Nine Things I’ve Learned About Tax From My Mom

By the time that you read this, I will be at home in NC with my family as my mom gears up for some major surgery. It’s a big deal. I know surgery is always a big deal but this is serious and it’s my mom. If you follow the blog, you know that I talk a lot about my mom. My mom and I are pretty different. She has Christmas sweaters and gold lame shoes, I wear a lot of black. She watches bull riding, I prefer baseball. She doesn’t like the cold, I love the snow. She thinks …

The Month After: Refund Status, Lost Checks and Tax Planning

Tomorrow (May 18) marks exactly one month after Tax Day 2011. I know, just a month, right? It feels a lot longer to those of us in the tax profession. This is about the time that many folks start peering at their bank balances and wondering where the heck their refund checks are. If you’re one of those folks, here are a few tips: Use the IRS’ online tool to check on the status of your refund. Call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. Use an app on your Droid or iPhone. It’s free and you can download it from the Apple …

Ask the taxgirl: Double Dipping on Dependents

Taxpayer asks: Hi TaxGirl, Great website. You have put together a stunning resource. I really have enjoyed looking around! I have a brief question. I am 23, have a job, and live on my own. I went ahead and filed a federal return in February claiming myself as a dependent. I received a tax refund as well as the $400 Making Work Pay credit. My parents’ very slow and procrastinating accountant called frantically to tell me I should have filed as a dependent of my parents so they can claim my college tuition deduction on their return. My inquiry is: …

Taxes from A to Z: X is for 1040-X

We all make mistakes. And occasionally, those mistakes happen to involve a federal income tax return. For just those occasions, the IRS has created the federal form 1040-X (downloads as a pdf). The form 1040-X is surprisingly short: a mere two pages long. That’s because it’s not meant to be a new return, just an improved one. In other words, the IRS wants you to use the form 1040-X just to correct your errors. Do not file another “original” return since that will just confuse the IRS and will delay processing of your return (and your refund if you’re entitled …

Ask the taxgirl: Gambling Winnings and Losses

Taxpayer asks: I filed the 1040ez for 2009 and had gambling winnings of 2500.00. I got a notice from IRS that I owe an increase of 625.00. It was reported on a w-2g I did not file a sched. A. How can I report my gambling loss of up to 2500.00 Since I have already filed the 1040ez. Or am I destined to pay this amount. I certainly lost more than I earned. taxgirl says: In most cases, so long as the statute of limitations has not run, you can file an amended return. The statute of limitations for most …