Q:

What questions does the IRS ask?

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Quick Answer

Generally, the IRS asks about dependents, age, income, sources of income, home ownership, tax identification numbers, marital status, country of residence, assets and channels of contact, among other questions, according to the IRS.gov FAQ page. The IRS does not require the same type of information from every entity. For instance, the information demanded from retirees is different from that required of employees.

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Full Answer

Questions asked by the IRS should be answered correctly and in full because the information is used to determine a person's tax burden. Incorrectly answered questions could lead to jail terms, heavy fines or an unnecessarily high tax burden. Because tax regulations frequently vary from one year to the next, the type of information required by the IRS changes accordingly. Religious organizations, such as synagogues and churches, private foundations and other nonprofit organizations are generally exempt from paying taxes and are thus required to answer fewer questions. However, they are required to withhold taxes for their employees, according to IRS.gov.

The IRS first collected taxes in 1862 with the aim of finding funds to finance the American Civil War. At that time, the rates were a relatively tame 3 percent for annual income exceeding $800, rising to 5 percent for incomes over $10,000. In comparison, tax rates can be as high as 40 percent in 2014, particularly for individuals with higher incomes, according to Money Chimp.

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