for questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products for the state of California. California is a state within the 50 state union of the United States.

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17
votes
4answers
6k views

Sales tax “trick” while buying a used car; i.e. declaring sale at lower than actual transaction value?

I am selling my car and have found a potential buyer. After I transfer the vehicle ownership, the buyer will have to transfer the vehicle title to himself, and will also need to pay sales tax on the ...
12
votes
1answer
553 views

Can a gift be re-gifted before a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

About a month or so ago, I gave a family member $10k to purchase a car, because he needed a reliable car for his two hour commute. He's going through some financial trouble, and is now looking to ...
11
votes
3answers
633 views

How do people trade up from one house to another?

Newbie question here folks. My wife and I currently own our first (20% down on a condo in San Francisco in 2009; fixed 30-year loan). Obviously at some point (maybe 2-4 years from now) we would like ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Pros/Cons of Buying Discounted Company Stock

For my company (large international software firm) I am allowed to buy company stock at a discounted price. To me all I see are pros such as: Being able to sell the stock right as I buy it, ...
8
votes
3answers
683 views

Does liability auto insurance protect any of your assets?

I'm confused about the Liability auto insurance. Some online resources appear to say that you must have as much liability insurance as the total value of all your assets, whereas others just say to ...
7
votes
3answers
391 views

How high should I set my KickStarter funding goal in order to have $35,000 left over?

I'm creating a KickStarter to raise enough funds to take 3 months off from my full-time job and finish an iOS game that I've been working on for about 3 years now. Put simply, all I need is about ...
7
votes
4answers
240 views

do I have to wait for one year to negotiate my salary?

A few months ago, I had an interview and received 8 months contract position. I accepted it. After a month later, the company offered me permanent position. They offered me 68k and I accepted it. I ...
6
votes
4answers
994 views

Why do I need an attorney to buy a house?

I thought my real estate agent would cover the whole thing. How does an attorney get involved? Why do I need to hire one on my side? I ask this because I have read about it in first-time buyer help ...
6
votes
3answers
613 views

What are the ins/outs of writing equipment purchases off as business expenses in a home based business?

I'm currently self-employed doing computer programming work. As part of self-employment I'm learning about filing taxes quarterly (not fun) and also writing things off as business expenses ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

What is the “California SOS file number” and where do I find it?

My LLC's taxes are due soon and I want to pay the $800 annual tax here in California. I'm a little confused about something I'm supposed to write on the check: the "Calfirnia SOS file number". Google ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Foreclosure debt still on the credit report

I went through a pretty nasty divorce in which my ex-wife got to keep the house. Eventually the house was foreclosed on and she eventually got evicted. However, my name (along with hers) was still ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

How do secured loans get paid off when selling the asset?

I own a home in California (as tenants in common) with two siblings. My brother took out a loan using the house as collateral. When we sell the house, does the loan get repaid first, or do I get my ...
5
votes
1answer
524 views

How can I save LLC fees when investing in Arizona real estate from California

My sister, brother and I (who live in California) want to invest our money in Arizona real estate. We would like to hold the property in an LLC for liability reasons, and we would really like that LLC ...
5
votes
3answers
703 views

Owning properties through an LLC - how to split the LLC expenses?

I own some rental properties through my LLC. While most of the expenses can be attributed to a property and find their way to schedule E, I'm puzzled about the LLC expenses... In California its ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Is a non-cash prize form a work event in California taxable compensation?

I won a non-cash prize as part of my company's wellness competition. The nominal value is maybe $300-$400 (T-shirts, misc sports clothing). Now they told me after the fact that this is taxable ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Foreign national currently working in U.S. & investing in 401(k) plan: How will taxes apply?

I am a foreign national currently working in USA. I am considering contributing around 5K to a 401K plan (with no employer match). I intend to return to my country in a few years (when I am in my ...
4
votes
4answers
23k views

USA salaries: before/after taxes

I keep reading about software industry salaries in the US. 100k / year, 130k / year, etc. Are these numbers before or after taxes ? What is an estimate of the salary after taxes ? EDIT: I would ...
4
votes
5answers
317 views

How to calculate my real earnings from hourly temp-to-hire moving to salaried employee?

I live in California, U.S.A. I have been working in a company as a temp-to-hire position for a few months. However, the company needs me to set up my own company, so that I provide service for them. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the state I get my license in affect my taxes, or how I file?

I'm visiting my old house in California and only drive when in CA. I am about to get my license renewed, but I work in NYC and spend most of my time there (95%). I never drive when in NYC. Will me ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Possible to remove remaining foreclosed mortgage debt off my credit report?

A little while ago, I asked a question where the consensus was that the bank won't be coming after me for the remainder of the money after the house was foreclosed on. Seeing how they can't come ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Rental Application Fees

I've been trying to find a new apartment. Each application I've submitted cost between $20-$35 and I've yet to find a new place. A lot of these places have me just write out a check which I never see ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Decline In Value appeal (California property tax)

I received a come-on letter from a lawyer who wants to represent me in an appeal of my residential property tax assessment under California's Proposition 8 (enacted in 1978, concerning temporary ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

How do I deduct state tax overpayment when going from “married filing jointly” to “single”

In 2013 I was married filing jointly. We had underpaid our state taxes by $24,000 so we wrote a check to the state for $24,000. In 2014 we divorced, and are filing separately. The $24,000 can be ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Should I treat HSA as taxable or non-taxable in deciding on bonds if my state does tax it?

If my home state of California taxes the gains in HSA, should I use tax-efficient investments (for example Muni bonds), or should I assume that the market arbitrage on the taxable accounts so using ...
4
votes
0answers
463 views

Can I claim a parent receiving Medi-Cal benefits as a dependent on my tax return?

