VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - When filing your taxes, if you're like most people, you'll inevitably have questions.
Do you have the right forms? What do you do about your stimulus checks? What happens if you make a mistake?
Reporter Erin Miller took these questions to local CPA, Vivian J. Paige, who started off by saying, "The number-one thing is to go ahead and file. I mean, there's no reason to stop you from filing. Don't be intimidated by the process, it's not that complicated."
Paige said this tax season, a lot of people are wondering if they need to claim their stimulus checks as income.
She said, "If you got the stimulus check, it is not income to you, you don't have to worry about paying taxes on it. If you haven't gotten your stimulus checks or if you didn't get the full amount, you can still get the credit on your tax return if you're entitled to it."
She said filing electronically with direct deposit speeds up the refunds process, if you are entitled to a refund.
Paige also wants the community to know that if you make a mistake, that's OK, because that's what amendments are for.
"Sometimes people will file, forget they've got something that they should have included, go ahead and file and then go, 'Oh my gosh.' I got this document after the fact, or in the case of Virginia returns, now we have a slightly different set of rules, so we have to file an amended return. It's not a big deal, it's not anything that triggers an audit or anything like that, it's just a normal part of the process."
If you're eligible for a refund you have three years from the due date of the return to file for your refund. However, if you owe the government money, that deadline is April 15.
If you have questions about taxes, financial planning and more, consult with your CPA or find one in your area. To find a CPA in the Hampton Roads region click here.