tv Washington Journal Rhonda Collins CSPAN March 13, 2021 7:02pm-7:56pm EST
cable satellite corp. 2021] ♪ >> you're watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was created by america's cable television companies in 1979. today, we are brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span to viewers as a public service. ♪ >> where back with the national association of tax professionals. professionals and she is here to answer our federal tax preparation questions as we move towards spring and tax filing deadlines. that morning. -- good morning. can you hear us? guest: yes, can you hear me. host: we can hear you now. guest: how are you. host: i am doing great. guest: let us set this -- host: let us set the stage, what are the major tax changes from
2019 to the 2020 tax year? guest: i think that so many acts getting past, we have seen so many changes, especially with the american rescue plan act passed this week. some of the exciting things that have come out of that one is that people are asking about the unemployment, the first $10,200 being nontaxable, the advanced premium tax credit being that you do not have to pay it back if you need -- if you meet certain qualifications, those are two of the big things. cobra being extended, the child tax care credit, dependent credit, family and sick pay leave. the employee retention credit, those are the few of the most exciting items that we are dealing with. host: all of the provisions that were in the american rescue
plan, are they available for people to use in this current tax filing year? or are these things that will go into effect for 2021, 2022? guest:. couple of them are for the 2020 tax year and some are for 2021. for instance, unemployment and the advanced premium tax credit are retro, meaning that they apply to the 2020 year, so if we want to talk about the unemployment, that benefit has been extended, a three hundred dollar weekly benefit extended to september 6 of 2021. the first $10,200 per taxpayer, so if you are filing with a spouse and you both received unemployment, over $10,200, that first could be excluded from taxable income and if the caveat is if your modified adjusted gross income is under 150,000.
if it is over $150,000 there is no exclusion and that amount is fully taxable. that is one of the biggest changes. the irs issued a statement last evening, we did a presentation on our website trying to explain and decipher what it is about and what happens for those who have not already filed as opposed to those who have already filed that fall into this scenario. the other one is the advanced premium tax credit, meaning that if you were advanced this credit for health insurance, and you got too much in the past he would have to pay that back. due to all of the changes in the year 2020, do not have to pay that amount back, you can keep it. if you've already filed a return, we are waiting for guidance on how you would go about getting that amount refunded to you that you
actually paid that you did not have to. those are two of the biggest changes for the 20 tony tax return. most of the other provisions apply to the 2021 tax year. host: let us learn more about those premium tax credits. can you explain to us what those are about? guest: the premium tax credit reduces the health care premiums for low and middle income families. so, what happens is that you, at the beginning of the year, you fill out paperwork to determine how much you might qualify for assistance regarding your health insurance. at the end of the year when you are doing your tax return you do a true up, and if you were advanced too much credit you are supposed to pay the credit back. for 2020, they are saying no repayment is required if you got an excess of this credit.
for those who already filed we are still waiting on guidance from the irs as how to get the money refunded. we will -- will we need to file an amended return or what is the process to get that refunded? host: speaking on waiting on guidance, we know that last year they extended the deadline to file because we were in the middle of a pandemic. 500,000 plus deaths later, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. do we see any extension for the time to file? where will it still be april 15? guest: right now it is still april 15. we have been in contact with our irs liaisons almost weekly to see if the deadline will be extended, to june or july, or even may. as of today, we are looking at an april 15 deadline.
it has not been extended. host: let we remind -- let me remind our reviewers that -- viewers that we can take part. we will open up regional lines for the conversation. if you are in the eastern or central time zones you call in at 202-748-8000. if you are in the pacific or mountain time zones, your number will be 202-748-8001. keep in mind that you can always text your questions at 202-748-8003. and, we are always reading on social media on twitter and facebook. let us get some more basic information for the 2020 tax year. what are going to be the tax brackets, i believe there will be seven, and what will those
black -- brackets depend on and how do you know which one you will fall into? guest: for the various tax brackets for 2020, as you said there are seven taxable income groups ranging from 10% all the way up to 37%, and that the patent -- and that is calculated based on your filing status, the type of income that you have. when it comes down to is ultimately you are starting out with your 1040 and adding all of the income you earned minus your adjustment and coming down to an adjustable growth and less a few more items coming down to a taxable income number, and based upon that number and where it falls determines what tax bracket you fall into. host: one of our social media followers has a question that i am on -- sure that it is on a lot of people's minds.
