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Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Can I claim my sales taxes paid?

If you qualify for itemization of your tax deductions, then you can either claim state income taxes paid or sales taxes paid, whichever is higher.  If sales taxes are higher, and you purchased a car, boat or trailer during the year, that amount can be added to the sales tax schedule.

What are the personal exemptions for 2015?

The exemption is $3,950 per person.

I filed an amended return. How long before I should hear from the IRS?

It usually takes the IRS 8 to 12 weeks to process amended returns.

What are the maximum amounts you can put into a Health Savings account?

The maximum limits on contributions are $3,350 for a single person and $6,650 for a family.  If over 55 years old up to $1,000 more can be contributed.

How much can I deduct in an IRA?

Depending upon your gross income, the maximum deduction for 2015 is $5,500 if you are under age 50 and $6,500 if you are age 50 and over.

What is the top tax rate for capital gain for assets sold that you had held for more than one year?

The current tax rate is 0 to 15%, but it is scheduled to go to 28% at the end of 2015.

What is the maximum wage for FICA being taken out for 2015?

The FICA limit for this year is $118,500.  Medicare doesn’t have a wage limit.

Will I be taxed on my unemployment received this year?

The first $2,400 of unemployment benefits is tax free this year, however, you will be taxed at regular tax rates for any amount above that.

What are the mileage rates for 2015?

Business mileage is 57.5 cents per mile.  Medical and moving mileage rate is 23.0 cents per mile. Charity mileage rate is 14 cents per mile. 

What is earned income credit?

It is a refundable credit for persons with low income either with or without a child.  The wage earner must be at least 25 years old but under 65.  Earned income must to be less than $40,295 if single with two children, or less than $43,415 if married filing joint be to be eligible.  If you have no children then your income must be less than $13,440 if single or $16,560 if married filing joint. 

What is the current minimum wage rate?

Federal minimum wage just went to $8.05 per hour. 

My child is attending college this year can I still claim them on my tax return?

You can claim any child that lives with you under age 18 if you provide more than 50% of their support. Once they are ages 19-24, they no longer need to live with you, but they must be full time students and you must still provide over 50% of their support.

I have made contributions of clothing and furniture, what detail do I need to claim a deduction?

Non cash contributions that exceed $500.00 in value require additional information on your tax return.  You will need the date of the contribution, what was given, the original cost of the items, and the name & address of who it was given to.  This will be required for each contribution made even if you gave to one charity more than once during the year.  You should maintain a list of items such as; 5 pairs of pants, 10 suits, etc.  This is the support for you donation in case of audit.

I want to give my child a gift of cash, how much can I give per year without gift tax?

The maximum annual gift you may give to as many people as you choose is $14,000 per person in 2015.  Both husband and wife can make a gift to each child (person), so the maximum annual gift could total $28,000.

How long should I keep my tax records?

Most documents supporting tax return information should be kept 4 to 7 years.  Documents regarding real estate purchases, improvements, investment purchases, etc should be kept as long as you have the property and then for 7 years following the sale.  Wills, divorce decrees, retirement plan info, are generally kept permanently.


Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Track your refund

Tax Due Dates

Record Retention Guide