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Virtual Business + Financial Services

For Individuals & Small Businesses

FAQ Tax Questions

Virtual Business + Financial Services for Individuals & Small Businesses

Frequently Asked Questions

Here at Straight Tax, we service all 50 states for your personal or business tax needs. Accordingly, in order to service our clients effectively, we do in fact offer virtual tax office preparation services. We make it easy and seamless for all of our customers to upload their documents via our secure portal.

In order to file your taxes, you would need all of your income documents received by you in the previous tax year. This would include all the documents from January to December 31st of that tax year, your identification, and information pertaining to any dependents you may have.

The forms to prove employment may vary depending on individual situations. For nearly all, an employer will provide a W-2 form. The self-employed individuals like independent contractors, product sales representatives (such as Mary Kay, etc.) need to get a 1099-MISC from the company.

If you have received unemployment benefits from your state over the past year, you must claim that as an income and, therefore, pay taxes on those benefits received. The unemployment agency should provide you with a 1099-G form, which explains the amount of benefits you drew during the past year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) too receives a copy, and will tax you at an appropriate rate in your tax bracket. Not everyone owes. If you worked a portion of the past year, chances are there you paid payroll taxes and may earn a refund if those deductions were overpaid.

If you currently own a home, you will need the mortgage statement form 1098, in case you have a current mortgage on the property. Your mortgage company should send you Form 1098 which reports the mortgage interest you paid and possibly the real estate taxes you paid as well. In the event, if you have any real estate tax documents, you need to include that in your documents as well at what time submitting your information.

If you are self-employed, you will need to have your business tax id information and tax filing receipts of the business currently owned by you. If you are a self-proprietor, then you will need to provide us with any of your current documentation. 

You will need to file a Schedule C using IRS Form 1040. Depending on your type of business and where you conduct your business, there may be other forms that you will need. You may also need to make quarterly estimated payments by filing Form 1040-ES – Estimated Tax for Individuals.

Taking necessary steps before tax filing will make things easier, in addition to once you file your taxes for the first time after getting a divorce is vital. Change your W-4 through your employer; as a result, your taxes will be withheld at the correct rates. Also, if you (or a family member) have changed your name, file Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration to make sure there aren’t any complications with the IRS.

The standing deadline for personal taxes is April 15 every year. However, sometimes that date falls on a weekend or after Emancipation Day (a holiday in DC), it pushes the deadline to as late as April 18.

At what time you get your W-2, you can have your taxes prepared right away, but the IRS will not accept them before a pre-defined date.

If you file your tax after the deadline, then a late filing fee will be imposed. On the other hand, if you have a refund coming from the IRS – as regards the three out of four taxpayers carry out every year – then there is no penalty for failing to file your tax return by the deadline, even though you don’t request an extension.

The act of limitations for the IRS to audit your return won’t start, until you in fact file your return. Of course, you can opt to pay your tax liability all through an installment plan. In addition to paying taxes all through an installment payment plan, there may be other options such as the Offer in Compromise (OIC). Under an OIC agreement, the IRS may agree to settle the taxpayer’s liability for less than the full amount of taxes owed. The IRS is not likely to approve an OIC, if there’s proof that the taxpayer could pay the full amount all through an installment payment plan or another way. A taxpayer can request consideration for an OIC by means of filling out Form 656, Offer in Compromise, or Form 656L, and Offer in Compromise (Doubt as to Liability). A taxpayer is required to mail the application package directly to the IRS.

Below is a list of documents you need to bring with you for your tax interview appointment. A copy of this list, along with what to expect during your interview, can be downloaded from the Resource Center.

PERSONAL INFORMATION FOR EACH FAMILY MEMBER:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Card /ITIN/ATIN
  • Last Year’s Tax Return
  • Valid Driver’s License

INCOME AND TAX INFORMATION:

  •  W-2’s 
  •  Interest (1099-INT or substitute)
  •  Dividend Slips (1099-DIV or substitute)
  •  Stock Sales (1099-B or Broker Statement)
  •  Self-Employment Income and Expenses
  •  Sale of a Personal Residence
  •  Rental Income and Expenses
  •  Sale of any Business Assets
  •  Gambling or Lottery Winnings (W-2G for some winnings)
  •  State Income Tax Refund (1099-G)
  •  Pension Income (1099-R)
  •  Estimated Taxes Paid
  •  Social Security or Railroad Retirement (SSA-1099 or RRB-1099)
  •  IRA or 401(k) Distribution (1099-R)
  •  Unemployment Compensation (1099-G)
  •  Miscellaneous Income (1099-MISC)
  •  Medical Expenses

