All you need to know about bankruptcy

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Excessive debts and foreclosures may push you into thinking that bankruptcy is the best solution.
This is a step that you should take after careful consultation with experts. Bankruptcy will stay on your financial record for a long time. Also, the updated Bankruptcy Law has made it difficult to file for bankruptcy. This law was passed in 2005.

Looking for a qualified team of professionals in Baton Rouge, LA to help you understand the intricacies of bankruptcy? iRefund has all the answers. Just visit for more information.

How can you file for bankruptcy?

If you are faced with financial turmoil such as a foreclosure, declaring bankruptcy is the most suitable way to get rid of your financial drawbacks.

The process of filing for bankruptcy has several steps. As soon as you file, you will be required to provide a detailed explanation to the presiding bankruptcy trustee about how got into this crisis.

You will also be required by the bankruptcy court to file the list of your assets along with your debts with them.

Your assets are broadly classified as:

1. Exempt assets

2. Non-Exempt assets

The former type cannot be utilized to pay your debts. Examples include your personal items or some part of equity in your automobile or home etc.

The latter category consists of goods that can be seized. These goods can be sold to pay off your debts. Your residential property other than your primary home, boats, recreational vehicles etc are some of the articles that can be utilized for this purpose.

Once you have provided all the necessary information, a bankruptcy trustee is appointed with the task to ensure that your secured debt is paid in the set time period. In due course, the court will issue you a stay order that will keep creditors off your property. This will also stop them from pursuing a lawsuit to get your property.

What are Chapters 7 and 13?

You may choose between Chapter 7 and 13 according to your situation. The features of these both are as follows:

Chapter 7

This chapter provides you with a liquidation option. This means that you will be able to keep your exempted assets and all of your unsecured debts will be discharged. You may use your non-exempt assets will be used to pay secured debts. Any debts from child support or taxes etc will not be supported.

If you have a few assets and low income, then this is the best option for you.

Chapter 13

This chapter requires that you pay your debts over a specific time period of three to five years. This is carried out through a repayment plan. In this procedure, a trustee will be required to collect payments from you which will then be transferred to your creditors.

You will be able to keep your home and avoid foreclosure.

If you are interested in keeping your non-exempt property and avoid property seizure then this is the right option for you.

If you are looking for expert help to avoid a financial crisis, then iRefund has all the expertise to help you. We provide peerless services in all kinds of legal consultation in Baton Rouge, LA.

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What is meant by Innocent Spouse Relief?

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There are certain benefits attached to joint tax return which is why many couples choose to opt for it. In this scenario, both partners are jointly responsible for paying tax and and any penalty or interest which is due together even in case of subsequent divorce. This condition stays intact even if the divorce decree establishes that a former partner will be responsible for paying penalties on joint returns. One spouse may be held accountable for the payment of the due taxes even if the other spouse had earned all the income.
Unfortunately, not every marriage has a ‘happily ever after’. What should you do in case you decide to part ways? If you are interested in finding the right guidance in Baton Rouge, LA for innocent spouse relief, then we will be happy to help you.

The salient features of innocent spouse relief
iRefund can help you in applying for innocent spouse relief.

In order to request relief, you have to file form 8857 with the IRS as soon as you know of the tax liability. There is no need to fill in multiple forms as one form will provide coverage for several years. You may add a letter along with your form and any other information that you think is necessary. You may use the U.S. Postal Service anywhere in Baton Rouge, LA to send your form to the IRS.

If you are afraid to file for relief because of your partner’s reaction, you should know that contacting your spouse is the duty of the IRS. In due course, all your confidential details such as your current address and phone number will be kept private by the IRS.

After the case has been filed, it may take around six months before any kind of determination is established. During this time, the IRS will obtain all information about your taxes and will keep contacting your spouse. This rule also applies to cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Whatever the case, you should not refrain from filing for your current tax return.

In case your previous claim for innocent spouse relief was denied, you may still file a second time. For this purpose, you will have to provide additional information supporting your claim. However, you will not be awarded any tax court rights in filing for reconsideration.

Innocent spouse relief provides both partners with the advantage of filing for relief.

Do you qualify for innocent spouse relief?
In order to qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet the following requirements:

1. You must have a joint statement filed with your ex-partner. It is necessary that this application has an understatement of tax.

