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I believe that you only need to solve for formal charge if the question asks you to find the lowest energy lewis structure. I believe you wouldn't need to find the formal charge for compounds such as methane, ethane, and some of the other alkanes because they consist of single bonds and there aren't any loan pair electrons found in those compounds.
Usually, you only want to find formal charges if the question asks for it, but when drawing lewis structures with or without a charge, you want to calculate the formal charge of each atom and see if all the formal charges add up to the charge of the molecule.
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