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

2

Posts

  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    Javen wrote: »
    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?

    I think the difference is more about how much you make and how complicated your taxes are. Free file is only available up to a certain annual income. And there are some forms that you need a paid version to complete (self employment, maybe itemizing deductions). At least that's how I assume it works as that's how H&R block's version has always worked. As long as you're eligible for the free file version I would definitely use it versus paying for one.

  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    something completely aggravating was TurboTax wouldn't let my friend file with a 1099-MISC without paying for the deluxe version

    such a crock of shit

    bowen
  • mightyjongyomightyjongyo Registered User regular
    The paid version asks you more questions to make sure you deduct everything you can. If you didn't buy a house or have kids or anything the paid version does nothing for you.

    Pretty bummed, this year it looks like I owe 6k. I got money last year, so I can only assume that raises etc pushed me into a higher bracket that my withholdings no longer cover. I don't have that cash on me either so 2015 is going to suck while I try to pay the govt back.

  • amicabilisamicabilis Registered User regular
    My girlfriend is running into an odd interaction between a change in income and the subsidies from the ACA:
    At the beginning of the year, she was working as a substitute teacher and a couple other odd-job type things, so when she signed up she estimated her gross income for the year based on that. She got a credit each month that was based around that. Fast-forward to September, she got a full-time teaching job which provides her with health insurance. She immediately calls and gets her plan from the exchange cancelled.
    Now tax time rolls around and she gets all of the requisite forms and she's now (after filling out a 1040) seeing that she owes in the neighborhood of $500 due to excess subsidies. Basically, at the time she was getting the subsidies she was on track to end the year at ~$20,000, but instead ended the year at ~$26,000. However, when she was earning the income that pushed her to that latter number, she wasn't getting any subsidy. It seems like they're treating the 4 months (January and October-December) when she didn't receive any subsidy as though she did receive, and are now asking her to pay it back.

    Thoughts? She's been on hold with the IRS for a cumulative total of 3 hours this week, so I figured I'd see if anyone here has some insight.

    PSN: amicabilis
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Anybody have any solid info on what the new expatriate laws/rules are going to do to my taxes this year?

    I'm an American living/working overseas and I just got married end of 2013. I haven't been able to get a complete answer yet on just what this is going to do on my taxes now that there's the new rules.

    If anybody has anything simple for simple people, I'd be grateful.

  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    amicabilis wrote: »
    My girlfriend is running into an odd interaction between a change in income and the subsidies from the ACA:
    At the beginning of the year, she was working as a substitute teacher and a couple other odd-job type things, so when she signed up she estimated her gross income for the year based on that. She got a credit each month that was based around that. Fast-forward to September, she got a full-time teaching job which provides her with health insurance. She immediately calls and gets her plan from the exchange cancelled.
    Now tax time rolls around and she gets all of the requisite forms and she's now (after filling out a 1040) seeing that she owes in the neighborhood of $500 due to excess subsidies. Basically, at the time she was getting the subsidies she was on track to end the year at ~$20,000, but instead ended the year at ~$26,000. However, when she was earning the income that pushed her to that latter number, she wasn't getting any subsidy. It seems like they're treating the 4 months (January and October-December) when she didn't receive any subsidy as though she did receive, and are now asking her to pay it back.

    Thoughts? She's been on hold with the IRS for a cumulative total of 3 hours this week, so I figured I'd see if anyone here has some insight.

    I'll be curious to see what you find out. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess), I haven't had to deal with this for any of my tax clients yet this year.

    My guess is that she's probably out of luck, I'm afriad. As far as I can tell from Form 8962, the numbers for the subsidy are based on annual income totals. So even though you're right that she was on track to need the full subsidy, she still ended up earning more income, and therefore she'll probably have to pay it back.

    For what it's worth, I'm not sure if the IRS will be able to help much on the phone. From what I hear, they're only providing basic tax help, and this seems pretty specific. Not sure if this is an option, but maybe you can check with a local person who knows more about these credits, maybe an insurance broker or someone like that. Seems like they'd have a vested interest in understanding the ins and outs of this credit.

    Also, it wouldn't hurt to review the Form 8962 that her tax software is spitting out, just to make sure nothing sticks out as wrong (e.g., something getting entered wrong).

    Good luck.

  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    Anybody have any solid info on what the new expatriate laws/rules are going to do to my taxes this year?

    I'm an American living/working overseas and I just got married end of 2013. I haven't been able to get a complete answer yet on just what this is going to do on my taxes now that there's the new rules.

    If anybody has anything simple for simple people, I'd be grateful.

    I haven't heard anything about this, but admittedly it's not exactly my area of expertise. What have you heard that's changing, out of curiosity?

