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State Tax Filing Online

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State Tax Filing Online

State tax filing online 2. State tax filing online   Entertainment Table of Contents Directly-Related Test Associated TestMeetings at conventions. State tax filing online 50% LimitExceptions to the 50% Limit What Entertainment Expenses Are Deductible?A meal as a form of entertainment. State tax filing online Deduction may depend on your type of business. State tax filing online Exception for events that benefit charitable organizations. State tax filing online Food and beverages in skybox seats. State tax filing online What Entertainment Expenses Are Not Deductible?Out-of-pocket expenses. State tax filing online You may be able to deduct business-related entertainment expenses you have for entertaining a client, customer, or employee. State tax filing online The rules and definitions are summarized in Table 2-1 . State tax filing online You can deduct entertainment expenses only if they are both ordinary and necessary and meet one of the following tests. State tax filing online Directly-related test. State tax filing online Associated test. State tax filing online Both of these tests are explained later. State tax filing online An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. State tax filing online A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. State tax filing online An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary. State tax filing online The amount you can deduct for entertainment expenses may be limited. State tax filing online Generally, you can deduct only 50% of your unreimbursed entertainment expenses. State tax filing online This limit is discussed later under 50% Limit. State tax filing online Directly-Related Test To meet the directly-related test for entertainment expenses (including entertainment-related meals), you must show that: The main purpose of the combined business and entertainment was the active conduct of business, You did engage in business with the person during the entertainment period, and You had more than a general expectation of getting income or some other specific business benefit at some future time. State tax filing online Business is generally not considered to be the main purpose when business and entertainment are combined on hunting or fishing trips, or on yachts or other pleasure boats. State tax filing online Even if you show that business was the main purpose, you generally cannot deduct the expenses for the use of an entertainment facility. State tax filing online See Entertainment facilities under What Entertainment Expenses Are Not Deductible? later in this chapter. State tax filing online You must consider all the facts, including the nature of the business transacted and the reasons for conducting business during the entertainment. State tax filing online It is not necessary to devote more time to business than to entertainment. State tax filing online However, if the business discussion is only incidental to the entertainment, the entertainment expenses do not meet the directly-related test. State tax filing online Table 2-1. State tax filing online When Are Entertainment Expenses Deductible? General rule You can deduct ordinary and necessary expenses to entertain a client, customer, or employee if the expenses meet the directly-related test or the associated test. State tax filing online Definitions Entertainment includes any activity generally considered to provide entertainment, amusement, or recreation, and includes meals provided to a customer or client. State tax filing online An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. State tax filing online A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate. State tax filing online Tests to be met Directly-related test Entertainment took place in a clear business setting, or Main purpose of entertainment was the active conduct of business, and You did engage in business with the person during the entertainment period, and You had more than a general expectation of getting income or some other specific business benefit. State tax filing online   Associated test Entertainment is associated with your trade or business, and Entertainment is directly before or after a substantial business discussion. State tax filing online Other rules You cannot deduct the cost of your meal as an entertainment expense if you are claiming the meal as a travel expense. State tax filing online You cannot deduct expenses that are lavish or extravagant under the circumstances. State tax filing online You generally can deduct only 50% of your unreimbursed entertainment expenses (see 50% Limit ). State tax filing online You do not have to show that business income or other business benefit actually resulted from each entertainment expense. State tax filing online Clear business setting. State tax filing online   If the entertainment takes place in a clear business setting and is for your business or work, the expenses are considered directly related to your business or work. State tax filing online The following situations are examples of entertainment in a clear business setting. State tax filing online Entertainment in a hospitality room at a convention where business goodwill is created through the display or discussion of business products. State tax filing online Entertainment that is mainly a price rebate on the sale of your products (such as a restaurant owner providing an occasional free meal to a loyal customer). State tax filing online Entertainment of a clear business nature occurring under circumstances where there is no meaningful personal or social relationship between you and the persons entertained. State tax filing online An example is entertainment of business and civic leaders at the opening of a new hotel or play when the purpose is to get business publicity rather than to create or maintain the goodwill of the persons entertained. State tax filing online Expenses not considered directly related. State tax filing online   Entertainment expenses generally are not considered directly related if you are not there or in situations where there are substantial distractions that generally prevent you from actively conducting business. State tax filing online The following