Questions tagged [united-states]

For questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products of the United States.

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5
votes
5answers
9k views

Better to rent with or without utilities?

By the end of the year, I will be renting a small apartment with one other person and we will be splitting the costs. I am a college student so I've only lived either at home or in dorms. In general, ...
2
votes
5answers
5k views

Comparison of cash concessions vs lower home purchase price?

My agent advised me that its common to get a 3% cash concession from the seller when purchasing a home to cover closing costs. I want to know what negative affects this might have by taking cash in ...
1
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1answer
50 views

Resources for historical performance BEYOND 10 years?

I have looked around MorningStar and Yahoo, but I cannot find an online resource that provides historical stick and mutual fund performance beyond 10 years. Does anyone have a link or suggestion for ...
0
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1answer
401 views

The meaning of “annual salary”

Let's say you're having a three-month job every year, and during those three months, your annual salary is $12*. (i.e. It's not an hourly job, but a full-time job -- you earn $3 during those three ...
0
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2answers
131 views

question regarding W4

If someone files W4 with default tax structure (no itemized deductions or allowances), can they still owe money to IRS at the end of the year if their income is > $200,000 of salary with no other ...
3
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2answers
163 views

In the U.S., are major dental procedures considered tax-deductible?

If someone is going to undergo a major dental/medical procedure ($40k+), is there any way to deduct the money paid for the procedure, or at least part of it?
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Understanding welfare or Social Security paid to naturalized senior citizens in the U.S.?

Social Security is an alien concept in India, from where I am, and this concept interests me: I have been reading and discussing this with friends recently. One friend from Vietnam, who became a ...
0
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1answer
39 views

Is there a NY tax form to use when one is missing a K-1 (or 1065) from an LLC?

I invested in an LLC that has for the most part gone under. The LLC exists but I do not think that I will receive a K-1 for for 2011. My understanding is that there is a tax form I can fill out to ...
2
votes
2answers
333 views

Gap in domestic Health Insurance coverage, expect higher premiums?

I am going to be living abroad for a year. I left my employer and am on short-term health insurance until I leave. I wasn't planning on maintaining domestic coverage (U.S) while I was abroad, but I am ...
3
votes
3answers
446 views

What kind of an impact does moving have on your credit (score)?

Being an international student, the room I rent near campus has been my domestic home address since I came here to study. Now that I am working at a place quite far from campus, I would like to ...
5
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4answers
3k views

“Pay to Delete” letter for removing an entry from my credit report. Legit?

I am negotiating with a collection agency over payment of around $2500. Talking on the phone with them, it seems that I can't get an unequivocal "yes" to delete their entry from my credit report on ...
1
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1answer
2k views

HUD-1 limit on realtor commission rebate?

My wife and I are buying a new house and we are using the builder's mortgage company. Assume our HUD-1 breaks out like this (numbers manufactured to hide real transaction amount): Line 103 - ...
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3answers
5k views

Buying a more expensive house as a tax shelter (larger interest deduction)?

I've heard that some people buy a more expensive house as a tax shelter. In my simple mind I imaging the scenario: Pay 10,000 annual interest on the mortgage 50,000 annual income = 40,000 taxable ...
5
votes
1answer
368 views

What are my options for dealing with stock from a bankrupt company?

I hold some shares of a company in a discount broker account that has recently declared bankruptcy to allow for reorganization and is trading on the Pink Sheets, what are my options for dealing shares?...
2
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1answer
1k views

First time home-buyer incentives require 3 years of primary residence, but can I move if I'm laid off?

My wife and I are 25-months into an FHA loan (we received a first time home buyer tax credit), and I seem to recall that we cannot sell or rent the property for at least 36-months. That wasn't a ...
3
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3answers
4k views

Is it okay to issue myself a 1099 from my LLC, of which I'm the sole owner?

I own a small publishing company and occasionally publish my own books. I want to track royalty expenses on the products I've written, so my plan was to pay myself royalties, book it as a royalty ...
3
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1answer
681 views

If I put dividend-paying stocks in my IRA, where does the dividend go when paid?

