Tackle Your Taxes!

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now accepting 2017 income tax returns and the deadline is April 17, 2018.  Our friend, Mary Harris, local Jackson Hewitt Tax Service franchise operator, offered some useful information for those filing.

The following questions are frequently asked at local Jackson Hewitt Tax Service offices.

‘Q: Can my income tax return be filed electronically?

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Yes, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, all three states can electronically file.

Q: Must I have all my W2s to file?

Yes, you must have all W2s from all employers.

Q: Can I claim someone else’s child if I helped take care of them?

Only if you provided over half their support, they lived with you over half the year, and they meet certain relationships to you OR they were placed in your home by an authorized placement agency, and nobody else can claim them.

A: Can I claim my child who is no longer in school but I still support them and they lived with me all year?

If your child is 19 yrs old or older, they must be a fulltime student 5 months out of the year. If they are not a fulltime student, they must have income of less than $4,050.

Q: Do I need to bring any other documents along with my W2?

Be sure you have ALL your income and deductions documents in case IRS requests them.

Q: It’s my time filing with a tax preparation company, do I need my ID?

Always take all Social security cards and your own picture ID.

Q: What happens if I owe money and cannot pay?

In the event you are not getting a refund, but you owe, always go ahead and file the return even if you cannot pay the tax because the penalty for failure to timely file is extremely high.   

Q: What kind of records will I need if I claim a child that isn’t my own?

If you are claiming a child that is not your own be sure you can get school and/or medical records to prove the child lived with you for over 6 months.

Q: How do I claim Education Credits?

You must bring Form 1098-T if you are claiming Education Credits.

Q: Do I have to bring in all my receipts?

It is not necessary to take all receipts to your tax preparer, but you should have totals written out and bring those.

Q: Should I have a seperate account for my business expenses?

Keep a record of all business miles on you vehicle, and keep all receipts of business expenses. Pay business expenses out of a separate account from you personal account.’    

Harris emphasized If you qualify for Texarkana Border State exemption for Arkansas, it is mandatory to file the Arkansas return and take the exemption. You cannot just claim all income is exempt.  

To ensure the speediest results, file electronically and do not procrastinate.  

More information is available at your local Jackson Hewitt Tax Service office and at  irs.gov.

 

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