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The 2018 Nightmarish Hellmouth of Despair I mean [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
Are you filing on your own this year and/or have questions about what you'll need?

Do you do this for a living or as a hobby (god why) and have good resources to share?

Lay it on us.

And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
tyrannus

Posts

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited February 19
    FreeTaxUSA is a tax filing website I found last year on the IRS website. Federal is free and State is 12.95 and it's decent for us poors

    also, my return dropped $500 so you're fucking welcome Mr. Koch, I know you needed it

    Xaquin on
    DisruptedCapitalistJragghenShadowfire
  • twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    So, my wife had a number of US savings bonds from when she was a little girl that matured last year, and we redeemed them. I've read on the TreasuryDirect website that the financial institution that handled the redemption is supposed to produce a 1099-INT for us, but when I reached out to them I was told, "yeah, we don't do that."


    Before I bother pushing the matter any further -- I have a list of all the bonds we redeemed, so I know their initial value. I obviously know how much was deposited into our checking account. So, I can calculate the interest to include in our taxes. Is that sufficient? Do I really need the 1099-INT for some other reason other than to tell me what the interest was?

  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    FreeTaxUSA is a tax filing website I found last year on the IRS website. Federal is free and State is 12.95 and it's decent for us poors

    also, my return dropped $500 so you're fucking welcome Mr. Koch, I know you needed it

    Is it just a form submission portal or does it walk you through like other tax preparation software?

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Having filed my taxes this year as a single homeowner figured I'd give folks some heads up after what I experienced:

    -Itemization will be much harder. With the ceiling for itemization now at 13,000 for an individual, there is a real possibility a lot of us will end up on the standard form and won't be able to itemize our expenses. I barely squeaked by on account of my interest expense from my mortgage and overpaying income taxes via all the OT i accumulated this year. Which dovetails into:
    -Deductions for donations got HOSED. I moved out of state this year, and in the process I donated a ton of clothing, furniture, appliances and whatnot, easily several thousand dollars worth of stuff because I had to move in a hurry and couldn't pack it all. It all amounted to beans due to the way they now calculate donations. it's some convoluted formula that has to do with a percentage of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) that wiped out everything I tried to donate. Thankfully the state recognized it, but federal was zippo.
    -Moving expenses also got wrecked at the federal level. Unless you're active duty military, you won't get anything for moving expenses at the Federal Level. Thankfully, again, state recognized it which helped a lot.
    -Mortgage interest is still calculated the same apparently, but again, unless you're cracking that standard $13,000 deduction limit, chances are you may not be able to itemize this year.

    DisruptedCapitalist
  • ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... ... and hard.Registered User regular
    edited February 25
    Also, if you live in a high-tax state like California or New York prepare to get absolutely fucked if you were itemizing due to your local taxes. There's now a $10,000 cap for the state and local tax deductions.

    Otherwise, the actual rates are lower, so most people will have a lower effective tax rate.

    ASimPerson on
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    38thDoe
  • 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'm in the process of getting things together, and I'm not totally done (I'm using TaxAct), but it's looking like my return might be saved by the increased child tax credit (I think that's the one, not looking right at it), so maybe that will somehow offset the one's tonsillectomy and the resetting of our deductible twice this year somehow.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    FreeTaxUSA is a tax filing website I found last year on the IRS website. Federal is free and State is 12.95 and it's decent for us poors

    also, my return dropped $500 so you're fucking welcome Mr. Koch, I know you needed it

    Is it just a form submission portal or does it walk you through like other tax preparation software?

    it's basically the same as turbotax as near as I can tell

  • DisruptedCapitalistDisruptedCapitalist rugged, weathered Registered User regular
    Yeah, it looks like I can't itemize this year. (In fact, the new standard deduction is still larger than what I itemized last year.)

    On the bright side it means I don't have to bother proofreading my schedule A anymore. Of course my refund is looking like it's 50% less than last year.

    XaquinThegreatcow
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Yeah, it looks like I can't itemize this year. (In fact, the new standard deduction is still larger than what I itemized last year.)

    On the bright side it means I don't have to bother proofreading my schedule A anymore. Of course my refund is looking like it's 50% less than last year.

    Yeah I lost about a grand in refund from federal all told. State was better because of my moving expenses and donations, but it was more or less gobbled up by the lower federal return. :(

  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    twmjr wrote: »
    So, my wife had a number of US savings bonds from when she was a little girl that matured last year, and we redeemed them. I've read on the TreasuryDirect website that the financial institution that handled the redemption is supposed to produce a 1099-INT for us, but when I reached out to them I was told, "yeah, we don't do that."

