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Eric P Rothenberg
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Eric Rothenberg’s Answers

346 total


  • Accountant put incorrect dates of residence on taxes, should I amend?

    I graduated from university in 2014 in State A, and also worked part time while a student in State A. I got a job in State B, but my plan was only to work there for 8-10 months and return to State A (and actually did leave State A after 10 months)...

    Eric’s Answer

    First, it's not a great likelihood of being audited by either state. Obviously if you amended both returns one would have a balance due and the other a refund. Second, when you go o another state to work and intend to return to the first state, you are not a resident of the second state. So in such situations you are supposed to treat the temporary stay in the second state as a non-resident and not a part year resident since you don't intend to stay there. Then you would have had to file a full year resident where you intended to return and non-resident in the temporary state.
    Finally, I doubt it will make much difference and if you are audited, you can amend both and make it correct.

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  • Is it to my advantage at age 71 to be married to a life partner? We both receive SS and have investments and joint real estate.

    We are currently not married and have been living together for 16 years.

    Eric’s Answer

    While you both have investments and real estate, unless everything is 50%-50%, then you really should see a tax return preparer to run the numbers both ways to be sure. In the abstract, without figures, there can be big differences in other taxes such as the ALT/MIN tax, the Net Investment Income Tax or the Health Care Surtax.

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  • If I receive past wages from a company I worked for in Massachusetts, do I pay income tax there as well as in my present state?

    I just received a lump sum of past wages from a company in Massachusetts based upon a settled dispute. Do I have to pay income taxes in both Massachusetts and my present state of residence? Wouldn't that be double taxation?

    Eric’s Answer

    The issue you raised is never 100% clear due to facts which must be very carefully explored, so I highly recommend you seek legal counsel on this to be sure. However, given that caveat, Massachusetts generally does not tax compensation paid to a taxpayer while they were not a resident of MA and had no connection to MA (performed no business activity within MA) even if the payment was made owing to services rendered in MA in the past. This would be true, for ex., for sick pay paid after the person was no longer a resident in MA.

    And even if it were taxable in MA, you receive a tax credit in your state of residence, usually equal to the lower of (1) the MA tax or (2) the tax attributable to that income in your resident state.

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  • Received Form 3531 even though I sent a second 1040 that was correct.

    I originally sent the IRS an unsigned 1040 with a check (oops). I realized my mistake that evening and sent another copy of the 1040 (signed this time) with another check (after I canceled the original check). Yesterday I received a 3531 with ...

    Eric’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The Form 3531 was issued prior to receipt of your second return. Since they cashed the check, you should be OK to ignore the request. Should they contact you again on the unsigned return, keep a copy of the second return and cashed check. I would wait to be contacted again before doing anything. It takes many weeks for them to catch up.

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  • Can u sell a house in massachusetts if you owe taxes on it?

    I owe back taxes on my home and wanted to no if i could sell it

    Eric’s Answer

    Yes you can but if you are unable to pay them in full, you need to apply for a lien release and provide them all the details of the sale so they are assured they are getting all they are entitled to. You may well need to seek tax counsel to advise you on this at least for a short consultation.

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  • If I make a pay agreement with MA DOR. Will 10 year statue of limitations date on collection action start over at agreement date

    I owe 25k in back taxes from 2006. I filled my 2006 return but did not pay the taxes due. I made a minimum payment arrangement a year ago. I have kept up the payments via automatic bank payments. As far as I read online the DOR has 10 years to col...

    Eric’s Answer

    If you sign a payment agreement with the DOR, then you are waiving permanently the statute of limitations on collections (10 years plus for certain events). It;s a little bit sneaky how they word it in that you agree that the statute is extended until paid in full. But that's the same as stating you agree there is never a statute. So yes, if you sign a payment agreement, unless you file bankruptcy and have the amount remaining discharged, and have no other assets the DOR is securred with, you are agreeing to pay in full.

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  • Can I get a freeze on my refund if I am expecting a CP2000 letter?

    My return has been under review for more than a month now. I went through my return when I first read the online notice and found out that I had underreported my income from what was reported on my W2s. I read that this prompts an auto CP2000 noti...

    Eric’s Answer

    When you file an income tax return, and the IRS is looking into a refund as to whether, or not, to issue it, you will have to wait it out. They will pay you interest on any refund they ultimately determine is due, but in the mean time, there is little you can do. I would simply be patient and let this play out.

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  • What happens if you accidentally underreport income on 1040?

    I am an international student. I checked wheres my refund and saw that it is under review and I will be contacted shortly for more details. I checked my tax forms and saw that on my 1040NR-EZ form that I filed, I underreported my entire income by ...

    Eric’s Answer

    No you will not get into trouble. All interest and penalties are calculated upon the balance you owe the government (state and federal) and since you still will have a refund, there will be just the reduced amount.

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  • Can I sue my tax preparer for over 6k supposed to reach my direct deposit acct and never did?

    He filed a wrongful tax return for 2014 but it never reach my acct. now IRS wants it back but I never saw that money which I'll have to pay from my pocket. I have no proof he retained it or stole it, all I know is I owe that money + penalty + inte...

    Eric’s Answer

    If you never received your refund the IRS will provide you help to find out what happened to the refund. It may well be that fraud occurred and the IRS has a special fraud phone number. Please reach out to them to get better answers. Call 800-829-0433.

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  • Do I need a tax attorney? I submitted an amended return for 2012, but they have not responded.

    In 2013 we received a balance owed for our 2012 tax return based on a missing 1098-T form and sales of mutual funds that were forgotten in our original return. We have since filed an amended return, but the IRS has not responded. I spend every d...

    Eric’s Answer

    If you filed an amended return seeking a refund it should have been sent certified mail return receipt requested to prove filing. Was it? If not, then you may need to refile Form 1040X. I would re-send it ASAP certified.

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