FILING INCOME TAXES

  • Who must file? Do I have to file?

Read the current requirements on the official IRS website

  • Can I use my last pay stub to file my taxes?

No, you can not. You must wait for your official W–2 to file.

  • How long does it take to get my individual tax return prepared?

Individual tax returns are normally done same day for all short forms and 1-2 days on long forms. During rush period, last week of Jan. – end of Feb. tax preparation takes 24-48 hours depending on how complex. Business returns require more time.
Remember to report ALL sources of income.

  • Do I have to file taxes for unemployment benefits?

Yes, unemployment income is taxable when combined with other income for the same year, no matter how small amount.

  • I received a check from serving jury duty; do I have to report income?

Yes. Even if you do not receive a 1099-misc, you will need to include the income amount.

  • I receive child support payments; do I have to claim the income?

No, child support payments are not taxable income.

  • Can I claim lottery and gambling losses?

Yes, only if you claim winnings, and losses cannot exceed winnings.

  • I paid childcare expenses, but the child does not live with me; can I claim the amount I paid?

No, you can only claim childcare expenses if you claim the child.

  • I paid contributions to a church/organization, but have no written proof; can I still claim the amount paid?

Yes, you can; but, if you don’t have any cancelled checks, request a letter from organization to keep as evidence for your records.

  • My vehicle was totaled in an accident; can I claim the lost of my vehicle?

Yes, a portion of your expense is deductible minus insurance reimbursement.

  • Can I claim the expenses I paid for rent on my apartment?

No, apartment rent is not tax deductible. However, if apartment is used for business purposes, some expenses are deductible. Inquire with us for details on how to claim these expenses.

  • I have moved (relocated) to/from another state; can I claim the moving expenses?

Yes, some moving expenses are deductible, but there are limitations and exact mileage is required for calculation.

  • I have not received my W-2 from my employer; what can I do?

After making several attempts by January 31st, we can issue you a substitute W-2 by verifying the employer information, so that you can complete your tax return.

  • I lost my W-2 statement; can I use my pay stub to file?

No, but you can get an estimate calculation, then you can try to get duplicate statement from source or verify employment and see if you qualify for a substitute W–2.

  • My W-2s were issued with the wrong SSN#; what should I do?

Inform your employer ASAP & request a corrected copy. Tell preparer and, once verified, you can still file your taxes in a timely manner.

  • I receive SSI benefits; do I have to file this as income?

No, not if it’s your only source of income. However, if you have any other source of income combined, it maybe taxable.

  • Do you accept faxed copies of form W-2 to prepare taxes?

Yes, for preparation only; but, originals must be submitted before completion.

 

FILING STATUS

  • Can I file as head of house if I’m single?

Yes, only if you have a full dependent or qualifying dependent.

  • I’m married but separated, what filing status should I use?

If you don’t live together, you can use either single or head of house with dependent.

  • I filed joint in the past, do I still have to file joint now?

No, you may choose to file single, married separate or head of house with dependent depending on your circumstances. You have options.

  • I got married this year; do I have to file a joint return?

No, you don’t have to, but you should discuss it with preparer, it may be to your advantage. Inquire about the best option for you.

  • Can my spouse and I both claim the same dependent for 6 months each?

No, but there is an alternative, inquire with your preparer.

  • My spouse passed away during the year; can I file their W-2 and all income sources?

Yes, but you should inquire as to the best way to file.

 

DEPENDENTS

  • If my parents claim me, can I file my own tax return also?

Yes, you can; but, be sure to inform the preparer to avoid being claimed twice.

  • Can I claim my spouse as a dependent?

No, a spouse can only be claimed on joint return or not claimed at all.

  • Who can I claim as a dependent, and does age matter?

When in doubt, just ask

  • One of my dependents passed away during the year, can I still claim them?

Yes, only if no one else claimed them.

  • How long must you support a dependent to claim them as an exemption?

