RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

10 Tips for Last-Minute Tax Filers

April 14, 2015 1:21 am

Though the tax filing deadline is imminent, taxpayers must remain thorough when filing their returns. To avoid processing hiccups, take note of these tips from the IRS.

1. File electronically.
Filing electronically, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. And best of all, there is a free option for everyone.

2. Mail a paper return to the right address. Paper filers should check IRS.gov or their form instructions for the appropriate address where to file to avoid processing delays.

3. Take a close look at the tax tables. When figuring tax using the tax tables, taxpayers should be sure to use the correct column for the filing status claimed.

4. Fill in all requested information clearly. When entering information on the tax return, including Social Security numbers, take the time to be sure it is correct and easy to read. Also, check only one filing status and the appropriate exemption boxes.

5. Review all figures.
While software catches and prevents many errors on e-file returns, math errors remain common on paper returns.

6. Get the right routing and account numbers. Requesting direct deposit of a federal refund into one, two or even three accounts is convenient and allows the taxpayer access to his or her money faster. Make sure the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause a refund to be delayed or deposited into the wrong account.

7. Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. E-filers can sign using a self-selected personal identification number (PIN).

8. Attach all required forms. Paper filers need to attach W-2s and other forms that reflect tax withholding to the front of their returns. If requesting a payment agreement with the IRS, also attach Form 9465 to the front of the return. Attach all other necessary schedules and forms in the sequence number order shown in the upper right-hand corner.

9. Keep a copy of the return. Once ready to be filed, taxpayers should make a copy of their signed return and all schedules for their records.

10. Request a Filing Extension. For taxpayers who cannot meet the April 15 deadline, requesting a filing extension is easy and will prevent late filing penalties. Either use Free File or Form 4868 – but keep in mind that while an extension grants additional time to file, tax payments are still due April 15.

Source: IRS.gov

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Staying Safe in Severe Weather

April 14, 2015 1:21 am

Whether it’s a thunderstorm, tornado or flooding, severe weather can be detrimental not only to your wellbeing, but also to your property and neighborhood. If severe weather threatens your area, keep in mind these FEMA guidelines.

1. Become familiar with the terms used to identify a severe weather hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe weather hazards include the following:
  • Watch: Meteorologists are monitoring an area or region for the formation of a specific type of threat (e.g. flooding, severe thunderstorms, or tornados).
  • Warning: Specific life and property threatening conditions are occurring and imminent. Take appropriate safety precautions.
2. To prepare for power outages and the disruption of essential services, prepare an emergency supply kit for their homes and cars. When preparing a kit, remember water, medications, and items needed for the well-being of your pets.

3. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned. A mobile home can overturn very easily even if precautions have been taken to tie down the unit. Residents of mobile homes must plan in advance and identify safe shelter in a nearby building.

4. While community safe rooms offer significant reassurance and protection during a severe weather event, always make the safe and certain choice about where to seek shelter – particularly if there is little time to travel to the location of the community safe room. It is always best to seek shelter in your basement or in the lowest possible structure in your residence if time and warning are limited when severe weather hits.

5. Know your surroundings and your structures if you’re planning to attend an event, take a vacation, visit family, or if you are staying in a location other than your home like a hotel, campground or cabin. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the facility’s emergency plans including sirens and warnings, how to shelter in place, and steps to be taken in the event of an evacuation.

6.
Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report downed power lines and electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.

7. After a disaster, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards before going back to a property with downed power lines or the possibility of a gas leak. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.

8. Staying informed is equally important when preparing for any emergency, particularly severe weather threats. In addition to monitoring the guidance and reports of local emergency and weather officials, monitor social media before, during and after emergencies. Consider following the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram handles of your local emergency management office, as well as hospitals, schools and voluntary organizations that serve your community.

Source: FEMA.gov

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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