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How Do I Do My Taxes

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When we receive your income tax return, we carry out a cursory review and send you a notice of assessment.

We generally have three years from the date of the notice of assessment to carry out a more in-depth review and, if necessary, issue a notice of reassessment . You must keep all documents substantiating the information provided in your return , as we may ask for them if such a review is carried out.

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How To Calculate Federal Tax Credits

Unlike adjustments and deductions, which apply to your income, tax credits apply to your tax liability, which means the amount of tax that you owe.

For example, if you calculate that you have tax liability of $1,000 based on your taxable income and your tax bracket, and you are eligible for a tax credit of $200, that would reduce your liability to $800. In other words, you would only owe $800 to the federal government.

Tax credits are only awarded in certain circumstances, however. Some credits are refundable, which means you can receive payment for them even if you dont owe any income tax. By contrast, nonrefundable tax credits can reduce your liability no lower than zero. The list below describes the most common federal income tax credits.

  • The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit for taxpayers with income below a certain level. The credit can be up to $6,660 per year for taxpayers with three or more children, or lower amounts for taxpayers with two, one or no children.
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit is a nonrefundable credit of up to $3,000 or $6,000 related to childcare expenses incurred while working or looking for work.
  • The Adoption Credit is a nonrefundable credit equal to certain expenses related to the adoption of a child.
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a partially refundable credit of up to $2,500 per year for enrollment fees, tuition, course materials and other qualified expenses for your first four years of post-secondary education.

Tips For How To File Taxes For The First Time

OVERVIEW

Filing your taxes on your own for the first time is a major life milestone. Here’s some friendly advice to help ensure you dot all of your i’s and cross your t’s.

Filing taxes for the first time is a big milestone for any young adult. In the past, your parents may have handled tax filing for you, but now it’s your turn to take charge of your finances and file your own return. To help you cruise through the process, here are some quick tips for how to file taxes on your own for the first time.

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Calculating Your Tax Refund

Whether or not you get a tax refund depends on the amount of taxes you paid during the year. This is because they were withheld from your paycheck. However, it also depends on your tax liability and whether or not you received any refundable tax credits.

When you file your tax return, if the amount of taxes you owe is less than the amount that was withheld from your paycheck during the course of the year, you will receive a refund for the difference. This is the most common reason people receive a tax refund.

If you paid no taxes during the year and owe no taxes, but are eligible for one or more refundable tax credits, you will also receive a refund equal to the refundable amount of the credits.

How To Pay Your Taxes

How do I file my taxes?

If you owe taxes, the IRS offers several options where you can pay immediately or arrange to pay in installments:

  • Electronic Funds Withdrawal. Pay using your bank account when you e-file your return.
  • Direct Pay. Pay directly from a checking or savings account for free.
  • . Pay your taxes by debit or credit card online, by phone, or with a mobile device.
  • Pay with cash. You can make a cash payment at a participating retail partner. Visit IRS.gov/paywithcash for instructions.
  • Installment agreement. You may be able to make monthly payments, but you must file all required tax returns first. Apply for an installment agreement through the Online Payment Agreement tool.

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When Is The 2021 Tax Season

“Tax season” for the prior tax year is in the early months of the following year. So tax season for tax year 2021 will begin in January 2022 and end on the deadline date, April 15th.

Due to Hurricane Ida, some residents and business owners in Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have been granted extensions on their deadlines for filings and payments to the IRS. Most relate to upcoming due dates for quarterly filings and payments.

You’ll probably remember that the traditional deadline was pushed back for filing taxes in 2019 and 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, no such change has been administered for the 2021 tax year.

State And Local Income Taxes

Many states, as well as some cities and counties, have their own income taxes. These are collected in addition to the federal income tax. States that have a state income tax require that you file a separate state tax return, as they have their own rules. If you’re curious about a particular states tax system and rules, visit one of our state tax pages.

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Calculating Taxable Income Using Exemptions And Deductions

Of course, calculating how much you owe in taxes is not quite that simple. For starters, federal tax rates apply only to taxable income. This is different than your total income, otherwise known as gross income. Taxable income is always lower than gross income since the U.S. allows taxpayers to deduct certain income from their gross income to determine taxable income.

To calculate taxable income, you begin by making certain adjustments from gross income to arrive at adjusted gross income . Once you have calculated adjusted gross income, you can subtract any deductions for which you qualify to arrive at taxable income.