are examples of situations where there are substantial distractions. State tax filing online A meeting or discussion at a nightclub, theater, or sporting event. State tax filing online A meeting or discussion during what is essentially a social gathering, such as a cocktail party. State tax filing online A meeting with a group that includes persons who are not business associates at places such as cocktail lounges, country clubs, golf clubs, athletic clubs, or vacation resorts. State tax filing online Associated Test Even if your expenses do not meet the directly-related test, they may meet the associated test. State tax filing online To meet the associated test for entertainment expenses (including entertainment-related meals), you must show that the entertainment is: Associated with the active conduct of your trade or business, and Directly before or after a substantial business discussion (defined later). State tax filing online Associated with trade or business. State tax filing online   Generally, an expense is associated with the active conduct of your trade or business if you can show that you had a clear business purpose for having the expense. State tax filing online The purpose may be to get new business or to encourage the continuation of an existing business relationship. State tax filing online Substantial business discussion. State tax filing online   Whether a business discussion is substantial depends on the facts of each case. State tax filing online A business discussion will not be considered substantial unless you can show that you actively engaged in the discussion, meeting, negotiation, or other business transaction to get income or some other specific business benefit. State tax filing online   The meeting does not have to be for any specified length of time, but you must show that the business discussion was substantial in relation to the meal or entertainment. State tax filing online It is not necessary that you devote more time to business than to entertainment. State tax filing online You do not have to discuss business during the meal or entertainment. State tax filing online Meetings at conventions. State tax filing online   You are considered to have a substantial business discussion if you attend meetings at a convention or similar event, or at a trade or business meeting sponsored and conducted by a business or professional organization. State tax filing online However, your reason for attending the convention or meeting must be to further your trade or business. State tax filing online The organization that sponsors the convention or meeting must schedule a program of business activities that is the main activity of the convention or meeting. State tax filing online Directly before or after business discussion. State tax filing online   If the entertainment is held on the same day as the business discussion, it is considered to be held directly before or after the business discussion. State tax filing online   If the entertainment and the business discussion are not held on the same day, you must consider the facts of each case to see if the associated test is met. State tax filing online Among the facts to consider are the place, date, and duration of the business discussion. State tax filing online If you or your business associates are from out of town, you must also consider the dates of arrival and departure, and the reasons the entertainment and the discussion did not take place on the same day. State tax filing online Example. State tax filing online A group of business associates comes from out of town to your place of business to hold a substantial business discussion. State tax filing online If you entertain those business guests on the evening before the business discussion, or on the evening of the day following the business discussion, the entertainment generally is considered to be held directly before or after the discussion. State tax filing online The expense meets the associated test. State tax filing online 50% Limit In general, you can deduct only 50% of your business-related meal and entertainment expenses. State tax filing online (If you are subject to the Department of Transportation's “hours of service” limits, you can deduct 80% of your business-related meal and entertainment expenses. State tax filing online See Individuals subject to “hours of service” limits , later. State tax filing online ) The 50% limit applies to employees or their employers, and to self-employed persons (including independent contractors) or their clients, depending on whether the expenses are reimbursed. State tax filing online Figure A summarizes the general rules explained in this section. State tax filing online The 50% limit applies to business meals or entertainment expenses you have while: Traveling away from home (whether eating alone or with others) on business, Entertaining customers at your place of business, a restaurant, or other location, or Attending a business convention or reception, business meeting, or business luncheon at a club. State tax filing online Included expenses. State tax filing online   Expenses subject to the 50% limit include: Taxes and tips relating to a business meal or entertainment activity, Cover charges for admission to a nightclub, Rent paid for a room in which you hold a dinner or cocktail party, and Amounts paid for parking at a sports arena. State tax filing online However, the cost of transportation to and from a business meal or a business-related entertainment activity is not subject to the 50% limit. State tax filing online Figure A. State tax filing online Does the 50% Limit Apply to Your Expenses? There are exceptions to these rules. State tax filing online See Exceptions to the 50% Limit . State tax filing online Please click here for the text description of the image. State tax filing online Figure A. State tax filing online Does the 50% limit apply to Your Expenses?TAs for Figure A are: Notice 87-23; Form 2106 instructions Application of 50% limit. State tax filing online   The 50% limit on meal and entertainment expenses applies if the expense is otherwise deductible and is not covered by one of the exceptions discussed later. State tax filing online   The 50% limit also applies to certain meal and entertainment expenses that are not business related. State tax