FAQs

How do I get my W-2 Form?
Your employer should mail your Form W-2 to you by January 31. However, you may be able to download your W-2s even before you receive them in the mail. If ADP, TALX or CIC Plus issue W-2s for your employer, then ask your USTaxes tax preparer if you can make use of the W-2 download program.

What information should I bring to USTaxes?
Bring the following materials to your tax interview:

  • Wage statements (Form W-2)
  • Pension, or retirement income (Forms 1099-R)
  • Social Security card(s)
  • Driver’s license(s)
  • Dependents’ Social Security numbers and dates of birth
  • Last year’s tax return
  • Information on education expenses
  • Commissions received and/or paid
  • Information on the sales of stocks and/or bonds
  • Self-employed business income and expenses
  • Lottery and/or gambling winnings and losses
  • State refund amount
  • Social Security and/or unemployment income
  • Income and expenses from rentals
  • Alimony paid or received
  • Record of purchase or sale of real estate
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Real estate and personal property taxes
  • Estimated taxes or foreign taxes paid
  • Cash and non-cash charitable donations
  • Mortgage or home equity loan interest paid (Form 1098)
  • Unreimbursed employment-related expenses
  • Job-related educational expenses
  • Childcare expenses and provider information

How do I get a copy of a prior-year tax return and W-2 Form?
If you filed your tax return through USTaxes Tax Service®, then you can get a copy of your records at any USTaxes Tax Service office across the country. Otherwise, as long as you filed your tax return with the IRS, you can request a photocopy or a computer transcript (a line-by-line listing) of the information on your filed tax return. Photocopies and transcripts are free from the IRS. If you need an actual copy (not a photocopy), then you must complete Form 4506 and pay a $39 fee for your filed tax return and all related tax information, such as your Form W-2.

How do I find a USTaxes local office?
We have 4 offices throughout New Jersey. To find a location near you, use our office location page or contact us by email or by calling 1-732-66-Taxes.Our offices have flexible hours, so you can stop in at your convenience or schedule an appointment to file your tax return.

How much does it cost to have my taxes prepared at USTaxes?
The cost of tax preparation is based upon the complexity of your tax return. To learn more, please contact your local USTaxes office.

How quickly can I get my refund?
When you file electronically and choose one of the free IRS Direct options, you can receive your refund directly from the IRS by direct deposit in approximately 8 to 15 days. You can also choose to have the IRS mail you a check in approximately 21 to 28 days. IRS Direct is free with paid tax preparation.

How do I update my personal information if I need to change my withholding?
Use Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you get married or divorced, if a child is born, or if you no longer can claim a child as your dependent, you will need to complete a new Form W-4. When you begin to work at a new company, your employer must give you a Form W-4 to complete. You can also request a Form W-4 from your employer at any time to reflect a change in your tax situation.

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and am I eligible?
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is applicable to low-income workers who may or may not have a qualifying child, or children, living with them. If you can take the EITC, then it is subtracted from the tax owed. The credit can be refunded even if you don’t owe any tax. If you have a qualifying child and your earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) are each less than $33,241 ($35,241 if filing Married Filing Jointly), then you could be eligible for a maximum credit of $2,853. The maximum credit is $4,716 if you have more than one qualifying child and your earned income and your AGI are both less than $37,783 ($39,783 if Married Filing Jointly). You may still qualify for a maximum credit of $428 if you do not have children and your income is less than $12,590 ($14,590 if Married Filing Jointly). Ask your USTaxes tax preparer for more information.

Is there an age limit on claiming my children as dependents?
Age is a factor in the qualifying child test, but a qualifying relative can be any age. As long as the following dependency exemption tests are met, you may claim him or her:

  • Qualifying child or qualifying relative test
  • Dependent taxpayer test
  • Citizenship or resident test
  • Joint return test

What is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The bill is intended to provide a stimulus to the U.S. economy in the wake of the economic downturn. The bill includes federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social provisions, including domestic spending in education, health care, and infrastructure, including the energy sector.

If I claim my daughter as a dependent because she is a full-time college student, can she claim herself as a dependent when she files her return?
If you claim your daughter as a dependent on your income tax return, she cannot claim herself on her income tax return.

If an individual is filing his or her own tax return, and the individual can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return, the individual cannot claim his or her own personal exemption.

How much is the Standard Deduction for 2009?
For 2009, the standard deduction is:

If your filing status is : Then your standard deduction is:

  • Single $5,450
  • Married Filing Joint $10,900
  • Qualifying Widower $10,900
  • Married Filing Separately $5,450
  • Head of Household $8,000

I received unemployment in 2009. Is this taxable?
Yes, however, for 2009 the first $2,400 is not taxable.

If I cannot itemize my deductions, can I still deduction my real estate tax paid on my home?
If you paid real estate taxes on your residence located within the U.S. and you cannot claim itemized deductions you can add the amount paid up to $500.00 ($1,000 Married Filing Jointly) to your standard deduction.

What types of educational expenses are deductible?
Deductible educational expenses include:

Amounts spent for tuition, books, supplies, laboratory fees and similar items.They also include the cost of correspondence courses, as well as formal training and research you do as part of an educational program.
Transportation and travel expenses to attend qualified educational activities may also be deductible.

Who can claim the Hope Credit?
Generally, you can claim the Hope Credit if all three of the following requirements are met:

You pay qualified tuition and related expenses for the first 2 years of postsecondary education.
You pay the tuition and related expenses for an eligible student.
The eligible student is either you, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

What is a Lifetime Learning Credit?
The Lifetime Learning Credit is a nonrefundable tax credit with a dollar limit per family that is available for qualified tuition and related expenses of higher education whether the student is at the undergraduate or graduate level, a professional degree student, or a student acquiring or improving their job skills.

The Lifetime Learning Credit is calculated by taking a percentage of the qualified educational expenses paid.

Can’t find what you need? Ask USTaxes your tax questions! USTaxes® wants to help you to get all the deductions and credits you deserve.

Visit the http://www.irs.gov/faqs/index.html for additional questions