5 Popular Tax Myths, Busted

Tax Planning

Hoo boy, I’ve heard it all! People come up with the craziest theories about taxes, but much of what they think is not true. It’s what you think you know that really isn’t true that can hurt you, so I’d like to clear up a few tax myths to improve your filing experience this year!

Myth #1. If you apply for an extension to file your taxes, you’re more likely to be audited. Studies have never found any correlation between extending the deadline for filing and getting audited. There’s another myth that says if you file early you are more likely to be audited. That’s not true either.  Less than 1% of taxpayers are audited.

Myth #2. Don’t file your tax return until you have the money to pay the tax due. April 18th is the tax deadline to file your taxes whether or not you have the money. File on time, and then work out an installment payment plan with the IRS. You may also receive a tax refund after TurboTax gives you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for.  Last tax season about 75% of taxpayers received a tax refund close to $2,800.

Myth #3. If your parents live in a nursing home, they can’t be your dependents. It is true that dependents who are not relatives need to live with you, but that rule doesn’t apply to your parents. If you support your parents or another relative, you can claim them as your dependents no matter where they live.

Myth #4. You can write off your dog. We all know our fur babies can get expensive, but unless your pet related expenses are directly related to protecting your business as in the case of a guard dog or if you need a dog for medical reasons such as a seeing eye dog, you cannot write off expenses related to your pet’s care.

Myth #5. Money you inherit is taxable to you. I hear this one a lot. Here’s the scoop: in almost every state, if there is a tax to be paid, it is paid by the estate of the person who died, and not by you. The six states that impose an inheritance tax include Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and  Pennsylvania. But even if you live in one of those states, unless you inherit millions from a person to whom you have no close family ties, you probably are off the hook for inheritance tax. And by the way, you don’t pay tax on gifts you receive either.

Don’t worry about tax myths you hear this tax season.  TurboTax helps you easily and accurately file your taxes.

Comments (2) Leave your comment

  1. When i use turbo tax i must pay 19.99 to file my pa, state tax return. Why does turbo tax say that there is no fee to file both federal and state returns.

    1. Hi William,
      If you can file a Form 1040EZ or 1040A then you should be eligible for the offer if you file by 11:59.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

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