Get Free Tax Advice from TurboTax Tax Professionals: Meet Three of Them

Have you heard?!?  TurboTax is offering free one-on-one expert tax advice from experienced tax professionals on the phone or with live chat!  Yes, free!

In addition to the ease and guidance of TurboTax, this year we are offering access to free one-to-one tax advice from qualified tax professionals so you can be even more confident you are getting your taxes done right.  Available through our Ask a Tax Expert service, TurboTax tax experts will be providing personalized guidance and answers via phone or live chat free of charge.

All of our tax professionals are highly qualified CPAs, IRS Enrolled Agents, or Juris Doctors (that’s tax lawyers) with extensive knowledge in tax law and tax return preparation, unlike some national tax franchises where tax preparers can simply take a tax course before they start to prepare your taxes.

Here is a glimpse at the experienced tax professionals TurboTax has available to help you.  Meet three of our many fantastic, highly qualified Ask a Tax Expert agents:  Michael Stadler, Rhonda Collins, and Mark Farmer!

Meet Michael Stadler MBA, EA

Ask a Tax Expert Michael Stadler

Ask a Tax Expert Michael Stadler

I have a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a MBA from the University of Maryland.  I am also an IRS Enrolled Agent and have been with the Ask a Tax Expert Team for 7 tax seasons. I have over 15 years tax experience preparing both business and personal tax returns.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing  golf as well  as taking long walks with my wife, Letty, and our dogs, Kaiser and Arleigh.  I run about six miles each morning.

Working at TurboTax and helping customers get answers to their tax questions is probably the best position I’ve had during my career.  During this time, I’ve had the opportunity to apply both my education and business experience to some very complex tax situations.  I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of solving customer problems as well as receiving positive feedback from customers who have appreciated my help.  Moreover, I enjoy being part of a team that shares knowledge and expertise in making us all successful.  This position is challenging, fulfilling and rewarding.

Meet Rhonda Collins CPA, MBA

Ask a Tax Expert Rhonda Collins

Ask a Tax Expert Rhonda Collins

I entered the public accounting arena in 1986 as a tax professional with Ernst and Young.  I have and continue to work extensively with individuals as well as small, medium, and large-sized businesses.  My passions include assisting customers with income tax planning and preparation, preparation of financial statements and tax returns, and individual and business consultation as well as being a “Tax Expert” for TurboTax.

In 2008, I earned my Master of Business Administration in Finance from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio.  I also hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Franklin University.  I became a CPA ( Certified Public Accountant) in 2005  Professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as several state CPA societies.

In addition, I am a moderator for the Becker Professional Education program providing web-based and in-house continuing professional education and I also maintain an independent tax practice.

I am very active in my community volunteering my time at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Site, the Humane Society, and a local high school.

I enjoy the outdoors, traveling, and being with my family. My husband of 23 years and I have two children, Jimmy and Hunter, and a mini-farm.

Meet Mark Farmer MBA, EA

Ask a Tax Expert Mark Farmer

Ask a Tax Expert Mark Farmer

I’ve been involved in tax since 2002.  My area of expertise has been IRS representation, Form 1040 for individuals, Schedule C for Self-Employed Individuals, 1065 for partnerships, and 1120S for S-Corporations.  I am an IRS Enrolled Agent and also have my MBA.

The best part of being an Ask a Tax Expert for TurboTax is helping our customers solve their tax problems or questions.  As an Ask a Tax Expert agent, I feel that I can have a direct and positive impact on our customers’ lives.  We give our customers personal assurance that they will be treated respectfully and given correct tax information they seek.  Connecting directly with our individual customers and solving their tax questions, for me is the best part of being an Ask a Tax Expert for TurboTax.

In my spare time, I am a father of two wonderful and busy high school students.  My favorite activities are playing ice hockey, hiking, and creating something special to eat for family and friends in the kitchen.

If you are on the fence about using tax software to prepare your taxes, rest assured that TurboTax makes it easy to accurately prepare your taxes and we have added extra assurance with our qualified, Ask a Tax Expert tax professionals.

