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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not joking.

Last year I was on TANF and FS from April-Dec. I received child support (non-officially meaning it was not ordered) Jan-Mar and June. It totaled $6k. And then in December I began receiving disability that was back dated from August and was just a little less than the "child support". So anyway, I have not received ANY type of W2 or whatever people in my situation are supposed to receive. I haven't paid any taxes on these incomes, technically the only one I would have to pay taxes on would be the $6k if I understand our crazy US tax code. That money was in cash though, so I don't have any proof of the transactions, not even bank statements. I just don't know what I should do. No one can claim me, and I have one child. I don't even think DD's father will try to claim her because he has no US income for the 2009 year as well.

Anyone have experience with these types of income that aren't taxed?
 

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Regarding the 'child support': If it is child support in the technical sense, it is not federally taxable--the child's father is paying the taxes on it. If it is 'just' a gift from the child's father as long as it is less than $12K (this year) it is not taxable--you can receive up to that amount in gifts from a single person with no tax consequences.

I'm not sure about the disability (is it State Disability, SS Disability, etc?), but I'm pretty sure TANF is not taxable.
 

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Thank you for the tip on the child support. This money was not court ordered, and I am not expecting it to ever resume. So technically it would fall in the gift category. So I can bring it up if I do go file, but I'm not sure I should file, and because I have no idea what I am doing in this new situation I am not too hip on doing one of the online filing things. If it was just a 1040EZ...... oh those were the days.


My disability is from the Veterans Admin. So it's government disability, but not in the same sense as SSI. But maybe it is for tax purposes?

So if I were to try to file taxes what would I take with me? I have a document that shows my monthy disability amount. But that is the only legal document I have to show for any sort of income. I guess I thought I would receive the equivalent of a W2 last month, and now that nothing has come I'm at a loss for what I should do.

If I qualify for the EIC, that would be great. I'm just not sure if I qualify for it since it is called the EARNED Income Credit. I'm not sure if my VA disability qualifies as earned income.

This should be much easier.
 

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Looking at the IRS website, they say disability from Veterans Affairs is not taxable. Yeah, you aren't eligible for EIC... Not positive if there is anything else you are eligible for, though. My unprofessional suspicion is that you don't have to file.
 

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The only time you have to file is if you owe money. That said I would be tempted to run through something like turbo tax online. They will figure out if you have any money coming to you and then you can make a decision based on the results.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Leav97 View Post
The only time you have to file is if you owe money. That said I would be tempted to run through something like turbo tax online. They will figure out if you have any money coming to you and then you can make a decision based on the results.
Turbo Tax and Tax Act both have a free online version you can use. Even if the site recommends a paid version of Turbo Tax you don't pay until you file it. So you could fill out all the forms and see if you have a return coming or not before deciding to file or not.
 

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I'd at least do a quick, free online program like Tax Act to see what it comes up with. Wouldn't you at least qualify for the child credit? I am not sure, but it probably wouldn't take very long in your case to find out.
 

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Yes, I would put your info in on TaxAct (for free) and see if it says you would get a refund. If you file online, you don't need any paper forms, just make sure your info is accurate before you submit it for real.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, thank you for all the replies.

So the child tax credit is different than the EIC? My DD is only 2 and I've not had any (post-motherhood) income of my own before last year, so I've not filed with a child before.

I guess I could try one of the online programs, but when I did it once before I felt very unsatisfied with the outcome. I just felt like it was generic rather than personal. This was last year, and it all came up $0 because I had no income to claim. It's nice to not owe, but I'd just like to feel confident that it's done right. And you can't ask the program questions.

Does anyone know if I went in to talk to a tax professional (like an HRBlock/JacksenHewit) type place just to see, would they charge me if it was determined that I shouldn't/couldn't file taxes?
 

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The child credit is different from the EIC. In reading on the irs site, it looks like you may not be able to take the child credit if you have no tax for it to offset.

