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Oh gosh, it's that time again! [2014 Tax Thread]

ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morningAnd the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
edited March 2015 in Help / Advice Forum
Welcome to the annual H/A tax thread!

I will be keeping the OP updated with links to federal and local resources that get posted in this thread, so feel free to add anything you feel has been helpful to you, or that might help someone else navigate these often trying times.

This also a good place to post your questions about filing. We have a few people floating around who do this professionally and are happy to answer questions, as well as people who have a lot of experience filling out their own difficult forms.


Federal

Filing

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free
http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/partner/index.jsp?otpPartnerId=180&campaignId=pw_mcm_180_0001
Nonresident-Spouse-Treated-as-a-Resident
http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Self-Employed-or-Employee

General Information

http://taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/marriagepenaltycalculator.cfm

And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
ceres on
«13

Posts

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    I have a few questions!

    1: I got separated on the 1st of the year (2014 that is) (signed separation agreement, etc.). Do I put my marital status as single or married? By the letter of the law, I was married all year (though the limited divorce came through in May).

    2: I was surprised to find that a board position I was elected to was paid! It's only $100 a month, but I had to fill out various deduction forms and the like. I had no idea how to do this and ended up with something like 5 deductions?! (Myself, my son, two somehow for head of household, and I think another one)

    Will this conflict with the one I filled out 13 years ago at my real job (where I only deducted myself so I could get a large return)?

    Did I do something horribly wrong and bring the wrath of the IRS down upon me?!

    Xaquin on
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    I may need this thread later. It'll be the first time I file taxes living on my own and with a job where I earned enough to file.

    camo_sig2.png
    PSN: AuthorFrost
    mageofstorm.png
    Nocren
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I have a few questions!

    1: I got separated on the 1st of the year (2014 that is) (signed separation agreement, etc.). Do I put my marital status as single or married? By the letter of the law, I was married all year (though the limited divorce came through in May).

    2: I was surprised to find that a board position I was elected to was paid! It's only $100 a month, but I had to fill out various deduction forms and the like. I had no idea how to do this and ended up with something like 5 deductions?! (Myself, my son, two somehow for head of household, and I think another one)

    Will this conflict with the one I filled out 13 years ago at my real job (where I only deducted myself so I could get a large return)?

    Did I do something horribly wrong and bring the wrath of the IRS down upon me?!

    You and your ex wife need to figure out how you're going to file. If you're filing head of household with your son then file that way, or married filing separately. Either way, the IRS doesn't necessarily care, just as long as you pay the taxes you owe based on how you're filing and how you've been withholding. You'll also need to discuss who is deducting the kid.

    The $100/mo should just be additional income and filed that way, you may owe more or get some back, again, depending on how the withholding was done.

    It won't really conflict at all, they'll just calculate what you should have withheld with what you actually did, and get or give the difference to you. So if you filed 0 or 1 this year at your job, you'll get a larger return. If you filed 8 and you only qualify to deduct yourself, you'll owe money probably.

    Just do it right and don't lie.

    bowen on
    Ladies.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I have a few questions!

    1: I got separated on the 1st of the year (2014 that is) (signed separation agreement, etc.). Do I put my marital status as single or married? By the letter of the law, I was married all year (though the limited divorce came through in May).

    2: I was surprised to find that a board position I was elected to was paid! It's only $100 a month, but I had to fill out various deduction forms and the like. I had no idea how to do this and ended up with something like 5 deductions?! (Myself, my son, two somehow for head of household, and I think another one)

    Will this conflict with the one I filled out 13 years ago at my real job (where I only deducted myself so I could get a large return)?

    Did I do something horribly wrong and bring the wrath of the IRS down upon me?!

    You and your ex wife need to figure out how you're going to file. If you're filing head of household with your son then file that way, or married filing separately. Either way, the IRS doesn't necessarily care, just as long as you pay the taxes you owe based on how you're filing and how you've been withholding. You'll also need to discuss who is deducting the kid.

