Search found 176 matches

by scottyja
Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most efficient way to improve my writing ability?
Replies: 56
Views: 2568

Re: Most efficient way to improve my writing ability?

Jimmy, I found myself in your situation when I enrolled in my master's program. I improved quite a bit, but consider myself firmly in the awful turned passable group Rupert spoke of. I agree with the advice that's been offered, and would add only a few bits. I found it wasn't enough to simply read a...
by scottyja
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Re: Sold home, TurboTax thinks we made money

an_asker wrote:PS: OP needs to change the subject - IRS has not made any comments on his issue. It is his/her tax software that is complaining.


I agree - now updated.
by scottyja
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

The OP is required to use lower of FMV or costs to determine depreciable basis, however, this is different for determining gain or loss. When determining a loss you use the conversion value minus depreciation. When determining gain you use original cost minus depreciation. Using real numbers lets a...
by scottyja
Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

OK, I've re-read everything and I think I have a better handle on what you have all been trying to explain. This document and this site have helped clarify for me. I think I was confusing the adjusted basis used to determine a gain/loss with the basis used to determine depreciation. The way I (now) ...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

First, thank you all for the prompt responses. The consensus seems to be overwhelming that I should (and should have) sought out a CPA/EA. So now the search for a good CPA familiar with this type of situation starts. Since you sold at a loss , your basis in the gain calculation is = to your deprecia...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

Yes, what about the land? The depreciable basis is for the building. The sale price is for the building and land. Did you tell IRS you had a total basis of $200k, of which $50k was the land? Or did you say the depreciable basis was $200k? Those numbers were provided by the property tax statement, I...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

jjface wrote:Quick question - how do you know the IRS is saying it is a gain? Did you file really early and are you under audit already? Or was this just an informal discussion?


I'm going through the process now via TurboTax - I haven't filed anything yet.
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Re: Sold home, IRS thinks we made money

Why did you use that basis number? This is the lower of your adjusted basis in the residence at the date of conversion (purchase price plus qualified capital improvements), or the fair market value of the property at the time of conversion. Yes, that's exactly why I used that number. We were consid...
by scottyja
Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money
Replies: 33
Views: 3434

Sold rental, TurboTax thinks we made money

I'd appreciate any help on this - it's tax time and I need a sanity check before I send the IRS a big check (numbers changed for simplicity). Wife and I lived in State A in 2005 and bought a house for $350,000 with $100,000 down payment (equity from the condo we sold and moved from). The real estate...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?
Replies: 12
Views: 632

Re: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?

But this doesn't answer the question of whether the costs will be capped by the maximum out of pocket. Generally, no, the out-of-pocket maximums for in-network and out-of-network are separate. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and $3000 OOP max for in-network, and $2000/$5000 for out-of-n...
by scottyja
Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?
Replies: 12
Views: 632

Re: Out of Network emergency coverage under ACA... does maximum out of pocket still apply?

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but this is something your plan representatives should be able to answer easily and definitively. I would ask for any policy they state to be in writing. If you're getting the runaround or conflicting information, I would work my way up the chain - ask to ...
by scottyja
Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Snow Tires
Replies: 42
Views: 2517

Re: Recommended Snow Tires

I have Hankook Icebear snow tires on an AWD sedan and I don't like them at all. They seem to do well in fresh snow (2"+), but in ice or a thin layer of snow they seem to do worse than our FWD car with all season tires. I'll likely retire the Hankooks at the end of this season and get Blizzaks. ...
by scottyja
Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice - Young Engineer pondering of switching Great Job for more $$
Replies: 25
Views: 1725

Re: Need Advice - Young Engineer pondering of switching Great Job for more $$

Given the cons, I wouldn't switch. You said you have great bosses - have you talked to them about a raise? If you don't fear any sort of repercussion (which you shouldn't), simply say "I've been here 4 years, what can I do to earn more? I've been approached by several other companies offering $...
by scottyja
Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil change - Auto shop or DIY
Replies: 113
Views: 6099

Re: Oil change - Auto shop or DIY

I would ask what kind of oil they're using. I can usually get 5 qts of synthetic oil for $20 and do a full DIY oil change for $27, but the cheapest synthetic oil change I can find locally (with coupons) is about $45. This makes it worth it for me. Some cars are easier to get to the drain plug and fi...
by scottyja
Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?
Replies: 11
Views: 1361

Re: 2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?