he says "after the question on everybody's mind. our household get $6,400 in 2021 and -- in checks for the irs relief. will any of that be taxable as income? he says the answer is no. what do you think? guest: stimulus payments are not taxable income, they were designed to stimulate the economy and helps tax -- help taxpayers. they are not patent -- they are not taxpayer -- taxable, number one and two, and three just coming out. host: for our viewers, can you tell us what the difference is between a tax credit and a tax deduction? what are -- what is the difference? guest: that is a great question. a tax credit, if you think of
that as in the form of a tax credit is a percentage off. a deduction is a dollar amount. if you are going to the store to purchase an item and you were getting a credit it would be like being 50% on. a tax deduction would be like adding $50 off. so, there are several deductions, and when you look at what we call common above the nine -- above the line deductions, if you look at all of the income on 1040 and then you have deductions, above the line deductions. student loan deduction, ira deduction. those would be things that are deductions versus a credit, which is the earned income credit, child income credit, those are based on you income, -- your income and filing
status. a tax credit gives you a dollar dollar reduction, while the deduction lowers your taxable income. does that help? host: that helps a lot. let me ask one more question. a lot of people got unemployment insurance over the last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. do people owe taxes on the aid they received from unemployment insurance? guest: the unemployment that they received, depending upon how much they received and what their adjusted growth income, there unemployment may be taxable. as i previously said, they are allowing $10,200 per taxpayer to be exempt from tax. if you received 25,000 or, let us say 20,000, $10,200 of that
will not be subject to tax in the difference would, assuming that your adjusted gross income is under $150,000. with your unemployment you cannot say if it is taxable or not, it is dependent on the other income that you earned that is being reported on your tax return. host: i am sure our callers have plenty of questions, so let us start with charles from alexandria, virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. this is charles' wife. host: sorry, go ahead. caller: that is all right. my family and i sold land in november of last year. and we have a settlement sheet that we are trying to figure out. what expenses can we include in our tax filing from that settlement sheet? for instance the agent
commission, title cost, and stuff like that. what actually can we deduct? guest: great question. the land that you sold, was not held for an investment? caller: it was gifted to be by my mom. guest: so, if it was gifted to you, i am not sure if you are familiar with the term, at the time you had the land gifted to you did you get a fair market valuation to determine what the base would be? caller: we just got it from the tax bills that they get they showed what the land would be and there was an abandon house on the property. but the people who actually bought it bought it for the land and the house was a tear down. the land that we acquired in 2014, and we just sold it november of last year. guest: ok, this is a great
question. i would say -- we have a research department here at the national association of tax professionals. normally when you are selling investment property you would look at the fair market value, which would be the date that you inherited the land as compared to the sales price, and then with the basis of the land you are going to add in the selling expenses, so the commission that you paid the realtor, and other items, the basic settlement statements that you could include in their to come to a true basis. compare that to the sales price, and that will be your gain or loss on the sale of the land. definitely include one of the items in the commissions for the realtor. host: another situation that many people face over the last year that was new for them is
working from home. the pandemic forest many people to work remotely -- forced many people to work remotely. can they deduct their home office and related costs as a deduction on their taxes? guest: we wish that they could. that question comes through on a daily basis. if you are a w-2 employee, you cannot claim a home office deduction. prior to the tcja, you could actually claim on reimport -- unreimbursed employee deductions, but now, unfortunately no home office deduction. however, if you are an independent contractor being paid on a form 1099 miscellaneous, that is a different scenario and there you
might be able to claim the deduction and there are two ways. there is a simplified method and an actual method. if you keep track of all of your actual expenses you canada -- deduct the expenses and you cannot use the home office deduction to generate a loss on your business. the other method is a simplified method with no recordkeeping and claim up to five dollars per 300 for -- square feet per $1500 deduction. unfortunately, all of us who are working home who are grateful to have our job and still getting a w-2, we cannot claim the deduction. host: what about business expenses like you had to buy your own paper or your own computer, or buy your own pencils and all of those things that you would normally get at work, but you had to buy for yourself at home? are any of those deductions? guest: no.
