The Best Places To Learn About TaxAccounting - Where to Learn More
Basic tax knowledge lacking in Americans
Most people are of the opinion that you need to be a financial expert or lawyer to know about taxes. The financial literacy of Americans is low when compared to citizens of other developed countries, with many failing at basic tax knowledge. An online survey carried out on 1,800 Americans found out that 58% of U.S. taxpayers wrongly assume that a tax extension implies an extension in the due date of their income tax payment. 39% of people surveyed didn’t know which federal income tax bracket they belonged to, while more than half (57%) say they do not know what a W-4 is.
This apparent lack of basic tax knowledge has led to poor financial decisions as evidenced by how Americans needlessly spend money on tax-related services and consultations they would have gotten for free. A study on U.S. taxpayers found out despite qualifying for free tax software, more than a third (38%) of taxpayers with a yearly income below $50,000 hired an accountant to do their taxes.
Why you need to understand taxes
Understanding our tax laws would provide the basis for a sound analysis on the effects of taxes and enable one to make better financial decisions. You will be able to administer your finances to your advantage and save costs which would hither to be paid as consultation fees to professionals. It also enables you to process tax returns faster.
One’s knowledge of tax laws is equivalent to the repertoire of resources and alternatives one is exposed to. A significant advantage of this period in human civilization is that never before have we been exposed to this much information. The internet and social media have made sure we have more information than we could ever imagine. There are a plethora of resources available for us to learn about taxes if only we make an effort to look.
Places to learn about taxes
You could get drowned in the ocean of information on taxes that are available out there. However, to save you the hassle of information overload, we have decided to compile a list of best places to learn about tax. Knock yourself out!
What better place to start your intellectual on taxes than from Uncle Sam’s watchdog for taxes, the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is responsible for the collection of taxes on behalf of the Federal Government. They set the tax laws and codes and are the point of reference when making arguments or cases pertaining to taxation. The IRS runs an extensive curriculum in the Understanding Taxes section of its website, which contains many free educational resources for individuals and business owners. They are interactive when it comes to preparing and completing a W-4 form and show you how to know if you are eligible for a tax credit, including how to manage payroll and set up a retirement plan for your business.
Investopedia is a useful resource for financial articles and topics. A section of their site deals with taxes in its totality, including how to fill a W-9 form, calculate your taxes for different asset classes and how to avoid tax filing mistakes.
- New York Times
The New York Times, through its Learning Network, has a topic that breaks down how to calculate your tax in a comprehensive and painstaking manner. Authors Patrick Honner and Holly Epstein Ojalvo show students how to estimate tax payments based on various income groups. This gives the young ones an idea of how much they would need to earn to cover their expenses while taking into account their tax burden.
This site handles the basics of taxes for beginners. There are short lessons on how to interpret tax codes, contact a tax lawyer and tax deductions. Articles on more specific tax topics can be found at the Tax Law section of the site.
If you want a broader view of taxes, than Statista is the place to go. The site has comprehensive data on taxes backed up by graphs and charts. You can find information on how much revenue the government has generated through taxes, how it affects the individuals and the economy, tax payment by sectors, taxes on different commodities and a whole lot more. You can choose the timeframe of your search to suit the data you are looking for.
- Free learning programs
There are a whole lot of free learning resources available online, which can teach you how to prepare taxes, whether it is for an individual or small business. The Tax College runs a free online tax preparation course. Other sites such as H&R Block and Liberty Tax run paid courses on income tax preparation. Alternatively, you can register for courses with a token on educational sites such as Udemy, Lunda or Coursera.
Information is Priceless
The value of information has never been more optimally valued than in our present time. Information is the gold of this current age and the pivot upon which we can make progressive decisions about our life. Knowledge about taxes is not written in codes or hieroglyphics. They are available for everyone and easy to understand. Such knowledge sets the background for better financial decision making.