P. Thorne FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

What documents do I need if I have a mortgage?

Your mortgage company should send you Form 1098 which reports the mortgage interest you paid.

What documents should I receive from my employer?

The forms to prove employment may vary depending on individual situations. For most, an employer will provide a W-2 form. The self-employed (i.e. independent contractors, product sales representatives such as Mary Kay, etc.) should receive a 1099-MISC from the company.

What documents do I need if I am unemployed?

If you received unemployment benefits from your state over the past year, you must claim that as income and, therefore, pay taxes on those benefits. The unemployment agency should provide you with a 1099-G form, which explains the amount of benefits you drew during the past year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) receives a copy as well and will tax you at the appropriate rate in your tax bracket. Not everyone owes. If you worked a portion of the past year, chances are you paid payroll taxes and may earn a refund if those deductions were overpaid.

What documents do I need if I am self-employed?

You will need to file a Schedule C using IRS Form 1040. Depending on your type of business and where you conduct business, there may be other forms you will need. You may also need to make quarterly estimated payments by filing Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals.

What documents do I need if I am divorced?

Taking necessary steps before tax time will make things easier once you file your taxes for the first time after a divorce. Change your W-4 through your employer so taxes will be withheld at the correct rates. Also, if you (or a family member) changed your name, file Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration to ensure there aren’t any complications with the IRS.

What paperwork should I bring to my tax interview?

Below is a list of documents to bring with you to your tax interview.

Personal Information for Each Family Member:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Card /ITIN/ATIN
  • Last Year’s Tax Return
  • Valid Driver’s License

Income and Tax Information:

  •  W-2’s
  • Interest (1099-INT or substitute)
  • Dividend Slips (1099-DIV or substitute)
  • Stock Sales (1099-B or Broker Statement)
  • Self-Employment Income and Expenses
  • Sale of a Personal Residence
  • Rental Income and Expenses
  • Sale of any Business Assets
  • Gambling or Lottery Winnings (W-2G for some winnings)
  • State Income Tax Refund (1099-G)
  • Pension Income (1099-R)
  • Estimated Taxes Paid
  • Social Security or Railroad Retirement (SSA-1099 or RRB-1099)
  • IRA or 401(k) Distribution (1099-R)
  • Unemployment Compensation (1099-G)
  • Miscellaneous Income (1099-MISC)


  • Medical Expenses
  • Real Estate or Personal Property Taxes
  • Mortgage Interest
  • Charitable Contributions (cash and non-cash)
  • Employee Business Expenses
  • Gambling Losses
  • Moving Expenses
  • Traditional IRA Contributions
  • Higher Education Expenses
  • Educator Expenses
  • Student Loan Interest

Tax Credits:

  • Child Care Provider/Address and Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Adoption Expenses
  • Retirement Savings Contributions Credit

When is the deadline to file my taxes?

The standing deadline for personal taxes is April 15. However, sometimes that date falls on a weekend or after Emancipation Day (a holiday in DC) and pushes the deadline to as late as April 17.

When is the earliest that I can file my taxes?

When you get your W-2, you can have your taxes prepared right away, but the IRS will not accept them before a pre-defined date.

Is there a penalty for filing my taxes after the deadline?

Yes, you can opt to pay your tax liability through an installment plan. In addition to paying taxes through an installment payment plan, there may be other options such as the Offer in Compromise (OIC). Under an OIC agreement, the IRS may agree to settle the taxpayer’s liability for less than the full amount of taxes owed. The IRS is not likely to approve an OIC if there’s evidence that the taxpayer could pay the full amount through an installment payment plan or another method. A taxpayer can request consideration for an OIC by filling out Form 656, Offer in Compromise, or Form 656L, Offer in Compromise (Doubt as to Liability), and mail the application package to the IRS.

Can I claim charitable donations without a receipt?

Yes, you can as long as you keep good records in case you are ever audited by the IRS. Be sure to record the name of the organization, the date and location, as well as a detailed description of what you donated. Keep notes on the amount you claimed as a deduction and how you figured the fair market value on the items you donated. In the case of a monetary donation, as long as it’s less than $250, a canceled check or even a payroll deduction can suffice for proof of the donation.

Can I deduct expenses paid for repairing my home?

Typically, general home repairs cannot be deducted from your taxes. Home repairs are meant to keep your home in good condition, but do not increase the value of your home. However, if you live in a “federally declared disaster area” and your home is affected, then you can claim the cost to repair the damages. If you use part of your home as a principal place of business, some repairs can be deducted, but you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A.

What are my next steps if I have been impacted by a natural disaster?

The first step is to check the IRS Tax Relief Site to see if your area has been determined as a “disaster area” by the President because the IRS provides specific relief to these victims. (If you do not have access to the internet, call FEMA for disaster assistance at 1-800-621-3362). If you are in a disaster area and you were impacted by the disaster, meet with a tax preparer to determine which year you should claim casualty loss. Doing so will help you figure out the best possible tax break.

