Taxes

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As of 2014, the IRS can audit tax returns that have been filed within the past three years. However, if a substantial error is found, the agency can include additional years. In this case, an audit usually does not cover returns that date back further than the past six years.

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  • How did Chuck Berry get into tax trouble?

    Q: How did Chuck Berry get into tax trouble?

    A:

    Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry served 120 days in prison during the late 1970s as a result of tax evasion chargers. This sentence also included a requirement that Berry complete 1,000 hours of community service, which he apparently took care of by performing concerts.

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  • Why do baby names in Sweden need tax agency approval?

    Q: Why do baby names in Sweden need tax agency approval?

    A:

    There are a couple of reasons why the Skatteverket, the Swedish tax agency, oversees the names Swedes give to their children. Their goals are to protect children from potentially confusing or offensive names and to prevent Swedes from naming their children after the Swedish royal family.

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  • How can you find out whether you owe money to the IRS?

    Q: How can you find out whether you owe money to the IRS?

    A:

    The IRS Tax Help Line for individual taxpayers, available at 1-800-829-1040, provides information about prior-year tax returns and any account balances due to the IRS. This line is designed for taxpayers who submitted a Form 1040 return.

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  • How does an IRS audit work?

    Q: How does an IRS audit work?

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    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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  • Which states have the highest income taxes?

    Q: Which states have the highest income taxes?

    A:

    In addition to paying a federal income tax, most Americans have to pay an annual state income tax. Some states have higher rates than others, with California topping the list in 2014. Other factors such as local property tax rates may influence how expensive it is to live in a particular state.

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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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  • When was a former IRS Commissioner convicted of tax evasion?

    Q: When was a former IRS Commissioner convicted of tax evasion?

    A:

    In 1952, former IRS commissioner Joseph Nunan got in trouble for tax evasion. In an odd twist, his problems were not due to corruption or hypocrisy but a simple misunderstanding over $2,000. He won a bet on a presidential election and forgot to claim the winnings on his tax return.

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  • What is the "jock tax"?

    Q: What is the "jock tax"?

    A:

    The "jock tax" refers to a type of income tax that is imposed by states or cities on athletes that make money while playing inside of a specific state or city. While the tax can also be applied to other businesses, it has been often used to charge visiting athletes since it is easier to track when and where they made their money.

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  • How do you find a company's tax ID number?

    Q: How do you find a company's tax ID number?

    A:

    Company tax identification numbers are procured from the Internal Revenue Service, public company documents or fee-based resources such as Lexis or Westlaw. The IRS issues, stores and maintains all employer tax identification numbers in the United States. However, the IRS requires authorization from the underlying company to receive the tax ID number.

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  • Are dental implants tax deductible?

    Q: Are dental implants tax deductible?

    A:

    The Internal Revenue Service states that the amount paid for dental implants can be reported as a medical expense on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Not all taxpayers benefit from these expenses, as medical expenses have to exceed a percentage of income before they become deductible.

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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 do you find out property taxes by address?

    Q: How do you find out property taxes by address?

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    SFGate Home Guides explains that since property taxes are public records, information about the taxes levied on a specific address are obtainable from the local government entity that maintains those records, which is typically the county assessor's office or recorder's office. Many localities make this information available online.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • What is estate tax?

    Q: What is estate tax?

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    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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  • How can you tell if the IRS received your tax return?

    Q: How can you tell if the IRS received your tax return?

    A:

    One simple way to see if the IRS has received your tax return, especially if you are anticipating a refund, is to use the IRS's special "Where's My Refund" tool. The IRS updates refund statuses every 24 hours.

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  • What is a 501(c)3?

    Q: What is a 501(c)3?

    A:

    The term "501(c)3" refers to the most common type of nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS. According to About.com, this category embraces such diverse entities as old-age homes, charity hospitals, schools, churches and the Red Cross, among others. These organizations are exempt from taxation, and donations to them are generally tax deductible.

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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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  • Why are taxes important?

    Q: Why are taxes important?

    A:

    The IRS indicates that taxes are vital to support the infrastructure that citizens rely on at the local, state and federal levels. Taxes support national defense programs, roadway construction, social service programs, public health and education. Without taxpayer support, many of these programs cannot exist.

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