filing online It applies to meal and entertainment expenses you have for the production of income, including rental or royalty income. State tax filing online It also applies to the cost of meals included in deductible educational expenses. State tax filing online When to apply the 50% limit. State tax filing online   You apply the 50% limit after determining the amount that would otherwise qualify for a deduction. State tax filing online You first have to determine the amount of meal and entertainment expenses that would be deductible under the other rules discussed in this publication. State tax filing online Example 1. State tax filing online You spend $200 for a business-related meal. State tax filing online If $110 of that amount is not allowable because it is lavish and extravagant, the remaining $90 is subject to the 50% limit. State tax filing online Your deduction cannot be more than $45 (50% × $90). State tax filing online Example 2. State tax filing online You purchase two tickets to a concert and give them to a client. State tax filing online You purchased the tickets through a ticket agent. State tax filing online You paid $200 for the two tickets, which had a face value of $80 each ($160 total). State tax filing online Your deduction cannot be more than $80 (50% × $160). State tax filing online Exceptions to the 50% Limit Generally, business-related meal and entertainment expenses are subject to the 50% limit. State tax filing online Figure A can help you determine if the 50% limit applies to you. State tax filing online Expenses not subject to 50% limit. State tax filing online   Your meal or entertainment expense is not subject to the 50% limit if the expense meets one of the following exceptions. State tax filing online 1 - Employee's reimbursed expenses. State tax filing online   If you are an employee, you are not subject to the 50% limit on expenses for which your employer reimburses you under an accountable plan. State tax filing online Accountable plans are discussed in chapter 6. State tax filing online 2 - Self-employed. State tax filing online   If you are self-employed, your deductible meal and entertainment expenses are not subject to the 50% limit if all of the following requirements are met. State tax filing online You have these expenses as an independent contractor. State tax filing online Your customer or client reimburses you or gives you an allowance for these expenses in connection with services you perform. State tax filing online You provide adequate records of these expenses to your customer or client. State tax filing online (See chapter 5 . State tax filing online )   In this case, your client or customer is subject to the 50% limit on the expenses. State tax filing online Example. State tax filing online You are a self-employed attorney who adequately accounts for meal and entertainment expenses to a client who reimburses you for these expenses. State tax filing online You are not subject to the directly-related or associated test, nor are you subject to the 50% limit. State tax filing online If the client can deduct the expenses, the client is subject to the 50% limit. State tax filing online If you (as an independent contractor) have expenses for meals and entertainment related to providing services for a client but do not adequately account for and seek reimbursement from the client for those expenses, you are subject to the directly-related or associated test and to the 50% limit. State tax filing online 3 - Advertising expenses. State tax filing online   You are not subject to the 50% limit if you provide meals, entertainment, or recreational facilities to the general public as a means of advertising or promoting goodwill in the community. State tax filing online For example, neither the expense of sponsoring a television or radio show nor the expense of distributing free food and beverages to the general public is subject to the 50% limit. State tax filing online 4 - Sale of meals or entertainment. State tax filing online   You are not subject to the 50% limit if you actually sell meals, entertainment, goods and services, or use of facilities to the public. State tax filing online For example, if you run a nightclub, your expense for the entertainment you furnish to your customers, such as a floor show, is not subject to the 50% limit. State tax filing online 5 - Charitable sports event. State tax filing online   You are not subject to the 50% limit if you pay for a package deal that includes a ticket to a qualified charitable sports event. State tax filing online For the conditions the sports event must meet, see Exception for events that benefit charitable organizations under What Entertainment Expenses Are Deductible?, later. State tax filing online Individuals subject to “hours of service” limits. State tax filing online   You can deduct a higher percentage of your meal expenses while traveling away from your tax home if the meals take place during or incident to any period subject to the Department of Transportation's “hours of service” limits. State tax filing online The percentage is 80%. State tax filing online   Individuals subject to the Department of Transportation's “hours of service” limits include the following persons. State tax filing online Certain air transportation workers (such as pilots, crew, dispatchers, mechanics, and control tower operators) who are under Federal Aviation Administration regulations. State tax filing online Interstate truck operators and bus drivers who are under Department of Transportation regulations. State tax filing online Certain railroad employees (such as engineers, conductors, train crews, dispatchers, and control operations personnel) who are under Federal Railroad Administration regulations. State tax filing online Certain merchant mariners who are under Coast Guard regulations. State tax filing online What Entertainment Expenses Are Deductible? This section explains different types of entertainment expenses you may be able to deduct. State tax filing online Entertainment. State tax filing online   Entertainment includes any activity generally considered to provide entertainment, amusement, or recreation. State tax filing online Examples include entertaining guests at nightclubs; at social, athletic, and sporting clubs; at theaters; at sporting