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:
Debt cancellation of personal residence
Debt cancellation in bankruptcy Life Insurance Proceeds
Lawsuit damages received on account of physical injury or
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.