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Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Truth About Small Business Structures that You Need to Know

Small Business Owner learning about Different Business Structures

Common Small Business Structures

Bolstered by high hopes and great ideas, many new small businesses are started without truly understanding their financial and legal status. As an entrepreneur, there are a variety of ways to structure your new business, such as regular corporations, S corporations, and partnerships. However, the most common structures are Limited Liability Corporations and Sole Proprietorships.

A Sole Proprietorship is most likely the simplest and most popular structure for a startup, but it may not provide entrepreneurs the legal and tax advantage that an LLC does. As a sole proprietor, you will report the net income or loss of the business on your personal income tax. Normally, sole proprietors own part-time or small business without employees.

An LLC, unlike a sole proprietorship, is a hybrid of a partnership and corporate structure which allows protection from liability of a corporation's and the tax advantages of a partnership. In comparison to a sole proprietorship, an LLC is owned and managed by investors or members. If structured correctly members from an LLC will be taxed directly at their share rate.

The most significant benefit of an LLC versus a sole proprietorship is the owner’s liability is limited to the amount they have invested in the business. So a member is not personally held liable for the debts of the LLC. A sole proprietor is held solely responsible for all debts incurred. Thus putting your home, car, and other personal property at risk for satisfying business debts.

The only way to ensure you are selecting the right structure of your business is by consulting a tax professional and the IRS. For the source of our information and for more please visit the IRS website.


Sole Proprietorship

Advantages

  • Easy to setup and establish. Generally can be as easy as setting up a bank account.
  • Not required to register for an EIN (employer identification number) if you have no employees.
  • There is no state registration required
  • If your business is based at home, you may have no start-up costs
  • Requires less paperwork and less rigorous record keeping 

Disadvantages:

  • Sole proprietorship is not a separate entity, 
  • Owner is responsible for all financial obligations and debts incurred by the business
  • This structure provides no protection to owner’s personal assets.


Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Advantages

  • Owner’s/Member’s assets are protected from financial obligations and business debts accrued by the business.
  • Tax obligations similar to a sole proprietorship
  • Not subject to double taxation or corporate tax obligations
  • Requires less paperwork and less rigorous record keeping than a corporation

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive than a sole proprietorship
  • Slightly harder to set up


It is important to understand the different business structures and find the structure that best fits your business. How your business is legally structured will affect your tax situation and the potential for success more than you may realize; you should always consult with a tax professional for business tax advice!

At ExpressTaxFilings we love supporting small business owners because we believe that when you succeed, we succeed! No matter how you structure your small business, we can help you successfully file your business taxes on your own using our IRS authorized e-filing process! Tell us about your business structure below.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Ultimate Checklist of Tax Write Offs for Small Business

Pinterest Graphic_ExpressTaxFilings_Ultimate Write Off Checklist (2).png

Understanding your tax write off’s as a small business is crucial. However, more often than not, we hear from small business tax preparers that many business owners do not take full advantage of their tax deductions. When you don’t capitalize on the deductions you are leaving money on the table. Use the Ultimate Small Business Tax Write Off Checklist with the advice of your tax preparer to make sure you are making the most of your small business write offs!

Ensuring you get the most out of your deductions depends on paying careful attention to the rules of what is and isn’t deductible. Keep in mind that every business is different and what you can write off in your small business does vary based on what your business does; the only way to completely ensure your tax write off accuracy is by consulting a tax professional before filing your taxes!

Download the Ultimate Small Business Tax Write-Off Checklist today!



Here are three of the most common deductions your tax preparer may suggest for your small business tax write offs.

AUTO EXPENSES

As a small business owner, you either use your car for business, or your business owns a company vehicle. You can deduct some of the costs of keeping it on the road.

There are two methods to calculate vehicle deductions:
  • Standard Mileage Rate 
    • Deduct a certain amount for each mile driven, business-related tolls and parking fees. 
  • Actual Expenses 
    • Keep track of all of your actual business-related expenses to make deductions. 
Track your total business auto expenses so you can calculate the maximum tax write-off on your tax return. You can use whichever method results in a larger deduction.

