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H&R Block Last Minute Webinar Presentation


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Frugal Upstate blogger Jenn Fowler & H&R Block Master Tax Advisor Chris Wilson talk last-minute tax advise.

Frugal Upstate blogger Jenn Fowler & H&R Block Master Tax Advisor Chris Wilson talk last-minute tax advise.

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  • 1. It’s Not Too Late … for Great Tax Advice March 30, 2010 Presented by H&R Block and Friends 1#dollarssense
  • 2. Welcome • Presentation will begin at 8 p.m. EST • For technical assistance contact Paul Huffman at 415.984.6115 or • Phone lines will be muted so please use chat function to submit questions • Feel free to tweet using hash tag: #hrbtaxtalk 2
  • 3. Agenda • Opening remarks from our hostess, Jenn Fowler of Frugal Upstate • Introduction to Chris Wilson, Master Tax Advisor • Last Minute Tax Tips • Take Advantage of New Credits and Deductions • Commonly Overlooked Deductions • Common Errors that Can Delay a Refund • Q&A Session #hrbtaxtalk 3
  • 4. Jenn Fowler, Frugal Upstate After 11 years as an Army Logistic Officer, Jenn Fowler traded her combat boots for tennis shoes and became stay at home mom in Upstate New York. She combined her love of writing and saving money to create “Frugal Upstate” in Jan 06, where she helps teach people how to "Use what you have, get creative and save". Jenn is a blogger, speaker and social media consultant working with fortune 500 companies such as Hershey's, Tyson and Walmart. She is a founding member of Walmart’s Elevenmoms, a frugal living expert for, a contributor to and on the Social Media Advisory Board for “Life…supplemented”. #hrbtaxtalk 4
  • 5. Chris Wilson, Master Tax Advisor Wilson has been a master tax advisor with H&R Block for 7 years. He also has experience in business management, coaching and investing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. His areas of expertise include: investments/stock options, home ownership, real estate rentals or vacation homes, healthcare expenses, non-U.S. citizens, income earned outside the U.S., small business, sole proprietor or self-employed. Wilson resides in Durham, NC and served as a business mentor for Duke University Fuqua School of Business summer leadership program in 2006 and 2007. #hrbtaxtalk 5
  • 6. Last Minute Tax Tips Taxes are complicated, but there's help. With nearly 300 new tax law changes this year, we’ll highlight some common changes in the next two hours. Life changes can mean tax savings. If you bought a home, invested in higher education or became a parent, you can take advantage of several tax incentives on your 2009 return. #hrbtaxtalk 6
  • 7. Last Minute Tax Tips It's not too late to lower your taxes by April 15. There are three easy things you can do now to lower your taxes - contribute to an IRA, health savings account or buy a home. Filing an extension is not an extension to pay. If you file an extension, you have until Oct. 15 to submit a completed tax return. But to avoid failure-to-pay penalties, estimate your bill and send at least 90 percent of what you owe by the April 15 filing deadline. #hrbtaxtalk 7
  • 8. Take Advantage of New Credits & Deductions More American homebuyers will get tax relief thanks to changes and expansions made to the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. There are two major provisions of the homebuyer credit to keep in mind. There is a tax credit worth up to $6,500 for existing homeowners in the market to move. There is a new closing deadline of April 30, 2010 – extended from Nov. 30, 2009 – for the $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Credit. Also, a special provision gives taxpayers two extra months to close if they’ve entered into a contract by April 30, 2010. #hrbtaxtalk 8
  • 9. Take Advantage of New Credits & Deductions The Recovery Act expands the Child Tax Credit, allowing families to qualify for the credit with every dollar earned over $3,000. This may provide a refundable credit of up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under 17 – even if you have no tax liability. If you’re in college or supporting a dependent in college, you may qualify for tax benefits. The American Opportunity Tax Credit, with a partially refundable $2,500 tax credit for college tuition paid in 2009, benefits more taxpayers this year. Taxpayers who purchased a new car, motorcycle, or even motor home can deduct the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of vehicles. The vehicles must have been purchased between Feb. 17 and Dec. 31, 2009. #hrbtaxtalk 9
  • 10. Commonly Overlooked Deductions Investment losses – Correctly calculate your basis in securities you sold, including the cost to purchase and reinvested dividends. Capital losses offset your capital gains. Up to $3,000 of a net capital loss can offset other income and will carry forward to future years until used. Medical expenses – Doctors, prescriptions, and other medical costs can be deducted once they exceed 7.5% of AGI. Only expenses that are not reimbursed by insurance or paid through a tax-advantaged plan, such as a flexible spending account, are 10 #hrbtaxtalk deductible.
  • 11. Commonly Overlooked Deductions State and local taxes – Property taxes, real estate taxes, and state/local income taxes are deductible in the year they’re paid. It may be better to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes. Charitable contributions – Clothing and household items donated to charity must be in “good used condition” to qualify. If the item could be re-sold at a thrift store, it may be safe to deduct. If you give cash, be sure to get a receipt from the charity. Using a check or credit card is a good idea because the financial record serves as proof of the donation. #hrbtaxtalk 11
  • 12. Commonly Overlooked Deductions Out-of-pocket job expenses – Uniform costs, union dues, auto mileage, and other expenses not reimbursed by employers may be deductible. The total employee business expenses added to other miscellaneous itemized deductions must exceed 2% of adjusted gross income in order to benefit. Self-employed – Business owners may deduct half of their self-employment taxes, all of self-employed health insurance premiums and all contributions to self-employed retirement plans. #hrbtaxtalk 12
  • 13. Commonly Overlooked Deductions Higher education – Up to $2,500 of student loan interest may be deducted for 2009. Interest on savings bonds may be excluded when the interest is used to pay higher education expenses. A deduction also is available for up to $4,000 of higher education tuition and fees may be claimed. Educator expenses – Primary and secondary school teachers can deduct up to $250 of unreimbursed classroom expenses. #hrbtaxtalk 13
  • 14. Commonly Overlooked Deductions Military – Reservists can deduct non-reimbursed travel expenses for reporting to National Guard or military reserve duty at least 100 miles from home. Moving expenses – The cost of moving to a new job location may qualify for a deduction. The move must meet time and distance criteria so a tax professional should be consulted to determine what qualifies. #hrbtaxtalk 14
  • 15. Common Errors that Can Delay a Refund Selecting the incorrect filing status – single, married, head of household, etc. Claiming ineligible dependents. Transposing Social Security number(s) or mixing up names and Social Security Numbers. Forgetting to submit required documentation. Transposing amounts or making math errors. #hrbtaxtalk 15
  • 16. Common Errors that Can Delay a Refund Incorrectly calculating important tax benefits, such as the first-time homebuyer credit or the child tax credit. Not signing the tax return. On a joint return, both the taxpayer and spouse must sign. If a tax professional prepares the return, the taxpayer must still sign the form. Mailing the return to the wrong IRS address. Waiting until the last minute to e- file with tax preparation software. High Internet traffic has prevented taxpayers from meeting the filing deadline. #hrbtaxtalk 16
  • 17. Your Questions Send questions or comments for Chris and Jenn to the facilitator via the chat feature Paul Huffman is available for technical assistance by calling 415.984.6115 #hrbtaxtalk 17
  • 18. Thank You For Participating H&R Block Website ( H&R Block Get It Right Community ( On Twitter @HRBlock Speical thanks to our guest Chris Wilson and our hostess, Jenn Fowler. #hrbtaxtalk 18