if you are getting a w-2, those would be business expenses that you cannot deduct. hopefully you have a great employer like i do who compensates me for those items. host: let us go back to the phone lines and talk to gilbert who is calling from birmingham, alabama. good morning. caller: good morning to c-span and ms. collins for coming. with the economic stimulus check , a lot of people have not received the first one. on the 1044, could you explain in somewhat brevity about the non-filing position for those people who did not file an income tax in 2019 that they did not have the information on? there are a lot of people who have not received their stimulus checks because they now have information on file.
could you go into detail for that on me? i would appreciate it and the listening audience would also. guest: this is regarding the first stimulus check that many of the taxpayers have not yet received payment for, is that correct? host: he has already gone. guest: ok, that is too bad. the irs is definitely trying to get all of those payments out. to the folks who are deserving of the stimulus payments. so, i wish he was back and we could help them. host: let us go to doug calling from key largo, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i was curious. i do not know if i did not read the bill or anything, but i heard that the people in prison were getting the stimulus check, and i am curious if that is true or not. guest: that is true, originally
when the stimulus was released the first payment, those incarcerated did not get the stimulus payment. the rules changed, and subsequently those who are incarcerated are eligible for the stimulus payment, so yes they are getting it. host: let us be specific about what stimulus payment you are talking about, the original one that was done by congress during the trump administration, the second one, the current one, or all three? guest: let me -- i know for sure the first one, but i am not sure on all three. so, that one i do not have the answer for. as we go on we will keep looking, how is that? host: perfect.
paul from providence, rhode island. in morning. -- good morning. caller: how are you? host: fine. go ahead. caller: i am calling because i received the first check but the second check for $600, i have not received that yet and i do not have a home computer or direct deposits. guest: so he has not received his second stimulus check? host: that is what he said. guest: if you have not received the second stimulus check, when you file, there is a recovery rebate credit worksheet, and you will basically reconcile the payment you got versus the one you are entitled to and that will be reconciled on the tax return. if you are entitled to more on a stimulus payment that will come in the form of a refund.
no worries, you have the opportunity to fix that on your 2020 tax return. host: here's the answer to the question about the stimulus payment, i went to factcheck.org to answer the caller's question about the stimulus payments and prisoners. "senator john of wyoming defended his vote against the american rescue plan act by claiming that the legislation would provide $1400 stimulus checks to prisoners and illegal immigrants who should not receive them. last year when he and his fellow republicans controlled the senate and the white house he voted for the coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security act in march and consolidation appropriations act in december. those bills, which included stimulus checks of up to $100,000 -- $1200 and $600 respectively and it did tonight checks to any nonresident
individual that is now said that is inefficient." it seemed like all provided payments to prisoners. but getting back to the tax issues that we are talking about. what happens to parents who homeschooled their children from home during the pandemic? can they claim an educator deduction? guest: unfortunately they cannot. i wish i had better news, but they do not meet the requirements of an educator, the required number of hours that they have to teach. i am sure many of them feel that way. unfortunately, they are not entitled to the $250 educator expense duction. -- deduction. but we appreciate everything they are doing. host: let us go back to our phone lines and go to maryland.