2. Your spouse’s over expenditure must be the reason for this understatement of taxes.

3. You must have proof that at the time of filing for joint return; you had no idea about the existence of an understatement of tax.

4. Establish the fact that it would be unfair to hold you responsible for the understatement of tax.

5. It is important that you file for relief within two years of the date that the IRS begins its collection activity opposed to you.

With flawless guidance provided by iRefund, you will have no trouble in understanding and applying for innocent spouse relief. Visit for more information.

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Tax Preparation – 5 Small Business Issues For 2015

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With tax time round the corner, most small business owners are already fearful of having to face it again, let alone facing it coupled with the stressful particularities they need to address come 2015.

Given how tax laws are ever changing, it’d be no surprise if you too were confused while trying to comprehend the complex revisions. According to tax experts for small businesses, here are the top five issues you should be dealing with on an urgent basis.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Healthcare’s been the number one issue to plague small business owners since 1986. Come 2015 and the ACA, both the cost and complications have increased at a time when you’d expect otherwise. Small business health insurance tax is the main concern right now in addition to the 30-hour workweek designation for full-time employees, the employer mandate, and the individual mandate. If you fail to provide the basic health insurance to your employees or even to report to the IRS regarding the coverage, you may be in for some serious tax penalties. For instance, if you run a business with more than 100 employees, then you have to guarantee health insurance for at least 70% of the staff employed on a full-time basis.

Tax Extenders

There are 50 tax breaks included in the proposed bill and according to one expert; you need to be prepared regarding whether your business has been exploiting any of these breaks. Your preparation must involve organizing all your records and bringing them up to date so that they are easy to access during the tax season, especially when you are considering ways to secure potential deductions. For that matter, accountability for everything from meals to the use of a personal vehicle is necessary. One solution to simplifying this record keeping is to use modern technologies; automating the process.

While breaks such as Section 179 that allows businesses to subtract the full price of qualifying software or equipment leased or purchased during the year; are ideal for small businesses owners; a lot of them were rushed into making purchases in the last two weeks of 2014 whereas a lot more missed out because they had no idea about it. And again, owners will have no idea until later during the year whether purchases made in 2015 would still be subject to it or not.

Online Sales

One of the changes anticipated for this is the Marketplace Fairness Act whereby the legislation is attempting to equal the odds among the brick-and-mortar stores and those involved in e-commerce. It hopes to achieve this by allowing states to collect and pay the state sales tax from online merchants who earn at least a million dollars every year.


There are multiple developments under consideration or brought into effect on this one. Owners of small businesses who are considering or even offering a retirement plan currently would now have to take into consideration the myRA, the non-mandatory workplace savings program initiated by the U.S. Treasury this year. Other legislations too are about offering incentives for small businesses so that they’d begin providing for retirement plans as well.

Corporate Tax Rates

One of the key issues that small businesses would have to deal with is the corporate tax rate. A company that follows the structure of a corporation is required to pay a higher tax rate than a limited liability company or other business structures. Lowering the rates for them won’t be as beneficial in terms of tax advantages for the small businesses if there’s no change in personal tax rates.

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Tax Preparation – 5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Tax Preparer

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As an individual or a business owner, you must be well aware that getting an expert opinion and help with respect to taxes helps streamline your finances. However, in most cases, what makes you do it yourself is your fear of not getting the right solution from qualified personnel, but not getting financial help may prove to be even more dangerous to your cause than you think. Outlined below are some reasons why hiring a tax prepares is essential.

They save Your Time

Most people who think they’d rather do their own taxes rather than investing in a pro; can relate to this point. Honestly, it’s not everyone’s piece of cake and it’s likely that you end up losing your peace of mind spending literally hours doing taxes, not being able to figure out the account particulars. If you are not skilled at the technical aspects for accounting, then hiring a professional is the best thing you can do.

They Help Avoid Pitfalls Associated with Tax Filing

Professionals are there to help you save money! Many people are perplexed when they find out that they have to pay some sort of penalty because well, they forget to meet the corporate tax deadline. This is not to suggest that they cannot make errors too. We all do, it’s just that they are less prone to do so.

