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Your Federal and State Taxes Power in America!

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

"African immigrants earned $55.1 billion in 2015. Their households paid $10.1 billion in federal taxes and $4.7 billion in state and local taxes – giving African immigrants an estimated spending power of more than $40.3 billion that year." (New American Enonomy)

"This is the happiest period of the year," said someone as he was discussing the tax return with some colleagues. "The only money you receive free of taxes!" 

Here are 5 FAQs that people quickly ask themselves during the individual tax filing season :

1-When is the filing period?

The 2019 tax filing started on January 27, and will end on Monday, April 15 2020.

2-Where and how do I file my taxes?

You could file your taxes by using the E-file free IRS tool (not very much used, about 2% of taxpayers use the tool). Or, you could also get a personal tax advisor. Some people prefer to use one of the filing tools like Turbo Tax or H&R Block.

The second and third method sometimes requires you to pay for the service you'll receive. The amount will vary depending on who or what tool you decide to use.

Whatever the way you decide to file your taxes, make sure it's legal and safe!

3-What document do I need to file my 2019 taxes?

Before you file your taxes, make sure you gather all the necessary documents (W2s, 1040 form, etc.), so you don't have to delay your filing, make an error, or miss a report. In any case, if any material is missing, you'll receive a letter from the IRS requesting you to provide the missing document. Do not panic in that case! It's just to have proof of what was written on your filing form.

4-What can I do with my tax return?

It is probably the most crucial question of all. These are some suggestions of what you could do with your tax return:

-Pay off your debt. It could be tax you owe, credit card debts or student loans.

-Renovate your house. If you are a homeowner, you probably know you made of the most significant investment in your life, as it will come back in your home equity. One of the ways to maximize equity is by increasing the value of your home through home improvements. Your return is an excellent opportunity to make your home looks fresher and more valuable.

-Invest in stocks. This area is unknown for very few SSIs. Most of the time, because it's not part of their culture. But putting your return in the stock market is one of the best ways to make your money work for you for the next 20 years or more. By that time, you will not have to worry about your kid's university tuition or your retirement plan.

-Save for vacations. Depending on what vacation means for you, it's essential to save some money for your time as a family.

-Invest, invest, invest!

5- How do I avoid scams during tax season ?

There are many ways you could avoid tax-return identity theft like :

- Keeping your financial information and social security card home and private.

-Protecting your password and your computer against viruses.

-Paying attention to phishing, data breaches and too much credit cards suggestions.

-Properly destroy bank and tax documents that you don't need anymore.

If you want to better understand about filing your taxes, read the full IRS progress update for the 2019 fiscal year.

Can you share what are the common questions you ask yourself during the tax season?

Note: Information provided here are for education purposes and not the one of an expert tax advisor and should not be taken as such. If you need advice from an expert, you can go to your financial advisor.

Herve Ngate

Africans4future Editorial

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