How do I get a copy of a prior-year tax return and Form W-2?

If you filed your tax return through Madison Tax Service®, then you can get a copy of your records at any Madison Tax Service office across the country. Otherwise, as long as you filed your tax return with the IRS, you can request a photocopy or a computer transcript (a line-by-line listing) of the information on your filed tax return by filing For 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Photocopies and transcripts are free from the IRS. If you need an actual copy (not a photocopy), then you must complete Form 4506,Request for Copy of Tax Return,and pay a $57 fee for your filed tax return and all related tax information, such as your Form W-2.

How do I get my Form W-2?

Your employer should mail your Form W-2 to you by January 31. However, you may be able to download your W-2s even before you receive them in the mail. If ADP, TALX or CIC Plus issue W-2s for your employer, then ask your Madison tax preparer if you can make use of the W-2 download program.

How do I find a Madison Tax Service office?

We have over 6,000 offices throughout the country and more than 2800 are in local Walmart stores. To find your neighborhood location,use our Office Locator or call 813-872-9900. Our offices have flexible hours, so you can stop in at your convenience or schedule an appointment to file your tax return.

What information should I bring to Madison?

Make sure to bring the following materials to your tax interview: Wage statements (Form W-2) Pension, or retirement income (Forms 1099-R) Social Security card(s) Driver’s license(s) Dependents’ Social Security numbers and dates of birth Last year’s tax return Information on education expenses (Form 1098-T) Commissions received and/or paid Information on the sales of stocks and/or bonds (Form 1099-B) Self-employed business income and expenses Lottery and/or gambling winnings and losses (Form W-2G) State refund amount (Form 1099-G) Social Security and/or unemployment income (Forms SSA1099/1099-G) Income and expenses from rentals Alimony paid or received Record of purchase or sale of real estate Medical and dental expenses Real estate and personal property taxes Estimated taxes or foreign taxes paid Cash and non-cash charitable donations Mortgage or home equity loan interest paid (Form 1098) Unreimbursed employment-related expenses Job-related educational expenses Childcare expenses and provider information (Form W-10)

How much does it cost to have my taxes prepared at Madison?

The cost of tax preparation is based upon the complexity of your tax return. Fees are set locally at each Madison office. To learn more, please contact your local Madison Tax Service office.

How quickly can I get money at Madison?

When you file electronically and choose one of the free IRS Direct options, you can receive your refund directly from the IRS by direct deposit in approximately 7 to 13 days. IRS Direct is free with paid tax preparation. We also make a variety of financial products available to qualified customers through our lending partners if you need to receive money faster. Ask your Madison tax preparer for full details.

I need to change my withholding. How do I update my personal information?

Use Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you get married or divorced, if a child is born, or if you no longer can claim a child as your dependent, you will need to complete a new Form W-4. When you begin to work at a new company, your employer must give you a Form W-4 to complete. You can also request a Form W-4 from your employer at any time to reflect a change in your tax situation.

What is the Refer-A-Friend Program?

After you pay for tax preparation, you will receive several Refer-A-Friend certificates from your tax preparer. Fill them out and pass them on to a friend who did not use Madison Tax Service last year. When your friend redeems the Refer-A-Friend certificate you gave him at Madison, we’ll send you a cash reward! There’s no limit to the number of customers you can refer.

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and am I eligible?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is applicable to low-income workers who may or may not have a qualifying child, or children, living with them. If you can take the EITC, then it is subtracted from the tax owed. The credit can be refunded even if you don’t owe any tax. If you have a qualifying child and your earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) are each less than $36,052 ($41,431 if filing Married Filing Jointly), then you could be eligible for a maximum credit of $3,094. The maximum credit is $5,112 if you have two qualifying children and your earned income and your AGI are both less than $40,964 ($46,044 if Married Filing Jointly). The maximum credit is $5,751 if you have three or more children and your earned income and your AGI are both less than $43,998 ($49,078 if Married Filing Jointly). You may still qualify for a maximum credit of $464 if you do not have children and your income is less than $13,660 ($18,740 if Married Filing Jointly). Ask your Madison tax preparer for more information.

Do you stand behind your work?

When you pay for tax preparation at Madison, you are automatically covered under our Accuracy Guarantee which entitiles you to reimbursement of penalties and interest charged by a taxing authority if a Madison tax preparer makes an error preparing your tax return. For an additional fee, you can purchase the Gold Guarantee fpr extra, worry-free coverage. If you purchase the Gold Guarantee and a taxing authority notifies you of an error on your tax return, contact Madison, present your Gold Guarantee Certificate, and we’ll work with you to resolve the issue, which may include reimbursement for any additional tax liability or reduction in your refund amount up to $5,000. Ask your tax preparer for current pricing of the Gold Guarantee and a copy of the Madison Commitment to Quality brochure which explains our guarantees, their terms and conditions.

Is there an age limit on claiming my children as dependents?

Age is a factor in the qualifying child test, but a qualifying relative can be any age.As long as the following dependency exemption tests are met, you may claim him or her: Qualifying child or qualifying relative test Dependent taxpayer test Citizenship or resident test Joint return test

What are the Bush Tax Cuts?

The “Bush Tax Cuts” is a nickname for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRAA) signed into law in 2001. The bill set into place higher credit bases including earned income tax credit and child tax credits, increased the standard deduction for married filing jointly taxpayers, introduced the 10% tax bracket, decreased the tax percentage for the other five tax brackets, and provided many other taxpayer friendly tax cuts. The bill also included the original provisions for the alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch, the sales tax deduction, tution and fees deduction, and educator expenses that have been extended numerous times over recent years. The provisions of the bill were due to “Sunset” (expire) December 31, 2010. The sunset provision was extended through 2011 for some of the benefits and 2012 for the remaining benefits.

If I claim my daughter as a dependent because she is a full-time college student, can she claim herself as a dependent when she files her return?

If you claim your daughter as a dependent on your income tax return, she cannot claim herself on her income tax return. If an individual is filing his or her own tax return, and the individual can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return, the individual cannot claim his or her own personal exemption.

How much is the Standard Deduction for 2011?

For 2011, the standard deduction is: If your filing status is :Then your standard deduction is: Single $5,800 Married Filing Separately $5,800 Married Filing Joint $11,600 Qualifying Widower $11,600 Head of Household $8,500

I received unemployment in 2011. Is this taxable?

Yes, all unemployment compensation paid by the state and local governments is taxable.

If I cannot itemize my deductions, can I still deduct my real estate tax paid on my home?

No, real estate taxes paid are only deductible when you itemize deductions.

What types of educational expenses are deductible?

Deductible educational expenses include: Amounts spent for tuition, books, supplies, laboratory fees and similar items.They also include the cost of correspondence courses, as well as formal training and research you do as part of an educational program. Transportation and travel expenses to attend qualified educational activities may also be deductible.

Who can claim the American Opportunity Credit?

Generally, you can claim the American Opportunity Credit if all three of the following requirements are met: You pay qualified tuition and related expenses for the first 4 years of postsecondary education. You pay the tuition and related expenses for an eligible student. The eligible student is either you, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

What is a Lifetime Learning Credit?

The Lifetime Learning Credit is a nonrefundable tax credit with a dollar limit per family that is available for qualified tuition and related expenses of higher education whether the student is at the undergraduate or graduate level, a professional degree student, or a student acquiring or improving their job skills. The Lifetime Learning Credit is calculated by taking a percentage of the qualified educational expenses paid.