33 votes
Accepted

If my pay period is split between 2 calendar years, which tax year do I file them in?

Income is considered to be part of the tax year in which you receive the paycheck. Thus, even though you earned it in 2019, it'll be on your 2020 W-2. This is fair, because you'll have a similar ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 50.7k
28 votes
Accepted

Will the IRS penalize me if I mail my tax forms before the deadline but it arrives after it?

If you just mail your taxes in, you're fine as long as you are postmarked by July 15. IRS won't actually open it for days, or even weeks, likely, but you'll be in the clear. The most "generic&...
Joe's user avatar
  • 35.8k
13 votes

Is a credit from a utility company taxable?

In many regions in the United States the state/local governments have a role in setting the rates for their jurisdictions. Frequently they limit the amount of profit the utility can make. ...
mhoran_psprep's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

US Tax Form 1040EZ: Do I enter ALL income or ONLY income specified in W-2 forms?

Yes, you need to include income from your freelance work on your tax return. In the eyes of the IRS, this is self-employment income from your sole-proprietorship business. The reason you don't see ...
Ben Miller's user avatar
  • 115k
10 votes

IRS notice of owing money for income tax and interest

Is that really accurate? You need to find the 1099-G forms that you should have received from the state. It is possible that it didn't get to you because in another question from a year ago you ...
mhoran_psprep's user avatar
9 votes

Will the IRS penalize me if I mail my tax forms before the deadline but it arrives after it?

No problem. The IRS scans your envelope when they scan your documents. In any subsequent review or audit, they can, will and do look at the postmark when deciding things. And the postmark is what ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

If someone could claim me as a dependent, but they will not, am I required to check the "Someone can claim me..." box on my 1040?

An interesting question. I was in fact able to find an official IRS document saying that the box must be checked. However, it is not among the normal "user-facing" IRS publications ...
BrenBarn's user avatar
  • 23.9k
7 votes

Business service doesn't exist on tax form. What do you do?

On your tax return's Schedule C, Line B, you need to enter the Principal Business or Professional Activity Code that corresponds to your business's activities. There is a list of these 6-digit codes ...
Ben Miller's user avatar
  • 115k
6 votes

Why don't "normal" tax credits apply towards self-employment tax?

Self-employment tax is the same as Social Security and Medicare withholdings on W2 income (commonly called FICA or payroll taxes), with W2 income employers pay half and you pay half. For those who are ...
Hart CO's user avatar
  • 70.3k
6 votes

Filed 1040, Forgot to Check Box on Line 61 (full year health coverage). File 1040X or Wait?

The IRS is not actively enforcing the health care mandate this year, so don't worry about it. If you had health care, it is not actionable anyway.
Five Bagger's user avatar
  • 9,785
6 votes
Accepted

Should I be entering "0" or "-0-" on my 1040 form?

It doesn't matter whether you enter "0" or "-0-". The instructions usually say "enter -0-". However, this is as much for making the instructions more legible as for anything on the actual form. The ...
Ben Miller's user avatar
  • 115k
6 votes

If my pay period is split between 2 calendar years, which tax year do I file them in?

You're over-thinking this. Assuming you're an employee, you use whatever amount is shown on your W2 form. If you're an independent contractor, whatever's shown on your 1099s, likewise if it's income ...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 11.1k
6 votes

Will the IRS penalize me if I mail my tax forms before the deadline but it arrives after it?

The IRS considers the postmark date to be the date of filing, so it's perfectly fine so long as your envelope makes it to your post office by the close of business on the due date. This is true for ...
josh3736's user avatar
  • 440
5 votes
Accepted

How do taxes work if one's spouse dies?

married jointly for that year and subsequently as "head of household" if you still have children to take care of but confirm from TAX professional.
Raj's user avatar
  • 3,472
5 votes

If I purchase and simply hold on to a non-dividend yielding stock for an entire fiscal year, will I need to report it on my tax return?

