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How to get a quick, reliable answer to a tax question?
Old 02-05-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
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How to get a quick, reliable answer to a tax question?

I have a question on deductibility of reimbursed business expenses that were included in my W-2 wages, I have read the IRS forms but still not sure exactly what qualifies. The question is relatively straightforward (this is just a personal return). I don't need a CPA to do my entire return, I just want to pay $50 or something to get an answer on this one specific question. Probably would take 30 minutes on the phone. Is there any to get this kind of expert advice without a lot of hassle?
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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Call the IRS they will answer your questions .
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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Are you using a tax software program? It might give you some guidance.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:08 PM   #4
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The situation is a little bit off the beaten path for TurboTax to answer. I once read that the IRS phone line was only about 50% accurate for answering tax questions beyond the basics.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:11 PM   #5
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Public Library? They have current tax publications that should be able to do it. Maybe this (I know it is 2007 version but they have not published the 2008 version yet): http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p535.pdf

You will need Adobe Reader to read it as it is in PDF format.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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Call the IRS they will answer your questions .
They will answer your questions but there is no guarantee that the answers will be correct.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:32 PM   #7
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This is the best place.

If you'd asked it, you'd probably have your answer by now.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:40 PM   #8
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This is the best place.

If you'd asked it, you'd probably have your answer by now.
Yep. And unlike the IRS, we're 100% accurate...except on those few occasions when we're wrong.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:48 PM   #9
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I like this forum: Message Boards: Tax Expert Jeff Schnepper answers your tax questions - MSN Money where enrolled agents and CPA's hang out. Are you gonna ask about the reimbursement for the strippers and subsequence HIV treatment that your company paid for?
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:55 PM   #10
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Another good place is the Fairmark Forum.

But I am curious as to your question, so spit it out.

The IRS people on the phone are often wrong and can't be held to what they say if they are wrong.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:58 PM   #11
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Call the IRS they will answer your questions .
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
I once read that the IRS phone line was only about 50% accurate for answering tax questions beyond the basics.
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Originally Posted by cantlogin View Post
They will answer your questions but there is no guarantee that the answers will be correct.
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
The IRS people on the phone are often wrong and can't be held to what they say if they are wrong.
Isn't this a sad state of affairs? When are we going to have a tax revolt? I'm getting damn serious about this. I've been spending days on what should be a simple straightforward and understandable/transparent process, and it is none of those.

I'm going to start another thread soon on what I found...


Maybe we should ask Timothy Geithner, I hear he's a real wiz when it comes to doing taxes.

-ERD50
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:05 PM   #12
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I have a question on deductibility of reimbursed business expenses that were included in my W-2 wages, I have read the IRS forms but still not sure exactly what qualifies. The question is relatively straightforward (this is just a personal return). I don't need a CPA to do my entire return, I just want to pay $50 or something to get an answer on this one specific question. Probably would take 30 minutes on the phone. Is there any to get this kind of expert advice without a lot of hassle?
Try this group of professionals:
Discussions - misc.taxes.moderated | Google Groups
Ed
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Old 02-05-2009, 04:33 PM   #13
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IMHO TAXES are the next bubble to burst. I think it is not going to be pretty when the "masses" actually do revolt over the constant increase in taxes. Much of it is practically invisible, little "user fees" you do not notice, the constant increases to program and NEVER the reduction or elimination of programs - they just go on and on. How do you fix this IMO you Sunset everything - "approve this tax for 1 year" and then they would have to re-justify and re-vote these programs. The way we are doing this stuff it never will "go away". At some point those that pay these taxes are going to get tired of paying them. This so called stimulus package is a very large of example of stuff that will NEVER go away. End of rant, but not disgust.
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Old 02-05-2009, 05:18 PM   #14
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You can try this for under $20. Might be able to find it in the Library for free.

http://www.amazon.com/J-K-Lassers-Yo.../dp/0470280026
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:05 PM   #15
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I had a summer internship located in my home city (where I have a house, mortgage). For half the summer, I worked in a different office in another city. This was a temporary assignment. The company paid my travel, rental car, and temporary housing expenses for the period I was out of town. I submitted receipts and was reimbursed for some expenses, other expenses such as the housing were paid directly by the company to the vendor. The total was several thousand dollars and I have receipts for all the expenses.

I get my W-2 and notice that they have added the value of those expenses into my taxable wages. I guess they put me on a "non-accountable" plan as opposed to the "accountable" plan I had at my old employer (where business expenses were paid directly by the company and never hit my W-2). The amount of taxes withheld also increased on my W-2, thought not enough to fully cover the added tax liability. I want to get some deduction for these expenses, because they are business expenses - it was "ordinary and necessary". Originally I thought there was no deduction possible, because I was reimbursed for them. However, page A-9 of the Schedule A instructions states that "amounts your employer included in your W-2 are not considered reimbursed." Therefore, I should be able to submit those expenses on Form 2106 and carry them over to my itemized deductions on schedule A, subject to the 2% rule.

Is my assessment correct? One person told me I could not deduct anything, because if the company moves you, you can't deduct rent expense. But I don't think he fully understood the situation - this wasn't a relocation - it was temporary housing while I was away from my tax home for less than one year and lodging for overnight trips is a reasonable business expense according to IRS Publication 463.

I am quickly developing brain damage from this...
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:30 PM   #16
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It sure sounds to me that it meets the requirements of a temporary assignment as described in publication 463 and thus should be deductible, subject to the variety of deduction limits.

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Old 02-05-2009, 07:37 PM   #17
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Check out Pub 17 chapter 28 "Temporary Assignment or job". It looks like there is a difference in "temporary" and "indefinite" that ends up being less than a year. If its classified as "indefinite" the assignment becomes your new tax home.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:42 PM   #18
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It sure sounds to me that it meets the requirements of a temporary assignment as described in publication 463 and thus should be deductible, subject to the variety of deduction limits.

see my sig
Right. On the other hand - do you expect to testify in Congress for anything, on anything, anytime soon?

heh heh heh - But - if you know you are right, fight em all the way to tax court. I won't have your back - but I will follow the case with interest. .
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:46 PM   #19
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Check out Pub 17 chapter 28 "Temporary Assignment or job". It looks like there is a difference in "temporary" and "indefinite" that ends up being less than a year. If its classified as "indefinite" the assignment becomes your new tax home.
Doesn't sound indefinite by this definition in pub 463:


Temporary assignment vs. indefinite assignment. If your assignment or job away from your main place of work is temporary, your tax home does not change. You are considered to be away from home for the whole period you are away from your main place of work. You can deduct your travel expenses if they otherwise qualify for deduction. Generally, a temporary assignment in a single location is one that is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for one year or less. However, if your assignment or job is indefinite, the location of the assignment or job becomes your new tax home and you cannot deduct your travel expenses while there. An assignment or job in a single location is considered indefinite if it is realistically expected to last for more than one year, whether or not it actually lasts for more than one year.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:54 PM   #20
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However, if your assignment or job is indefinite, the location of the assignment or job becomes your new tax home and you cannot deduct your travel expenses while there. An assignment or job in a single location is considered indefinite if it is realistically expected to last for more than one year, whether or not it actually lasts for more than one year.

Pub 17 says the same thing. I guess it depends on how the employer originally categorized it. Looks like they may have it as "indefinite" and it lasted less than a year. Tax code sucks!
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