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Dad has always done his taxes and now I am stuck with it and have no info. What can I do??? Please help!!!!!!!

Thanks

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For those who are wondering about S.S. benefits, taxable or non-taxable, begin with your statement from the Feds, Form SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 ( if you are or were a railroad employee). Enter the entire amount on Line 20A. Then, use the worksheet to determine "Taxable Amount" if you do not use the software from Turbo Tax or H&R Block. The booklet from the IRS is helpful which contains The Worksheet. The exemption does change a little bit each year, so find the 2014 Booklet......Library or IRS office. Pub 17 is still the best .
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Hi there. First of all....deep breaths! Deep breaths! I had to do this once, but luckily we are on the low end of upper middle class. If you are higher - get a CPA! I used one of those programs (H&R Block) and filed it for him. Interestingly, even with that "dinky" program, I found more deductions in an hour than he did spending a whole weekend of grumbling while I was growing up.

Just do your best and as they say, "document, Document, DOCUMENT." If you're unsure of what to answer, contact the IRS either online or telephone. They're actually quite helpful. I did it. Better to be safe than sorry. Best to you!
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At least go thru the forms and find out.....you might find out you have a refund coming..... Keep a record that you at least worked thru the form 1040 or EZ. in many states where there's income taxes (most states I think) you have to reference line X or line Z from the federal form, and what are you gonna put in your state form, if you didn't file your federal form already?
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I freaked out too - find an accountant. Then organize all receipts and income; house mortgage interest (?) is a big deductible as well are medical expenses (including elderly people conveniences, ie bedside potty chairs, bibs for use
during meals....

Most of all, keep calm and look forward!







I freaked out too! n accountant has been most helpful.
First, please organize receipts and checbooks.
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Pam Stegman, It's late here in the Eastern Time Zone, and I don't have time to research your statements. HOWEVER, I'll search the 1040 tomorrow and the U.S. Tax Code in reference to Social Security benefits within all filing status levels (there are only four). That said, I plan to e-mail your statements to the ole accountants on Monday. Can't wait to hear their response.
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N1K2R3 per 1040 instructions: "Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time in 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly)."
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Yeah, he has to file, Pam. S.S. is considered income.
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Well, the new forms for the Year Ending December 31, 2014 are out today, and as usual there are some nice things and some not-so-nice things. My suggestion, just purchase TurboTax Basic, Deluxe (preferred), or Premiere (only if you own a business). Follow the questions, and answer them to the best of your ability. Hint: If you do your own Schedule A, you can save a lot of time and money when you turn over the finished product to your accountant. All he has to do is check the facepage of the 1040, and the credits, verify income and lo! You're done!
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I have liked TurboTax for my business taxes, our family's taxes, and now also use it for my parents. We also do our SIL's taxes, and room for one more (the version I buy will do up to 5 returns). You can register the returns for audit protection plan too. Each year, the program can be updated, and it "remembers" from one year to next which I find helpful.
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If all he has is SS, he probably doesn't even file taxes. Call the IRS for help or go to irs.gov
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I mostly use PDFfiller to fill out my tax form. This site also has some tutorials on how to fill it out and a tons of fillable tax forms that you might find useful. Here is a link to a blank IRS form 1040 that I was able to fill out http://goo.gl/IHcdGJ
.
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Helpful hint on Tax Preparation. Keep a white box with lid on it, marked 2011, or now 2012 in a comfortable yet obvious place in your home. As the mail comes each each day, toss the papers ( 1099's, S.S. statements, W2's, IRA Distributions) into the box. Don't worry about it until you are ready to "do your taxes".
It's not difficult . I'm no math major and yet it is easy for me. I know the 1040 by heart. I can tell you about every line, where the loopholes are on Schedule A. and how to jump to the next line (or the prior line) on the Tax Tables.
Just don't ask me about those XYZ Tables.
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I found turbo tax to be useful when I had to file for my Dad last year. This year, we are just handing it all over to accountant, but we are giving him time to "do his own taxes" first. I have the originals of all the documents he needs, and he has the copies. And when he doesn't get it done, I'll file the extension via turbo tax and take the papers to the accountant on 4/16.
What I found most difficult was just the stress of not knowing where everything was, if I even HAD everything, and what if I made a costly mistake. By looking at his old returns, I could tell if I was missing something big (I was, but I found it because I knew to look for it). I could see I was in the right ballpark. AND, as his doctor said, he was lucky to have someone pick up the ball and move it down the court. Good luck!
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N! - Yep , the "Cancellation of Debt" seems to be all over the map this year.

I don't know how this is going to play out for those on Medicaid. this could be a real tar-baby. Yes, it technically is "income" but not really in that they didn't get any real $ and the debt is from/over several years in the past.

