2011 Has Changes in Tax Filing
February 14, 2012 (Tulsa World) Read others' stories to help you with your 2011 income tax form.
Dear Action Line: With all this haggling over the national debt and talk of reforming the tax code, are there any changes in the code for 2011 tax returns? - R.L., Tulsa.
Fact Sheet 2012-01, at tulsaworld.com/IRS2011changes, outlines "changes offering tax benefits to almost everyone for 2011 returns," said Internal Revenue Service spokesman David Stell. All references here are for 2011 returns.
Tax return due date change: File your federal tax return by April 17 as April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia.
New forms: Usually, you must report capital gains and losses on the new Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets and report certain totals from that form on Schedule D of Form 1040. If you had foreign financial assets, you might have to file Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets, with your return.
Standard mileage rates: Mileage rates for business use of your vehicle are different Jan. 1 through June 30 than for July 1 through Dec. 31. You may deduct 51 cents per mile for miles driven the first half of the year and 55 1/2 cents for the second half. Medical and moving mileage are 19 cents the first half of the year and 23 1/2 cents the second half.
Credits: Claim the alternative motor vehicle credit only if the vehicle is a new fuel cell motor vehicle. The first-time homebuyer credit expired for most taxpayers. Some military personnel and members of the intelligence community can still claim the credit for qualified purchases. The amount of the health coverage tax credit, which pays qualified health insurance premiums for eligible individuals and their families, changed. Participants receiving the 65 percent tax credit in any March to December may claim an additional 7.5 percent retroactive credit when they file their 2011 tax return.
Deductions: The standard deduction increased for some taxpayers not itemizing deductions on IRS Schedule A of Form 1040. The amount depends on your filing status. The self-employed health insurance deduction is no longer allowed on Schedule SE of Form 1040, but you can still take it on Form 1040, line 29.
Exemptions: The amount you may deduct for each exemption has increased $50 to $3,700. The alternative minimum tax exemption amount increased to $48,450 or to $74,450 if filing as "married filing jointly" or "qualifying widow(er)" or to $37,225 for "married filing separately."
Health savings accounts: The additional tax on distributions from HSAs and Archer MSAs not used for qualified medical expenses increased to 20 percent. Only prescribed drugs or insulin are qualified medical expenses.
Roth IRAs: If you converted or rolled over funds from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA or designated Roth in 2010 and did not report the taxable amount on your 2010 return, you generally must report half of it on your 2011 return and the rest on your 2012 return.
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