Most Searched Tax Questions This Tax Season

Whether this is your first tax season, or you are experienced, when it comes to taxes, people always have questions. I decided to consolidate the top Google trending tax questions for 2020 and to provide the answers.

When will I get my tax refund?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues most Federal refund checks within 3 weeks (21 calendar days) after the tax return has been accepted. For those wishing to receive their refund in less than 3 weeks, direct deposit is an available option. To find out the status of your tax refund, click here.

How to file taxes for free?

There are a few available options for those who are looking for free tax preparation.

  • Turbo Tax Free Edition – Turbo Tax offers a free option (Federal and State) for those who are filing a simple tax return. The simple return includes only a Form 1040, and the individual is limited to only: W-2 (Wages & Tax Statement), 1099-INT (Interest Income), 1099-DIV (Dividend Income), Earned Income Tax Credit (Refundable Credit for Low/Moderate Income), Child Tax Credit, and Claiming the Standard Deduction. For those with more complex situations, this free option will not be available.
  • IRS Free File Online – The IRS offers a free online option for those with income equal to/ less than $69,000. This program is made available through a partnership between the IRS and Free File Alliance. Federal Tax returns and most State Tax returns are free. Some State Tax returns may require a fee. To see a list of all the partners included in the Free File Alliance (H&R Block, TaxAct, Turbo Tax, Tax Slayer, and others), as well as the eligibility criteria for each option, please click here.
  • IRS Free File Fillable Forms – The IRS offers a free Fillable Forms (Federal only) option for those with income greater than $69,000. To use this option, you must know how to do taxes yourself, as there is little guidance provided. Click here for additional information on the Fillable Forms.

Who gets a 1099?

A 1099 Form is  used to report income from self employment earnings, interest and dividends, government payments, and more. In other word, it reports the various types of income an individual may receive throughout the year other than the salary & wages their employer pays them.

Some of the most popular 1099’s are: 1099-C: Cancellation of debt; 1099-DIV: Dividends and Distributions; 1099-G: Certain Government Payments; 1099-INT: Interest Income; 1099-MISC: Miscellaneous Income; 1099-R: Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement, or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc.; 1099-S: Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions; and 1099-SA: Distributions from an HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA.

What are real estate taxes?

Real estate taxes, also known as property taxes, are the taxes (percentage of the assessed value) charged on permanent property that are attached to the ground. For example: land, house, building, etc. The property taxes are paid to the local tax assessor either directly, or indirectly (via mortgage payment).

When are federal taxes due?

Federal taxes are due to be paid by April 15, 2020. After this date, interest penalties will be assessed. For more information, read my blog post I owe the IRS, What should I do now?

When is tax season?

Tax season for the 2019 filing year is January 27, 2020 through April 15, 2020.

Why do I owe State taxes?

There are several factors that could contribute to an individual owing State taxes. Here are three of those reasons:

  • The individual’s filing status changed – if the individual was withholding at a “married filing jointly” tax status (most favorable), but filed as “married filing separately” or “single” then that individual may owe taxes.
  • The number of withholding on W-4 Form was too high – if the individual claimed more withholding than was necessary (meaning that less taxes are withheld throughout the year), and did not claim an equivalent number of dependents on their tax return, then that individual may owe taxes.
  • The individual’s income increased/tax bracket changed – If the individual’s income increased throughout the year, which would cause the tax bracket to change (placing individual in a higher tax bracket), then that individual may owe taxes.

What States do not require State Tax Returns?

There are seven States that do not have state incomes taxes. As a result, no state returns are required. The seven States are: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

It should also be noted that New Hampshire and Tennessee only taxes interest and dividend income. Wages and other income are not taxable.

If you have additional questions that are not covered above, please utilize the IRS’s Interactive Tax Assistant tool, to ask your questions and get answers.

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