Comments (71) Leave your comment

  1. I am renting out my cond townhouse that I own on Sept 10, 2014. What methon of depreceiation do I use: The stratight line method Cost/27.5 years or the Residential Rental property 27.5 years straight line conversion? Marianne

  2. Hello,

    My wife and I have always filed jointly for the last 7 years as CA residents. However, in Nov 2013 I took up a job in MA and have been living and working in MA since then. My wife continues to live in CA. I filed 2013 Federal jointly, NY resident and MA Non-Resident for both. What should I do for 2014? Would like to continue filing jointly for Federal . What should we do for states?

  3. This message is for Rhonda Collins- Tax Professional- please pass this message to her- thank you.
    It was great to work and get the guidance from you yesterday on Foreign Earned Income exclusion. And you also had mentioned about EA exam course and guidance course. Can you please share that link with me. I have an interest in pursuing that this fall(:
    Thank you for the recommendations,
    Zehra

  4. Well – I sent the IRS a bank check for my April 15th 2014 payment and today, they sent me a refund check in the exact same amount.
    Should I contact them? This money does not belong to me – it is my taxes! I don’t want to start a problem and want to know the best way to handle this.

  5. Hello, I live in California and I am currently on social security disability and receive 2232.00 per month. after medical ins, 2019.00. I would like to begin taking a monthly income from my 401k and need to know the amount I can take without impacting my social security income from a tax standpoint. How much can I request before from my 401k before they take out the taxes necessary. Can you please help me with this. Thank you, Mark Borsuk

    • Hi Mark,
      If half of your social security benefits plus all other income and exempt interest total 25,000 – 34,000 if you’re single then 50% of your social security will now be taxable. If the amount is more than $34,000 then 85% will be taxable so you have determine how much of your 401K you can get that will keep you under those amounts so your social security will not be taxed as heavily. Here is an article that will help you
      http://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/2012/02/13/how-social-security-income-is-taxed/
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  6. My exwife and I co owned house that we sold this year. We shared the mortgage for several years to wait for the market to rebound. Our divorce decree states I will share the mortgage and we will alternate years of claiming the home, which I waived. We sold the house. My ex lived in the house during this time. Do I have tax liability?

  7. In 2012 my husband and I filed jointly. His occupation was retired and he had a 1099-r. In 2013 he oped a small business and will file for that business separately. We are pondering whether I should file single. We don’t want to trigger an audit by his work status changing and not listing any income. Does it matter?

  8. Hi. I race stock cars as a hobby throughout the summer. I just started in 2013. A racing competitor of mine filed his hobby under a DBA in 2012. However, I attempted to file a self-employed schedule C attached to my “married filing jointly” return through H&R Block by the tax preparer told me that since I won’t be recording any profits as I continue to file for years to come, that the IRS will more than likely attempt to seek out repayment for the money in tax returns that they allotted me for the 2013 return. In 2013, I had received $1305 in winnings, but around $10,800 I needed to spend to be able to race my car. I could really use a tax break on that, but am I eligible? Was I given the correct advice or not? What measures would I need to present the IRS to avoid pissing them back?

  9. I have recently been released from my company and wish to exercise the option of a lump sum payment from the 401K I have with the company. However, I have a loan that needs to be paid off. Should I pay loan amount first before performing this withdrawal to reduce penalty amount that will be accessed due to my age at 55.

    • Hi William,
      Yes, if it was a loan against your 401K and it is not paid off, you will be taxed on it and receive the additional tax penalty.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  10. “Hi Im 20 yrs old and Im working as a server part time job an I do have a brother working in HEB as a full time 23 yrs old i just want to ask if we can file a tax include our lil brother a 13 yrs old we are a residents here in US .. the case in here is that our dad is in the other country (Saudi Arabia) that’s why he cant file for tax and our mom is still lived in the Philippines and so my 2 brothers and i do lived on my cousind house with her wife and for the first year that we are in here they are the one who file/claim the tax for my lil brother so Im just wondering if I or my brother can file a refeund for the next year for our lil brother cause even though we lived in our cousins house we still paying for a house rent and some of the utilities such as electricity and we are the one whose supporting our lil brother like for his expenses in his school like money for his medicaland for his food etc. so do you think it is possible if we are the one who will refund the tax for my brother instead my cousin ?? cause if ever that happens it will serve that as a big help for the two of my brother just like we can save it for my lil brothers college fund or maybe for his expenses if ever that he need something”

    sorry for my grammar :)

  11. Hello, I may be interested in withdrawing from my 401K. I have a new job and have not rolled the 401K over. When tax time comes around next year, and I have made a withdrawal… what should I be expecting? My guess is the withdrawal amt will be noted as additional income for me, and I am required to pay taxes on the amount of the withdrawal. Please provide as much info as you can. I live in CA, Thanks!

