It’s that time of the year you dread. Lucky it only comes once a year! Doing your taxes can be overwhelming, but it is a necessary evil. Even if you are going to owe money and can’t pay, make sure you file your taxes on time without an extension. Most taxes that are filed on time without an extension and are over 3 years old are dischargeable in your bankruptcy, failing to file on time no could effect you in the future.
Here are five tips for organizing your self for tax season:
- Know what can be deducted. For Example: Deduct cash, property and stock donations made to a charity. Make sure you have receipts. You can deduct mileage and vehicle expenses for a charitable purpose. You can deduct your medical expenses including mileage for doctors. You can deduct business expenses.
- Get proper documentation. Doctors, pharmacies, child care providers will all provided you a print out of what you spent with them the prior year if you ask. For any single contribution to a charity over $250 you must have a written acknowledgment from the charitable organization. For property valued at more then $5,000 you must have a qualified appraisal.
- Keep limitations in mind. Your cash gifts are generally deductible up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income. Noncash gifts, such as property or stock owned for more than one year, are generally deductible up to 30 percent. You can carry over any remaining deduction for up to five consecutive years.
- Transfer records to personal budgeting software such as QuickBooks or Quicken. Enter the information from tax-related transactions electronically to stay organized. Doing so will also help you forecast your tax situation to help you gauge whether to give more to maximize tax benefits.
- Involve the professionals. Hiring a CPA or accountant or tax attorney who is up to date on the tax laws to do your taxes is well worth the cost. Just remember you have to provide them the detailed information so they can get you your maximum deductions.
There is a scam auto dialer calling cell phones claiming to be the IRS. The voice mail message goes like this:
” Hello. This call is officially a final notice from IRS- Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you to get more information about this case file please call immediately on our department number 786-452-5241. I repeat 786-452-5241. Thank you ”
I repeat this is a SCAM do not call do not give your social security number or any personal information.
If you fail to pay your credit cards, medical bills, have a foreclosure, or car repossession they can sue you for the balance owed. This will normally result in a judgment against you. Judgments are then recorded with the Clerk of Court in the county in which they were issue.
What you need to know.
How long is the judgment good for?
Lien of Judgment under FSA §55.081 is good for 20 years.
Actions on non-recorded judgments under FSA §95.11(2)(a) are good for 5 years.
Mechanic Lien judgments under FSA §95.11(5)(b) are good for 1 year.
Judgments of Foreclosure where a deficiency is reserved on must have the action on the deficiency filed within 1 year from the foreclosure judgment. FSA §95.11(2)(c)
Many judgments can be re-recorded for an additional 10 years.
The Judgment will appear on your credit report.
Once a judgment is filed against you it will show under public records on your credit report. This is information that is pulled by the credit bureaus through various services. The majority of unsatisfied judgments will sit on your credit report for 7-10 years from the date the judgment is filed by the court. This will have a major derogatory impact on your credit score.
If the judgment is re-recorded before the 7 year period runs, it can appear for an additional 7-10 years on your credit report from the new recording date.
If you pay a judgment you will receive a notice of Satisfaction from the lender. You need to record this with the Clerk of Court. Some lenders will record these, but many will not. Once the Satisfaction is recorded with the Clerk of Court the next time the credit bureaus pull your public records they will be notified of the update. You can also send a letter of dispute on your credit report with a copy of the recorded satisfaction. This will not result in removal of the judgment from your credit report, but you can have it noted in consumer comments.
Vacated judgments can be removed from your credit report. Send a copy of the order Vacating the judgment to the credit bureau.
Some mortgage lenders will require judgments to be paid off in order to close on a mortgage depending on your credit.
Credit reports contain inaccurate or missing information about 1/4 of the time. You should check your credit report for each agency on a yearly and follow up on anything that needs to be disputed. You can pull a free credit report here: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action It is best to only pull one report every 4 months so you have a constant snap shot, unless you find an error.
Judgments and Bankruptcy
The underlying debt if disclosed to your attorney, or on your credit report, will be included in your bankruptcy. This means you will no longer be liable under the judgment once your bankruptcy is discharged. However, this does not remove the judgment lien. Additional action, which incurs additional attorney fees in needed.
This action is a Motion To Avoid A Judicial Lien, the typical charge is $400.00 and it is filed during your bankruptcy case. The Order is then filed and recorded in your State Court Action, thereby releasing the lien. These judgments can then be removed from your credit report.
Unpaid Debt and the Statute of Limitations
Debt Collection Calls
Debt Collector’s Calling?
Time Barred Debt in Chapter 13
Carol A. Lawson, Esq., 28870 U.S. Hwy 19 #300, Hodusa Towers, Clearwater, FL 33761, Phone: (727) 410-2705 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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