When Are Taxes Due? And Other Answers to Your Tax Questions

When Are 2011 Taxes Due? And Other Answers to Your Tax Questions

Whether you file your taxes on your own or with the help of a tax professional, the entire process can leave you with questions. From trying to figure out the tax code changes between this year and the last to trying to make sense of the various deductions you can take, filing taxes is rarely ever straightforward.

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions regarding taxes:

1. When are 2011 taxes due?

While April 15 is the classic due date, you must have your taxes filed by April 17 in 2012. Because the 15th falls on a Sunday and the 16th is a holiday in the District of Columbia, you get an extra couple of days to get those tax papers to the IRS.

2. Where should I mail my tax return in 2012?

The addresses for the IRS facilities to which you mail a paper return have changed. Be sure to look over your form instructions to find the proper mailing address. Not doing so could lead to penalties for late filing due to returned mail.

3. What amount do I claim for standard deductions and exemptions?

Good news! The amount for both of these categories has actually increased this year. If you do not itemize your deductions, then your standard deduction is higher. Also, instead of only being able to deduct $50 per exemption, you will be able to deduct $3,700 for each one on 2011 taxes.

4. Can I still claim the first-time home buyers tax credit on my return?

This credit is not available anymore. However, if you are a member of the military or if you work in the intelligence sector, you may still be able to claim it.

5. Can I still claim the alternative motor vehicle credit?

New fuel cell motor vehicles are still eligible for the credit in 2011.

6. What is the limit on age for claiming a dependent?

If you are claiming your child as a dependent, you can only claim them if they are under the age of 19, under the age of 24 and a full-time student for at least five months of the tax year, or completely disabled at any age. You can also claim certain qualifying relatives if they meet the proper criteria.

7. Can I direct deposit my IRS refund into multiple accounts?

Yes, you may split your refund however you like and deposit it into up to three different accounts.

8. How do you claim head of household status for tax purposes?

If you were unmarried and the primary caregiver of a child that lived with you for over six months of the year, you can file as Head of Household. To qualify, you don’t need to claim the child as a dependent.

Tax Act

Tax code and rules change from year to year. If you ever have any doubts about any section of your tax forms, you should contact a tax consultant or the IRS to clarify. Making mistakes on your taxes can result in audits and fines.

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RG Brenner wants to remind you that filing your taxes properly and claiming deductions you qualify for are important for minimizing your taxes. If you still have questions about the 2011 taxes or if you need assistance in filing your taxes, visit www.rgbrenner.com.

3 Important Tax Changes

3 Important Tax Changes for 2008

Three tax law changes that you should consider before filing your federal tax return for the 2008 tax season. Some tax breaks have been renewed, the standard deduction has been increased, contribution limits have risen for many retirement participants.

1. Tax Breaks Renewed

You can still take a tax break for the state and local taxes that you paid during the tax year on your federal return. If you are an educator, you can take a deduction of supplies you purchased on the front page of form 1040. And students can still take deductions for tuition and fees paid during 2008 on their tax return.

2. Your Standard Deduction is increased in most cases.

Increases in the standard deduction happened for many groups. For married couples and widows the new deduction is $10,900. For Singles and Couples filing separately, the deduction has been raised to $5,450. And finally heads of households can take a standard deduction of $8,000.

3. The amount you can earn and still contribute to your retirement account has increased.

If your modified income for 2008 is below $53,000 for singles and $63,000 for heads of household, then you can take a tax deduction for IRA contributions even if you have a 401k or 403b plan at work. And joint filing couples can earn up to $85,000 before you begin to be phased out.