Ask JK

Need an important question answered?

Submit it and a J.K. Lasser Tax Expert may answer your question online.

  • Do you want to sign up to receive the J.K. Lasser Alert newsletter?
FIND ANSWERS

Recently Answered Questions

 

November 19, 2018 10:20 pm

The qualified business income (QBI) deduction is not a business deduction; it does not appear on Schedule C or any other business tax return. Instead, it is a personal deduction on Form 1040 that is s...

November 19, 2018 10:18 pm

No. Income averaging is limited to certain lump-sum distributions from qualified retirement plans. There is no income averaging for IRA distributions or income resulting from a Roth IRA conversion....

November 8, 2018 1:55 am

While casualty losses to personal use property in 2018 are not deductible unless the property is located in a federally-declared disaster area, this rule does not apply to investment property. If you ...

November 8, 2018 1:52 am

While annual contributions to Roth IRAs can be made up to the due date of the return (e.g., April 15, 2019, for 2018 contributions), a Roth IRA conversion is taxable in the year it is made. So if you ...

November 8, 2018 1:50 am

If you itemize deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction, you may be eligible for an itemized medical deduction with respect to treatment for your child’s condition. Depending on the sev...

September 26, 2018 10:03 pm

The age of the vehicle does not determine whether you can claim the standard mileage rate. For 2018, you must be self-employed to claim deductions for business driving. And you must choose to use the ...

September 26, 2018 10:02 pm

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ended the individual mandate starting in 2019. So for 2018, you’ll be penalized unless you have minimum essential health coverage or qualify for an exemption from coverage....

September 26, 2018 10:00 pm

A government’s exercise of eminent domain is really a condemnation where private property is legally taken for public use. Gain (or loss) from the event is the difference between the award you recei...

July 22, 2018 10:59 pm

Instead of depreciating certain expenditures, you may be able to use an IRS-created de minimis safe harbor to deduct these costs (up to $2,500 per item or invoice). You can find more about the safe ha...

July 22, 2018 10:57 pm

Even though you are under age 59½, you won’t be penalized for an IRA distribution used to pay medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of adjusted gross income in 2017 or 2018. The AGI threshold is set t...

Page 5 of 33« First...34567...102030...Last »

The cost of repairs and maintenance for a rental property is deductible as long as the property has been held for rental at a fair rental price. However, because there was no rent, the net loss (expen...

Probably not. Once a child is 19 years or older and not a full-time student, then he/she is not a dependent unless gross income is below the exemption amount ($3,950 for 2014; $4,000 for 2015) and oth...

If the child has been placed with you as a foster child by an agency or the government, you can claim a dependency exemption as long as the child has lived with you for more than half the year and the...

As legal guardians, you are entitled to the exemption for your grandchild, but only one of you can claim it. Decide who should do this; it depends on who will save more in taxes for the family. You do...

You cannot deduct the cost of early education. However, the grandchild’s parent may be eligible for a dependent care credit (assuming you gave the funds to the parent who then paid the tuition). Pre...

There’s no simple answer. The tax treatment of the award—as ordinary income, as capital gains, or as a nontaxable return of investment—depends on the origin of the claim. The question you have t...

You have no income tax liability, but depending upon the size of the remaining balance you may face federal gift tax issues. Your son has no tax liability; your generosity in paying off his mortgage i...

The dollar limit for contributions to a medical FSA for 2015 is $2,550. Each spouse can contribute up to this limit as long as each works for an employer offering such a plan. This enables a couple to...

Home improvements for medical reasons are tax deductible, but only to the extent that they do not increase the value of the home. Consult with a realtor to make this determination. Note: Improvements ...

Deductible medical expenses include the cost of treatment for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body. While the IRS has not ruled on your specific condition, having a medical d...

Page 5 of 11« First...34567...10...Last »

Your husband can total all of his IRAs and then take his annual distributions from any one or more of the accounts; you must figure your RMD separately and take it solely from your IRA....

No, filing status has no impact on eligibility for the credit. Owners of residential low-income rental buildings can claim a low-income housing credit over a 10-year period. You can learn more about t...

Each spouse who has a policy can take the deduction up to the dollar limit for his/her age. Thus, if both spouses are age 71 and they each pay premiums in 2015 of at least $4,750, they can deduct $9,5...