Thanks for all the responses. I had never heard of the water towns - they look really neat. Sounds like it might we worth spending one of the days doing that!
by scottyja
Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?
Replies: 11
Views: 1361

2 days in Shanghai - what's worth seeing?

My wife and I will be in Shanghai for 2 full days in November. The flight we're on had a layover there, and neither of us have been, so we decided to extend it. We're excited, but not sure what to do. We have some travel guides, but I'd like to hear any first-hand experiences - what to avoid, what's...
by scottyja
Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacation home. Can we afford it?
Replies: 41
Views: 4756

Re: Vacation home. Can we afford it?

We were looking at something very similar and eventually decided against it - at least for now. The suggestion to look at the smaller ski areas is a good one. The areas we were looking at had HOA fees ranging from $400-$800 per month. The realtor told us it's done specifically to discourage long ter...
by scottyja
Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Newborn Health Insurance Questions
Replies: 21
Views: 1414

Re: Newborn Health Insurance Questions

When I finally got my bills (PPO), the surgery and the hospital bill was billed to my wife. The baby also was billed separately for his own surgery and his hospital stay. Had I known this would have happened, I would have put him under my wife's insurance since their deductible would have been met ...
by scottyja
Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Book for Beginning Auto Maintenance
Replies: 15
Views: 1416

Re: Best Book for Beginning Auto Maintenance

I would start with google and youtube. There are forums specific to many makes/models - you will likely find a video tutorial or a forum post describing the specific thing you're trying to do.
by scottyja
Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I tipped 15% and got a dirty look
Replies: 129
Views: 7481

Re: I tipped 15% and got a dirty look

I've done pizza delivery and personally, I wish we would do away with tipping altogether. Great service should be an expectation, not a pleasant surprise. And if it's not there, the proprietors should, and likely will, lose business. We recently had a family member in the hospital and the hospital s...
by scottyja
Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Music player while exercising
Replies: 32
Views: 1922

Re: Music player while exercising

I'm a fan of the Sansa Clip line of mp3 players. They're cheap and very, very small. Perfect for working out.
by scottyja
Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Android to iOS
Replies: 13
Views: 1706

Re: Moving from Android to iOS

Check the fine print on the company deal. They may explain that they reserve the right to look at anything you put on the phone, including personal email. Mine did. I only used it for an occasional personal call (which they paid for as part of the program) but I had my own device for everything els...
by scottyja
Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Android to iOS
Replies: 13
Views: 1706

Re: Moving from Android to iOS

Why you would give up your personal phone to get a company one? That seems like a way bigger impact to me. Mostly for the cost and the integration with calendar and mail. The company subsidizes the cost of the device and the plan and make it pretty seamless integrating work apps with the phone. The...
by scottyja
Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving from Android to iOS
Replies: 13
Views: 1706

Moving from Android to iOS

I'm considering moving from Android to iOS. My Nexus 4, which I loved, recently died and I'm looking for a replacement. I ordered a Fire Phone from Amazon, and while I'm getting used to its quirkiness, I don't think it will work out because my company doesn't allow it on the network (no email or cal...
by scottyja
Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New to Golf
Replies: 45
Views: 5168

Re: New to Golf

I played my first round of golf ever with my in laws using a set of old borrowed clubs. I was really bad. It was in good fun and we didn't even keep score. By the end of the round I was hitting shorter shots ok (9 iron). No matter what I was doing though I could not drive at all. My form is horribl...
by scottyja
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma Selling and Buying House
Replies: 19
Views: 2312

Re: Dilemma Selling and Buying House

I see realtors here offering "buy your next home with me and I'll sell yours for free" deals quite often. Some even offer to move you! We did this years back and I regret it. It motivated the realtor to find me the most expensive house I could afford, and sell my current home as quickly an...
by scottyja
Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment
Replies: 182
Views: 14357

Re: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment

But to answer this question, as I said above the $1500 was a rebate that evidently this transaction was not eligible for. If I'm reading the paper correctly the fact that it was a rebate simplifies the tax situation because I believe I paid sales tax on the price pre-rebate. A couple of people have...
by scottyja
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA reimbursements - to take now or wait?
Replies: 13
Views: 1426

Re: HSA reimbursements - to take now or wait?