Note that there are no longer personal exemptions at the federal level. Prior to 2018, taxpayers could claim a personal exemption, which lowered taxable income. The new tax plan signed by President Trump in late 2017 eliminated the personal exemption, though.

Deductions are somewhat more complicated. Many taxpayers claim the standard deduction, which varies depending on filing status, as shown in the table below.

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Didnt Get Your Stimulus Payments? Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.

If you arent required to file taxes and didnt receive all Economic Impact Payments, you can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to get the full amount.

The fastest way to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit is to file a 2020 tax return with a Free File provider.

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Use A Tax Professional

For anyone with a complicated financial situation or a lack of confidence about finances, a tax professional is a better option. Capable tax professionals can help minimize the amount you owe and maximize the deductions you claim. Using a tax professional can pay for itself.

Tax Software Vs a CPA: Which Is Right For You?

Some Taxpayers Given Automatic Extension

The IRS takes into consideration that circumstances may be more difficult for some taxpayers giving certain groups more time to file without requesting an extension. Though our advice would always be to file as soon as you can gather together all the necessary paperwork.

#IRS has resources on filing, paying electronically and checking on your tax refund online:

IRSnews May 13, 2021

Those taxpayers serving in a combat zone or a qualified hazardous duty area or those living outside of the United States, should be aware that they may be subject to different rules for when they need to file.

As well the IRS gives taxpayers a little more time to file in areas hit by severe weather and where FEMA has made a disaster declaration. Check the link to the IRS press release below for your state to see how it affects your filing in 2021.

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What To Do If You Made More Than $72000

If your gross annual income was more than $72,000 in 2020, there is another free program that you can access through the IRS, but it requires you to prepare your taxes yourself.

The Free Fillable Forms program offers online tax forms that people can use to input their information and then either electronically file with the IRS or print out and mail to the agency.

Unlike other programs, Free Fillable Forms doesn’t give you any guidance or step-by-step instruction it only does basic calculations of the numbers you put into the forms. It’s also only available for federal taxes though people in certain states can access local programs to file their state returns.

Still, if you have the time and are comfortable preparing your own taxes, the Free Fillable Forms program is a good option. You won’t be able to do much preparation in advance, however the program opens on Feb. 12.

Keep An Eye On Your Income

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You need to file a tax return if you meet or surpass certain levels of income during the year. If youre employed, look at your pay stub for the year to date incomeand if you have more than one job, be sure to add up your income from all your employers. Remember to include income from other sources, too, such as money you make on rental property, anything you sell, investments or interest.

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Filing Your Tax Return

What you need to know about filing your personal income tax and benefit return.

Get help this tax season with the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit and the Low-Income Workers Tax Credit.

Save your receipts for the new Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit in 2021, which you can apply for during the 2022 tax season.

You may be eligible for tax credits and benefits to help you with living costs.

File Your Return And Get Your Refund

Once your return is error-free, you can file it online with the CRA with a couple of clicks. If youve set up a direct-deposit, you can get your refund in as few as 8 days.

If you still arent sure if you can do your own taxes, why not give it a try? Spend 10 or 15 minutes and see how far you get. You might even finish your tax return.

Article Contents2 min read

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It does not cover every aspect of the topic it addresses. The content is not intended to be investment advice, tax, legal or any other kind of professional advice. Before taking any action based on this information you should consult a professional. This will ensure that your individual circumstances have been considered properly and that action is taken on the latest available information. We do not endorse any third parties referenced within the article. When you invest, your money is at risk and it is possible that you may lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Historical returns, hypothetical returns, expected returns and images included in this content are for illustrative purposes only.

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Can I File My Taxes Online For Free If Im A Non

Yes. TurboTax makes it easy to file your Candian tax return as a non-resident. In fact, if youre a non-resident you can use any of the TurboTax Online products, including TurboTax Free. For more info, read about How Residency Status Impacts Your Tax Return

With more than 20 years experience helping Canadians file their taxes confidently and get all the money they deserve, TurboTax products, including TurboTax Free, are available at www.turbotax.ca.

Filing A Paper Income Tax Return

Advice: How to File Your Taxes

Before starting your Minnesota return , you must complete federal Form 1040 to determine your federal taxable income.