Yes. Exchange traded funds, or ETFs, are essentially stock, and the wash sale rules apply to stock as well as mutual fund shares and bonds. Thus, a loss on the sale of an EFT cannot be recognized if y...

While the interest on municipal bonds is tax free, this doesn’t mean gain or loss on the sale of bonds is excludable from gross income. Gain or loss on the sale of municipal bonds is figured in the ...

Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you are no longer eligible to contribute to an HSA. Your contributions must be prorated for the period in which you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Thus, ...

If you bought the time share for personal use, then just as in the case of a sale of a principal residence, no loss is allowed. If you bought the time share for investment purposes, you may be able to...

It depends on whether you’re viewed under the tax law as a developer. If you hold the lot as investment property, any gain you reap is taxed as capital gain. You may also owe an additional 3.8% tax ...

Not yet, but the odds are in favor of an extension. Unfortunately, we probably won’t know for sure until later this year. If it comes very late in the year, the IRS may even give relief for rollover...

Sorry about your personal loss. The inheritance isn’t taxable, but receiving funds from the annuity is because your cousin never paid tax on this income. Sounds confusing, but it’s the same thing ...

Page 5 of 7« First...34567

A donor-advised fund is a program that lets you donate cash and certain property now—and take a current charitable contribution deduction—while having funds disbursed to a charity in the future. T...

Under federal gift tax rules, you can give each person $14,000 in 2015. If you make the check out to both your granddaughter and her spouse, you can effectively give up to $28,000 without any gift tax...

If you pay the money directly to the facility, there is no dollar limit on how much you can effectively gift to benefit your mother for purposes of federal gift taxes. What’s more, this action may e...

Gain or loss is the difference between the basis of the stock and what you received for it. The basis of inherited stock used for determining gain or loss is the estate tax value, which is usually the...

You can take a tuition and fees deduction only for a dependent, so if your granddaughter is not your dependent, you’re out of luck. If she were your dependent, the deduction is capped at $4,000 (you...

On 2014 returns, taxpayers can choose to deduct state and local income taxes or state and local sales taxes. Those who opt to deduct state and local sales tax take the amount of their deduction from a...

The cost of repairs and maintenance for a rental property is deductible as long as the property has been held for rental at a fair rental price. However, because there was no rent, the net loss (expen...

Yes. If the amount you receive on the sale is more than you paid for the car, the different is taxable gain. However, as is the usual case with a personal vehicle, where the value typically declines o...

Generally no (and they are not qualified expenses for purposes of the American opportunity or lifetime learning credits). If the education is for business, you may be able to treat the cost of room an...

The payment of principal is never a deductible expense. However, check the payoff information to see whether there were any fees paid in addition to principal; the fees may be considered a selling exp...

Page 5 of 11« First...34567...10...Last »

Group-term life insurance up to $50,000 of coverage is tax free to employees, former employees, and leased employees (there’s a $2,000 cap on coverage for spouse and dependents). Group-term life ins...

Married persons who file separately are barred from claiming certain tax credits, such as the adoption credit or education credits. However, there is no such bar for the low-income housing credit....

Income averaging for all taxpayers was a way to effectively lower the tax rate on this year’s income by spreading it over a number of prior (lower-income) years to find an average tax rate for it. T...

Sorry about your personal loss. The inheritance isn’t taxable, but receiving funds from the annuity is because your cousin never paid tax on this income. Sounds confusing, but it’s the same thing ...

Yes. While there are certain ordering rules for applying capital losses against capital gains, ultimately, long-term capital losses can offset any short-term gains....

No. It was your property that was donated, so the donation belongs to you. You could have given the items to your brother as a gift and let him make the donations....

Sorry about your personal loss. The settlement is tax free to you because it is compensation for personal physical injury. However, if any part of the settlement is for punitive damages, those are tax...

If you itemize deductions, likely the convenience fee is tax deductible. The IRS hasn’t said whether this specific convenience fee is deductible as part of your real estate taxes (which has no incom...

There’s no clear answer, and you may have to argue your position for this deduction if your return is questioned. On the one hand, the Tax Court allowed a deduction for the extra cost of organic foo...

Page 5 of 11« First...34567...10...Last »
advertisement