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Oh hi it's that time of year again [2011 Taxes Thread]

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Posts

  • sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular
    Kirbith wrote:
    Do I need to file a state tax return? I didn't work at all in 2011 so no w-2, I only filed federal because my parents aren't claiming me as a dependent so that I could get credit back for tuition.

    Unless your parents make very very little, there is probably more tax benefit to them claiming you and either splitting the difference or giving it all to you. That's what my mom and I did when I started working.

    Walkerdog on MTGO
    TylerJ on League of Legends (it's free and fun!)
  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    To the people who want to preview their taxes, http://excel1040.com/ is a great resource for the craziest, most complete 1040 you fill out by hand.

    I use it to double-check math and for detailed digital copies, even now. I've switched over to filing online, but it makes me feel better having it.

    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • PeenPeen Registered User regular
    Hey tax thread. My daughter is a year old and has a savings account, she earned maybe $30 interest last year? I'm assuming we report it on our taxes somehow but I'm not sure how. Anybody know?

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Peen wrote:
    Hey tax thread. My daughter is a year old and has a savings account, she earned maybe $30 interest last year? I'm assuming we report it on our taxes somehow but I'm not sure how. Anybody know?

    There's a threshold of like $800 I think before you need to file it.

  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    Peen wrote:
    Hey tax thread. My daughter is a year old and has a savings account, she earned maybe $30 interest last year? I'm assuming we report it on our taxes somehow but I'm not sure how. Anybody know?

    yeah, the kid doesn't have to file. Here's the list for when they do:

    The child has unearned income (from investment interest, gains, and so on) above $950.
    The child has earned income above $5,800.
    Gross income is greater than the larger of $950 or earned income (up to $5,800) plus $300.
    Net earnings from self-employment are $400 or more.

  • PeenPeen Registered User regular
  • YamiNoSenshiYamiNoSenshi Registered User regular
    I've got all my forms except a 1099 for an interest checking account, but it's a whopping $3 in earned interest for the whole year. Do I need that form, and will they even bother sending one, or can I just go right ahead and file?

    Damn it, it's fucking noon. I demand to know if Yami shit on a desk yet.
  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist A banana is good. It tastes the same going in or going out! Registered User regular
    You don't need to report interest unless it's over a certain amount (I forget how much). I'm pretty sure $3 is not enough unless you've got other 1099s.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Your bank might offer it for download on their website too.

  • YamiNoSenshiYamiNoSenshi Registered User regular
    You don't need to report interest unless it's over a certain amount (I forget how much). I'm pretty sure $3 is not enough unless you've got other 1099s.

    I've got a 1099-DIV with a significant amount of income on it. But the 1099-INT instructions say it doesn't need to be filled out for less than $10. I'm wondering if that's per form from financial institutions or total.

    Damn it, it's fucking noon. I demand to know if Yami shit on a desk yet.
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    You don't need to report interest unless it's over a certain amount (I forget how much). I'm pretty sure $3 is not enough unless you've got other 1099s.

    I've got a 1099-DIV with a significant amount of income on it. But the 1099-INT instructions say it doesn't need to be filled out for less than $10. I'm wondering if that's per form from financial institutions or total.

    If I remember right, the rule is that banks don't need to send you a 1099-INT if they paid you less than $10. But technically you are supposed to report it, even if you don't get a form and it's only $3. I'd be surprised if very many people actually do report it, but just an FYI.

  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist A banana is good. It tastes the same going in or going out! Registered User regular
    localh77 wrote:
    You don't need to report interest unless it's over a certain amount (I forget how much). I'm pretty sure $3 is not enough unless you've got other 1099s.

    I've got a 1099-DIV with a significant amount of income on it. But the 1099-INT instructions say it doesn't need to be filled out for less than $10. I'm wondering if that's per form from financial institutions or total.

    If I remember right, the rule is that banks don't need to send you a 1099-INT if they paid you less than $10. But technically you are supposed to report it, even if you don't get a form and it's only $3. I'd be surprised if very many people actually do report it, but just an FYI.

    Oh right, I remember now. This is correct. Of course you should always report EVERYTHING just to be safe, but practically speaking I doubt you'd be audited over $3.

    (NOTE: I am in no way advising you to perjure yourself on your tax return. Hello IRS agents visiting this thread!)