caller: good morning. i have a couple of comments. my husband and i both make six figures. this tax cuts and jobs bill that was passed a couple of years ago by the republicans has virtually removed all deductions we used a claim. with we are not careful, we end up owing. my husband and i also have kids, as well. what i had to do was go into my w4 form online and change the amount of money that i wanted withheld from my check for each pay period. if i do not do that, we would owe money. me and my husband own a home, we have a rental home, we have
children. they removed a lot of deductions, for example the $750,000 limit on the home. i work from home. i have been working from home for seven years and i can no longer claim that. i think you have already addressed that. there are many things, i can go down the list. i find that that is very -- for me to have to go in and try to calculate and figure out how much extra i need withheld from my check come up before, it would withhold the correct amount because we both make six figures and i would hit the single button so they could withhold at the highest rate, and now hitting that button does not change it significantly at all. it is almost like they want people to owe more money to the
irs. i know several people in the same category. host: go ahead and respond. guest: we have heard a lot of complaints about the new w4 form that was supposed to make things easier and it sometimes does not feel like it makes things easier. the best advice i could give you, look at your tax return and pretty much do what we call a pro forma of what you think your income will be for the next year. your deductions, coming down to your taxable income and the might of tax you will owe, and divide that by the number of payments you have so you have a general idea of what should come out of your paycheck to put on your w4 form. it does not hurt if pay changes your situation changes to revisit that halfway through the year, or even quarterly. i agree with you, the w4 used to be much easier. you could check single, zero,
here is the additional amount i want out and it felt like it had you covered. it feels like there are a lot more questions that go with it. as tax professionals, we will look at the current income, project what we think next euro be in order to help us fill out the client's w4 correctly. i feel your pain on that one. host: let's talk to mark, who is calling from lexington, north carolina. caller: good morning. i make about $40,000 a year and i was furloughed and i have about $4000 i need to report as unemployment insurance. since it is under the $10,200, do i need to report what the unemployment is, or do i put it on the 1040 form? do they figure it out or do i
just submit it? caller: great question. a little more guidance came out last night. the irs is working on a worksheet for taxpayers to help them with the amount. you would not want to not report it. you want to report it on the tax return, but going through the worksheet, there will be a line for the exclusion. the exclusion would be a negative. if you meet the requirements, you are under the $150,000, it sounds like you will not be subject to any of the unemployment being taxable. if you did not recorded on the tax return, the irs, there would be a matching issue. normally, the federal or state would send out a 1099g and it reports the amount of unemployment you received. when you were completing your tax return, they are expecting to see that i'm not on the 1099g
. if you do not put it on there, you would end up likely getting a notice from the irs about a matching issue. they know it is there but they do not see it on your return. you will reported as income and it sounds like a deduction for an outcome of zero. host: speaking of the irs, many people file extensions on their taxes. right now, we will assume that the tax filing date will be april 15. if you file an extension, does that mean you end up paying more taxes? guest: no, it does not mean you end up paying more. the extension is the extension of time to file your tax return, not the extension of time to pay your tax liability. even though you are extending your return, say to october 15, you are still expected to pay your tax liability by april 15. you potentially could end up
paying a little bit more if you do not -- if you end up having your tax liabilities greater than the amount you paid in april. you could also be subject, depending on the amount of underpayment, you could be subject to penalties and interest. the big thing people get confused about is the extension of time is just to extend the filing of the return, not the payment. the irs especially to pay by april 15. host: which is something that has always confused me. if you are extending the time to figure out what you owe, how do you know how much to pay in april? guest: you have to do an estimation. you do the best you can on your tax return that information you have and you might want to do a little safe harbor amount, add an additional amount, bump the income up if you are unclear to cover yourself to prevent penalty and interest. host: let's go back to our phone
lines and talk to margaret, who is calling from florida. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i have a little bit of a dilemma, this concerns 2019 taxes. we would have qualified for the first stimulus, probably under the 2018 taxes, but in 2019, we sold a home. my cpa filed my taxes electronically, probably late march, early april, and when i noticed that the government cashed my check, i was putting my papers away and took another look at the cost basis that my cpa used on the sale of the house and i realized he took the buyer's portion and not the seller's portion, meaning the commission, and i thought, that is wrong. we had to file an amended
return. we filed it april 28. last year, you had to file it by mail. they could not file that electronically. that was april 28 sprint i have still not received any of that refund. i have contacted the irs periodically. they told me a few weeks ago -- and i found out late last year -- that it was entered may 1. because of covid, they have not processed it. to make a long story short, we received a stimulus payment based on 2018 in may. my husband and i received a credit card. i called our sheriff because it looked like a scam. it was $2400 print it look like a scam. the sheriff got back with me and said it is fine. it came in a plain white envelope. long story short, we deposited that money into our account.
january of this year, they still have not processed my 2019. i received in my name alone a stimulus check for $600. my husband, when i went online and looked at his -- they were not sure about him. in other words, i have $3000. i probably would not have qualified because of that sale of the house. that was over the $150,000 threshold. are they going to come after me for that money? guest: that is a loaded question with a lot of information. hopefully the cpa that you still have is able to help you out with that. it sounds like once you complete the recovery rebate worksheet, determine what happened, where you are and what the bottom line is at this point.