To your question as asked, but not your example and probably not your intent, there is (since a few years ago) one exception. If you directly own stock of a foreign (non-US) issuer (i.e. NOT an ADR ...
dave_thompson_085's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Is it necessary to pay quarterly earnings taxes in US?

From the IRS: How do I know if I have to file quarterly individual estimated tax payments? Answer: Generally, you must make estimated tax payments for the current tax year if both of the following ...
D Stanley's user avatar
  • 133k
5 votes

If someone could claim me as a dependent, but they will not, am I required to check the "Someone can claim me..." box on my 1040?

I think, legally speaking, it is clear that the person is not eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. 26 USC 6428(d) (as well as the corresponding section from 26 USC 6428A for the second round ...
user102008's user avatar
  • 17.1k
4 votes

What do the components of the taxable income in the Schedule D Tax Worksheet mean?

This worksheet is actually one of the most difficult parts of the tax code to understand. First, I suggest you start by understanding the Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Worksheet as the ...
Jack Detz's user avatar
4 votes

What is the meaning of "2015 estimated tax payments and amount applied from 2014 return" on line 65 of Form 1040?

The Form 1040 instructions have this to say about line 65: 2015 Estimated Tax Payments Enter any estimated federal income tax payments you made for 2015. Include any overpayment that you ...
Ben Miller's user avatar
  • 115k
4 votes
Accepted

Which boxes on IRS Form 1040 Line 6 need to be filled?

Each dependent should only be included in one of the three box totals in 6c. As a result, you need to decide if this child would be included in the "children who lived with you", "children who did ...
Ben Miller's user avatar
  • 115k
4 votes
Accepted

How do I avoid double taxation of dividends and capital gains?

If you read a bit further down, you'd see the explanation, as well as one alternative. FEIE can only reduce your taxes by the amount of your foreign earned income, up to a cap (a bit over $100k). So ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 35.8k
4 votes
Accepted

Itemizing deductions: Proportional tax paid for vehicle title and registration that is not sales tax

26 U.S.C. 164(b)(5)(E), a sub(subsub) section of the law that specifies taxes that are deductible: (E) Compensating use taxes A compensating use tax with respect to an item shall be treated as a ...
Guest5's user avatar
  • 1,324
4 votes

Foreign tax credit does not seem to prevent double taxation

There is nothing unreasonable about your result. Person Y has a higher global income than person X, so should have a higher US effective tax rate, since the US has progressive tax brackets. In this ...
user102008's user avatar
  • 17.1k
4 votes
Accepted

How to report buyer penalty on sale of house to the IRS?

Treat it as an addition to the sale price. You sold the house for $X, and charged the buyer additional $Y due to being late - your total gross sale price was $(X+Y).
littleadv's user avatar
  • 171k
3 votes

Why don't "normal" tax credits apply towards self-employment tax?

Suppose first that you have no self-employment income and so your taxable income is entirely due to salary, wages, interest, dividends, capital gains etc.. Lines 48-54 are tax credits that reduce the ...
Dilip Sarwate's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Why don't "normal" tax credits apply towards self-employment tax?

Self-employment tax is actually a completely separate tax from income tax. It is only included on the income tax form for convenience.
prl's user avatar
  • 2,804
3 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to claim the Bona Fide Residence test for part of the year?

You're at the wrong page to check for eligibility to claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. The full eligibility test says that if you do not meet the Bona Fide Resident test, you can claim the ...
Guest5's user avatar
  • 1,324
3 votes

Filed 1040, Forgot to Check Box on Line 61 (full year health coverage). File 1040X or Wait?

If you fail to check the box indicating you have the required health coverage, you must indeed file 1040X to correct your 1040. I made this exact error on my 2015 1040, and just realized the error, ...
user4556274's user avatar
  • 1,997
3 votes
Accepted

Are there any other deductions analogous to HSA deductions, for pretax accounts I can contribute to with post tax money?

For a 401(k), only contributions that you make for the current tax year through payroll deduction are tax-deductible. Those contributions are subtracted off of your income for your W-2 Box 1 income ...
Ben Miller's user avatar
  • 115k

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