The IRS requires you to provide over half of their support for at least 6 months during the same year.

  • Can I claim my child who attends college in another state?

Yes, if you support them and they don’t file a return to claim themselves.

  • A child lives with one parent, but is supported by both parents, which parent can legally claim the child?

Legally, the parent that child lives with, unless a mutual agreement is made otherwise.

  • My child does not have an SSN, what can I do?

You can request one if the child is a born US citizen. Visit the SSA website or  call for details: 800-772-1213.

 

EITC – EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

  • Can I claim EITC if I didn’t work?

No, you cannot qualify for EITC without any earned income. However, you may qualify for other credits with unearned income. Please inquire.

  • I’m single, do I qualify for EITC?

Yes, if you are age 25 or over, and meet the income requirement.

  • How can I find out how much EITC I’m qualified to get?

EITC amount is based on your earned income, filing status and number of qualifying dependents. Go to www.irs.gov/eitc,  see the chart.

  • I was denied EITC in the past; will I be able to claim EITC now?

Yes, you can. However, you may want to submit supporting documents in advance to prove that you qualify for the EITC.

 

BUSINESS OWNERS

  • I have my own business; sole proprietor partnership, LLC or corporation. What documents are required to file?

Proof of income and record of expenses. Keep original receipts for your records, batch and tally receipts by category. For full details see www.irs.gov/businesses

 

STATE INCOME TAXES

  • I worked in two other states during the year; do I have to file a tax return for each state?

Yes, each state must be filed separately, unless state is exempt from income taxes.

 

PREVIOUS YEAR TAXES

  • I haven’t filed in the past few years; can I file income taxes for previous years?

Yes, you can file previous year taxes, but only claim a refund for the past three years.

  • I filed last year’s taxes, but forgot to claim a dependent, some income or expenses/deductions; what can I do?

You can file an amended tax return for past 3 years, make changes and get a refund or pay additional taxes if you owe.

 

HOMEOWNERS

  • I’m a homeowner, but the mortgage is in someone else’s name; how can I claim the mortgage interest and other deductions?

You can claim them as usual, but get a signed notarized statement as supporting evidence indicating this is the situation and keep it for your records along with other documents in your name.

  • I purchased a new home/condo this year; what credits and deductions can I take?

Please supply a copy of the closing statement, with purchase details. Single family homes are limited to mortgage interest, points and taxes. For a multi-family dwelling. You may qualify for first time home buyer credit also.

  • I have rental property (two-family or more); do I need to bring all the receipts for expenses incurred/paid during the year?

No, you can combine and total all receipts by category, record them on a single worksheet, then save the original receipts for your records.

 

E-FILING:

We are Authorized E-Filers

  • This is my first time e-filing; what do I need to bring along with me?

You will need to have all of your income documents; i.e. W-2, 1099, 1098, name, SS# and date of birth for any dependents, any interest/dividend statements, gambling, unemployment, stocks, etc. to prepare the tax return and you will also need a valid photo ID and SS card/or another form of ID, and a deposit slip (for first timers only). First time e-filing requires a deposit.

  • Does E-filing increase or decrease my chances of being audited by the IRS?

No, you can be audited whether you e-file or not. Keep yourself audit-proof by keeping good records of all expenses.

  • My taxes are already prepared, can I E-file them through your company?

Yes, we accept already prepared returns for E-file only.

  • What form of ID is required for E-Filing?

A valid photo ID and SS card are acceptable forms of ID and are only required for E-file bank products when fees are being withheld from a refund.

  • Can I E-file my last year’s tax return?

No, only current year tax returns can be E-filed through October 15th.

  • If I E-file my federal return, do I have to E-file my state return also?

No, you can e-file either one or both. However, some states are mandating that you also e-file. If you choose not to e-file the state, you may have to give a brief explanation why.

  • If I e-file, can I have my federal/state refund deposited into multiple/different accounts?

Yes, your refunds can be deposited into multiple or different accounts.

FAQs