    I assume that you've been claiming the foreign earned income exclusion, and not actually paying any US tax each year? Although that depends on how much you make.

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    nope, haven't been paying any tax, but have been claiming. Don't make enough money.

    I heard that soon spousal income will also be taxable. So even though my husband is a NZ citizen and we don't file jointly, we may have to pay taxes on our combined income.

    I'm not sure if that's really a thing though, or just scare mongering.

  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    That sounds exactly like something the US would do to expats.

    syndalis wrote: »
    Apple is a terrible company.
    bowen
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    Interesting. Yeah, I suppose by default the income from both spouses gets combined when filing a joint return. But as far as I know, if the spouse is not a US resident, you don't have to include their income on your US return.

    The page Nonresident-Spouse-Treated-as-a-Resident talks about the fact that you can choose to have them treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. But assuming you have no reason to do that, you would just file as Married Filing Separately, with "NRA" in place of their SSN on the 1040. Of course the downside is that you'd be subject to the MFS tax brackets, instead of the Single tax brackets that you're used to. So I suppose that would be the reason you might want to treat them as a resident on your taxes, depending on how much they make.

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    tyrannus wrote: »
    something completely aggravating was TurboTax wouldn't let my friend file with a 1099-MISC without paying for the deluxe version

    such a crock of shit

    Yeah, part of the reason that our tax code is as ridiculous as it is because Intuit and H&R Block have lobbyed the government to keep it that way so they can keep making bank - the IRS could pre-fill everyone's W-2s and such, they already know all that data, but they don't because they're not allowed because of that lobbying. I did enough extraneous stuff (1099-MISC, 1099-DIV, 1099-B, various charity donations, etc) to where I need some of the extra forms and itemized deductions instead of standard deduction, but Turbo Tax itself has basically gotten big enough that they feel they can charge excessive amounts, so that combined with the fact that it's their fault our tax code sucks are why I've jumped ship. TaxAct was pretty okay, but what I ended up using last year was http://www.freetaxusa.com/ - the younger sister of a coworker works for this company and recommended it. Worked just fine, asked all the important questions, free federal and $12.95 for state (and every employee gets a coupon code in their name for 25% off, you can find 'em easily enough on the Internet) so you're looking at $10 for your state taxes.

    The only caveat, as I found out last year, is that when you owe money (instead of getting a return) there's some hoops to jump through which Turbo Tax made transparent, so that was a little annoying. I pre-paid capital gains on some stocks I sold this year just to avoid needing to do so again.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited February 2015
    Last year I accidentally screwed up my filing and failed to report some investment interest (an extra 1099-DIV that came late). Thankfully, my investment broker sent the form to the irs as well and i was able to pay the $200 or so I missed without being fully audited or having to amend my return.

    However, I haven't settled up with the state of Virginia yet, who I'll presumably owe a little bit to as well. Is there any way to fix that while filling this year's return? I'm going to owe them like $40 from last year.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    edited February 2015
    I never really paid attention to this thread before, but now I have an accounting degree and I'm working for a commercial tax preparation firm I won't name here so I find this much more interesting this time around.

    I have seen people who are getting the EIC paying $400-$600 to get their taxes done. I guess I really need to say this: don't do that. You could almost certainly hire a proper CPA for less (around here anyway) and if you're getting the EIC you probably qualify for free help preparing your taxes through the VITA program. And for God's sake, if you have to pay someone, find a way to pay up front! Don't give us $50 more just for the convenience of taking it out of your refund!

    edit: I have seen people who are not even required to file pay us nearly their whole refund! They came in and wasted an hour just to give us money!

    tarnok on
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  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Last year I accidentally screwed up my filing and failed to report some investment interest (an extra 1099-DIV that came late). Thankfully, my investment broker sent the form to the irs as well and i was able to pay the $200 or so I missed without being fully audited or having to amend my return.

    However, I haven't settled up with the state of Virginia yet, who I'll presumably owe a little bit to as well. Is there any way to fix that while filling this year's return? I'm going to owe them like $40 from last year.

    I don't know about VA specifically but the federal government and, I presume, most states will let you file an amended return to correct a return you've already filed. There will likely be some penalty and/or interest owed because generally the money's due on the 15th of April whether you filed your return correctly or not.

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  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist rugged, weathered Registered User regular
    Buh... I screwed up my 1040, I forgot to check the box on line 61 for the full year health coverage.

    Frustrating part is that I had it checked on the draft 1040, but when I went to file, I skimmed over it because line 61 was blank.

    Anyway, as far as I can tell, I can remedy it by using the 1040x since it has a checkbox right up on top on whether you had full-year coverage or not. I suppose if I filed with Turbotax, I wouldn't have made the mistake, but I didn't want to pay them for the Deluxe version.

