TurboTax Answers Your Tax Questions
TurboTax Answers Your Tax Questions

Tax Questions? TurboTax Has Free Answers

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Back by popular demand! Starting today taxpayers with tax questions can get an easy – and free – answer from a TurboTax expert.

How it works:

TurboTax will answer one personal, tax-related question for free through Jan. 31 at www.FreeTaxQuestion.com. Anyone can submit a question – whether you use TurboTax or not. Simply submit a question online, and you’ll receive a personal call back at a time you request from a tax expert.

If you’ve been reading the TurboTax blog or glanced at recent news coverage, you know there are lots of tax savings opportunities this year tied to the Economic Stimulus plan. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of taxpayers are expected to benefit, whether they’re first-time homebuyers, Cash for Clunker recipients or college students.

Whatever your question is, tax experts are here to help. Our experts are highly qualified tax pros with extensive knowledge in tax law and with TurboTax software. They’re enrolled agents and experienced tax preparers with advanced education and they’re standing by to help you. This is the third year that TurboTax has offered Free Tax Question.

Questions after January? Not a problem.

If you have more than one question or you want answers beyond the January offer, TurboTax Live Community is free, and offers year-round, anytime access to online answers from a community of millions of TurboTax customers and tax experts.

You can type in a question and immediately find answers.

Giving taxpayers free options for their questions is another way TurboTax makes it easier to get more money in your pocket…and who doesn’t want that? There’s no purchase necessary to participate, but it is subject to availability, so be sure to take advantage of the free offer with your taxing question.

193 responses to “Tax Questions? TurboTax Has Free Answers”

  1. Can I sell inherited house and personal house in same tax year and meet the exclusions for capital gains

    • Hi Robert,

      To clarify, the tax exclusion you are referring to is a tax law that provides homeowners a tax exclusion on the gain resulting from the sale of their primary residence. The exclusion is up to $250,000 of any gain for a single tax payer and up to $500,000 of any gain by a married filling joint homeowners. Additionally, to qualify you have to live at that home for 2 out of the past 5 prior years before the sale.

      While the sale of an inherited house does not qualify for the tax exclusion described above – it does have its own tax treatment. Generally, when you inherit a home and sale it later you pay capital gains tax based on the value of the property subtracted from the sales price of the home. Typically, the value of the property is determined by the value as of the date of death of the person you inherited the home from. However, in some cases the value of the property is determined on the Alternate Valuation Date selected by an executor of the estate.

      Hope this helps.
      Katharina Reekmans

  2. I have 2 different savings accounts at one bank. The bank issued me (2) 1099-int statements, one per account, each showing under $ 10 of interest per account. Do I not have to report these at all, or since they are both from the same bank, do I report have to the total interest, which is a little over $10??

    • Hi Jim,

      Yes you should report the total interest from both 1099-INT statements. Hope this helps.

      Katharina Reekmans, EA

  3. The IRS just sent me a letter asking me to fill out Form 8965 giving a reason for my exemption for not purchasing healthcare insurance for 2018. The problem is that I did have health insurance for January and February, then I was eligible to move to Medicare. There is nowhere on Form 8965 to explain this.How should I handle this? Thank you for any info.

    • Hi,

      For Tax filing purposes you were covered all year and you should have checked the box on your tax return stating you had coverage year round.

      Attach a written statement to the 8965 describing your coverage and include the proof of coverage.
      Make a copy of the form 1095-B sent to you by Medicare that shows the coverage time-frame.
      If you need a replacement Form 1095-B, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

      Thank you

  4. Wife’s ITIN has expired and she is living in Brazil. Filing married seperately how do I resolve her SSN/ITIN question

  5. Took the advance premium tax credit for Health insurance . However had to dip in 401k to by car because i travel between NC and Ten.to teach at college . It pushed my normal salary of 20 to 25 to 50 thousand for 2018 year . Now they want me to pay back the whole premium credit back of 7,380 . Do i have to pay the whole thing back?

  6. I’m helping my daughter with her tax return. she is not able to deduct her student loan interest since she is $2111 over the $80,000 income limit. if she contributes to a new IRA enough $$ can she get her AGI below $80k and then take the student loan deduction?

