Co-Parenting and Tax Returns

I’ll say this in my experience with tax refunds and parents with children. Most cases, the mother takes care of the child(ren) most if not every day. New clothes, colds, doctors visits, bedtime stories, homework, sleepovers, school trip money, juice in the middle of the night etc. Also, daycare is not cheap Usually, because of all of this, the mother gets most if not all of the tax refund money.

Depending on the relationship, some mothers may share a portion of the refund. Especially, if the father is very involved but the child(ren) doesn’t live with him.

Some may even trade who claims the child(ren) for a particular year. Even year is for the mother and odd year is the father. If there are multiple children, they may split who claims which child.

But for the most part, mothers claim the child(ren) and keep the refund to use for the remainder of the year or so.

Now every so often, the couples hate each other and they race to the tax preparers’ office to file the return.

Here’s how the IRS decides who gets to claim the child(ren) and get the refund.

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Why Can’t We Just Make Taxes Simpler to Do?

It’s safe to say that most Americans want a simpler way to file their tax returns. It’s a sentiment that we all hear around the country. But the reality of how complicated many people’s lives are make the prospect of a simpler tax return almost impossible.

The tax code will always stay complicated because it incentives certain “trying, positive societal behavior.” Namely, going to college or a trade school, buying a home, running a business that employs people, having a family while working. And many others.

Yes, there is abuse and there is a need to fix a lot of our tax code. However, lets think about this scenario. If I sit in my relatives garage playing video games (not as a job) all day and contribute nothing to society, should I get the same treatment as someone who is “trying?” Going to school, struggling with daycare, etc.

That’s why the tax code will always be complicated in a nation of 320 million people.

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Chapter from TaxAssurances’ Book: Educator Expenses (by Tax Advisor Kolonji Murray)

The following post is a chapter in the TaxAssurances’ book, “Top 12 Tax Deductions You Might Have Missed. Tax Tips For People Who Do Their Own Federal Taxes.”

You can purchase the full book on Amazon.

Chapter 11 Educator Expenses

Every year TaxAssurances prepares tax returns for a number of people in the education profession. They all spend countless hours preparing to help educate young children. Along with that time, these educators spend their own money helping educate children. The IRS rewards that effort in a small way by providing a tax benefit.

As a result, the IRS allows teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, and aides that work at least 900 hours in elementary or secondary schools deductions of up to $250 of any unreimbursed expenses.

Those expenses include:
• books
• supplies
• computer equipment
• Other equipment that they use in the classroom.

The IRS does have these following requirements on taking these expenses as a deduction:

“Qualified expenses are deductible only to the extent a number of such expenses exceed the following amounts for the tax year:

• The interest on qualified U.S. savings bonds that you excluded from income because you paid qualified higher education expenses,

• Any distribution from a qualified tuition program that you excluded from income,

• Any tax-free withdrawals from your Coverdell education savings accounts,

• Any reimbursed expenses not reported to you in box 1 of your Form W-2 (PDF).”

For more information about the educator expense deduction, read IRS Topic 458 on the IRS.gov website.

Again, You can purchase the full book on Amazon.

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Mike & Karen Pence’s 2006-2015 Full Tax Returns

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Mike & Karen Pence’s 2006-2015 Full Tax Returns:

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

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Bill & Hillary Clinton’s 2015 Full Tax Return

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Bill & Hillary Clinton’s 2015 Full Tax Return:

2015 Tax Return

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Vice President Joe & Jill Biden’s Full Tax Returns for 2015

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Vice President Joe & Jill Biden’s full federal and state tax returns for 2015:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2014_vp_returns_final_4.9.15_redacted.pdf

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The President and First Lady’s Full Tax Return for 2015

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The President and First Lady’s Full Tax Return for 2015

Click to access Obamas%202015%20Taxes.pdf

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Benefits Of Reviewing Prior Year Tax Returns

IRS4Did you have your tax preparer look at your returns for the last few years? It’s a good idea for taxpayers to review their returns every year. In many cases the review may reveal missed credits and deductions taxpayers may be entitled to that ultimately give them a bigger tax refund.

Review Last Three Tax Returns

This past tax season I reviewed the last three tax returns for one of my clients. In the end, she was grateful I did. Not only had she done her own tax returns without knowing all of the educational credits she was entitled to but she also received bad advice from a co-worker about the number of exemptions/allowances to claim on her paycheck.

She did take some of the educational credits she was entitled to but because she didn’t realize the true extent (and calculation) of the tax law and credit available, she didn’t take the full credit.

Positive Review Results

The review I did revealed that extra unclaimed credit and resulted in her owing the IRS $300 instead of $1900. A huge difference, especially considering she hadn’t started to pay those taxes because she didn’t have the money.

We also fixed the number of exemptions/allowances on her paycheck based on her circumstances.

Not Just “Plugging Numbers into a Computer”

After going through this review process my client realized that filing taxes was not simply “plugging numbers into a computer.” She realized that she was good at her job but when it came to tax law and taking advantage of all the credits and deductions she was entitled to, she needed an expert.

She also helped the effort by telling me everything that happened in her financial life over the past three years, no matter how small the event may have seemed. This was important because given the complexity of the American population; the IRS has built in a number of credits and deductions to help taxpayers from different walks of life. Preparers know more about these benefits than taxpayers.

In the end for many Americans preparing taxes may seem like an easy undertaking of just plugging numbers into a computer but if they are not careful, they may be missing out on credits and deductions they are entitled to. Working with a qualified tax preparer can help ensure the right credits and deductions are taken.

For more on TaxAssurances, check out our reviews, photos and links on Yelp. New Rochelle taxes and tax help done professionally. Visit https://taxassurances.com/