events; on yachts; or on hunting, fishing, vacation, and similar trips. State tax filing online   Entertainment also may include meeting personal, living, or family needs of individuals, such as providing meals, a hotel suite, or a car to customers or their families. State tax filing online A meal as a form of entertainment. State tax filing online   Entertainment includes the cost of a meal you provide to a customer or client, whether the meal is a part of other entertainment or by itself. State tax filing online A meal expense includes the cost of food, beverages, taxes, and tips for the meal. State tax filing online To deduct an entertainment-related meal, you or your employee must be present when the food or beverages are provided. State tax filing online    You cannot claim the cost of your meal both as an entertainment expense and as a travel expense. State tax filing online    Meals sold in the normal course of your business are not considered entertainment. State tax filing online Deduction may depend on your type of business. State tax filing online   Your kind of business may determine if a particular activity is considered entertainment. State tax filing online For example, if you are a dress designer and have a fashion show to introduce your new designs to store buyers, the show generally is not considered entertainment. State tax filing online This is because fashion shows are typical in your business. State tax filing online But, if you are an appliance distributor and hold a fashion show for the spouses of your retailers, the show generally is considered entertainment. State tax filing online Separating costs. State tax filing online   If you have one expense that includes the costs of entertainment and other services (such as lodging or transportation), you must allocate that expense between the cost of entertainment and the cost of other services. State tax filing online You must have a reasonable basis for making this allocation. State tax filing online For example, you must allocate your expenses if a hotel includes entertainment in its lounge on the same bill with your room charge. State tax filing online Taking turns paying for meals or entertainment. State tax filing online   If a group of business acquaintances takes turns picking up each others' meal or entertainment checks primarily for personal reasons, without regard to whether any business purposes are served, no member of the group can deduct any part of the expense. State tax filing online Lavish or extravagant expenses. State tax filing online   You cannot deduct expenses for entertainment that are lavish or extravagant. State tax filing online An expense is not considered lavish or extravagant if it is reasonable considering the facts and circumstances. State tax filing online Expenses will not be disallowed just because they are more than a fixed dollar amount or take place at deluxe restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, or resorts. State tax filing online Allocating between business and nonbusiness. State tax filing online   If you entertain business and nonbusiness individuals at the same event, you must divide your entertainment expenses between business and nonbusiness. State tax filing online You can deduct only the business part. State tax filing online If you cannot establish the part of the expense for each person participating, allocate the expense to each participant on a pro rata basis. State tax filing online Example. State tax filing online You entertain a group of individuals that includes yourself, three business prospects, and seven social guests. State tax filing online Only 4/11 of the expense qualifies as a business entertainment expense. State tax filing online You cannot deduct the expenses for the seven social guests because those costs are nonbusiness expenses. State tax filing online Trade association meetings. State tax filing online   You can deduct entertainment expenses that are directly related to and necessary for attending business meetings or conventions of certain exempt organizations if the expenses of your attendance are related to your active trade or business. State tax filing online These organizations include business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, trade associations, and professional associations. State tax filing online Entertainment tickets. State tax filing online   Generally, you cannot deduct more than the face value of an entertainment ticket, even if you paid a higher price. State tax filing online For example, you cannot deduct service fees you pay to ticket agencies or brokers or any amount over the face value of the tickets you pay to scalpers. State tax filing online Exception for events that benefit charitable organizations. State tax filing online   Different rules apply when the cost of a ticket to a sports event benefits a charitable organization. State tax filing online You can take into account the full cost you pay for the ticket, even if it is more than the face value, if all of the following conditions apply. State tax filing online The event's main purpose is to benefit a qualified charitable organization. State tax filing online The entire net proceeds go to the charity. State tax filing online The event uses volunteers to perform substantially all the event's work. State tax filing online    The 50% limit on entertainment does not apply to any expense for a package deal that includes a ticket to such a charitable sports event. State tax filing online Example 1. State tax filing online You purchase tickets to a golf tournament organized by the local volunteer fire company. State tax filing online All net proceeds will be used to buy new fire equipment. State tax filing online The volunteers will run the tournament. State tax filing online You can deduct the entire cost of the tickets as a business expense if they otherwise qualify as an entertainment expense. State tax filing online Example 2. State tax filing online You purchase tickets to a college football game through a ticket broker. State tax filing online After having a business discussion, you take a client to the game. State tax filing online Net proceeds from the game go to colleges that qualify as charitable organizations. State tax filing online However, since the colleges also pay individuals to perform