Taxes

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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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  • 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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  • How do you get an EIN number?

    Q: How do you get an EIN number?

    A: Contact the Internal Revenue Service to apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN). Apply online, by mail, fax or phone. Business owners who apply over the phone should be prepared to answer the same questions included on the IRS Form SS-4, Application for an Employer Identification Number.
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  • What is a luxury tax?

    Q: What is a luxury tax?

    A: A luxury tax is essentially a tax placed on any goods or services the United States government as well as many state governments deem as non-essential. Such a tax is aimed at only those who are wealthy enough to afford luxury items. Despite the fact that many items formerly considered luxury goods no longer are viewed that way, the term persists.
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  • What is the difference between a flat tax and a fair tax?

    Q: What is the difference between a flat tax and a fair tax?

    A: According to About.com, a flat tax refers to a proposed income tax system in which everyone pays the same "flat" tax rate regardless of income level. Meanwhile, a fair tax refers to a proposal that seeks to tax money that is spent rather than money that is earned by establishing a national sales tax and abolishing federal income and corporate taxes. This latter idea is delineated on FairTax.org.
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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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  • 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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  • How much do you have to make to file a 1099?

    Q: How much do you have to make to file a 1099?

    A: As of 2014, if you earn $600 or more working as an independent contractor for one company, you need to file a 1099 form to the Internal Revenue Service. The company should send you a 1099-MISC form by January 31 of the following year.
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  • What kinds of things might get you audited?

    Q: What kinds of things might get you audited?

    A: While only about 1 percent of taxpayers get audited every year, there are a few red flags the IRS tends to look out for in order to determine the unlucky few who fall under that category. These include tax filings that point to carelessness or dishonesty.
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  • Are church tithes tax deductible?

    Q: Are church tithes tax deductible?

    A: According to Publication 526 of the Internal Revenue Service, cash donations to religious organizations are tax-deductible. Examples given in the publication include "churches, a convention or association of churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and other religious organizations." Since tithes are monetary gifts to a church, they are not subject to taxation by the IRS.
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  • What is a tariff?

    Q: What is a tariff?

    A: According to Investopedia, a tariff is a tax imposed on goods and services imported from another country. This is a tool used by governments as a trade barrier.
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  • What is fat tax?

    Q: What is fat tax?

    A: As of 2014, a fat tax is a proposed tax on unhealthy foods to discourage consumers from buying them. This tax, also known as the Twinkie tax, was largely developed by Kelly Brownell, a psychology professor at Yale University, who discussed the idea in the New York Times in 1994.
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  • Do you pay taxes on life insurance payouts?

    Q: Do you pay taxes on life insurance payouts?

    A: Life insurance that pays out on the death of an insured person is not taxable unless the policy was turned over to the recipient for a price, according IRS Publication 525. Any amount received in excess of the value of the insurance is interest and is taxable.
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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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • How do you file a tax extension?

    Q: How do you file a tax extension?

    A: In order to file a federal tax return extension with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), individuals need to fill out the IRS's form 4868. This form, which must be submitted by April 15th, will grant taxpayers an extra 6 months to prepare their annual income tax return.
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