Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does it take after you've filed to receive a refund?
A: If you e-file with direct deposit and you can expect your refund within 2-3 weeks. It will be 5 weeks if you have a check mailed to you.
Q: Can you direct deposit your refund into someone else's bank account if you do not have a bank account?
A: No. The account has to be in your name.
Q: What is the due date for my tax return?
A: Individual income tax returns are due on the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of the taxable year. For most people, this is April 15th. If April 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the return is due on the next business day
Q: Can I check my refund status?
A: There are many ways to check on the status of your refund. Have the social security number of the primary taxpayer as well as the number of exemptions and the amount of your refund ready. You can either go to IRS.gov and click the Wheres My Refund? Button, you can download the IRS2go app onto your cell phone, or you can call the Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954.
Q: Can a person receive a tax refund if they are currently in a payment plan for prior year's federal taxes?
A: You may, but you may not get all of your refund if you owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state tax, a student loan or child support. The IRS will automatically apply the refund to the taxes owed. If the refund does not take care of the tax debt; you must continue the installment agreement.
Q: I lost my refund check. How do I get a new one?
A: You can call the IRS toll-free number at 800-829-1954 and either use the automated system or speak with an agent. (If you filed a married filing jointly return, you cannot initiate a trace using the automated systems. The IRS will issue you a Form 3911 (PDF), Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund, to get the replacement process started.) Once your claim for a missing refund has been processed and your refund check has been cashed, the Bureau of Fiscal Service (BFS) can provide you with a claim package that includes a copy of the check. BFS will review your claim and the signature on the cancelled check before determining whether an additional refund can be issued to you. The BFS review can take up to six weeks to complete.
Q: If I owe money when I e-file, how do I remit my payment?
A: If you owe money when you e-file, you should receive a payment voucher with your return. Just mail the voucher with the personal check, cashiers check, or money order in the attached envelope. You can also pay online. For federal go to: http://www.irs.gov/uac/EFTPS-The-Electronic-Federal-Tax-Payment-System
Q: Do I need to file a return?
A: If you are a U.S. citizen or resident, whether you must file a return depends on four factors:
1) Your gross income.
2) Your filing status.
3) Your age
4) Your health insurance status
To find out whether you must file please contact us.
Q: I am a student attending college and working part-time. Do I have to file a return?
A: If you are an individual who may be claimed as a dependent on another person's return and you are single, you must file a return if any of the following circumstances apply:
1) Your unearned income was more than $1,050.
2) Your earned income was more than $6,300.
Even if you do not have to file, you should file a federal income tax return to get money back if any of the following apply: You had income tax withheld from your pay. You qualify for the earned income credit. You qualify for the additional child tax credit.
Q: If I won't be able to finish my return by April 15th, can I get an extension?
A: Yes. You can get an extension by filing Form 4868 (PDF), Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, by the due date or you can call our office (623-580-1957) and we will be happy to file for you. By filing the extension, you avoid the late filing penalty. However, Form 4868 does not extend the time to pay your income tax.
Q: If you are late filing, without an extension, and have a refund coming back, how much are you penalized?
A: Late filing penalties are based on the amount owed. If you have a refund coming there will be no penalty.
Q: How long can you make a claim to that money?
A: As long as you file within a three year period, you can get your refund. However, if you have another tax return that is past due, the IRS will hold your refund until it is filed.
Q: If the child is born in the last week of December, can the child be a qualifying child for the Earned Income Credit?
A: Yes, if the child was born or died during the year, the child is considered to meet the test if the child lived with you for the entire time he or she was alive during the tax year.
Q: If the non-custodial parent receives permission from the custodial parent to claim a child on his or her tax return, is the non-custodial parent eligible for the Earned Income Credit?
A: The non-custodial parent cannot claim the Earned Income Credit on the basis of that child because the child did not live with that parent. The custodial parent may be able to claim the Earned Income Credit. A qualifying child for the Earned Income Credit does not need to be a dependent.
Q: My ex-spouse owes me child support. How can I find out if he has filed and if I will receive his federal refund this year?
A: An individual's tax return is protected under the Privacy Act of 1974. Therefore, the IRS is restricted from releasing information concerning your ex-spouse's account. However, if your state office of child support enforcement has notified the Treasury of a past-due child support obligation, the refund will be offset to pay the debt.
Q: Is my child support included in income?
A: No. It's neither income to the recipient or a deduction by the person paying.
Q: Is my alimony included in income?
A: Alimony, on the other hand, is income to the recipient and a deduction to the person paying.
Q: When do my Social Security Benefits become taxable?
