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Exemptions and Dependents: Top Ten Tax Facts

 

Most people can claim an exemption on their tax return. It can lower your taxable income. In most cases, that reduces the amount of tax you owe for the year. Here are the top 10 tax facts about exemptions to help you file your tax return.

1. E-file Your Tax Return. Easy does it! Use IRS E-file to file a complete and accurate tax return. The software will help you determine the number of exemptions that you can claim. E-file options include free Volunteer Assistance, IRS Free File, commercial software and professional assistance.

2. Exemptions Cut Income. There are two types of exemptions. The first type is a personal exemption. The second type is an exemption for a dependent. You can usually deduct $4,000 for each exemption you claim on your 2015 tax return.

Choose Your Tax Preparer Wisely

If someone helps you do your taxes, you're not alone. The IRS asks you to choose your tax return preparer wisely – for good reason. You are responsible for the information on your income tax return. That’s true no matter who prepares your return. Here are ten tips to keep in mind when choosing a tax preparer:

1. Check the Preparer’s Qualifications. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications on IRS.gov. This tool can help you find a tax return preparer with the qualifications that you prefer. The Directory is a searchable and sortable listing of certain preparers registered with the IRS. It includes the name, city, state and zip code of:

Use IRS.gov for Everything You Need to Do Your Taxes

The IRS has all you need to do your taxes. Here are the best ways to get IRS products and services:

Which Tax Form is Best for You?

This tax filing season, get things off to a good start. Make it easy on yourself and let the software you use to e-file select the right tax form for you. Filing electronically is the easiest way to file a complete and accurate return. The tax software asks questions at each step and minimizes errors. E-file also helps you get the tax credits and deductions that you are entitled to claim. Brand-name software is also free when you use IRS Free File on IRS.gov.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right forms:

You can generally use Form 1040EZ if:

·         Your taxable income is below $100,000;

·         Your filing status is single or married filing jointly;

·         You don’t claim dependents; and

Six Tips on Whether to File a 2015 Tax Return

 

Most people file a tax return because they have to, but even if you don’t, there are times when you should. You may be eligible for a tax refund and not know it. Here are six tips to help you find out if you should file a tax return:

1.      General Filing Rules. Whether you need to file a tax return depends on a few factors. In most cases, the amount of your income, your filing status and your age determine if you must file a tax return. For example, if you’re single and under age 65 you must file if your income was at least $10,300. Other rules may apply if you’re self-employed or if you’re a dependent of another person. There are also other cases when you must file. Go to IRS.gov/filing to find out if you need to file.

Six Reasons to E-file your Taxes in 2016

Are you one of the few tax filers who still file a paper return? If so, now may be the best time to switch to e-file. Last year almost 129 million taxpayers filed their taxes electronically. They chose to e-file because it’s the fastest and safest way to file.

Here are the top six reasons why you should file electronically in 2016:

IRS, States and Tax Industry Deploy New Safeguards for 2016

 

Because of improved protections in recent years, the Internal Revenue Service stops the vast majority of fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities. But identity thieves and criminal syndicates continue to persist and evolve.

As the threat has changed, so has the IRS. In a new era of cooperation, the IRS, the states and the entire tax industry came together to identify what additional steps could be taken to better fight identity theft and better protect the taxpayers.

Starting in January 2016, this renewed effort will make for a safer, more secure filing season for taxpayers.

Many changes will be invisible, but they are critical to making sure the IRS can verify the taxpayer and the legitimacy of the tax return before it ever enters into the tax processing system. More than 20 shared data elements will help the software industry and the IRS stop fraudulent returns at the door.