RapidTax Blog


Someone Else Claimed My Dependent

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 27, 2016
Last modified: November 1, 2016

Did the IRS reject your tax return because someone else claimed your dependent?

Claiming a dependent is usually pretty simple: you give the IRS their social security number, certifying that your relationship with that person satisfies a few simple rules.

Things can get more complicated, especially if someone else also claims the same person as a dependent. If they file their return first, the IRS will assume it’s legitimate and award them the full tax benefit of the dependent. When you attempt to e-file your return, it will be rejected.

What can you do then?

The process is fairly straightforward. After your e-filed return has been rejected because someone else claimed the same dependent, you need to file a paper return. You can still prepare your return online. Instead of e-filing, you will need to print it out, sign it, and mail it to the IRS.

With your return, include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS as well as evidence proving that you have the right to claim the dependent (ie: medical records, school records, etc.).

The IRS will then review both returns claiming that dependent and determine which person should be claiming the dependent based on tax law. Read the rest of this entry »

If You Work Remotely Where Do You Pay Taxes?

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 27, 2016
Last modified: October 28, 2016

You work from home…but where do you pay taxes?

In our post “Living in One State, Working in Another“, we explained how to file state taxes if you work in one state but live in another.

However, with all the (exciting) advances in technology, more and more individuals are trading in their commutes to the office to instead work remotely from home.

If you work remotely and the company you work for is in a different state than you live in, then your tax situation will differ from someone who physically travels to another state for work.

We understand that you may have no idea how to file your state taxes. We’re here to help!

File taxes to one or two states?

Depending on your specific tax situation, you may need to file two state tax returns; a resident return and a non-resident return. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Fill Out a W-4 Correctly

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 27, 2016
Last modified: October 28, 2016

Filling out a W-4 is less mind-boggling than you think.

One of the first things you have to do when you get a new job is fill out a Form W-4 [Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate]. It is essential to complete a W-4 correctly because it determines how much tax will be withheld from your pay and how large your tax refund will be.

The first half of the form is pretty easy. You just have to fill in your name, address, and marital status.

Then you have to figure out how many allowances to claim. This number will determine the amount of your withholding.

Number of allowances to claim

Generally the number of allowances you should claim will correspond to the number of personal and dependency exemptions you can claim on your tax return, but this is not always the case. Claiming zero allowances will result in the maximum amount of tax withheld. Every additional allowance you claim on top of that means that a little less tax is withheld. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Claim the Child Tax Credit

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 27, 2016
Last modified: October 28, 2016

Parents deserve a bit of a (tax) break now and then.

As a busy parent, filing taxes can be found on the To-Do list between Monday’s soccer practice and Thursday’s parent-teacher conference. Do yourself a favor this year and see if you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit. Tax credits are great because, unlike deductions, they reduce your tax bill dollar-for-dollar. That means, a larger tax refund for you and your family!

What is the Child Tax Credit?

The Child Tax Credit offers a credit of up to $1,000 per child to qualifying taxpayers. It is only available to those who can claim a child as a dependent and meet several other requirements.

There is no limit to the number of children you can claim using the Child Tax Credit, however, claiming lots of kids may subject you to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

Who can claim the Child Tax Credit?

In order to claim the Child Tax Credit, the child in question must: Read the rest of this entry »

How To File Taxes in Two Different States

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 23, 2016
Last modified: October 24, 2016

Do you carry the burden of dealing with multiple states on your tax return?

For most of us, filing a state tax return is just another step in filing a federal return. Your tax-filing software just transfers your information to your state’s return and you’re done within minutes.

But what if you moved to a different state during the tax year? What if you worked in a state other than the one where you lived? What if you worked in multiple states? Suddenly filing state taxes becomes a little trickier and it may involve filing taxes in two different states.

Basically there are three different types of state tax returns that you need to worry about:

  • Resident
  • Part-Year Resident
  • Nonresident

Read the rest of this entry »

Do I Pay State Taxes If I Live in Florida and Work in Georgia?

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 23, 2016
Last modified: October 24, 2016

With Disney, beautiful beaches and no income taxes, Florida seems like heaven on Earth!

But what if you live in Florida but travel to a neighboring state for work? Well, working in a state with an income tax while living in Florida means you’ll have to pay taxes to the state you earn your income from.

For Florida residents, working in a bordering state such as Georgia, Alabama or Mississippi, you’ll have to pay tax only on the income you received there. To report this, you will file a non-resident return for the state you work in when filing your taxes.

I Live in Florida and Work in Georgia

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue website, non-residents who work in Georgia or receive income from a Georgia source…

Read the rest of this entry »

Can You Be a Resident of Two States at the Same Time?

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 23, 2016
Last modified: October 24, 2016

You can be a resident of two states but you may want to avoid it.

If your life mostly involves just one state, filing state taxes is relatively simple. When your life involves more than one state, things can get complicated pretty quickly.

Everything depends on residency. It determines where you have to file, what kind of return you have to file, and how much you’ll be taxed. The problem is, determining residency is more complicated than it sounds. The states have convoluted and differing definitions of what constitutes a resident.

Generally, you can only be a full resident of one state. Most filers who spend time in two states end up filing a resident return to one state and a non-resident return to the other.

Is this even possible?

Yes, it is possible to be a resident of two different states at the same time, though it’s pretty rare. One of the most common of these situations involves someone whose domicile is their home state, but who has been living in a different state for work for more than 184 days. In a situation like this it is conceivable that you could be the resident of two states. Read the rest of this entry »

Do I Claim Zero, One, Two W-4 Allowances?

Posted by Emma Lawrence on October 23, 2016
Last modified: October 24, 2016

The last thing you want to do is frantically run up to your boss asking “How many allowances do I claim on my W-4?”.

Being aware of the number of allowances you are claiming on a Form W-4 [Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate]  is important for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, the number of allowances you claim on a W-4 determines the following;

  1. how much tax will be taken from your income (aka the withholding amount)
  2. the size of your tax refund

 

Steps to filling out a W-4

You’ll need to following four simple steps when filling out your W-4 Form:

  1. Fill out your personal information (Name, Date of Birth, Address, Marital Status)
  2. Know the number of personal and dependency exemptions you are claiming on your tax return.
  3. Based on the number from step 2, use that number to help determine your number of allowances.
  4. Don’t forget to sign the W-4 and turn it into your employer!

The allowances you claim while filling out a W-4 if you are single will differ from the allowances you claim if you are married or have kids.  Read the rest of this entry »

State Income Tax: Living in One State, Working in Another

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on October 17, 2016
Last modified: October 18, 2016

Need to file state taxes when you live and work in different states?

Most people in the U.S. live and work in the same state, which makes state taxes pretty easy to understand – you pay taxes to the state where you live and work.

But what if you live in one state and work in another? Do you pay taxes to the state where you live? Where you earn an income? Both?!

You need to pay taxes to both. Most likely you will end up having to file a resident return in the state where you live and a nonresident return in the state where you work.

Resident return

Generally you need to file a resident return in the state where you are a permanent resident. This state has the right to tax ALL of your income, wherever it was earned. Read the rest of this entry »

How to File Taxes for a Deceased Person

Posted by Michelle O'Brien on May 31, 2016
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Once the inevitable hits, it’s best to know how to deal with it. Let us help you with the tax side.

Death and taxes are two topics that no one wants to have a conversation about. However, they are two hurdles in life that every person is eventually faced with. Unfortunately, they can arrive together – when a taxpayer dies, there needs to be a final tax return filed on their behalf. We’ll tell you who needs to do this, what needs to be reported and how to get it done.   

Who is responsible for filing a final tax return?

A final tax return will always need to be filed after a taxpayer’s death, but who needs to do this will depend on the filing status of the deceased taxpayer on the day they passed away.

Were they married?

If the taxpayer was married when they passed away, then the IRS considers the couple to be married for the entire year for tax purposes. The surviving spouse is responsible for filing the tax return. In this case, the surviving spouse would file as married filing jointly, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child.

If the surviving spouse plans to file a joint tax return, they are only able to do so for the current tax year in which their spouse has passed. In following tax years, they must file as qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, head of household, or single.

In order for the surviving spouse to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, specific requirements must be met. The surviving spouse must have: Read the rest of this entry »