Tax FAQ

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If you’re like most Americans, you have questions about taxes. To help you out, TaxSlayer is answering some of the more commonly asked tax questions.  

What tax form should I use? 

  • 1040: After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed, everyone will file with Form 1040. The 1040-EZ and 1040-A were retired in 2018. 
  • Schedule C: If you are a freelancer, contractor or self-employed this is the form for you. You can report business income and expenses on a Schedule C. 
  • Schedule B: This form allows you to report interest and dividends of $1,500 or more. Any amount less than $1,500 should be reported on form 1040. The Schedule B is ideal for people with investments and savings accounts. 
  • Schedule SE: If you pay self-employment taxes, you will need to fill out this schedule and attach it to your 1040. It will help you calculate how much self-employment tax you are required to pay. 

For more information on different schedules, read Schedules for Form 1040

What is a 1099?  

There are different versions of Form 1099. One of the most common is the 1099-MISC. This form is used to report miscellaneous income from work provided for an organization in which you are not an employee. It takes the place of a W-2 form from that employer. The form is also used to report winnings of $600 or more. In both cases, you will receive a 1099 statement via mail just as you would receive a W-2. 

For a more in-depth list of Form 1099s, read Self-Employment Tax Forms.  

Do students have to file taxes? 

If you make more than $12,000 then you are required to pay taxes even if you are a student. Even if you do not meet the threshold, you must file if you plan to claim any education credits or deductions. 

Do I need to pay quarterly estimated payments? 

There are several reasons you may need to pay quarterly estimated payments: 

  • Your total withholdings and refundable credits are less than either 90% of your tax liability or 100% of last year’s tax liability 
  • Your calculated tax liability is more than $1,000. 

The following groups are typically required to make estimated payments: 

  • Self-employed 
  • Sole proprietors 
  • Partners 
  • S-corporation shareholders 

If any of the above conditions apply to you, make estimated payments directly to the IRS and file Form 1040-ES with your return. 

Who can I claim as a dependent? 

There are several checkpoints for determining who you can claim as a dependent. The must be a United States citizen, resident, or national. They must be filing single or married filing separately. And you must be the only one claiming them on your return. You can claim family members, foster children, and even adopted children.

For a more detailed list of requirements, read Who Can I Claim as a Dependent? 

What credits and deductions can I take? 

There are so many great credits and deductions out there to help reduce your tax bill. TaxSlayer gives you a comprehensive menu to choose from or asks you relevant questions to see which credits and deductions you might be eligible to take. Everyone’s tax filing situation is different, but TaxSlayer has them all covered. 

What is the EITC? 

EITC stands for Earned Income Tax Credit. This credit is intended to reduce the tax liability for low-moderate income families. The credit is refundable, which means you can receive a portion of it in your refund if your tax liability is completely covered by the credit.  See if you meet the qualifications here. 

Can I deduct my home office? 

You can only deduct your home office if you are self-employed and use your home office exclusively and regularly for business. For more information about deducting a home office, read more here. 

What happens to my taxes if I withdraw money early from my retirement account? 

Making an early withdrawal can have consequences. To avoid paying fees, you can choose to rollover, transfer, or convert your funds. Otherwise, you will incur a penalty. 

What happens if I make an error on my tax return? 

If you make a mistake on your return, you can file an amended return using Form 1040X. 

Where’s my refund?  

You can find out the expected date of arrival for your refund by visiting www.irs.gov/refund. Once you have filed and the IRS has accepted and approved your return, you can check the status of your refund via the IRS. It is recommended that you elect to receive your refund via direct deposit for the fastest delivery. 

Where can I find tax updates for this year? 

Keep checking TaxSlayer’s blog for updates on all tax related news and topics.

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