Monday, December 07, 2009

Questions for the Tax Lady: December 7th, 2009

Check out the following new Questions for the Tax Lady answers and feel free to ask me questions through one of the links below. You can send me an email, direct message or @ reply, and I will do my best to get an answer for you!

Question #1: My boss usually gives me a present for the holidays, but this year she gave me a bonus check. Will I need to include these funds on my next tax return?

Yes, any cash gifts or items that are “easily exchangeable” for cash that you are given by an employer should be reported to the IRS. However, since your employer printed you out a check then odds are that she intends to include it on your W-2 form, but if you want to be extra cautious then you can always ask her. For more information on the tax implications of holiday presents from employers check out this entry on the RDTC Tax Help Blog.

Question #2: What is the 2009 standard deduction amount?

According to this IRS press release, for the 2009 tax year “the new standard deduction is $11,400 for married couples filing a joint return (up $500), $5,700 for singles and married individuals filing separately (up $250) and $8,350 for heads of household (up $350). Nearly two out of three taxpayers take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.”

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