If I contribute $2500 to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in 2015, and end up spending only $2000 of it on health costs -- what happens to the other $500?
I just received an email from the company through whom I contract, claiming that they had paid me twice for a recent week. Obviously they now want that money back; however, they are asking for the full amount I was paid, NOT the amount I received after taxes. I am assuming I am on the hook for the whole [cursing] thing, but can someone tell me how this works? [more inside]
If I have to pay back a signing bonus because I didn't stay at the job for a full year, is there any way to recover the taxes I paid on the signing bonus? [more inside]
I'm looking for a fee-based financial planner in the Bay Area to help me figure out one simple problem, and one knottier one. I have about $10k in CDs, and I'd like to invest it in a slightly smarter, similarly low-risk way (probably index funds) that I can add to slowly and in (relatively) small increments. I'd probably also like to start a 401k. Unrelatedly, as a child I was gifted $3k in shares of a single bluechip stock that I've never touched, and it's accrued value gradually but steadily over several decades. Recently, talking to a wiser friend, she pointed out that I've never paid taxes on it! I'm not sure how to deal with that, but probably can't avoid it much longer! How money works is confounding to me; I come from a working class background and am good at saving, but not saving wisely. Anyway, I'm primarily looking for financial planner suggestions, but if you've dealt with related stock/tax issues please share your experience and advice! Throwaway: firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd prefer.
I had an interest in a limited partnership that wound-down and distributed its assets. I received a K-1 with the distribution shown in Box 19. How do I pay tax on this? [more inside]
We hate doing our taxes. Despite a professional familiarity with the basics of the tax code, or perhaps because of it, dealing with all of the paperwork really stresses me out, and my spouse doesn't like to do it either. Can you help us find an accountant in the Chicago area who will be competent and easygoing? Details inside. [more inside]
My Dad owns about 20 acres of land in a small town that he wishes to give to my brother, my sister, and myself now, not when he passes. My siblings and I plan to split the proceeds of the sale of the land evenly amongst us. Which way, tax-wise, would maximize the amount of money we receive from the land in the end? Should my dad give the title/deed to us first and we sell it, or Dad sells it and then gives us the money from the sale of the land? [more inside]
I'm a US citizen with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. I want to apply for UK citizenship. I have defaulted student loans in the US and haven't filed my taxes in the US for ten years while I've lived here in the UK. Am I going to need to get straight with the US before I can naturalise as a UK citizen? I intend to pay / file what needs paid and filed but what order should I do it in?
Okay. I have been in Europe now (and live as an EU citizen) for almost 10 years. I have no desire to ever return to the states. NONE. WHATSOEVER. NONE. I make very little money so have never passed the threshold to need to pay American tax. But if I get married to a high earner here in Europe. (we are talking 200k plus per year in salary) what happens? Is that joint income if we are married? And if we want to have, say- 3 children, in quick succession. How could this work? Could I have the children, pass on my citizenship, pay tax and then relinquish? What happens? I am completely fine with giving up my US citizenship, and my possible future husband has no desire to live in America- but I realize it could be beneficial to my children. I'm not sure exactly what to think. This is not happening at the moment. But it could happen in the next couple of years. Advice and anecdotes are most welcome!
My car failed its MOT yesterday and, as a result of my bad time management, the tax disc has expired today. I can't tax it without it being covered by a valid MOT certificate, but I need to get it to a garage for repairs so that it can pass the MOT. Is it legal for me to drive it to the mechanic? [more inside]
My spouse and I are going to leave our jobs at the end of the year and travel internationally throughout 2015, with no income. Are there any strategies we should be following to make the most, tax-wise, of this change? [more inside]
I hit the holy grail and have a new position with full benefits, including full coverage for domestic partners. I have a partner who lives with me, but we are still fairly newish and are not ready to get married. I have to enroll us in the benefits very soon, like now. The problem is, the queer tax (I guess now the Not-Legally-Married tax) on my partner's benefits. [more inside]
I'm not religious, but would like to know whether the enforcement of a tax on income by the church in some countries - normally around 1% - is consistent with the bible.