What tax consequences will I face if I lost my home in a foreclosure?

For federal taxes, a foreclosure is viewed as the sale of property. Two separate matters will impact your tax liability: any gain from the sale of your property and credited income you receive from any debt forgiveness. There are ways to calculate your Gains and Cancellation of Debt. To learn the specifics on how your particular situation is impacted, visit the Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation section on the IRS website or contact us for guidance.

How are my taxes impacted if I have filed bankruptcy?

Depending on which Chapter you filed for, taxes may not be exempt. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, federal taxes are exempt from discharge. When filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is very important to file and pay your taxes during the bankruptcy proceedings because the court can dismiss your claim if you fail to meet this requirement. Dismissing the claim leaves you responsible for all of your debts. For further tax information on bankruptcy, read the IRS Publication 908 (10/2012), Bankruptcy Tax Guide.

Can my spouse and I file our tax return together if we are legally separated and not divorced?

If your divorce is not final, you may choose to file married filing jointly. Just note, that you and your spouse are responsible for the tax bill and any future audits.

If I forgot to report a second income on my taxes, how can I report it now?

Since it is not a small change (missing form or math miscalculation), missed income probably requires that you file an amendment. You’ll need to file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, on paper; no e-filing here. Additionally, if any changes you are making need forms or schedules attached, make sure you do so.

Don’t panic, you have three years since the date of filing or two years from paying (whichever is later) to correct the issue. But note, if your amended return claims more refund money, go ahead and cash your original refund check – no need to wait the average 12 weeks it takes to process your amended return. However, if your amended return shows you owe, you’ll want to lower fees and interest by paying those taxes as fast as you can.

You can then track the status of your amended tax return(s) with the IRS’s ‘Where’s My Amended Return’ tool. Check the IRS’s site about three weeks after you’ve mailed your amended return or call 866-464-2050.

If you are uncertain about needing to amend a tax return, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Do I have to pay taxes on money that was gifted to me?

No. The federal tax laws do not consider gifted money to be earned income therefore it is not taxable to you. No state has a tax law on gifted money either.

Am I taxed on money that I inherit from a loved one?

Generally, property received as an inheritance is not included in your income. However, if property you receive this way later produces income such as interest, dividends, or rents, the income is taxable to you.

Do I need to report work-study income if I am a full-time student?

Yes, any money which you received as a result of work is taxable income and must be reported on your tax return. Attach your W-2 showing your earnings and your taxes withheld to your tax return.

How can I check the status of my refund?

The ‘Where’s My Refund’ tool on the IRS website provides the most up-to-date information regarding the status of your refund. This tool is updated every 24 hours.

Publications and Forms

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Popular Publications, Forms & Instructions

Form 1040

US Individual Income Tax Return
Annual income tax return filed by citizens or residents of the United States.

Instructions for Form 1040
Instructions for 1040 Tax Table
Schedule A (Form 1040)
Schedule C (Form 1040)

Form W-9

Request for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Certification
Used to request a taxpayer identification number (TIN) for reporting on an information return the amount paid.

Instructions for Form W-9

Form 1040-EZ

Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents
Income tax return filed by certain citizens or residents of the United States.

Instructions for Form 1040-EZ

Latest IRS News

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Latest IRS News

IRS Announces Five New Members for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee
IR-2017-146, Sept. 6, 2017 — The IRS today announced the selection of five new members for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC).

As Hurricane Irma Threatens, IRS Urges Taxpayers to Prepare for Hurricanes, Floods and Other Disasters
IR-2017-145, Sept. 6, 2017 — For September’s National Preparedness Month, the Internal Revenue Service is offering advice to taxpayers who may be affected by storms, fires, floods or other disasters.

Don’t Take the Bait, Step 9: Make Data Security an Everyday Priority; Key Steps Can Help
IR-2017-144, Sept. 5, 2017 — The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry today urged tax professionals and businesses to beware of a recent increase in email scams targeting employee Forms W-2.

Reconstructing Records After a Natural Disaster or Casualty Loss; IRS Provides Tips to Help Taxpayers
FS-2017-11, September 2017 – Reconstructing records after a disaster may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance or insurance reimbursement. After a disaster, taxpayers might need certain records to prove their loss. The more accurately the loss is estimated, the more loan and grant money there may be available.

IRS Provides Special Relief to Encourage Leave-Based Donation Programs for Victims of Hurricane Harvey
IR-2017-143, Sept. 5, 2017 — The Internal Revenue Service today announced special relief designed to support leave-based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

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Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

Each year the IRS receives millions of Forms W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, (ITIN), from taxpayers who are not eligible for an SSN but have a federal tax filing or reporting need. Only individuals who have a valid filing requirement or are filing a tax return to claim a refund of over withheld tax are eligible to receive an ITIN. The IRS responds by sending the applicant one or more notices to inform them of the ITIN assignment or to request additional information to facilitate Form W-7 processing. To accomplish this quickly and accurately, an ITIN notice tells you why you are getting it and how to respond.

