It’s that time of year again. Tax time. With just a week and a day to go before April 15, today’s St. Louis on the Air was dedicated to answering questions about filing taxes. CPA Lance Weiss returned to the show to help listeners make sense of the tax code. He’s with the St. Louis tax and accounting firm SFW Partners, LLC.
Over the course of the hour, Weiss answered questions about a range of topics, from health insurance deductions to claiming back taxes, including:
- I received money from a class action suit. Do I claim that as income?
- Can I claim my child’s elementary school tuition as a deduction?
- Are my IRA holdings taxable? What about my ROTH holdings?
- When visiting athletes such as the Cincinnati Reds play in St. Louis, they are being paid to work in the city. Does that mean they pay taxes to St. Louis and to Missouri?
- My husband inherited a checking account from his mother when she passed away. Is that taxed?
Imagine going to file your tax return, and being notified by the IRS that a return has already been filed under your social security number. It’s happening more and more.
“The IRS is very aware of the problem,” said Weiss. “It’s one of their top ten …tax problems that are out there.”
He recommended reading the IRS information sheet Publication 4535, to find out what to do if you become a victim of identity theft, as well as tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
As scary as it might sound, a fraudulent tax filing doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your assets are at risk, said Weiss. Sometimes it’s just the result of an accident.
“There are really two different types of issues that can happen,” said Weiss. “One is: they have your social security number and your address, and with enough other data now they can go begin to clear out bank accounts and get credit cards, and do real serious damage. The other type of issue, and I see this more often than the real theft issue, is somebody just keyed a number in wrong when they filed electronically.”
If someone else received your tax refund, you most likely will be able to eventually get the money you are owed. But it could take as long as a year, said Weiss.