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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Tax questions

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 30, 2013 9:12 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, January 30:

tax return 300 x 170.jpg

Preparing a tax return is usually an annual chore that most people don't look forward to.  The process has been made somewhat easier in recent years though as more taxpayers abandon the paperwork and file electronically or have tax preparers or accountants do all the dirty work.  It all may seem worth it if it's determined a refund is on the way.

Preparing your taxes may not be a simple this year and you have the Congress of the United States to thank.  The last-minute deal that avoided the so-called fiscal cliff also resulted in some delays and a few changes as well.

For example, Wednesday is the first day the IRS will accept tax returns electronically. 

Other changes this year include exemptions for dependents, standard deductions have increased, and the child tax credit is now permanent.

On Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk, Certified Public Accouncant John Steffee joins us to answer your tax questions.

Do you have a tax question?  Put it in the comments section below.

Wednesday's program is part of witf's Moneyworks series.

Listen to the program:


Certified Public Accountant John Steffee answers listeners' questions about filing their taxes.


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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-01-30 09:14

    E-mail from Sam:

    "1. What is name of tax form that I should be receiving for IRA distribution?

    2. I won several thousand last year from a local company as a prize. Will I be getting a 1099 in the mail? The company reported the winnings on their side."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-01-30 09:15

    E-mail from Manuel:

    "I filed on 1/24. TurboTax sent the forms in, and I got a message that the IRS had accepted my return, however, the first date the IRS would process was 1/30/13."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-01-30 09:19

    E-mail from Jen:

    "You said the IRS was not accepting returns from people with kids in college that are claiming the tuition credit. Why not? Are there changes to this credit, and when will they start accepting them?"

  • DRSmith img 2013-01-30 09:37

    When your guest refers to health care costs in the form of premiums be sure to include wether the premium has already been tax deffered. In my example my total $16,000 annual in premium costs are taxen out before tax deductions in pay. I believe that's said and done, I cannot include that in any other tax deduction favor such as the over 7.5% correct?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-01-30 09:55

    E-mail from Christopher:

    "If you take a standard deduction (using 1040ez form) can you also deduct donations to charitable organizations? Or must you itemize?"

  • pjrose img 2013-01-30 19:45

    Regarding the discussion of claiming as dependents those for whom you provide the majority of support and who earn less than ~$3,800/year: Is this new?

    This fits both of our kids, now 23 and 20. The 23 y/o graduated from college at age 22, but has not yet found a job. The 20 y/o is still in college. We support them. We use TurboTax and stopped claiming them as dependents when TurboTax said they were too old (was that age 19?). Thus for several years we have not claimed the now 23 y/o, and this year we wouldn't have claimed the 20 y/o. Should we go back and file amended returns on the basis that we did/do support them and that they did/do not earn income?

  • Deb img 2015-02-12 09:06

    Question from Deb:
    Are there still Federal tax breaks for energy saving home improvements?