Help with my taxes please!!!!

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by HotPepper, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. HotPepper

    HotPepper Member

    So i just started at ups in november. Are my union dues a write off? Can i do it in the EZ form

    Im still young and this tax crap confuses me. Thanks
  2. stoni24

    stoni24 New Member

    Yes u can deduct it. Don't know about ez. Also shoes boots and other stuff job related. Question is, do u have enuf deductions to file long form? Otherwise just take the standard deduction. All depends on ur current finances....
  3. brown bomber

    brown bomber brown bomber

    only if you file a long form, I also think that union dues and job related expenses fall under "other" deductions which require a % threshold in order to use that deduction
  4. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    I recommend TurboTax. It's free since you're low income:
    TurboTax® Freedom Edition, Free File Alliance, Intuit Tax Freedom Project

    Gather up all your tax documents -- things like all your W-2s, and if you're in school, the tax form your school sent you -- and begin using the program. It will do all the thinking for you & you'll probably finish in less than 15 minutes. Probably even 5.

    As far as writing off union dues... no. When you pay taxes, you don't pay it on your entire income, but rather an adjusted amount. You can claim either a standard deduction ($5,950) or itemize things that are deductible -- like a variable portion of mortgage interest and union dues -- to calculate a deduction higher than the standard. Typically, you need a mortgage in order to itemize.

    Courts have ruled that in order for work-related expenses to be deductible, they cannot reasonably be used outside of work. Thus, if you were paying for your UPS uniform, it would be tax deductible. But not your shoes. Nor your cell phone. It amazes me how many drivers deduct not only their cell phone, but their entire cell phone plan -- including data -- saying "my accountant said it's OK." You need to fire your accountant if that's the case (it probably isn't). That said... unless you're cheating in other areas, or you have too many of these deductions (you're claiming your family's annual $5,000 cell phone bill as deductible) you're not likely to be audited.
  5. Brownslave688

    Brownslave688 You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

    Talk to a professional.
  6. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Items used expressly for work are deductible including shoes, gloves, uniform laundering and maintenance.
  7. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    Tax courts have ruled that in order for clothing items to be deducted, they must not be suitable for everyday wear. You're not likely to wear your UPS uniform the next time you go out to eat, therefore it's tax deductible (of course, we don't pay for them ... but this is for illustration purposes only). However... you could reasonably wear those $200 pair of Red Wing shoes to dinner, therefore they're not tax deductible, even if you use them exclusively for work. Just like cell phone... you're able to deduct only the portion that represents actual business use. So, at most, drivers would qualify for a couple bucks (literally)... but even that's questionable since UPS doesn't require (but sorta encourages) cell phones. Cell phones deductions are popular among drivers but also one of the primary flags to an audit.
  8. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    I thought we could deduct them because they're required. The company requires us to have steel toed boots, hence they are deductible.
  9. oldngray

    oldngray nowhere special

    I think those work related expenses need to total at least 2% of adjusted gross income before you can itemize them. It used to that way and I don't think its been changed.
  10. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    In order for clothing to be deductible, it must be a job requirement and unsuitable for everyday wear. Yes, it sucks for most of us -- who have designated work shoes -- but the ruling is intended to create a standard. Otherwise you'd have uppity department store employees deducting their designer clothing.

    Bottom line, those sturdy upper leathers aren't deductible.
  11. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Have been on my tax returns since 1989 and until our CPA says otherwise I'm going to hand him the receipts as always.
  12. Bagels

    Bagels Family Leave Fridays!!!

    That's fine. As I mentioned, unless you're cheating in other ways, the odds of an audit or slim. I'm certain most everybody cheats in some way or another. My brother is a tax attorney (and also has a CPA), and I'll have a degree in tax accounting within several months, continuing with my education in hopes of being eligible for the CPA by the end of the year. So this is familiar territory for me.

    But I'll remind everyone that cell phone deductions is increasingly becoming an audit flag, so be weary...


    I'll also voice the opinion that unless you're getting a good deal, or have really complicated taxes (multiple homes, extravagant investments, etc.) I wouldn't pay for somebody to prepare my tax return. At-home programs like TuroTax and TaxCut (now HR@Home) can prepare most UPSers taxes in less than a couple of hours -- with similar results but without the $300-$500 fee.
  13. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    It will not be long before UpState checks in for today. :wink2:
  14. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Sorry I'm late----had to actually work today.

    To the OP---you most likely will be taking the standard deduction rather than itemizing so you will not be able to deduct your union dues.

    I had $1900 of unreimbursed job expenses, which includes $1K in union dues, that I wrote off on this year's return.
  15. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    How about work shoes?
  16. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    I made 105K last year, and paid 82.00 a month in union dues and they WERE NOT ELIGIBLE for deduction.

    See a professional.

    Just because you put them into your calculations when preparing, the software will disallow them as they do not qualify in amount.

    Same with uniforms. You must exceed 1000 dollars in order to qualify for eligibility.


  17. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

  18. gingerkat

    gingerkat Well-Known Member

    If you are looking to use deductions or make over xx amount, you may not use a 1040 EZ form. Dues, medical expenses, etc., are 7.5% above your AGI. Please go see H & R Block or Jackson Hewitt (who are owned by huge companies) if you need help.

    Like Bagles said, using cell phones and things of that nature are a big red flag and CPA's charge extra for audits. When you sign those returns, you sign it stating you understand what your CPA did. Never use a CPA that goes for "creative" accounting, because when you get caught it's YOU that pays it back, plus interest.

    I've sat with many an IRS & FTB agent for audits and guess what? They usually always find something in the past. It's best to be honest at all costs. To this day, I still don't do my own returns, I let someone else do them.
  19. sortaisle

    sortaisle Livin the cardboard dream

    Unless you have home interest/school/hospital bills, you won't be able to claim enough deductions to go through the hassle. You have to be able to claim more than the standard deduction of...I think it's 9,500. So if you don't have any of those things, just file your ez and carry on.
  20. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I wrote those off last year.