Category Archives: Your Questions Answered – Personal Accounting

A CPA answers your personal accounting questions

How Do I Handle My Mother’s Estate?


Dear Taxman – I am the administrator of my Mother’s estate. All she owned at the time of her death was her car, her house and a few investments which were all sold at a loss. Am I required to file an estate income tax return?


Dear Reader – An estate tax return, form 1041 is not required until the income from any investments or profits from the sales of the estate property exceed $600. However, there are benefits to filing an estate return even though the estate assets are all sold at a loss.

Losses on the estate tax return can be passed thru to Beneficiaries who can then claim their share of the Estate losses on their personal income tax returns, thus saving them money!

“Ask The Taxman” originally appeared as a column in The Brunswick Citizen. All responses are written by Jim George, CPA. If you have a question for a CPA, contact us!

Claiming Dependents

QUESTION: Dear Taxman – My Daughter graduated from college in May of this year. She started working in September and expects to make about eleven thousand dollars this year. Can we still claim her as a dependent for this year? ANSWER: Dear Reader: To claim her as a dependent in any year, she must have been a… Continue Reading

Donations to Non-Profits

QUESTION: Dear Taxman – I donate money to different non-profit organizations. Every year my Tax Preparer deducts some but not all of them. I thought donations to all non-profit groups were tax deducible. ANSWER: Dear Reader – Non-profit groups don’t pay income taxes on money you give them. That does not mean you get a… Continue Reading

Charitable Deductions

QUESTION: Dear Taxman – Every week I place cash in the collection plate at church. I recently heard I cannot deduct it since I have no banking record. Is that true? ANSWER: Dear Reader – As of August 16, 2006 a receipt from the donee organization or a bank record such as a cancelled check… Continue Reading

When should I refinance my home?

QUESTION: Dear Taxman – When should I refinance my home? ANSWER: Dear Reader – Refinancing becomes worth your while if the current interest rate on your mortgage is at least 2 percentage points higher than the prevailing market rate. Talk to several lenders to find out the current refinancing rates and what costs are associated… Continue Reading

How Long Do I Keep Tax Records?

QUESTION: Dear Taxman – How long am I required to keep my tax records? ANSWER: Dear Reader – You should save all your income tax records for the current year and six previous years. Certain tax records like your income tax returns should be kept permanently. Property settlement transaction documents should be kept for four… Continue Reading