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Hr Block Free Tax

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Hr Block Free Tax

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The Hr Block Free Tax

Hr block free tax 5. Hr block free tax   Recordkeeping Table of Contents How To Prove ExpensesWhat Are Adequate Records? What If I Have Incomplete Records? Separating and Combining Expenses How Long To Keep Records and Receipts Examples of Records If you deduct travel, entertainment, gift, or transportation expenses, you must be able to prove (substantiate) certain elements of expense. Hr block free tax This chapter discusses the records you need to keep to prove these expenses. Hr block free tax If you keep timely and accurate records, you will have support to show the IRS if your tax return is ever examined. Hr block free tax You will also have proof of expenses that your employer may require if you are reimbursed under an accountable plan. Hr block free tax These plans are discussed in chapter 6 under Reimbursements . Hr block free tax How To Prove Expenses Table 5-1 is a summary of records you need to prove each expense discussed in this publication. Hr block free tax You must be able to prove the elements listed across the top portion of the chart. Hr block free tax You prove them by having the information and receipts (where needed) for the expenses listed in the first column. Hr block free tax You cannot deduct amounts that you approximate or estimate. Hr block free tax You should keep adequate records to prove your expenses or have sufficient evidence that will support your own statement. Hr block free tax You must generally prepare a written record for it to be considered adequate. Hr block free tax This is because written evidence is more reliable than oral evidence alone. Hr block free tax However, if you prepare a record on a computer, it is considered an adequate record. Hr block free tax What Are Adequate Records? You should keep the proof you need in an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. Hr block free tax You should also keep documentary evidence that, together with your record, will support each element of an expense. Hr block free tax Documentary evidence. Hr block free tax   You generally must have documentary evidence, such as receipts, canceled checks, or bills, to support your expenses. Hr block free tax Exception. Hr block free tax   Documentary evidence is not needed if any of the following conditions apply. Hr block free tax You have meals or lodging expenses while traveling away from home for which you account to your employer under an accountable plan, and you use a per diem allowance method that includes meals and/or lodging. Hr block free tax ( Accountable plans and per diem allowances are discussed in chapter 6. Hr block free tax ) Your expense, other than lodging, is less than $75. Hr block free tax You have a transportation expense for which a receipt is not readily available. Hr block free tax Adequate evidence. Hr block free tax   Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place, and essential character of the expense. Hr block free tax   For example, a hotel receipt is enough to support expenses for business travel if it has all of the following information. Hr block free tax The name and location of the hotel. Hr block free tax The dates you stayed there. Hr block free tax Separate amounts for charges such as lodging, meals, and telephone calls. Hr block free tax   A restaurant receipt is enough to prove an expense for a business meal if it has all of the following information. Hr block free tax The name and location of the restaurant. Hr block free tax The number of people served. Hr block free tax The date and amount of the expense. Hr block free tax If a charge is made for items other than food and beverages, the receipt must show that this is the case. Hr block free tax Canceled check. Hr block free tax   A canceled check, together with a bill from the payee, ordinarily establishes the cost. Hr block free tax However, a canceled check by itself does not prove a business expense without other evidence to show that it was for a business purpose. Hr block free tax Duplicate information. Hr block free tax   You do not have to record information in your account book or other record that duplicates information shown on a receipt as long as your records and receipts complement each other in an orderly manner. Hr block free tax   You do not have to record amounts your employer pays directly for any ticket or other travel item. Hr block free tax However, if you charge these items to your employer, through a credit card or otherwise, you must keep a record of the amounts you spend. Hr block free tax Timely-kept records. Hr block free tax   You should record the elements of an expense or of a business use at or near the time of the expense or use and support it with sufficient documentary evidence. Hr block free tax A timely-kept record has more value than a statement prepared later when generally there is a lack of accurate recall. Hr block free tax   You do not need to write down the elements of every expense on the day of the expense. Hr block free tax If you maintain a log on a weekly basis that accounts for use during the week, the log is considered a timely-kept record. Hr block free tax   If you give your employer, client, or customer an expense account statement, it can also