Taxes - YUCK !!

Updated on January 15, 2013
D.G. asks from Mansfield, TX
8 answers

I have a couple of questions about taxes this year and I am wondering if anyone has any answers. Please keep in mind my hubby is self employed. 1) How long do I need to keep utility receipts ? Can I just run a summary from the utility company and keep that or do I need to keep the actual detailed statement ? 2) We have filed the 1040 the past 10 years or so due to my husbands self employment. Last year we closed that business. This past year he is working for a roofing company but receiving a 1099. (I work for an employer and receive a W-2). My question - do we still need to file the 1040 or can we file a shorter version ? There will be a couple of deductions but very little. I would really appreciate any help or guidelines if someone can help ! Thanks !!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I would always file a 1040 to be sure I was getting the largest deduction possible. It really isn't that hard...

Yes, we are supposed to keep receipts for seven years. The reason is in case you are audited. If you can reproduce all the data used to file your taxes for seven years back, then you can respond to an audit. I'm not sure if it matters if this data is kept on paper or available from online sources (I don't receive online statements for anything, all transactions are handled online). You may need to talk with a professional tax person about that.

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answers from Portland on

If I were you I would do it with a program like Taxact. I have used this several times for both myself and my sister because we both had our own small businesses at times. I like this program because you can do a W2 and 1099 at the same time and it figures out all the other forms for you, it makes the decisions so that you get the best "deal". Of course you still have to double check it, but its a good start.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't know the answer to the first question. But I do know that if your husband is getting a 1099, he will still be considered self-employed and his contract work is a small business in the eyes of the IRS so you'll have to file the longer form, pay self-employment taxes, etc.

I get a 1099 for about $2000 per year for some annual consulting that I do, and I have to do all of that for even that small amount of money.

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answers from Miami on

I'd keep it all for 7 years, if it were me. When you look at the other things in your life that you keep, I'm sure other things take up just as much space. If you have it organized, then you just put it aside in a box and put it in the closet, and don't look at it again for a long time.

I don't know the answer to the rest of your question, but I'm sure someone on here can advise you.


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answers from Washington DC on

I would consult the IRS - they really do help you out!!! :)

I would hold receipts for business expenses and write-offs for 10 years...that is the furthest back they can go for audits, etc. I BELIEVE...I do not know that for fact.

I would consult the IRS and hire a tax accountant to help you, if you are not going to do them yourself via Turbo Tax (they do have a business version).




answers from Washington DC on

Since you COULD be audited you need to keep supporting evidence for 7 years. I would think that the yearly summary is just as good as the monthly receipts since income tax is a yearly obligation, AS LONG AS your situation was the same for the ENTIRE year.

I would use a program like TurboTax to walk through and see what forms you need to fill out. You can actually start your returns on TurboTax (do everything but file them) before you pay, so do the opening interview and see what forms you need to file. It's probably worth paying for the service though, it isn't that much and it's nice to know that you didn't miss anything.



answers from Dallas on

Yes, you still need a 1040. Your husband is paid as contract labor which essentially means he is still self-employed, and taxes haven't been deducted yet.



answers from Portland on

If I remember correctly any info that you use to file taxes has to be kept for 7 years. I think you can file the shorter form but I'm not sure. Research this online on the IRS web site or talk with a tax consultant so that you know the actual law.

I fill out Turbo Tax forms both ways and file which way gets me the most money back. There is also a free online service that you can access thru the IRS site.

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