EDUCATION

As a business owner, you understand the value of education and staying current. You can deduct education expense if they are related to your current business. So, unless you're an artist that sculpting class you have been wanting to take is not deductible.

Types of Education:
  • Online Course 
  • Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks 
  • In-person training and Workshops 
  • Reference Materials

HOME OFFICE

Do you have a particular place in your home set up for business purposes? Do you use it on a regular basis? If you answered yes to both questions, then you can write off a portion of your bills associated with your home.

To calculate your deductions measure your work area and divide by the square footage of your home. The result will be the percentage of rent or mortgage, electricity, housing keeping, or insurance you can claim.

However, a word of warning to you.
Be sure your home office is dedicated to your work. Do not attempt to claim your living room or bedroom because you work on your laptop there. If you make a false claim, you will be in a heap of trouble if the auditor ever comes knocking.







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Thursday, August 10, 2017

How to Start a Side Hustle and Earn Extra Money

Young handsome entrepreneur starting a side hustle and earning extra money
Creative Small Business Ideas
What would you do with if you had an extra source of income? Retire at 50? Travel the world with your spouse? We all love the idea of earning a bit of money on the side, without working too hard for it. We already work long hard hours at our day jobs, and we don’t want to invest in a second full-time job. However, a steady secondary income that comes in every month without requiring our constant effort and attention is truly the dream.Once you understand that your earning potential is limitless if you are willing to get creative, you can truly start working towards the life and savings you want now.

Many small business owners know that their income is only limited by their grit, imagination, and hours in the day. However, even if you work a 9-5 job, it is entirely possible to make extra money without completely disrupting your life or by taking huge financial risks, unless you want to. What is a side hustle you ask? Well… 

Side Hustle:

[sahyd huhs-uh lVerb (hustling, innovator, side-hustler) 
a. A part-time job used to leverage your financial or social status.
b. The dance popularized by 'Saturday Night Fever."

You may have heard this term, quite possibly outside of the context of the 1970’s dance “the hustle”. The millennial generation has appropriated the term “hustle” with less of a salacious tone. Instead, I am referring to an intense drive to accomplish a goal and creating several sources of income. A perfectly legal side hustle for earning money in addition to your full-time position.

2 Things to Consider When Finding Your Side Hustle:

Consider what services and items you use, and what services or items would enhance your life. We are consistently paying people to so a lot of different things. Could you turn one of those things into a business? For example: If you are a good cook why not sell healthy freshly prepared meals to busy individuals or families?

What skill or talents do you have? Consider what you know and what you do well. Are you fluent in a foreign language? Then start a tutoring program or teach lessons. If you are a skilled seamstress or can create patterns, consider making children's clothes or costumes. You would be shocked how much parents will pay for handmade clothing. Or, tell your coworkers you can make alterations. Trust me, you will immediately have at least five guys with buttons missing or work clothes needing minor repairs.

Consider what you enjoy doing on any given Saturday morning... What you do and don’t do on your day off can be extremely telling about your personality and skills, capitalize on what you’re already good at in order to create a strong side hustle! Here are 25 Side Hustle Ideas.

Side Hustle Ideas:


1. Tutor
2. Mystery shopper
3. Dog walker
4. Pet sitter
5. Etsy seller
6. Gun permit instructor
7. Babysitter
8. Sewstress
9. Yoga instructor
10. Book seller
11. Lifeguard
12. Standardized test question writer
13. Running coach
14. Online design site builder
15. Voiceover acting
16. Pick up trash in parking lots
17. Homemade rings and jewelry
18. Prepare frozen meals
19. Children’s book author
20. Farm Hand
21. Lyft and Uber driver
22. Substitute teacher
23. Car washer
24. Referee
25. Taste tester/focus group participant
And this list can really go on and on. Use your imagination!

At ExpressTaxFilings we love supporting small business owners and side-hustlers alike because we believe that when you succeed, we succeed! No matter what path you take to earn a living we can help your small business with all of your tax filings. Tell us about your side hustle below.