be considered a timely-kept record. Hr block free tax This is true if you copy it from your account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheets, or similar record. Hr block free tax Proving business purpose. Hr block free tax   You must generally provide a written statement of the business purpose of an expense. Hr block free tax However, the degree of proof varies according to the circumstances in each case. Hr block free tax If the business purpose of an expense is clear from the surrounding circumstances, then you do not need to give a written explanation. Hr block free tax Example. Hr block free tax If you are a sales representative who calls on customers on an established sales route, you do not have to give a written explanation of the business purpose for traveling that route. Hr block free tax You can satisfy the requirements by recording the length of the delivery route once, the date of each trip at or near the time of the trips, and the total miles you drove the car during the tax year. Hr block free tax You could also establish the date of each trip with a receipt, record of delivery, or other documentary evidence. Hr block free tax Confidential information. Hr block free tax   You do not need to put confidential information relating to an element of a deductible expense (such as the place, business purpose, or business relationship) in your account book, diary, or other record. Hr block free tax However, you do have to record the information elsewhere at or near the time of the expense and have it available to fully prove that element of the expense. Hr block free tax What If I Have Incomplete Records? If you do not have complete records to prove an element of an expense, then you must prove the element with: Your own written or oral statement containing specific information about the element, and Other supporting evidence that is sufficient to establish the element. Hr block free tax If the element is the description of a gift, or the cost, time, place, or date of an expense, the supporting evidence must be either direct evidence or documentary evidence. Hr block free tax Direct evidence can be written statements or the oral testimony of your guests or other witnesses setting forth detailed information about the element. Hr block free tax Documentary evidence can be receipts, paid bills, or similar evidence. Hr block free tax If the element is either the business relationship of your guests or the business purpose of the amount spent, the supporting evidence can be circumstantial rather than direct. Hr block free tax For example, the nature of your work, such as making deliveries, provides circumstantial evidence of the use of your car for business purposes. Hr block free tax Invoices of deliveries establish when you used the car for business. Hr block free tax Table 5-1. Hr block free tax How To Prove Certain Business Expenses IF you have expenses for . Hr block free tax . Hr block free tax THEN you must keep records that show details of the following elements . Hr block free tax . Hr block free tax . Hr block free tax   Amount Time Place or  Description Business Purpose Business Relationship Travel Cost of each separate expense for travel, lodging, and meals. Hr block free tax Incidental expenses may be totaled in reasonable categories such as taxis, fees and tips, etc. Hr block free tax Dates you left and returned for each trip and number of days spent on business. Hr block free tax Destination or area of your travel (name of city, town, or other designation). Hr block free tax Purpose: Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. Hr block free tax    Relationship: N/A Entertainment Cost of each separate expense. Hr block free tax Incidental expenses such as taxis, telephones, etc. Hr block free tax , may be totaled on a daily basis. Hr block free tax Date of entertainment. Hr block free tax (Also see Business Purpose. Hr block free tax ) Name and address or location of place of entertainment. Hr block free tax Type of entertainment if not otherwise apparent. Hr block free tax (Also see Business Purpose. Hr block free tax ) Purpose: Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. Hr block free tax  For entertainment, the nature of the business discussion or activity. Hr block free tax If the entertainment was directly before or after a business discussion: the date, place, nature, and duration of the business discussion, and the identities of the persons who took part in both the business discussion and the entertainment activity. Hr block free tax    Relationship: Occupations or other information (such as names, titles, or other designations) about the recipients that shows their business relationship to you. Hr block free tax  For entertainment, you must also prove that you or your employee was present if the entertainment was a business meal. Hr block free tax Gifts Cost of the gift. Hr block free tax Date of the gift. Hr block free tax Description of the gift. Hr block free tax   Transportation Cost of each separate expense. Hr block free tax For car expenses, the cost of the car and any improvements, the date you started using it for business, the mileage for each business use, and the total miles for the year. Hr block free tax Date of the expense. Hr block free tax For car expenses, the date of the use of the car. Hr block free tax Your business destination. Hr block free tax Purpose: Business purpose