Answers to the Top Questions Taxpayers Ask CPAs
Throughout the United States, taxpayers often find themselves feeling anxiety when tax season rolls around. If you don’t already have a relationship with a local tax preparer, you might be overwhelmed by the prospect of filing your federal tax return by yourself.
After all, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes changest to the tax code annually, so there may be new credits, deductions, or incentives available to you from one year to the next. The best way to ensure that your taxes are filed properly is to work with a qualified tax professional in your area.
Certified public accountants (CPAs) generally provide their clients with a variety of services, including tax preparation.
Below, you’ll find answers to some of the top questions taxpayers ask CPAs every year. Remember, though, this guide is not a substitute for having a one-on-one consultation with a CPA in your area.
"Do I need to file my taxes if I don’t earn much money?"
This question is most frequently asked by taxpayers in the Gen Z and Millennial demographics but can, of course, be relevant to anyone who isn’t a high income earner. In general, CPAs recommend that all taxpayers – even those who aren’t required to per IRS requirements – file their federal income tax returns annually.
There are several reasons for this, including the possibility that workers who federal taxes withheld at their jobs could be eligible for tax refunds.
“How should I keep my documents organized?”
For many taxpayers, the most stressful part of tax season is finding all of the documents they need to fill out various IRS forms. Due to this, CPAs frequently answer questions about organization throughout the year.
Most accountants and tax preparers recommend that their clients – especially those who do itemized deductions rather than taking the standard deduction – have a specific folder where they put receipts, invoices, and other important paperwork.
This folder can be physical or digital, and some CPA firms even allow clients to securely upload documents to the cloud all year long, making tax time a breeze.
“Help! I don’t understand estimated tax payments.”
Quarterly estimated tax payments are paid by taxpayers who are not subject to traditional W2 withholding.
According to the IRS, individuals “including sole proprietors, partners, and S corporation shareholders, generally have to make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when their return is filed,"
The standard estimated payment due dates can be found below. Note that if the date falls on a weekend, tax payments are due the following business day.
January 15 of the following year
If you have any questions regarding how to file your quarterly estimated taxes, talk to a qualified local CPA.
“What IRS forms do self-employed individuals need to file?”
While every taxpayer’s situation is different, there are certain forms that almost all self-employed individuals need to complete every year. These are the Schedule C form and the relatively new 1099-NEC.
The 1099-NEC, in particular, could impact people who sell on third-party websites like eBay, Mecari, and Etsy. Online sellers have been frustrated by the new $600 reporting threshold but the controversy surrounding the policy does not alter the fact that taxpayes should be aware.
Again, no two situations are exactly alike, so a local CPA will be able to better help you understand what forms you need to file as a self-employed taxpayer.
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