Home Ownership

The most frequently asked tax questions related to Home Ownership
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Residence My Home

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness - 10 facts

Asked Tuesday, July 03, 2012 by an anonymous user
If you are a homeowner whose mortgage debt is partly or entirely forgiven during tax years 2007 through 2012, you may be able to claim special tax relief and exclude the debt forgiven from your income.
1. Normally, debt forgiveness results in taxable income. However, under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, you may be able to exclude up to $2 million of debt forgiven on your principal residence.
2. The limit is $1 million for a married person filing a separate return.
3. You may exclude debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in a foreclosure.
4. To qualify, the debt must have been used to buy, build or substantially improve your principal residence and be secured by that residence.
5. Refinanced debt proceeds used for the purpose of substantially improving your principal residence also qualify for the exclusion.
6. Proceeds of refinanced debt used for other purposes – for example, to pay off credit card debt – do not qualify for the exclusion.
7. If you qualify, claim the special exclusion by filling out Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness, and attach it to your federal income tax return for the tax year in which the qualified debt was forgiven.
8. Debt forgiven on second homes, rental property, business property, credit cards or car loans do not qualify for the tax relief provision. In some cases, however, other tax relief provisions – such as insolvency – may be applicable. IRS Form 982 provides more details about these provisions.
9. If your debt is reduced or eliminated you normally will receive a year-end statement, Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, from your lender. By law, this form must show the amount of debt forgiven and the fair market value of any property foreclosed.
10. Examine the Form 1099-C carefully. Notify the lender immediately if any of the information shown is incorrect. You should pay particular attention to the amount of debt forgiven in Box 2 as well as the value listed for your home in Box 7.
For more information about the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, visit http://www.irs.gov. A good resource is IRS Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions and Abandonments.
This exclusion was scheduled to expire for debt discharged after December 31, 2012. ATRA, extends the exclusion to debt that is discharged before January 1, 2014.
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Household Nanny Tax

Do I need to withhold taxes on wages to a Nurse I hired to care for my husband?

Asked Tuesday, January 03, 2012 by an anonymous user
Household employees include baby sitters, nannies, housekeepers, drivers, caretakers, health aids, private nurses, maids, gardeners, and others who work in or around your private residence as your employees. Household workers who are under age 18 during any part of the calendar year are exempt from the FICA tax for the entire year even if the wages exceed $1,800 if the household employment is not their principal occupation. A full time student is considered a full time occupation. Workers you get from an agency are not your employees if the agency is responsible for who does the work and how it is done. Self-employed workers are not considered your employees. In the current year, if you paid a household employee cash wages of $1,800 or more in a calendar year, you generally must withhold social security and Medicare taxes from all cash wages you pay to that employee. Household employers must file IRS Schedule H to pay the social security and federal unemployment tax and any withheld federal income taxes. A household employer is not required to withhold federal income tax from a household employee's wages. Federal income tax withholding occurs if the employee requests and the employer agrees.
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Household Nanny Tax

Is a babysitter a Sole Proprietor and subject to SE Tax?

Asked Tuesday, January 03, 2012 by an anonymous user
When services are performed in the parents’ home according to instructions by the parents, you are considered an employee of the parents and do not have self-employment earnings
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Residence My Home

Relocation - Partial Exclusion

Asked Wednesday, January 17, 2001 by an anonymous user
For certain designated reasons such as job relocation, illness or other unforeseeable events, you can qualify for a partial exclusion.
The calculation of the exclusion is basically the number of months you lived in the house divided by 24 times the exclusion.
If married the total un-prorated exclusion is $500,000 if not married the total un-prorated exclusion is $250,000.
Therefore, if you are married and lived in the house for 1 year (12 months) then 12/24 x $500,000 = $250,000 exemption on the sale of your primary residence.
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Mortgages & Loans

Who is included in the Federal Reserve System ?

Asked Friday, January 12, 2001 by an anonymous user
The Federal Reserve System is the monetary authority of the United States. It was established in 1913, and governed by the Federal Reserve Board which is located in Washington, D.C. The system includes twelve Federal Reserve Banks and is authorized to regulate monetary policy in the United States as well as to supervise Federal Reserve member banks, bank holding companies, international operations of United States banks, and United States operations of foreign banks.
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Mortgages & Loans

What is a Bank collection float ?

Asked Thursday, January 11, 2001 by an anonymous user
Bank collection float is the time that passes between when a check is deposited into a bank account and when the funds are available to the depositor, during which period the bank is collecting payment from the payer's bank.
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Household Nanny Tax

What is the Employment Tax threshold for Household Employees ?

Asked Tuesday, January 02, 2001 by an anonymous user
If you pay a household worker such as a housekeeper, babysitter, nanny, maid, gardener or other household helper less than $1,800 in the current year, you will not have to pay Social Security or Medicare taxes on behalf of the worker. The $1,800 threshold has been raised to $1,800 in the year 2013. Payments made to students under the age of 18 for domestic services are exempt from employment taxes. You do you have to pay employment taxes on behalf of a worker who is considered a self-employed "independent contractor". Also exempt are payments to workers who are employees of the agency you contract with.
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Mortgages & Loans

Is my personal credit history considered for a business loan ?

Asked Wednesday, December 27, 2000 by an anonymous user
Your personal credit history is considered for a business loan because it gives the lender or bank a history of your personal money management, demonstrates repayment of debts and it lets the lender know of existing debts including delinquencies, bankruptcies, references, liens, student loans, etc. It is also important because if your business is a sole proprietorship or individual, there in no difference in credit history for loan purposes. Generally, if you business is a corporation, LLC, partnership, trade company, etc., then the bank or lender looks at the business history.
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Mortgages & Loans

What is interim financing ?

Asked Wednesday, December 27, 2000 by an anonymous user
Interim financing is short-term financing obtained for business purposes only until another source of long-term funding comes in. An example is a short-term construction loan to build a warehouse. When the building is complete, a long-term commercial mortgage is used to pay off the construction loan. The mortgage, similar to a home mortgage, is paid back over a number of years.
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