    Before I bother pushing the matter any further -- I have a list of all the bonds we redeemed, so I know their initial value. I obviously know how much was deposited into our checking account. So, I can calculate the interest to include in our taxes. Is that sufficient? Do I really need the 1099-INT for some other reason other than to tell me what the interest was?

    I'm guessing you already got this sorted out, but nope, you don't need to get a 1099-INT, so no worries there. In general, the 1099 forms (INT, DIV, MISC, etc.) are just a way to force people to report their income. But the onus is on the company to send you one, and if you don't get it, yep, just report the income anyway based on the info you have.

    twmjrDisruptedCapitalist
  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    My return was pretty meager but girlfriend ended up owing $22 for Federal and $341 for California State based on looking at turbo tax.

    She put it on hold for now and wants to go over it with me in person to give her a second set of eyes, not sure if she did anything wrong or if that just is what it is.

    Anything I should be on the lookout for in particular?

  • 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
    The HSA stuff is confusing the hell out of me. I thought it was supposed to be pre-tax but apparently there's a penalty anyway? I dunno, we've never had one before. It keeps talking about high deductible health plans too, neither of us has any idea what that really means. I mean our deductible is not small and resets twice a year because everything is garbage, but I don't know what to look for that would make it HDHP I guess.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • localh77localh77 Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    The HSA stuff is confusing the hell out of me. I thought it was supposed to be pre-tax but apparently there's a penalty anyway? I dunno, we've never had one before. It keeps talking about high deductible health plans too, neither of us has any idea what that really means. I mean our deductible is not small and resets twice a year because everything is garbage, but I don't know what to look for that would make it HDHP I guess.

    Usually the health insurance companies will market a plan as "HSA eligible", or something like that. I don't even know exactly what the requirements are; the main thing is having deductibles in a certain range (not too high or too low), but I think there's also something about copays.

    But yeah, assuming you were in an HSA plan (and if the insurance company says so, that's probably good enough), there shouldn't be any penalties. The only time I seem them is if you over-contribute (for example, if someone maxes out their HSA for the year in January, but leaves their job/insurance in June, then half of the year they shouldn't have been eligible to contribute), or if you use the money for non-medical expenses.

    I'm sure every software is different, but the HSA stuff can be a little confusing.

  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    Yeah, if your plan comes with an HSA it's a qualified plan (unless you have additional coverage that isn't high deductible...). My HDHP doesn't have copays (it's "pay everything until you hit the deductible" garbage) but I don't know if that is a requirement or not.

    What's aditionally bad is having an HSA also makes you ineligible for any of the tax prep free file options. I used Credit Karma since they still do it for free, but went through another one (without paying to file at the end) to double check the calculation since Credit Karma isn't as smooth as others.

  • 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
    TaxAct isn't expensive enough that I wouldn't use it, I've been using it for years and I'm just really familiar with it at this point. So he wouldn't be able to have an HSA if the plan wasn't a HDHP? We only have one insurance plan and that's it, and we're all covered under it.

    The only similar-looking letters I'm seeing on this form are "OAMC-CDHP w/ HSA plan".. there are some questions about coverage in the software, and the number contributed annually isn't exactly the same as the number TaxAct imported which is... weird. I dunno, I'll try to look at it again tonight and post questions as I'm actually filling things out.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    Xaquin wrote: »
    FreeTaxUSA is a tax filing website I found last year on the IRS website. Federal is free and State is 12.95 and it's decent for us poors

    also, my return dropped $500 so you're fucking welcome Mr. Koch, I know you needed it

    Is it just a form submission portal or does it walk you through like other tax preparation software?

    it's basically the same as turbotax as near as I can tell

    I've used them for years (one of my coworker's sisters used to work for them so I got coupon codes which dropped the price even FURTHER).

    Their software is more rigid and a little less user-friendly - there was one year I had to do some crazy stuff and only turbotax desktop was able to get everything through (even THEIR web app wouldn't do it).

    I would plug your numbers into something else and verify, I've found one error in their thing once (they always deducted tax preparation costs instead of it being an over a certain amount of income thing, which I think was wrong. It's also a moot point and can't be claimed anymore, so whatever).

    Of course, with how messed up everything is this year, I'd plug into two pieces of software to verify ANYWAY, but that's just me.

