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Frequently Asked Questions

What documents do I need to file my taxes?

Most taxpayers will recieve either a W-2 or 1099-INT form through the mail. Additionally, you will need your social security numbers along with the SSN of your spouse and anyone who you are filing as your dependent. Lastly, if you made any contributions to charity, bring the receipts or some other form of proof.


Who can I claim as a dependent?

You can claim your children as dependents along with elderly relatives that you are currently supporting. Make sure to claim as many dependents as possible, as it can greatly reduce your tax costs.


Are there any tax benefits for college students?

Yes, there are a few deductions that one can recieve to help with college expenses. Some of these are:

Tuition and Fee Deductions: Up to $4,000.00 can be deducted to help pay college expenses

American Opportunity Tax Credit: Up to $2,500.00 in credit towards tuiton, fees, books and supplies.

Lifetime Learning Credit: Up to $2,000 can be claimed for fees paid directly to an educational institution

 

You can read more on this topic in our blog post


What is an Enrolled Agent(EA)?

An Enrolled Agent(EA) is a person who earned the privilege to represent taxpayers before the IRS. To become an EA, one must either pass a 3-part IRS test or have experience as a former IRS employee.

 

Enrolled Agent(EA) is the highest credential awarded by the IRS. EA's are required to complete 72 hours of continuted education every 3 years, and adhere to ethical standards.

 

An EA has unlimited practice rights, simalarly to attorneys and Certified Public Accountants(CPA's).


I didn't make much money, should I still file?

Yes, even if you made less than the IRS's tax filing requirement(which is $10,000 for individuals or $20,000 for married filing jointly under age 65) you cannot recieve a tax refund without filing. On average, $600 dollars is left unclaimed by tax payers each year.


How can I receive an ITIN number from the IRS?

This question is answered in our blog post.


I received a suspicious email from the IRS, how do I know it is valid?

Check out our "How to Spot an IRS Scammer" blog post for a comprehensive guide on avoiding scams. 

 

If you feel unsure about an email claiming to be the IRS, do not reply to them.

 

If the email turns out to be a scam, report it to the IRS here.


How long will it take for me to get my refund?

Normally, you should get your refund in less than 21 days within filing.

 

However, it may take more than 21 days if your return: includes errors, is incomplete, is affected by identity theft or fraud, Includes a claim filed for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit, Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process, or needs further review in general.

 

The IRS will contact you by mail if there is a problem and they need more information to process your return.


Why is my refund different than the amount on my tax return?

Sometimes all or some of your refund can be used to pay off fees such as: off past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or other federal nontax debts, such as student loans.

 

Also the IRS might make changes to your tax return although they will notify you of these changes.


What are the tax penalties from withdrawing money from a retirement account?

Withdrawing money from a retirement account early has a 10% tax penalty in addition the the regular income tax on the amount withdrawn.


How does a house foreclosure impact taxes?

Forclosures occuring after 2013 can affect the income tax refunds, some forclosures before 2012 may be waived by the IRS.

 

The IRS can consider taxing any money that you took from your home as a refinance. There is also the possibility that income taken from home equity line of credit (HELOC) could be taxed.