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True or false: You can choose your marriage filing status once you're married.


When you're married, "married" has to be your filing status.

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True or false: You can deduct an unlimited amount from your taxable income.


You can only deduct so much from your taxable income. The amount varies.

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Key Takeaways

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Taxes have a huge impact on your overall finances. Keeping a few basics in mind could help you be better prepared and more in control.

  • You’re taxed on your taxable income, not on your gross income
  • Get to know your Form W-2. It’s what both your employer and the IRS use to match up what you reported as wages and what’s been withheld from your paycheck
  • If you’re filing tax returns for the first time, have only one job or have a fairly simple financial picture, you may be able to use the IRS Form 1040EZ
  • Claiming dependents that you support financially, such as children or elderly parents, may help you qualify for certain exemptions and tax credits
  • The sooner you file your return, the better. Not only will you receive a refund earlier (if you’re owed one), but it will also help you reduce the risk of identity theft and fraudulent claims
  • You generally need to file a tax return if you are single and earned more than $10,300 (based on 2015 tax year). However, if your parents claim you as a dependent, you may need to file if you earned more than $6,300 or had unearned income greater than $1,050
  • If you receive a call or email from someone claiming to be the IRS but you’re not sure if it’s real, just call the IRS yourself. They can confirm or deny the message