Tax Info FAQ
What do I need to file taxes?
Documents may vary upon situation. Visit one of our offices and, after a short questionnaire, we will tell you exactly what documents you need to file your taxes. At SiempreTax+ all consultations, estimates, tax return reviews from previous years, and ITIN applications for you and your family are FREE. Call 1-855-4-SIEMPRE (1-855-4-743-6773) for more information in Spanish and to find the nearest office.
Should I file taxes even if I was paid in cash?
Yes, even if you were paid in cash, you can file your taxes. We recommend keeping a record of all payments received during the year. Also, keep track of expenses related to your work, for example, costs of purchased tools if you work in construction.
Why should I file taxes?
It is the law!
There are two classifications of people that the U.S. uses in regards to taxes: tax residents and non-tax residents. If you have immigrated into the U.S., you may be wondering how immigration and taxes apply to you. There are many situations in which you may be required to pay United States taxes even if you are not a U.S. citizen. Whether or not you have to file and pay taxes depends on whether the government has classified you as a tax resident or not. For example, all permanent residents, or holders of green cards, are considered to be tax residents. Not all non-immigrant visa holders are tax residents, however.
Even if you are not a tax resident, it may still be a good idea to file an income tax return especially if you have been working for an employer that withholds taxes from your wages. You may also be due a tax refund. United States tax residents must report their entire income to the IRS and pay taxes. It does not matter whether the money was earned within the country or internationally, all income must be reported to the IRS.
Reporting all of your income to the IRS does not mean that all of your income will be taxed by the United States Government. Those decisions are governed by international tax treaties.
For more information, contact your nearest office or call us at 1-855-4-SIEMPRE (1-855-4-743-6773)
If I am self-employed, should I file taxes?
You are self-employed if:
- You work in a trade or business as a sole proprietor,
- You are an independent contractor,
- You are a member of an association or
- You work on your own.
- In addition to your normal full-time business activities, self-employment can include some part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular work.
You must file a tax return if your gross income is at least as much as required for filing a tax return that corresponds to your filing status. This is regardless of whether your earnings were cash or not.
What can happen if I do not keep a record of my cash or tip income?
If it is determined that you under-reported your cash or tip income, the IRS will assess the taxes you owe based on the best available records of your employer. Tip income adds up. Under-reporting could result in you owing substantial taxes, penalties, and interest. In addition, you will eventually receive less Social Security and Medicare benefits, when needed.
What is a W-2? How do I get one?
A W-2 is a Wage and Tax Statement form that keeps track of what has been deducted from your paycheck throughout the year. The employer should mail your W-2 no later than January 31 of each year. If this deadline passes and you do not receive it, please contact us and we will help you obtain one.
Why does an undocumented immigrant need to pay taxes?
Everyone who works in the U.S., by law, needs to report wages to the IRS.
The IRS is adamant that the Tax ID or ITIN be only used for filing taxes in the United States, but some banks and private institutions legally allow you to use it to open bank accounts and get credit (to buy a vehicle, for example). The ITIN does not authorize you to work in the United States and does not provide eligibility for Social Security benefits. In addition, filing taxes in the U.S. is a way to prove your length of time in this country. When it is time to fix your immigration status, the Immigration Department will ask you to present your past tax returns. Furthermore, it is considered "good moral character" by the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service of the United States).
What happens if I do not file taxes?
Many people believe that if they only earn little income or cash they are exempt from filing a tax return. However, filing taxes could give you the opportunity to receive a refund. Not filing your taxes can have some serious consequences. The person would probably be obliged to pay the correct amount of taxes owed, as well as a fine.
In addition, not filing taxes may even adversely affect your future immigration proceedings.
When is the deadline for filing taxes?
The deadline is usually on April 15, however every year may change a little, for instance for 2017 the deadline for filing your federal income tax will be April 17th. Although, if it is the first time you file taxes, you may not be subject to this date. To review your particular case, contact SiempreTax+ and we will help you. Remember, all consultations, estimates, reviews of your tax returns from previous years and ITIN applications for you and your family members are free. Call 1-855-4-SIEMPRE (1-855-4-743-6773) for more information in Spanish and find the nearest office.
Who can I claim as a dependent?
To claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a close relative, citizen or resident alien of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, and you should contribute to more than half of that person's total support during the year.
Some people cannot be claimed as a dependent. Generally, you cannot claim your spouse as a dependent if you file as married filing jointly.
If you have more questions about this topic please contact the nearest office for further assistance.
How can I file taxes if I do not have a Social Security Number?
For these cases, the IRS created the ITIN or Tax ID. ITIN stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and it is a nine digit number beginning with a “9” assigned by the IRS to people who are required to pay taxes to the United States but do not qualify for a SSN. If you are working in the United States and you are not eligible for a Social Security Number, you will need to apply for an ITIN to file your taxes.
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