Tax form Answers 2018

Who Can Claim Who on Their 2018 Tax Form?

With the 2018 tax season upon us, many are asking who they can claim and what they should do if someone else claims their dependent or dependents. Fear not, as this article will answer some of your questions.

What can be done if both parents are filing separately and both claim the same dependent on their tax return? Well, first, the parent or person that claims that dependent first will get that credit. But if you don’t believe that he/she has the right to do so then you are in luck. The IRS won’t allow a second person to get credit for a dependent. If someone has already claimed your dependent(s) before you file, your claim will be rejected. You will need to do a paper return. You can still prepare your tax online, but you will have to print out and mail a hard copy.

With your return, you should include a cover letter as to why you should receive the dependent credit instead of the person who already received the credit. Moreover, if you have any proof, like receipts or a timeline sheet, then attach a copy with your tax paper. The more proof that you have the easier it is for IRS to decide on who should receive the credit. Just know that you can live with a dependent, without providing any support help for that dependent. In which case, you don’t have the right to claim that dependent.  For example, if your dependent receives health insurance or any form of government assistance unless your name is included in those documents, you haven’t provided any support for that dependent. The government will have no proof of your support for that dependent since the supporting paperwork isn’t in your name. When your claim is processed, both claimants will receive a letter from IRS for a hearing. Based on that hearing the credit will be assigned to the person with the most proof.

 

If you and your partner both have the dependent for the same amount of time within the year, then mostly IRS will reward the person with the most income the credit, but only if that individual’s income was used to support the dependent. Note that if the child hasn’t stayed with you for at least half a year then you are not eligible to claim that dependent. If both partners lived with the dependent for more than half the year, the person who spent the most time with the dependent will probably win. If the dependent stayed in the same house as you and your partner for at least six months before your partner left, and your partner still claims that dependent, then you have every right to counterclaim that dependent since you spent more time with the dependent within the 12-month period. The best way to win a counterclaim is for you to have papers for any form of assistance that you received with the dependent’s name on it and you as the head of household and based on your income.

Claiming a qualifying child

To claim someone as a qualifying child, he or she must:

  • Be your biological or adopted child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling, or a descendant of one of these.
  • Be under age 19, or under age 24 if a full-time student or any age if permanently and totally disabled.
  • Remain a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.
  • Not be married or be married but not filing a joint return.
  • Have lived with you for at least half the year.
  • Not have provided more than half of his or her own support[1].

Unfortunately, you can’t find out information on who has claimed your dependent unless that person tells you that they did. The IRS won’t for many reasons release information about who claimed your dependent(s). However, I am sure you can narrow it down to who might have since the person must have access to their social security number, date of birth and other personal information. With that in mind, you already know who did it, unless you are one of the few Americans who had their dependent(s) identities stolen.

We at Red Door are always here to help with any questions you have about buying, selling or renting a house. Thanks for making us your number one real estate choice in Western New York.

[1] https://www.rapidtax.com/blog/someone-else-claimed-my-dependent-how-to-straighten-things-out/

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Winterizing your Home

It’s that time of year again in Buffalo where it’s blue skies and sunshine one day and 4 feet of snow in a blizzard the next which of course means its time to make sure your home is ready for the fight. Here are some easy & cheap ideas you can use around the house that can end up helping you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars throughout the winter season.

1) Piping
We’ve all heard the stories of how disastrous it can be to have one’s pipes freeze and burst within their home resulting in thousands of dollars in repair costs. But fear no more these cheap and easy suggestions will take those troubles out of sight and out of mind. Be sure to insulate your pipes with special in stores pipe wrap, always keep your heat above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, keep sinks at drip for a constant flow of water through the pipes, open up bathroom or kitchen cabinets with water pipes located underneath them to help the heat reach the pipes, last but not least always keep your garage door closed if its connected to the house.

2) Heating Systems
It’s always a good idea to stay on top of your heating system right before the cold season starts to roll around every year to make sure you don’t run into any issues DURING the cold season which could result in you not having a functional furnace. Simple and cheap tasks you can do to prevent any inconveniences is by simply changing your furnace filters to make sure they’re clean and calling a contractor over for a simple furnace check up and tune up to make sure everything’s running smoothly.

