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Clock Is Ticking Toward Tax Filing Deadline

Evening Edition

Above: IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino talks to KPBS about tax crunch time.

Aired 4/11/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Raphael Tulino, spokesman, IRS

Daniel Tahara, spokesman, California Franchise Tax Board

Transcript

Tax Filing Help

IRS -IRS.gov

California Franchise Tax Board

Live represntative: 800-852-5711

Automated: 800-338-0505

Online: www.Ftb.ca.gov

This weekend is the tax procrastinators' deadline. You may have been meaning to get around to taxes for weeks now, but the crucial date of Tuesday April 17 is fast approaching.

Luckily, IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino offers some last minute tips.

Comments

Avatar for user 'mclare'

mclare | April 11, 2012 at 12:43 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

I am administrator for my late mother’s estate. Probate Letters of Administration expire in June and we have wrapped up the estate and probate except for filing the 2012 tax returns. Can I still file and sign the final returns next year after Letters expire?

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Avatar for user 'jyeakley'

jyeakley | April 11, 2012 at 12:44 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

My son is a music teacher who receives only 1099 forms, where his income is listed as nonemployee compensation. Is he considered self-employed? If so, is he considered as having a business?

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Avatar for user 'joeblotto666'

joeblotto666 | April 11, 2012 at 12:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

I am a San Diego TaxiCab driver. I believe I am considered to be an independent contractor. What forms federal and state do I need to file?

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Avatar for user 'Ben'

Ben | April 11, 2012 at 12:51 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

My wife and I were married in June 2011, we both work and plan to file jointly. We both lived in and owned separate houses prior to getting married. She moved in to my residence after getting married and her parents remained in her house. Can we deduct the mortgage interest expense on both houses on our joint Schedule A? Thanks

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Avatar for user 'RobHerman'

RobHerman | April 11, 2012 at 1:44 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Daniel,

I called the show about a tax exempt mutual fund that I sold in 2011. Do I need to claim that in California? Specifically, it's the Vanguard Intermediate Term Tax Exempt Fund.

Thanks

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Avatar for user 'Patty Lane'

Patty Lane, KPBS Staff | April 11, 2012 at 2:17 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

thanks for all your comments we will get back to you shortly, have sent them to IRS/Franchise Tax Board

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Avatar for user 'Patty Lane'

Patty Lane, KPBS Staff | April 11, 2012 at 3:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Comment for mclare from Raphael Tulino, IRS spokesperson
– The IRS has a publication that I recommend you take a look at based on the information in your question. IRS Publication 559 is the Survivors, Executors and Administrators’ publication and it is an excellent resource. Here is the PDF link to it - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p559.pdf This publication will provide more clarity to your question/situation from the federal tax side of things.

Take a look at Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1040, on page three which begins with this:
The personal representative (defined earlier) must file the final income tax return (Form 1040) of the decedent for the year of death and any returns not filed for preceding years. A surviving spouse, under certain circumstances, may have to file the returns for the decedent. See Joint Return, later.
Return for preceding year. If an individual died after the close of the tax year, but before the return for that year was filed, the return for the year just closed will not be the final return. The return for that year will be a regular return and the personal representative must file it.

Also, see under (read) “Income Tax Return of an Estate— Form 1041” on pages 15-20 which begins with this:
An estate is a taxable entity separate from the decedent and comes into being with the death of the individual. It exists until the final distribution of its assets to the heirs and other beneficiaries. The income earned by the assets during this period must be reported by the estate under the conditions described in this publication. The tax generally is figured in the same manner and on the same basis as for individuals, with certain differences in the computation of deductions and credits, as explained later.
Finally, considering the information in your question, you might find it beneficial to seek the services of a qualified tax professional to be sure on things.

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Avatar for user 'Patty Lane'

Patty Lane, KPBS Staff | April 11, 2012 at 3:21 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Comment regarding jyeakley question from Raphael Tulino, IRS Spokesperson.

It appears your son is being treated as an independent contractor and therefore his income belongs on a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship). He will be able to deduct ordinary and necessary expenses against that income and will pay income tax on the profit as well as Self-Employment Tax on profit over $400. IRS Publication 334 is a good source of information for small business owners. Here is a PDF link to it - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p334.pdf

The distinction between an employee and independent contractor can be a complex one. IRS Publcation 15-A, Employers Supplemental Tax Guide, linked here - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15a.pdf provides guidance on this matter your son might want to review. If your son believes he should be treated as an employee, he should discuss this with those who pay him.

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Avatar for user 'Patty Lane'

Patty Lane, KPBS Staff | April 11, 2012 at 3:23 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Comment regarding joeblotto666 question, from Raphael Tulino, IRS Spokesperson

A - The distinction between independent contractor and employee depends on three factors outlined in Publication 15-A, Behavioral Control, Financial Control Type of Relationship. If you are an independent contractor you will file Form 1040, Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship).

In fact, much of the same information in the Music Teacher answer will generally apply here. Form 1040 and IRS Schedule C..and C-EZ, plus the instructions for both can be found (and downloaded) from www.irs.gov

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Avatar for user 'Patty Lane'

Patty Lane, KPBS Staff | April 11, 2012 at 3:24 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Comment regarding BEN question, from Raphael Tulino, IRS Spokesman

A – Congratulations! IRS Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction discusses the rules for deducting home mortgage interest. Here is the PDF link to it - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p936.pdf

From page 4 in Pub 936: “Married taxpayers. If you are married and file a joint return, your qualified home(s) can be owned either jointly or by only one spouse.

A general answer here is yes, but a definite answer will depend on your complete set of facts and circumstances. Take a read through Pub 936 for more clarity. Also, you will find IRS Publication 530, Tax information for homeowners, useful as well - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p530.pdf See pages 4 - 7.

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Avatar for user 'Patty Lane'

Patty Lane, KPBS Staff | April 12, 2012 at 9:03 a.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

From Mike:
I sold a piece of land in 2011 I was developing a house on for resale. I
lost a large amount of money on the project (which wasn't finished) when
the real estate market crashed and the project was shut down. On what
form should I report this sale and loss, and can I carryover the excess
loss to future years? I am a private individual filer, and not a
contractor. I hired engineers, architects, etc for the project and
permitting. I did not form a company for this project. My tax software
will not allow me to report it as a business sale of real estate, saying
I can only report sales on which I made a profit.
Thanks, Michael

From Raphael Tulino, IRS:

– I’m sorry for your loss on this, Michael. Based on the information in your question, may I (strongly) suggest that you seek the services of a qualified tax professional to see you through here. Without knowing more (your complete set of facts and circumstances), it’s hard to offer that this is, or could be a long term capital loss or an investment loss, for example.

Here three links to information that you will find useful:

1 – IRS Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p550.pdf

2 – IRS Schedule D (where long term cap gains and losses go) instructions along with new form 8949 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040sd.pdf

3 – And finally, a Tax Topic on the subject (IRS topic 409)- http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc409.html

Good luck!

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