the question is, are you thinking you might have to pay some money back you received? host: she already dropped off. guest: depending on her situation, probably know, if it is an advanced on the credit. hopefully her cpa is able to help her. host: here is a question for you -- we all saw the troubles the post office had during the christmas and the voting seasons. would you suggest or recommend to people who file their taxes by mail or file them electronically? guest: i definitely recommend them to be filed electronically. the process can take some much longer if they are filed by mail. our recommendation is, if they can file electronically, to do that. that is the best way to file
taxes. host: do you recommend hiring a cpa or using some of the various home tax programs you can buy from your stores, or just going to the irs, getting the book and figuring it out yourself? guest: it really depends on the comfort level of the individual. if they feel comfortable and they understand the questions, they are going to use software and work through the various interview screens, maybe they have a simple return -- not too many complicated things -- and they feel they can do it on their own, that is wonderful. if there is something they don't understand because there are summary changes this year and that may not get a credit they are entitled to, not pick up income they should have, definitely reach out to a tax professional. we have a link on our website if they want to find a tax professional in their area.
we can help them out. host: one of our social media followers has a question for you about tax credits. they ask, can you discuss the difference between refundable tax credits versus ordinary tax credits? guest: a refundable tax credit -- lengthy -- versus an ordinary -- let's see, versus an ordinary tax credit. let's say the education credit, it happens to be both. part of it is to reduce your tax liability. i guess you would call that an ordinary credit. the other half is a refundable credit, dollar for dollar refunded to you. something is fully refundable, almost dollar for dollar increase, versus an ordinary
credit that reduces your taxable income. some credits that reduce your taxable income -- let's say the credit is higher than your taxable income -- you do not get the difference paid to you, it is basically a lost credit. host: let's talk to charlotte, who is calling from baltimore, maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i have a dilemma. i am a social security disability recipient and my aunt left me some money in october. i did not move it right away. what are my tax liability is? can i still move it without being penalized? guest: when you say she left you some money, did you get an inherited ira? caller: it was a check. guest: it was just a check?
can you disclose the dollar amount? caller: $103,000. guest: based upon that scenario, you would want to work with a tax professional to look at all of the different applications that might go with that -- good and bad. not knowing your entire scenario, i would hate to give you tax advice on this program. definitely get a tax professional. they know all the details and exactly how to treat this type of receiving of income. host: speaking of getting in trouble -- can you talk to us about how irs penalties and interest rates work? and what happens if you just ignore the penalties and interest rates? guest: a lot of folks, when they see some mail from the irs, they are hesitant to open it.
some folks do not want to open the envelope because they are nervous about it. sometimes the notice is not as bad as you think. it might just be -- for instance, one of the most common notices is a cp2000. the irs is just missing some information. they might have changed the tax return because they are denying a credit you claimed because they are missing a piece of information. a common one would be the credit for education. it is as simple as maybe they want a -- form from the school. if you can decipher what it is they are looking for, great. if not, contact a tax professional. if you cannot respond, the penalties and interest increase. it is not something you want to ignore. you want to open it and address it because it will not go away. host: let's talk to richard, who
is calling from arkansas. good morning. caller: good morning. we have always mailed in our tax returns, and last year i mailed it in, no problem. due to the covid thing, we did not get our refund for three months. they had not processed it yet, we never got the first stimulus check. the reason i found out why was because some yo-yo in the irs entered our tax return into the computer as we were dependents on someone else's return. i sent in an amended form, we have not heard a word about it. we did receive the second check. i am planning to electronic file this year. i have never done that. i am on social security, my wife does not make a whole lot.
