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Your Top Tax Questions, Answered!

Carmen Wong Ulrich

Chances are, even the most savvy have tax-related questions this time of year and many of us head online for answers. We here at Yahoo! OnFile have pulled together the tax questions that you’ve searched for most on Yahoo! and, best of all, have answers!

Your first most common tax-related question has to do with tax-time being a bonanza for some: “When will I get my tax refund?” Your refund from the IRS on your federal taxes will get to you within 10 to 21 days if you e-file. Of course, if you file via regular mail, tack on another couple days for transit and another couple days if you don’t go with a direct deposit. You can track your refund at IRS.gov, search for “Where’s my refund?” or, use the IRS2Go app on your phone.

The next most-asked tax question is another search for savings: “What are some tax filing tips?” Of course you should makes sure to take all the tax credits and deductions you’re eligible for, especially if your lifestyle changed in 2011 due to unemployment, marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or taking in an aging family member. But, one of the biggest last-minute tax filing tips is probably the simplest one: Don’t make mistakes! Simple errors, such as entering social security numbers wrong or marking the wrong filing status, are the biggest cause of processing delays, according to the IRS. And if you don’t want that refund check to be delayed, triple check your direct deposit information.

Number three is: “What are the federal 2012 tax tables?” Federal tax tables outline tax brackets based on income and filing status. For example, many Americans are in the federal 25 percent tax bracket if you are married filing jointly, making between $17,401 and $70,700. And if you’re fortunate enough to have made over $388,350 as a jointly filing married couple last year? You’ll pay 35 percent in federal taxes in 2011.

The fourth most-asked tax question on Yahoo is: “What are the most commonly missed tax deductions?” You don’t want to miss any tax deductions that you can take as these lower the amount of income you’re taxed on and can even bring you down a tax bracket. Some of the deductions that tend to get missed most often include: Deductions for job-hunting costs, classes you take to improve your job skills, non-cash charitable contributions, and especially for folks in low- or no-income tax states, deducting the sales tax you paid in 2011.

Rounding out the top five is a great question this year: “When is the tax deadline for 2012?” Every year, the tax-filing deadline is supposed to be April 15. However, this year, we’ve got a few extra days to file. April 15 this year falls on a Sunday and then Monday, April 16 is Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., a federal holiday for the home of the IRS. So, to file your 2011 taxes, you have until April 17. Remember, if you need an extension, make sure to file it by that date and you’ll then have until October 15.

Got a tax tip or a question? Tweet @carmenwongulric, #OnFile.