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Top Five Reasons to E-file

 

Are you still using the old school method of doing your taxes? Do you still mail paper forms to the IRS? If so, make this the year you switch to a much faster and safer way of filing your taxes. Join the nearly 126 million taxpayers who used IRS e-file to file their taxes last year. Here are the top five reasons why you should file electronically too:

1. Accurate and easy.  IRS e-file is the best way to file an accurate tax return. The tax software that you use to e-file helps avoid mistakes by doing the math for you. It guides you every step of the way as you do your taxes. IRS e-file can also help with the new health care law tax provisions. The bottom line is that e-file is much easier than doing your taxes by hand and mailing paper tax forms.

Health Care Law Brings Changes to IRS Tax Forms

 

This year, there are some changes to tax forms related to the Affordable Care Act. Along with a few new lines on existing forms, there will also be two new forms that will need to be included with some tax returns. While most taxpayers will simply need to check a box on their tax return to indicate they had health coverage for all of 2014, there are also new lines on Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ related to the health care law.

Do you understand the definition of financial aid?

The term "financial aid" goes hand in hand with paying for college. But it can mean different things to different people, and often the term is used in various ways, even by colleges.

"Financial aid" is money that can help students pay for college. Many people think of student loans when they hear the term financial aid, but loans are just one part. In addition to loans, financial aid includes scholarships, grants, and work-study jobs. Scholarships and grants are gifts; they do not need to be repaid. Loans, on the other hand, have to be repaid with interest, while work-study jobs are a work obligation for the student. Aid can be need-based or non-need-based, though most people think of financial aid as being strictly need-based.

National Visa Center (NVC) Now Accepting Nonimmigrant Visa Inquiries

National Visa Center (NVC) Now Accepting Nonimmigrant Visa Inquiries

 

The National Visa Center, or NVC, previously only handled inquiries in regards to immigrant visas, for example employment- or marriage-based green card applications. However, beginning on Jan. 12, 2015, the NVC also became the domestic point of contact for nonimmigrant visa cases such as a visitor visa (B-1/B-2) or intra-company transferee visa (L). 

The NVC reports that this change has been made in order to improve the efficiency and consistency of responses to the public. In this same effort, the NVC has also upgraded its phone system to provide better service to customers. 

When do I need to submit college financial aid forms?

It depends on the form you're filling out and whether your child is a new college student or a returning student.

College deadlines for the federal government's financial aid form, the FAFSA, might be anywhere from February 1 to April 1 for both new and returning students. But it's in your best interest to submit the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible (it can't be submitted before January 1) because some government aid programs operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

All About IPOs

All About IPOs

Maybe you've heard someone talking about investing in "a hot new IPO" and wondered what all the fuss was about. Or maybe you've heard about a company "going public" and thought about whether you should invest in it. If you're unfamiliar with initial public offerings (IPOs), here's a review of some basics.

What is an IPO?

As the name implies, an initial public offering represents the first time a company issues shares of stock that are available for purchase by the public (in other words, when it "goes public"). The sale of the company's stock is typically intended to attract new capital that the company can use to expand. IPOs might be considered the rock stars of the investing world; when the company has generated a lot of interest leading up to its IPO, the initial response from investors can make headlines.

How does an IPO work?

Understanding the Implications of a Pardon as it Relates to Immigration

Understanding the Implications of a Pardon as it Relates to Immigration

 

Many people who have been convicted of crimes in the past are ultimately granted a “pardon,” “discharge” or other forms of record-expungement by their government. Accordingly, these individuals are often under the impression that these mechanisms “wipe their record clean.” For U.S. immigration purposes, however, this is not the case.