  12. After I efiled my taxes today I realized that my a 4797 was filled out for my car that I did not sell and form 8824 Like-Kind Exchanges was also filled out. Also no form Schedule C-EZ was included. What do I do now?! How does this affect my return? I don’t know how that happened?!

  13. I am an Indian and worked in USA till 2011. I left in 2011 and have still have a bank account open that earns some money on interest. I also have some investment accounts/retirement accounts. My wife has a stock options with her old company. What type of taxes am I supposed to file. Do I have to pay taxes for what I am earning in my own country?

    Please advise?

    • Hi Poorav – You do not need to pay US taxes on your foreign earned income if you are not a U.S. citizen or resident alien. You likely do not need to file a return at all, unless your U.S. investment income is substantial. The attached link has more information. Hope it helps! –Christopher
      http://turbotax.intuit.com/support/go/GEN12413

  14. My name is Craig. I have 3 nieces that have been living with me for 2 years and have been supported by my wife and I. I first need to know if and how I can claim them and what I can use for proof of residency for them? I know I have to have something prooving they resided with me for at least months, and the oldest has school records for that, but the youngest two are not in school yet and when I went to the doctor for medical records they told me they do not hold any information with dates that they were assigned to our address

  15. My name is Craig. I have 3 nieces that have been living with me for 2 years and have been supported by my wife and I. I first need to know if and how I can claim them and what I can use for proof of residency for them? I know I have to have something prooving they resided with me for at least months, and the oldest has school records for that, but the youngest two are not in school yet and when I went to the doctor for medical records they told me they do not hold any information with dates that they were assigned to our address.

  16. I am selling my house in England, I should net $60,000, which will be deposited in my English Bank. Do I have to declare that money on my taxes?

  17. I know I’m a bit late in contributing my htoughts but this specific post created me feel. It was an absorbing weblog publish. I have become a frequent reader of your internet site given that I came across your site a while back. I can not say that I agree with everything you stated but it was emphatically enlightening! I might be back again soon.

    • Hi Susanne,
      We are glad you enjoy the blog. Check back for more interesting topics.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Hi Ray,
      I hope you received your answer. We were helping people with their tax questions live via chat or phone. If you still need help, please contact our free experts through TurboTax or call 1.800.4.intuit.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  18. how do I get to a live-chat session with one of your experts? I have question about 1099R received in 2011 for conversion from regular to Roth in 2010 and then converted back to regular in 2011.

    • Hi Frank,
      Please go through TurboTax online by asking your question at the bottom of the screen. You will come to related FAQs. Scroll down to the bottom right of the screen. Click “Contact Us”. You will then be prompted to ask your question on the next screen and also you will be asked if you want to speak to an expert live via chat or phone. You can also call 1.800.4.intuit
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  19. How many years can you go back and amend your return. Forgot to include interest paid on a house loan to a relative

    • Hi John,
      3 Years from the date of the original tax return or 2 from the date you paid the tax whichever is later.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  20. I cannot get turbo tax to let me fix some minor problem on Schedule C. Turbo tax has my money, but it will not let me E-file because it will not let me fix the problem.
    Also, if I print out and mail there is a penalty for NY state filers. I just want to get the >>>ing problem fixed.

    • Hi eloats,
      Sorry you are having problems. You should be able to go back to the interview questions that relate to your problem, delete the incorrect information, re-enter what you need to and save. If that does not work I would delete the form and start over.
      To delete a form in TT Online:
      1. Go Home
      2. Scroll down to “Delete a Form”
      3. Click “Delete a Form”
      4. All forms associated with your tax return will appear
      5. Click on the schedule “C” and associated forms you want to delete

      To delete in Desk Top:
      1. Click “Forms” in the upper left corner.
      2. Scroll down to your schedule “C” and associated forms
      3. Click on the appropriate form you want to delete
      4. Click “Forms” in the top tool bar
      5. Click “Remove xxx Form”
      If you are still having problems, please contact our free live tax advice.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  21. Hawaii State taxes got returned with changes., Can I email them to you all since I paid for this service I do not know anything about taxes and do not understand why it was changed by the state.