They Assist With Future Audits

If you are lucky enough to strike a chord with a reliable financial advisor, particularly those who are experienced in tax issues, then you can benefit from the relationship in future too. They can be asked to check your financial dealings with your realtor, mortgage broker, banker, etc., giving you guidance for the whole year round. They can also answer your questions, personal or business-related, to make sure that you take smarter and tax-saving decisions.

They Know How to Reduce the Tax Amount or to Secure a Bigger Return

Majority of the people are not aware that they are allowed to deduct medical expenses under most conditions for a loved one if the person is not their dependent. Tax preparers, on the other hand, have an idea of loopholes where you can legally avoid paying extra tax.

They Are Up to Date with the Changes in Tax Law

Having the relevant credentials and knowledge base does not stop them from continuing to learn and staying abreast of what’s happening in the industry. It’s their forte after all; besides, they’ll only be as good as they claim if they are familiar with the current changes in the tax law pertaining to individuals and businesses alike. It’s a way they can verify if you are in compliance. That’s a bonus you can benefit from now, can’t you?

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Losses You Can Claim - Casualty, Disaster, and Theft

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The property you own may be subject to certain types of losses during a tax year that you can use to deduct from your income. These include casualty and theft losses that cause damage to your house, your personal property, and even your vehicles. Losses of this type can only be used to reduce your income if you have no insurance coverage for those losses.

Casualty Losses

The term “casualty loss” may be confusing to some, but the definition is not that complicated. Very simply, a casualty loss is any type of loss or damage that causes you to incur some type of financial loss. This typically means a sudden or fortuitous loss as opposed to gradual deterioration or wear and tear. Examples of casualty losses include damage from a fire, windstorm, floods, hurricanes, or even damage from a volcanic eruption.

Theft Losses

Theft is a more commonly understood term, and as most people know, when someone takes something from another person without permission it is generally construed as theft. More specifically, it is the taking and removal of money or property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. In order for this type of loss to be deductible for tax purposes, the taking must be illegal.

How Much Can You Claim?

To determine the value of your loss, you must consider whether the property was destroyed. If so, then the value that you can claim as a deduction will be the cost to replace the damaged item, less depreciation and salvage value.

For items that are partially damaged or repairable, the amount of your loss will be considered the lesser of:
  •  The adjusted basis of your property, or
  • The decrease in fair market value of your property as a result of the casualty
  • The amount of your theft loss is generally the adjusted basis of your property because the fair market value of your property immediately after the theft is considered to be zero.
When Can You Claim The Loss?

With some exceptions, casualty losses can only be claimed in the tax year that the loss occurred. Theft losses can be claimed in the tax year in which the loss was discovered.

While the rules regarding uninsured casualty and theft losses have many finer points, the basic concept is simple. If you have financial loss due to a casualty or theft, you may use this loss to reduce your taxable income.

If you are unsure if a loss you sustained over the last tax year will allow you to reduce your taxable income, be sure to contact the friendly and professional staff at Our tax experts can provide you with the guidance you need and answer any questions you may have regarding uninsured casualty and theft losses.

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Tips for Getting Your Refund Back Fast

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There are ways to improve the speed at which you receive your tax refund. One of the most important things you can do is to keep good records throughout the entire tax year. Good organizational skills will go a long way to ensure that your tax return is completed quickly by your tax preparer. For businesses, this may mean that you have to have conscientious employees who take special care in keeping accurate records for your business. In other cases, you may rely on a tax attorney to ensure that your records are in order.No matter who maintains your tax records it is very important that your records are kept orderly and accurate.

Expense records are very important, and for individuals, this will include purchase receipts, interest statements for school loans or mortgages, medical expense records, and loss documentation such as investment losses, or uninsured casualty losses.

Income records are even more important so you should make sure you have all W-2 forms provided by your employer, and if you have more than one employer, be sure to get every W-2 that is issued to you before you file your taxes. If you perform any work as an independent contractor or even freelance income, you may receive 1099 forms from the businesses that paid you. Be sure to have these records on hand as well and that they reconcile with the income information you have recorded for those clients. Any income you received throughout the year should also be recorded, and those records should be available for your tax preparer.

Another way to ensure a quick refund is to utilize EZ tax forms. This will utilize standard deductions, which means you will be able to skip the detailed work involved in itemizing your deductions. Manual forms can be used or you can complete your EZ form online. Your tax preparer can also submit this form online for you, which will result in a faster refund.

