While Filing

  • The IRS discontinued the use of the e-file PIN option. In order to e-file using any tax preparation software, you will need to enter last year’s AGI to verify your identity (unless you didn’t file taxes last year).

    Good news, if you filed using MyFreeTaxes last year, you can access your 2017 tax return when you are logged into your account. Once you are logged in, click on your profile in the top left corner where there will be a link for “Previous Taxes”.

    You can also find your last year’s AGI on your 2017 tax return on: form 1040 (Line 37), 1040A (Line 21), 1040EZ (Line 4), Form 1040X (Line 1, column A).

    If you do not have access to your last year’s tax return you can order a transcript on the IRS Get Transcript site.

  • Yes, you can but it usually is more advantageous to file jointly. The reason for this is because of the qualification for many tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If one spouse itemizes the other spouse also must itemize their deductions and is unable to claim the standard deduction even if they had zero deductions. If neither spouse itemizes they both can take the standard deduction. There is also a much lower income limit to file a tax return if you choose to file as married filing separately, of only $5, vs. at least $24,000 if married filing jointly. 

  • After entering in your name and Social Security Number (SSN) of yourself and your spouse (if applicable), MyFreeTaxes will ask you if you have any dependents. If so, check "yes" and enter their information and repeat the process for as many dependents as you have. If you would like to change your dependent information later on in the process, go to the top of the page where it says "FEDERAL". Then go to "YOUR INFO" and finally "Dependents". This will take you back to the page where you can change your filing status. 

  • The term "dependent" means: a qualifying child or qualifying relative.   To be a qualifying child: The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.   The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. The child must not be filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). To be a qualifying relative: The person can't be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.

    The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who don't have to live with you, or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).

    The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,150. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.

  • A U.S. citizen is any individual born in the United States or who has received formal U.S. citizenship. A resident alien is anyone who is not a formal US citizen but who meets either the green card test (i.e. you have a green card) or the substantial presence test. The substantial presence test means that you have been physically present in the U.S. at least 31 days of the current tax year (2018), and 183 days during the last three years (2018, 2017, and 2016), though you can only count 1/3 of the days in the previous year (2017), and 1/6 of the days in the 2nd previous year (2016). There are exceptions: Learn more here: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/substantial-presence-test

  • After you enter in your personal information, MyFreeTaxes will suggest to you your filing status. If you would like to change it, simply click "I want to see if I qualify for another filing status" and you will be given the option to change it. If you would like to change your filing status later on in the process, go to the top of the page where it says "FEDERAL". Then go to "YOUR INFO" and finally "Filing Status". This will take you back to the page where you can change your filing status. 

  • MyFreeTaxes will walk through the process of calculating all of your income and will address any income you have from all sources, including 1099-Rs. If you need to go back to add this information in later, you can go to the "INCOME" tab at the top and say that you need to tell them about additional income. Then, you can check the box for 1099-R (Retirement and Social Security). If it is a common retirement account, you can import it automatically, or you can manually enter in the information. Enter in the information as found on your 1099-R statement and follow the prompts provided.

  • Determining ACA penalties and exemptions can be complicated. First, be sure you have entered everything correctly. The tax software can often automatically generate a penalty exemption. If you have an employer offer of insurance be sure to use the correct amount for self-only and family coverage. Family coverage cost is often unaffordable. Marketplace coverage may be unaffordable. Go to Healthcare.gov and obtain Bronze and Silver plan costs and enter them in the software. It will then determine affordability. HealthReformBeyondTheBasics.org (http://www.healthreformbeyondt...)  has an easy tool for finding exemptions.

  • EITC is a refundable credit based upon your earned (W-2 and Schedule C) income. It usually increases as you add qualified dependents. Additional qualifications include:

    • Taxpayers and qualifying dependents must have Social Security Numbers which allow them to work in the U.S.
    • Cannot file as Married Filing Separately
    • Must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year
    • Cannot have foreign income
    • Have investment income of $3,500 or less
    • Cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone else
    • Dependent(s) must be related to you, meet certain age requirements, generally must reside with you for more than half the year, and cannot be claimed by more than one person.
    • Other rules apply The IRS has additional information at: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit/use-the-eitc-assistant