  22. I own your stock!
    I cannot find out how to 1 talk to a live tax specilist 2. how to get a new temporary PIN. My requests for a temporary PIN don’t lead me anywhere.

    • Hi Richard,
      You have to go through TurboTax Online through the tax program. You can start for free and click on “Get Expert Help” on the right, on the “TurboTax Help” screen click on the “contact us now” button. You will be transferred to a live tax expert.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  23. Your web site stinks. I’ve been looking for 35 minutes now for your phone number but it seems like you have made it nearly impossible to find. Can you please supply the number so I can get this issue resolved. Even the CPA I use for my investments is confused. Nice job.

    • Hi Bruce,
      If you use the tax software the option to be directed to a tax professional is on the right. Click “Get Expert Help” , on the TurboTax Help Center page go to the “Contact Us Now” button, you will then be asked the category of your question and you will then be routed to an agent depending if you want to speak to them live or via chat.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Hi Galen,
      The tax advice is offered through TurboTax online. Once you get into the tax software click on, “Get Expert Help” on the right, scroll down to the bottom of the “TurboTax Help Page”, click the “Contact Us Now” button. You will be routed to an agent based on your question.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  24. Hi
    Can I amend a return that I already filed? I forgot to include a w2 for a company that I was employed for a day

    • Hi Tom,
      Yes you can amend a return if you forgot a W-2, but make sure the original tax return was accepted first. If it was rejected you do not need to do an amendment.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  25. I am working on my 2011 return. The “Federal Review” indicated that “itemized deductions” is my best option, and it says that is what I am receiving; however, there is a difference between the amounts I entered, and the amounts that I am allowed. When I check “Why the difference’, it says it is because “I am taking the Standard Deduction”. I have gone back through it, and it still says I am getting the “itemized deductions”, but I am NOT! I am getting the standard deduction. What can I do to correct this?

    • Hi Mary,
      Sorry you are having difficulty. Your itemized deductions have to be more than the following amounts as follows:
      If your filing status is… Your standard deduction is:
      Single or Married filing separately $5,800
      Married filing jointly or Qualifying
      widow(er) with dependent child 11,600
      Head of household 8,500
      There are also additional amounts if you are blind or over 65. If your itemized deductions are over these amounts, I would double check the entries. Go to Deductions and Credits, click explore on my own, check your entries in the various deduction and credit categories. The program will check for additional deductions. Then yo will see “Let’s see how much money you saved click continue. The program will tell you it chose itemized deductions for you. On that screen make sure you did not chose “Change my Deduction”. If you still run into a problem are agents are available through TurboTax online.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • Hi Tony,
      If you mean the payment for the software, yes. It can be taken out of your refund with a refund transfer.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  26. Turbotax–is anybody out there to explain how I contact your supposed live tax advisors?

    Where are they hiding?

    • Hi Bernard,
      Sorry you weren’t sure how to contact them. They are easily contacted through TurboTax.com. When you are in the TurboTax software there is an option to select if you want to talk to them via phone or live chat. The reason it is done this way, because when you are in the tax software you are routed to an agent according to your tax question. You are even asked what type of question you have and then you are routed. Please try and go through the software and use this link http://turbotax.intuit.com/
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  27. I had a pipe burst in my house which caused extensive damage to it. My insurance coverage did not cover all the bill of the recovery costs. I have been making the house payment since it happened but I am still not able to live in it. Is there a way I can use this for a deduction on my Federal tax.

    • Hi Donna,
      Yes it would be deducted as a casualty loss if you itemize your deductions. TurboTax can guide you through entering the information.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  28. My husband is a truck driver, long haul, not an Owner Operator. My question is what deductions can he take and what TurboTax do I need to get. I heard he can get so much off for every day he is out. I tried Premier business but he does not own a business.