What is an ITIN notice?
An ITIN notice is official notification from the IRS responding to a Form W-7. Because there can be multiple applications submitted with one federal tax return, each applicant will receive a notice. ITIN notices in Spanish are identified by (SP) after the number.

When would I receive an ITIN notice?
The IRS will send a notice when your:

  • Form W-7 application is approved and an ITIN is assigned, or renewed
  • Form W-7 assignment notice is corrected for erroneous name, address, date of birth, or other valid reason,
  • Form W-7 application is suspended, Form W-7 application is rejected, and when
  • Original documents are returned to you with Letter 5872

Protecting Your Tax Information

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Protecting Your Tax Information

The IRS privacy policy explains how they handle the personally identifiable information (PII) that you provide when you visit online to browse, obtain information, or conduct a transaction. PII includes information that is personal in nature and which might be used to identify you. The IRS uses their website to provide information about IRS services and programs. Their website includes specific applications which provide more services or enable them to respond to specific questions from website visitors.

The IRS will not collect personal information about you just because you visit their Internet site. Some applications on this website provide you with the opportunity to order forms, ask questions requiring a response, sign up for electronic newsletters, participate in focus groups and customer surveys, or learn the status of filed returns or anticipated payments. Using their services is voluntary and may require that you provide additional personal information to them. Providing the requested information implies your consent for them to use this data in order to respond to your specific request.

Access to privacy impact assessments
Information Automatically Collected and Stored
Security at
If you send information online
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Computer Matching Programs
System of Records Notices
Using Links to other sites

Current Year EITC Assistant (Spanish)

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Current Year EITC Assistant (Spanish)

¿Quién puede reclamar el Crédito Tributario por Ingreso del Trabajo (EITC, por sus siglas en inglés)?
El Asistente EITC 2017 puede ayudarle a determinar si puede reclamar el EITC, contestando su pregunta, “¿Soy elegible?” Además la sección “¿A cuánto asciende mi crédito?” contiene una sección que puede ayudarle a calcular la cantidad del crédito. Usted puede empezar con cualquiera de estos temas para investigar si debe reclamar el EITC para 2017.

Esta herramienta le ayudará a determinar:

  • Su estado civil para efectos de la declaración
  • Si usted tiene uno o más hijos calificados
  • Si usted es elegible
  • La cantidad estimada de su crédito

Información útil mediante los modales: Proporcionamos información útil mediante los modales. Los mostramos en azul y un subrayado punteado.

Cuando complete el proceso, usted tendrá la opción de ver o imprimir el resumen de la información que usted nos proveyó, su estado civil para efectos de la declaración, su ingreso, el número de hijos calificados, si tiene alguno y un estimado de su Crédito Tributario por Ingreso del Trabajo.

Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center

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Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center

Who is Self-Employed?
Generally, you are self-employed if any of the following apply to you.

What are My Self-Employed Tax Obligations?
As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly.

Self-employed individuals generally must pay self-employment tax (SE tax) as well as income tax. SE tax is a Social Security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners. In general, anytime the wording “self-employment tax” is used, it only refers to Social Security and Medicare taxes and not any other tax (like income tax).

Before you can determine if you are subject to self-employment tax and income tax, you must figure your net profit or net loss from your business. You do this by subtracting your business expenses from your business income. If your expenses are less than your income, the difference is net profit and becomes part of your income on page 1 of Form 1040. If your expenses are more than your income, the difference is a net loss. You usually can deduct your loss from gross income on page 1 of Form 1040. But in some situations your loss is limited. See Pub. 334, Tax Guide for Small Business (For Individuals Who Use Schedule C or C-EZ) for more information.

You have to file an income tax return if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more. If your net earnings from self-employment were less than $400, you still have to file an income tax return if you meet any other filing requirement listed in the Form 1040 instructions (PDF).

Current Year EITC Assistant (English)

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Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant

Who Can Claim EITC?
Find out if you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. To get the EITC, you must meet requirements based on your filing status and income.

This tool helps you find out:

  • Your filing status
  • If you have one or more qualifying children
  • If you are eligible
  • The estimated amount of your credit

Modal Help: We provide helpful information by using modals. We show them in blue and a dotted-underline.

Upon completion of the tool, you will have the option to view or print a summary of the information you gave us, your filing status, your income, the number of qualifying children, if any, and an estimate of your Earned Income Tax Credit.

Where’s My Refund?

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Where’s My Refund?

The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer. Where’s My Refund? has the most up to date information available about your refund. The tool is updated no more than once a day so you don’t need to check more often.

Our phone and walk-in representatives can research the status of your refund if it’s been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return or if Where’s My Refund? directs you to contact us.

You can use Where’s My Refund? to start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we have received your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. Where’s My Refund? has a tracker that displays progress through 3 stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.

You will get personalized refund information based on the processing of your tax return. The tool will provide an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund.

What You Will Need

  • Social security number or ITIN
  • Your filing status
  • Your exact refund amount