for the expense. Hr block free tax    Relationship: N/A Sampling. Hr block free tax   You can keep an adequate record for parts of a tax year and use that record to prove the amount of business or investment use for the entire year. Hr block free tax You must demonstrate by other evidence that the periods for which an adequate record is kept are representative of the use throughout the tax year. Hr block free tax Example. Hr block free tax You use your car to visit the offices of clients, meet with suppliers and other subcontractors, and pick up and deliver items to clients. Hr block free tax There is no other business use of the car, but you and your family use the car for personal purposes. Hr block free tax You keep adequate records during the first week of each month that show that 75% of the use of the car is for business. Hr block free tax Invoices and bills show that your business use continues at the same rate during the later weeks of each month. Hr block free tax Your weekly records are representative of the use of the car each month and are sufficient evidence to support the percentage of business use for the year. Hr block free tax Exceptional circumstances. Hr block free tax   You can satisfy the substantiation requirements with other evidence if, because of the nature of the situation in which an expense is made, you cannot get a receipt. Hr block free tax This applies if all the following are true. Hr block free tax You were unable to obtain evidence for an element of the expense or use that completely satisfies the requirements explained earlier under What Are Adequate Records . Hr block free tax You are unable to obtain evidence for an element that completely satisfies the two rules listed earlier under What If I Have Incomplete Records . Hr block free tax You have presented other evidence for the element that is the best proof possible under the circumstances. Hr block free tax Destroyed records. Hr block free tax   If you cannot produce a receipt because of reasons beyond your control, you can prove a deduction by reconstructing your records or expenses. Hr block free tax Reasons beyond your control include fire, flood, and other casualties. Hr block free tax    Table 5-2. Hr block free tax Daily Business Mileage and Expense Log Name:       Odometer Readings Expenses Date Destination  (City, Town, or Area) Business Purpose Start Stop Miles  this trip Type  (Gas, oil, tolls, etc. Hr block free tax ) Amount                                                                                                                   Weekly  Total             Total Year-to-Date             Separating and Combining Expenses This section explains when expenses must be kept separate and when expenses can be combined. Hr block free tax Separating expenses. Hr block free tax   Each separate payment is generally considered a separate expense. Hr block free tax For example, if you entertain a customer or client at dinner and then go to the theater, the dinner expense and the cost of the theater tickets are two separate expenses. Hr block free tax You must record them separately in your records. Hr block free tax Season or series tickets. Hr block free tax   If you buy season or series tickets for business use, you must treat each ticket in the series as a separate item. Hr block free tax To determine the cost of individual tickets, divide the total cost (but not more than face value) by the number of games or performances in the series. Hr block free tax You must keep records to show whether you use each ticket as a gift or entertainment. Hr block free tax Also, you must be able to prove the cost of nonluxury box seat tickets if you rent a skybox or other private luxury box for more than one event. Hr block free tax See Entertainment tickets in chapter 2. Hr block free tax Combining items. Hr block free tax   You can make one daily entry in your record for reasonable categories of expenses. Hr block free tax Examples are taxi fares, telephone calls, or other incidental travel costs. Hr block free tax Meals should be in a separate category. Hr block free tax You can include tips for meal-related services with the costs of the meals. Hr block free tax   Expenses of a similar nature occurring during the course of a single event are considered a single expense. Hr block free tax For example, if during entertainment at a cocktail lounge, you pay separately for each serving of refreshments, the total expense for the refreshments is treated as a single expense. Hr block free tax Car expenses. Hr block free tax   You can account for several uses of your car that can be considered part of a single use, such as a round trip or uninterrupted business use, with a single record. Hr block free tax Minimal personal use, such as a stop for lunch on the way between two business stops, is not an interruption of business use. Hr block free tax Example. Hr block free tax You make deliveries at several different locations on a route that begins and ends at your employer's business premises and that includes a stop at the business premises between two deliveries. Hr block free tax You can account for these using a single record of miles driven. Hr block free tax Gift expenses. Hr block free tax   You do not always have to record the name of each recipient of a gift. Hr block free tax A general listing will be enough if it is evident that you are not trying to avoid the $25 annual