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Taxes

File accurate returns and get tax help if needed.

Tax FAQs

  • What documents will I need to file my taxes?

    Knowing what documentation you need to file your income tax return can streamline the process. Obtain and organize the following documents before you begin your tax return:

    • Names and social security numbers for all dependents 

    • W-2 Forms from all employers from whom you (and your spouse, if married filing joint tax returns) earned wages during the tax year

    • Form W2-G for any gambling winnings

    • Form 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC, as applicable, for any non-employment income (such as income earned as an independent contractor for a side job)

    • Form 1099-DIV if you received dividends or distributions of $10 or more

    • Form 1099-INT for interest income of $10 or more

    • Form 1099-G for unemployment compensation or other government payments

    • Form 1099-R if you took a distribution from a retirement plan

    • 1098 forms 

    • Records of rental income and expenses

    • Health savings account forms (5498-SA or 1099-SA), if applicable

    • Records of alimony paid or received

    • Amount of any state tax refund received during the tax year

    • Substantiation for charitable donations

    • Documentation of medical expenses, if you intend to itemize deductions 

     

    This list includes the most common forms and documentation needed to prepare personal income tax returns. Depending on your situation, you may need additional information.

  • How do I file prior years' tax returns?

    If you are behind in filing your tax returns, it is best to get caught up as soon as you can to avoid tax penalties, loss of refunds due, tax liens, interest changes, and more. Even if you cannot pay the amount owed in full, you should still file your back tax returns.

    Three ways to file back tax returns:

    1. File via the IRS website. You can call the IRS for assistance. You can even request past wage and income information to complete your return if needed.
    2. Use a tax filing service. The best tax filing services also offer services to help you file taxes for previous filing periods. You may even be able to e-file past returns.
    3. Hire a tax professional. If you don't want to prepare your own returns or do not want to interact with the IRS directly, you can hire a tax professional to manage your taxes and file returns for previous years on your behalf.
  • What are some deductions I can use for my personal taxes?

    When you file your individual income tax returns, you have the option of using the standard deduction, which varies based on your filing status, or itemizing deductions. Generally, it makes sense to use whichever method results in obtaining the highest total deduction amount. If you choose to itemize deductions, you may be eligible to claim some or all of the following personal tax deductions:

    • Taxes paid during the tax year, including certain state and local taxes, property taxes, real estate taxes, and sales taxes

    • Charitable contributions

    • Gambling losses, but only to the extent of gambling winnings

    • Mortgage interest paid

    • Student loan interest paid

    • Medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income

    • Contributions to one or more individual retirement accounts (IRAs)

    • Health savings account (HSA) contributions

    • Expenses related to self-employment, if you earned income as an entrepreneur or independent contractor

    • Educator expenses of up to $250 spent on classroom supplies by teachers or other eligible educators 

    Your tax professional can help you determine whether it makes sense to itemize your deductions or to use the standard deduction.

  • Can I still file my tax returns using paper?

    E-filing is the preferred tax filing method. It is faster and easier for all parties. However, you can still file by paper. In the past, you could pick up tax booklets at the local post office or other government offices. Because fewer people file using paper returns today, you may need to request IRS forms and publications directly from the IRS.  If you have internet access, you can request paper forms using the IRS website or ask a family member or friend to request the forms for you. You can also request forms by calling 800-829-3676. Usually, it will take longer to process your returns if you submit them by mail.

  • What if I can't pay the taxes due when I file?

    Generally, your tax debt is due by the filing deadline. Filing an extension does not change the date by which you need to pay. If you cannot pay your entire amount due, you'll need to apply for an IRS payment plan. Applying online is simple and you will be notified right away if your payment plan is approved. Payment options include full payment, long-term payment and short-term payment plans. You may also be required to pay setup fees, penalties and interest. If you need to apply for another person, you may need to be assigned as their agent under a Power of Attorney.

    What you need to apply for an IRS payment plan

    • Your name as it appears on your returns and with the Social Security Administration
    • An email address
    • Address from most recent return
    • Date of birth
    • Filing status
    • Social Security number or Individual Tax ID number (ITIN)
    • Your Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) if you have applied before

    If your business owes taxes due, you may be able to qualify for a long-term payment plan.

  • What happens if I do not withhold enough for taxes?

    If you suspect that you are not withholding enough due to tax law changes or income changes, you can change your withholding amount at any time. Simply request a W-4 form from your employer and change the amount. You can even request that an additional amount is withheld per check if desired. For example, if you think claiming single and zero is not going to be enough, you may have an additional amount withheld from each paycheck to try to make up the difference. If you overpay, the extra amount will be paid back to you as a tax refund when you file your annual tax return. If you do not have not enough withheld, you will need to pay the difference when you file.

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