Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Find you question from below or submit your question from the submit box.
  • Why is my refund less than I expected?

    Many 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.

  • How can I check the status of my refund?

    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 every 24 hours.

  • Why should I file my taxes electronically?

    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.

  • Do I need to report work-study income if I am a full-time student?

    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.

  • Am I taxed on money that I inherit from a loved one?

    Generally, property received as an inheritance is not included in your income. However, if property you receive this way later produces income such as interest, dividends, or rents, the income is taxable to you.

  • Do I have to pay taxes on money that was gifted to me?

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

  • Can my spouse and I file our tax return together if we are legally separated and not divorced?

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

  • Can I deduct expenses paid for repairing my home?

    Typically, general home repairs cannot be deducted from your taxes. Home repairs are meant to keep your home in good condition, but do not increase the value of your home. However, if you live in a “federally declared disaster area” and your home is affected, then you can claim the cost to repair 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.

  • Can I claim charitable donations without a receipt?

    Yes, you can as long as you keep good records 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 you donated. Keep notes on the amount you claimed as a deduction and how you figured the fair market value on the items you donated. 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 proof of the donation.

  • What paperwork should I bring to my tax interview?

    Below is a list of documents to bring with you to your tax interview. 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 & 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) Deductions / Adjustments: Medical Expenses 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

  • What documents do I need if I am self-employed?

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

  • What documents do I need if I am unemployed?

    If you received unemployment benefits from your state over the past year, you must claim that as income and, therefore, pay taxes on those benefits. 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) receives a copy as well and will tax you at the appropriate rate in your tax bracket. Not everyone owes. If you worked a portion of the past year, chances are you paid payroll taxes and may earn a refund if those deductions were overpaid.

Didn't find the answer? Submit your question