Sometimes we’re so busy growing up that we forget they’re growing old.
Everyone knows that claiming a dependent on your income tax return can get you a significantly larger refund. For every dependent you claim on your taxes you can claim an extra personal exemption. That’s a large chunk of change you can deduct from your income, thus reducing your tax burden.
But who exactly can you claim? Are you eligible to claim your parents as dependents?
When it comes to taxes there are actually two different types of dependents: qualifying children and qualifying relatives.
Obviously, you can’t claim your parents as qualifying children. So the question becomes, do they meet the requirements for qualifying relatives? Continue reading “Can You Claim Parents as Dependents?”
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. Continue reading “Someone Else Claimed My Dependent”
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 filling 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. Continue reading “How to Fill Out a W-4 Correctly”