    The $100/mo should just be additional income and filed that way, you may owe more or get some back, again, depending on how the withholding was done.

    It won't really conflict at all, they'll just calculate what you should have withheld with what you actually did, and get or give the difference to you. So if you filed 0 or 1 this year at your job, you'll get a larger return. If you filed 8 and you only qualify to deduct yourself, you'll owe money probably.

    Just do it right and don't lie.

    I'm trying!

    my ex wife and I are filing separately.

    per the separation agreement, neither of us has access to the money, retirement (like we have any lol), or tax refunds of the other.

    I just didn't know what to put down because I'm not 100% divorced (paperwork hasn't returned from the court), but I'm not married either (been legally separated over a year).

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You should definitely talk to a tax person about that, but I think MFS or HoH are the right choices there. Who is claiming the child is what matters there I think.

    Ladies.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    We're each claiming a child (for we have two!). This was also set in the separation agreement!

    bowentyrannusceresQuid
  • Kayne Red RobeKayne Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    I see H&R Block seems to have removed it's free e-file option. Is there anywhere that still offers free Federal filing for those of us with extremely uncomplicated W-2s?

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    I see H&R Block seems to have removed it's free e-file option. Is there anywhere that still offers free Federal filing for those of us with extremely uncomplicated W-2s?

    The IRS links to some options:
    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

    Though, it looks like H&R block still offers it: http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/partner/index.jsp?otpPartnerId=180&campaignId=pw_mcm_180_0001

    DisruptedCapitalist
  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    I used Free File last year. The automatic forms were pretty helpful; I highly recommend it if you don't think you have anything complicated. Of course, if you earn more than 60k you'll have to figure out everything on your own, but the fact it helps with the calculations makes it a lot easier than doing it by hand.

    EDIT: I used Free Fillable Forms last year, for people with 60,000+ income.

    DisruptedCapitalist on
  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    Is there anything more deflating than putting in your W2 shit and seeing a boffo return, then putting in your partner's and seeing it get cut way down?

    19904925_10212110475210016_877199487209228783_n.jpg?oh=da06b077303b0c8114ab8b0fbb667c4f&oe=59C4B278

    "Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are smarter than one man. How's that again? I missed something" Lazarus Long

    bowenDisruptedCapitalistDaenrisceresmightyjongyoDoctorArch
  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist Registered User regular
    That's the marriage penalty. I keep telling my wife not to worry if I lose my job because our taxes would be drastically lower.

  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    But then your income is lower by a greater percentage.

    You can see the marriage penalty in action here

    http://taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/marriagepenaltycalculator.cfm

    tyrannus on
    DisruptedCapitalistQuid
  • Kayne Red RobeKayne Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    Daenris wrote: »
    I see H&R Block seems to have removed it's free e-file option. Is there anywhere that still offers free Federal filing for those of us with extremely uncomplicated W-2s?

    The IRS links to some options:
    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

    Though, it looks like H&R block still offers it: http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/partner/index.jsp?otpPartnerId=180&campaignId=pw_mcm_180_0001

    Thanks! I started trying to file the other day and they upgraded me to the paid "Basic" file and I couldn't find an option to go back.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    Daenris wrote: »
    I see H&R Block seems to have removed it's free e-file option. Is there anywhere that still offers free Federal filing for those of us with extremely uncomplicated W-2s?

    The IRS links to some options:
    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

    Though, it looks like H&R block still offers it: http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/partner/index.jsp?otpPartnerId=180&campaignId=pw_mcm_180_0001

    Thanks! I started trying to file the other day and they upgraded me to the paid "Basic" file and I couldn't find an option to go back.

    You may have entered something that made you ineligible for free filing - or at least made the computer think you wouldn't be eligible. It's always trying to update me to a higher version than I use even though I don't need the extra features/forms.

  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    Has the new TurboTax fixed the dumb idea to not include a Schedule D in its non-$100 version?