Start your Side Hustle Today!


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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Challenges Every Entrepreneur will Understand

Entrepreneurs working through challenges















Trust us we Know Where you're Coming from:

As an entrepreneur, you will or have experienced a set of unique life changes. Many do share the road to success and accomplishment. However, few have the experienced spearheading their own venture and having to combat the responsibilities and the new set of rules that follow. We understand starting your own business is fraught with constant challenges. Here are some of the issues and difficulties we faced on our road to where we are now.

1. Uncharted Territory

Most successful entrepreneurs find themselves blazing new trails, disrupting old standards or by simply providing a better solution than their competition. Our owners, Agie and Naga founded our parent company by combining their 20 years of expertise in software and design in pursuit of their dreams. No matter what the case as an entrepreneur you should welcome new and creative ideas. Use the skills and knowledge you currently have to find a need and create a solution. You will find yourself staring into a fog of the unknown unsure about where to go next but remember change is the only constant in the marketplace and to never give up.

2. The Struggle of Getting off the Ground

One perk of being an employee is having peers to share the load and a support system, but as a new business owner, you hold the reins. The future is unclear, and ultimately you must lead the way to success for everyone involved. No pressure, right? If your business succeeds then generally everyone will say it was a joint effort. However, on the opposite side of that coin is of course when disaster strikes and all eyes turn to the leader, aka you. Understand that a failure on the front lines is the responsibility of the person on top either because of a flawed strategy, poor hiring or just ineffective management.

Trust us when we say we truly understand this heavy burden you bare. Unfortunately, like most start-up companies we experienced some early problems. Our founders were unable to finance their new business, so they sold everything to “bootstrap” our parent company. With everything on the line, there was no backing out or option for failure. The money was committed, and the employees were hired, there was no turning back and no getting it wrong.

3. Pivot and Keep Going

Change is inevitable and will be your constant companion throughout your business life. As a small business owner, you must be able to anticipate changes at every turn and learn how to adapt. Plus, you have to do it fast. If you don't stay ahead of the changing market and digital world, you will be left too far behind to ever catch up. We understand that notion which is why we are constantly adding and updating our design of our website as well as adding new feature and forms.

The best way to predict your future is to create it. 

- Abraham Lincoln


4. Accept your Failures and Learn from them

It is always said doing an act repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. This I would say is true. If you notice something is not working causing you and your business to lose money it's time for a new path. No success was ever accomplished without some degree of failure. This is a fact of life, as an entrepreneur, you shouldn't dwell on those times but grow and learn from the experience. Stay level headed, calm, and collected before making your decision.

Comment below to share this list with others who will understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur and show genuine appreciation for all who give you support.
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Thursday, August 3, 2017

How to Plan your Tax-Free Weekend as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur planning for tax free weekend
At ExpressTaxFilings, we understand most of our users have businesses to run, but we also know you value a real bargain. Tax-Free Weekend starts tomorrow for Texas, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and more. Several states offer Tax-Free Weekends to give it’s hard working taxpayers a break on school supplies and other necessary items by eliminating sales taxes for a short weekend. This tradition was started in 1997 in New York state to promote shopping and give the economy a boost, this idea, of course, spread and now includes 16 participating states.

Each state has their own list of requirements and exclusions for what will be included during the Tax-Free Weekend; however, most states include school supplies, clothes, emergency supplies and laptops. As we previously stated Tax-Free Days do vary state by state, they set their own dates, eligible tax-free items, and limits, so it is important to check with your state to learn more information.

This weekend is not only a perfect time for parents to stock up on school clothes and supplies but also a great opportunity for entrepreneurs. Laptops and tablets can be a significant expense for your businesses, especially for new owners. But to stay ahead of the changing times you need new technology to succeed and grow your business. Tax-Free Weekend is a great opportunity to purchase much-needed equipment and save money. Also consider purchasing storage items, office furniture, and emergency supplies for your business.


