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You Asked, We Answered: Top Tax Filing Questions

October 15, 2020

You Asked, We Answered: Top General Tax Questions
Maggie Klokkenga, CPA, CFP, answers that your tax concerns.

You demand, we answered! Because of the wonderful response of taxation questions we received before this podcast using Maggie Klokkenga, CPA, CFP, we understood we couldn’t answer them all inMailbag. Instead, we demand Maggie to answer your questions. We have separation them up by topic. So, without further ado, Maggie answers your tax filing questions.

What are the tax implications of selling a house that I inherited from my husband in 2017? He had bought it before we were married. I built a new house and moved in October 2018 and locked on the previous house seven days later. I kept receipts for everything.

My condolences to you. If this was the home that you lived in with him for the last two out of five years, you can exclude gain on the sale of that home if the gain was less than $500,000. If your deceased husband filed an estate tax return, the value of the home was listed on the tax return. You can use that value as your cost basis to determine the gain.

Other than retirement plans and HSAs, what are other ways to reduce taxable income?

If you have a side hustle and are filing a Schedule C, determine if there are other expenses that you can claim, such as tax preparation fees or membership dues.

Clump and lump your deductions (see previous answer), particularly in years that you are expecting higher income.

I got married in 2018, but my husband isn’t squared away (tax-wise) to get 2017. In what instances is it better to get a married couple to file individually?

Well, in this circumstance, for the one. Permit’s record a few.

  • When you opt to file as married filing separately, you’re solely responsible for your tax obligation, not your spouse’s. This may be a great idea before he receives his taxes paid and filed.
  • If you’ve got significant itemized deductions, and your adjusted gross income (AGI) is reduced enough to have the ability to maintain them (as an instance, medical costs ). However if you added on your partner’s AGI, you then wouldn’t be able to claim those medical expenses. Note though: If you decide to file separately and itemize, then your spouse is required to as well, even if his itemized deductions are less than the standard deduction.
  • We’ve talked in the Intexchange private Facebook group that married filing separately can help to lower income-driven student loan payments. While this is true for most IDR plans, the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) takes into account both you and your spouse’s income even if you file separately.

Are there any tax shelters for people who are legally blind?

There is an additional standard deduction of $1,600 that can be taken by taxpayers who are legally blind. For example, a single blind taxpayer takes the standard deduction on her 2018 tax return. Her standard deduction is $13,600 ($12,000 standard deduction plus $1,600 additional).

Is Social Security income taxable for one person who received $11,400 with no other income?

No, it is not. Social Security income does not begin to be taxed until you have more than $25,000 of what the IRS calls "passive income. " Provisional income consists of your gross income plus any tax-exempt interest plus one-half of your Social Security income.