Your Most Commonly Googled Tax Questions, Answered
Taking a look at your 1099s and realizing you’ll need more time to file your taxes this year? Confused whether or not you’re in a new bracket after Congress passed the new tax law?
Google provided us with your most-searched queries about taxes. While I can’t tell you exactly where your refund is or the best way for you, personally, to file your return, here are the general answers.
1. When are taxes due?
Taxes are due on April 17 this year, unless you served or are serving in the Armed Forces in a combat zone or a contingency operation.
2. Where is my tax refund?
The IRS aims to issue all refunds within 21 days of your filing if you did so electronically, but it will take longer if you mailed in your return.
You can use the IRS’s IRS2Go app or its online refund tool to see where your refund is 24 hours after filing electronically or four weeks after mailing in your return. If you’re claiming the earned-income credit or the additional child tax credit, you can check after Feb. 17, according to The New York Times.
3. How to file taxes
You can file your taxes a number of ways:
Here’s a breakdown of the information you’ll need.
4. How to file a tax extension
So: You won’t have time to file your taxes before April 18, or you’re missing important paperwork. You can file an extension with the IRS to avoid late payment penalties, and you’ll have until October 15, 2018.
You’ll still need to estimate your refund or if you owe taxes, and if it’s the latter, you’ll need to pay up by April 17. You can file for a tax extension on tax software like Turbo Tax or EFile. Or mail in form 4868. The IRS will begin accepting extensions in March.
A state tax extension varies by state. You can use this directory to figure it out.
5. What tax bracket am I in?
Here are your 2017 tax brackets, from the Tax Foundation (the new tax law’s lower rates don’t take effect until next year):
6. How much do you have to make to file taxes?
To file taxes, your gross income must be at least:
- Single filing status: $10,400 if you’re under age 65, $11,950 if you’re older than 65
- Married filing jointly: $20,800 if both you and your spouse are under 65, $22,050 if one spouse is under 65 and one is older than 65, or $23,300 if both you and your spouse are older than 65
- Married filing separately: $4,050 for all ages ($5 if your spouse is itemizing)
- Head of household: $13,400 if you’re under age 65, $14,950 if you’re older than 65
- Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: $16,750 if you’re under age 65, $18,000 if you’re older than 65
Forbes has a much more extensive breakdown.
7. What is FICA tax?
FICA, or the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, is what funds Medicare and Social Security (old age, survivor, and disability insurance, or OASDI). It’s also called payroll taxes. Employees pay different rates than self-employed workers.