services, such as coaching and recruiting, you can only use the face value of the tickets in determining your business deduction. State tax filing online Skyboxes and other private luxury boxes. State tax filing online   If you rent a skybox or other private luxury box for more than one event at the same sports arena, you generally cannot deduct more than the price of a nonluxury box seat ticket. State tax filing online   To determine whether a skybox has been rented for more than one event, count each game or other performance as one event. State tax filing online For example, renting a skybox for a series of playoff games is considered renting it for more than one event. State tax filing online All skyboxes you rent in the same arena, along with any rentals by related parties, are considered in making this determination. State tax filing online   Related parties include: Family members (spouses, ancestors, and lineal descendants), Parties who have made a reciprocal arrangement involving the sharing of skyboxes, Related corporations, A partnership and its principal partners, and A corporation and a partnership with common ownership. State tax filing online Example. State tax filing online You pay $3,000 to rent a 10-seat skybox at Team Stadium for three baseball games. State tax filing online The cost of regular nonluxury box seats at each event is $30 a seat. State tax filing online You can deduct (subject to the 50% limit) $900 ((10 seats × $30 each) × 3 events). State tax filing online Food and beverages in skybox seats. State tax filing online   If expenses for food and beverages are separately stated, you can deduct these expenses in addition to the amounts allowable for the skybox, subject to the requirements and limits that apply. State tax filing online The amounts separately stated for food and beverages must be reasonable. State tax filing online You cannot inflate the charges for food and beverages to avoid the limited deduction for skybox rentals. State tax filing online What Entertainment Expenses Are Not Deductible? This section explains different types of entertainment expenses you generally may not be able to deduct. State tax filing online Club dues and membership fees. State tax filing online   You cannot deduct dues (including initiation fees) for membership in any club organized for: Business, Pleasure, Recreation, or Other social purpose. State tax filing online This rule applies to any membership organization if one of its principal purposes is either: To conduct entertainment activities for members or their guests, or To provide members or their guests with access to entertainment facilities, discussed later. State tax filing online   The purposes and activities of a club, not its name, will determine whether or not you can deduct the dues. State tax filing online You cannot deduct dues paid to: Country clubs, Golf and athletic clubs, Airline clubs, Hotel clubs, and Clubs operated to provide meals under circumstances generally considered to be conducive to business discussions. State tax filing online Entertainment facilities. State tax filing online   Generally, you cannot deduct any expense for the use of an entertainment facility. State tax filing online This includes expenses for depreciation and operating costs such as rent, utilities, maintenance, and protection. State tax filing online   An entertainment facility is any property you own, rent, or use for entertainment. State tax filing online Examples include a yacht, hunting lodge, fishing camp, swimming pool, tennis court, bowling alley, car, airplane, apartment, hotel suite, or home in a vacation resort. State tax filing online Out-of-pocket expenses. State tax filing online   You can deduct out-of-pocket expenses, such as for food and beverages, catering, gas, and fishing bait, that you provided during entertainment at a facility. State tax filing online These are not expenses for the use of an entertainment facility. State tax filing online However, these expenses are subject to the directly-related and associated tests and to the 50% limit , all discussed earlier. State tax filing online Expenses for spouses. State tax filing online   You generally cannot deduct the cost of entertainment for your spouse or for the spouse of a customer. State tax filing online However, you can deduct these costs if you can show you had a clear business purpose, rather than a personal or social purpose, for providing the entertainment. State tax filing online Example. State tax filing online You entertain a customer. State tax filing online The cost is an ordinary and necessary business expense and is allowed under the entertainment rules. State tax filing online The customer's spouse joins you because it is impractical to entertain the customer without the spouse. State tax filing online You can deduct the cost of entertaining the customer's spouse. State tax filing online If your spouse joins the party because the customer's spouse is present, the cost of the entertainment for your spouse is also deductible. State tax filing online Gift or entertainment. State tax filing online   Any item that might be considered either a gift or entertainment generally will be considered entertainment. State tax filing online However, if you give a customer packaged food or beverages that you intend the customer to use at a later date, treat it as a gift. State tax filing online   If you give a customer tickets to a theater performance or sporting event and you do not go with the customer to the performance or event, you have a choice. State tax filing online You can treat the tickets as either a gift or entertainment, whichever is to your advantage. State tax filing online   You can change your treatment of the tickets at a later date by filing an amended return. State tax filing online Generally, an amended return must be filed within 3 years from the date the original return was filed or within 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later. State tax filing online   If you go with the customer to the event, you must treat the cost of the tickets as an entertainment expense. State tax filing online You cannot choose, in this case, to treat the tickets as a gift. State tax filing online Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Cell Phones and Wireless Communication

