What’s Next?

Whether you may owe or are expecting a refund, your tax preparer will inform you of your next steps.  Safeguard a copy of your tax return (your tax preparer will provide this to you), along with your other important paperwork, in case you need to file an amendment or reference it in the future. Other paperwork, such as documentation regarding the sale of your home or stock transactions, should also be kept.

Be sure to take advantage of our referral program you can earn cash or other promotional items for referring your family and friends to participating Integrity Tax Return locations! Just think of it as our gift to you.

Keep in mind that the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your refund. For the status of your refund, check out the ‘Where’s My Refund’ tool on the IRS website. This tool will give you the most up-to-date refund information and is updated every 24 hours. You may access this tool 24 hours after the IRS accepts your e-filed return or 4 weeks after mailing a paper return. 

What supporting documents do I need to qualify for EITC?

  • Dependent Social Security Card
  • Proof of the relationship of the dependent
  • Proof of the age of the dependent i.e. school records or medical records
  • Proof of residency

Is there an age limit on claiming my child as a dependent?

To claim your child as your dependent, your child must meet the qualifying child test or the qualifying relative test.

  • To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and as of the end of the calendar year, either be younger than 19 years old or be a student and younger than 24 years old, or any age if permanently and totally disabled. 
  • There is no age limit on claiming your child as a dependent if the child meets the qualifying relative test.

In addition to meeting the qualifying child or qualifying relative test, you may claim a dependency exemption for your child as long as all of the following tests are met:

  1. Dependent taxpayer test
  2. Citizen or resident test, and
  3. Joint return test 

What documents should I receive from my employer?

The forms to prove employment may vary depending on individual situations. For most, an employer will provide a W-2 form. The self-employed (i.e. independent contractors, product sales representatives such as Mary Kay, etc.) should receive a 1099-MISC from the company. 

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. 

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.

If I forgot to report a second income on my taxes, how can I report it now?

Since it is not a small change (missing form or math miscalculation), missed income probably requires that you 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 since 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 ‘Where’s My Amended Return’ tool  https://www.irs.gov/filing/individuals/amended-returns-form-1040-x-/wheres-my-amended-return-1 . 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 X-Pert Tax office. 

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. 

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 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.

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 documents do I need if I have a mortgage?

Your mortgage company should send you Form 1098 which reports the mortgage interest you paid.  

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. 

What documents do I need to claim mileage?

When claiming mileage, you will need to provide a mileage log for supporting documents. Ask our tax professionals for more information on claiming the mileage deduction. 

What documents do I need to claim the America Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit?

If you are a college student or have taken any higher education classes, you may qualify for either the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit but not both.  Ask our tax professionals for more details about this credit. 

When is the deadline to file my taxes?

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

When is the earliest that I can file my taxes?

When 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. 

Is there a penalty for filing my taxes after the deadline?

Yes, you can opt to pay your tax liability through an installment plan. In addition to paying taxes 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 evidence that the taxpayer could pay the full amount through an installment payment plan or another method. A taxpayer can request consideration for an OIC by filling out Form 656, Offer in Compromise, or Form 656L, Offer in Compromise (Doubt as to Liability), and mail the application package to the IRS.

How are my taxes impacted if I have filed bankruptcy?

Depending on which Chapter you filed for, taxes may not be exempt. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, federal taxes are exempt from discharge. When filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is very important to file and pay your taxes during the bankruptcy proceedings because 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  https://www.irs.gov/publications/p908/index.html

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. 

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 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.