How to Get the Most out of Tax-Free Weekend:

1. Plan Ahead
  • Find out what items your state includes as tax-free.
  • Compare prices and make a list before you shop.
  • Don’t forget to take advantage of coupons and sales
2. Shop Smart
  • Only shop for deals on items you actually need and have the money to purchase without a credit card.
  • Layaways: items you place in layaway during Tax-Free Weekend will remain tax-free as you pay them off.
  • Rainchecks: Chances are that popular item you wanted will be long gone by the time you get to the store. But just because that item is sold out doesn’t mean you can’t benefit tax-free. Ask the store if they give rain checks and purchase the item tax-free on a later date.
3. Understand What's Included During Tax-Free Weekend
  • Athletic or sports clothing
  • Batteries
  • Clothing (suits, belts, blouses, etc.)
  • Computers
  • Computer hardware service contracts sold along with computers
  • Computer software
  • Daily planners or organizers
  • First aid kits
  • Cell phone batteries and chargers
  • Formal clothing
  • Printers
  • Purses
  • Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors
At ExpressTaxFilings we pride ourselves on being user-friendly, and IRS-authorized with an efficient step-by-step interview process focused on accuracy and security. For all of your IRS filing needs choose ExpressTaxFilings because we truly believe that when you succeed, we succeed.


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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Failed to File Your IRS Form 941 by Deadline?

Small business owner forgot or failed to file IRS form 941


Summary:

If you failed to file your 94x Series Form, you need to as soon as possible to avoid substantial IRS penalties. You will be penalized 5% of the tax return for each month the return is late. And if you failed to pay the required tax amount or made a particular payment you will be charged 2 to 15% of the unpaid tax amount determined by the number of calendar days it remains unpaid.

Filing and Paying Late:

The following is a guide for what to expect if you failed to file and pay your second quarter 941 Form by July 31st.  As a result of failing to file on time will result in a penalty of 5% of the total tax amount due. You will be charged an additional 5% each month the return is late for up to 5 months.

You will also be penalized for paying late. Initially, this will be .5 % of the unpaid tax amount and will be charged each month following the payment due date. The penalty will increase to 1% of the tax amount ten days following a notice that the IRS intends to levy. This notice is a final warning that the IRS is prepared to legally seize your property to satisfy the unpaid tax debt. The IRS can do this by garnishing wages, withdrawing money from your bank account, or by possessing other personal property. However, the penalty will be capped at 25% of the total tax due.

Deposit Penalties:

If you failed to pay taxes owed or did not pay the full amount: For payments made 1 to 5 days late, you will be charged a penalty of 2% of the unpaid tax, whether the full amount or the remaining balance. Deposits paid 6 to 15 days after the due date will be charged 5% of the unpaid amount.

Once you exceed 16 days, you will be penalized 10% of the unpaid tax amount until ten days after you receive your first notice from the IRS. Following this, you will be charged 15% and must pay immediately, or the IRS will be given legal right to seize the unpaid tax plus penalties.

File Today to Avoid High Penalties:

Now that you understand the penalties you are facing, I am sure you will avoid being charged further. Just as a reminder 94x Series Forms, reporting wages and taxes for April through June, were due July 31st. E-file and pay any owed taxes today with ExpressTaxFilings!

ExpressTaxFilings is an IRS-authorized integrated solution for generating and transmitting your IRS Forms. If you need to e-file any 94x Series Forms, ExpressTaxFilings provides you with a step-by-step interview style process with built-in audits to ensure error free filing. If you have any questions while filling, we offer phone, live chat, and email support in both English and Spanish for your convenience from our Rock Hill, SC office.

Click Here to E-File Today!


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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Congratulations! You have Survived the Second Quarter!


Congratulations wage-paying business owners on filing your second quarter 94x Series Forms! Woohoo! Now you can get back to what is really important, your clients! We understand that unless you're a tax preparer, you did not go into business to constantly file IRS tax reports. We aim to make the tax filing processes as user-friendly as possible because we love serving small businesses. Today we want to share some amazing small business facts as we celebrate your second quarter filing success!

