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  • Alex Jaacovi

Most Common Tax Questions

Tax season can be a daunting time for many individuals and businesses. With complex tax laws and regulations, it's no wonder that people often have numerous questions. In this article, we will address some of the most common tax questions that individuals frequently ask. Understanding these topics will help you navigate your tax obligations with confidence.

  1. "Do I need to file a tax return?" Determining whether you need to file a tax return depends on various factors, such as your income, filing status, and age. Generally, if your income exceeds the filing threshold set by the IRS, you are required to file a tax return. However, there may be exceptions for certain situations, such as being claimed as a dependent.

  2. "What deductions and credits can I claim?" Tax deductions and credits can help reduce your tax liability. Common deductions include those for mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable contributions. Credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, provide direct reductions in your tax bill. Understanding which deductions and credits apply to your situation can help maximize your tax savings.

  3. "Should I itemize or take the standard deduction?" Choosing between itemizing deductions or taking the standard deduction depends on your specific circumstances. The standard deduction provides a predetermined amount based on your filing status, while itemizing allows you to deduct specific expenses. Generally, if your itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction, it may be more beneficial to itemize.

  4. "How long should I keep my tax records?" Keeping accurate tax records is essential for substantiating deductions, credits, and other tax-related information. It is generally recommended to keep records for at least three years from the date you filed your tax return. However, certain situations may warrant keeping records for a longer period, such as when reporting capital gains or losses or if you have unreported income.

  5. "What are the tax implications of self-employment?" Self-employment introduces unique tax considerations. As a self-employed individual, you are responsible for paying self-employment taxes, which include both the employer and employee portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Additionally, you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to cover your tax liability throughout the year.

  6. "What happens if I can't pay my taxes in full?" If you are unable to pay your taxes in full, it is crucial to take proactive steps to address the issue. The IRS offers various options, such as installment agreements and offers in compromise, to help individuals with outstanding tax debt. It's essential to communicate with the IRS and explore the available options to avoid potential penalties and interest.

  7. "What triggers an IRS audit?" IRS audits can be a source of anxiety for many taxpayers. While audits are relatively rare, certain factors may increase the likelihood of being selected. These include reporting significantly higher or lower income than similar taxpayers, claiming excessive deductions or credits, or engaging in activities associated with potential tax evasion. Being well-prepared and maintaining accurate records can help ease concerns about an audit.

Tax-related questions are inevitable, considering the complexity of the tax system. By addressing common tax questions, I aim to provide clarity and guidance to individuals navigating their tax obligations. However, it's crucial to consult with a tax professional for personalized advice based on your specific situation. Understanding your tax obligations empowers you to make informed decisions and ensures compliance with tax laws.


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