Personal Finance

Talking Taxes: Scripps News answers viewers' biggest tax questions

Scripps News brings in tax experts to help answer viewers' questions on everything from missed deductions to surprise health insurance tax bills.

Talking Taxes: Scripps News answers viewers' biggest tax questions
Peter Morgan / AP
SMS

It's an activity that most Americans don't like doing: A Pew Research study found 56% of Americans hate or dislike doing their taxes, saying it's too complicated and inconvenient. Many say they don't like how the government uses tax money, or simply that they simply pay too much in taxes.

Scripps News and Ted Jenkin, CEO and co-founder of oXYGen Financial, hope to make it a little easier. They answer Scripps News viewers' biggest tax questions.

Why am I getting taxed this year for the Affordable Care Act, if I wasn't taxed before?

Check your withholdings to see if you had an abnormal year of income or if you missed deductions.

If you're covered under the ACA, you can deduct the full year's cost of your health insurance premium on form 1040.

Your income may be too high. If your income exceeds 138% of the federal poverty level, you may be taxed on ACA costs.

What can I deduct if I work from home?

If you're self-employed, you may deduct $5 per square foot of home office space up to 300 square feet, as well as expenses like furniture, supplies, and marketing costs.

But remember — if you're receiving a W2 form from an employer, you generally won't be eligible for these deductions.

What if I've filed my taxes and later find deductions I missed?

Generally, the IRS allows amendments for federal and state returns for either three years following the tax year or two years after you paid the taxes — whichever is later. The IRS will give you interest if it turns out you're still owed money.

What are some of the most overlooked tax breaks?

This depends on whether you take the standard deduction, as most U.S. taxpayers do. This makes a payer ineligible for breaks on itemized costs.

But if you do itemize your taxes, you may get breaks on non-cash charitable contributions. 

You may also be able to earn tax credits on earned income, retirement savings, child care costs, student loan interest deductions and energy expenses.