Before you sign a contract and choose a plan and a company that meets your needs, you should ask these types of questions:

Where can you make and receive calls? Most providers now offer a choice of local, regional, or national plans. A local plan offers low-cost options if most of your calls are near home. Regional plans generally offer a larger geographic area - sometimes several states. If you call outside the area covered by these plans, you will pay long distance and roaming charges in addition to the airtime used. National plans are the most expensive, but they let you use your phone anywhere in the country for a single per-minute price.

How frequently will you use the phone? If you just want a phone for emergencies, an economy plan with a few minutes a month may be all you need. On the other hand, if you are going to be a heavy user, a plan with several free hours and the lowest airtime charge is a wiser choice. If you plan to use texting, pick a plan that will meet your needs and avoid surprises on your billing. Most services allow you to upgrade a plan without an added one-time charge.

Is a family plan option available? Instead of individual cell phone plans for each member of the family, you can share one cellular service plan and a pool of monthly usage minutes among several phones. The cost of the additional numbers per month is usually less than if you purchased individual accounts.

Is there a trial period? Many people experience "dead spots" where a cell phone doesn't work. A trial period lets you test your service and try the features of the phone without incurring a termination fee.

Know your options. Make sure you are only buying the options or features you really need. It is always easier to upgrade a plan later if you feel you need another feature.

What happens if you want to cancel your service? Most providers have a penalty. This is a concern if you have to move out of the area covered by your plan.

Smart Phones

Smart phones are like miniature computers; they provide basic phone functions, along with advanced features, including browsing the Internet, accessing e-mail, interacting on online social networks, listening to music, watching videos, uploading pictures, and managing your calendar. They also allow use of a QWERTY keyboard to facilitate texting and e-mailing. (The keys are arranged the same way they would be on your computer keyboard.)

When shopping for a smart phone, consider these tips:

  • Consider the shape and size of the phone.
  • Make sure you can easily use the keypad to make calls or send messages.
  • Do you need to access the Internet with your phone? If so, ask whether a data plan is required and how much it costs; compare options carefully. Data plans govern use and costs associated with mobile access for e-mail, text messaging, web browsing, social networking, and other applications.
  • Take advantage of special pricing and promotions.
  • Learn the return and cancellation policies.
  • Be wary of buying phone insurance, which may sound tempting, but consumer groups generally advise against it.

If there is a particular phone model you are interested in buying, investigate which service providers actually carry the phone. If your service provider carries the phone, they may require you to renew or extend your current contract; you may also be required to upgrade the service plan you have in order to access all of the phone’s features. Some phone models are available exclusively with only one service provider. This may require you to terminate a contract with your current provider and start a new contractual agreement with a new provider. Under the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) local number portability rules, so long as you remain in the same geographic area, you can take your phone number with you when you move from one service provider to a different one.

Apps for Your Smartphone

“Apps”, short for applications, are tools that help you accomplish tasks or find information when you are on the go. Apps are designed to work on smart phones and may be downloaded or accessed using your phone’s web browser. Some apps are designed for specific platforms (Android, Blackberry, or iPhone), so make sure that you purchase apps that are compatible with your phone’s software requirements. While some apps are free, many of them do charge a small fee. Before you click “download”, keep in mind that the cost of your purchases are automatically deducted from your bank account or charged to your credit card or phone bill. Keep track of the amount of money that you spent on apps, to avoid shock when you receive your bill.
Visit the Apps gallery on usa.gov to download free apps from the government. Look for some of the consumer apps for product recalls, fuel economy, food safety, nutrition, and health information.

Privacy and Safety Concerns

Since smart phones are like miniature computers, many of the same privacy and safety concerns apply; however, unlike computers, these devices do not have anti-virus software to protect your phone from malware attacks, spyware, or text message spam. Therefore, you should take precautions with your phone, including:

  • Protect your passwords for websites you visit from your mobile phone, particularly financial institutions.
  • Refrain from posting your mobile phone number or email address publicly online.
  • Many mobile phones come with an email address that includes your mobile phone number in the address. Contact your service provider to have this email address changed.
  • Delete texts or emails from people that you don’t know. Don’t click any links in these messages.
  • Be careful about clicking on ads, as they can contain viruses.
  • Be careful about unlocking your cell phone from the manufacturer or service provider; this makes the phone more vulnerable to attack from malware.
  • Turn off your Bluetooth when not in use. They can be used by hackers to compromise your phone.
  • Encrypt passwords and other sensitive data saved on your cell phone.

For more information on how to protect yourself from these concerns, read more about online privacy.

Pay-As-You-Go Plans

If you want cell phone service only for emergencies or aren't sure how much you will actually use a cell phone once you get it, you may want to consider a prepaid cell phone before you commit to a long-term wireless contract. With a prepaid cell phone, there is no contract to sign and no monthly bill to worry about. You will know exactly how much you spend. The down side of prepaid plans is that you pay more per minute, and if you don't use the phone for an extended period of time, you could lose the money in your account.

Disposing of Your Old Cell Phone

Even after you get a new mobile phone you may be wondering what to do with your old phone and charger. There are safe ways to dispose of your cell phone that can even be helpful to others and not hurt the environment. Before you dispose of it, make sure to clean the phone to protect your privacy:

  • Remove the subscriber identity module (SIM) card from the phone.
  • Delete the contacts in your phone book, text messages, voicemails, saved photos, and web search history.
  • Clear out your call and text history (both calls and texts received and made).

After you have taken these steps, you can now determine how to dispose of the phone. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you not throw out electronics with your other trash, because they contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. It is recommended that you:

  • Recycle it. Many wireless service providers will accept your old phone at their retail stores. Similarly, you can send the phone and accessories to the phone manufacturer.
  • Donate it to an organization that can use it for charitable purposes.
  • Resell it.