My family, being not financially savvy, bought into a slew of variable annuities in 2000 without knowing what they were doing. My grandfather is now in his 80s and never withdrew his required distribution from his IRA variable annuity. I know the penalty is steep. What can we do? [more inside]
I originally got paid for a one week interval and 22% of my paycheck was deducted for taxes. Now, I'm getting paid in two-week intervals and 31% of my paycheck is being deducted. The money is disappearing into withholding. Why did my paycheck shrink, even though my pay rate hasn't? I have not changed my withholding allowances. [more inside]
In the US tax code (specific to the AMT), is mortgage interest to a private party treated differently than mortgage interest to a bank? [more inside]
Due to an accounting error, my employer has not been paying me my full salary for the last several years. I'm in sales, and I get paid on commission, so my paycheck fluctuates month to month - I never even noticed my paycheck was always secretly slightly less than what it should have been. My employer just discovered their error and told me immediately. Which I hugely respect. We have a good employment relationship and we'd all like it to continue. They're saying they now owe me about $145k plus interest, and are prepared to write me a check, but they know this raises some tax issues for me. [more inside]
I'm entering a PhD program with full tuition covered and a stipend. I own a home with my fiancee, but my home is 2 hours away from my school. So for the first year, I'm going to rent an on-campus apartment. And I have some tax questions. [more inside]
I'm planning on starting both a nonprofit and a business (LLC or C-Corp) before the end of summer, and I'm uncertain as to my ability to write off expenses. Each would be run with a small (<5) group of investors/friends. [more inside]
Hi, I'm doing my 2014 taxes. I moved to New Jersey on Dec. 13, 2013 (from New York) and during the closing I paid the property tax for December, as well as 3 months of property tax in advance for the first Q of 2014. My question is: one my taxes, do I claim just the December taxes, or can I claim all the money I paid in 2013?
How do I request an extension to file my income taxes when I'm not sure if I will be filing as "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately" and if separately, what deductions/exemptions, if any, I may be entitled to. [more inside]
Free online tax filing that allows a Schedule K-1? [more inside]
Should we get married this year, or will that end up in a tax penalty, considering our incomes are similar and we would end up in a higher tax bracket? [more inside]
I've received a "notice of grant of stock option" from the company I work for, with a place for me to sign. [more inside]
From about 2008 to 2012, I was self employed as a private tutor in Canada. My income ranged from about 25k - 40k. During that time, I didn't collect GST/HST from my students because I didn't realize I was required to. I received a letter on Friday from Canada Revenue saying that I've been registered for an HST number and asking to submit GST/HST for 2010-2011. I'm a bit scared now, and wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what the penalties might be? I plan to talk to an accountant in the next week, but I'm just hoping to get an idea of what I might be in for.
I'm a roughly average taxpayer who doesn't know very much about American tax law or the tax preparation industry. Should I keep ignoring it and filing my taxes by myself, or will I benefit from looking for professional tax advice? [more inside]
The mailing address on my W2 is incorrect and the employer refuses to amend it. How big of a problem is this going to be when I file my taxes? [more inside]
Can a freelance / self-employed person (filing Schedule C) deduct from her taxes the cost of business travel (airfare, lodging) that she was later reimbursed for? [more inside]
NameFilter: Looking for a name for a small tax accounting firm that is marketing itself primarily towards artists and other creative types. [more inside]
I was on California State Disability Insurance (SDI) for a few months in early 2103. My understanding is that this is not taxable as income on my California return. However, I assume it's federally taxable. But confused. [more inside]
My husband is completing his masters degree at the university where he also works. He gets tuition benefits, but any tuition benefit he receives over $5250 per year is taxable. The university treats those taxes as part of the tuition bill (they are about 37%) and we pay them out of pocket. According to our university, we should be able to get reimbursed for the taxes that we paid, given that the tuition counts as a job related expense. How do we do this? Bonus: how do we do this... on TurboTax? [more inside]
I work as a mystery shopper as an independent contractor. I am given a set fee for each job. In previous tax years I've purchased individual tickets to get to and from each visit, and have claimed these back as travel expenses in my tax return. Halfway through the 2012-13 tax year I started a permanent, full time job and took advantage of their season ticket loan scheme to purchase an annual travel pass. Because of this pass, I no longer buy separate tickets to travel on mystery shopping visits. My question is, can I still claim a portion of this season ticket back as a travel expense for the mystery shops? For example, if it would have cost me £4 return to get from home to a site and back again, can I claim that £4 even though I don't have individual tickets for those journeys? I am guessing I can't, which is fine, but I've not been given a firm steer by HM Revenue and Customs and I want to get this right! I know you are not my tax accountants, but I am guessing some of you have had the same issue and can point me in the right direction!
