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Common Misconceptions about Filing Taxes

Zuckerman Law, LLC Aug. 31, 2022

Taxes Concept with Word on FolderAccording to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), about 148.3 million taxpayers paid over $1.6 trillion in individual income taxes in 2019. Individuals living and working in the United States have an obligation to file their income tax returns with the IRS upon making a certain amount. However, there are several misconceptions and false assumptions surrounding the processes involved in preparing, planning, and filing taxes. A proficient Florida tax law attorney can speak with you about the tax filing process and help clarify the misconceptions.  

At Zuckerman Law, LLC, I’m committed to offering scholarly legal counsel and loyal advocacy to clients in tax-related matters. I can discuss your specific situation, inform you about your available legal options, and advise you through every phase of the tax filing process. My firm is proud to serve clients across Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and surrounding areas throughout South Florida, including Miami, Sunny Isles, North Miami Beach, Hollywood, and Boca Raton. 

Tax Filing Misconceptions 

There are lots of collective popular notions and misleading information out there about filing taxes in Florida. As a result, Florida tax law attorneys must carefully educate their clients about the entire tax preparation, planning, and filing process. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about tax filing and a brief explanation of what makes them false: 

Misconception #1: I Don’t Really Need To File My Taxes Every Year, It’s Voluntary 

This is a common misconception that is completely false. Though, the IRS tells taxpayers that the tax system is “voluntary” in the Form 1040 instruction book. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have no legal obligation to pay taxes. The term “voluntary” only indicates that each person will determine the actual amount of taxes they owe. Hence, if you’re a U.S citizen or a permanent resident working in the United States, you must file your tax returns. 

Misconception #2: Pets Can Be Claimed As Dependents 

Technically, pets are not humans. Hence, you cannot claim your four-legged friends as dependents when filing your income tax returns. Moreover, falsely claiming a dependent in your tax filing is a fraud, and you should avoid it. 

Misconception #3: Self-Employed Income Isn’t Taxable 

Another common misconception is that self-employed income isn’t taxable. Any individual who considers himself or herself self-employed is expected to pay a self-employment tax. Essentially, about 92.35% of your self-employment net earnings will be subject to self-employment tax. In addition to your tax bill, failure to report cash income or payments received as self-employed can result in massive fines and penalties from the IRS. 

Misconception #4: Students Don’t Have to Pay Taxes 

Generally, most students earn less than working-class Americans. In most cases, their earnings don’t meet the minimum income threshold for filing a tax return. Nonetheless, students are not totally exempted from filing taxes. Thus, students who earn an amount equal to or more than the standard deduction ($12,550 – for 2021) must file their income tax returns. 

Misconception #5: A Tax Extension Gives You More Time To Pay Your Taxes 

Though, a tax extension gives you additional time to file your income tax returns. However, it doesn’t mean you will have more time to pay your taxes. Essentially, any amount of taxes you owe to the IRS must be paid by Tax Day. Failure to pay your taxes on or before Tax Day may result in interest and penalties. 

Misconception #6: Filing Individually is Better Than Filing Jointly as a Married Couple 

Many individuals often think they can save money by filing their taxes separately from their spouses. If you file separately from your partner, you may be subject to a higher tax rate. Conversely, married couples who file jointly often receive higher income thresholds for certain tax breaks. Also, joint filers may qualify for credits and deductions that separate filers may not be eligible for. 

Misconception #7: It Is Expensive To File Your Taxes 

This is not true. Filing your taxes isn’t expensive. On average, it costs about $200 – $220 to file your taxes. However, the cost of preparing and filing taxes often depends on how complex your income is. Though, there are online services that offer free online tax filing. Regardless, it is advisable that you reach out to a skilled tax preparation attorney for thorough guidance on tax filing. 

Get Reliable Legal Action Today  

Filing your income tax returns, paying back taxes, and resolving other tax-related issues often involve several complexities. However, due to your limited – or lack of – tax knowledge, you can easily make costly mistakes if you try to file or handle your tax issues all alone. Therefore, consulting with a competent tax law attorney is crucial for clear advice and navigating crucial decisions.  

For more than 30 years, I have given outstanding legal services and assisted clients in tax-related matters. In addition, I will help prepare and file your income tax returns and annual taxes. Also, I can attempt to contact the IRS on your behalf, help settle any current and past tax issues, and craft a strategic plan to help pay your taxes.  

Contact my firm – Zuckerman Law, LLC – today to schedule an easy case assessment with a trusted tax return preparation attorney. I have the precise legal direction and loyal advocacy you need to file your taxes or face the IRS with confidence. My firm proudly serves clients in Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida, including Miami, Sunny Isles, Hollywood, and Boca Raton.