limit on the amount you can deduct for gifts to any one person. Hr block free tax For example, if you buy a large number of tickets to local high school basketball games and give one or two tickets to each of many customers, it is usually enough to record a general description of the recipients. Hr block free tax Allocating total cost. Hr block free tax   If you can prove the total cost of travel or entertainment but you cannot prove how much it cost for each person who participated in the event, you may have to allocate the total cost among you and your guests on a pro rata basis. Hr block free tax To do so, you must establish the number of persons who participated in the event. Hr block free tax   An allocation would be needed, for example, if you did not have a business relationship with all of your guests. Hr block free tax See Allocating between business and nonbusiness in chapter 2. Hr block free tax If your return is examined. Hr block free tax    If your return is examined, you may have to provide additional information to the IRS. Hr block free tax This information could be needed to clarify or to establish the accuracy or reliability of information contained in your records, statements, testimony, or documentary evidence before a deduction is allowed. Hr block free tax    THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL INTERNAL REVENUE FORM Table 5-3. Hr block free tax Weekly Traveling Expense and Entertainment Record From: To: Name: Expenses Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total 1. Hr block free tax Travel Expenses: Airlines                                 Excess Baggage                                 Bus – Train                                 Cab and Limousine                                 Tips                                 Porter                                 2. Hr block free tax Meals and Lodging:  Breakfast                                 Lunch                                 Dinner                                 Hotel and Motel  (Detail in Schedule B)                                 3. Hr block free tax Entertainment  (Detail in Schedule C)                                 4. Hr block free tax Other Expenses:  Postage                                 Telephone & Telegraph                                 Stationery & Printing                                 Stenographer                                 Sample Room                                 Advertising                                 Assistant(s)                                 Trade Shows                                 5. Hr block free tax Car Expenses: (List all car expenses - the division between business and personal expenses may be made at the end of the year. Hr block free tax ) (Detail mileage in Schedule A. Hr block free tax ) Gas, oil, lube, wash                                 Repairs, parts                                 Tires, supplies                                 Parking fees, tolls                                 6. Hr block free tax Other (Identify)                                 Total                                 Note: Attach receipted bills for (1) ALL lodging and (2) any other expenses of $75. Hr block free tax 00 or more. Hr block free tax Schedule A – Car Mileage: End                 Start                 Total                 Business Mileage                 Schedule B – Lodging Hotel or Motel Name                 City                 Schedule C – Entertainment Date Item Place Amount Business Purpose Business Relationship                                             WEEKLY REIMBURSEMENTS:     Travel and transportation expenses     Other reimbursements     TOTAL   How Long To Keep Records and Receipts You must keep records as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Hr block free tax Generally, this means you must keep records that support your deduction (or an item of income) for 3 years from the date you file the income tax return on which the deduction is claimed. Hr block free tax A return filed early is considered filed on the due date. Hr block free tax For a more complete explanation of how long to keep records, see Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records. Hr block free tax You must keep records of the business use of your car for each year of the recovery period. Hr block free tax See More-than-50%-use test in chapter 4 under Depreciation Deduction. Hr block free tax Reimbursed for expenses. Hr block free tax   Employees who give their records and documentation to their employers and are reimbursed for their expenses generally do not have to keep copies of this information. Hr block free tax However, you may have to prove your expenses if any of the following conditions apply. Hr block free tax You claim deductions for expenses that are more than reimbursements. Hr block free tax Your expenses are reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan. Hr block free tax Your employer does not use adequate accounting procedures to verify expense accounts. Hr block free tax You are related to your employer as defined under Per Diem and Car Allowances , in chapter 6. Hr block free tax Reimbursements , adequate accounting , and nonaccountable plans are discussed in chapter 6. Hr block free tax Examples of Records Table 5-2 and Table 5-3 are examples of worksheets which can be used for tracking business expenses. Hr block free tax Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications