Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
If you file your W-4 form as single with 2 Federal and 4 Massachusetts allowances - assuming you are paid $5904 on monthly basis - you paycheck should look as
Monthly Gross Pay $5,904 Federal Withholding $982 Social Security $366.05 Medicare $85.61Massachusetts $256 Net Pay $4,214
Amounts that you provided are deferent - please verify.
As you collected unemployment benefits for 7 months - I assume 30 weeks - please confirm @ $625 a week - total benefits $18750 - and neither federal nor MA taxes were withheld - please confirm
If you file your W-4 form as single with 0 Federal and 3 Massachusetts allowances - assuming you are paid $3077 per pay period on semi-monthly basis - you paycheck should look as
Federal Withholding $595Social Security $190.77 Medicare $44.62 Massachusetts $136.47 Net Pay $2,110
Your total estimated income is $3077 - assuming you will work 4 months or 8 pay periods -- total $24616 - please confirm.
We also need to estimate your tax liability.
Your estimated total income
$5904 - assuming you worked only one month
$18750 - unemployment benefits
$24616 - earning till the end of the year
Total - $49270
We also need to know if you itemize - and if so what is your usual itemize deduction amount.
Do you have any additional deductions, dependents, etc that may affect your tax liability?
Ok - that is a great clarification!
Yes - all these deductions - are from pre-tax money - but they are still subject for SS and Medicare taxes:
So your corrected estimated income would be
$4028 = $5904 - $1876 - from previous job
Total - $47394
Yes - we need your wife's income and withholding for estimation
I have to go to bed. Would it be ok to get back to you tomorrow with that information?
I'm back. Here is my wife's income and withholding. She earns $1605 and is paid twice a month. Her deductions include $114.60 for Federal, $99.51 for Social Security, $68.72 for State, and $23.27 for Medicare.
So - please confirm - your wife's gross annual income is $1605 * 24 = $38520
her total federal withholding $99.51 * 24 = $2388
Your total expected annual income in 2008:
your's - $47394 plus your wife's $38520 = total $85914
Your estimated taxable income $85914 - $10900(standard deduction for married couple - assume for now) - $10500(personal exemption for three persons) = $64514
Your estimated tax liability $8,875
you will likely claim child tax credit $1000
that will reduce your estimated tax liability to $7,875
Now - your estimated federal income tax withholdings
$352 - from first job
0 - from unemployment
$416 * 8 pay periods = $3328
Total - $3680
Your total estimated withholding in 2008
your's - $3680 plus your wife's $2388 = total $6068
It seems that you will be short by $1800 and need to pay additional $225 federal taxes per pay period.
Let me know if any clarification or correction are needed...
Since there are 52 weeks in the year, wouldn't there be 26 pay periods instead of 24? Are the numbers you came up with for me also assumed on 24 pay periods instead of 26? Also, my wife's federal withholding is $114.60 instead of the $99.51 you wrote. At my new position, I have already received 2 paychecks from the period of 8/9-8/22 and 8/23-9/5. You wrote that I will only have 8 this year when in fact it will be 10. Is my $80,000 annual salary being computed properly by my company with regards XXXXX XXXXX gross paycheck every 2 weeks?
you mentioned that your wife is paid twice a month - not biweekly - please clarify...
you also mentioned above that you are paid twice a month - please verify
Yes - we need to correct your wife's federal withholding...
If you are paid biweekly with $80,000 annual salary - your gross pay per pay period should be $80,000 / 26 = $3077
Please confirm and I will adjust calculations.
Ok - I put all together - so it would be easier to examine...
1. calculate your estimated gross income
$4028 = $5904(gross) - $1876(not taxable) - from previous job
$18750 = 30 weeks @ $625 a week - unemployment benefits
$30770 = $3077 * 10 pay periods - new job
your wife's income
$1605 * 26 = $41730
Your total expected annual income in 2008 - $95278
2. calculate your taxable income
$95278(adjusted gross income) - 10900(standard deduction for married couple - assume for now you do not itemize) - $10500(personal exemption for three persons) = $73878
3. calculate your tax liability
your estimated federal income tax $11,157
you will likely claim child tax credit $1000
that will reduce your estimated tax liability to $10,157
4. calculate total withholding
$352 - from first job
0 - from unemployment
$416 * 10 pay periods = $4160
$114.60 * 26 pay periods = $2980
your estimated withholding by the end of the year is $7492
So far you will be short by $10,157 - $7492 = $2665 - that means - you need to have additional withholding for remaining 15 pay periods ~$180
It is likely that you filled W-4 form as married with zero allowances and your federal income tax withholding is $416
As you see from estimation above that will not "fix the issue"
You may change W-4 filing to SINGLE with zero allowances - that will increase withholding from $416 to $609 per pay period, or
request additional $180 federal tax withholding on the line 6 form W-4 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf
Let me know if you have any concern.
Sorry for delay...
Let's first estimate your Massachusetts tax liability based on standard deduction and later we will do adjustments for itemized deduction for both - federal and state.
1. MA estimated tax liability
Massachusetts imposes 5.3% tax rate on wages.
Personal Exemptions - married filing a joint return, enter $8,250
$1,000 exemption for each of your dependents
FICA deductions - $4000
dependent under 12 - $3600
Total deductions ~$16000
Taxable income $95278 - $16000 = $79,278
Estimated tax liability $79,278 * 5.3% = $4201
2. calculate total withholding
$181 - from first job
$$137.55 * 10 pay periods = $1375
$68.72 * 26 pay periods = $1787
your estimated withholding by the end of the year is $3343
So you will short about $850
Let me know if that is clear. Please take a look at your 2007 MA tax return - if I missed any deductions.
As you have 10 pay periods - you need to increase your withholding by $85 per pay period.
with 3 allowanced - you have $137.55
with zero allowances - there will be $151.60 - and unless you anticipate to pay your MA tax liability at the tax time - that will not cover your liability.
In additional to this - you need to ask your employer to withhold $70 extra for MA.
with zero allowances for MA withholding will be $151.60 - only $14 more from what you have now - so you need ask for additional $71 withholding to break even.
Ok, I will just keep the allowances I have now for state and ask for an additional $85 per pay period. Thank you.
Now onto the question I posed earlier regarding itemized deductions. My state income tax will be $5050, my real estate tax will be $5200, and my home mortgage interest will be $12,140. Also, I am a salesperson and can itemize job deductions using Form 2106. My vehicle expenses include a car I purchased solely for my use as a traveling salesperson in the amount of $28,000, which includes sales tax. My company reimburses me 58.5 cents per mile I drive, of which I estimate about 5000 miles to be driven until the end of the year. Based on my miles driven, I will pay about $1000 for gas. The insurance I will pay on the car until the end of the year will be $250. I'm not sure how to factor in depreciation, but the car is a 2005 Lexus LS430 with 35,000 miles. Maintenance will be about $200. I estimate about $1,000 for meal and entertainment expenses that I will not get reimbursed for.
Ok, no we are ready to estimate your Itemize deductions:
mortgage interest $12,140
real estate $5200 and property taxes ???
state income tax your's and your wife with planned adjustment will be $4201 (not $5050) - see above.
you may not deduct both sales tax and income tax - only if your sales tax are more than income tax - you likely will select sales tax.
charitable contribution - ???
To deduct travel expenses - you need to choose - either deduct your actual expenses or mileage - you may not deduct both in the same year.
In any case you need to subtract whatever your employer reimbursed (assuming that reimbursement is done under accountable plan and is not taxable income for you.
If you choose to deduct actual expenses - you also may not deduct the price you paid for the car - that should be depreciated.
For estimation - we need miles driven total for the year, miles driven for business, commuting miles, other miles. Please provide details about travel expenses - if you select to deduct actual expenses.
50% of meal and entertainment expenses are deductible.
Also keep in mind that employee business expenses are subject for 2% AGI floor.
Your adjusted gross income in 2008 i s estimated as $95278 - so you need to subtract $1900 from employee business expenses.
1. estimate your Itemize deductions without employee business expenses:
real estate $5200
property taxes - do you pay property taxes on your car? vacation home? boat? etc?
charitable contribution - $100
Subtotal - $21640
2. Your actual estimated employee business expenses:
car payment $487/month - from which $300 interest
car insurance $65/month
subtotal for month $714 till the end of the year *4=$2852
As you are using the car ~90% for business - you will deduct $2600
Your mileage would be 6000 business miles * 58.5 cents per mile = $3510
So seems as you better take mileage deduction, but because your employee reimbursed you at max allowed rate - there is nothing to deduct on your tax return.
Let's look at other employee expenses
mean expenses $120*4=$480
They are way below your 2% AGI floor - that is for you $1900.
So far I do not see that you may use employee business expenses deduction.
No - let's estimate what your itemize deduction will save you in taxes
You will get additional deduction $21640 - $10900 = $10740.
As you are in 25% tax bracket - your federal tax liability will be less by $2685.
If this estimation is correct - you do not need to change your federal withholding - remember we were short by $2665 - so that shortage will be covered by additional itemized deductions.
I think you are set.
The only property tax I pay other than my house is for my 2 cars, which totals about $1250 a year. I understand that if my company reimburses me for my car expenses, I can't claim, but what about depreciation? They don't reimburse for that. I was just informed by e-mail tonight that my company is changing their policy and will be paying me a monthly reimbursement to cover the cost of the car payment, insurance, gas, and maintenance. With that and depreciation taken into account change anything?
The IRS announced that the depreciation limit for passenger autos placed in service during 2008 will be $2,960 for the first tax year, or $10,960 taking 50% bonus depreciation into account.
