The IRS offers another option to the facial recognition system 1:21
(WABNEWS Spanish) — The tax season began on January 24 and taxpayers have until April 18 to file their tax return. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts the deadline is April 19.
But who should file 2021 taxes?RELATED
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), if you are a US citizen or a resident alien you must file a tax return based on your gross income, filing status, age, and whether or not you are a dependent.
The first thing to define is your filing status, as this can make a big difference in the amount of taxes you’ll have to pay and can also determine whether you’re eligible for certain deductions and credits. IRS offers these filing status options: Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, or Widowed.
If, for the purposes of your declaration, more than one marital status fits your situation, “choose the one that provides you with the lowest tax”, indicates the IRS.
The next thing is to determine what your gross annual income is, which is all the income you received in 2021 in the form of money, goods, properties and services that are not exempt from taxes, as defined by the IRS. If you are married or live with your partner in a community property state —there are nine states including Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas—half of any community income defined by law can be considered yours.
This table of 2021 tax filing requirements applies to most taxpayers:
If you have doubts about whether or not you have to file your 2021 tax return, you can do this IRS questionnaire. However, it is only available in English.
How much I have to pay?
The United States tax system pays different percentages of taxes depending on the amount of taxable income —defined by the IRS as “any income that is subject to federal income tax, whether earned or not”—and there are seven in total for tax year 2021: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%.
In short: the more you earn, the more you have to pay.
This table reflects how much tax percentage you will have to pay based on the filing status of your tax return and your taxable income in 2021:
However, according to the AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) the tax bracket does not reflect how much you pay in federal taxes. For example, if you are single and in the 22% bracket, you will not pay 22% on all of your taxable income. You’ll pay 10% on taxable income up to $9,950, 12% on the amount between $9,950 and $40,525, and 22% on income above that level, up to $86,375.
Standard and itemized deductions
Under federal tax law, it is possible to deduct some personal expenses from your taxable income which may reduce the amount of tax due or increase the amount of your refund.
According to the IRS, there are two ways to claim deductions, either by itemizing them on your federal income tax return or by using a standard deduction. Typically, a taxpayer items deductions if their total is greater than the standard deduction for your filing status.
For its part, the standard deduction is a specific amount that you can deduct to reduce the amount of your income that is subject to tax. This amount is adjusted each year for inflation and varies based on the taxpayer’s marital status, age, and whether or not they are blind.
The IRS established what:
“The standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly increases to $25,100 for tax year 2021, up $300 from the previous year. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction increases to $12,550 in 2021, $150 more, and for the head of household filing status, the standard deduction will be $18,800 for tax year 2021, $150 more.”
In summary, the standard deduction for 2021 based on filing status is:
Single and married filing separately: $12,550 Married filing jointly: $25,100 Head of household: $18,800
You are not eligible to use the standard deduction if you are:
A married person who files as married filing separately, whose spouse itemizes deductions A person who files a return for a period of less than 12 months because of a change in your annual method of accounting. A person who was a nonresident alien or a dual-classified alien during the year. exceptions apply.
The IRS offers an online quiz to determine the amount of your standard deduction. However, it is only available in English.
Get your refund faster Do I pay taxes to transfer my 401k to an IRA plan? 4:23
Most tax filers are normally due a refund.
Treasury officials noted that the IRS will likely give you your refund within 21 days of receipt, which is the typical response time, but only if you accurately and completely complete your return, file it electronically, and choose to for receiving your refund via direct deposit.
In order to receive your refund as direct deposit, you will need to provide your account number and routing number to your tax preparer or enter this information into your preferred tax preparation software. Afterward, you can check the status of your refund on the IRS site.
WABNEWS’s Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.