The 11 Most Popular Taxpayer Questions


filing-taxesFor the first time this year, software provider TurboTax is offering free advice by phone to its customers. The service, which debuted Dec. 1, is available even to those who qualify for free TurboTax software via the IRS’s website. Over 700 experts will be answering questions, according to a TurboTax spokesman, and all are CPAs, tax attorneys or IRS enrolled agents. (Enrolled agents are qualified to practice before the Internal Revenue Service, having passed a special exam or worked for the agency.)

Here, according to TurboTax, are 11 questions taxpayers most frequently ask. We’ve supplied the name of the IRS publication or form that answers each question.

l. Can I claim (this person) as my dependent?

See IRS Pub. 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

2. Are unemployment benefits taxable?

See the instructions to the 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ forms.

3. What are the tax consequences of withdrawing money from my 401(k)?

See IRS Pub. 575, Pension and Annuity Income.

4. How do I claim the adoption credit?

See IRS Form 8839 and its instructions.

5. May I deduct the cost of searching for a job?

See IRS Pub. 529, Miscellaneous Deductions.

6. What are qualified education expenses?

See IRS Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

7. How do I repay the 2008 first-time homebuyer tax credit?

See IRS Form 5405 and its instructions.

8. What is cost basis, why does it matter, and how can I find it out for my investments?

See IRS Pub. 551, Basis of Assets.

9. What may I deduct if I refinance my mortgage?

See IRS Pub. 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction.

10. Is my Social Security income taxable?

See IRS Pub. 915, Social Security Benefits.

11. What home-office deduction may I claim?

See IRS Pub. 587, Business Use of Your Home.

{Wall Street Journal/ Newscenter}



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