Before I go into the final four tax facts, let’s recap what I’ve shared thus far. Here are the 6 tax facts you should be aware of:
Tax fact #1 – You can defer the deadline, not the payment
Tax fact #2 – You are likely leaving money on the table
Tax fact #3 – You do not have to fear audits
Tax fact #4 – You should seek professional help for your taxes
Tax fact #5 – Most audits do not result in paying more taxes
Tax fact #6 – You have several options for paying taxes
The final four tax facts can save or return you some serious cash in your taxes, so listen up.
Tax fact #7 – You can save energy and money at the same time
One useful tax saving benefit is the energy saving equipment cost credit. If you make home improvements that qualify as expenses for new windows, doors, insulation roofs and central air conditioners that conserve energy, you stand to claim a credit of up to $500 on your taxes. On top of that, if you install geothermal heating pumps or solar panels, you are eligible to claim a credit of up to 30% of the costs.
Tax fact #8 – You may be owed your refund
As of February this year, the IRS still holds more than $1 billion in unclaimed refunds for those who did not file an income tax return for 2008. If you are not sure if the IRS owes you your refund, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov and click the “Where’s My Refund?” link to see the status of your refund (if any).
Many taxpayers do not claim their refund because they are unaware they have overpaid, thinking they do not earn enough to warrant paying taxes. Then there are those who do not receive their refunds because they have moved or wrongly entered their addresses or bank account numbers (for direct deposit refunds). So make sure you receive the refund that is due to you.
Tax fact #9 – You must be aware of the Alternative Minimum Tax
The number of taxpayers affected by the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT, which was introduced in 1969) is going to increase every year. Why? Because Congress has not updated its features to account for inflation. They have only redefined the exemptions over the years. So you must be aware of the AMT.
What is the AMT? It is a law designed to make the rich with lots of deductions pay a minimum amount of tax commensurate with their income. But since Congress has not amended its main features over the years, 87% of married couples with an adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000 who file next year is expected to pay the AMT. These are not the rich taxpayers that the AMT is designed to tax. According to the Tax Policy Center, the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT should hit a record 4.3 million this year, and the number is rising as the years go by. Go to www.irs.gov and click on “Online Services” for more information.
What can you do about it? Call us at (813) 229 7100 for a free consultation.
Tax fact #10 – Identity theft is rife, especially in parts of Florida
Here are some startling statistics – according to the Federal Trade Commission, 24% of identity theft complaints were tax-related in 2011, up from 15% in 2010. I practice law in Tampa where this percentage may well be higher as identity theft (especially tax-related ones) is rife. So please take all precautions to ensure your personal information is safe, especially when submitting your tax returns.
Call us at (813) 229 7100 for a free consultation on these or other tax-related issues.