    I owe so much this year holy shit. Fucking withholding tables.

  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    TaxAct isn't expensive enough that I wouldn't use it, I've been using it for years and I'm just really familiar with it at this point. So he wouldn't be able to have an HSA if the plan wasn't a HDHP? We only have one insurance plan and that's it, and we're all covered under it.

    The only similar-looking letters I'm seeing on this form are "OAMC-CDHP w/ HSA plan".. there are some questions about coverage in the software, and the number contributed annually isn't exactly the same as the number TaxAct imported which is... weird. I dunno, I'll try to look at it again tonight and post questions as I'm actually filling things out.

    I don't think the insurance would offer an HSA if it wasn't a HDHP. I mean, that would be extremely irresponsible and wouldn't make sense. It would probably be possible to have an HSA from a prior plan and put money into it outside of payroll, but you would know what you are doing in that case.

    But I'm only talking from my own experience with my HDHP the last couple of years and recent benefit meetings. There's lots of disclaimers for when you can and can't contribute, and how much in a year.

    A quick search for CDHP says it's a HDHP with an HSA (Lifehacker).

    If I understand my own filing from this year, your contributions (as long as they are through payroll) are part of your W-2. If you spent anything from the HSA you should get a 1099-SA and have to confirm it was all for qualified medical expenses.

    ceres
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    I had the same problem with TaxAct I had last year where it got stuck in a loop on the payment and e-file step and wouldn't actually submit my return until I logged out and back in. Cool that they haven't fixed that known bug in a year.

    steam_sig.png
  • 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
    Tomanta wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    TaxAct isn't expensive enough that I wouldn't use it, I've been using it for years and I'm just really familiar with it at this point. So he wouldn't be able to have an HSA if the plan wasn't a HDHP? We only have one insurance plan and that's it, and we're all covered under it.

    The only similar-looking letters I'm seeing on this form are "OAMC-CDHP w/ HSA plan".. there are some questions about coverage in the software, and the number contributed annually isn't exactly the same as the number TaxAct imported which is... weird. I dunno, I'll try to look at it again tonight and post questions as I'm actually filling things out.

    I don't think the insurance would offer an HSA if it wasn't a HDHP. I mean, that would be extremely irresponsible and wouldn't make sense. It would probably be possible to have an HSA from a prior plan and put money into it outside of payroll, but you would know what you are doing in that case.

    But I'm only talking from my own experience with my HDHP the last couple of years and recent benefit meetings. There's lots of disclaimers for when you can and can't contribute, and how much in a year.

    A quick search for CDHP says it's a HDHP with an HSA (Lifehacker).

    If I understand my own filing from this year, your contributions (as long as they are through payroll) are part of your W-2. If you spent anything from the HSA you should get a 1099-SA and have to confirm it was all for qualified medical expenses.

    That article is super duper pooper old, like 2011, but they do link to the IRS's pdf which was updated for 2018 taxes. It is here. I started readingit but my eyes glazed over after a page or two so I'll come back to it later. That's just the way my tax prep has been going this year.

    I don't remember things being this difficult. I've used the same software for years, they're just as great as they ever were, and we've always used the standard deductible... maybe it's just that this is my first time dealing with an HSA or maybe my mental faculties have just declined that much, but I literally getting headaches when I start to try to sort through the different boxes and what they mean and which is which and why they're different sometimes, and if we did something wrong when we signed up because we are still paying a penalty even though it's supposed to be pre-tax.

    It's not a gigantic penalty or anything, but if I change just one or two things my return goes up by like... a lot. That is probably what has me so confused and frustrated. I want to make sure I have this right, because it would add about 25% to my return.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    It's not you. HSA's are complicated to file (last year really threw me. First time filing was complicated in my life).

    Is your penalty from the contributions or disbursements (did you use the HSA for anything?)

    If it is from the contributions, check the amounts. Looks like the 2018 limits were $3450 for individual or $6900 for a family. From what localh77 said, that's if you were in a HDHP all year. I don't know how to pro-rate the limits if coverage was less than that.

    If it is from disbursements (1099-SA) I really don't know how to check. All I had was a question that said something like "were all expenses for qualified medical purposes?". I checked yes and was done.

  • 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
    We didn't end up using any of it since it isn't use-it-or-lose-it like an FSA,I figured it might be better to hang onto it for sudden unexpected rises in the cost of a prescription. This has happened before to the tune of a surprise $380, and tax-free money sitting around for medical stuff can buy me a month to figure it out.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    I don't believe you can even offer an HSA without it being part of a qualified high deductible medical plan.

