Demetrius J. Karos, Ltd. Tax Representation From A Former IRS Employee

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Know Thy Preparer

Choosing a bad tax preparer could be devastating. Missing deductions or credits, erroneous positions, blown filing deadlines and bad advice are some of the potential downside to picking the wrong person to prepare your tax return.  Here are a few tips on qualities to look for in your tax preparer.

Debt Cancellation is Not Tax Free

A Bank might be forgiving but the IRS is not. When a debt is forgiven or lowered, there might be a reportable income event with such forgiveness. Our US tax system treats this as income required to be reported in the year the debt was forgiven or modified. There are a few narrow exceptions but failure to report this type of income could cause major havoc a few years later.

Are My Unemployment Benefits Taxable?

Your unemployment benefits may not be much but you can be assured that they are subject to income tax. Many elect to have no withholding on the unemployment benefits. Don't be surprised if your refund is small or there is a balance due. Here are a few tips regarding the taxability of the unemployment benefits.

Credits Are Available for Many Taxpayers

Credits are the good guys of the tax code. Think of the IRS giving you money for a particular set of circumstances. If you are legally entitled to a credit, you want to take the credit. Here are some common instances of credits that are available to a taxpayer.

What is your Status?

Determining your filing status seems like a simple task. There are times when slight changes in your circumstances may require you to evaluate whether you have the correct filing status. Many facts can change your filing status such as divorce, marriage, death of a spouse or having a qualified person living in your household.

Choose Your Tax Preparer Carefully

For many taxpayers, a good tax preparation software is all one needs. No complexity or issues. However, if you are unsure or have issues that above and beyond your knowledge, it is best to rely on a professional. Remember that the responsibility for the return is on the taxpayer.

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