FAQ’s: Top Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the top FAQ’s when it comes to accounting and tax issues.

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Answer:If you Can I claim my child as a dependent if they are full time student as a dependent on your income tax return, she cannot claim herself on her income tax return.

  • If an individual is filing his or her own tax return, and the individual can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return, the individual cannot claim his or her own personal exemption.
  • In this case, your daughter should check the box on her return indicating that someone else can claim her as a dependent.


Additional Information:

Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information

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I am currently making payments under an installment agreement or payment plan for a prior year’s federal taxes?


No. As a condition of your installment agreement, any refund due to you in a future year will be applied against the amount that you owe.

  • The IRS will automatically apply the refund to the taxes owed.
  • You must continue making your installment agreement payments as scheduled and in full because your refund is not applied toward your regular payment, and therefore any payments due under the installment agreement must still be made in full.
  • Regardless of whether you are participating in an installment agreement or payment plan with the IRS, you may not get all of your refund if you owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state tax, a student loan, or child support. For more information you can contact Financial Management Service (FMS) toll-free at 800-304-3107.

Additional Information:

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How do I know if I have to file quarterly individual estimated tax payments


You must make estimated tax payments for the current tax year if both of the following apply:

  • You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year, after subtracting your withholding and credits.
  • You expect your withholding and credits to be less than the smaller of:
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year’s tax return, or
    • 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)

There are special rules for:

  • Higher Income Taxpayers
  • Farmers and Fishermen
  • Aliens
  • Estates and Trusts

Additional Information:

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I retired last year, and started receiving social security payments. Do I have to pay taxes on my social security benefits?


Social security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. They do not include supplemental security income (SSI) payments, which are not taxable. The amount of social security benefits that must be included on your income tax return and used to calculate your income tax liability depends on the total amount of your income and benefits for the taxable year.

To find out whether any of your benefits may be taxable, compare the base amount for your filing status with the total of:

  • One-half of your benefits.
  • All of your other income, including tax-exempt interest.

The base amount for your filing status is shown next:

  • $25,000 if you are single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) or married filing separately living apart from your spouse at any time during the tax year.
  • $32,000 if you are married filing jointly.
  • $-0- if you are married filing separately and live with your spouse at any time during the tax year.

The taxable amount of the benefits can be figured on a worksheet in the Form 1040 Instructions or Form 1040A Instructions, or inPublication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits.

Additional Information:

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If you are an unmarried dependent student, you must file a tax return if your earned and/or unearned income exceeds certain limits.

  • To find these limits refer to Who Must File, Dependents in Publication 501Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information.
  • Even if you do not have to file, you should file a federal income tax return if you can get money back (for example, had income tax withheld from your pay; you qualify for the earned income credit; you qualify for the additional child tax credit). See Who Should File in Publication 501Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information, for more examples.



Frequently Asked Question Categories

  1. IRS Procedures
  2. Contractor or Employee
  3. Filing Requirements, Status, Dependents, Exemptions
  4. Itemized Deductions, Standard Deductions
  5. Retirement Plans
  6. Child Care Credit, Other Credit
  7. Electronic Filing (e file)
  8. Tax Preparer Fraud
  9. Affordable Care Act
  10. Business Expenses
  11. Business Trips
  12. Home Office Deduction
  13. Tax Liens
  14. Payroll Tax Liability
  15. State and Local Taxes
  16. Cant’ Pay Your Taxes?
  17. Last Minute Filing Tips
  18. IRS Wealth Squads
  19. What is Taxable Income?
  20. Do I Qualify for Head of Household Filing Status?
  21. What are the tax changes this year?
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