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Tax

Uniform used only for work can be tax deduction

I have uniforms that I wear at work and I pay to have the uniforms laundered. I also pay for occasional repairs on the uniforms and I pay for work shoes that I have to wear in my job. Are all these expenses deductible as itemized deductions? B.C., Indianapolis If your work clothing constitutes a uniform in the eyes of the IRS, you will be entitled to a deduction. The uniform has to be clothing that is required by your employer, and (this is the gray area) not suitable for everyday wear.
Tax

Some camp fees do qualify for tax deduction

I sent my children to summer camp last month and want to know if I can take a deduction for the child care credit for the amount I spent on the camp. The camp lasted for two weeks and the fee for the camp included all food, lodging, and activities. I.I., Indianapolis
Tax

Taxes available for use as deductions are limited

I understand that a great amount of the price we pay for cigarettes and alcohol is made up of taxes. Are these taxes considered "other taxes" for purposes of itemized deductions? If so, how should we account for these amounts? The receipts for purchases don't list the taxes separately. D.S., Indianapolis
Tax

Tax reform cut long term gains and confusion

A year ago, Congress passed legislation that made massive changes to the tax laws. One of the most hotly debated areas of the tax legislation was the law regarding the taxation of capital gains. There are many people who believe this form of income should not be taxed at all, while others feel capital gains should be taxed as the same rate income that you earn at your job.
Tax

Changes should clear up Roth IRA confusion

Last year Congress enacted a rather sweeping tax act which changed several very visible areas of the tax law, notably the tax treatment of capital gain income (rates were lowered), the tax treatment on the gain from the sale of a personal residence (the tax was all but done away with entirely), and the inauguration of the new Roth IRA.
Tax

IRS throws foul ball into All American pastime

Last Tuesday, in a brief moment of glory, a nation of Americans forgot about the troubles of the world and held its collective breath while a little white ball spiraled into history.Mark McGwire's 62nd home run ball was picked up by Tim Forneris, a 22-year-old member of the Busch Stadium grounds crew, and the IRS was watching carefully, hoping no one would realize the great tax benefit that was carried across the stadium with that little ball.
Tax

Legislation takes aim at "marriage penalty" tax

There is some interesting tax news this week & House Ways and Means Chairman, Bill Archer, is leaving his flat tax proposal aside for awhile, and attempting to find some new ways to let taxpayers take advantage of the projected budget surplus. Two new bills that were passed by the House Ways and Means Committee provide significant tax cuts for most Americans, while attempting to save (or preserve, depending on how you look at it) the Social Security system.
Tax

Deductible meal allowance varies with location

I travel for business and read somewhere that I can deduct on my tax return something like $30 per day for meal expenses when I travel. How does this work and what form do I use to take the deduction? S.S., Indianapolis.
Tax

Changes to the law regarding Roth IRAs

We are an elderly couple and we cashed several 1964-1965-1966 Series "E" government bonds. The interest amounts to over $7,000. We have been told that the interest can be treated as capital gain. I disagree. I am sure such interest must be treated like all other interest, however it is not taxed by the State of Indiana. Am I correct? H.P., Indianapolis
Tax

Tenant's improvements not taxable to landlord

I own a house which I rent to a family. My tenants have put some money into the house in the way of painting, resurfacing some walls, and building a small deck. Do I have to show the value of these improvements as income on my tax return? K.Y., Indianapolis
Tax

Without residence, land is subject to gains tax

In 1992 I purchased a house on a lake which included a total of 11 lots. This house and property was sold to me under one title. For two years I tried to sell this residence and property as one piece, as I had bought it, but no one wanted that much property. Finally the realtor told me that I should sell the house with the four lots that encompassed the house, garage and septic field, and sell the other seven lots separately. This is what I did. Now here's my question: I realize had I sold everything, the
Tax

Indiana tax deductions include E bond income

In one of my recent columns, I casually referred to the fact that interest on U.S. Series E bonds is not taxable in Indiana. I was surprised at the quantity of responses I received from Indiana residents who were unaware of this fact. The rule is that earnings on obligations that are considered to be direct United States Government obligations are specifically exempted from Indiana income taxation. Direct obligations include such items as U.S. government bonds, U. S. government certificates, U.S. government notes, and U.S. treasury bills.
Tax

Amend return if deferred gains not rolled over

My wife and I each owned a house when we got married. We sold one house at a gain, in February, 1997, and deferred that gain, planning on selling the other house, purchasing a new house, and rolling over the gain into the new house. We were not able to sell the other house, so we didn't buy a new house and therefore couldn't roll the gain into a new house. I understand that I need to file an amended 1997 tax return. When I amend the return, do I need to file all schedules (C, A, SE, etc.), or just the ones that
Tax

IRS thinks $25 is plenty to spend on a present

I'm getting ready to purchase some year-end gifts for some of my business associates. I assume I can take a deduction for these gifts. Where on the tax return do I take the deduction? D.P.
Tax

Investor gets no tax benefit of stock gift to son

I have a question pertaining to a stock giveaway. If were to give stock to my son, could I take a tax loss on my 1040 form? N.N. I assume from your question that your stock would generate a loss for you if you sold it rather than giving it away. If this is the case, you and your son are about to find yourselves in a very interesting tax situation.
Tax

IRA investments miss out on lower gains rate

When stocks are in an IRA and are being distributed as an IRA distribution, are they taxed as regular income or are they taxed at capital gain rate? If so, how do you do it? It seems as if they are to be listed on the tax form in the spot for IRA distributions and taxed at the regular rate. R.H., Indianapolis
Tax

Special "Money Watch 2000" Edition

Everybody knows about the April 15 deadline for getting tax returns in the mail. But getting them in the mail is only half the battle. Attaching the right attachments, putting the right forms in the envelope, putting correct postage on the envelope, this is where the fun begins. This year, before you seal up the envelope and send your tax return off to the taxing authorities, take a look at this quick checklist of the areas where taxpayers most frequently have problems with their tax returns:
Tax

Brave New (e-file) World

You may have heard something about our kinder, gentler IRS deciding that taxpayers need to climb on the e-file bandwagon, and you may be wondering just what this e-filing has to do with you. Or, perhaps you are one of the lucky 33 million taxpayers who received a strange e-file postcard in the mail last December and are wondering what, if anything, you are supposed to do with that card, not to mention wondering where you put it.
Tax

Calculate Tax To See If Gain Warrants Quarterly Payment

I sold a lot in 1997 as well as a small house I was renting to my son. Should I make an estimated tax payment before tax time? R.W., Indianapolis
Tax

Pair Can Deduct Mortgage Interest On Two Non-Rental Homes

My wife and I own our principle home in Seymour, IN. I work in Seymour. My wife works for a company in Indianapolis. Last April we purchased a condominium in Indianapolis. I understand only part of the closing costs are allowed as a tax deduction. My question is about the interest expense. Can we deduct the interest expense for both homes? R.R., Seymour, IN

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