  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Usually it's over $25 or $50 that the IRS starts to get mad. Shit like $3 would barely change the return.

    tyrannus on
  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    tyrannus wrote:
    EDUCATIONAL CREDITS

    AMERICAN OPPORTUNITY CREDIT

    The American Opportunity Credit is a modified version of the Hope Scholarship credit. It's pretty rad and it's available for any expenses made for qualified tuition, fees and course materials (including books) paid in the first four years of post-secondary (college) education. If you're in grad school or went to college for more than 4 years, then you'll want to see the Lifetime Learning Credit.

    The maximum credit is $2,500 and part of it is refundable (if you owe no tax, it increases your refund). If the person is claimed as a dependent by a parent, expenses paid by both the kid and the parent are deemed to have been made by the parent (so they get the credit).

    In order to claim the credit, the student must be at least half-time for one academic period during the year. Also, this is not available to students convicted of federal or state felony drug offense. At least, not in the year in which the expenses were paid.

    LIFETIME LEARNING CREDIT
    So you're a felon. Or a grad student. Or you just really like college. Well, the Lifetime Learning Credit is available for an unlimited number of years for tuition and related expenses (EXCEPT BOOKS) at eligible educational institutions. The same rules apply with the American Opportunity Credit with regards to who gets the credit if the student is a dependent of a parent. The maximum credit is $2,000, but non refundable.

    I'm in graduate school and I lived off Stafford and GRAD PLUS loans, how the HELL do I get my hands on this shit? I live with my girlfriend and am independent without any dependents.

    I am in the business of saving lives.

    camo_sig2.png
  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    You can claim a lifetime learning credit for qualified education expenses paid with the proceeds of a loan. You use the expenses to figure the lifetime learning credit for the year in which the expenses are paid, not the year in which the loan is repaid. Treat loan payments sent directly to the educational institution as paid on the date the institution credits the student's account.

    For purposes of the lifetime learning credit, qualified education expenses are tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment in a course at an eligible educational institution. The course must be either part of a postsecondary degree program or taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills.

    Related expenses. Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.

  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    also you might be able to claim your girlfriend as a dependent if you're willing to get slapped and if you check out the rules for a qualifying relative

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    No yeah, I got the 'requirements', but what form do I fill out? I mean, am I even going to get a tax form from the government?

    EDIT: I looked at the websites and saw the rules and regulations, but I guess I'm at a loss when I just have loans and no real income or any W2 or anything?

    MegaMan001 on
    I am in the business of saving lives.

    camo_sig2.png
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Form 8863 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8863.pdf) is what you use for both the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credit. If you really do have no income, though, the only one that you could possibly use would be 40% of the AOC (40% is refundible, meaning you can get a refund even though you have no taxes to offset). Since you're a grad student (which makes you ineligible for AOC), sounds like you might be out of luck.

    localh77 on
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Wait I can claim my fiancee as a dependent?

  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    Wait I can claim my fiancee as a dependent?

    See tyrannus's post at the top of the first page and check out qualifying relative. Essentially if she:

    - lived with you all year
    - is not a qualifying child of anyone else
    - you provided over half of her support

    then you can claim her as a dependent.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    localh77 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    Wait I can claim my fiancee as a dependent?

    See tyrannus's post at the top of the first page and check out qualifying relative. Essentially if she:

    - lived with you all year
    - is not a qualifying child of anyone else
    - you provided over half of her support

    then you can claim her as a dependent.

    Ah so once her disability dries up I can claim her? Assuming she has no/shitty job.

  • antheremantherem Registered User regular
    MegaMan001 wrote:
    No yeah, I got the 'requirements', but what form do I fill out? I mean, am I even going to get a tax form from the government?

    EDIT: I looked at the websites and saw the rules and regulations, but I guess I'm at a loss when I just have loans and no real income or any W2 or anything?

    Assuming that you had any out-of-pocket tuition expenses (loans count as out-of-pocket), your school is required to send you a 1098-T indicating this. If your tuition is entirely paid for by a fellowship or grant, which is often the case for graduate students, they don't have to send you the form and you're probably not eligible for any of the credits in that case anyway.

    Spectre-x wrote: »
    You are objectively wrong in this case. You are the silliest goose in the history of everything ever, everywhere, including all possible and impossible alternate realities, timelines, parallel universes, pocket universes and theoretical dream-worlds. You are a nexus of super-wrong, radiating your silly gooseness out over the internet with the force of a trillion supernovas of hyper-incorrectness.
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    Another question:

    I work in the game industry and a coworker told me she believes we can write off purchases like TVs, game consoles, and games since they are research.
    Can one of the tax gurus confirm this? :)

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    neville wrote:
    Another question:

    I work in the game industry and a coworker told me she believes we can write off purchases like TVs, game consoles, and games since they are research.
    Can one of the tax gurus confirm this? :)

    Are you an employee (i.e., do you get a W-2) or an independent contractor (1099)? Because if you're an employee, anything like this would have to go on Schedule A, meaning you could only take deductions for the amount that exceeds 2% of your AGI. Whereas if you're a contractor and you file a Schedule C, you could potentially deduct the entire thing.

