Frequently Asked Questions - Tax Questions

FAQs - Tax Questions

Age is a factor in the qualifying child test, but a qualifying relative can be any age.
As long as the following tests are met, you may claim a dependency exemption for your child:

  1. Qualifying child or qualifying relative test
  2. Dependent taxpayer test
  3. Citizenship or resident test
  4. Joint return test

If you are an unmarried dependent student, you must file a tax return if your earned and/or unearned income exceeds certain limits.

  • To find these limits refer to Who Must File, Dependents in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information.
  • Even if you do not have to file, you should file a federal income tax return if you can get money back (for example, had income tax withheld from your pay; you qualify for the earned income credit; you qualify for the additional child tax credit). See Who Should File in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information, for more examples.

If you can claim your daughter as a dependent on your income tax return, she cannot claim herself on her income tax return.

  • If an individual is filing his or her own tax return, and the individual can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return, the individual cannot claim his or her own personal exemption.
  • In this case, your daughter should check the box on her return indicating that someone else can claim her as a dependent.

No. As a condition of your installment agreement, any refund due to you in a future year will be applied against the amount that you owe.

  • The IRS will automatically apply the refund to the taxes owed.
  • You must continue making your installment agreement payments as scheduled and in full because your refund is not applied toward your regular payment, and therefore any payments due under the installment agreement must still be made in full.
  • Regardless of whether you are participating in an installment agreement or payment plan with the IRS, you may not get all of your refund if you owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state tax, a student loan, or child support.

In certain circumstances, you do not have to claim the child as a dependent to qualify for head of household filing status; for example, a custodial parent may be able to claim head of household filing status even if he or she released a claim to exemption for the child.

It depends on the type of mistake that you made:

  • Many mathematical errors are caught in the processing of the tax return itself so you may not need to correct these mistakes.
  • If you did not attach a required schedule, the IRS will contact you and ask for the missing information.

If you did not report all your income or did not claim a credit, you should file an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
When filing an amended or corrected return:

  • Include copies of any schedules that have been changed or any Form W-2 (PDF) you did not include. File 1040X only after you have filed your original return. Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you timely filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  • Please allow the IRS 8-12 weeks to process an amended return.

A split refund lets you divide your refund, in any proportion you want, and direct deposit the funds in up to three different accounts with U.S. financial institutions.

You must make estimated tax payments for the current tax year if both of the following apply:

  • You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year, after subtracting your withholding and credits.
  • You expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of:
    >> 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year's tax return, or
    >> 100% of the tax shown on your prior year's tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)

There are special rules for:

  • Higher Income Taxpayers
  • Farmers and Fishermen
  • Aliens
  • Estates and Trusts

Social security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. They do not include supplemental security income (SSI) payments, which are not taxable. The amount of social security benefits that must be included on your income tax return and used to calculate your income tax liability depends on the total amount of your income and benefits for the taxable year.

To find out whether any of your benefits may be taxable, compare the base amount for your filing status with the total of:

  • One-half of your benefits.
  • All of your other income, including tax-exempt interest.

The base amount for your filing status is shown next:

  • $25,000 if you are single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) or married filing separately living apart from your spouse at any time during the tax year.
  • $32,000 if you are married filing jointly.
  • $-0- if you are married filing separately and live with your spouse at any time during the tax year.

The taxable amount of the benefits can be figured on a worksheet in the Form 1040 Instructions or Form 1040A Instructions, or in Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits.

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