How do you figure out if you owe the IRS on form 1040 when the instructions are the same for figuring out your refund?
You compare the amount of tax you owe (line 15) with the amount of tax you've paid (line 18).If the amount you've paid is less than the amount you owe, the difference between the two numbers is the additional tax you owe the IRS.If it is the other way around, then the difference between the two numbers is the refund you are due.
What were some things which surprised you about the USA?
The foreign press always paints Americans as rampantly racist, bigoted, ignorant, unintelligent, arrogant and somehow sexually permissive.Well I studied there for many years as a PhD student, as both a visible minority Muslim and as a foreigner, before and after 9/11 and found the following:The vast majority of Americans are not racist or bigoted, but are instead very accepting and tolerant and open minded. I don't think many other nationalities would have treated me as humanely and in a civilized way as did Americans the days and weeks after 9/11. Also, they acknowledge and openly discuss there a problem whenever a racist incidence occurs, rather than pretending it doesn't exist.There is a vast difference between being unintelligent and being uninformed. Americans are as just intelligent as anyone else (have you seen how ingenious they are?), but they often lack correct knowledge of the outside world. That is partly because so much is always happening domestically, and because their media is very parochial.They are humble. The US tourists that give them bad press are relatively few, but people always fixate on the bad minority and ignore the good majority. They are proud of their country, and there is nothing wrong with that.They are much more sexually conservative than portrayed in foreign media or even their own Hollywood. They are more religious than people in my native UK or Europeans in general. Of course, most women with any sense of class or taste would never take a second look at me, so I can't confirm at all about the conservative bit, but it did look as both American men and women are very conservative relative to their European counterparts.The people are different from their government. Yes, many foreigners, including some of my own relatives, often ask how is it that Americans are blessed with such good luck when US foreign policy is often unkind to others. This is because the people are distinct from their leaders. They have a general goodness that needs to be observed directly and not sought indirectly from media or other people's portrayal of them. They are very compassionate and fair, in many ways more than my fellow Muslims. Perhaps that is why Allah blesses them still in so many ways, while many of us are not so lucky.
How do I make a one time estimated payment to the IRS, for a large stock sale capital gain? Estimated payments seem geared to equal quarterly payments.
You can make an estimated tax payment to the IRS at any time. The IRS will gladly take your money whenever you are willing to send it.The four estimated payment schedule dates are deadlines by which you are required to pay a certain portion of your taxes or risk being liable for penalties. They are not the only times at which the IRS will accept payments. There is no penalty for paying your tax ahead of when it is due. The IRS will not blow a gasket if you make more than four estimated tax payments for a single tax year.You may make an estimated tax payment at any time by mailing a check or money order accompanied by Form 1040-ES (it doesn’t matter which of the four vouchers you use) to the address in the Form 1040-ES instructions, or by any of the other several methods mentioned in the Form 1040-ES instructions. Make sure you use the correct form for the appropriate tax year.Form 1040 ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals
Where can I find the forms to file a 2021 tax return by myself?
For a 2021 return, 1.) The first thing you want to do is get a transcript for yourself. You can do this here: Get Transcript2.) Then, read the 1040 instructions for the year you want to file:Form 1040 Instructions for 2021 3.) Then, you can either A) Buy tax prep software like:Turbotax: 2021 Tax Preparation for Past Years’ TaxesAmazon.com: H&R Block Tax Software 2021 Deluxe [OLD VERSION]: Software...among others.B) Or, you can download forms from the IRS page itself depending on what you need. Form 1040 - Main Form. You may need to attach additional schedules only if applicable.Schedule A - For Itemizing Deductions Schedule C - To declare business income and expensesSchedule SE - To calculate self-employment taxes Schedule E - To declare rental real estate income and expensesPrior Year Products - Complete list...among othersAnd, prepare your State tax return if applicable. You should also be able to download the necessary forms from your State's Department of Revenue website. For example, if you live in Illinois, you can get those forms here: 2021 Individual Income Tax Forms for Illinois
What's the best way for me to get my taxes done?
You can use free tax filing software for Federal tax returns online. There are plenty of them. Before you file, ask your parents if they are planning to claim you as a dependent on their tax returns, they may get tax credit for doing that. Most of these free software offer to file your state tax returns with a fee, but still cheaper than hiring a tax filing professional.Some town/city communities or organizations have volunteers to help people file tax returns for free. You can search if there’s such options in your town.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): How do you attach a W2 form to your tax return?
A number of answers — including one from a supposed IRS employee — say not to physically attach them, but just to include the W-2 in the envelope.In fact, the 1040 instructions say to “attach” the W-2 to the front of the return, and the Form 1040 itself —around midway down the left-hand side — says to “attach” Form W-2 here; throwing it in the envelope is not “attaching.” Anything but a staple risks having the forms become separated, just like connecting the multiple pages of the return, scheduled, etc.
When does the IRS generally release finalized tax instructions? (It seems that a draft of the 1040 instructions was released on Jan 10)
IRS has no schedule for releasing instructions. Instructions for many forms, which have not changed, have not been updated for several years. I have seen drafts that were all there were for several years. Form 1040 obviously needs new instructions every year. I presume IRS says they will release instructions as soon as they can. While they may not be labeled draft, all instructions are always subject to change. Form 1040 instructions for the 2021 tax year are not likely to change much. Unless you have something unusual, it is probably OK to go with what they have labeled “draft”. I have actually filed forms that were labeled “draft” with no problem.
How do I declare extra income I make to the IRS?
Assumptions: 1. The taxpayer is an individual. 2. “Extra income” means non-wage income.The method of reporting depends on the type of income. If you receive a From 1099 for the income, the form will generally include instructions on how to report the income.Form 1040, page 1, includes line items for specific types of income. Form 1040 instructions (see link below) also include instructions on how to report most specific types of income.If you receive income for which no Form 1099 is issued and no separate line item is provided, you generally report the income as “Other Income” on Form 1040, line 21. If you incur expenses related to the income, you generally report the income and expenses on Form 1040, Schedule C.A link to the 2021 Form 1040 instructions is provided below.https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/...
Is IRS Form 1040 a one-pass form?
As of the 2021 tax year, no, Form 1040 is not a one-pass form. Indeed, the instructions for line 78 contain the following:Include any estimated tax penalty from line 79 in the amount you enter on line 78.https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/...Line 78 is calculated using lines 63 and 74. Then line 79 is entered. However, if the amount on line 79 is nonzero, line 78 must now be updated, so the form cannot be one-pass. Of course, one might still anticipate this and fill in line 79 first and then use lines 63, 74, and 79 to arrive at line 78, but now this breaks the usual flow of the form (although it's possible that this is precisely what the instructions suggest, and I think IRS forms in general don't have linear flow anyway; so you have at least an undocumented line dependency on the form itself, and then at least one of nonlinear flow or multiple-pass).