Easy Tax Question

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Easy Tax Question

Postby stemikger » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:14 am

Hi folks,

My daughter who just turned 18 in December has been working about 6 months at a part time job while in college. She just got her W2 and made about $3,900. Does she have to file taxes on this small amout or can she just ignore it.

Thanks.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby livesoft » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:33 am

Not enough information. My daughter made about the same amount, but she had some income taxes withheld. She has to file to get her income taxes back.

Also it is a great learning experience to file your own taxes, especially when they would be so simple. It also helps mark the transition to adulthood. And it is an even better learning experience to have your daughter decide for herself whether she has to file taxes. And then she should explain to you her answer.


PS: Did she put about $3,900 into her Roth IRA? If not, she still has time.

PPS: I gave my daughter some appreciated stock shares which she then sold. That's another learning experience with Schedule D.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:20 am

Easy questions can usually be answered by reading the instructions. Your daughter is 18; I bet she knows how to read. Ask her. It will be a good start for her lifetime of learning about taxes. I agree with livesoft. Make this a learning experience (for her).

You already know to come to bogleheads instead of looking it up yourself, but your daughter shouldn't learn that lesson. If you let her know about us, she will spend all day on bogleheads and flunk out of college.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby Rainier » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:36 am

Besides, taxes are important. Would you trust an answer from this forum?
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:41 am

Rainier wrote:Besides, taxes are important. Would you trust an answer from this forum?

Certainly not! But I would go read instructions, publications, federal regulations, etc. that were mentioned on this forum as being pertinent.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby kaneohe » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:45 am

see the discussion on who must and who should file on p. A1-A3 here:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4012.pdf
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:47 am

kaneohe wrote:see the discussion on who must and who should file on p. A1-A3 here:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4012.pdf

There's that link to a pub I just mentioned. stemikger, have your daughter read it. Have her tell you if she has to file. Of course, to know if she is giving you the correct answer, you have to read it as well.

You may have to help her with the question of whether you can claim her as a dependent. (I assume she eats, so the answer would be yes)
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby dickenjb » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:06 am

livesoft wrote:PS: Did she put about $3,900 into her Roth IRA? If not, she still has time.



A big +1 to that idea. I match both my son's summer job earnings and put it in a Roth for them. A no-brainer.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby rustymutt » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:19 am

I'm in the same situation. I'm filing for my son so he can get back the taxes he's paid in. He doesn't have the income needed to pay any taxes, so this is money in the bank for him.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby livesoft » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:33 am

I'm not filing for my daughter. She can do that herself. Plus she has to figure out the state tax return, too.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby sscritic » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:42 am

rustymutt wrote:I'm in the same situation. I'm filing for my son so he can get back the taxes he's paid in. He doesn't have the income needed to pay any taxes, so this is money in the bank for him.

No cap gains? No $300 in interest and dividends?
Your gross income was more than the larger of —
a. $950, or
b. Your earned income (up to $5,650) plus $300.


This is the filing requirement,* but also a description of the standard deduction for a dependent. With no exemption, income above the standard deduction should result in a tax.

* Aargh! I gave away part of the answer. Drats! At least it was only part.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:15 pm

She has to file 1040-EZ and the State Tax Return IT-201. Have fun with the state return.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:48 pm

stemikger wrote:Hi folks,

My daughter who just turned 18 in December has been working about 6 months at a part time job while in college. She just got her W2 and made about $3,900. Does she have to file taxes on this small amout or can she just ignore it.

Thanks.

Hi stemikger,

Others have provided the factual answer. I'd like to add something else, about her calculating them on her own.

Last year I noticed H&R Block had advertisements up that through 15 Feb they would do your 1040-EZ for free. I thought that was great marketing, because the mass market tax preparers operate on the premise that so many people believe they are too stupid to do their own, falsely in my personal opinion. They were carefully training consumers that they couldn't possibly handle their own taxes, even 1040-EZ, thus building clients for life.

I would suggest to (nearly) everyone, by (nearly) all means, that once a person is into high school anyway, at which point they should have basic reading and math skills, they be expected to file their own taxes barring something hugely complicated like a highly-paid performing artist's income.

PJW
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby crowd79 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:52 pm

If she had any taxes withheld, then absolutely she should do her taxes to get a refund. Probably just needs form 1040-EZ if can't claim any credits. Also, I assume that she is a dependent on you and would have to claim you on her tax return, thus negating most credits.
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Re: Easy Tax Question

Postby mlipps » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:04 pm

I filed my taxes by myself for the first time when I was 17. As I posted in another thread, I did my own last year correctly including calculating my foreign tax credit with currency conversions. You're not doing your kids any favors by doing this stuff for them.
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