  7. We paid $12 in taxes to Canada. When we first did our taxes without the Canadian tax, the screen showed $12 more in our return. Why is it not less if we asked for a credit for the tax paid? Seems like we should receive more, not less.

  8. my son and I bought a house in 2017. we are co owners. his name is first on the mortgage. who would claim the house? I make more money than he does just not sure how co ownership works

  9. I am under bankruptcy and seem to fall under the state of Mississippi’s requirements for filing “state” tax returns, but have never heard of such a thing, seriously. I and the people of our community–I AM SURE–have never heard of it. I have heard of receiving a check called the state refund check(and have received them), but never filed or knew I had to file. I thought that after federal taxes were filed that that was all you were required to file.

    Now, my lawyer and trustee seem to require filled out past state tax returns. Like I said, I never knew I had to file until my lawyer required them from me. So, what can I do? Have state taxes been filed in a way that I am unaware of(such as by the federal tax preparer) or should I have been doing that with a seperate form all along? What is someone’s state refund check even a reflection of? Please help me if you can.

  10. this past year, 2018, my aunt’s house sold. I received the money. Do I have to include this as part as my 2018 income?

  11. Filed Fed tax because wife had affordable care act insurance from 01/01/2018 to 04/06/2018. Her Medicare started 04/01/2018. I entered amounts on Form 1095 the tax form I filed said I owed $600.00 All we get is Social security

  12. If I take the 2018 standard deduction, can I still take the 1. $3000 capital gain loss carry over from a property sale loss. 2. can I deduct a $4000 legal fee from making a will 3. can I still take deduction for my house as an office which I have done for years. Thank You

  13. “Both of my kids, 24 & 19 live with me. One worked p/t in 2018 and the other worked 7 months and collected unemployment through the end of 2018. i financially took care of them over 50% in 2018. I can claim them on my return, correct?” I know I wont get the tax credit because of their age but I still claim them correct?

  14. I’m helping my daughter with her taxes. She has been taking care of her disabled boyfriend and his 2 children, how do we claim them as dependents on the return?

  15. which form I need to send to client and IRS if I collect mortgage interest
    Do you have that form in the Turbo Tax premium?

  16. I write science fiction, set in various locations around the world. How much of the travel expenses am I allowed to deduct? Or am I only allowed to deduct travel costs from book and story sales?

  17. Is it possible to file amended returns to claim self-employed business expenses for the years in question ? If so, do I have to redo my entire returns for these years?

  18. I have a small S-corp, my accountant says that I’m not allowed to have my company pay for our health insurance as so many other larger companies offer health insurance to employees as part of their compensation package. Is my accountant correct?

  19. I have a full time regular job, and I had a very short term part time job as a contract employee for a company for 1 month. Do I need to report the contract position pay, since I didn’t make over $1000?

    • I would like to know if I can claim my 5 year old granddaughter if she has been living with me and I have been paying all her expenses and school tuition…my daughter lives with me too, I know I can’t claim her as a dependent but can I claim my granddaughter.

  20. My question is about capital gains taxes. We sold our house in 2016 for 700,000. We received 400,000 cash in 2016 and the remaining 300,000 in 2018. On the 1099 settlement statement we received in 2016, it lists the contract sales price as 400,000. How will we be taxed on the 300,000 we received in 2018. Our other income is 14,500 social security and 18,500 in W-2 income.

    Thank you very much for your assistance!

  21. We claimed our daughter’s tuition from her college on our tax return. However, she attended a separate college for a summer class, for which she paid. Can she claim THAT tuition on her return?

  22. i received a form 1098 (mortgage interest statement) after i filed my taxes. Would it have any affect on my taxes? If so, what can I do about it now?

    • Hi Lisa,
      It could. If you didn’t claim home mortgage interest that is on the 1098 form, that mortgage interest can save you money on your taxes. You can deduct your home mortgage interest and property taxes. If your tax return was already accepted by the IRS, you can amend your tax return by going into your online account. Our TurboTax Live CPAs and Enolled Agents can also answer your questions related to your tax return and amending.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  23. I entered the wrong routing number and account number, what can I do ? I have already filed, and the banks are not the same as before.

    • Hi Evelyn,
      You can try and contact the IRS before they issue the check and see if they will make the change for you.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  24. Hello I have a question so I recieved a letter from the irs stating I owe from 2014. So my question is can I file my 2015 w-2 and the irs just take what I owe them from my 2015 taxes thank you!