The State Tax Filing Online

State tax filing online 2. State tax filing online   Withholding Tax Table of Contents Topics - This chapter discusses: Useful Items - You may want to see: Income Tax Withholding Statement. State tax filing online 30% Flat Rate Withholding Social Security and Medicare TaxesGeneral Information Bilateral Social Security (Totalization) Agreements Topics - This chapter discusses: Withholding income tax from the pay of U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online citizens, Withholding tax at a flat rate, and Social security and Medicare taxes. State tax filing online Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 505 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax Form (and Instructions) 673 Statement For Claiming Exemption From Withholding on Foreign Earned Income Eligible for the Exclusion Provided by Section 911 W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification See chapter 7 for information about getting this publication and these forms. State tax filing online Income Tax Withholding U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online employers generally must withhold U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online income tax from the pay of U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online citizens working abroad unless the employer is required by foreign law to withhold foreign income tax. State tax filing online Foreign earned income exclusion. State tax filing online   Your employer does not have to withhold U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online income taxes from wages you earn abroad if it is reasonable to believe that you will exclude them from income under the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign housing exclusion. State tax filing online   Your employer should withhold taxes from any wages you earn for working in the United States. State tax filing online Statement. State tax filing online   You can give a statement to your employer indicating that you expect to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion under either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test and indicating your estimated housing cost exclusion. State tax filing online   Form 673 is an acceptable statement. State tax filing online You can use Form 673 only if you are a U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online citizen. State tax filing online You do not have to use the form. State tax filing online You can prepare your own statement. State tax filing online See a copy of Form 673, later. State tax filing online   Generally, your employer can stop the withholding once you submit the statement that includes a declaration that the statement is made under penalties of perjury. State tax filing online However, if your employer has reason to believe that you will not qualify for either the foreign earned income or the foreign housing exclusion, your employer must continue to withhold. State tax filing online   In determining whether your foreign earned income is more than the limit on either the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign housing exclusion, if your employer has any information about pay you received from any other source outside the United States, your employer must take that information into account. State tax filing online Foreign tax credit. State tax filing online   If you plan to take a foreign tax credit, you may be eligible for additional withholding allowances on Form W-4. State tax filing online You can take these additional withholding allowances only for foreign tax credits attributable to taxable salary or wage income. State tax filing online Withholding from pension payments. State tax filing online   U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online payers of benefits from employer-deferred compensation plans, individual retirement plans, and commercial annuities generally must withhold income tax from payments delivered outside of the United States. State tax filing online You can choose exemption from withholding if you: Provide the payer of the benefits with a residence address in the United States or a U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online possession, or Certify to the payer that you are not a U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online citizen or resident alien or someone who left the United States to avoid tax. State tax filing online Check your withholding. State tax filing online   Before you report U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online income tax withholding on your tax return, you should carefully review all information documents, such as Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and the Form 1099 information returns. State tax filing online Compare other records, such as final pay records or bank statements, with Form W-2 or Form 1099 to verify the withholding on these forms. State tax filing online Check your U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online income tax withholding even if you pay someone else to prepare your tax return. State tax filing online You may be assessed penalties and interest if you claim more than your correct amount of withholding allowances. State tax filing online This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. State tax filing online Please click the link to view the image. State tax filing online Form 673 30% Flat Rate Withholding Generally, U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online payers of income other than wages, such as dividends and royalties, are required to withhold tax at a flat 30% (or lower treaty) rate on nonwage income paid to nonresident aliens. State tax filing online If you are a U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online citizen or resident alien and this tax is withheld in error from payments to you because you have a foreign address, you should notify the payer of the income to stop the withholding. State tax filing online Use Form W-9 to notify the payer. State tax filing online You can claim the tax withheld in error as a withholding credit on your tax return if the amount is not adjusted by the payer. State tax filing online Social security benefits paid to residents. State tax filing online   If you are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and a flat 30% tax was withheld in error on your social security benefits, the tax is refundable by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the IRS. State tax filing online The SSA will refund the tax withheld if the refund can be processed during the same calendar year in which the tax was withheld. State tax filing online If the SSA cannot refund the tax withheld, you must file a Form 1040 or 1040A with the Internal Revenue Service Center at the address listed under Where To File to determine if you are entitled to a refund. State tax filing online The following information must be submitted with your Form 1040 or Form 1040A. State tax filing online A copy of Form SSA-1042S, Social Security Benefit Statement. State tax filing online A copy of your “green card. State tax filing online ” A signed declaration that includes the following statements. State tax filing online   “I am a U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online lawful permanent resident and my green card has been neither revoked nor administratively or judicially determined to have been abandoned. State tax filing online I am filing a U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online income tax return for the taxable year as a resident alien reporting all of my worldwide income. State tax filing online I have not claimed benefits for the taxable year under an