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Income Tax FAQs and Facts!
 
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Calendar - April 15 circled with red ink

With the holidays behind us and tax season just around the corner, it’s time to focus on finances. What did we spend? What did we save? How long can we procrastinate before April 15? And who picked April 15 anyway? Before you sit down with your calculator and 1040s, enjoy these fun facts and FAQs about taxes, filing and the IRS:

  • Prep Time: According to TurboTax, Americans spend 7.6 billion hours every year preparing taxes. With approximately 312 million people in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau, that means every man, woman and child in the country spend 24.4 hours getting ready for tax day.
  • Know the (Tax) Code: But not by heart – the current federal tax code has grown to over 70,000 pages, up from its original 400. With that many rules and regulations, it’s no wonder 82% of taxpayers get help from a tax accountant or tax software.
  • Honest in America: 89% of Americans surveyed said it’s not okay to cheat on your taxes. Since the survey was conducted by the IRS, one must wonder what the other 11% was thinking.
  • Job Bank: The IRS employs over 114,000 individuals, five times the amount that the FBI does, paying employees $10 billion per year in salaries.
  • We Can Thank Abe: President Abraham Lincoln created the IRS during the Civil War to help pay for military expenses. Now, the average American family pays over 38% of their total lifetime income to the IRS. 

You Claimed What?
The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants recently surveyed its CPA members on the most creative tax deductions proposed by their clients…

  • No-Go Charitable Deductions: Market value of blood donated by taxpayer; gambling losses; raffle tickets and private school tuition.
  • Un-Dependents: A taxpayer wanted to claim his elected official because he “pays his taxes.” And no, you can’t claim your ex-spouse.
  • Doctor’s Orders: When a doctor prescribed swimming to ease his back pain, a taxpayer successfully deducted portions of the cost of building the pool for “medical expenses.” Not so fortunate: A California man tried to deduct hair transplants for the same reason but his accountant nixed the idea.
  • Invest Wisely: Attorney’s fees for a divorce were considered an “investment” by the former spouse. No word from Minnesota on whether the IRS agreed or not.

Free Tax Help @ Broward County Library
Here’s a list of the following BCL locations offering free income tax preparation assistance this month. Please call the library for income tax preparation assistance hours and more information.

  • African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-6282
  • Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library, 2800 N.W. 9 Ct., Pompano Beach, 954-968-3820
  • Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-7444
  • North Regional/Broward College Library, 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd., Coconut Creek, 954-201-2600
  • Northwest Regional Library, 3151 University Dr., Coral Springs, 954-341-3900
  • South Regional/Broward College Library, 7300 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, 954-437-2635
  • Southwest Regional Library, 16835 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines, 954-538-9996
  • West Regional Library, 8601 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation, 954-382-5860

It’s Never Too Early!
Get fiscally fit and ready for next year’s tax return with free resources from Broward County Library. On March 27, Broward County Library customers can participate in a free training webinar from Morningstar Investment Research Center. Learn how to navigate the Morningstar site and get help on all topics finance-related. You can attend the webinar from the library or from home, but you must have a Broward County Library card to participate.

 DIY Tax Books & Resources Available @ Broward County Library:

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Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Taxes, by Stephen Fishman More...

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Easy Ways to Lower Your Taxes: Simple Strategies Every Taxpayer Should Know, by Sandra Block More...
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Finances and Taxes for the Home-based Business, by Charles Lickson More...

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First-Time Homeowner’s Tax Guide: An Essential Guide to Preparing Your Tax Return for a Maximum Refund, by Robert Balducci More...

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For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization, by Charles Adams More...

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How to Pay Zero Taxes, by Jeff Schnepper More...

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J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax 2012 More...

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Minding Her Own Business: The Self-Employed Woman’s Essential Guide to Taxes and Financial Records, by Jan Zobel More...

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The Procrastinator’s Guide to Taxes Made Easy, by Grace Weinstein More...

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