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The Social Security benefits you received in 2010 may be taxable. You should receive a Form SSA1099 which will show the total amount of your benefits. The information provided on this statement along with the following seven facts from the IRS will help you determine whether or not your benefits are taxable.

          1. How much – if any – of your Social Security benefits are taxable depends on your total income and marital status.

          2. Generally, if Social Security benefits were your only income for 2010, your benefits are not taxable and you probably do not need to file a federal income tax return.

          3. If you received income from other sources, your benefits will not be taxed unless your modified adjusted gross income is more than the base amount for your filing status.

          4. Your taxable benefits and modified adjusted gross income are figured on a worksheet in the Form 1040A or Form 1040 Instruction booklet.

  1. You can do the following quick computation to determine whether some of your benefits may be taxable:

               • First, add one-half of the total Social Security benefits you received to
                 all your other income, including any tax exempt interest and other
                 exclusions from income.

               • Then, compare this total to the base amount for your filing status. If the
                  total is more than your base amount, some of your benefits may be
                  taxable.

  1. The 2010 base amounts are:

               • $32,000 for married couples filing jointly.

               • $25,000 for single, head of household, qualifying widow/widower with a
                  dependent child, or married individuals filing separately who did not live
                  with their spouses at any time during the year.

               • $0 for married persons filing separately who lived together during the
                  year.

          7. For additional information on the taxability of Social Security benefits, see IRS Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits. Publication 915 is available on this website or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).






Are Your Social Security Benefits Taxable?
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Eight Essential Facts about Claiming the
First-Time Homebuyer Credit
If you purchased a home in 2010, you may be eligible to claim the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a long-time resident purchasing a new home. The purchaser must have been at least 18 years old on the date of purchase; for a married couple, only one spouse must meet this age requirement. A dependent is not eligible to claim the credit.

Here are eight things the IRS wants you to know about claiming the credit:

          1. You must have bought – or entered into a binding contract to buy – a principal residence located in the United States on or before April 30, 2010. If you entered into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, you must have closed on the home on or before September 30, 2010.

          2. To be considered a first-time homebuyer, you and your spouse – if you are married – must not have jointly or separately owned another principal residence during the three years prior to the date of purchase.

          3. To be considered a long-time resident homebuyer you and your spouse – if you are married – must have lived in the same principal residence for any consecutive five-year period during the eight-year period that ended on the date the new home is purchased.

          4. The maximum credit for a first-time homebuyer is $8,000, half that amount for married individuals filing separately. The maximum credit for a long-time resident homebuyer is $6,500. Married individuals filing separately are limited to $3,250.

          5. You must file a paper return and attach Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit with additional documents to verify the purchase. Therefore, if you claim the credit you will not be able to file electronically.

          6. New homebuyers must attach a copy of a properly executed settlement statement used to complete such purchase. Buyers of a newly constructed home, where a settlement statement is not available, must attach a copy of the dated certificate of occupancy. Mobile home purchasers who are unable to get a settlement statement must attach a copy of the retail sales contract.

          7. If you are a long-time resident claiming the credit, the IRS recommends that you also attach any documentation covering the five-consecutive-year period, including Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement or substitute mortgage interest statements, property tax records or homeowner’s insurance records.

          8. Members of the military and certain other federal employees serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and qualify for the credit.

For more information about these rules including details about documentation and other eligibility requirements for the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, visit http://www.irs.gov/recovery.
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