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Tax Return Basics

January, 2018

Happy New Year! We hope you’re off to a great start in 2018. Whether or not you’re ready to say goodbye to 2017, there is at least one thing you will need to address before closing the books on it. Taxes. While tax returns are not due until April, it’s never too early to start preparing to file your tax return. And if you’re eligible for a refund, all the more reason to speed up that refund by filing your return before the deadline. To help you get started, here are answers to some basic tax questions:

  • What is the due date to file a tax return?

The due date is traditionally April 15 unless it falls on a weekend or holiday. In 2018, April 15 is a Sunday, and Monday April 16 is a holiday, so taxes for income earned in 2017 are due on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

  • Does everyone have to file a tax return?

In most cases, income, filing status and age determine if a taxpayer must file a tax return. Other rules may apply if the taxpayer is self-employed or if they are a dependent of another person. The Family Protection Plan from Legal Club provides members with access to tax professionals who are available to help determine the member's filing requirements and answer other tax related questions.

  • Does everyone that files get a refund?

No. But if a taxpayer answers “yes” to any of these questions, they could be due a refund:

  • Did my employer withhold federal income tax from my pay?
  • Did I make estimated tax payments?
  • Did I overpay last year and have it applied to this year’s tax?

The tax experts available to members of Legal Club’s Family Protection Plan are available to help determine if the member will receive a refund.

  • What do I do if I get a letter from the IRS after I file?

There is no need to panic. The IRS sends millions of letters and notices to taxpayers each year and many are easy to address. You will want to review the letter or notice and follow the instructions to resolve it. Legal Club’s Family Protection Plan includes Tax Hotline experts who will review any notice or letter issued by the IRS and provide professional advice on how to understand and solve the matter. Tax Hotline experts also assist and advise members who get audited. They review the IRS audit notification and help sort out the facts. Members also have access to a web-based IRS Audit Tutorial, as well as an IRS Notification Tutorial that helps take the terror out of those ominous-looking IRS letters.

  • What happens if I do not file?

Every day the massive computer center at the IRS is getting more sophisticated so it's just a matter of time before they catch up with you. Failing to file your tax returns is a criminal offense and can be punished with potential jail time, and you will still be required to pay the full amount owed plus interest and penalties. If you do not have the money to pay what is owed you will want to know what your options are. Legal Club Family Protection Plan members have access to consult with the plan’s tax specialists to identify the available options to help avoid potential prosecution and minimize penalties and interest in these situations.

  • What do I need to know about the new tax legislation?

The recently approved Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has a number of provisions that may be relevant to you and we’ve dedicated an entire blog post to them. See our blog titled Important Tax Changes for 2018.

We hope you find this information helpful. Member’s of Legal Club’s Family Protection Plan have access to consult the plan’s tax specialists to learn more about these topics and any other tax related questions.

Any accounting or tax advice contained in this communication is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, nor a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties.

 

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