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Knowing when a taxpayer must file a return

Georgia residents may be in the habit of filing a tax return each year. However, depending on an individual's filing status and income, that may not be necessary. Typically, people don't have to file if their income is less than the standard deduction and personal exemption combined. For a single filer over the age of 65, that amount would be $11,900.

If an individual receives Social Security benefits, those amounts may be taxable. This may be true if half of the total benefit plus gross income is greater than $25,000. However, those who don't have to file their tax return this year or in any other year may want to do so anyway. Those who don't file a return do not get any refund that is owed to them.

In some cases, individuals may have had taxes withheld or made estimated quarterly payments that they may be entitled to get back. Taxpayers who have individual retirement accounts that they are drawing from and who are curious about whether or not they have to file may wish to submit to an online IRS interview. Anyone who is worried about how a retirement account may impact their ability to provide for future generations may want to make gifts while they are still alive. It may also be possible to covert a traditional IRA to a Roth version.

Failure to pay income taxes could result in fines and other penalties. However, an attorney may be able to work with a taxpayer to negotiate a settlement. Tax attorneys may also be helpful to those who are curious about their filing status or how a retirement account may impact their tax situation.

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