Being informed will help you save time and money, especially immigrants.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2015 — Tax season can be a confusing time of year. However, if you’re informed with a few basic facts, you’ll be able to resolve certain questions on your own.
The following myths and facts will help you with the tax filing process.
Myth: If you’re new to the United States, you don’t have to file a tax return.
Fact: Taxes are not related to immigration status. You must file taxes if you live in the United States and if your annual income reaches a specified amount, among other requirements.
Myth: If you don’t have a Social Security number, you don’t need to file taxes.
Fact: Taxes are not dependent on Social Security numbers. If you don’t qualify for a Social Security number, you must request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues ITINs to residents and foreigners.
Myth: The IRS will call to say you owe money and demand a prompt payment.
Fact: If this happens, it could be a scam. The IRS does not request payments over the phone or by e-mail. If the IRS does need to get in touch, you will receive an official letter in the mail.
Myth: You don’t need to declare tips as part of your income on your tax return.
Fact: Any tips you earn must be reported. If you’re an employee and you earn more than $20 in tips a month, report it to your employer so federal income, Social Security and other taxes can be withheld. If your tips total less than $20 per month, they don’t need to be reported to your employer, but must still be declared on your return.
Myth: If you don’t file a tax return, the IRS will do it for you.
Fact: You must file your own tax return. The IRS doesn’t prepare returns for any taxpayer. You will be considered a tax liability if you don’t file, and the IRS may impose penalties if you don’t pay before the deadline.