income tax treaty as a nonresident alien. State tax filing online ” Social Security and Medicare Taxes Social security and Medicare taxes may apply to wages paid to an employee regardless of where the services are performed. State tax filing online General Information In general, U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online social security and Medicare taxes do not apply to wages for services you perform as an employee outside the United States unless one of the following exceptions applies. State tax filing online You perform the services on or in connection with an American vessel or aircraft (defined later) and either: You entered into your employment contract within the United States, or The vessel or aircraft touches at a U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online port while you are employed on it. State tax filing online You are working in one of the countries with which the United States has entered into a bilateral social security agreement (discussed later). State tax filing online You are working for an American employer (defined later). State tax filing online You are working for a foreign affiliate (defined later) of an American employer under a voluntary agreement entered into between the American employer and the U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online Treasury Department. State tax filing online American vessel or aircraft. State tax filing online   An American vessel is any vessel documented or numbered under the laws of the United States and any other vessel whose crew is employed solely by one or more U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online citizens, residents, or corporations. State tax filing online An American aircraft is an aircraft registered under the laws of the United States. State tax filing online American employer. State tax filing online   An American employer includes any of the following. State tax filing online The U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online Government or any of its instrumentalities. State tax filing online An individual who is a resident of the United States. State tax filing online A partnership of which at least two-thirds of the partners are U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online residents. State tax filing online A trust of which all the trustees are U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online residents. State tax filing online A corporation organized under the laws of the United States, any U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online state, or the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa. State tax filing online   An American employer also includes any foreign person with an employee who is performing services in connection with a contract between the U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online government (or any instrumentality thereof) and a member of a domestically controlled group of entities which includes such foreign person. State tax filing online Foreign affiliate. State tax filing online   A foreign affiliate of an American employer is any foreign entity in which the American employer has at least a 10% interest, directly or through one or more entities. State tax filing online For a corporation, the 10% interest must be in its voting stock. State tax filing online For any other entity, the 10% interest must be in its profits. State tax filing online   Form 2032, Contract Coverage Under Title II of the Social Security Act, is used by American employers to extend social security coverage to U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online citizens and resident aliens working abroad for foreign affiliates of American employers. State tax filing online Once you enter into an agreement, coverage cannot be terminated. State tax filing online Excludable meals and lodging. State tax filing online   Social security tax does not apply to the value of meals and lodging provided to you for the convenience of your employer if it is reasonable to believe that you will be able to exclude the value from your income. State tax filing online Bilateral Social Security (Totalization) Agreements The United States has entered into agreements with some foreign countries to coordinate social security coverage and taxation of workers who are employed in those countries. State tax filing online These agreements are commonly referred to as totalization agreements and are in effect with the following countries. State tax filing online Australia Greece Norway Austria Ireland Poland Belgium Italy Portugal Canada Japan Spain Chile Korea, Sweden Czech South Switzerland Republic Luxembourg United Denmark Netherlands Kingdom Finland     France     Germany           Under these agreements, dual coverage and dual contributions (taxes) for the same work are eliminated. State tax filing online The agreements generally make sure that you pay social security taxes to only one country. State tax filing online Generally, under these agreements, you will only be subject to social security taxes in the country where you are working. State tax filing online However, if you are temporarily sent to work in a foreign country and your pay would otherwise be subject to social security taxes in both the United States and that country, you generally can remain covered only by U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online social security. State tax filing online You can get more information on any specific agreement by contacting: Social Security Administration Office of International Programs P. State tax filing online O. State tax filing online Box 17741 Baltimore, MD 21235-7741 If you have access to the Internet, you can get more information at: http://www. State tax filing online socialsecurity. State tax filing online gov/international. State tax filing online Covered by U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online only. State tax filing online   If your pay in a foreign country is subject only to U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online social security tax and is exempt from foreign social security tax, your employer should get a certificate of coverage from the Office of International Programs. State tax filing online Covered by foreign country only. State tax filing online   If you are permanently working in a foreign country with which the United States has a social security agreement and, under the agreement, your pay is exempt from U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online social security tax, you or your employer should get a statement from the authorized official or agency of the foreign country verifying that your pay is subject to social security coverage in that country. State tax filing online   If the authorities of the foreign country will not issue such a statement, either you or your employer should get a statement from the U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online Social Security Administration, Office of International Programs, at the address listed earlier. State tax filing online The statement should indicate that your wages are not covered by the U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online social security system. State tax filing online   This statement should be kept by your employer because it establishes that your pay is exempt from U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online social security tax. State tax filing online   Only wages paid on or after the effective date of the totalization agreement can be exempt from U. State tax filing online S. State tax filing online social security tax. State tax filing online Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications