RapidTax Blog

How To File Taxes in Two Different States

Posted by Tax Advisor on October 23rd, 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 Tax Advisor on October 23rd, 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 Tax Advisor on October 23rd, 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 23rd, 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 Tax Advisor on October 17th, 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 Tax Advisor on May 31st, 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 »

Delay in State Tax Refunds for 2016

Posted by Tax Advisor on May 2nd, 2016
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Identity theft is real, and it is REALLY affecting when we get our state refunds.

Remember being in elementary school, when your teacher would tell the class that if one more student misbehaved, then the entire class would be forced to sit inside for recess that day? There was always that one kid who would ruin it for everyone.

That is similar to what’s going on with identity theft affecting state refunds this year. State revenue departments decided that there were too many cases of fraudulent activity and that they needed to do something. This means that refunds are being delayed a bit in order to double check certain taxpayer information.

Let’s take a look at the states that took a little extra precaution this 2016 tax season.

Illinois and South Carolina

These guys put provisions into play from the very beginning of the season. If you filed your state return in January or February, then you wouldn’t have seen your refund until at least mid-March. On top of that, if you filed your return after March 1st, 2016, then your refund was sent approximately three weeks from the date it was accepted.  


Taxpayers could be waiting for their state tax refund anywhere from four to sixteen weeks after being accepted. Good thing that Maui ranks as the #1 vacation spot in the U.S.! You won’t need to travel too far to relax and forget about the lack of refund money you’re waiting on.


Identity theft in the Great Potato State has increased by nearly 64% since 2014! Extra safety measures means taxpayers will be waiting about seven weeks for their state refund from the time it is accepted. The ID Department of Revenue recommends responding ASAP to any letters you receive from the Tax Commission to speed up the processing time. Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Guide: RapidTax CPA Review

Posted by Tax Advisor on April 26th, 2016
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Afraid to stray from your accountant but also tired of paying the fancy price tag?

I have some pretty fond memories of road-tripping to my parents’ accountant on a beautiful Spring afternoon. I’d wait on the black leather couch with nothing but a bag of pretzels and a Game Boy to keep me busy while they crunched numbers. By the time we were out of there, my parents were balls of frustration and I had lost my sunny Saturday.

RapidTax is here to save the day (and hopefully a few sunny afternoons of your own)! While many have now taken the modern road, preparing their own tax returns online, some of us have stayed in the accountant safety net. Change is hard, and we hear what you’re saying. That’s why we’re now offering you accountant services online with the RapidTax CPA Review service!

Why switch things up? Let’s take a look at the most common concerns when it comes to making the switch.

Is this really just as good as going to an accountant in person?

After doing some research, we’ve found that this is the dilemma holding people back the most from hopping aboard the online tax movement. Yes, it is just as good, if not better. In fact, one of the best parts is not having to go in person at all. Here are some other highlights to choosing an online CPA review with RapidTax: Read the rest of this entry »

Who Determines Which Parent Claims a Dependent Child?

Posted by Tax Advisor on April 1st, 2016
Last modified: October 6, 2016

Claiming a dependent on your taxes can shave off a good amount of your tax liability.

Sometimes, the real issue lies in the rule that only one exemption can be claimed per dependent. This is an IRS rule, and one situation where absolutely no exceptions apply. So if there are two parents who are not filing jointly, and one child, you can see how this has all the makings of an impromptu game of tug-o-war.

So who wins? This question is asked to countless accountants, lawyers and tax professionals each day. The answer is simple. Accepting the answer is the tough part.

The custodial parent can claim the child as a dependent. The non-custodial parent cannot.

Who determines which parent can claim the child dependent exemption?

Contrary to popular belief, a court order will not determine which parent can claim a dependent child. You can wait on hold with the IRS as long as you want. The answer will always come down to federal law; not a state or county court order.

Custodial Parent VS. Non-Custodial Parent

Assuming your child probably refers to you as mom or dad, ‘custodial parent’ is typically not a term thrown around in most households. Generally speaking, the parent with whom the child lives for the majority of nights during the tax year is the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is the other parent. If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of nights per year, then the custodial parent is the one with the higher Adjusted Gross Income. Read the rest of this entry »

My Ex Claimed My Child as a Dependent; Now What?

Posted by Tax Advisor on March 30th, 2016
Last modified: October 6, 2016

You can’t divide a dependent exemption in half.

So, your ex claimed your child as a dependent on their tax return, when you were the only parent eligible to do this. Was it out of revenge? Maybe it was just miscommunication? Perhaps they believed they were actually allowed to? It happens. Regardless of the reason they did it, now you need to fix it and prevent this from happening in the future. RapidTax is here to help.

What will happen if I e-file my tax return?

You are the custodial parent of your child. Are you sure? To avoid confusion with the tax jargon I just threw your way, a custodial parent (for tax purposes, anyways) is the parent who the child lives with for the majority of nights per year. If both parents spent an equal amount of time with the child, then the parent with the highest adjusted gross income is the custodial parent (by default), according to the IRS. Keep in mind that determining who the custodial parent is does not depend on a state or county court ruling. For tax purposes, the IRS only considers federal law.

If both you and your ex e-file your tax returns and claim your child as a dependent, the one of you who filed second will be rejected by the IRS. This is inevitable. Even if you are the custodial parent, the IRS e-file system is a machine and you will still need to prove this.

What steps do I need to take to prove that I am the eligible parent?

The first thing to understand is that each tax situation is unique, and the best thing to do is contact the IRS directly for specific instructions on how to proceed. However, if you want a general idea of the steps you’ll need to take, keep reading.

Step #1: Double check that you meet all of the eligibility requirements set up by the IRS. This is important because if you do not meet even one of the following and your ex does, it could work against you. These requirements are: Read the rest of this entry »