The online programs are pretty impersonal, but they really does walk you through things step by step. I would call the IRS and ask them questions before going to one of the tax prep places. The tax software they use is pretty much exactly the same as what you find on the IRS website. Also, those people are not tax accountant. They are people trained prior to the tax season and may or may not have a tax background. That's not necessarily saying they don't know what they are talking about, but to get a person who is really trained in tax, it would probably cost more than it's worth. Calling the IRS may be your best bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by sandcastle View Post
The child credit is different from the EIC. In reading on the irs site, it looks like you may not be able to take the child credit if you have no tax for it to offset.

The online programs are pretty impersonal, but they really does walk you through things step by step. I would call the IRS and ask them questions before going to one of the tax prep places. The tax software they use is pretty much exactly the same as what you find on the IRS website. Also, those people are not tax accountant. They are people trained prior to the tax season and may or may not have a tax background. That's not necessarily saying they don't know what they are talking about, but to get a person who is really trained in tax, it would probably cost more than it's worth. Calling the IRS may be your best bet.
That's a good idea. I guess I'll find that number. It should be easy right, they would have a central main number for people with questions?

Thank you everyone for looking this stuff up for me. I find stuff like this a bit intimidating. It's kinda overwhelming to me.
 

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I have always filed- even if I didn't have to pay. Just a good paper trail to protect you in the future against audits. You don't get personal service for free.
 

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From what you've said, it sounds like you neither need to file to pay nor will receive any refund if you did. EIC requires earned income, as you suspected, and I'm pretty sure the child tax credit requires this as well.
Also, there is no tax for the recipient on gifts, you are allowed to receive infinite gifts without paying taxes on them. The payee, though, is required to report gifts over the amount of $12,000 (currently), although the payee is exempt from taxes on the first 1 mil or so of gifts over their lifetime.
I would call the IRS, though, they can be so helpful! (I'm a former employee of their customer service
)
 

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You probably do not have to file for federal taxes since you don't have any taxable income (based on what you said here). Veterans benefits are not taxable, child support is never taxable (though alimony is), TANF and food stamps aren't taxable.

That means that you also don't qualify for the EIC or the Child Tax Credit though; EIC requires earned income (as you suspected), and the refundable portion of the child tax credit requires taxable income of $3,000 or more.

If you would like to talk to someone about your taxes, for free, the IRS and AARP both offer free tax sites. Some require appointments, but others are walk ins. You can generally talk to someone, ask questions, etc. They usually file federal and state taxes, and there is no charge (most have an income limit though). Search here:

https://locator.aarp.org/vmis/sites/...de_locator.jsp

The IRS website that talks about free tax prep is here:

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/artic...107626,00.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by milletpuff View Post
You probably do not have to file for federal taxes since you don't have any taxable income (based on what you said here). Veterans benefits are not taxable, child support is never taxable (though alimony is), TANF and food stamps aren't taxable.

That means that you also don't qualify for the EIC or the Child Tax Credit though; EIC requires earned income (as you suspected), and the refundable portion of the child tax credit requires taxable income of $3,000 or more.

If you would like to talk to someone about your taxes, for free, the IRS and AARP both offer free tax sites. Some require appointments, but others are walk ins. You can generally talk to someone, ask questions, etc. They usually file federal and state taxes, and there is no charge (most have an income limit though). Search here:

https://locator.aarp.org/vmis/sites/...de_locator.jsp

The IRS website that talks about free tax prep is here:

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/artic...107626,00.html
Thank you. I'll look at those. I'm sure that there would be some sort of free service in my community also. I just needed to be reminded.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Vanessa View Post
I'd call the IRS and talk to them. I've had to call them a couple of times and found them to be professional and courteous. It wouldn't hurt to ask.
Thank you for the encouragement. I've only ever heard the bad stories of the IRS. So it is good to hear that others have had good experiences with them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
The central number for the IRS is 1-800-829-1040. (Isn't that cute?)
That is cute. I'll try to make the call tomorrow. I don't want to wait too long because I bet the phone lines get busier closer to the 4.15 deadline.
 
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