phone application, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. To protect taxpayer privacy, the IRS only uses social media tools to share public information, not to answer personal tax or account questions. It advises taxpayers to never post confidential information, like a Social Security number, on social media sites. A listing is available on IRS.gov.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 03-Jan-2014

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Hrblock com Some employees may be able to deduct certain work-related expenses. The following facts from the IRS can help you determine which expenses are deductible as an employee business expense. You must be itemizing deductions on IRS Schedule A to qualify. Hrblock com Expenses that qualify for an itemized deduction generally include: Hrblock com Business travel away from home Hrblock com Business use of your car Hrblock com Business meals and entertainment Hrblock com Travel Hrblock com Use of your home Hrblock com Education Hrblock com Supplies Hrblock com Tools Hrblock com Miscellaneous expenses Hrblock com You must keep records to prove the business expenses you deduct. For general information on recordkeeping, see IRS Publication 552, Recordkeeping for Individuals available on this website, or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Hrblock com If your employer reimburses you under an accountable plan, you should not include the payments in your gross income, and you may not deduct any of the reimbursed amounts. Hrblock com An accountable plan must meet three requirements: Hrblock com You must have paid or incurred expenses that are deductible while performing services as an employee. Hrblock com Hrblock com You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable time period. Hrblock com Hrblock com You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable time period. Hrblock com If the plan under which you are reimbursed by your employer is non-accountable, the payments you receive should be included in the wages shown on your Form W-2. You must report the income and itemize your deductions to deduct these expenses. Hrblock com Generally, you report unreimbursed expenses on IRS Form 2106 or IRS Form 2106-EZ and attach it to Form 1040. Deductible expenses are then reported on IRS Schedule A, as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to a rule that limits your employee business expenses deduction to the amount that exceeds 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. Hrblock com For more information see IRS Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions, which is available on this website, or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Hrblock com