Review our archive of frequently asked questions

How do I get a copy of a prior-year tax return and Form W-2?
If you filed your tax return through Terry’s Tax Service, then you can get a copy of your records from Terry’s Tax Service. Otherwise, as long as you filed your tax return with the IRS, you can request a photocopy or a computer transcript (a line-by-line listing) of the information on your filed tax return. Photocopies and transcripts are free from the IRS. If you need an actual copy (not a photocopy), then you must complete Form 4506 and pay a $57 fee for your filed tax return and all related tax information, such as your Form W-2.

How do I get my Form W-2?
Your employer should mail your Form W-2 to you by January 31. However, you may be able to download your W-2s even before you receive them in the mail. Ask your Terry’s Tax Service Tax Consultant if you can make use of the W-2 download program.

What information should I bring to Terry’s Tax Service?
Make sure to bring the following materials to your tax interview:

  • Wage statements (Form W-2)
  • Pension, or retirement income (Form 1099-R)
  • Social Security card(s)
  • Driver's license(s)
  • Dependents' Social Security numbers and dates of birth
  • Last year's tax return
  • Information on education expenses(Form 1098T)
  • Commissions received and/or paid
  • Information on the sales of stocks and/or bonds
  • Self-employed business income and expenses (Form 1099-Misc)
  • Lottery and/or gambling winnings and losses (Form W-2G)
  • State refund amount
  • Social Security and/or unemployment income
  • Income and expenses from rentals
  • Alimony paid or received
  • Record of purchase or sale of real estate
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Real estate and personal property taxes
  • Estimated taxes or foreign taxes paid
  • Cash and non-cash charitable donations
  • Mortgage or home equity loan interest paid (Form 1098)
  • Unreimbursed employment-related expenses
  • Job-related educational expenses
  • Childcare expenses and provider information

How much does it cost to have my taxes prepared at Terry’s Tax Service?
The cost of tax preparation is based upon the complexity of your tax return. To learn more, please contact Terry’s Tax Service office.

How quickly can I get money at Terry’s Tax Service?
When you file electronically and choose one of the IRS Direct options, you can receive your refund directly from the IRS by direct deposit in approximately 8 to 15 days. You can also choose to have the IRS mail you a check in approximately 21 to 28 days. IRS Direct is free with paid tax preparation. We also make a variety of financial products available to taxpayers through our lending partner with no out of pocket expense. Ask your Terry’s Tax Service Tax Consultantr for full details.

I need to change my withholding. How do I update my personal information?
Use Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you get married or divorced, if a child is born, or if you no longer can claim a child as your dependent, you will need to complete a new Form W-4. When you begin to work at a new company, your employer must give you a Form W-4 to complete. You can also request a Form W-4 from your employer at any time to reflect a change in your tax situation.

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and am I eligible?
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is applicable to low-income workers who may or may not have a qualifying child, or children, living with them. If you can take the EITC, then it is subtracted from the tax owed. The credit can be refunded even if you don’t owe any tax. If you have a qualifying child and your earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) are

  • $45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children
  • $41,952 ($47,162 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children
  • $36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child
  • $13,980 ($19,190 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

The maximum credit is

  • $5,891 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,236 with two qualifying children
  • $3,169 with one qualifying child
  • $475 with no qualifying children

Ask your Terry’s Tax Service Tax Consultant for more information.

Is there an age limit on claiming my children as dependents?
Age is a factor in the qualifying child test, but a qualifying relative can be any age.  As long as the following dependency exemption tests are met, you may claim him or her:

  • Qualifying child or qualifying relative test
  • Dependent taxpayer test
  • Citizenship or resident test
  • Joint return test

If I claim my daughter as a dependent because she is a full-time college student, can she claim herself as a dependent when she files her return?
If you claim your daughter as a dependent on your income tax return, she cannot claim herself on her income tax return. If an individual is filing his or her own tax return, and the individual can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return, the individual cannot claim his or her own personal exemption.

How much is the Standard Deduction for 2012?
For 2009, the standard deduction is:

If your filing status is :
Married Filing Joint
Qualifying Widower
Married Filing Seperately
Head of Household

Then your standard deduction is:

I received unemployment in 2012. Is this taxable?
Yes, Unemployment compensation you received under the unemployment compensation laws of the United States or of a state must be included in your income. It is taxable income. If you received unemployment compensation, you should receive Form 1099-G showing the amount you were paid and any federal income tax you elected to have withheld.

What types of educational expenses are deductible?
Deductible educational expenses include:

  • Amounts spent for tuition, books, supplies, laboratory fees and similar items.
  • They also include the cost of correspondence courses, as well as formal training and research you do as part of an educational program.
  • Transportation and travel expenses to attend qualified educational activities may also be deductible.

Who can claim the Hope Credit?
Generally, you can claim the Hope Credit if all three of the following requirements are met:

  • You pay qualified tuition and related expenses for the first 2 years of postsecondary education.
  • You pay the tuition and related expenses for an eligible student.
  • The eligible student is either you, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

What is a Lifetime Learning Credit?
The Lifetime Learning Credit is a nonrefundable tax credit with a dollar limit per family that is available for qualified tuition and related expenses of higher education whether the student is at the undergraduate or graduate level.

The Lifetime Learning Credit is calculated by taking a percentage of the qualified educational expenses paid.

Can’t find what you need? Ask Terry’s Tax Service your tax questions!

Can’t find what you need?
Ask Terry’s Tax Service your tax questions!

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