    • Hi Denise,
      If he does not own a business he should be able to use Deluxe. It will guide him through the deductions he is eligible for under employee business expenses if he can itemize his deductions.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • I filed with turbo tax and was accepted on the 15th I paid my fees nropfut and I still haven’t got my refund yet. I called the IRS and they said it will most likely be next Friday. Don’t understand what is going on but it has to do with the slow processing of the IRS computers It doesn’t matter who you filed with the IRS is just behing this year

  29. T/Tax appears to not understand that the State of AZ does not tax social security. So WHY does my in progress tax return show SS income rather than just OTHER income?

  30. I have filed my taxes with turbo tax. I forgot to deduct a loss from selling a utma account. I had a loss off approximately 371.36 long term. I ended up owing about 200 in taxes for the year. Do you think its worth it for me to refile to see if this will reduce my taxes further?

    • Hi Mario,
      Although it is a small amount, it may be reported to the IRS so you may want to amend your return. If you decide not to amend your return the IRS will most likely make an adjustment to your tax return. Only amend your return if it was accepted. If it was rejected you can just go in and add the necessary information.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  31. If my girlfriend & I are buying a house together do we split the deductions for mortgage interest & taxes or can only 1 claim it? Thanks

    • Hi Roger,
      It’s up to you on how you want to handle it. You can either split the expenses or one of you can take them all. It depends on what you decide and what will give you the best outcome. You can use TurboTax Tax Caster to estimate the best alternative http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  32. On my rental property in 2011 I replaced the driveway. Do I list this under “assets/Depreciation” or” Expenses”?

    • Hi John,
      Yes, you would list this as an asset under land improvements and depreciate it. In TurboTax go to Wages/Income, on the 2011 income summary screen scroll down to rents and royalties, click start. TurboTax will guide you.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  33. Hi, I have a question. I just started working again in July 2011. I was off for 2 years. Anyway, at first I didn’t claim both of my kids as dependents. I claim both of them now on my weekly income, from my job. My son and daughter both work 20-40 hrs a week…both work at minimum wage. My son (21) leaves with me and my daughter (18) goes to college, has room and board…receives by the way; financial-aide … I still send her money to survive and I still pay for all expenses, for both of my children. My daughter still comes home for breaks and will probably loose her job due to the holidays coming up. Both of their jobs are at the status of part-time. My question is..to be clear, can I claim them as my dependents on my weekly check? Also, to they both just started their jobs…since I’ve been working. I find it hard to claim single and still provide for them. They take out allot of taxes, and I am also part-time. I have been doing it for a few months now. Thank-you and I look forward to your reply.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Yes you can still claim them as an exemption on your taxes. Whether you are paying in enough taxes depends on your other deductions. Regarding claiming them on your taxes, your son does not meet the age test if he is not a full-time student, but you may be able to claim him as a “qualifying relative” if he:
      -Did not earn $3,700 in 2011
      -You paid over half of his support
      – Was a U.S. Citizen, National, resident alien, or Resident of Mexico or Canada

      You may be able to claim your daughter as a “qualifying child” if she:
      -Did not earn over $3,700 in 2011
      -She did not provide over half of her own support
      – Was a U.S. Citizen, National, resident alien, or Resident of Mexico or Canada

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Any exneses associated with the cosmetic surgery, including the ones you mention, are not deductible, since you wouldn't have had those expenses if it hadn't been for the cosmetic surgery..

      • Hi Vishal,
        I’m not sure what you’re referring to. You are correct, cosmetic surgery is not tax deductible.

        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • I couldn’t have raelly asked for a much better blog. You happen to be available to present excellent information, going straight away to the point for convenient understanding of your site visitors. You’re surely a terrific expert in this arena. Many thanks for being there for people like me.

      • Hi,
        We are glad you enjoy the blog. Check back for more interesting topics.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  34. How come my question was never answered? I’ve filed already, but I still would like to know why the software wasn’t allowing him to be claimed as my dependent.

  35. Hi Katrina,
    Sorry about the delay, but I am the blog manager and not our free tax advice. I can still answer your question even though I don’t have all of the details about your dependent.

    I have seen many times that people miss one question in the interview and then they do not get the exemption for the dependent. I would go back through the interview and make sure you answer every question about the dependent correctly. Make sure the social security number, birth date, and any other information is correct. There are also some options to click and one of them is “none of the above”. Even if that is skipped you may not get the deduction.
    If you need more help. Get into the program and go to our free live tax advice so they can speak to you and go through the tax return.
    Thank you,
    Lisa Greene-Lewis

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