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Jragghen wrote: »
    I pre-paid capital gains on some stocks I sold this year just to avoid needing to do so again.
    Generally speaking, you should always pay the tax on capital gains on a quarterly basis, within 15 days of quarter's end.

    It's way too easy to owe the IRS more than the $1000 limit if you don't deal with your capital gains regularly, which results in a penalty and a big red audit flag.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    Got to do my taxes this weekend, and because I had a sole proprietorship last year I had to pony up for the home business version of turbo tax. Blerg.

    Let me just say though that figuring out estimated taxes with no prior tax history (it was a brand new business) was a pain in my ass. But that was nothing compared to the mathematical mumbo jumbo required to calculate the self employment tax deduction. That thing was witchcraft.

    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
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  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    I think i'ts like net self employment earnings multiplied by 92.35 (7.65 is the social security and medicare taxes on the income that are technically employer side and deducted), to account for the below the line self-employment tax deduction (that deduction i'm talking about).

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Javen wrote: »
    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?

    I use paid, but that's mainly because I'm priced out of the free file.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I enjoyed paid turbotax

    I'm in the process of a divorce and am still head of house hold

    It was easy to use and a godsend.

    saved me $200 from what I usually pay a guy too

  • TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    So, I'm trying to figure out if I am missing something major and should take my taxes to someone other than using Turbotax. Last year my wife and I had to pay in around $3000, since we were shocked at that, we changed our withholdings to a single point between the two of us (for me, who earns more than my wife).

    This year, since doing that, I recently found out we still are going to have to pay in around $600. I make 45k/yr and my wife is closer to 20k, am I screwing myself out of money somehow? Should I take this to someone to see if there is something vital I am missing? Maybe I am off base here, but I don't feel like we make that much money to be paying in this much.

    uNMAGLm.png Mon-Fri 8:30 PM CST - 11:30 PM CST
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  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist rugged, weathered Registered User regular
    edited February 2015
    Seems like you're missing something. AFAIK 1 point of allowances works for most people especially since your wife earns less than half of what you earn, but I am not an accountant so there may be some instances where 1 point doesn't work. (Off the top of my head, you'll want to have 0 allowances if you and your wife earn the same amount due to the "marriage penalty").

    DisruptedCapitalist on
  • RobesRobes Registered User regular
    edited February 2015
    I have a relatively easy job with taxes, as I do not rent or own housing, and get income from only one job. This allows me to to prepare my tax return on different tax sites to compare my return amount. I've done the preparation work on three different sites.. TurboTax, E-File, and H&R Block. H&R and E-File come out to the same amount of refund. TurboTax says I OWE money. I cannot fathom why TurboTax thinks I owe money, and i've double checked numbers.

    Wouldn't hurt to punch numbers through another site if you have time. You don't pay anything until you hit that submit button. Just to double check any mistakes made.

    Edit: TurboTax's Web UI is very difficult to navigate. Instead of viewing numbers, you are answering yes/no questions and then entering numbers based on your answers. I had to navigate through five questions to enter my HSA contribution. On the other sites it was just "Enter HSA Contribution". That was why there was a mistake in amount.

    Robes on
    R0bes.png
    DisruptedCapitalist
  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    I started mine yesterday, entered my federal tax information and was looking at an $800 refund; was pretty happy.
    Then I entered my provincial tax information and all of a sudden I'm owing 2800$. I'm going to be going back and looking at it tonight to make sure that I didn't make an input error.
    I also have about 13k in medical deductions I can use and as it stands I'm looking at a bit under 4k refunded, so whether the input error was present or not isn't a "Do I pay them or do they pay me" distinction, but I would feel pretty annoyed if my employer had under-deducted $3.6k in provincial taxes for the last year.

    bowen
  • SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Today we will paint a mountain that owes us nothing. Registered User regular
    What kind of documentation/forms do I need to provide for my wife, who is employed as a freelancer/contractor through a company but isn't provided a W2?

    We're filing jointly, is that just additional income on my form, or how do they want you to swing that?

    "Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

    The Cosmic AC said, "I WILL."

    Man said, "We shall wait."
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited February 2015
    What kind of documentation/forms do I need to provide for my wife, who is employed as a freelancer/contractor through a company but isn't provided a W2?

    We're filing jointly, is that just additional income on my form, or how do they want you to swing that?

    She should be getting a 1099-MISC.

    If she's a freelancer/contractor she/you should have been filing the taxes quarterly, assuming she's making enough to file taxes.

    bowen on
    Ladies.
    DisruptedCapitalist
  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist rugged, weathered Registered User regular
    edited February 2015
    Ugh. I felt so clever because I found out you can claim theft losses on your taxes. In 2013 my family was the victim of wire fraud to the tune of $500. I thought this would finally take the sting of that moment off if I could just deduct some of it.