Aptenodytes wrote:If you wish, the choice doesn't have to be all-or-nothing. Our rule is to use the debit card for expenses under $50 (to save on the volume of receipts and transactions to track) and pay out of pocket for everything else.


+1 - we use this system as well.
by scottyja
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment
Replies: 182
Views: 14357

Re: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment

So when the contracts says: it "represents the complete agreement between you and dealer regardless of any other oral, written, or prior agreements or representations." and the invoice says: "The front and back of this agreement, together with the Bailment Agreement of even date herew...
by scottyja
Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment
Replies: 182
Views: 14357

Re: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment

I'm finding this thread very entertaining. I think I've flip-flopped on my stance a couple of times while reading through it. :happy I found the following legal blog interesting, basically stating an invoice is not a contract, meaning the invoice just references what the purchaser has paid towards t...
by scottyja
Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment
Replies: 182
Views: 14357

Re: Car dealer wants me to compensate for underpayment

I signed a contract to buy the car two weeks ago. I picked it up a week later after the credit union check came in the mail. The final invoice was $1500 less than what had been on the original contract. I'm curious - if the invoice had been $1500 more than the contract and you hadn't noticed at pic...
by scottyja
Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows Media Center discontinued
Replies: 18
Views: 1835

Re: Windows Media Center discontinued

I was disappointed (but not surprised) to hear Media Center wasn't included with Windows 10, especially since I use an XBox 360 as an extender. I've heard that other options (like MythTV) will allow a 360 to be an extender, but I'm not looking forward to putting time into getting that set up. My cur...
by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My PC is driving me nuts.
Replies: 28
Views: 2494

Re: My PC is driving me nuts.

+1 for Chrome, Adblock+ and Malwarebytes. But it's not just malware and viruses that cause slowdowns. I'm a fan of CCleaner - it's free and does a good job clearing a lot of the temp files that can also bog your system down. It also has a tool that helps you clean up what runs when Windows starts. M...
by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does bank pay car dealer?
Replies: 4
Views: 587

Re: How does bank pay car dealer?

Not sure what you mean by, "how does the bank end up with the full $20k?" If the car price is $20k and you pay $10k down then the bank only loans the difference of $10K. Where I live, you would get the title but it would show the bank as the lien holder until loan is paid in full. Sorry, ...
by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Dealership Credit Report
Replies: 34
Views: 3491

Re: Car Dealership Credit Report

This post got me curious, as I was just talking to a coworker about his experience trying to buy a new car from a local dealership. The sales rep insisted my coworder needed to provide his SSN. The first reason the sales rep gave was the Patriot Act. My coworker continued to refuse and the dealer th...
by scottyja
Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does bank pay car dealer?
Replies: 4
Views: 587

How does bank pay car dealer?

I was talking to a co-worker today about purchasing a new car, and I realized I don't understand the specifics of purchasing a car from a dealership. Let's say I've been pre-approved for a $20,000 car loan. I find the car I want at a dealership, and work the price out to $20,000 (including fees, reg...
by scottyja
Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy extended warranty for our new Toyota Sienna
Replies: 50
Views: 7107

Re: Should I buy extended warranty for our new Toyota Sienna

I would drive the car for a while before deciding. You just spent a lot of money on a good product. You should have until factory warranty expiration to buy. +1 - There are a number of reasons why you might not even have the car before the base warranty expires. I would wait until you're approachin...
by scottyja
Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Air Filters
Replies: 44
Views: 4597

Re: Home Air Filters

When we had our furnace replaced we had a whole-house air purifier installed at the same time. It's a large cabinet that sits right next to the furnace, filtering everything coming from the returns. I replace the MERV-13 filter once a year for about $40. This has been so much better than dealing wit...
by scottyja
Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 5909

