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FOX 5 I-Team

Your Tax Questions Answered

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This tax season the FOX 5 I-Team will have some of your pressing tax questions answered by our go-to tax expert, Bill Nemeth.

    Let's start with viewer Lisa Miller Pearson. Her question is this: As an independent consultant who didn't make a profit last year is she still required to report sales?

      • Well, enrolled agent Bill Nemeth says in a nutshell 'yes'. He says that a self-employed person has to file a federal return if their "gross income is $400 or more." So, even if you make no money, you still have to file.

        Tom Murphy, another viewer, had a few questions rolled into one about the rules for dependents. His main question is this: Can he claim his 20-year-old son if he moves out and is not in school?

          • Mr. Nemeth says the short answer here is 'no'. There answer is more elaborate and can be found in the full page of questions and answers linked below.

            Can you write off that home office if you both work part-time from the home office? In this case one person uses it for two days, the other person for three. That comes to us from Harold Farran and Ron Gary.

              • And the answer is ‘yes', but there are many stipulations here. In this case one person is a blogger, and according to our expert, that person needs to have an income from that venture.

              How will Obamacare affect those of us who have so called "Cadillac" insurance plans through our employer?"

              • The good news is that this provision does not become effective until 2018. This has become a political issue with some news pundits stating that many employees company-provided insurance will be downgraded to avoid the Cadillac Insurance provision. A wide variety of opinions on this topic can be found by Googling, "Cadillac Health Insurance Plans offered by Employers."

              Tricia P. says that for some crazy reason her husband did their taxes but forgot to claim her. Oops. She asks, "Can we re-do our taxes?"

              • Well, local enrolled agent Bill Nemeth has been kind enough to volunteer to answer your questions and his answer is ‘yes'. Assuming you are actually married you, he says, you can file an amended return. Here's the good news: He says this will likely lower your tax liability and perhaps qualify you for some tax credits, too.

              A number of you asked if you had no income last year, do you still have to file a federal return?

              • Bill Nemeth says ‘no', but be sure that you had no income. If you weren't working but received unemployment or had to sell some stocks to get by, that is considered income, according to Mr. Nemeth.

              Viewer J.J. Walker says he's retired but lives in Georgia seven months of the year and in New Mexico five. He asks where he's supposed to file his tax return?

              • Enrolled Agent Bill Nemeth says you should file returns in both states. Your income is taxed in the state in which it was received. In this case, you owe Georgia for the seven months you received your pension here and New Mexico for the remainder.

              Is the 529 Plan'scontribution deductible?

              • Certifiedenrolled agent Bill Nemeth says 'yes' it sure is.  Here is your state taxbenefit:  You can deduct up to $2,000 per beneficiary.  Again, thatis in Georgia. This Web site has a very goodfact sheet that can answer many of your related questions. www.path2college529.com

              A viewer said thatshe can't seem to get her withholding right.  One year she gets a bigrefund.  Another year she owes too much money. How does she get it closeto zero?

              • Mr. Nemeth saysthe IRS Web site can be a big help here. Then, type in"withholding calculator."  That'll get you started. 


                  SEND US YOUR TAX QUESTIONS

                  And our resident go-to tax expert, Bill Nemeth and the I-Team's Dana Fowle will answer them, here.

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