Your Questions About Check My Mortgage Interest

Sharon asks…

Do I file a tax return and will I get any money back?

I live in Southern California and did not work a single day this year. I did, however, get a large check (over $100,000.00) in a lump sum when I took a draw from my annuity plan. I have a lot of write offs like my mortgage interest, registration on several vehicles, kids, and so forth. Can I file a tax return and will I get a refund if I am owed one? I really need it!!!! Also, what if I didn’t work all year but did get unemployment checks. Do I file and will I get a refund if I am owed one? Thanks!

admin answers:

Yes, you need to file. The unemployment will need to be reported as income. The annuity may be all or partially taxable depending on the type of plan it is. There is no way of knowing how much, if any, refund you may receive. Was anything withheld from the annuity or the unemployment? If not, you will most likely owe tax, plus penalties for underpayment.

Nancy asks…

what can I itemize on my tax return?

I spent over 20,000 in home improvements. Things like a new pellet stove, new floors, new window treatments, paint, new sliding glass doors, new deck, all work was done ourselves. We purchased a new car but not one of the alternate fuel vehicles (2008 ford focus) can I use the tax payed on the car purchase? What else can I use as an itemized deduction? I know for sure I can use my real estate taxes and my mortgage interest, but what about my school taxes? hot water heater? refrigerator? gas (not for work) gas (for work travel out of state)?park pass? sales tax on food, clothing, home cleaners…? and last,if my husband gets a per-Diem in his check can he use his work expenses as write offs (hotel rooms, clothes, gas, food)?

I thank you so so much if any one can help with this.

admin answers:

You can only claim a insulation deduction (new windows, weather striping, storm doors) up to $1000. You can’t claim the tax on the car you purchased.

I would say you need to talk to an accountant because you don’t want to claim something wrong and the IRS audit you and charge you interest and penalties for stuff done wrong.

Paul asks…

Why do I owe? 0 Exemptions and lots of deductons?

Married, no kids, filing jointly. The software I use and some online calculator’s agree that I owe – but I can’t pass the sanity check when I take into account how much we paid.

~$140k AGI split between my wife and I.
Both had w4 marked “Married” for 0 exemptions and $10 extra.
$20k paid in mortgage interest 2007.
She had $18k in 1099-MISC, but paid $3600 of estimated (overpaid).

We got it down to owing Federal only $2k, but the is the first time we owe, and we expected a healthy return…

So all I can think of is to withhold at “single rate while married”, anything to do to prevent owing again? Did I do something wrong or have we just hit a new tax bracket the our jobs don’t account for when withholding?

Thanks in advance.

admin answers:

You are in a 25% tax bracket, and there are S/E taxes on your wife’s 1099 (unless she made more than $97,500 on between that and her W2, then the S/E would be smaller…).

The incremental tax on that 1099 alone is over $6000…the estimated payments of only $3600 explain your shortfall.

Ken asks…

HELP!!! — Can I Shield Assets From a Chapter 7 Bankruptsy?

My wife and I are currently faced with having to file chapter 7 bankruptsy in the state of Georgia. Most of the assets that need to be shielded are financial. We don’t have a traditional 401k, but my wife has a Voluntary Investment Plan, which is basically stocks in the company she worked for prior to losing her job. She also has severance pay coming to her as well as a bonus check to be paid next year. In addition to this, we typically get a good portion of money back each year on our tax returns from mortgage interest, etc.

Does anybody know if it’s possible to shield some or all of these assets from bankruptsy trustees, or had any experience doing so?

Any advice would be appreciated!

admin answers:

Don’t do it. Not only can the Ch 7 trustee take these things from you (even if they could have been exempted had you not tried to hide them) but you could also be charged with bankruptcy fraud.

Talk to a good bankruptcy attorney to find out what you can LEGITIMATELY exempt from liquidation to pay creditors. It may be more than you think.

In my experience, most people who try to hide assets in bankruptcy wouldn’t have needed to do that; they could legitimately have exempted the assets they were trying to hide without running afoul of the law. But by trying to hide assets they got themselves in big trouble, which wouldn’t have ever needed to happen if they’d been honest and forthcoming with their bankruptcy attorney in the first place.

George asks…

Can somebody please advise how to figure taxes out with unemployment?

Oh boy…I really did something stupid. I meant to claim “0” on my form when I started at Ford and I guess they never took any federal taxes out. I never even looked. All my pay stubs were electronic and as long as I got a check I didn’t care. Fast Forward….I was laid off….then eligible for unemployment. I was asked if I wanted to take out federal tax…UH YEAH!! Well now I’m looking at my taxes…I only made 28K before getting laid off and I received $9500.00 in unemployment. I did an online program to do taxes. The unemployment pushed amount I owe up higher, even after putting in that I paid taxes on it?? It says I owe like $2800.00 in federal…does that sound right? Geez if it is, I’ll suck it up and be a man but WOAH…I thought at least my mortgage interest deductions would help out…Next time I’ll be sure to look at my electronic statement to make sure tax is being taken out…I should have thought my paycheck was a little too good to be true..lol. Maybe I should have a pro do my taxes? Am I missing something?

admin answers:

You were wise to have fed tax taken out of unemployment benefits, or you would have to pay more now than you are..try another e-file program and see if there’s a difference – I was using Turbo Tax, but found that OLT.com ( thru irs e-file ) caught some deductions that TT missed !!! You may have to ask for the irs installment plan..as you have learned, putting “0” on the W4 gets more $$ home, but you pay for it later :}

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