3) Drafts
We’re all familiar with the dreaded drafts some of you older home owners will mostly experience which can result in loosing the majority of your in-home heat making you cringe later on when you see your monthly heating bill. Fear no more for the draft snake is here. This simple little bag filled with sand is extremely cheap to buy in stores and even super easy to make at home. The draft snake will eliminate cold air from rushing inside your home from under doors and keep you from having to break the bank on that heating bill.

4) Window Care & Insulation
During the winter seasons will obviously come the winter snow storms which can be brutal on your home especially for your windows. Depending on how bad these snow storms can be in the area you live you might want to invest in buying storm windows for your home. Storm windows not only help to insulate your house but are also made of extremely thick glass that can withstand most flying dubre that hits it such as hail, snow, ice, branches, etc. If your only interested in the insulation side of things you can buy special plastic wrap window kits at your local home improvement stores for very cheap that can save you lots of money on that heating bill in the long run.

Hopefully this information was helpful on your journey into winter preparation for your home and always remember to stay connected with Red Door Real Estate online or on Facebook for more helpful blogs, event information, and of course the latest and hottest listings on homes and apartments.

By Matt Kopf

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Buffalo Valentine’s Day Hot Spots

 

 

 

Valentines day is upon us and love is in the air. Your mind is full of great gifts to buy for your loved one or how you can impress that significant other you’ve had a crush on but haven’t quite figured out how to wow them. Fear no more as this article will give you all the romantic hotspots you can bring your date on so you can find the best fit for their personality and liking.

1) Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant
Bacchus’s wine bar & restaurant is the perfect dinner spot to set the perfect mood for your valentine’s day evening dinner. The Atmosphere of the restaurant is absolutely stunning bringing you a nice warm feeling inside of comfort and relaxation. The wine variety is endless to the bottle and what better place to go for a romantic dinner out than a classy wine bar to set vibe. The service is top notch from the cooks preparing your food all the way to the waiters, bussers, and hostesses all working in harmony to give you the best experience you could ever ask for. Of course, their food is never anything less than perfect on every dish they serve with a variety of different foods ranging from different styles in American and international styles of cuisine also including food options for vegetarians and vegans

2) Watson’s Chocolate Shop
Watsons chocolate shop has a huge range of different luxury chocolates that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Its known as a Buffalo staple located right on the busy street of Elmwood Ave and Watson’s in-shop homemade ice cream with over 15 different flavors is to die for. So, before you might think about crossing this little hot spot off your list ask yourself, did you really celebrate Valentine’s day without chocolate?

3) North Park Flower Shop
Looking for a luxury flower shop to get your significant other some roses but don’t want to break the bank or deal with rude customer service? Stop in at North Park Florist and make your loved one’s heart warm with a beautiful mix of all sorts of different colors and styles of flowers.

4) Delaware Park Walkthrough
Do you and your loved one enjoy more of an outdoorsy environment or are you looking to both save a few bucks this valentines day but still spend every second enjoying one another’s company? Try taking a stroll through Delaware Park to enjoy its beautiful atmosphere with a gorgeous lake view and historical statues along the waters path to relax the mind and set the romantic mood.

5) Shea’s Theater District
After a nice relaxing day walking through the park, visiting the chocolate shop, getting some bright red roses, and enjoying a nice glass of wine with a delicious meal. Its always nice to end the evening with a romantic seat at a live play in the theater district right on down town Main Street here in Buffalo. The theater district of Buffalo is not only gorgeous but is home to one of Buffalo’s biggest hit land marks which is Shea’s Theater being one of the biggest, nicest, and most well-known theater within the Buffalo area.

As always here at Red Door we hope everyone has a safe, fun, and romantic Valentines Day here in the Queen City we call buffalo and if you’re just visiting and end up falling in love all over again with the area be sure to stop in with us here at Red door so we can help find you that perfect romantic dream home.

Article by: Matt Kopf

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