Q: A recent Mail Call question addressed whether a taxpayer would have to return the $400 advance child tax rebate if his income was too high for 2003. (See 10/06/03 issue.) While your answer indicated that he would not have to write a check to the IRS, I believe that the additional credit would still have to be added back to his 2003 tax liability on his return. Do you agree? J.W., via e-mail
Small Business Tax
Section 179 vehicles should be a key part of your small business tax deduction strategies. Can Section 179 property fit in with your business tax strategies?
Let Business Management Daily help you get each and every rental property depreciation credit and business tax deduction you’re entitled to.
Q: In 2003, I started a sideline business selling items on eBay. If my regular salary at work exceeds the Social Security tax wage base, do I have to pay self-employment tax on my eBay earnings? S.J.S., via e-mail
You probably saw all the fanfare this month surrounding President Bush's signing of the Medicare reform law, the biggest rewrite of Medicare in its nearly 40 year history.
But, unless you're on Medicare, you probably thought the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003 contained nothing for you. Well, you were wrong.
Gain fast tax relief from a NOL.
Pay no tax instead of low tax.
... older Americans
Q: I've been working for 28 years at the same company and have accumulated a hefty pension. But I just read that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is running out of money. Will my pension still be protected? D.Z., Albuquerque, N.M.
Say your parents or in-laws are semiretired and still earning a bit of income, but you're helping them financially. They also watch your young children while you and your spouse work.
You probably can't claim a dependency exemption for your parents because their income surpasses a certain level.
Q: I have Series EE Savings Bonds worth close to $100,000. I don't want to leave them in my estate where they will be hit with income and estate taxes. Can I avoid the untaxed appreciation in value by transferring the bonds to a charitable trust? R.B., Houston, Texas
Seven years ago, my parents gave their house in upstate New York to the children and their spouses. (There are five of us; four are married.) My parents paid $150,000 for the house, and now it's worth more than $500,000. Now that both parents have passed away, we're thinking of selling the home. But we're not sure if that's a good idea from a tax perspective and whether we'd qualify for the home-sale exclusion. What do you think?
Q: In a recent Mail Call, you correctly answered a reader by saying that a tax refund would not be reduced by a Roth IRA contribution. (8/11/03 issue) But in stating that Roth IRA contributions don't affect current tax liability, aren't you omitting the use of the retirement tax credit? M.A.C., Union Beach, N.J.