No Flabbergasting Tax Questions
I’ve been doing taxes for a wide range of individual and business clients for many years.
I often hear the same questions asked from year to year. And, every now and then I’ll be asked questions that are always prefaced with, “this is probably a stupid question, but…” My reaction is always the same. When it comes to taxes, there simply are no stupid or flabbergasting questions.
Taxes are complicated and some of the laws seem pretty ridiculous and convoluted.
When I came across an article at accountingtoday.com entitled, “The most flabbergasting questions from clients for tax season,” my interest was piqued. I’m sharing some of the questions here to let my readers know that while some questions may seem silly, there are usually reasons why they aren’t. So much misinformation exists about taxes that it’s easy to get confused.
The very first of the so-called “flabbergasting” questions is: “Do I really need to file”. The answer to that is always a resounding “Yes!” Many people have an idea – which is a common misunderstanding – that when people reach a certain age they no longer have to file federal tax returns. The only time you don’t have to file is if you don’t make enough money and fall below the income filing requirements. That is not age-related. Even after you pass away, you may need someone to file your final tax return. So, even death doesn’t give you a pass!
The second question in the article is a new one since the tax law was changed at the end of 2017. People want to know if the new tax code is so simple that they don’t need CPA’s or professional help with their tax returns.
It’s true that the new tax law removed some deductions, created new deductions and changed the format of the tax forms. So, for some individuals, the increased standard deduction for federal returns does make filing taxes simpler. However, there are still thousands of pages of tax law. For anyone with a complicated tax situation, such as small-business owners, retirees, executives and investors, a professional tax attorney or preparer is a great resource to interpret those laws and help take advantage of the tax benefits that are available.
We expect all kinds of questions, none of which we find flabbergasting.
So, if you have questions and need help give us a call. Mostly it is the tax situation itself that is flabbergasting.