    CoH_infantry.jpg
    Let 'em eat fucking pineapples!
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    maaaaaaaaaaaaan

    not having three dependents is going to kill me this year.

    and I mean kill me.

    looking like I'll be getting back about 1/8th of what I'm used to =/

    if that.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Can I deduct expenses for trying to purchase a house?

    I wasn't actually able to purchase it, but I lost money from the inspection, the earnest money, and legal fees. Can I deduct these as losses or something?

    Edit: Alternatively, if I'm going to sue the seller in the near future, can I file the earnest money as a theft for 2014?

    bowen on
    Ladies.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    how accurate are those tax refund calculators?

    (please say not very)

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Usually they under promise.

    Going off your withholdings in your paycheck is a pretty terrible and can be off by 50% in your favor sometimes.

    Ladies.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Usually they under promise.

    Going off your withholdings in your paycheck is a pretty terrible and can be off by 50% in your favor sometimes.

    god I hope so lol

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Just as an example, I predid my info on turbotax before I got my W2, I owed feds $200 and state $100.

    Got my W2 and it ended up being $1000 to me from fed and $7 owed to state.

    Ladies.
    Xaquin
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Can I deduct expenses for trying to purchase a house?

    I wasn't actually able to purchase it, but I lost money from the inspection, the earnest money, and legal fees. Can I deduct these as losses or something?

    Edit: Alternatively, if I'm going to sue the seller in the near future, can I file the earnest money as a theft for 2014?

    Did you do these activities for a corporation? If you are buying and selling real estate, say for rental purposes, it isn't a bad idea to start a corp for tax purposes, because, then yes, you could put those things in as operating expenses.

    But just for your personal stuff? I don't think you can do any deductions on an aborted transaction. I'm not 100 percent on that though. I'll take some time a little later to recheck with some research though if no one else jumps in.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • ASimPersonASimPerson And they will tremble again at the sound of our silence!Registered User regular
    The only thing you can deduct is your mortgage interest and points afaik.

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    SE++ Forum Battle Archive | PDT is not PST | DRUNKSTUCK: A Homestuck recap
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah looks like the answer is "no."

    Ladies.
    tyrannus
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Just as an example, I predid my info on turbotax before I got my W2, I owed feds $200 and state $100.

    Got my W2 and it ended up being $1000 to me from fed and $7 owed to state.

    yeah I did turbotax and got way more back (thank god)

    now I'm conflicted about sending them out to be done.

  • ArmorocArmoroc Registered User regular
    I'm adding my girlfriend's info to turbotax. She has four W2s. It seems that she's not getting much even though she made just as much as me. I still have to add her school expenses.
    Does her having four W2s matter here?
    I'm thinking she should just go to a tax place because that helped her get more money last year.

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    Having multiple jobs frequently screws up the withholdings. Happened to my wife every year for awhile. I think that the reason is that withholding amounts are based on your income. Each job will only withhold based on the income you are making there, because they don't know what else you're making.

    I just quick ran a test through the IRS withholding calculator (http://apps.irs.gov/app/withholdingcalculator/index.jsp). Putting single with 1 job making 50,000 has an estimated tax of $5,725, and recommends you claim 1 allowance on your W-4. Putting single with 2 jobs making 25,000 each has the same estimated tax, but tells you to claim 0 allowances on both W-4s and you'll need to pay a bit extra as well because the total withholdings wouldn't cover the tax.

    Additionally, it's easy to make a mistake and double-count allowances. You are supposed to calculate your total allowances, and then divide them up however you want among all your simultaneous W-4 forms, but it's easy to forget that and end up filling out each W-4 independently.

    bowen
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Also keep in mind that if you earned about the same and she's getting a smaller refund, that's good for her. It just means that you overpaid Uncle Sam throughout 2014 more than she did.

  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    Similar situation to Madican.