Re: Cloud Storage

I use and LOVE Google Drive, but to answer your question, the Android app is not automatic. If I take a photo or video with my phone, I have to manually upload it to Google Drive. A bit of a pain, but I also really like the ability to keep my folder structure intact. I don't want every single pictu...
by scottyja
Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cloud Storage
Replies: 44
Views: 5909

Re: Cloud Storage

I put important files in an encrypted disk image and then put the disk image in google drive. If you're using an encrypted backup service, like CrashPlan, you don't need to backup the entire image every time you do a backup. I initially had it set up this way - my encrypted space was ~ 5GB, but any...
by scottyja
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Furnace & A/C Unit
Replies: 37
Views: 4822

Re: New Furnace & A/C Unit

We had our AC and furnace replaced last fall with a high-efficiency model. Our old unit was acting up, so it needed to be replaced anyway. But this winter we've seen NO discernible difference in gas usage this year from last. Our gas company shows us a 3 year comparison, even adjusted for outside te...
by scottyja
Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Credit File Freezes
Replies: 12
Views: 1203

Re: Experience with Credit File Freezes

Excellent, thanks. In this process, will they ask for credit card and charge it? In my case, yes, I had to enter my credit card information. But after submitting the screen specifically told me I already had a freeze on file and my credit card had not been charged. My monthly credit card statement ...
by scottyja
Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Credit File Freezes
Replies: 12
Views: 1203

Re: Experience with Credit File Freezes

If you try to put a freeze on your account through each of the 3 websites, they'll notify you if it already exists. I had to do this with one of the credit bureaus when I wasn't sure the transaction completed.
by scottyja
Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)
Replies: 110
Views: 8922

Re: How much was your Tax Refund (or amount DUE)

I got back about $5k. I'm doing it wrong, I know. :D I'm doing it wrong, too, but not intentionally. :( Every year I do the W4 exemption calculator and modify my w4 accordingly, but each year my return seems to get bigger and bigger. I'm not sure how many exemptions to add - I'm worried I'll go ove...
by scottyja
Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recommend a custodian for individual HSA account
Replies: 35
Views: 4462

Re: Recommend a custodian for individual HSA account

I use Health Equity, which was set up by my employer. Initially I was pretty annoyed with their limited, high-fee investment options. But they've recently added a number of index funds, so I really don't have any complaints at this point. You pay a maintenance fee per month per $1000 invested for th...
by scottyja
Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: This CPA is advocating snail-mail over e-file for taxes
Replies: 55
Views: 4698

Re: This CPA is advocating snail-mail over e-file for taxes

If I could hand-deliver the tax return to the IRS to ensure it got there safely, I might consider that. But I think the chance of a piece snail-mail getting intercepted, lost, delivered to the wrong address, etc... is high enough that I prefer e-file.
by scottyja
Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 1027

Re: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

I'm in the same boat except worse. I sent in the form to get the excess removed, and they removed it but I don't know where it went. :( Looks like I'm going to have to give them a call next week. 111, did your request form specify how you could receive the funds? My HSA allowed 1) rollover to next ...
by scottyja
Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 1027

Re: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

Thanks all for the help - specifically the IRS Form 8889 information. TurboTax actually walked me through it pretty easily after I found the error (I used the wrong 12a code on my W2). I'm just going to leave the $100 and get it taxed at 6%, basically a $6 fee.
by scottyja
Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 1027

Re: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

livesoft wrote:TurboTax handles this easily as well.

See also: viewtopic.php?p=2303059#p2303059


Thanks, livesoft. Where exactly does turbo tax ask you this? Where you enter your w2 or 1099sa? I think I'm doing something wrong.
by scottyja
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?
Replies: 10
Views: 1027

Excess HSA contribution - do I need new W2?

I'm working on my taxes and it looks like I overfunded by HSA by $100.59 - I thought I had it right, but looks like I messed up. My HSA has a 'Distribution of Excess HSA Contribution Form' I can fill out and have them send me the $100.59 (for a $20 fee). This raises two questions - 1. Should I just ...

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