Taxes for Beginners

How do I pay taxes?


Paying taxes every April doesn’t have to be intimidating! Use the resources on this page to familiarize yourself with different types of taxes, how the taxes affect your income, and how you can be sure to fill out the right forms at tax time.

Property Tax: Taxes to the local government based on a home’s value. Properties are assessed periodically to determine their value. Even in rented property, property taxes still get paid, but they’re usually included in the monthly rent.

Sales Tax: States and cities charge taxes on almost everything that is purchased so they can provide their own services, and that the sales tax rate can vary from state to state. In Texas, sales tax rate is 6.25%, but local taxing jurisdictions may also impose up to 2% for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25%.

Income Tax: Most people in the country have money taken from each paycheck to pay income taxes so the federal government can pay for things like national defense, inspecting food, researching cures for diseases, and helping with disasters. If you work and receive your W-2 from an employer in Texas, you will only pay federal income tax. There is no state income tax in Texas.

Each person is responsible for calculating and paying his or her share of federal and state government income taxes in April. You can calculate your tax debt yourself or go through a third party to fill out the appropriate forms. The Internal Revenue Service establishes the rules, provides the proper forms, and collects and monitors tax payments.

Source: Explaining Taxes

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contains information, advice, calculators, and more on the subject of paying your taxes. The site can be overwhelming; here are a few direct links to the most popular and useful areas of the site:

The library will print IRS forms (except those prohibited by law) for $.10 a page. Please note that we are not tax professionals and will not advise you as to which form you need.

Filing Assistance & Educational Resources

For information on the yearly BCSPLS TaxAide program, visit this page. You can also visit the sites below to locate tax prep assistance or learn more about the filing process.

Rev. 7/17

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