Taxes

A:

People pay taxes in order to facilitate the running of government with regard to payment of salaries and running of programs aimed at bringing development to the country. Payment of taxes is both a civic duty and a requirement of the law as articulated in the United States Constitution under the tax code, Article 1 Section 8.

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  • How do you check if you owe the IRS back taxes?

    Q: How do you check if you owe the IRS back taxes?

    A: Find out if back taxes are owed to the Internal Revenue Service by calling the toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040 or visiting a local IRS office. Phone services are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in each local time zone, according to the official website.
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  • Which U.S. state has a belt buckle tax?

    Q: Which U.S. state has a belt buckle tax?

    A: Texas has a seemingly arbitrary law on the books that charges sales tax for some clothing items, such as belt buckles, but not for others, such as the belts themselves. This tax system applies to other things, such as rain boots, which are taxable, but not cowboy boots, which are exempt.
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  • What does the U.S. government do with tax money?

    Q: What does the U.S. government do with tax money?

    A: Public works are financed using tax dollars. The largest portion of tax revenues (24 percent) are spent on Social Security by way of payments to the elderly and disabled.
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  • Which states have the lowest income taxes?

    Q: Which states have the lowest income taxes?

    A: Almost all Americans are required to pay state income tax in addition to the federal income tax. These tax rates may change from year to year, with some states raising or lowering their tax rates. In 2014, some states, such as Texas and Alaska, required no state income tax.
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  • Which states have no sales tax?

    Q: Which states have no sales tax?

    A: As of 2014, there are four U.S. states that do not impose a sales tax on consumers: Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. While Alaska does not impose a state sales tax, city governments do have the right to impose some sales tax there, meaning the average Alaskan retail shopper pays about 1.69 percent in sales tax.
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  • Are property taxes deductible?

    Q: Are property taxes deductible?

    A: Typical real estate property taxes are deductible, as of 2014. Amounts paid for local and state property taxes can be included on itemized federal tax returns. The deduction is for the actual payment to the taxing authority, not the amounts paid in to escrow.
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  • Can you deduct healthcare costs from your taxes?

    Q: Can you deduct healthcare costs from your taxes?

    A: While there are some ways to deduct medical expenses from federal taxes, the rules for who and what qualifies for these deductions are strict and may be a bit confusing to some taxpayers. For example, there is a rule stating that taxpayers and the spouses of taxpayers who are 65 years and older may deduct medical expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of the taxpayer's gross income so long as those expenses were not reimbursed. This rule only applies during the period of Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2016, further narrowing the field of which senior citizen taxpayers qualify to claim medical expenses on a tax return.
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  • How many years can you file back taxes?

    Q: How many years can you file back taxes?

    A: Back taxes can be filed for up to 10 years after the tax year in which the resident neglected to file income taxes, according to ETaxes.com. After 10 years, the statute of limitations runs out for the Internal Revenue Service to collect back taxes in most states. In a few states, the statute of limitations never runs out, meaning back taxes can be filed at any point in the resident's life.
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  • How did Willie Nelson get into tax trouble?

    Q: How did Willie Nelson get into tax trouble?

    A: American country music legend Willie Nelson got into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when he used an illegal tax shelter in the early 1980s to avoid paying federal income tax - to the tune of $16.7 million. In 1990, federal authorities raided his property and seized his assets, including his Texas ranch. They didn't make off with Nelson's favorite guitar, Trigger, which he made sure to keep safe.
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  • What are some examples of indirect tax?

    Q: What are some examples of indirect tax?

    A: One example of an indirect tax is sales tax, which is imposed entirely on the buyer rather than both on the seller and the buyer. Indirect taxes are taken from stakeholders that are generally not thought to be entirely responsible for the amount being taxed.
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  • What is "intangible tax"?

    Q: What is "intangible tax"?

    A: An intangible tax is a tax assessed by federal and state governments on assets of intangible value, such as goodwill, the value of a worker’s experience and/or knowledge, trade and franchise names, non-competitive agreements related to business mergers and acquisitions, trademarks and a company’s human capital. The Internal Revenue Service defines intangible assets as types of property that possess value but cannot be touched or seen.
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  • What is the "cow flatulence tax"?

    Q: What is the "cow flatulence tax"?

    A: In the United States, a cow flatulence tax does not exist, but some European nations have imposed taxes on cow owners. The main argument for a cow flatulence tax is that cows release methane, one of the greenhouse gases that causes climate change.
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  • What can I write off on my taxes as an independent contractor?

    Q: What can I write off on my taxes as an independent contractor?

    A: TurboTax reports that independent contractors can deduct half of the self-employment tax, health insurance premiums, office expenses, retirement plan contributions and business travel expenses. Independent contractors can also deduct the mileage accumulated on a personal vehicle when driving for business-related purposes. About.com notes that business equipment, employee benefits and wages, advertising costs, professional dues, professional services and repair costs can also be tax deductions for independent contractors.
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  • Why are Swiss bank accounts so special?

    Q: Why are Swiss bank accounts so special?

    A: Switzerland's strict privacy laws make it difficult to see who holds an account there, making Swiss bank accounts ideal for those who are trying to hide money. In other words, Switzerland makes an excellent tax shelter for those who want to keep their money in a bank but don't want to pay taxes for it.
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  • Can I claim my dog on my taxes?

    Q: Can I claim my dog on my taxes?

    A: People cannot claim their dogs as dependents on their federal income taxes. According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 501, a dependent must have a valid tax identification number to be claimed.
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  • What is the hotel room tax in California?

    Q: What is the hotel room tax in California?

    A: The hotel room tax in California is 12 percent of the bill charged by the hotel owner. Known as Transient Occupancy Tax, it is the responsibility of the hotel owner to pay the tax to the state of California.
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  • How does an IRS audit work?

    Q: How does an IRS audit work?

    A: During an IRS audit, a tax return is examined line-by-line to make sure that everything is in order and nothing unusual is listed. If a suspicious item is found, the auditor asks the taxpayer to explain or justify it. Depending on the results of the audit, additional taxes may be owed.
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  • What is France's "Google tax"?

    Q: What is France's "Google tax"?

    A: France's so-called "Google tax" isn't aimed at the search-engine company but rather at the international tech industry as a whole. The tax allows the French government to levy taxes on Internet companies that operate in France like traditional businesses.
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  • What are the characteristics of a good tax system?

    Q: What are the characteristics of a good tax system?

    A: The strongest tax systems create fairness, assure adequacy, simplicity, transparency and promote administrative ease according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Ultimately, strong and healthy tax systems create healthy and vibrant economies, and may even promote peace and create strong and stable governments.
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  • What is taxation?

    Q: What is taxation?

    A: Taxation is when governments require citizens to pay a certain amount of money to help fund public institutions. Taxes are used to pay for things like public education, welfare programs, transportation infrastructure, defense funds and libraries.
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  • What is estate tax?

    Q: What is estate tax?

    A: Estate tax is a federal or state tax on property that a person owns at death and is transferred to another person or entity through a will or through the state laws that govern the assets of people who die without a will, called intestacy laws. Everything a person owns at death, including cash, stock, real estate, insurance proceeds and business interests, comprises the person's estate.
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