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Eric P Rothenberg
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Eric Rothenberg’s Answers

395 total


  • Question about the tax filing status: single or head of household:

    We have 50-50 shared physical custody. We have two children. We are in ma. What do we need to do so that we each can file tax as head of household. Whom should I consult with? I was told that the only way that both parents can claim Head of Hou...

    Eric’s Answer

    You should be able to have 2 heads of households where both parents cooperate but make sure you have that in writing to avoid a fight down the road. Please seek a good tax return preparer who can assist you at least for the first year.

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  • Should a new resident who received his green card at the end of last year 2015, and worked oversees file tax return ?

    should a new resident who received his green card at the end of last year 2015, and worked oversees file tax return or report his income to IRS? if his wife (a U.S citizen) worked in the U.S and will file a tax return with his spouse (the new r...

    Eric’s Answer

    If you file jointly with your wife who is a citizen then you have to report on the joint return your worldwide income. On the other hand, you can take a foreign tax credit for taxes paid overseas. So the answer is you really need to see a good preparer to see which way you both save the most between the two countries. Don't do this by yourselves.

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  • Can an illegal alien with a SSN who worked and payed taxes get a tax refund?

    I have a social security card that i got when i was working at my college. I overstayed my visa ( 6 years ago) and got a job past summer on the books. I was paying federal tax and got my W2 recently. So I was wondering can I get a tax refund? ...

    Eric’s Answer

    The IRS is very distinct from the Immigration Dept and also from Social Security and the Dept. of Labor. What this means is that the IRS will treat you the same as anyone who has a legal right to work even if you don't. So you can file your income tax returns using that social security number and yo will get your refund. The state will do the same. However, being a tax lawyer I cannot help you answer an unemployment question but my guess is it's the same answer. Since your employer paid in for you, you should qualify but I don't think you will need a lawyer to find out. Simply apply.

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  • Are we allowed mortgage interest deduction in this scenario ?

    I understand we are allowed to deduct Mortgage interest on a second home if it is not rented . My questions are -- 1) Is it deductible even if the property is located outside USA ? 2) Is it deductible if the property is under construction ...

    Eric’s Answer

    You can deduct home mortgage interest while it's under construction but for no more than 24 months and it must thereafter [when a certificate of occupancy is issued] become such a home.

    Interest on a home in a foreign country can be deducted too.

    This will not apply to an office in home or a rental home.

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  • Is there any way around this tax issue so that I may file them separately this year and see you return ?

    I am the grantor and sole beneficiary of a living revocable trust in Massachusetts . Also , I work full-time . During the last tax year , a very large amount of my personal income was spent on childcare . This caused me to fall behind on the rest ...

    Eric’s Answer

    Your question raises more questions that can really be answered here. You say you are both the grantor and sole beneficiary of the trust AND that it's revocable. As trust drafters, we usually interpret what you wrote to mean that it's revocable by you. In such case, the trustees are not really able to refuse you since you can simply revoke the trust and get the funds since you are the sole beneficiary. So I highly recommend that instead of using this website to seek advice that you quickly visit with a lawyer knowledgeable in this area and with a copy of the trust in hand to get a true clear answer.

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  • What are tax ramifications for federal and state of Massachusetts?

    My elderly father wants to give me and my wife $14000 each.

    Eric’s Answer

    If your father writes a separate check to each of you (& notes "gift" in the memo ) then no gift return is needed to be filed at all.

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  • Can the Probate and Family Court Judge order me to file joint tax returns with my estranged husband?

    I'm going through a divorce and my husband and I have not filed a tax return for several years. I also don't trust the returns my husband filed in previous years. I want to file separately and perhaps file for equitable relief through IRS on the p...

    Eric’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I don't believe a judge can force you to file a joint return but they can force you to do the equivalent. So for ex., if a joint return would have yielded a lower tax of say $10,000 than the Husband filing separately, then the judge can award $10,000 from your side of the assets to you in lieu of the joint return. On the other hand if you don't trust your husband's side of the returns, even if the IRS or the DOR were to assess you and him, you can file for innocent spouse and have the liability fall only on him especially where it was court ordered.

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  • Can I negotiate a deal with the IRS?

    Hi. I have been awarded SSDI ins. Its COMING. UNDER 75K retro.. I OWE 50K IN BACK TAXES. THERE IS NO CURRENT LIEN. WHEN I GET PAID, WILL THEY TAKE the 50k before they pay me? Or can I work a deal where they garnish 15% of my weekly pay? Massachus...

    Eric’s Answer

    The fact that there's no current lien won't necessarily save you. In the computer, which will be checked first, there's the debt. So the likely scenario is it will be used to pay the debt. If it will cause real hardship, because you need to pay other debts, you can try to use Form 911 with the Taxpayer Advocates office to see if they can help you. It's available online.

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  • Tax return transcript order through website is valid for i-864?

    We are going to apply for adjustment of status and we need tax return transcript so we order that online on irs website and we got that in mail within 10days so is it enough to file i-864 or we have to get transcript by filing 4506 form?

    Eric’s Answer

    The transcript you received is the same as that you get from Form 4506 but this really is for an immigration lawyer, not a tax lawyer.

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  • Can I claim her as a dependent?

    I'm a US permanent resident. My mother lives in Colombia (has a US tourist visa). I fully support her.

    Eric’s Answer

    No you cannot claim a person as a dependent who did not reside in your household.

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