Frequently Asked Tax

Questions

  • How can I check the status of my refund?
    • Use the ‘Where’s My Refund’ tool on the IRS website for the most up-to-date information regarding the status of your refund. This tool is updated every 24 hours.
  • Do I need to file a tax return?
    • You must file a tax return if your income is greater than the standard deduction for your filing status and age. It is important to remember that filing a tax return could be in your best interest even if you are not technically required to do so. The list below contains income thresholds for various filing statuses and ages for the 2020 tax year. As always, you should contact our office or check the IRS website here to find out if you need to file a return and get the most current information about tax filing requirements.
      • Single filing status:
        • $12,400 if under age 65
        • $14,050 if age 65 or older
      • Married filing jointly:
        • $24,800 if both spouses under age 65
        • $26,100 if one spouse under age 65 and one age 65 or older
        • $27,400 if both spouses age 65 or older
      • Married filing separately – $5 for all ages
      • Head of household:
        • $18,650 if under age 65
        • $20,300 if age 65 or older
      • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child:
        • $24,800 if under age 65
        • $26,100 if age 65 or older
  • What documents do I need to do my taxes?
    • Most individuals will need a W-2 from their employer or a 1099-MISC if you are self-employed. You will also need information such as social security numbers and birthdates for you, your spouse, and your dependents. View this checklist to see every document which may be required.
  • Is an e-filed return safe?
    • Yes, most consider e-filing a safer practice than mailing a return. We recommend you e-file your tax return when possible so you will receive your refund faster.
  • Is there a penalty for filing my taxes after the deadline?
    • The late filing penalty is normally 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month (or fraction thereof) your return is late, up to a maximum of 25%. If you file more than 60 days after the due date, the minimum penalty is $135 or 100% of your unpaid tax, whichever is smaller.
  • Who can I claim as a dependent?
    • You can deduct your own children on your tax return, as well as other qualifying people such as elderly parents, significant others, or other relatives. They’ll have to meet certain requirements to qualify.
  • Are unemployment benefits taxable?
    • Yes, unemployment benefits are taxable.
  • I started my own business. Can I deduct my home office expenses?
    • Tax deductions for home office should be used exclusively for a dedicated office space, and not a shared residential space such as a desk in your living room. Contact us for other expenses your business is eligible to deduct.
  • What are the tax implications of withdrawing money early from a retirement account?
    • Withdrawing money early from a retirement account comes with a 10% tax penalty and regular income tax is assessed on the amount withdrawn.
  • Why is my tax refund less than I expected?
    • Your taxable income, the amount withheld from your paycheck for federal and state taxes, and your tax rate can all contribute to why you received a lower refund than expected. Many other factors can come into play here. Contact us for more information.
  • I was recently impacted by a natural disaster. What benefits are available to me?
    • It may be possible to take a tax deduction for property loss claims not compensated by insurance or when you’re still waiting for compensation if the loss is attributable to a federally declared disaster. A federally declared disaster is a disaster that occurred in an area directed by the President to be eligible for federal assistance. An ongoing list of federally declared disasters is available on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at www.fema.gov. These are typically incidents like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, fire, etc. Contact us to see if you qualify for these benefits.
  • What are the tax implications of withdrawing money early from a retirement account?
    • Withdrawing money early from a retirement account comes with a 10% tax penalty and regular income tax is assessed on the amount withdrawn. There are exceptions to this penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes on distributions made on or after January 1, 2020 and before December 31, 2020.

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