On Your Side: Answers to your tax questions

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:55 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - We received dozens of tax questions. From going green to claiming your college kid to working a remote job, here are answers to questions.

Where’s my refund from last year? Or even the year before.

COVID delays and labor shortages are to blame.

On the IRS website, there’s a link called, Where’s my refund? Make sure you have your tax return with you because it’s going to ask you for information from your tax return. When you type that in, it should be able to tell you where your refund is. If it’s in process or sent. If you find your refund is still in process and it has been about a year, there’s a phone number you can call to follow up on that,” said Tiffany Cossey, Drury School of Accounting.

I work at home in Springfield, but my employer is based in New York. Which state do I pay taxes in?

“You’re going to owe income tax to the state of Missouri because that’s where you performed your services. You may also have to file a New York tax return. You need to look in the tax laws for New York to see if they tax income that’s earned from a New York-based employer. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t,” said Cossey.

I’m a W-2 commission-only sales rep that does not have a company car or travel allowance. I drive 30-40,000 miles a year and with the new tax laws, it does not let me deduct mileage. Is there any other way to deduct mileage?

“The short answer to that is no. That was an employee expense detection and that was an itemized deduction. It was temporarily done away with, with the tax reform. If he’s commission-only, he should talk to his employer about being treated like an independent contractor, because if he’s an independent contractor he can deduct the mileage,” said Cossey.

Can you deduct the rent you pay for a college student in any way?

“Short answer, no. Something people don’t realize is you can’t deduct the dorm or rent you pay for college students. You never can. What a lot of college students don’t realize is if it’s included in your scholarship, and room and board are provided, those things are taxable to you,” said Cossey.

Is it better for the parent to keep the college student on your return once they get a part-time job, or should they file separately?

“If they only have a part-time job and can still qualify as your dependent and you have a regular full-time job, you’re almost always better to keep them on your tax return as your dependent. They still might have to file a tax return. They’re allowed a standard detection, but it’s calculated differently,” said Cossey.

When it comes to going green investments, there are some tax credits available. Keep in mind, you’re probably not going to get a credit for the whole amount. If you made a big purchase, like a heat pump or solar panels, it’s in your best interest to work with a tax professional. Don’t forget, most power companies offer incentives too.

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