I bet this is going to be an issue as most elderly on Medicaid have defaulted on their credit cards as all their income goes to the NH except the personal needs allowance - which has to go for that and not to credit card debt. So if they get a 1099 -C Cancellation of Debt is Medicaid going to view it as income?

I would think most on Medicaid don't file taxes so it's not about tax liability BUT rather if it somehow counts as income and throws a problem with being under 2K
for Medicaid eligibility. There's always something........
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Igloo: Don't forget that the 1099 C MUST be reported on the 1040. If not, they (the feds) will find it and bill you later with a default fee, a late fee and interest!).
The 1099 is the "Cancellation of Debt" , which I'm sure you know.
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Follow Igloo's advice. Take all your paperwork, including W2's, IRA statements, 1099's and go to H&R Block or if you want, purchase the Turbo Tax Basic or Deluxe Version, and do it yourself. it's a good thing.
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Hi! I freaked when I had to do this as well. My parent's bills and important papers were all over the house, some hidden, some lost. I managed to get all the stuff and went through it to find... "what I could"... that they needed for thier taxes.
At the local library , there was a sign-up for seniors to have their taxes done for FREE by AARP. There are retired and local public accountants and tax preparers that volunteer to do the taxes. They are familiar with dealing with senior issues!!! Also, check out the local senior center for other venues....there are a few available for free. I have been taking my parents with me because they needed to sign the forms. The first time we went I didn't have all the needed info, but they told me where to get them and rescheduled. The taxes were done and very professionally...heck....I used to pay over $200 to have mine done!!!! The taxes will be done to the best of your attempts. If there is anything missing, you know the IRS will be in touch. At least at that point you have the issue pinpointed and can hopefully deal with that. I suggest you check this out....giving yourself plenty of time to get what is needed...in other words don't wait 'til the 15Th!! This site has alot of helpful info as well. Now that I am a "senior" I have my taxes done in my own hometown sr. center (by AARP). I must add that they are very honest and diligent. Hope this helps!
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Don't panic, this actually is the time of the year the documents have gone out to do taxes. I'm going to assume that your dad gets SS & has some sort of retirement
and you have to recreate all as he was not sharing in his finances.....

1. Social Security Administration just sent out their 2011 - 1099 forms AND their 2012 payment schedule - this are both folded postcard kinda of paperwork. So be on the lookout for those. This you will use for income he got paid in 2011 and what he will get for 2012.
2. If he has any retirement, they too will send out the same. Federal retirement
ones are the same small postcard. Ditto for 2012 payment schedule.

3. If he has anything else that generates income, the 1099's the IRS requires companies to do are supposed to be done by 1/31/12, so they should be coming to him by the end of this week if not already sent out.This would be interest from savings accounts, his brokerage statements if he has any investments, dividend payments if he has paid up life insurance and it now generates income, etc. Most banks got this out by 1/15/12.

If he had credit cards and stopped paying for them, he might get a 1099 that is "Cancellation of Debt" - this is something new & FUN! from the credit card industry. Whatever the debt was - whether 1K or 50K - he will have to pay taxes on it as income if he get's this type of 1099.

This time of year is great as you often find out about stuff you didn't know was there OR that he has forgotten about.

NOTE: should you need to file for Medicaid in the near future you will need the 2012 payment schedule from both SSA and his retirement for the application as well as all other income/assets. So make copies of all or keep them someplace you can find them in a minute.

IRS: If you have DPOA, you can request copies of his old taxes from the IRS. I had to do this years ago in dealing with my aunt's estate - it was over the phone simple BUT not so now. Call IRS to see just exactly what they need in order to release and send copies to you. If I were you I'd get the last 5 years (2006 on) just so you don't have to get other old ones next year all in a rush for whatever. IRS is kinda s....l....o....w in getting these done, I'd allow 4 - 6 weeks for this. You still have 3 months or so and then you can always file an extension.

Now, although this isn't street legal, a lot of this type of info you can get copies of on-line from SSA, etc if you know their social and the account number and other personal information and do it as your dad. If you find you are having to deal with all then get his SS, retirement, banking etc. to on-line so you can manage it with less paperwork. If you are their DPOA it is totally OK to do this. You will want it sent to whatever is his last address they have on file for him otherwise it will be flagged. Then in a few months, change the address to what is easier for you if you need to.

I do this with my mom - we both have POB at the same address but different boxes. So very little (hopefully) goes to her old house. Good luck.
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alisonouchna,

Check out Tax Tips for caregivers section to understand the tax laws and take advantage of the tax benefits that are available when supporting an elderly parent.

https://www.agingcare.com/Tax-Tips-for-Caregivers

Hopefully this will help you with all your Tax needs.

Karie H.
AgingCare.com Team
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I'd start with looking at last years tax forms your dad filled out.
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