How do I pay taxes on the game show winnings I received? [more inside]
If I paid back an employer for training costs and business expenses related to the training - are these tax deductible? [more inside]
Am I understanding the USA's IRA laws correctly that all I really have to keep track of, in order to eventually (years from now) take money out without penalty or double taxation or such, is the amount of after-tax money I put into it over the years? [more inside]
I run a promotional merchanding company. We are fully registered as an LLC in the state of NJ. We have a tax ID number and are officially a re-seller. We recently did an order for a client located in the state of California. The vendor who manufactured the items for us is also located in the state of California. When our final invoice came, we were charged tax and were told when the vendor and final destination were inthe same state (or at least in CA), then we are due to be charged tax on the merchandise......We have done plenty of orders with the same scenario (produced in CA and shipped to CA) without being charged tax....... We are confused. Should we have to pay tax or not on this order?
I'm a relatively new transplant to Oregon, so I didn't find out about the Oregon Political Contribution Credit until last April. And then I promptly forgot about it until I heard a fairly annoying ad on the radio reminding people today is the last day to make a contribution. Should I donate my 50 bucks to any particular cause? [more inside]
How do I file to get the money back that was withheld at the closing of a condo in New Jersey? [more inside]
If a person lives* in Washington state but works** in Oregon, to which state does she pay state income tax? Oregon, Washington, or both? [more inside]
A disabled relative is having all the money automatically taken out of her account by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). She doesn't owe taxes (all she has to do is file and they will give the money back) but this will take many months. What can we do? [more inside]
I have a very, very small business (a blog; it gets decent traffic and I made some money advertising). I have some questions, and I'd like to speak to a tax professional or attorney for probably less than 30 minutes. I'm in Los Angeles, CA. Can you recommend someone and give me a ballpark cost? [more inside]
In the next few weeks I have to make a decision about exercising some incentive stock options. I have a general idea of the tax implications of this event, but I would like to meet with an accountant who can run me through the exact numbers. [more inside]
How do newcomers enter the spirits business when distilling without a permit and or without paying excise taxes is a federal crime? Home distilling is not a viable gateway hobby like home brewing. [more inside]
I am looking for examples of states or localities (in the US) where school tax payments are separate (either separate bills, or line items) from property tax bills. This is the case in NY State where the school tax bill is a separate bill. If anyone knows a comprehensive source on which states do and don't do this, that would be great. Otherwise your anecdotes as property tax payers in specific states will be helpful, even better if you know where this is explained on a state government website. I am trying to figure out where people know (as in NY) exactly how much money they are contributing to the local school system (or think they are, since they are also contributing to federal and other forms of school support).
Would a standard solicitor be the best person to advise? A specialist of some sort? A tax accountant? How to avoid unnecessary fees for work on this that the family can do--for instance, they are already tracking down all the banks with investments. [more inside]
I'm investigating reappraising our house to get rid of PMI. We meet the conditions for application, which involve bringing in an appraiser. The appraiser we would pay for is hired through the mortgage company — we have no control over the appraisal process. Do appraisers who are hired to get rid of PMI do a fair and honest job in calculating the true market value, or, alternatively, do their valuations fall close to online appraisals on average, within some percentage? (Are online estimates close to market value, within noise? Two online estimates suggest we are over the required valuation by roughly 40-50k.) Finally, are there downsides or gotchas to getting rid of PMI, other than a smaller federal deduction at tax time? [more inside]
What rules do you use for estimating the value of things you give to charity? The organizations we donate to ask us to estimate the value for tax purposes ourselves, rather than doing it for us. I know we obviously should not use the full price that we paid for the item. I am wondering if it is okay to value items at, for example, what we might get for them off Craigslist (sometimes say 1/3 to 1/2 or in rare cases even 2/3 what we paid, depending on the item and condition), or whether we should be valuing at more like what I'd use for a yard sale price of like 1/10th or lower. Does it matter? And is there a corresponding tax consequence for the recipient organization, such that if I declare the higher value on our taxes that organization realizes some proportionate tax or penalty? If so I should probably just estimate lower in order to further benefit the charity. Thanks!
A friend in Mexico does some consulting for a US company. He has an account in a US bank, where he receives payment for that work. The bank just sent him a W-8BEN form and we are not sure how to fill it. [more inside]
I am buying a used car in Cook County, IL. (I am in the dealership right now.) Is the dealer correct to charge me 9.5% tax? [more inside]
I need some advice on how to best manage a severance package cheque I’ll be receiving in a week or so. I have room to contribute, approx. $15k or so into my RRSP (this may be understated, going from memory) Details I want to stay reasonably liquid, I’m not sure how long it will take me to find a new position and I will be living off of this settlement in the interim Is there tax benefit to contributing to my RRSP now, and withdrawing in the New Year? If I just take it all, I’m thinking I’ll get a decent tax return when I file – true/false? Is there any benefit to asking for 2 cheques, one now, one after January 1st? Total severance will be around $70k or so, gross Thanks for your help!