Tax credits are credited to your IRS as payments, just as though you had written the IRS a check for money owed. Most of them can only reduce your tax debt, but the EITC can result in the IRS issuing a tax refund for any balance left over after your tax obligation has been reduced to zero. Again, income restrictions apply. You won't qualify for this tax credit if you earn too much.

The history of accounting is thousands of years old and can be traced to ancient civilizations.[12][13][14] The early development of accounting dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, and is closely related to developments in writing, counting and money;[12] there is also evidence of early forms of bookkeeping in ancient Iran,[15][16] and early auditing systems by the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians.[13] By the time of Emperor Augustus, the Roman government had access to detailed financial information.[17]
401(k) contribution limits are rising in 2020. Those younger than 50 can contribute up to $19,500 toward a 401(k) or similar plan in 2020, up $500 from last year's $19,000. Those 50 or older get to put up to $26,000 into a 401(k), up $1,000. With no income limits applying to 401(k)s, those whose employers offer these plans can save a lot toward retirement.

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger Follow @DanCaplinger
Tax Advice, Expert Review and TurboTax Live: Access to tax advice and Expert Review (the ability to have a Tax Expert review and/or sign your tax return) is included with TurboTax Live or as an upgrade from another version, and available through December 31, 2020. These services are provided only by credentialed CPAs, Enrolled Agents (EAs), or tax attorneys. Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service, which shall be determined in the tax expert’s sole discretion. For TurboTax Live, if your return requires a significant level of tax advice or actual preparation, the tax expert may be required to sign as the preparer at which point they will assume primary responsibility for the preparation of your return. Intuit may offer a Full Service product to some customers. For the Full Service product, the tax expert will sign your return as preparer. Payment by federal refund is not available when a tax expert signs your return. On-screen help is available on a desktop, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. Unlimited access to TurboTax Live CPAs and EAs refers to an unlimited quantity of contacts available to each customer, but does not refer to hours of operation or service coverage. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, wait times, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.

Financial accounting is the branch of corporate accounting that identifies, records, and analyzes financial information for people outside of the company (such as investors). Information provided by financial accounting includes quarterly and annual income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, and statements of retained earnings.  The standards of financial accounting differ whether under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the U.S. or the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are accounting standards issued by national regulatory bodies. In addition, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issues the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) implemented by 147 countries.[1] While standards for international audit and assurance, ethics, education, and public sector accounting are all set by independent standard settings boards supported by IFAC. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board sets international standards for auditing, assurance, and quality control; the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) [50] sets the internationally appropriate principles- based Code of Ethics for Professional Accounts the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) sets professional accounting education standards;[51] International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) sets accrual-based international public sector accounting standards [52]
Investors enjoy a tax break on certain types of investment income. Dividends that certain stocks pay qualify for lower tax rates, as do the profits on investments that you sell after having held them for longer than a year. These qualified dividends and long-term capital gains are eligible to get taxed at 0%, 15%, or 20%, producing substantial savings.
There are lots of reasons why individuals and businesses should consider hiring a professional accountant to prepare their taxes each year. Many benefits could be coming your way, meaning more money in your pocket. Any tax problems or hassles from the IRS can also be avoided when you have a professional accountant working for you. Tax rates change each year, which is another reason it is important to have someone you can turn to during tax season. Franklin P. Sparkman handles tax preparations for both individuals and businesses.
The word "accountant" is derived from the French word compter, which is also derived from the Italian and Latin word computare. The word was formerly written in English as "accomptant", but in process of time the word, which was always pronounced by dropping the "p", became gradually changed both in pronunciation and in orthography to its present form.[28]
Professional accounting bodies include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the other 179 members of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC),[44] including Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), CPA Australia, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Professional bodies for subfields of the accounting professions also exist, for example the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in the UK and Institute of management accountants in the United States.[45] Many of these professional bodies offer education and training including qualification and administration for various accounting designations, such as certified public accountant (AICPA) and chartered accountant.[46][47]

As long as this guide might seem, it still only scratches the surface of some of the most important tax issues for taxpayers. For example, if you're self-employed or own a business, then there are many other issues to consider. That's a topic that would take its own guide to cover, and there are several situations that deserve similar planning considerations.


Finally, a few aspects of gift and estate tax planning will see some changes in 2019. The federal estate tax lifetime exclusion amount will rise to $11.58 million in 2020, up from $11.4 million in 2019. However, annual gift tax exclusion amounts of $15,000 remain in place and unchanged for 2020, and the traditional exemptions from gift and estate tax -- including transfers to spouses and charities as well as amounts paid toward educational or medical costs -- are also still available.
Saving via a retirement plan is a popular way to efficiently reduce taxes. Contributing money to a traditional IRA can minimize gross income up to $6,500. As of 2018, if meeting all qualifications, a filer under age 50 receives a reduction of $6,000 and a reduction of $7,000 if age 50 or older. For example, if a 52-year-old male with an annual income of $50,000 who made a $6,500 contribution to a traditional IRA has an adjusted gross income of $43,500, the $6,500 contribution would grow tax-deferred until retirement.

According to the University of Ohio, there are four types of accounting. Within each of these four major categories there are multiple specialities. For example, corporate accounting may be divided into for-profit and nonprofit accounting. Public accountants may provide auditing services or specialize in tax accounting. Government accounting may refer to employees of the IRS (who examine tax returns) or to local accounting departments who manage town, county, or state budgets. 
A single taxpayer who has $13,000 in itemized deductions would do better to itemize than to claim the standard deduction. That's an additional $800 off his taxable income, the difference between $13,000 and $12,200. But a taxpayer who has only $9,000 in itemized deductions would end up paying taxes on $3,200 more in income if she itemizes rather than claims the standard deduction for her single filing status.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger Follow @DanCaplinger
I used Mark Fuqua for tax preparation services. I am self-employed and Mark used mileage deductions, Office in the Home deductions, etc. in addition to regular business deductions to help reduce my taxes. He checked my accounting and found mistakes that benefited me and taught me how to keep better records and how to record my transactions properly. He travels to my office which is included in his charges which are very reasonable....a lot cheaper than a firm like H&R Block which makes you bring everything in to them. I plan on letting Mark help me set up a limited liability company and having him do the corporate return and do payroll for that company. I am very satisfied with his services.
The history of accounting has been around almost as long as money itself. Accounting history dates back to ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Babylon. For example, during the Roman Empire the government had detailed records of their finances. However, modern accounting as a profession has only been around since the early 19th century.
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