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Eric P Rothenberg
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Eric Rothenberg’s Answers

345 total


  • Do I need a personal income tax lawyer?

    I was given a cancellation of debt related to my primary residence this tax year (2014) r/t financial hardship beginning in 2010. At the time of my hardship, I was, I believe, insolvent. Not sure of what I should do, I filed my taxes for 2014 de...

    Eric’s Answer

    Absolutely you do. It's easy to amend your return and remove the cancelled debt as income. Do so ASAP.

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  • Citizenship interview on May 12, can I go without tax returns for 2014? ( I have 2011,12 &13). Applying in Spouse category.

    We are past the tax deadline on April 15 and have not filed tax returns yet. We are waiting for my parents Green Card to arrive. They have been in US for more than a year and we plan to file them as dependents (so waiting for GC and then SSN). We ...

    Eric’s Answer

    People who don't have SS# can get an ID good only for the IRS (an ITIN) and use that to file returns or be a dependent of another. In addition, the IRS calculates interest and penalties based solely upon the balance due so if there is no balance due there is no interest or penalties.

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  • IRS filing rules regarding dependents

    I filed my taxes this year and listed my son and daughter as dependents and received a tax credit for my daughter as she lived with me more than a year. My son who turned 18 in December 2014 and works part time (1 day a week) filed taxes but re...

    Eric’s Answer

    Your son can claim himself and you can claim him too if you meet the requirements. However, your son has limited standard deductions based upon his earned income. You need a preparer who can make sure he prepared his return where he stated he's a dependent of you.

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  • How do I take an out of state company to court for $2,800 and possible additional damages?

    I paid a Florida Tax company to represent me with the IRS. I believe they took me for a ride and I would like to get my money back. They claim that I was qualified for Federal Offer in compromise / PPIA (Partial Payment Installment Agreement. He s...

    Eric’s Answer

    In order to sue in a court here in MA, the defendant must have sufficient "nexus" with MA. That's a term of legal art which means enough connection here to merit that they are able to be a defendant here. BUT, if you have a written contract with them that says the venue for all disputes is elsewhere, then the contract governs even if they actually have nexus here. Unfortunately, I get clients all the time, just like you, who received little benefit hiring a company that advertises on the internet, TV or the mails. They make money doing far less than you would have received had you hired a CPA or a tax lawyer for the same fee. The good news is you may be able to deduct their fee and get some income taxes back but it's unlikey you will get more than that. Plus it's a lesson learned?

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  • Just found out my 80 year old mother hasn't filed her taxes in 7 years!! Any advice?

    Mom is 80 years old. Filed bankruptcy in 2008 and hasn't filed taxes since. Her only income is pension, social security and required IRA withdrawals. God only knows where all the paperwork is. Any advice?

    Eric’s Answer

    Yes, you can readily find out how much income your mom received in the un-filed years and prepare for her income tax returns. She can do it, or you can hire a good preparer (CPA/Lawyer) and get a power of attorney for her and take care of this.

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  • How do I get a refund for overpaid taxes? (This isn't what you're thinking.)

    Like everyone else in the country, I just filed my taxes. According to my return I had to pay a few hundred dollars in taxes. Unlike everyone else in the country, I wrote a check for a higher amount than I should have. There was no reason for m...

    Eric’s Answer

    The IRS will write you a letter saying you overpaid and will send a check in a separate but slightly later letter.

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  • IS FORGIVEN DEBT IN MASSACHUSETTS EXCLUDED FROM GROSS INCOME IF THE INDIVIDUAL IS INSOLVENT?

    WE ARE FILING JOINTLY AND HAVE ALREADY FILED OUR FEDERAL RETURN INCLUDING FORM 982 FOR EXCLUSIONS OF FORGIVEN DEBT IN THE EVENT OF INSOLVENCY. DOES MA HAVE THIS EXCLUSION IN THE EVENT OF INSOLVENCY? THANK YOU

    Eric’s Answer

    Yes Massachusetts follows the federal rules on not recognizing income from the cancellation of debt. Any good tax preparation person should know that. Some income tax software doesn't necessarily carry it over correctly to Massachusetts. So you might need help this year to prepare your returns.

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  • "Reasonable Expectation" S Corp. Massachusetts. BUSINESS. Fraudulent behavior, Atty, aggravated

    I was raised as a child, to believe that I would own the family business one day. I so joined. I worked for 30 years there, with my heart, my soul, hours after hours, I brought in personal belongings (*of which they will not give me). About 18 yea...

    Eric’s Answer

    Your question doesn't have all the facts needed to address your questions. If you have been a 49% shareholder for years, then you may well have a "freeze-out" claim against the corporation. As for taxes, again, I'd want to see much more info than relayed here. For example, if by taxes you mean there is income reported on Schedule K-1 and no distributions to you and they paid the income tax costs of that to you, then that's a separate claim too. I highly recommend you quickly see a business and tax attorney to help you sort through all the issues.

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  • I only made 200 hundred dollars last year. Am I required to file my income tax in boston?

    I dont have any dependants.

    Eric’s Answer

    If your total income in 2014 was only $200 you do not have to file tax returns but I suggest you do. First, the statute of limitations never runs (that's right, your whole life) unless you file a return. Without a return filed, the IRS and the state can go back to that year and assess you. I always file zero tax returns and do so with a certified letter, return receipt requested, or I file it without and then look online to make sure it was processed. Second, if that was self-employment income and you had no deductions, there may be self-employment taxes due.

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  • Will my application for citizenship be effected because I accidentally filed my taxes as single and my husband filed us jointly

    We were married in Dec 2014. I have been on a F-1 student visa and have only filed taxes 3 times so am quite unfamiliar with this process. We recently met with an immigration lawyer who filed the papers. We had a misunderstanding about whether we...

    Eric’s Answer

    While you cannot file as both single and jointly, this should not affect your immigration applications in any way. The IRS will not process two separate income tax returns with a same social security number or ITIN number. Generally if your return was filed earlier, they will either reject the second (joint) return OR they will treat the second return as an election to file jointly. It's no big deal but might take some time to sort out with the IRS.

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