    That said, I think this would be kind of a gray area. Any expenses that are exclusively for business use can be deducted. But it would be difficult to argue that TVs, video games, etc. are used exclusively for business. That's assuming they're in your home; if you have an office or something, that's different.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, TVs and other big things (probably even game consoles) should really be depreciated. Which just means that you couldn't even take it all in one year, you'd have to spread it out over 5 years.

    localh77 on
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    localh77 wrote:
    neville wrote:
    Another question:

    I work in the game industry and a coworker told me she believes we can write off purchases like TVs, game consoles, and games since they are research.
    Can one of the tax gurus confirm this? :)

    Are you an employee (i.e., do you get a W-2) or an independent contractor (1099)? Because if you're an employee, anything like this would have to go on Schedule A, meaning you could only take deductions for the amount that exceeds 2% of your AGI. Whereas if you're a contractor and you file a Schedule C, you could potentially deduct the entire thing.

    That said, I think this would be kind of a gray area. Any expenses that are exclusively for business use can be deducted. But it would be difficult to argue that TVs, video games, etc. are used exclusively for business. That's assuming they're in your home; if you have an office or something, that's different.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, TVs and other big things (probably even game consoles) should really be depreciated. Which just means that you couldn't even take it all in one year, you'd have to spread it out over 5 years.

    I'm an employee.
    So I need to calculate my AGI and then only deduct the amount that is over 2% of that? Does that mean I still need receipts for all of them, but I leave off some of them?

    nevillexmassig1.png
  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I'd be hard pressed to believe you'd get away with those

    I mean, I guess you could fight it.

    tyrannus on
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    neville wrote:
    localh77 wrote:
    neville wrote:
    Another question:

    I work in the game industry and a coworker told me she believes we can write off purchases like TVs, game consoles, and games since they are research.
    Can one of the tax gurus confirm this? :)

    Are you an employee (i.e., do you get a W-2) or an independent contractor (1099)? Because if you're an employee, anything like this would have to go on Schedule A, meaning you could only take deductions for the amount that exceeds 2% of your AGI. Whereas if you're a contractor and you file a Schedule C, you could potentially deduct the entire thing.

    That said, I think this would be kind of a gray area. Any expenses that are exclusively for business use can be deducted. But it would be difficult to argue that TVs, video games, etc. are used exclusively for business. That's assuming they're in your home; if you have an office or something, that's different.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, TVs and other big things (probably even game consoles) should really be depreciated. Which just means that you couldn't even take it all in one year, you'd have to spread it out over 5 years.

    I'm an employee.
    So I need to calculate my AGI and then only deduct the amount that is over 2% of that? Does that mean I still need receipts for all of them, but I leave off some of them?

    You put the entire amount down and then subtract 2% of your AGI. But check out schedule A (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sa.pdf) lines 23 - 27. They walk you through the calculation. Yet another hurdle I forgot to mention is that you'd need to itemize to take advantage of any this. If you don't have a mortgage payment or any other really large itemizable expenses (health expenses, property tax, etc.), this is all moot (because you'd just take the standard deduction).

    By the way, the spreadsheet that Kipling posted at the top of this page is pretty awesome. It lets you type things in and just see what happens.

    localh77 on
  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I mean, the expenses here of buying games and buying a TV seem to be the same as like, buying a suit for a sales position - you get a lot of personal benefit out of it, even if you didn't want to buy it in the first place. But yeah, you'd have to have be using a Schedule A to deduct the expenses anyway. I'm just having a fun time entertaining the idea of having to capitalize and depreciate a TV. It reminds me of a client who tried to 179 his Rolex watch.

    tyrannus on
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    tyrannus wrote:
    I mean, the expenses here of buying games and buying a TV seem to be the same as like, buying a suit for a sales position - you get a lot of personal benefit out of it, even if you didn't want to buy it in the first place. But yeah, you'd have to have be using a Schedule A to deduct the expenses anyway. I'm just having a fun time entertaining the idea of having to capitalize and depreciate a TV. It reminds me of a client who tried to 179 his Rolex watch.