The most important overall goal to a fast refund is ensuring you have all the records you need and that they are accurate when it comes time to file you taxes. While we have outlined several important records that you will need for your return, there are many other records that you may need because each individual has special circumstances. Children, a marriage, the sale of real estate, an inheritance, or a divorce are all examples where special documentation may be required for your tax return.

If you are unsure of the records you need for your tax return, be sure to contact the professionals at We can ask some simple questions that will put you on the right track before your tax return is completed.

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Marriage and Taxes

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If you are getting married soon, you should be aware of some steps you can take to maximize your tax benefits. While this may not seem like an important issue when you are planning your wedding, it is a good idea to begin thinking about this process early on.

 If you are already recently married, it is not too late to examine your new tax situation as well. In either case, a close examination of your tax situation can ensure that you receive the correct refund this year.

Married couples will often need to change their addresses after marriage and this will be important for your tax return. A name change may also need to be noted on your return. You will also need to know whether you will itemize deductions, and which tax forms are right for your purposes. Your filing status will also need to be determined.

While these issues are important for tax purposes, there is no reason to delay your wedding plans if you do not have these items addressed yet. Here are some simple tips for tax season.

Your Name Matters
Using the proper name for your tax return is very important, and it is also important that you use the proper name for any of your proper social security number. For those who have changed their name due to a marriage, you must notify the Social Security Administration, you will have to submit a Form SS-5 Application for a Security Card to them, and they will issue a new social security card with your new name.

Use the Correct Address
Thousands of refund checks are returned to the IRS as undeliverable each year and in most cases this is simply because the payee of that check has moved without notifying the proper entities.
There are two public entities you will need to notify if you are changing your address. The first is the U.S. Postal Service and the next entity is the IRS. Your local post office is the best place to go to update your address information, and they will notify the IRS, but you can also update the IRS on your own by filing Form 8822.

If you find that your refund is delayed, or if you are missing a tax refund from the past, you can go to to check the status of your refund check.

Change Your Filing Status
Married couples can file their taxes jointly or separately in any tax year. Your marital status for a tax year is dependent on whether you were married or single on December 31 of any given year. If you were married as of the last day of the year, you need to determine whether to file jointly or separately.

Married couples who file jointly will combine their incomes, deductions and expenses on a single tax return, and both the husband and wife will need to sign the same tax return documents.

For couples who decide to file separately, each spouse will file their own tax return and claim their own deductions or credits on their tax return. Even though each return is separate, it is important to remember that if one spouse files their tax return with itemized deductions, the other must file their tax return the same way.

If you have questions about your marital tax issues, you may want to contact a tax professional tax so give us a call at iRefund today. Our friendly staff is available to help with your questions, and our professionals can provide you will all the advice you need to ensure that you are getting the most out of your tax return this year

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Paying Property Taxes a Year Early

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People who own real estate must pay property taxes every year, and there are income tax advantages if you pay your property taxes early. This applies to people who own a home as their residence, and to people who own rental property. Since property taxes are deductible, you can benefit by paying early.

If you are seeking to lower your taxable income for the current year, the IRS allows you to deduct the amount you pay in property taxes and it does not matter when they are due. You are allowed to take the deduction in the year you pay them. By doing this, you are essentially shifting a tax deduction from the upcoming year to the existing year.

To clarify this point, if you paid your 2014 taxes in 2014, you could also pay your 2015 taxes in 2014, which means that you would be able to deduct twice as much as in a normal year. You would then lose your ability to claim that deduction for your 2015 tax return, unless you paid your 2016 taxes early as well.

In the above example, your 2015 taxes would be pre-paid so your lender may reduce your mortgage payment if your tax bill does not show anything owed for the year. If you intend to pre-pay your property taxes in order to take an early income reduction, be sure to speak to your lender about your options and any fees associated with adjustments to your escrow.

It is important to note that if you qualify for an alternative minimum tax payment, you may not be able to take any deductions for pre-paying your property taxes. The alternative minimum tax was designed to avoid situations where high-income individuals avoid paying taxes through a large number of deductions. If your income meets IRS requirements, you will need to pay the alternative minimum tax.