  25. My wife and I have lived seperate for all of 2015. She is having her brother, whom she has lived with all year, claim her four kids from her first marriage. We have two children together that I will be claiming. She earned no income for the entire year. Can I claim her on my tax return or would that raise red flags for her brothers return from the IRS?

  26. I did my 1099 and w-2s on this years turbo tax and when I was ready to file the forms I notice that the top page of each of the reports are printed black. Does the IRS still want the forms to be red or is the black OK.

  27. My husband is active duty and we moved April of last year to his duty station which is out of state. Before the move I was working but since being down here I have been a stay at home mom. Do I need to file with the both old and new state or just the state that I worked for since the only reason we moved was because of his orders?

  28. I am married and filing separately this year and have a personal loan in my name only and I have a parent plus loan for my daughter in my name only and wondered how this is going to affect my tax return? I am also not claiming my daughter my husband is on his return.

  29. This is the first time I’ve worked out of the country as a civilian(12 years military). How does that work as far as whats tax free? I’ve heard different things. First 9 months of this year was spent out of the country

  30. I just found out that I should have been filing state returns in multiple states other than my own (4 others to be precise) for income earned from a real estate fund (limited partnership). I am a limited partner and have only been filing in my home state (with turbotax). I didn’t realize I was responsible for filing in each state that the fund was active. It’s been 5 years and I have not heard from the other states (AZ, CO, CA, NY and VA) and I’ve paid the full tax in my home state (NC).

    My question is, should I just start reporting correctly on my next return or should I go back and amend my returns going back several years? Will the states come after me since the LP filed a K-1 in each of the states? The fund didn’t pay nonresident withholding payments or file a composite return. Should I start fresh going forward, or go back and amend all my prior returns, or hire a CPA to do it all for me. Help, I’m over my head. Do you have any advice? Thanks, Andrew

  31. If a Beneficiary’s Defective Inheritor’s Trust (BDIT) was set up (commonly used for familiar relationships), but what if for a business sale, for example if a doctor (the beneficiary) wanted to sell his practice to a buyer (the grantor), the beneficiary would owe taxes on the BDIT as he/she is treated as the owner for income tax purposes, but would the grantor (buyer) owe any additional taxes for the purchase if it is done in this fashion?

    Basically I want to know what money is taxed using this model of a BDIT.

  32. I send my elder parent $200/month from payroll deduction, can I claim this as a deduction and does it have to be claimed as income by the recipient?

    • Hi Lochard,
      If the $200 per month was for something specific like medical expenses then you may be able to claim the medical expenses as a deduction, but you would have to also be able to claim your parent as a dependent. You can claim your parent if you provided over half of her support and they did not earn over $3,950 in taxable income.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  33. I sold my house in Texas in December of 2013 and moved to Washington state. When I did my taxes in Turbotax for 2013, Turbo tax asked if I had sold a home and I answered yes, but it didn’t appear anywhere in the tax forms (I had bought and sold other houses over the years). I walked away with $65,000 after paying off the mortgage. I was unemployed throughout 2014, but I did make $6,500 in charitable donations. Do I have to file a tax return for 2014? I am single with no dependents, if that info is needed for the answer. Thank you.

    • Hello Maddie,
      It sounds like you do not need to file a tax return for 2014. Generally, if your total income for the year doesn’t exceed the standard deduction plus one exemption and you aren’t a dependent to another taxpayer, then you don’t need to file a federal tax return. In 2014 for example, if you are under age 65 and single, you must file a tax return if you earn $10,150 or more, which is the sum of the 2014 standard deduction for a single taxpayer plus one exemption. The amount of income that you can earn before you are required to file a tax return also depends on the type of income, your age and your filing status. When determining whether you need to file a return, you don’t include tax-exempt income.
      For more information, please visit https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/IRS-Tax-Return/Does-Everyone-Need-to-File-an-Income-Tax-Return-/INF14399.html or take a brief survey with the IRS to determine if you have to. To do that, please go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Do-I-Need-to-File-a-Tax-Return%3F


  34. I am trying to file my recently deceased father’s taxes. I am unsure of what documents I need to file aside from his work W-2 and 10-99. I am pretty sure I need a medical/insurance document and I don’t know how to get it or who to get it from. Please help!

