As the deadline approaches and you are thinking about getting your paperwork together to have your taxes done, either by yourself or a professional, there are a few myths that you should know that can keep you out of trouble and make the process go more smoothly. Most of these your tax preparer will set you straight on, but if you are doing your own, take heed!
- Myth #1 – You can claim your pet as a dependent. People have pretty much wised up to this fact, especially since all dependents need a social security number and Fido doesn’t have one. However, some have been known to put dog food, vet bills, and other pet expenses elsewhere on the tax return out of the misguided belief that their pets provide a medical benefit.
- Myth #2 – If the income isn’t reported by anyone, I don’t have to claim it. Guess again. Even money you win at the slot machines or black jack table is taxable, as is money made over the internet. If you provide services or products, you’re required to report the income and pay the applicable taxes.
- Myth #3 – Only rich people get audited. While it is true that those with an income over $100,000 tend to get audited more often (nearly twice as often), that doesn’t mean you are definitely in the clear if you earn less. There are several things that can trigger an audit, but as long as you have good records to support your deductions, you shouldn’t have any problems.
- Myth #4 – If you use an accountant, they are liable for any mistakes. Using an accountant is a wise choice to be sure your return is well-prepared, but they can only work with the information you give them. Remember the old adage, “garbage in, garbage out”? Take time to review your tax return before you sign under that “Under penalties of perjury…” line and mail it off.
Here at Gecinger Tax & Accounting, you can always be sure we’ll keep your best interests in mind when preparing your taxes. We are here for you throughout the year should you come across an interesting tax rumor and want to know if it is truth or myth. We’ll help you by going over all the potential tax deductions so nothing is left on the table. If the tax law changes for 2018 have you confused, leave it to us to keep you informed. Call us today to learn more.