Tax season in the US
The 2021 process to pay taxes in the United States has already started on February 12th and it will close on April 15th, therefore this is the moment when you should fill all the forms requested by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to avoid fees and interests.
What are taxes for?
This is how any government collects money from people that later will be used to fund infrastructure, health, education, and more. Each person that has any type of income must pay taxes.
It is more likely that, if you are a company’s employee, you have noticed that whenever you receive your paycheck there are some direct discounts in your salary that are taxes established by the government. However, if you work on your own, the process might be a little bit more complex (unless you have an accountant to help you in the process).
How the information is sent?
The IRS makes things easier by allowing fulfillment forms online but you must have the information at hand, for example, the receipts with all the money you have received for a year.
Does a Non-American have to pay taxes?
The IRS has established categories around Non-American people who have some sort of payment while living in the US. Those who are residents have the same obligations as American citizens and they even have to do their tax returns for worldwide income. Non-residents are not exempted from paying taxes for any income received in US territory. You can read more about this at the following link: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p519
Coronavirus Tax relief
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected people’s economy after losing their jobs, salary reduction, and companies closing everywhere, the US Government released a tax relief for people who are eligible and that already have received their first payment. You should check if you can apply for it -if needed- according to the conditions, to receive this relief.
Lessons learned: Prepare for next year!
This might be the first time that you are facing the tax season in the US and 2020 has already been a very strange year for everybody, so maybe you used to be an employee and suddenly you had to start working on your own. This means you are in a particular situation. Luckily, the IRS website makes things easier when it comes to the information available for you to understand how to handle it.
Nevertheless, if you feel a bit lost, take note of those things that are now a challenge so next year you already know how to master them. Of course, it would be ideal to have help from an accountant but this could cost money from your budget. Take this opportunity to understand the process and, when the next tax season comes, you will know that you need all your documents organized and not leave it for the last minute.
For more specific information, you can access the official IRS website: https://www.irs.gov