U.S. Small Business Facts: 

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy small businesses accounted for 63% of new jobs created in 2016, and the SBA is optimistic that the percent will continue to rise throught the remained of 2017. Last year alone 1.4 million new jobs came from small businesses with fewer than 50 people.

In the U.S. there are almost 28 million small businesses and over 22 million individuals are self-employed. The SBA defines a small business as an organization or enterprise with fewer than 500 employees. Over 50% (approximately 120 million individuals) of Americans work in a small business.

Automotive repair shops, beauty salons, and dry cleaner are apart of the fastest growing sector of small businesses.




Another report released by the SBA shows that 2.52 million businesses in the U.S are veteran-owned. Small businesses owned by veterans employ over 5 million, with an annual payroll of $195 billion and receipts over 1 trillion.

There are currently over 9.9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. and 1 million (11%) of those have paid employees. Businesses owned by women also employee 8.4 million individuals. A majority of these jobs are for businesses with less than 20 employees.


If you failed to file your 94x Series Form, you need to as soon as possible to avoid substantial IRS penalties. You will be penalized 5% of the tax return for each month the return is late. And if you failed to pay the required tax amount or made a particular payment you will be charged 2 to 15% of the unpaid tax amount determined by the number of calendar days it remains unpaid.

ExpressTaxFilings is an IRS-authorized integrated solution for generating and transmitting your IRS Forms. If you need to e-file any 94x Series Forms, ExpressTaxFilings provides you with a step-by-step interview style process with built-in audits to ensure error free filing. If you have any questions while filling, we offer phone, live chat, and email support in both English and Spanish for your convenience from our Rock Hill, SC office.

Click Here to E-File Today!


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Monday, July 31, 2017

Today is the Day! You Must File IRS Form 941 to Avoid Penalties

Small business owner rushing to file Form 941 and avoid penalties


Today is the deadline for filing Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return! If you are a wage-paying business owner, you are required to file IRS Form 941, reporting employment taxes. Employers are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from employee’s wages.

If you have not yet filed ExpressTaxFilings provides you with a comprehensive solution for generating and transmitting your forms efficiently and securely. Here we will look at some of our best features to make your filing experience hassle-free.

E-Filing Form 941 Features:

Interview Style Filing
Our platform provides you with a clear, concise step-by-step interview style process for safe and efficient e-filing.

Built-In Error Checks

During your filing process, your forms undergo an instant internal audit to ensure the form is free of any fundamental errors before transmitting to the IRS.

Schedules B & R
Include and transmit Schedules B and R when e-filing Form 941.

E-Sign Form 941

If you don’t have an Online Signature PIN ExpressTaxFilings provides Form 8453-EMP to e-sign the 94x series.

Pay Balance Due

Securely submit tax payments directly to the IRS while transmitting Form 941. For amounts under $2500, filers can use EFW (Electronic Funds Withdrawal) with a bank account and routing number.

US-Based Customer Support
If you have any question while e-filing, we offer phone, live chat, and email support in both English and Spanish from our Rock Hill, SC office.


Avoid substantial IRS penalties and e-file today! If you fail to file Form 941 by today's deadline you will be penalized 5% of the tax return for each month the return is late. And the penalty for late payments or for not paying the full amount is 2 to 15% of the unpaid tax determined by the number of days it remains unpaid.
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Friday, July 28, 2017

Filing so Easy you can do it Without your CPA

Three days left to e-file your 94x series form! The 941 Form, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, is used to report employment taxes. No matter if you are a tax preparer, or you file with the help of your CPA or do your own IRS 941 Form filing, ExpressTaxFilings.com makes the process simple. Our user-friendly, IRS-authorized step-by-step interview process is accurate, safe, and efficient.

Filing ends Monday, July 31st! You must submit your second quarter Form 941 reporting taxes and tax information from April, May, and June of this year. If you fail to file and pay the required taxes by the deadline you will face hefty penalties from the IRS. Late filing results in a penalty of 5% of owed taxes each month the return is late. If your payment is late or the full amount is unpaid, you will be charged up to 15% of the unpaid tax. 

