To File or Not to File?

In Accounting & Finances, Business, Taxes on February 25, 2014 by Sufen Wang

onthefencegreenerStill sitting on the fence about whether you should file a tax return or not to file a tax return??? Here are some thoughts to help you with your decision…


winter22It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy that is tax filing season. Lady Liberty wannabees and Uncle Sam look-a-likes are shakin’ their stuff outside every strip mall, waving you in to have your taxes filed by ahem, professionals. Before you get ahead of yourself, take a step back and use the Interactive Tax Assistant to see if you actually need to submit a federal tax return this year. If you discover that you’re not required to, here’s a checklist of why you still might want to file.780491000


-Maybe your boss withheld federal income tax from your check and you missed a pretty chunk of change each pay period. Or maybe you made estimated tax payments. Or perhaps you overpaid last year. If you want your refund for any of these things this year, you’ll have to file a return.


taxcredits-A nice and shiny Earned Income Tax Credit could be waiting for you on the other side. Everybody wants this extra credit, but only those who do their homework will find out if they qualify. Here’s a quick hint: if you earned less than $51,567, you could be eligible to receive EITC as a tax refund. Use the EITC Assistant to find out more.


taxcredits-Speaking of homework, the American Opportunity Credit is for students in their first four years of higher education and the people who support those students. Unofficial signs of being a college student supporter include doing their dirty laundry while they’re home and bribing them to talk to and visit you by paying their phone bill and transportation costs. Students may be eligible for as much as $2,500 with this credit and even those who owe no tax could get up to $1,000 refunded per student. You can find out all of the official rules and regulations here.


taxcredits-If you try and don’t succeed, you could be rewarded with the Additional Child Tax Credit. It’s given to those who didn’t get the full Child Tax Credit amount for a qualifying child. To claim your prize, file Schedule 8812 with your tax return.


taxcredits-This one’s boring, but important: anyone who received Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation may qualify for the Health Coverage Tax Credit. This credit pays 72.5 percent of qualified health insurance premiums. Visit for more on this credit, and bring coffee.


eitc-imageThe bottom line is that all of the above benefits are only available to you if you file. If you’re on the fence about filing, remember that you can only access all of those green bills in the grass by submitting that tax return.

Sufen Wang, M.S.Accountancy
Wang Solutions, Long Beach, CA (562) 856-0793
Editor: Hannah Huff, M.F.A. Creative Writing: Poetry, (626) 806-5805

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