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Frequently Asked Questions:

How will the new 2018 Tax Reform Affect me?

You are certainly wise to question this and plan ahead.  Please see my webpage with details and links for more information on this topic:  Tax Reform

Do you do "Rapid" filing?

Everything I do is fast!  However, if you mean you would like your refund back in 1 or 2 days, the answer is no, because this type of practice entails charging the client enormous interest and administrative fees.  Companies that offer this product for free are possibly recouping their cost by charging more for preparation fees.  Most refunds are received in 2 weeks or less, although the IRS and state tax departments make no guarantees.  Returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are being held until the end of February this year by the IRS, due to additional income/identity verification processes.

Do I have to file a tax return this year?

This is a common question for senior citizens and people claimed as dependents on other tax returns, such as children who have a full or part-time job.  For tax year 2018, a   single person under 65 years of age is required to file a tax return if their gross income is $12,000 or more.  If you are 65 or over, the threshold is $13,600.  However, if you have self-employment income or certain investment income, there are other filing requirements.  The numbers are different for other filing statuses.  Of course, even if your income is under the threshold, you can choose to file, especially if you are due a refund or credit.  For more information on thresholds, see:  Do  I need to file a return this year?

I did not have insurance this year, will I owe a penalty?

Possibly.  Although the federal government no longer mandates a penalty, NJ has adopted a penalty for no insurance.  There are some exemptions from this penalty, such as short term gap, income under the return filing threshold, and others.  See: Individual Shared Responsibility Exemptions.

Is it better for a married couple to file jointly or separately?

This depends on the specific situation.  Generally, couples get a better bottom line filing jointly than separately, for the following reasons:

Certain credits, such as education credits and earned income credit cannot be used if married filing separate status

Certain income limitations and loss amounts are higher

Couple only has to pay for the price of one return

*You may benefit by filing separately when,

The state tax benefit is higher when filing separately,

One of the couple has much more itemized deductions than the other, especially the type that are limited by adjusted gross income

One or both members of the couple wish to individually be responsible for their own taxes due/ or receive their "own" refund

You should always have your returns prepared both ways, to see which gives you the better benefit.