Monday, December 9, 2013

2013 Boomer Deductions for H&R Block Online

These are specific instructions for entering information from the Boomer Deduction Worksheet into H&R Block's online tax preparation at www.hrblock.com.  I used the Deluxe version which it said would be $29.99, though you might be able to get it free if you connect from Military One Source or IRS free file.  This is my first try at this, so it may be a complete failure - please let me know if you can't use this for H&R Block Online and where you ran into trouble.

DISCLAIMER:

This is NOT an endorsement of H&R Block!  I also make no promises about the accuracy or reliability of the information presented, it is for assistance and education ONLY.  You MUST do your own due diligence to ensure your taxes are right.  I feel that the assistance of a trained professional is critical in preparing taxes for military members.  Feel free to contact me for questions at taxadvisor@email.com.  Realize still that even if I answer your questions, I make no promises and bear no liability for the accuracy of the answers.  The only way I take ANY liability is if you see me to prepare your taxes in my professional capacity under my employer for whom I work as a tax professional.  Making a donation to this site (which I encourage and appreciate if you make extra money from the massive amount of work and expense this takes) does not constitute paying me for my advice.

Glad that's over!

General Instructions:

  • Make sure you fill out the 2013 Boomer Deduction Worksheet, found HERE, first.
  • The information and answers to various questions apply to the Boomer Deduction only.  It is possible that some yes's or no's may be different for you if you have complementing or overlapping situations.
  • I don't write everything from each page, but I generally start at the top of the page.  Sometimes the page title will use information, such as your name or your car make, so mine won't match.  If the page title is long, I may discontinue with a ... but you should be able to tell where I am.
  • Generally, when finished entering information on a page you click the "Next" button.  I won't always tell you to do that.
  • I'll indicate new pages on their site by separating information with three asterisks - ***
  • I'll indicate that you should be entering something or clicking a button by using the # sign
Page Instructions:

After logging in and creating an account, you will enter personal information, as well as information from your W-2's and other documents, advancing using the continue buttons.  Eventually you will get to the Adjustments and Deductions Section.

***
Adjustments and Deductions
# Click the plus sign next to "Other adjustments and deductions" and a longer list will appear
# Check "Job related expenses
***
Job Related Expenses
# Click the plus sign next to "Add Expense"
***
Employee Business Expense
# In the "Occupation" box, enter "Two Crew FBM Submariner
# Check the "None of These Apply" box
***
Business Travel
# Click "Next"
***
Job Related Travel Expense
# In the "Lodging" box, enter the value from Line (K) of your Boomer Deduction Worksheet
# In the "Laundry and Cleaning" box, enter the value from Line (L) of your Boomer Deduction Worksheet
***
Meals and Entertainment
# Click "Next"
***
Meals and Entertainment
# In the "Meals" box, enter the value from Line (M) of your Boomer Deduction Worksheet
# Check the "No" box under the question about being subject to DOT limits...
***
Other Job Related Expenses
# Click "Next"
***
Other Job Related Expenses
# Enter any other job related expenses here.  The software can provide guidance, but, be careful.  Uniforms, haircuts and cell phones normally won't be deductible.  Mostly all you might get here are professional publication subscriptions and journals.
***
Employer Reimbursement
# Click "Next"
***
Employer Reimbursement
# Click "Next"
***
Vehicle, Home Office and Depreciation
# Check the box for "Car or truck used for business purposes"
***
Your Business Vehicle
# Click the plus sign next to "Add Vehicle"
***
Your Vehicle Description
# Enter your vehicles Make and Model
# Enter the Date you first used the vehicle for business
# Enter the number of months you were on off-crew or refit assist in 2013 (round up)
***
Your Vehicle Purchase
# Check Own or Lease as apllicable
***
Your Vehicle Usage
# Check any that apply
***
Your Vehicle Mileage
# Enter total mileage driven during the year for ANY purpose (12/31 odometer - 1/1 odometer)
# In "Business Miles" box, enter value from Line (N) of your Boomer Deduction Worksheet
# Enter commuting miles from days not in Off Crew or Refit Assist
(Commuting plus business miles should be less than total miles)
***
Reporting Method Used...
# Check Standard Mileage box
(you will only get this page if your vehicle was put in service in 2012 or before.  This page and the next have a similar title so don't be surprised if it confuses you.  Just be sure to check the Standard Mileage Rate box on any pages that ask for it.)
***
Your Vehicle Reporting Method
# Check the Standard Mileage box
***
Your Out of Pocket Vehicle Expenses
# Click "Next"
***
Your Vehicle Additional Information
# Check the first box if your household has more than one vehicle
# Check the other three boxes
# Click "Yes" for the question that appears asking if your evidence is written
Watch your refund change and see how much I have helped you!  You can thank me later :)
***
Your Standard Mileage Deduction
# Click "Next"
***
If you drove more than one vehicle for this deduction you would now add another vehicle and repeat the process.  Make sure to divide the business miles between the vehicles if this is the case.

That's it!  Hopefully this worked for you.  Feel free to ask any questions at taxadvisor@email.com.  I will try to answer quickly but I do get busy during tax time, so don't feel slighted if it takes a while.  Feel free to ask questions in the comments, that way we can help everyone.  Please share with your fellow Boomer Sailors!  If you want me to do your taxes, I can do them via mail or email with no payment until you are satisfied and with secure online review and approval.  I will also check tax returns for free, and, if I find errors, I will tell you the difference and offer to fix for a price (if I check and find no errors I back it up with my companies standard guarantee.)  I encourage you to take advantage of that, I have seen some bad things on Military Tax Returns (I am a retired submarine Master Chief BTW.)

These posts have more info on the Boomer Deduction, with links to references.  If you do your taxes yourself, make sure to do your due diligence.

http://supertaxgenius.blogspot.com/2012/10/boomer-deduction-history-and-references.html
http://supertaxgenius.blogspot.com/2012/03/more-boomer-deduction-information.html

Please DONATE - this was a pain!  And I still have to buy and test the at home software!

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