To efficiently e-file and avoid any penalties ExpressTaxfilings is here to help serve your businesses with their IRS e-filing needs. We firmly because that when you succeed, we succeed. Over the month of July, we have explored the 94x series in several in-depth blogs. Click through the three favorite 941 blog posts.

Everything business owners need to know about 941 form filing
941 e-file help guide for small business owners
Quarterly tax form 931 penalties

ExpressTaxFilings is an IRS-authorized integrated solution for generating and transmitting your IRS Forms. If you need to e-file any 94x Series Forms, ExpressTaxFilings provides you with a step-by-step interview style process with built-in audits to ensure error free filing. If you have any questions while filling, we offer phone, live chat, and email support in both English and Spanish for your convenience from our Rock Hill, SC office.

Click Here to E-File Today!




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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to File your IRS Forms with Confidence

Watch to see how ExpressTaxFilings is Helping Small Business Owners 




Your Success Starts with ExpressTaxFilings

File Your IRS Forms with Confidence 
As a real estate agent, you are consistently on the run studying property listings, meeting with prospective clients, decorating for an open house, showing clients property sites, discussing conditions of a sale, and drawing up contracts. You cannot afford to be held up spending hours paper filing IRS tax forms.

At ExpressTaxFilings we pride ourselves in being IRS-authorized to provide you with safe, secure, and efficient e-filing. Our step-by-step interview process will both save you time and money. We are an entirely cloud-based integrated solution for generating and transmitting your IRS forms. If you have any questions about e-filing our experienced US-based support team is here to help with your required forms, we are available by phone, live chat, and email.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Urgent! You're Running Out of Time to File Form 941


Small Business owner/ entrepreneur running out of time to file IRS Form 941
The second quarter filing deadline for Form 941 is on July 31st- less than a week away! You will need to report wages and taxes for April through June. If you have not filed yet, don't worry we at ExpressTaxFilings are here for you. We provide you with an all inclusive solution for generating and e-filing in the simplest, quickest way possible. 

What Business Owners Need to Know


Form 941 is the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and is used to report employment taxes. If you own a wage-paying business, you will need to file Form 941 four times a year. As an employer, you are responsible for withholding federal income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from your employee’s wages. Form 941 is also used to calculate the employer’s portion of Medicare and social security tax.

94x Series

(In addition to the traditional 941 Form used to report employment taxes within the United States there is also Form 941-SS, 941-PR, and the 94x Online Signature PIN)

Form 941-SS is the US Territories Employer’s Quarterly Federal. This form must be filed four times a year by wage-paying employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. The only US Territory not included in Form 941-SS is Puerto Rico which has a separate quarterly report.

Form 941-PR is the Puerto Rican Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and must be filed by wage-paying business owners and operators located in Puerto Rico. Both of these forms follow the same deadlines and penalties as the traditional 941 Form.

The 94x Online Signature PIN is ten digit number provided by the IRS as authorization to e-sign any forms in the 94x series. If you do not possess a 94x PIN for this quarter, it is not required. However, you will need to complete and e-sign Form 8453-EMP when e-filing Form 941. When you choose ExpressTaxFilings to e-file, we offer the option to file Form 8453-EMP along with your Form 941. You can also quickly apply for your 94x PIN for FREE! Having this PIN will simplify your future federal tax filing process.

Penalties

Failure to file Form 941 by the deadline results in a penalty of 5% on the tax return for each month the return is late. This penalty will cap at 25%.

You will also be heavily penalized for late payments or for not paying the full amount. You can be charged 2 to 15% of the unpaid tax determined by the number of days it remains unpaid.


ExpressTaxFilings E-Filing Software Features

Our software is entirely cloud-based giving you access to your account from anywhere, and there are no monthly fees. The filing process consists of a simplified, step-by-step interview style process that finishes by offering to send your tax obligated payment directly to the IRS. We at ExpressTaxFilings take pride in being IRS-authorized to provide you with a safe, secure, and efficient e-filing process that will save you both time and money.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact our experienced team of experts located in historic Rock HIll, SC, we are available by phone, live chat, and email support in both English and Spanish for your convenience.
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