I have a rollover IRA from an old job's 401k. I have had it sitting uninvested (where it's outperforming my new job's 401k) and I want to start investing it on my own. If I put a stock that pays a ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Father wants to gift child with approx $200k. Smartest way from USA tax perspective?

The father would like to find the best way to help his (~40 year old) daughter with approximately $200k in home loans. Without (yet) seeking professional advice, he has loosely considered: Gifting ...
3
votes
3answers
783 views

How to protect your parents if they never paid Social Security?

I am helping a friend with some financial advice, but his situation is very unique. His mother (US Citizen) married a foreign national. He worked all his life as a merchant or in a restaurant he ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Benefits of a non-resident alien contributing to FICA

Being an international student on F1 visa, I am a non-resident alien who cannot claim unemployment or SS benefits. Currently I am working on an internship and my employer was not aware that FICA is ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

First Time Home Buyers - Down Payment, PMI and Points

My wife and I are looking to buy our first home in the next couple months and wanted to get an idea of what we are looking at. Right now we have about 80k saved up and want to put 10% down on a home ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

Did the rules for filing a 1099-MISC change this year?

My property manager just sent me a W-9 (request for taxpayer ID) and asked me to send it back to her. When I asked her about this last year for my 2010 taxes, she said it wasn't necessary, even ...
2
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2answers
164 views

Do I need to include the original documentation to claim an adoption credit?

I am in the process of applying for an adoption tax credit in the U.S. I have found in the IRS documentation that I need to include: The adoption certificate, order judgement, or decree clearly ...
10
votes
4answers
906 views

What to ask a tenant on a rental application to determine if their income is stable?

I have a residential rental unit standing empty now; the last tenant – the first I'd signed myself since buying the place – turned out bad. Thankfully, not in the tear-the-place-up sense, ...
11
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3answers
4k views

To buy a house, is a 20% down-payment required for a mortgage?

My wife and I want to buy a house. The price is well within our means. The mortgage payment would be less than 25% of our gross income and we have no other debt, so we're comfortable with the payment. ...
32
votes
2answers
19k views

I'm giving my car to my sister. Should I gift it or sell it?

I have a car registered in Connecticut. I want to give the car to my sister in Oregon. The blue book value of the car is approximately $5000. (It will be a very generous gift - but the car was a gift ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

What tax-free retirement accounts are available for self-employed individuals?

I'm self employed, so I've started to look at what my options are for saving (tax-free) for retirement. Of course I can do an IRA or Roth IRA, but those have lower caps than a 401k. I had thought ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Is health insurance a wash in this case?

Let's say one makes 50k per year base at a company that pays 100% of the cost of a 10k per year medical plan. Now, a different company pays 0% for their similar 10k health care plan. The base pay is ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Why would an FHA loan require a loan guarantor to also be a party to the deed?

My daughter is buying a house with an FHA loan but does not have enough income to qualify, so she needs me as a co-signer. The loan originator is claiming that, by FHAs terms, if I am co-signing, I ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Are 401(k) contribution limits for employee & employer separate? What about hitting the limit?

I am 29 years old and have a 401(k) already with my company. I just started contributing 10% to my 401(k), up from my 8%. My company does not match but they do put 10% of my salary into my 401(k) as ...
6
votes
2answers
969 views

Good idea to purchase condo with no home owners association?

I'm looking at REO condos on homepath.com (the site for Fannie Mae foreclosures, etc). I'm wondering, is it a good/bad idea to purchase a condo with no home owners association? Most of them have one,...
3
votes
1answer
350 views

Can I claim mileage for traveling to a contract position?

I am employed by a tech. contracting company(A) and travel to another business(B), where I work as a contractor (employed by A). I commute everyday to B. Can I claim my travel to B as an expense?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Taxes: Get a refund or pay at the end of the year?

Should I change my W4 to not withhold any taxes (or at least withhold as little as possible) and just pay exactly what I need at the end of the year or or should I make my W4 so I pay just enough? I'...
8
votes
2answers
778 views

How to tell if HOA for a prospective condo purchase is financially healthy?