As you used a car for business 4 months and 90% of the time - your limit is $888 or $3288 taking 50% bonus depreciation into account.
Again - you may deduct either actual expenses - that include all listed above and depreciation, OR standard mileage.
You can't deduct both.
Based on estimation above - standard mileage provides you better deduction - so I picked the standard mileage deduction - $3510.
If you think that you better use actual expenses - you may do so.
Then - after you find the deductible amount - you need to subtract employer's reimbursement - that is $3510.
So we have zero from car expenses plus
mean expenses $120*4=$480 - remember 50% are deductible - $240
Subtotal - $240
Now - you need to subtract 2% AGI floor - that is for you $1900.
I see nothing to deduct from employee business expenses.
If you think otherwise - please correct my estimation.
I guess I don't have to change any of my allowances on my W4 in 2008 and everything will take care of itself. If everything remains the same starting in 2009, should I change my allowances?
Here are your estimates for 2009
1. Calculate your estimated gross income
Your income - $80000
Your wife's income - $41730
Your total expected annual income in 2009 - $121730
2. Calculate your taxable income
$121730(adjusted gross income) - $23000(itemized deductions from above plus additional state tax as your wages will be more) - $10800(personal exemption for three persons) = $88,000
3. Calculate your tax liability (based on 2008 table with inflation adjustments)
Your estimated federal income tax $14600
You will likely claim child tax credit $1000
That will reduce your estimated tax liability to $13,600
4. Calculate total withholding (also based on 2008 tables)
Yours - $416 * 26 pay periods = $10816 (assuming you will file W4 as married with zero allowances)
Your wife's - $114.60 * 26 pay periods = $2980
Your total estimated withholding is $13796 (actual 2009 withholding will be a little less)
So far your withholding will be about the same as your tax liability.
Now - I have some concern about changing your company's reimbursement policy to a monthly reimbursement to cover the cost of the car payment, insurance, gas, and maintenance.
You need to determine if that will be an accountable reimbursement or not accountable.
Accountable generally means - you are required to report actual expenses and return all leftover.
Not accountable - means - you do not need to report your spending, but in this situation all reimbursement should be considered as your taxable income. You still will be able to deduct your expenses on schedule A, but 2% floor limit will be applied.
If you will get reimbursement based on the IRS rate of 58.5 cents for every mile driven - you should keep track and report to your employer the amount of miles driven for business. That will likely be accountable reimbursement plan. Assume that you will get $1000 - that will not be your taxable income.
If you choose the flat monthly reimbursement and will not be required to report the use of the money - that will be not accountable reimbursement plan - and the amount of reimbursement should be treated as wages. If you will get the same amount - $1000. It will be taxed 7.65% FICA plus 25% federal + 5.3% MA taxes - total 37.95% - so your after tax compensation will be $6205.
Yes - you will be able to deduct your actual expenses on the schedule A.
Accountable reimbursement plan that would not trigger additional taxable income is generally better.
However to make a decision in your situation - we need to do estimations.
First of all you need to determine if your flat monthly reimbursement plan will be accountable.
To be an accountable plan, your employer's reimbursement or allowance arrangement must include all of the following rules.
Your expenses must have a business connection - that is, you must have paid or incurred deductible expenses while performing services as an employee of your employer.
You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time.
You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time.
Otherwise the plan is considered nonaccountable plan. Your employer will combine the amount of any reimbursement or other expense allowance paid to you under a nonaccountable plan with your wages, salary, or other pay. Your employer will report the total in box 1 of your Form W-2.
In your situation - reimbursement with nonaccountable plan of $620.5 is equal to reimbursement with accountable plan of $1000.
Another problem with nonaccountable plan - your AGI will go up and that may affect other deductions or credits you are using and may trigger additional AMT taxes.
To estimate effect we need following amounts :
reimbursement with standard mileage
flat reimbursement nonaccountable plan
amount of your actual deductible car expenses - depreciation, gas, maintenance, etc
This is something I put together for my employer to show them that the current IRS reimbursement schedule would not cover my expenses on the car. The numbers you see are based on me driving 6000 business miles from now until the end of the year. These numbers are helping me to determine what amount the flat reimbursement plan should be. Since I would like to go a flat reimbursement plan, any guidance you can provide as to a fair monthly allowance would be greatly appreciated:
Reimbursement of 58.5 cents per mile $3510 (6000 miles x 58.5 cents/mile)
If I pay for gas at $3.60 a gallon - $1200 (400 miles per tank @ $80 a tank)
Amount Left to pay for Car $2310
Monthly loan payment ($487) - $1948 ($487 x 4 months)
Monthly Insurance ($65) - $260 ($65 x 4 months)
Maintenance - $200
Monthly Depreciation ($150)* - $600 ($150 x 4 months)
Total Loss without depreciation -$98
Total Loss with depreciation -$698
*Based on Kelley Blue Book value of car after miles are put on