Common Tax-Filing Myths

Courtesy of NewsUSA
Photo: © Alfexe – Shutterstock

If you’re like most Americans, you don’t have all of the answers when it comes to tax filing. That’s why it’s important to do as much research as possible to get up to speed on the latest adjustments and myths surrounding the tax code.

To help, here are six tax myths that the National Association of Enrolled Agents—a group of federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxes—encounters frequently.

Myth: I’m filing an extension, so I don’t need to pay anything before the deadline.

Fact: Tax extensions only extend the time you have left to file, not the time you have to pay any taxes owed. If you owe money and file an extension, you have until April 15 to pay, regardless of the extended deadline date. Otherwise, interest and penalties begin to stack up.

Myth: I had a really big loss in the stock market this year, so I won’t owe any income taxes.

Fact: Deduction of capital losses against ordinary income is limited to $3,000 per year. Also, whether you reinvest or receive dividends, they are technically, still income and are taxed as such.

Myth: They paid me in cash, so I don’t have to report it.

Fact: If it’s income, you must report it. You always report income, regardless of whether it’s cash, tips, bonuses or dividends.

Myth: I’m too young to have to pay taxes.

Fact: Even dependents working part-time while in high school must file a tax return if they earn more than $6,200 in 2015, if they want to receive their refund or if their unearned income is more than $1,000.

Myth: Income earned in a foreign country is not taxable.

Fact: The operative word is “income,” which means it’s taxable. The IRS requires taxpayers to report all earned income, even if it’s earned abroad.

Myth: Tax preparers only fill out forms that you can do yourself.

Fact: Licensed preparers know the intricate (and constantly changing) tax laws, regulations and codes, and how they can be applied for your benefit and save you money. Enrolled agents, America’s tax experts, receive annual continuing education so they are knowledgeable of tax laws and how they can apply to you. Enrolled agents not only specialize in tax preparation and tax planning, they can also represent you before the IRS.

Find an enrolled agent in your area on the “Find an EA” directory at http://www.naea.org.

When you decide to sell your house, it is important to be well informed about the local market and current buyer expectations. Take the emotion out of the process. Be realistic about price and know what you need to do to get the best return on your home investment.

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What’s Your Home Worth? Find out Now!

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, chances are that you’re excited about the possibility of moving and starting a new chapter of your life. Simply deciding to sell your home isn’t enough, though. The process of putting your home on the market can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so before you try to sell your property, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Being honest with yourself and with the people around you will help you have a more positive selling experience when you’re ready to move.

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