By:    Updated: December 18,2016

Taxes are a part of every American citizen and permanent resident's lives. If the U.S. government designates you as a tax resident, you are obligated to file a tax return in which you report and pay a percentage of your income. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for collecting federal taxes. Many state governments have their own tax collection agencies that require tax residents to pay a variety of taxes including property taxes, state income taxes, and capital gains taxes. Many people are eligible for tax breaks, reductions, credits, and deductions. With adequate tax preparation strategies and resources such as software and financial planners, you may be able to maximize your returns.

Income Tax

Aside from a few exceptions, everyone with an income must pay taxes to the federal government. Most states also require wage earners to pay taxes to the state. Most employees pay taxes throughout the year. If you work for an organization as an employee or independent contractor, that organization will withhold taxes throughout the year. When you are scheduled to pay your taxes and submit your forms, you may receive a tax refund, or you may need to pay additional taxes. Both are possibilities for your state and federal taxes.

Property Tax

If you own residential or commercial property, you are required to pay an annual property tax. Property tax rates vary based on a variety of factors including where you live, how much you paid for your property, whether your property is commercial or residential, and whether your property is in close proximity to a school. A county tax assessor or appraiser will calculate the value of your property. Every year, you will pay a percentage of this assessed value. That percentage value is also determined by the county tax assessor's office.

Capital Gains Tax

If you invest in the stock market or any other non-inventory asset and earn an income, you will need to pay a capital gains tax on your earnings. Not all countries charge a capital gains tax, and those that do charge a different rate for businesses and individuals. Non-inventory assets include stocks, bonds, precious metals, and property.

Tax Preparation

Prepare your taxes in such a way that you can maximize your returns. At the end of the tax season, you will have paid just enough, overpaid, or underpaid. When you overpay, you receive a refund. Tax specialists and software programs can help you get organized and submit your forms correctly and legally. You can easily determine your eligibility for a refund.

Tax Deductions

Deductions allow you to save on your taxes by lowering your taxable income. You can deduct your home office expenses, medical costs, and student loan interest. If you do not know how to use your deductions, you could be losing a substantial amount of money.

Tax Relief

In some years, the federal government will offer a tax relief plan in the form of a refund or credit. Tax relief plans vary based on the economic conditions of the time.

Tax Software

An accountant's services can be very expensive. If you cannot seek assistance from an accountant, you can take advantage of the popular tax software that's on the market. These programs will guide you through the process of filing your taxes by querying your expenses and income. All that you need are your tax forms, receipts, and some free time.

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