2011 taxes

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by radioman, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. radioman

    radioman farming for love! Premium Member

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    I just completed my taxes for 2010 and getting refund. Every year I get disapointed, no wait depressed is more like it. Its not about the size of refund cuz I'm happy with it. MY issue is that when going through the possible deductions or credits we could take, it is always the wrong year or they ended it. I try to stay on top of info of incentives and stuff, but the gov. seems to be sneaky about it. I just want to know what is current for 2011 and how we can take advantage of it.

    SO lets start out the year new and try to post tips here.

    For example if you plan on getting a new furance/water heater, the credits is still there but its less money and more picky. last year you could claim up to 30% of cost or $1500 cap for any energy saver. This year you can only get 10% or 200 cap ONLY if you get a 95% efficency rating!

    For those who are working, you SHOULD be seeing a 2% decrease of SS taxes on your paycheck this year. Have you guys confirmed this?

    What other tips do you have for 2011?
     
  2. Tousi

    Tousi Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like a good thread...bumping it up ........
     
  3. SJCSue

    SJCSue Member

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    My class just learned how to do basic payroll and my professor mentioned this fact on Thursday. I also have seen on my pay stubs.
     
  4. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    I'm an independent contractor, so my taxes aren't withheld. Hubby has his own small business, so he doesn't get any taxes withheld. :dunno:

    We won't know how much we owe for taxes until our tax man tells us in April. We mail a check to the IRS every month for about one third of our income. Then, in April, we find out how much more we have to pay.
     
  5. SneakerNet

    SneakerNet My IQ: 12 Premium Member

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    Why can't you do quarterly taxes so that way you can keep track of it better?
     
  6. SneakerNet

    SneakerNet My IQ: 12 Premium Member

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    I purchase top of the line heat pump (about $11,000) and I will get tax credit for that. I also replaced all of my kitchen appliances, stove, microwave, refridgerator, dishwasher and all of them are top energy saver. Those appliances are not tax credit but remember in a long run it will save a lot in electric bill. I do noticed the differences on my electric bill, so it's more of tax credit for me to conserve electricity. My next step is to get solar hot water systems and new washer and dryer.

    So, getting a tax credit can be tricky but in a long run you will save on electric bill (or gas bill).

    Other tips is to get into pre-tax investment. I have very large income so I put about 12% of my income to my investment (and I even added $50 to federal and state tax per pay period) because I hate to "owe" the money to IRS or State tax. So the turn out that I get nice refund every year.
     
  7. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    Hubby's income varies seasonally and monthly. My income varies even more than that. Monthly is about as steady as I can get it.
     
  8. radioman

    radioman farming for love! Premium Member

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    for some its easier monthly. for others its easier quarterly. When december comes up for last payment of year its a good idea to use online calculator from irs.gov and hope for best so no underpayment penalty is incurred.
     
  9. radioman

    radioman farming for love! Premium Member

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    all this year for 2011? cause that is what this thread is about.
    On the other hand IF I had gotten the furnace and water tank last year,
    I would be able to get 30% of what i paid or 1500 max cap. this year is much less so it hurts. I haven't gotten it yet, but its in the works currently. I am still working with the HVAC company for what I want.
     
  10. SneakerNet

    SneakerNet My IQ: 12 Premium Member

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    Got it.
     
  11. SneakerNet

    SneakerNet My IQ: 12 Premium Member

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    Yeah I understand that 2011 tax credit is not as generous as 2010 tax credit. What I'm saying is that if you get high energy saving systems, your payoff will be equivalance to what you get for tax credit, you know what I mean..in term of long run?
     
  12. Lee H.

    Lee H. New Member

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    did my return last week,, expecting NICE refund,,, I qualified for TWO credits, EIC and Making Work Pays. Was told that most low-income wage earners can get both, even if we don't owe any taxes.
     
  13. radioman

    radioman farming for love! Premium Member

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    As for as I understand it- its a one time credit expecting to be phased out. Thats another reason I started this thread. WHAT is available THIS YEAR for filing taxes in 2012.
     
  14. SneakerNet

    SneakerNet My IQ: 12 Premium Member

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    Really it not pretty much of what you can do for 2011. Everything seem to quiet it down because of job growth is beginning to return (slowly) Housing market stablize, un-employment rate start to go down... So, the recovery act will start to phase out. The only thing remain that still popular, depending on what State is going green. Still get some tax credit on going green thing. Like getting an electric car, geothermal, solar panel and such.
     
  15. radioman

    radioman farming for love! Premium Member

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    exactly sneakernet. just because the government intervention in simulation of economy doesn't mean we can relax. I know for one that I need to recover from the last few years of crappy economy.
     
  16. sheila022

    sheila022 New Member

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    How low is "low-income"? And can you please elaborate more on EIC and Making Work pays?

    I'm going to file tax for the first time ever in my whole life pretty soon, and I'll like to claim credits or whatever it is as much as I can that I qualify for.
     
  17. Anij

    Anij Well-Known Member

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    I'd recommend having them done professionally (at least the first year you file) - and with someone who will "walk you though" the process. That way you'll know for sure which credits etc that you DO qualify for and can use the "professional tax return" as a template next year etc if you decide to do them on your own.

    Honestly (in Canada) I've had a professional do my taxes for year because our forms (related to me at least) are complicated and easy to miss massive deductions. I pay about $50-80 for the professional to do them, but I make more than that back in what I had missed in deductions (you're also less likely to be audited if you do your taxes through a licensed person)
     
  18. radioman

    radioman farming for love! Premium Member

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    making work pay is already done by your employer.

    from irs.gov -The Making Work Pay tax credit is a new credit worth up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples that was established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Millions of hardworking Americans have already received the benefit of this credit every pay period through reduced tax withholding.

    for EIC you can read Publication 596 (2009), Earned Income Credit (EIC) .
    The reading is not for everyone. in a nutshell to get eic means:

    You have three or more qualifying children and you earned less than $43,279 ($48,279 if married filing jointly),

    You have two qualifying children and you earned less than $40,295 ($45,295 if married filing jointly),

    You have one qualifying child and you earned less than $35,463 ($40,463 if married filing jointly), or

    You do not have a qualifying child and you earned less than $13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly).
     
  19. sheila022

    sheila022 New Member

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    I don't qualify for EIC because I am not 24 years old and I don't have a child. Oh well.
     
  20. radioman

    radioman farming for love! Premium Member

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    A professional helps, but on the other hand the fast return companies like HR block don't want to help to make sure you understand what is happening with the tax form. they dont even offer real advice that apply to you.


    I wish that the government has a mandatory for high school seniors to take tax filing 101. it would make alot things easier. Most people will do fine with the 1040 ez form until they start investing, buying houses, improvements, self employment, mileage,yadda yadda. That is when you should buy the tax software or go to professionals.

    Personally, doing taxes is not a big deal if you are able to do it in baby steps and grow from there. (just dont expect to be able to understand tax stuff for first time in middle of april :D)
     

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