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Here's a story that might make you feel better if you weren't one of the 10,000 Mainers receiving a rebate under the Affordable Care Act. Turns out, in some cases the rebates will be taxable.

Why might these refunds be considered taxable? If you are refunded an expense you deducted in a prior year, then the refund can be taxable. This is most commonly seen in state tax refunds. If you deduct state income taxes on your federal return and receive a refund from the state, that refund may be taxable in the tax year it is received. The taxable amount is never in excess of the amount which provided you with a tax savings. As an example, an individual with only one deduction has $6,700 in state taxes withheld in 2011. On her federal tax return, she itemizes state taxes withheld as shown on her W-2. But in this example, she owes $0 to the state, so in 2012 she gets all $6,700 back. The $6,700 is not all taxable, only $1,000, which is the difference between what she'd itemized that year and the standard deduction for 2011: $5,700.

Published in Money

Imagine filling out your 2011 tax return in the palm of your hand. Whether you're using a smartphone or mobile tablet, there are several smartphone features and mobile apps that can help you prepare and even file your 2011 taxes, as well as check the status of your refund, from anywhere.

Mobile devices can simplify things for those who want to file their own taxes when and where it's convenient for them. They are truly all-in-one devices that can help you get things done faster and get what you want when you need it.

U.S. Cellular recommends the following apps available for download from the Android Market:

Published in Tekk

Missing a W-2? The first step is to contact your employer. If contacting your employer proves unsuccessful, AND it is after Feb. 15, then your next step is to contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

When you contact the IRS, you should have the following information available:

Your employer's name, phone number and complete address. If available, the Employer Identification Number is requested (this would be available on prior year W-2 forms, block b).

Your name, address, social security number and telephone number.

An estimate of the wages you earned, the federal income tax withheld and period you worked for the employer. Ideally this would be year to date information from your final pay stub. If that is not available you need a reasonable substitute: an earlier pay stub, records or bank deposits.

Published in Money
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