Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Boomer Deduction Instructions for Turbo Tax Online

If you like the blog, buy my book: Everyday Taxes only $5.99 for Kindle! Paperback $11.99 or less!

These are specific instructions for entering information from the Boomer Deduction Worksheet into Turbo Tax using their online tax preparation at www.turbotax.com.  I used the Miltary version which it said would be $24.99, though I can't vouch for that. 

DISCLAIMER:

This is NOT an endorsement of Turbo Tax!  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 or buying my book (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 2014 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.
  • If I skip pages, I'll write "more pages" so just keep clicking continue and answering questions until you get to the next page I talk about.
  • 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 (use "2 Crew FBM Submariner" for occupation), as well as information from your W-2's and other documents, advancing using the continue or Yes/No buttons.  Eventually you will get to the Deductions and Credits portion where you can select "Walk me Through Everything" and then shortly you will get to the pages that matter, or you can select "I'll Choose what to Work On" and click "Start" next to "Job Related Expenses" which will jump you to the third section below:

***
Did Either of You Use Your Own Money to Pay for Job Expenses in 2013?
# Yes
***
More Pages
***
Employment Expenses Related to W-2?
# Yes
***
More Pages
***
Tell Us About the Occupation You Have Expenses For.
# 2 Crew FBM Submariner
***
Do Any of These Uncommon Situations Apply?
# None of the Above
***
Home Office Expenses?
# No
***
Any Vehicle Expenses or Sales?
# Yes
***
Tell Us About Your Vehicle
# Enter asked for information (should be auto or truck <6000# unless really BIG)
***
***
Do You Own...
# Yes or No
***
When Did You Acquire...
# Enter date
***
When Did You Start Using ...
# If on Boomer when car acquired use choice one, otherwise use choice two.
***
Are You Still Using...
# Yes
***
Is Your ... an Electric Vehicle
# Click Yes or No
***
Did You Purchase New?
# Yes or No
***
Did You Trade In Another Vehicle to Purchase...
# Yes or No
If you click Yes it will ask for the purchase price excluding the trade in
# Enter what you paid in cash or with a loan for the car
***
Personal Use of Your...
Was your ... available during non-working hours?
# Yes
Do you have another vehicle available for personal use?
# Answer Yes if the household has 2 or more vehicles
***
Mileage Records for Your...
Did you keep track of your mileage when you used this vehicle for business?
# Yes (The command letter and Boomer Deduction Worksheet should be sufficient)
Did you document your business miles for this vehicle?
# Yes
***
How Do You Want to Enter Your Mileage?
# I'll enter the total miles I drove for the year
Total miles driven for year
# Enter in the box ALL the miles driven by the vehicle for ANY reason (12/31 minus 1/1 odometer)
Miles driven for JOB
# Enter in box the number from Line (N) on the Boomer Deduction Worksheet
Commuting miles
# Enter in box the total miles driven to and from work when NOT on off-crew or Refit Assist
Round trip average daily commute
# Enter in box how far to and from the pier
***
Was Your ... Used for Hire?
# No
***
How Many Vehicles Did You Use for Business in 2013?
# Click the 0-4 box
***
Rural Mail Carrier
# No
Comment: Take a look at the refund amount, you should start seeing this number change soon, and you can see how much this Boomer Deduction is helping - keep an eye on it.  You can thank me later :)
***
Did You Use the Standard Mileage Rate?
(You'll only get this section if you used the car for work in a prior year)
# Yes
***
You've Got a Standard Mileage Deduction of...
Do you want to see if your actual vehicle expenses give you a bigger deduction?
# No
***
Vehicle Summary
# If you used more than one vehicle you will need to click Add Vehicle and go through the process again.  You will need to make sure to divide the Business Mileage from the Boomer Deduction Worksheet between the vehicles as needed.
# Click Done
***
Did You Buy or Own Any Items for Use on Your Job?
# This is generally NO for military.  You can't take haircuts or cell phones as a general rule, and uniforms are generally reimbursed or non-deductible if they can be worn off base.
***
Do You Have any Leftover Deductions from 2012?
# No
***
Any Other Expenses?
# Enter Line (K) amount from the Boomer Deduction Worksheet on the Travel Expenses Line
# Enter Line (M) amount from the Boomer Deduction Worksheet on the Meal and Entertainment Expenses Line
# Enter any other lines as appropriate (though for military it is generally only professional publications)
***
Job Related Expenses
# In the Description Line put "Laundry and Cleaning"
# In the Amount Line put Line (L) amount from the Boomer Deduction Worksheet
***
Reimbursements for Your Expenses
# No
***
Any Special Situations?
# No
***
Job Related Expense Summary
#Done

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 do Tax Slayer, HR Block at Home and a bunch of others!

4 comments:

  1. I'm a bit confused. I notice that you say "NO" for reimbursement of expenses in your instructions to filling out the business expense form.

    According to Navy Tax Counsel, George Reilly,
    "One critical error made by many Sailors in calculating these deductions
    is a failure to offset allowances provided by the Navy for housing and subsistence (meals). If you get BAH, BAS, or other allowances, these tax-free allowances offset the expenses you can declare. If you look at the title of form 2106 you will note that it is called “Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses.” If you do get reimbursed for your expenses by government paid allowances, you cannot deduct these same expenses on this form."

    Please clarify. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. A very valid point that has been argued both ways by many people. The best argument against his point is that they aren't a reimbursement for expenses associated with travel away from your tax home and are instead a basic entitlement. I could see it both ways so I'm glad you brought it up so people can make their own decision about it and take whatever risk they choose.

    ReplyDelete
  3. To expand, if you want to include reimbursement, here's how I would do it:

    Take BAS and divide by 30 and multiply by (I) from the Boomer Worksheet. Note the smaller of this and (M) from the worksheet. We'll call this (O)

    Take BAH and divide by 30 then by (H) from the worksheet then multiply by (I) from the worksheet. Note the smaller of this number and (K) from the worksheet. We'll call this (P)

    Reimbursements are (O) + (P)

    ReplyDelete
  4. As you can see, the effect is not as staggering as the Tax Counsel would lead you to believe.

    ReplyDelete