    So I downloaded Form 4684 yesterday and struggled with it for a while... only to discover you can only claim theft/casualty losses if they exceed 10% of your taxable income. $500 doesn't come close. :-1:

    Oh well.

    DisruptedCapitalist on
    bowen
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    What kind of documentation/forms do I need to provide for my wife, who is employed as a freelancer/contractor through a company but isn't provided a W2?

    We're filing jointly, is that just additional income on my form, or how do they want you to swing that?

    She should be getting a 1099-MISC.

    If she's a freelancer/contractor she/you should have been filing the taxes quarterly, assuming she's making enough to file taxes.

    Refer to this to determine if you are or are not a freelance/contract employee

    http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-Self-Employed-or-Employee

    Odds are she isn't a freelancer and is actually an employee, but the company just doesn't want to pay their share of the employment taxes. Reporting it to the IRS and getting it corrected can save you buckets of cash, but also probably lose her job as well because "fuck whistle blower laws" seems to be the corporate and judicial attitude.

    bowenDisruptedCapitalist
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    has anyone used TaxAct? just got married, and we want to make sure that whatever software we use helps us cover just getting married mid year last year.

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  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    It wasn't until I had kids that I learned how much I appreciated the kid deduction. God bless the kid deduction.

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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    has anyone used TaxAct? just got married, and we want to make sure that whatever software we use helps us cover just getting married mid year last year.

    I've used it, but I'm almost positive every tax software covers this. Not an accountant but my recollection is that the IRS doesn't care when you get married during a year, they just consider you married for the entire year. So if you were married any time between january 1st and december 31st in 2014, then you just file jointly for 2014.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    has anyone used TaxAct? just got married, and we want to make sure that whatever software we use helps us cover just getting married mid year last year.

    Yes. I got married last year and it even did the comparison for filing separate vs. joint. Worked great (to my knowledge, got my return and haven't been audited that I know of)

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I use TaxAct. I like it.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    tyrannus
  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    I think I figured out why my refund was getting all screwed up - my RRSP contribution receipt is about 4k below what it should be.

    Edit: Yup, there were 4K in contributions between January and end of February which I was never issued a receipt for.

    Psykoma on
  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I think I figured out why my refund was getting all screwed up - my RRSP contribution receipt is about 4k below what it should be.

    Edit: Yup, there were 4K in contributions between January and end of February which I was never issued a receipt for.

    Banks, or at least the ones I deal with, rarely get those ones out by the deadline. If you know the amounts you don't have to wait for the slip and can just fill it in, alternately you could go in to your branch and hassle them for it. Unfortunately the T4RSP slips don't show up on the CRA MyAccount site yet, which would make things so much easier.

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  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    My RRSP is through my company and held with GreatWestLife. They had the receipt available online, just wasn't sent out yet.
    Can I deduct annual professionals dues? Need to figure that out.

  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    Psykoma wrote: »
    My RRSP is through my company and held with GreatWestLife. They had the receipt available online, just wasn't sent out yet.
    Can I deduct annual professionals dues? Need to figure that out.

    If you pay them yourself, then yes you can, if your company pays them then they get the deduction. Line 212 on the T1.

    steam_sig.png
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Just two weeks away from that deadline!

    Got mine done. I'll just say again that getting income as a nonresident from a state with no income tax but from a company that doesn't tailor their withholdings to that fact or to tax brackets is annoying. Nice to get all that money back, but I wish I could have had it all when I should have though.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited April 2015
    Canadians, I just tried out https://simpletax.ca/ and found it really good. It's a "pay what you want" model--even nothing if you choose.

    Was finding Cutetax (Tax Chopper) a bit too basic and didn't really do any maximization crunching at all. With a baby this time around I was confused as to what I should be filing, and SimpleTax helped. I think.

    Only thing I didn't like about it was that it shows your refund in real-time all the way through. It sucks seeing a $15,000 refund slowly dwindle form by form.

    Edit: And I accidentally left out a period in my union dues and it turned 600 into 60,000. When I went to review at the end it flagged it for me. Tax Chopper wouldn't have done that.

    Figgy on
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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    Hey guys, quick question for this year as things got a little complicated.

    We moved from Virginia to California in October due to my wife getting a new job. She has 2 W2's, one from income earned entirely in VA, and a second from CA income.

    I have maintained the same job as I work remotely, however my W2 only has VA listed.

    I'm of the understanding that I should file PY resident returns for each state, but should I be concerned that my W2 has no info for California?

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