    ASimPerson
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    Canadian tax question: tuition and education tax credit claiming. Is there any appreciable difference between carrying forward unused amounts for an indeterminate amount of time (until I would have to pay rather than get a refund), rather than just claiming all of it in one year? From what I'm gathering from following along Schedule 11, all it seems to do is add it to your regular tax credits on Schedule 1 (and your provincial form) which then get multiplied by 15% and 5.05%, the same as every other credit.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    Aegis wrote: »
    Canadian tax question: tuition and education tax credit claiming. Is there any appreciable difference between carrying forward unused amounts for an indeterminate amount of time (until I would have to pay rather than get a refund), rather than just claiming all of it in one year? From what I'm gathering from following along Schedule 11, all it seems to do is add it to your regular tax credits on Schedule 1 (and your provincial form) which then get multiplied by 15% and 5.05%, the same as every other credit.

    It has been a while since I've done personal taxes or had to deal with education on my own return, but the only thing I'd be concerned about is if the credits expire if left unused after a number of years. Taking a quick look at the form ( https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pbg/5000-s11/5000-s11-18e.pdf ) it appears there is a dollar limit on how much you can transfer into future years, so you can't carry all tuition/book costs forward until you are in the highest tax bracket. I haven't done any math on it, but it should be fairly clear if you enter the information into any of the usual personal tax prep websites.

    steam_sig.png
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    Daimar wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Canadian tax question: tuition and education tax credit claiming. Is there any appreciable difference between carrying forward unused amounts for an indeterminate amount of time (until I would have to pay rather than get a refund), rather than just claiming all of it in one year? From what I'm gathering from following along Schedule 11, all it seems to do is add it to your regular tax credits on Schedule 1 (and your provincial form) which then get multiplied by 15% and 5.05%, the same as every other credit.

    It has been a while since I've done personal taxes or had to deal with education on my own return, but the only thing I'd be concerned about is if the credits expire if left unused after a number of years. Taking a quick look at the form ( https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pbg/5000-s11/5000-s11-18e.pdf ) it appears there is a dollar limit on how much you can transfer into future years, so you can't carry all tuition/book costs forward until you are in the highest tax bracket. I haven't done any math on it, but it should be fairly clear if you enter the information into any of the usual personal tax prep websites.

    The consideration was, since I'm working now I wouldn't be transferring it to anyone anymore, and I don't know at what point in the future I'll be in a position where tax brackets actually matter in terms of what I might owe. Like, I don't think you'd get much more out of them in the hypothetical situation of using them in the future as opposed to just using them all now and getting a much larger refund up front?

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
    Currently DMing: None :(
    Characters
    [5e] Dural Melairkyn - AC 18 | HP 40 | Melee +5/1d8+3 | Spell +4/DC 12
  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    Aegis wrote: »
    Daimar wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Canadian tax question: tuition and education tax credit claiming. Is there any appreciable difference between carrying forward unused amounts for an indeterminate amount of time (until I would have to pay rather than get a refund), rather than just claiming all of it in one year? From what I'm gathering from following along Schedule 11, all it seems to do is add it to your regular tax credits on Schedule 1 (and your provincial form) which then get multiplied by 15% and 5.05%, the same as every other credit.

    It has been a while since I've done personal taxes or had to deal with education on my own return, but the only thing I'd be concerned about is if the credits expire if left unused after a number of years. Taking a quick look at the form ( https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pbg/5000-s11/5000-s11-18e.pdf ) it appears there is a dollar limit on how much you can transfer into future years, so you can't carry all tuition/book costs forward until you are in the highest tax bracket. I haven't done any math on it, but it should be fairly clear if you enter the information into any of the usual personal tax prep websites.

    The consideration was, since I'm working now I wouldn't be transferring it to anyone anymore, and I don't know at what point in the future I'll be in a position where tax brackets actually matter in terms of what I might owe. Like, I don't think you'd get much more out of them in the hypothetical situation of using them in the future as opposed to just using them all now and getting a much larger refund up front?

    Yeah, if you're working now it is probably best to use it now unless you know for sure that you are going to be making more money in 2019 or 2020 than you were in 2018. Any more tax planning than that is going to be iffy and cash in your pocket is worth more today than it would be two years from now.

    steam_sig.png
    Aegis
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