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Tax return myths

Tax day is only two months away. Scary thought. Here are five myths about filing taxes that often throw filers for a loop this time of year:

* Once you have received a tax refund, you can rest assured that you won't be audited. No. The IRS can audit your return any time within three years after it is filed or after the due date on the return, whichever is later.

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* If you have made a mistake on your federal income-tax return, there is nothing you can do about it. Wrong. You can file 1040X to correct your error.

* Child-support payments are deductible. No. And they aren't considered income for the recipient. Nope. Alimony payments, however, are. The recipient also must declare alimony as income.

*A single parent supporting a child at home must file as a single person. Wrong again. The "head of household" filing status is available to single taxpayers who pay more than half the cost of keeping up a home for a qualified relative during the year. Supporting a parent in a nursing home may also qualify the taxpayer for "head of household" status.

* If your adjusted income is $0, you shouldn't bother to file. Not always. You should file a return to claim a refund of withheld taxes. Also, if you qualify for the earned income credit, you could receive payment from the IRS even if you have no tax liability.

Source: Richard Davis, Dick Jones Communications.

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