Income Tax Preparation Tips, Advice, & Help
- How do I enter a foreign address?
- Why isn't my state listed as a withholding state?
- Combat Pay
- Can I report actual tips as income on my tax return instead of allocated tips from Box 8 of my W-2 (W2)?
- What are allocated tips?
- What are the exceptions for excluding the gain on the sale of my home if I lived there less than two years?
- What is "change of health" for the Home Sale Exclusion?
- If I haven't received my W-2 (W2) or if I lost my W-2 (W2), can I still e-file my tax return?
- How do I enter more than one Form W-2 (W2)?
- My W-2 (W2) doesn't have a control number. Can I just leave it blank?
- Do I need to enter all of the information from my W-2 (W2)?
- What should I do if the address on my W-2 (W2) is different than the mailing address on my tax return?
- If I file electronically, what do I do with my W-2 (W2) forms?
- Are my unemployment benefits taxable?
- What if I repaid some of my unemployment benefits?
- Are my Social Security benefits taxable?
- Is my state refund taxable?
- What are the codes in W-2 (W2) Box 12?
- Should I include my child's Social Security benefits?
Enter the employer foreign street address in the Employer's address information box. Enter the foreign city in the Employer's city box. Enter any province information in the Foreign employer's province box and postal code information in the Foreign employer's postal code box. Select the foreign country from the Foreign employer's country box.
If you're only filing a federal tax return, you do not need to enter the state tax withheld on the screen. You can omit that information. The only information from the screen that is used on the federal tax return is the taxable amount of unemployment and the federal tax withheld.
Enter on the W-2 Income screen.
Nontaxable combat pay should be shown in Box 12 of your W-2 (W2) with code Q next to it. In Box 12, enter the letter Q in the description box and enter the nontaxable combat pay in the amount box. If you are eligible for the Earned Income Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, we'll automatically use the nontaxable combat pay if it increases either one of those credits. If it doesn't increase those credits, it will not be used.
Can I report actual tips as income on my tax return instead of allocated tips from Box 8 of my W-2 (W2)?
The taxpayer kept a daily tip record, or other evidence that is as credible and as reliable as a daily tip record, as required under rules explained earlier.
The taxpayer's tip record is incomplete, but it shows that the actual tips were more than the sum of the tips reported to the employer plus the allocated tips.
If either exception applies, report actual tips on the return. Do not report the allocated tips.
You can find more detail about allocated tips here.
What are the exceptions for excluding the gain on the sale of my home if I lived there less than two years?
- Change in place of employment (more than 50 miles away)
- Change of health
- Unemployment (if you are eligible for unemployment benefits)
- Death, divorce or legal separation
- Multiple births from the same pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.)
- Change in employment that leaves you unable to pay reasonable basic living expenses
- Condemnation or destruction of home
On that screen, you will be asked, "Do you need to enter any additional W-2 (W2) forms?". Answer Yes to that question, and you can enter another W-2 (W2). Repeat the cycle until you have entered all of your W-2 (W2) forms.
Remember to only enter a single W-2 (W2) for each employer. A W-2 (W2) will have a federal copy, a state copy, and a copy for your records. You only enter the same W-2 (W2) once, not multiple times.
What should I do if the address on my W-2 (W2) is different than the mailing address on my tax return?
A - Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on tips
B - Uncollected Medicare tax on tips
C - Taxable cost of group term life insurance over $50,000--included in boxes 1, 3 (up to social security wage base), and 5
D - Elective deferrals to a section 401(k) cash or deferred arrangement (Also includes deferrals under a SIMPLE retirement account that is part of a section 401(k) arrangement)
E - Elective deferrals under a section 403(b) salary reduction agreement
F - Elective deferrals under a section 408(k)(6) salary reduction SEP
G - Elective deferrals and employer contributions (including non-elective deferrals) to a section 457(b) deferred compensation plan
H - Elective deferrals to a section 501(c)(18)(D) tax-exempt organization plan
J - Nontaxable sick pay (information only, not included in boxes 1, 3, or 5)
K - 20% excise tax on excess golden parachute payments
L - Substantiated employee business expense reimbursements (nontaxable)
M - Uncollected social security or RRTA tax on taxable cost of group term life insurance over $50,000 (former employees only)
N - Uncollected Medicare tax on taxable cost of group term life insurance over $50,000 (former employees only)
P - Excludable moving expense reimbursements paid directly to employee (not included in boxes 1, 3, or 5)
Q - Nontaxable combat pay
R - Employer contributions to your Archer MSA
S - Employee salary reduction contributions under a section 408(p) SIMPLE (not included in box 1)
T - Adoption benefits (not included in box 1) (You must complete Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, to compute any taxable and nontaxable amounts.)
V - Income from exercise of non-statutory stock option(s)--included in boxes 1 and 3 (up to social security wage base), and 5
W - Employer contributions to your Health Savings Account (Report on Form 8889, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).)
Y - Deferrals under a section 409A non-qualified deferred compensation plan
Z - Income under section 409A on a non-qualified deferred compensation plan (This amount is also included in box 1. It is subject to an additional 20% tax plus interest.)
AA - Designated Roth contributions to a section 401(k) plan.
BB - Designated Roth contributions under a section 403(b) salary reduction agreement
DD - Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage.
EE - Designated Roth contributions under a governmental section 457(b) plan.