A: If part of your benefits are taxable, how much is taxable depends on the total amount of your benefits & other income. Generally, up to 50% of your benefits will be taxable. However, up to 85% of your benefits can be taxable if either of the following situations applies to you:
1) The total of one -half of your benefits and all your other income is more than $34,000 ($44,000 if you are married filing jointly).
2) You are married filing separately and lived with your spouse at any time during 2014.
Q: Is there still an energy credit?
A: Yes, this credit equals 10 percent of what a homeowner spends on eligible energy-saving improvements. The cost of certain high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and stoves that burn biomass all qualify, along with labor costs for installing these items. In addition, the cost of energy-efficient windows and skylights, energy-efficient doors, qualifying insulation and certain roofs also qualify for the credit, though the cost of installing these items does not count.
Q: I've changed jobs - What do I put for withholding at my new job?
A: Even though you'd think this would be standardized and an easy question, there turns out to be many variables that could change your take home paycheck. Assuming that you are satisfied with your present refund and all things are equal (i.e. other income, itemized deductions, credits, etc.) and that you will be claiming the same (married 2, single 1, etc.) at your new job, the best way will be to compare your paychecks.
One of the variables is how you are being paid (weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, etc.) and this alone can change your withholding drastically.
Remember - the W-4 is telling your employer how much to withhold. The worksheet they give you equates everything to your family size but in reality only plays a small part of the overall picture. Example: If you have a net operating loss from a business that went bad that wipes out your taxable income - there would be no need to have anything withheld and thus, you could be married with no children and still claim 9 dependents. Remember! The W-4 only tells your employer how much to withhold.
Rule of thumb #1 - The more dependents you claim the more you get back in your paycheck and the less amount of refund you should plan to receive.
Rule of thumb #2 - Each dependent that you claim could mean a difference between $400 - $800 (for average taxpayer) in your refund check depending on your income.
Q: How much is the special deduction for Teachers?
A: Eligible teachers may deduct up to $250 for out-of-pocket expenses on the front side of their tax returns. Be sure to keep receipts! Amounts spent in excess of the $250 may be included on schedule A, if you can itemize.
Q: I cannot make my payment in full; can I make payment arrangements?
A: You can call 1-800-829-1040 to make arrangements, or you can fill out form 9465 and send it to the IRS with your first bill. There is a nominal fee to set up an installment plan with the IRS. Remember to do this within the first 120 days or your balance will be due in full.
Q: What are the filing requirements for Arizona?
A: The filing requirements are explained at the beginning of the instructions for Arizona income tax returns. If your Arizona gross income (for Arizona full year residents this is the federal adjusted gross income) is at least $15,000, you must file an Arizona income tax return. Also, you must file an Arizona income tax return if your Arizona adjusted gross income is at least $11,000 for married filing jointly or $5,500 for those filing as single, head of household or married filing separately.
Q: Can I make a payment with my credit card on my Arizona return?
A: Yes. You can go online to: https://www.aztaxes.gov/Home to pay with a credit card.
Q: Do I have to send in an extension to the state if I already sent it in to the IRS?
A: In general no, a federal extension for filing income taxes will also extend your time to file Arizona income taxes. However, if you are making a tax payment with your extension request, you must use the Arizona extension Form 204 to make that payment in order to ensure your payment will be properly credited to your account.
Q: If I have income from another state is it taxable in Arizona?
A: Yes, an Arizona resident is subject to tax on all income wherever derived from.
Q: What portion of my pension is taxable?
A: As a general rule, the same portion of your pension is taxable for Arizona purposes as is taxable for federal purposes. However, there is a special subtraction, not to exceed a total of $2,500, for pensions from the State of Arizona and its political subdivisions or from U.S. government service, including the U.S. military.
Q: What is the due date for my tax return in Arizona?
A: Arizona individual income tax returns are due on the same day as federal returns. Generally, this is the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of the taxable year. For most people, this is April 15th. If April 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the return is due on the next business day.
Q: If I owe money when I e-file, how do I remit my payment?
A: If you owe money when you e-file, you should receive a payment voucher with your return. Just mail the voucher with the personal check, cashiers check, or money order in the attached envelope. You can also pay online. For credit card payments go to: https://www.aztaxes.gov/
Q: How will Obamacare affect me?
A: If you had health insurance for all of 2015, it will not affect you at all. If you did not have consistent healthcare go to https://www.healthcare.gov/ to find out more information.
Q: When do I pay the healthcare penalty and how much will it be?
A: The basic penalty is $695 a person ($347.50 for each family member who is under the age of 18), with a ceiling of $2,085. The income based penalty s 2.5% of the excess of the taxpayers household AGI over the minimum level of adjusted gross income to trigger filing a return ($10,300 for singles and $20,600 for couples. The tax is lowered proportionally for any months the taxpayer had coverage.