    So last year I was laid off before the year started (12/29/13) and drew unemployment in California for the whole six months I had it, withholding nothing for taxes. In August I got a job in North Carolina.

    I now have my W-2 and my student loan info and all my receipts from my move (gas, motel, food, truck rental). Am I clear to file or do I need something from the state of CA? And how does one file for partial residency between states?

    newSig.jpg
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    My advice to people who are always changing jobs or have multiple jobs is always claim 0. It's much less of a brain fuck and headache tax wise.

    Ladies.
    Xaquin
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    taxes are done and sent in as of 2 days ago!

    bring on the refund lol

    schussbowen
  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    Nocren wrote: »
    Similar situation to Madican.

    So last year I was laid off before the year started (12/29/13) and drew unemployment in California for the whole six months I had it, withholding nothing for taxes. In August I got a job in North Carolina.

    I now have my W-2 and my student loan info and all my receipts from my move (gas, motel, food, truck rental). Am I clear to file or do I need something from the state of CA? And how does one file for partial residency between states?

    You need a form from California as unemployment benefits are taxable at the federal level, the state may or may not tax it. For partial residency, most states have specific forms and any tax program should be able to figure it out.

    Nocren
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    My advice to people who are always changing jobs or have multiple jobs is always claim 0. It's much less of a brain fuck and headache tax wise.
    I only have 1 job, but I still have to claim 0, and have additional taxes withheld on top of that. Having any form of extra income, even just a mutual fund replacing a savings account, will screw up your withholding.

    iTNdmYl.png
    bowen
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah if you're pulling in more than $100 every quarter, you'll want to claim 0 unless you like paying money to uncle sam, especially if your state has weird taxes like NY.

    Ladies.
  • ArmorocArmoroc Registered User regular
    wonderpug wrote: »
    Also keep in mind that if you earned about the same and she's getting a smaller refund, that's good for her. It just means that you overpaid Uncle Sam throughout 2014 more than she did.

    Thanks for reminding me. I forget that the refund isn't just free money (in my case). When I try to explain this to my girlfriend though she doesn't get it. She wants lots of money!

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Armoroc wrote: »
    wonderpug wrote: »
    Also keep in mind that if you earned about the same and she's getting a smaller refund, that's good for her. It just means that you overpaid Uncle Sam throughout 2014 more than she did.

    Thanks for reminding me. I forget that the refund isn't just free money (in my case). When I try to explain this to my girlfriend though she doesn't get it. She wants lots of money!

    Yeah, the idea of big tax refunds can definitely do weird things to you psychologically. Maybe try wording it as some friend of your girlfriend finally paying her back. Instead of "woo, I got a thousand bucks!" it becomes "my moocher friend Alice finally paid back that $1000 I lent her last year."

    bowenBouwsTArmoroc
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Alice is pocketing the $100 she made from your loan too. She didn't even tell you about it!

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Some people are incapable of saving and overwithholding is seen as a windfall. You can argue til you're blue in the face about how you'll have more money in your pocket every 2 weeks or that it's a zero interest loan to the govt but it doesn't stick. I've a coworker whose spending habits are such that the next paycheck is pretty much already spent before he's gotten it. His tax refund is where his vacation money comes from.

    Not counselling anyone to do that, but that mentality is not uncommon at all.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    Some people are incapable of saving and overwithholding is seen as a windfall. You can argue til you're blue in the face about how you'll have more money in your pocket every 2 weeks or that it's a zero interest loan to the govt but it doesn't stick. I've a coworker whose spending habits are such that the next paycheck is pretty much already spent before he's gotten it. His tax refund is where his vacation money comes from.

    Not counselling anyone to do that, but that mentality is not uncommon at all.

    This is me.

    I am a terrible saver and the money I get back basically saves my ass every year.

    NocrenBouwsTkime
  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    Has anyone done paid Turbotax as opposed to free? Is it generally a scam, or has anyone seen an honest larger return from paying the difference?

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