  35. I live in GA and sold my rental property in AZ. I’m not exempt. My question is does the sale of my rental house go on my state income. I got my taxes back and the gain was also on my state income.

  36. I am a truck driver I have a w2 from a company I worked for and a 1099 from part of the year when I drove for myself. I purchased the turbo tax home and business thinking I could enter in all my fuel and maintenance writeoffs but im having trouble understanding where to put the info. should I use different software?

    • HI Fred,
      You can certainly claim all your work deductions in Turbotax. In your case you are going to fill out your return almost as if you has two separate jobs during the year. First start with the income you had for the part of the year when you were working for your yourself and received a 1099. You will click the Business Tab at the top of the page, then “Walk me through everything”, Then begin entering your “business”. You can use your own name as the business name. Just proceed through the questions until you come out into the main Business Income and Expenses page
      About third from the bottom you will see a place to enter your 1099, it will be in the BUSINESS INCOME section. Click start there and enter your 1099. When your finished you will come back out into the main Business Income and expenses page.
      Now you will enter all your expenses in the Business Expenses section. This can be found on the same page, towards the middle. Click start for this section, and you will be able to enter all your truck expenses here. The interview will start by asking about your truck. At the end you will have the option to take mileage or actual expenses like maintenance. Turbotax will help you determine the better deduction for you in that regard. Don’t forgot you can also deduct things like business phones bills, and even insurance when you are done. (Just remember we are only deducting the expenses for the part of the year you worked for yourself at this point, or your 1099 income, in the next section we’ll cover your expenses as an employee.

      When you have finished entering your expenses for the time when you drove for yourself, we will now go into the PERSONAL tab at the top of the screen, and enter your W-2. If you had any other personal income, enter them here also., Otherwise, click on the DEDUCTIONS & CREDITS tab at the top of the page. You can walk through them all, or select “I’ll choose what I’m working on” and scroll down to EMPLOYMENT EXPENSES, near the bottom of the page. I would recommend selecting “Visit All” here as Turbotax will recommend some expenses you may not have realized were deductible.

      And that’s it! you should not not only have your expenses entered for when you drove for yourself , but also any unreimbursed expenses your employer did not cover you for. For the part of the year you were an employee.

      I have included a link from The IRS that has some more great tips of deducting expenses.

      The first link I provided is for expenses as an employee. Please remember, you must itemize your expenses on your return to claim some of these. Again Turbotax will help you determine if it is best to itemize your personal expenses, or take the standard deduction instead.


      This second link is for your time spend driving for yourself The allowances for business owners are more diverse, this will give you some ideas of additional deductions you may be able to take


  37. my taxes was rejected bc of 8862 form. but i didnt get a letter stating that i couldnt file earn income credit. what do i do

    • Hi Tabitha,
      You wouldn’t necessarily receive a letter stating that you are unable to claim the Earned Income Credit. However, just because it was rejected due to that form, it does not necessarily mean you are unable to claim it. It may just mean that there was an error within the form that needs correcting.
      When you sign into your TurboTax Online account, or open your return in your CD/Download desktop software, then there is a Fix It button outlined in red. Click on that, and the program will walk you through how to best proceed. Rejected returns can be e-filed again once they are corrected.


  38. I made a small mistake when I e-filed my taxes on TurboTax online (the free version). I did not owe any tax, but the mistake I made was when I entered my bank interest for the 1099-INT form. I entered $16 when it should have been $7.

    Do I need to correct this, or does it matter since I didn’t owe any tax?

    Apparently the bank never sent me the 1099-INT this year due to it being under $10, and I looked at the wrong paper when filling it out on TurboTax.

  39. how does Turbo tax receive compensation for all the free file tax preparation and e-filing? You can’t possibly be doing it all for free

  40. we are buying a house on an rent to own contract and it comes with an extra lot next to the house ,we had to make a lot of repairs before we could move in and there are still some major repairs that still need to be addressed, my question is : can we claim the materials on our taxes? and what is that process?

  41. My husband and I both us a CPAP machine and oxygen machine at night, Can I claim part of the electrical bill as a medical deduction

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