We use scanning equipment to process paper returns. Follow these instructions to ensure we process your return efficiently and accurately:

  • Use your legal name, not a nickname.
  • Use whole dollar amounts. Round your amounts to the nearest whole dollar.
  • Leave lines blank if they do not apply to you or if the amount is zero.
  • Do not write extra numbers, symbols, or notes on your return, such as decimal points or dollar signs. Enclose any explanations on a separate sheet unless you are instructed to write them on your return.
  • Place a copy of your federal return and schedules behind your Minnesota forms. Do not include your federal Forms W-2 or 1099.
  • Sign and date your return. Your spouse must also sign if you are married and filing a joint return.
  • Do not use staples or tape on your return. You may use a paper clip.

Note:

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Do All States Require A Copy Of The Federal Tax Return When Filing Your State Return

When it comes time to file your annual tax return, you may be asking yourself whether it is mandatory to file a copy of your federal return alongside your state return. Depending upon the state you live in, submitting this combination of forms may be required for your state return to be processed. Knowing how to locate this valuable information can help ensure that your taxes are files as efficiently and accurately as possible.

Tips

  • Depending upon the specific state you live in, you may or may not be required to submit your federal tax return alongside your state return.

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Finding The Amounts Of Your First And Second Stimulus Checks

To find the amount of stimulus payment youve received, you can:

  • Refer to the IRS notices that were mailed to you. IRS Notice 1444 shows how much you received from the first stimulus check and IRS Notice 1444-B shows how much you received from the second stimulus check.
  • Check your bank statements. If you had your payments direct deposited, you can find the amount of your first and second stimulus check using your bank statements. They should be labeled as: IRS TREAS 310.
  • Request an account transcript. You can request an account transcript sent electronically or by mail using Get Transcript. You can also call the IRS automated phone transcript service at 800-908-9946 or mail in Form 4506-T to have your transcript be sent by mail.
  • Create an account on IRS.gov/account. You can view your stimulus check amounts under the Tax Records tab. If you filed jointly with your spouse, you will only see your half of the stimulus check amounts. Your spouse will need to sign into their own account to see the other half of the stimulus check amounts.

To create an account, you will need:

  • Basic information: full name, email, birthday, Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number , tax filing status, and current address.
  • After providing the amount of your first and second stimulus check, GetCTC.org or the tax software will calculate the total amount that you are owed.

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    Irs Free File Program

    Many Americans are eligible to file their taxes for free through the IRS Free File program, which is a public-private partnership between the agency and the Free File Alliance, a group of tax preparation companies with online software such as TurboTax, TaxAct, FreeTaxUSA and more.

    In 2020, 4.2 million Americans used the Free File program for their 2019 taxes, according to the IRS. While that was a nearly 50% increase from the previous year, more could still use the program.

    If your annual gross income in 2020 was less than $72,000, you can use one of the Free File software programs offered to submit federal taxes free of cost. In addition, some products will also let you file your state taxes for free. The software generally includes step-by-step instructions and help for filers.

    “This year it is especially important that people know about the Free File program because it’s a great tool for anyone that didn’t get their first or second economic impact payment or didn’t get the right amount,” said Christopher Miller, a spokesperson for the IRS.

    To use the program, you must go through the IRS site not directly to a tax preparer, Miller said.

    Free File opened on Jan. 15, meaning that people can now input and submit their tax information. When tax filing opens on Feb. 12, their forms will be automatically filed with the IRS.

    Can I File My Taxes Online For Free

    Should I Do My Taxes Myself

    In Canada, TurboTax makes it simple for anyone with any tax situation to file their taxes for free. These are just a few of the tax situations you could have and use TurboTax Free to file your taxes with the CRA:

    • Youre working for an employer and/or are self employed
    • Youre a student looking to claim tuition, education, and textbook amounts
    • You were unemployed for part or all of 2020, including if you claimed CERB
    • Your tax situation was impacted by COVID-19, including if you had to work from home and want to claim related expenses
    • You have dependants and want to ensure you claim all related credits and deductions
    • Youre retired and receive a pension
    • You have medical expenses to claim, including amounts related to COVID-19
    • Its your first time filing your taxes in Canada

    There are a few situations where youll need to print and mail your return instead of filing online using NETFILE. Dont worry though, you can still enter all your tax info online and well guide you through the process of mailing your return to the CRA.

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