Imagine that you are preparing taxes for a local tax service provider. A married couple named Judy and Walter Townson have come to you to seeking assistance with their federal income taxes. During your meeting with the Townsons, you gather the following information:
They are both 55 years of age.
They have two daughters and one son. One daughter (age 25) is married with children. One daughter (age 20) is living at home and attending college. Their son (age 16) is a junior in high school.
They are currently paying for their college-student daughter to attend school full time.
Judy is employed as a teacher and makes $60,000 a year. She used $500 of her personal funds to purchase books and other supplies for her classroom.
Walter is employed as a CPA and makes $100,000 a year.
They provided you a 1099-INT which reported $4,500 in interest of which $500 was savings bond interest.
They provided you a 1099-DIV which reported $300 in dividends.
They received a state tax refund last year of $385.
They provided you a list of expenses including:
Doctor’s bills, $800
New glasses, $2000
Dental bills, $560
Property taxes for their two cars of $800, which included $50 in decal fees
Real estate taxes of $4500
Mortgage interest of $12,000
Gifts to charities, $1000
GoFundMe contribution to local family in need, $100
Tax Preparation Fees for last year’s taxes, $400
Consider the most beneficial way for Judy and Walter to file their federal income tax return. Prepare a brief written summary that addresses the following:
Estimated taxable income for Judy and Walter (please show computations!)
Summary of tax return, including any suggestions or tax planning considerations
Explain how you determined the filing status, dependents, and use of standard/itemized deduction.
Review tax authorities and sources of tax law.
Assess the concepts of gross income and strategies to minimize gross income.
Examine deductions from income, limitations on those deductions, and strategies for maximizing deductions.