My mother got her green card this year. She won't work here. All her expenses will be paid by me. Since she is 67 years old, I am planning to apply for Medi-Cal health coverage for her. My question ...
3
votes
3answers
136 views

Is interest on a personal loan tax deductible?

My father loaned me money to invest in a company and the company pays me quarterly profits. I have to pay back the loan to my father plus interest. What I would like to know is whether or not the ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Does it make sense to look for medical plans outside “Obamacare”?

Does it make sense to look for medical plans outside of the ACA Exchanges (such as the https://calheers.ca.gov/ in California), or are those as good as it gets? If it's illegal for the insurer to ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

Are U.S. salaries typically measured/reported before tax, or after tax?

On each of the two sites below, the average salary in California for C++ developers is reported. Would the average reported be before or after taxes? ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Should I pay for lousy tax preparation service?

My tax accountant this year did lousy job - Form 8942 was not filled according to IRS instructions. Also, I had to figure out myself why ESPP, NQSO and RSUs cost basis this year was incorrect on my ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Working from home in Vermont as W2 employee for employer in California. Need I file a CA tax return?

I work for a company registered in CA; they have no offices in my state. I'm a W2 employee and they are withholding taxes for VT, where I reside. Will I need to file a CA income tax return? This ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Can you subtract credits/returns/refunds from statement balance?

Most credit card companies in the US do not charge any interest on any purchases if you pay at least the statement balance every month. E.g. you effectively get between 25 and 30+25 days of interest ...
3
votes
1answer
408 views

Tax on graduate research assistant salary paycheck in California

I have been admitted to an University of California program. They are giving me $2209 graduate research assistantship salary per month. How much can I expect to make after taxes in California on the ...
3
votes
1answer
615 views

Amend 540 to 540NR (California State Tax)

A few of my friends and I are on F1 Visa and had to file our 1040NR and 540NR tax return forms. We used the e-file option at https://www.ftb.ca.gov/ to file our state tax and it had generated a 540 ...
2
votes
2answers
254 views

Continuing group health benefits from old employer after resigning

I will be resigning from my current employer next week and moving to another company: the new employer is a much smaller fabrication company and does not have as good health insurance. For example, ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Do I owe state taxes for a temporary (4 month) residence in California?

During 2012, I spent the first 4 months living in California while in a startup accelerator program. I had a California apartment lease with my name on it during that time. I earned income during ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

renter's insurance for causing property damage

It seems that renter's insurance only covers the tenant's property and perhaps guests. I suspect that a far bigger financial risk for a tenant is in liability due to causing a fire, flood or other ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Reducing cost of emergency room visit

This is a follow-up to my previous question. I've received a relatively large bill from my health insurance provider for an emergency room visit a few months ago. While the bill isn't astronomical ...
2
votes
2answers
466 views

Live in California but work for Illinois-based company

At my office job (in Illinois), we've recently been offered the option of working from home. Many people have jumped at the chance, and the company has reported a great success rate in those who are ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Insurance quote - Report Moving Violation

I am trying to get renters' insurance and move car insurance all to the same company for a multi-line discount. I live in CA, USA, and had a speeding ticket last year, but it was held confidential ...
2
votes
1answer
423 views

Does California tax personal K-1 income from an out-of-state partnership?

As a resident of California, if I get a K-1 from Connecticut, do I have to pay income taxes on this income for my California return? Using Turbo Tax, the answer seems to be no, since there was no ...
2
votes
1answer
601 views

How to deduct taxes already paid from taxable income on 1040 and 540

I have the following income and taxes paid for 2011 AGI 10000 Fed 800 State 150 SS 80 Medicare 30 CA DIS/SDI 100 ASE-UAW: 25 (Academic Student Employee (ASE) http://www.uaw2865.org/) Neither ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Are short term disability payments taxed?

Last year, my wife was on short term disability leave (maternity leave) for 6 weeks. CA SDI took care of 80% of her paycheck which I believe is completely tax free. 20% of her paycheck for this ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

How to allocate Roth conversion income across states when moved during year?

In 2010, I converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA while a California resident and elected to take the income half in 2011 and half in 2012. During 2011, I moved to North Carolina in the middle of ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Can CA SDI be added to state and local income taxes on 1040 NR Schedule A?

Can I add CA SDI to State and Local Income taxes on 1040 NR Schedule A? I understand a NRA has to file 1040 NR and has to itemize the deductions. I know that CA SDI can be added to State and local ...
2
votes
1answer
870 views

Is sales tax charged on checked baggage fees?

When I buy airplane tickets online, I pay for associated taxes at the same time. But if I have luggage to check, that's a separate cost that gets added when I check in. Should I expect to pay ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

How to correctly adjust cost basis 8949 for Employer stock starting from 2014

Since 2014 brokers don't include "compensation element" in cost basis on the 1099-B form for RSUs, ESPP and NQSO stock. This means that I have to adjust cost basis myself to avoid being double taxed. ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Next steps for (not me): a recently-divorced single mom, in California, with a 2yr-old

A new puzzle for personal finance experts, that is on the bottom end of the ladder rather than the top. A series of unfortunate events has hit a friend (not me). The situation: recently divorced ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

California S Corp Net Income and Employee Compensation

I was looking into S-Corp structures. In California, S-Corps are taxed at a 1.5% rate on their net income. What I couldn't figure out is if this 1.5% rate applies to the income of the S-Corp after ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Reporting of amortization expenses to FTB California

I have registered a corporation in Californa. So far, there have only been start up costs and no income. I have lodged a Form 1120 with IRS and amortized the expenses over 60 months. Do I report the ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

When a business entity moves out of a state, is it the final return?

For a general partnership that files US Tax form 1065, there is a check box for Final Return which is not checked due to the partnership continuing on to the next year. However, the California state ...