Do I have to file taxes?
You are required to file federal and state income tax returns if your income is above a certain level. This amount varies depending on your filing status, age and the type of income you receive.
There are instances when you may want to file a tax return even though you are not required to do so. You may want to file to get money back if federal/state income taxes were withheld from your pay. Also you may qualify for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money. EITC is a refundable tax credit which means that you could quality for a tax refund.
If you are not sure if you are required to or should file, make an appointment and we will figure it out together. We will not charge you for the consultation.
Where is my refund?
You can check within 24-48 hours after you have e-filed your tax return(s) to get a status. This time is much longer if you mail in your return.
IRS: visit the official IRS website for information about your refund.
You will need the following information in order to complete the request: Social Security number, your filing status and exact amount of the refund.
CA: Visit the State of California Franchise Tax Board website to check your refund status.
You will need your Social Security number, your mailing address, and the refund amount shown on your tax return.
What are the requirements for someone to be my dependent?
There are seven tests that must be met in order for a taxpayer to claim another person as a dependent. Your dependent may be a qualifying child, or a qualifying relative. The tests are different for each relationship. In general those tests are as listed below. For a more in depth discussion of the requirements, call us for an appointment.
- Taxpayer ineligible if a dependent test.
- Married Filing Jointly test.
- Citizen or resident test.
- Relationship test.
- Member of household test. (if a Qualifying Child); Not a qualifying child test. (if a Qualifying Relative)
- Age test. (if a Qualifying Child); Gross income test. (if a Qualifying Relative)
- Support test.
You can also find all of the tests described in detail on the official IRS website, Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, “Exemptions for Dependents.”
Can I file as Head of Household?
The Head of Household (HOH) filing status applies to unmarried individuals (or married individuals considered unmarried) who provide a home for a qualified individual, either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative. These requirements are not the same for determining dependency exemptions.
For a full description of requirements, visit the official IRS website, Publication 501: Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, “Head of Household” under “Filing Status”.
Is my Social Security income taxable?
Generally, if social security benefits are your only source of income, then those benefits will not be taxable. Taxpayers do pay federal income taxes on a portion of their social security benefits if they have significant income in addition to their benefits.
There are charts and worksheets available to help determine if any of your benefits are taxable, or how much of your benefits are taxable. You can find them at the official IRS website, Publication 915: Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits.
If you would like us to help determine the answers, call us and make an appointment.
Are my disability benefits taxable?
Social Security Disability (SSDI): For the majority of people, SSDI benefits are not taxable. This is true for taxpayers who have income in addition to disability benefits as well as for those where SSDI may be their only source of income. If you or your spouse have another source of substantial income ($25,000+ for an individual and $32,000+ for a married couple), it is possible that some or all of your SDDI benefits could be taxed at your marginal rate by the IRS.
Note: 1) California exempts disability benefits from taxation; 2) Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI income is not taxable by either the IRS or the State of California.