Your Tax Questions Answered

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

The deadline for filing your 2007 taxes is just a little less than a month away. You have until April 15th to report your income to the I-R-S...and then either pay the money you owe...or collect the money Uncle Sam owes you.

While income tax preparation is one of those chores that most of us dread, this year, you may be getting a little more money than you're used to. Many of us will receive an economic stimulus check from the government, which may not only add to your bank account, but also to your confusion.

We caught up with Kathleen and Tommy Royal, a mother and son duo who opted to file their taxes at H & R block. They had a few questions they say they'd like to ask the IRS themselves.

"Do they think the flat tax is going to be approved so we can all redo our IRS returns?" said Kathleen.

"Whether or not I am getting money back or if I have to pay money to the government again," said Tommy.

And this year, there's one more thing to wonder about. The economic stimulus act entitles much of the so-called middle class population to another $300 to $1,200. IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino says in order to get the rebate, you have to file a tax return.

"It's a whole lot of money going back to some $130 million-plus taxpayers in May, and it can be pretty lucrative, depending on your situation," said Tulino.

If you made at least $3,000last year, but no more than $75,000, you may qualify for a stimulus check. Eligible taxpayers will get up to $600 if they're single and $1200 if they're married.

"It's not taxable, it's not going to reduce your refund in 2008. In fact, it could increase in 2008. Also, if you have a child or children, you could get another $300 for each child," added Tulino.

And that's on top of your regular tax return. So far, about 80% of all taxpayers are getting a refund, and the average payback is $2500. While Kathleen and Tommy wait to find out whether they'll owe money this year, or get money back, they say the rebate could be just the good news they were hoping for...and the key to ending some of their annual tax return confusion.

"This is only my 2nd time doing taxes so I am still new to the whole thing. I am trying to get a feel for it," said Tommy.

And don't forget about deductions this year. You can write off a whole myriad of things, including, education, medical and even some job-related costs. Be sure to have receipts for everything though, in case you do happen to get audited.

On that note, many wonder what the chances are of being chosen for an audit. Tulino says that the less money you make and the more consistent your taxes are from year to year, the less likely the IRS is to challenge you.

The IRS will begin sending out rebates in May. How quickly you get yours will depend on what method you use to file. Those who e-file will get it first, which Tulino says is a good reason to consider doing your taxes online. In fact, Tulino says if you file paperless, you'll get all of your money much more quickly.

For any other tax-related questions, go to www.irs.gov.


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