DEDUCTIONS/ADJUSTMENTS:

  • Real Estate or Personal Property Taxes
  • Mortgage Interest
  • Charitable Contributions (cash and non-cash)
  • Employee Business Expenses
  • Gambling Losses
  • Moving Expenses
  • Traditional IRA Contributions 
  • Higher Education Expenses 
  • Educator Expenses 
  • Student Loan Interest

TAX CREDITS:

  • Child Care Provider/Address and Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) 
  • Adoption Expenses 
  • Retirement Savings Contributions Credit

Yes, you can as long as you maintain good records, and in case you are ever audited by the IRS. Be sure to record the name of the organization, the date and location, as well as a detailed description of what has been donated by you. Keep notes on the amount you claimed as a deduction and how you outlined the fair market value on the items donated by you. In the case of a monetary donation, as long as it’s less than $250, a canceled check or even a payroll deduction can suffice for a sufficient proof of the donation.

By and large, general home repairs cannot be deducted from your taxes. Home repairs are meant to maintain your home in good condition, but they do not increase the value of your home. On the other hand, if you live in a “federally declared disaster area” and your home is affected, then you can claim the cost for repairing the damages. If you use part of your home as a principal place of business, some repairs can be deducted, but you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A.

The first step is to check the IRS Tax Relief Site to make out if your area has been determined as a “disaster area” by the President. This is for the reason that the IRS provides specific relief to these victims. (If you do not have access to the internet, call FEMA for disaster assistance at 1-800-621-3362). If you are in a disaster area and you were impacted by the disaster, meet with a tax preparer to determine which year you should claim the casualty loss. Doing so will help you figure out the best possible tax break.

For federal taxes, a foreclosure is viewed as the sale of property. Two separate matters will impact your tax liability: any gain from the sale of your property and credited income you receive from any debt forgiveness. There are ways to calculate your Gains and Cancellation of Debt. To learn the specifics on how your particular situation is impacted, visit the Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation section on the IRS website or contact a Liberty Tax® office for guidance.

Depending on which Chapter you filed for, taxes may not get exempted. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, federal taxes are exempted from the discharge. At what time filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is very important to file and pay your taxes during the bankruptcy proceedings, in view of the fact that the court can dismiss your claim if you fail to meet this requirement. Dismissing the claim leaves you responsible for all of your debts. For further tax information on bankruptcy, read the IRS Publication 908 (10/2012), Bankruptcy Tax Guide.

If your divorce is not final, you may choose to file married filing jointly. Simply  note, that you and your spouse are responsible for the tax bill and any future audits.

Since it is not a small change (missing form or math miscalculation), missed income probably requires that you have to file an amendment. You’ll need to file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, on paper; no e-filing here. Additionally, if any changes you are making need forms or schedules attached, make sure you do so.

Don’t panic, you have three years from the date of filing or two years from paying (whichever is later) to correct the issue. But note, if your amended return claims more refund money, go ahead and cash your original refund check – no need to wait the average 12 weeks it takes to process your amended return. However, if your amended return shows you owe, you’ll want to lower fees and interest by paying those taxes as fast as you can.

You can then track the status of your amended tax return(s) with the IRS’s ‘Where’s My Amended Return’ tool. Check the IRS’s site about three weeks after you’ve mailed your amended return or call 866-464-2050.

If you are uncertain about needing to amend a tax return, don’t hesitate to contact your local Liberty Tax® office.

No. The federal tax laws do not consider gifted money to be earned income, thus it is not taxable to you. No state has a tax law on gifted money either.

By and large, property received as an inheritance is not included in your income. On the other hand, if property you receive this way later produces income, such as interest, dividends, or rents, the income is taxable to you.

Yes, any money which you received as a result of work is taxable income and must be reported on your tax return. Attach your W-2 showing your earnings and your taxes withheld to your tax return.

The main reason for filing taxes electronically (e-filing) is to get your refund faster. Twenty-four hours after sending your tax return, the IRS will send you a confirmation of receipt or a rejection notice. Generally, e-filing is safer and faster than filing on paper.

The ‘Where’s My Refund’ tool on the IRS website provides the most up-to-date information regarding the status of your refund. This tool is updated after every 24 hours.

A lot of factors can contribute to why your refund is less than you expected. You have to consider the three elements that define a refund: your taxable income, the amount withheld from your paycheck for federal and state taxes, and your tax rate. If you aren’t getting as much money back try to look on the bright side – you didn’t give the IRS a zero-interest loan.

Need further info? Get in touch with our team.