    Nice, I'd love to see a Rolex show up on a depreciation schedule. What is that, 5 years or 7? I guess you'd have to argue that you need to know what time it is to do your job...

  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    It wouldn't show up on the depreciation schedule. If he 179'd it, he'd expense the whole damn thing.

    tyrannus on
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    bowen wrote:
    localh77 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    Wait I can claim my fiancee as a dependent?

    See tyrannus's post at the top of the first page and check out qualifying relative. Essentially if she:

    - lived with you all year
    - is not a qualifying child of anyone else
    - you provided over half of her support

    then you can claim her as a dependent.

    Ah so once her disability dries up I can claim her? Assuming she has no/shitty job.

    Indeed. Although when are you guys getting married? As long as you're married by the end of the year, you file a joint return, which is better overall than just taking her exemption.

    localh77 on
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    localh77 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    localh77 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    Wait I can claim my fiancee as a dependent?

    See tyrannus's post at the top of the first page and check out qualifying relative. Essentially if she:

    - lived with you all year
    - is not a qualifying child of anyone else
    - you provided over half of her support

    then you can claim her as a dependent.

    Ah so once her disability dries up I can claim her? Assuming she has no/shitty job.

    Indeed. Although when are you guys getting married? As long as you're married by the end of the year, you file a joint return, which is better overall than just taking her exemption.

    Not for a while, we're broke (well not broke, but saving money for a wedding is a ways away).

  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    localh77 wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    Indeed. Although when are you guys getting married? As long as you're married by the end of the year, you file a joint return, which is better overall than just taking her exemption.

    Not for a while, we're broke (well not broke, but saving money for a wedding is a ways away).

    Not that I would suggest doing this just for tax purposes, but you can get married at the courthouse or whatever for just the cost of a marriage license. That's what my wife and I did; it was for an unrelated reason, but there were some pretty nice benefits, notably that auto insurance was much cheaper.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Hm, I already get insurance discounts for some reason, only thing I don't get is tax rebates.

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    At what point should I start to worry about not having receive my W2 form? I already reached out to my HR/Payroll department and haven't heard back from them.

    My biggest worry(and it might be baseless) is that somehow, someone got a hold of it.

    Spoiler:
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    noir_blood wrote:
    At what point should I start to worry about not having receive my W2 form? I already reached out to my HR/Payroll department and haven't heard back from them.

    My biggest worry(and it might be baseless) is that somehow, someone got a hold of it.

    According to this, you should contact the IRS if you don't get it by Feb 14: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=106470,00.html. Although it wasn't technically due until Jan 31, and plenty of employers are late.

  • KrikeeKrikee Registered User
    Uncle Sam is a dick. I moved around tax bracket wise, and I was unprepared for this. What are the best ways to ensure next years tax time does not cost as much? Should I start digitally filing every receipt, and invest in a Quicken-esque type application? How should I prepare myself for the soon to come 1040?

  • ThroThro Registered User regular
    A couple people in this thread had a similar situation to mine, so I'm wondering if there's an answer for this out there.

    The wife and I live overseas, and have been since September (this year). We're both paid a US salary, by a US entity.
    Virginia was our state of residence.
    What taxes do we have to pay? I've heard we don't have to pay all of state, but it depends when we left.

  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    Krikee wrote:
    Uncle Sam is a dick. I moved around tax bracket wise, and I was unprepared for this. What are the best ways to ensure next years tax time does not cost as much? Should I start digitally filing every receipt, and invest in a Quicken-esque type application? How should I prepare myself for the soon to come 1040?

    You can certainly do that all year, trying to stay really current with your income and deductions so that you have a good estimate as to what you'll owe at the end of the year. But if you don't mind getting a bigger refund, I would just err on the side of saving more for taxes. For example, by lowering the allowances on your W-4 at your job (assuming you're an employee) or paying more in estimates (if you're a contractor). Because in the end, the biggest factor in determining how much you owe or get back is usually good old lines 62 and 63 on your 1040. If you want to make sure you don't owe at the end of the year, make those numbers bigger.

  • Shady3011Shady3011 they cant troll you if there dead Registered User regular
    I'm trying to help out a friend who's in a weird situation with his taxes this year. Last year, he helped out his girlfriend's mom take out a home loan for a new house since he has a better credit score. They are joint owners of the house, but he doesn't live there. He also hasn't paid for anything involving the home (interest, property taxes). My question is, can he write off those expenses even though he isn't paying them? The mom got a 1098 and 1099-S with his and her name on it.

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