I'm considering purchasing a condo. I live in a major metropolitan area; so I'm almost certainly going to end up in a building maintained by an Home Owners Association (HOA). As I'm learning the ins ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

401k with paltry match or SPY ETF?

Summary: I read about the SPY ETF here on SE ( Where should my money go next: savings, investments, retirement, or my mortgage? ) and I am curious about JoeTaxpayer's comment specifically on the idea ...
24
votes
12answers
35k views

Why would you elect to apply a refund to next year's tax bill?

Every year I get a refund and the tax software asks me if I'd like to apply some of my refund to next year's taxes. Is there some benefit I'm not seeing to this? Because it looks like a bad deal to me....
13
votes
5answers
37k views

Deductible expenses paid with credit card: In which tax year would they fall?

If I paid my business expenses with a credit card during the month of December, which year can I deduct them from my taxes? 2011 (when the purchase was made) or 2012 (when I paid off the credit card)? ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Can you recommend a trading service or a place that ranks them?

I'm looking for a trading service(s) -- a service that recommends stocks and ETFs for shorter term trades, from "day trades" to several month trades -- that has a good track record, and ideally even ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Resources online to help with filing income taxes that include a small business?

My wife an I usually file taxes ourselves using the 1040A (with the standard deduction), but she started her own business this year selling jewelry. Most people are recommending to use a CPA for help ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why would refinancing my mortgage increase my PMI, even though rates are lower?

I'm currently stuck in a 5.5% loan on balance 167.5k. PMI is roughly $75/mo. I am trying to refinance, but my lender tells me that even going down to ~4% rates, it wouldn't be worth it because my PMI ...
2
votes
1answer
845 views

Proper way to report Simple IRA to Rollover IRA transfer

I have two IRAs: a Simple IRA (for more than two years), which I contribute to every month, and a Rollover IRA, which I use for automated trading. I had the Simple IRA broker do a trustee-to-trustee ...
4
votes
5answers
14k views

When should I update my W-4 and when should I say I am married?

I just started a new job after being in college. Since I have many deductions from being a student and only a partial year of income, I set my allowances accordingly. Now that we are at the end of ...
0
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2answers
149 views

Where do I buy low risk securities?

I am looking for places from where I can buy low risk securities (like money market funds). Basically I want to invest my emergency fund in these kind of investments in order to keep up with inflation....
4
votes
1answer
187 views

Renter starts next year, but advance checks received this year. How to report the income for tax purposes?

I have a renter who will start occupying my second home in January. He will provide checks for the first and last month in December. The IRS states that income should be reported in the year that I ...
9
votes
1answer
760 views

How do I keep an S-Corporation open when it has no revenues

I have an S-Corporation using which I used to do consulting work a few years back. Now, the revenues from that corporation has come down to zero. I hate to close it down in case I want to consult ...
1
vote
3answers
176 views

Restrictions or impact on Roth IRA when reaching MAGI threshold?

If I started a Roth IRA in 2011, but start contributing to a Roth 401k and reach the MAGI threshold for additional contributions in 2012 to my Roth IRA, will I eventually be able to move my 401k Roth ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

When you're really young and have about 2K to start investing $ for retirement, why do some people advise you to go risky?

I've heard people suggest (here and in other forums) that you should be willing to take more risks when you are young. Can someone explain what "risky" options are being referred to? I only have ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Can a parent legally qualify for section 8 housing by transferring all assets to their child?

My mother wants move out of her large house and into an apartment. She wants to move to section 8 housing which has lower rents, but first must get rid of all her assets to qualify. Is it legal for ...
2
votes
1answer
530 views

Why are for-a-fee wires faster than 2+ day free ACH

My understanding was that any bank-to-bank transfer (be domestic or international) has to go through the Federal Reserve (why does a private institution have to be privy to all transactions?), and it ...
10
votes
2answers
160 views

Tools for comparing costs between different healthcare providers?

I have a high deductible health insurance plan. That means the first $2000 or so expenses per year are not covered by my insurance. What's a good way to compare health care costs from different ...

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