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Q. HOW LONG SHOULD I KEEP MY PERSONAL RECORDS?

A.
Tax Returns and Related Documentation - 7 years from the date of filing

Pay Stubs - 1 year (so you can match them to your W-2)

Home and Auto Titles - As long as you own the home or Auto

Home Improvement Receipts - As long as you own the home

Bank Statements & Canceled checks - 6 years

Sales Receipts & Warranties - For insurance purposes, hold on to receipts for expensive items indefinitely, and for warranties, keep them until they expire.

Q.  WHO CAN QUALIFY TO CLAIM "HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD" STATUS?

A. 
You may qualify to claim "Head of Household" if:
- You were legally single at the end of the year; and
- You maintained a home for over half of the year which was the principal place of abode for another qualifying individual.

Q. WHEN SHOULD I PAY MY REAL ESTATE TAXES?
 
A.
People that have substantial   mortgage interest, charitable contributions and pay state taxes, usually pay their real estate taxes each year at the same time(either Jan and July or all in December).This assures they have real estate taxes to claim each year. People who have smaller mortgages may find it wiser to double up on their real estate taxes, paying two years in one year (so they can itemize) and paying nothing in the next year.

Q. I GOT MARRIED DURING THE YEAR- WHAT ARE MY FILING OPTIONS?
 
A.
Whatever you are on Dec 31, is what you are for the whole year. This means YOU ARE MARRIED. You can not file as a single person. (There is one exception to this rule. If you did not live with your spouse the last six months of the year, you file a separate return,you paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the year AND the home was the main home of a child that is your dependent, then you may file as Head of Household even though you are married.) Everyone else who got married during the year must file as Married filing Jointly or married filing separately. We will try it both ways if requested to do so, but most often married filing jointly will yeild the least tax.

BEWARE
- If you have been claim Head of Household because you have children, and have been getting huge refunds, once you get married to someone who makes more money than you, these refunds will most likely disappear--so marry with caution. Q. I GOT DIVORCED DURING THE YEAR, HOW DO I FILE? First of all, you can not file jointly under any circumstances. You are single. Your choices are: Single or Head of Household. Single means just that- single, no children or other qualifying dependents at home. Head of household means you provide over half the cost of maintaining the house in which  a child lives for over half the year. Many people automatically think that if they are single, they can claim Head of Household, and that's not true.

Q. What incomes are non-taxable?
 
A. Here's just a few: Workman's Comp      Debt cancellation of personal residence Debt cancellation in bankruptcy      Life Insurance Proceeds Lawsuit damages received on account of physical injury or sickness Federal Income Tax Refund   Public Assistance  Wisc Homestead refund

Q. HOW LONG CAN I CLAIM THE CHILD TAX CREDIT?

A.
The child tax credit (maximum of $1000.00 per qualifying child) is available until the year the child turns 17.

Q. CAN I CLAIM MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR ANYONE I PAY THEM FOR?

A.
No- only for yourself, your spouse, dependents and anyone who lived the entire year in your home.