If you have questions about accelerating your tax deductions or if you are concerned about whether you meet the requirements for an alternative minimum tax, be sure to contact us at iRefund today. Our skilled tax professionals can provide you with sound tax advice to help you make the right decisions regarding your deductions

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Hiring a Quality Tax Preparer

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Organization is a key component to the quick and accurate tax return but the average taxpayer likely will not have the requisite records readily available for quick retrieval. Even if the records were handy, the effort put into learning the latest tax regulations will make the process longer than it may need to take. There are solid reasons to hire a tax professional that go well beyond convenience, speed, and accuracy.

- If you are a business owner of any kind, it makes sense to hire a professional tax preparer familiar with the rules and regulations associated with your business.

- If you have had many real estate or large investment transactions, a tax preparer can help you sort out what you may owe and what you may be able to deduct.

- Family matters can complicate your tax return, especially in cases of marriage, children, elderly parents, and divorce.

- If your record keeping is less than stellar, a professional tax preparer can assist you in an audit.

Not all tax preparers are created equal. Some provide simple services and advice, while others engage in sophisticated tax planning. Depending on your tax preparation needs, it is important to understand what type of tax preparer you will need.

Some tax preparation firms specialize in personal returns but may have a wide variation of experience among their preparers. In many cases, large firms hire part-time tax preparers who may work only seasonally.

Enrolled agents are more specialized and much have some credentials including the passing of an IRS exam or at least 5 years of employment at the IRS in order to obtain an enrolled agent’s license. These tax preparation professionals can represent an individual in an IRS audit.

A certified public accountant does a lot more than just tax returns, and many never do tax returns at all. Instead, they may focus on accounting for businesses and the preparation of financial statements. A CPA has to pass a four-part accounting exam to obtain the designation of certified public accountant and they can represent you in an audit. For most people, a CPA may be more that what is required for a simple tax return.

If you are looking for someone who specializes in tax returns for individuals and businesses, an accredited tax accountant (ATA) and an accredited tax preparer (ATP) can provide you with complete tax planning services. A taxation exam must be passed in order to obtain these designations.

If you need someone who specializes in tax law, find a tax attorney. Just like any other attorney, a tax attorney must have a Juris Doctorate and be admitted to the state bar where you live. They do not often prepare tax returns but if they do, the service will be very costly.

With the wide range of services available from professional tax preparers, it makes sense to hire a pro so give us a call at iRefund today. Our friendly staff is available to help with your questions, and our professionals can complete your refund accurately and on time.

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Why Filing Your Taxes Late is just Bad Business

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As Americans enter tax season, procrastination sets in as April 15th seems appears off into the distance. If you are accustomed to waiting until the last minute to file your taxes, you may want to rethink that strategy.

The first important reason to avoid filing late is that you may incur penalties. These can be substantial in some cases and they continue to accrue as time goes on. You may even be responsible for interest charges.

If you want your taxes completed timely, it is always best to file them early with your tax preparer. That way they are more likely to have the time to take care of your returns and find the appropriate deductions for you. Filing late may cause your accountant to avoid retaining profits for your corporation if they will be penalized due to a late filing.

Another important reason to file on time is that you risk criminal charges. Filing late can result in criminal charges for serious offenses of tax evasion, which will cost you legal fees, fines and possible jail time.

Procrastination on some levels is acceptable when discussing mundane items like an oil change for your car or doing laundry, but when it comes to serious financial issues such as a tax filing, procrastination can get you into deep trouble. If you are not abreast of your financial position at any given moment, you not only risk missing a tax filing date but you could also be setting yourself up for other financial surprises.

If you are seeking ways to avoid a tax audit, you should definitely stay away from filing late. Audits, legal proceedings, and aggressive action by tax collectors are common results when businesses file their taxes late. If for some reason a hardship requires that your business seek relief or leniency from regulators, you will have a difficult time of success if you have a history of late filing. Those with an impeccable tax filing record are more likely to receive consideration from tax authorities so always file on time or early.

Another unintended consequence of late tax filings may relate to your firm’s ability to obtain financing. When you apply for financing, you will need to provide current income information and if your tax returns are not ready, the lender may be concerned about your business operations.

One final reason to file on time is to reduce your own level of stress and worry. Once your taxes are filed, you can easily move ahead to focus on growing your business.

If you are looking for a tax preparer for your business, call us at iRefund Tax Group and we can put our 20 years of tax preparation experience to work for you.

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