Ask the tax adviser
all my readers this week:
I appreciate all the questions
you send each week. Now the deadline to file your 2000 tax return
is less than a week away, and you may not have the answer you need.
If you haven't heard back from me and you really need to know, check
out the full Bankrate
Taxes site, especially the Tax Tool Box. What you need may be
there. If not, consider filing for an extension to file your federal
and state returns, so you'll have time to get the tax answer you
need. But remember, if you do get an extension, be sure to pay what
you might owe to avoid interest and penalties.
Filing without a W-2
Dear Tax Talk:
I did not receive a pay stub from my employer, but I have records
on what my income for the year was. How should I file my taxes?
You and a lot of other people are probably
in the same position this week in trying to get their tax returns
done without a Form W-2 from an employer that perhaps ceased operations
or for some other reason failed to provide the required statement.
If you do not receive a Form W-2, you should call the IRS at (800)
829-1040 and let them know. When you call, you should have the employer's
name, address, phone number and, if possible, their employer identification
number. The EIN may be found on a prior year Form W-2, if available.
You should also have an estimate of your wages and taxes. You can
estimate this information if you know your gross salary and the
number of weeks you worked there, or possibly from check stubs.
Of course since it's the week before taxes are
due, you may never get through to the IRS. You can consider filing
for an extension by completing and mailing Form 4868 to the IRS
by April 16th. If you can't get through to the IRS and you think
you have good records for estimating your Form W-2, you can try
to complete Form 4852. If you choose to do this, then I recommend
that you attach as much supporting documentation as you have such
as check stubs. Most likely, your refund will be delayed because
of the missing Form W-2.
Amending a tax return
Dear Tax Talk:
My question concerns my 1999 taxes. I bought
a house in October of 1999. My mortgage company sent me my statement
stating the amount of interest I paid on my house. I filed my taxes
on my computer with TurboTax. I had help, but it was all so new to
me, buying a house and doing my taxes by a computer. Anyway, I filed
There was no dollar amount for the points paid
on my mortgage statement from my company. Several months later I
received a new statement from my mortgage company apologizing for
any inconvenience that they may have caused but during a recent
audit they discovered they gave me the wrong information. In the
points paid area was a large dollar amount that I had paid towards
Am I now able to file an amended form for the
points I paid? If so, is the form a 1040X? I was told by a friend
that since the single deduction was around $7,050 or something to
that amount and that my interest paid as well as points do not total
above that amount that I cannot claim this. Is this true? Please
help. I'm looking forward to your response.
As everyone wraps up his or her 2000 individual
income tax return for filing this week, it's a good time to look back
at 1999's tax return to see if you've overlooked a tax deduction.
For honest filers, it's also good to see if you missed an item of
income. If you think you may have overlooked a tax deduction, you
can go back and amend your 1999 tax return to include it. You can
also amend 1997 and 1998, since the statute of limitations for these
years is still open, at least until the April 2001 deadline. The best
part is that if you made a mistake and are due a refund, the IRS will
pay you interest on the refund since the due date of the return.
In your case, you need to look at your 1999
tax return and determine if you itemized your deductions on Schedule
A or if you claimed the standard deduction. The standard deduction
(not the "single deduction") in 1999 for a single taxpayer was $4,300
and $7,200 for married taxpayers. The standard deduction is reported
on line 36 of your Form 1040. If your itemized deductions in 1999,
including the points on the revised statement, exceed the standard
deduction, you can amend your 1999 tax return to itemize your deductions
on Schedule A even if you previously claimed the standard deduction.
You can download Form 1040X from the IRS's site.
-- Posted: April 13, 2001