it is not worth paying to have somebody do it. i have never e-filed before. i cannot find a worksheet for line 30. i went ahead and wrote in the $2400 because we never received any of it and we are way below -- we should get it. anyway, when i electronically file, how do you get the w2's in there, how do you sign your return? i have never done this before and i don't know where to even start. because they screwed it up last year, i want to e-file it myself this year and, so far, i am just kind of sitting here and staring at my written copy. guest: great question. any of the commercial software
out there can walk you through. it sounds like your return may not be as complicated as you think it might be. if you started the return on one of the commercial softwares come up walked through the interview screen, it will ask you questions, starting off with entering your w2. the screen will have a picture of your w2 and you will enter the boxes and it will walk you through all of the income items, all of your potential deductions and credits, anything that might be out of the ordinary, which it does not sound like you have any. it will walk you through the stimulus payment. at the end of the program after you are done entering your information, you can preview your tax return so you can check it against maybe a prior one that you file, and then you will electronically file. there is no signature as if you were preparing get by paper, where you actually have to sign and date it. do not do that when you are
electronically filing, per se. if you use one of the commercial softwares or go to the irs website and you qualify doing it for free, it will walk you through step-by-step on what to do. i do not think it will be as difficult as you think. you just need to get started. host: for our small business owners out there and are independent contractors, hopefully they will hire a cpa to do their taxes, but if they are doing them their selves and they got a ppp loan, is that ppp loan taxable? guest: that is such a loaded question. the ppp loan, for those who have a small business and they are not sure what the ppp loan was spent on, what are the requirements to use the loan, those folks, if they are a small business and received the money and are not sure how to do their
taxes, the best advice we can give is to seek out a tax professional to help them. host: let's talk to bill who is calling from sandy hook, connecticut. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am dealing with the irs about the social security benefits worksheet. we went over it several times and the math is correct. the irs said they came out with a higher calculation the nike met with and they -- then i came out with. i am just wondering if ms. colli ns could maybe highlight something i might have overlooked or is in publication 915 that would address my problem. guest: great question.
as far as the calculation, whenever they say that they have a different calculation than you, did they provide you with their calculation so you could crosscheck their calculation with yours to identify the difference? caller: you are talking mathematically? guest: yes. caller: i have done that, they suggest i get publication 915. i am wondering if there is something in that 915 that would preclude me from using the social security benefits worksheet because the worksheet in the booklet, i followed the instructions and rechecked it. i am just wondering, in that publication 915, if you know anything that might preclude me from using the social
security benefits worksheet or something i missed that is in that publication. guest: i do not, right here, specifically to that question, but we would love to be able to assist you. you might want to contact our research department at natp.com. we also have several members who volunteer their time to help folks out with questions. perhaps you might want to give us a call. it could have something to do with maybe if you received a lump sum benefit. we would love to help you with your situation. host: as we move toward the top of the hour, let's begin to wrap up this conversation by asking you -- what are some last-minute tax strategies that taxpayers can use in order to reduce our tax bill now?
guest: the best thing you can do, is if you are using a tax professional, bring all of the documents you received. make sure you are working with a reputable tax professional who is asking you all of the questions to make sure you are not missing one of the new credits that has been addressed in the various bills that have been passed. make sure you are including all the income you received. the worst thing that can happen is to file a return, we find out it is not complete and accurate, resulting in an amended return. the best thing you can do is gather the documents you have received, compare those against last year, find a reputable tax professional to assist you this year, especially with all the changes we have encountered. host: are there certain tax deductions the taxpayers should take advantage of that are normally skipped over? guest: i would not say per se
that there are ones normally skipped over, what with all the changes, may be there is a deduction that in the past you did not qualify for because your income was too high. for example, student loan interest. you have to look year over year. depending on credits that are income driven, you might not qualify. with all the changes this year, something you might have qualified for in the past you might qualify for this year. not forget to mention those credits when you are working with your tax professional. host: let's talk to keith from new jersey. good morning. are you there? caller: yes, i am there. host: we can hear you. caller: we have an adult autistic son, we got the stimulus checks but he did not.
several people in the same program got checks and we were scratching our heads as to why. he filed a tax return and claimed his self as a dependent and they all claimed their children as dependents, but their children should not file. i am wondering if this time around he is going to get a check, because he is out of work. he lost all the income he would have had because of covid. guest: did you say you will be claiming him as a dependent on your tax return this year? host: yes. -- caller: yes. it still turns out to be cheaper. guest: with the third stimulus payment, i want to say yes, he will qualify for the stimulus payment with you claiming him as a dependent. a lot of the restrictions with the first two stimulus payments have been basically taken away. yes, you will definitely qualify.
caller: great. thanks. guest: sure. host: for those people who lost loved ones to the pandemic or for any other reason last year, do they have to file taxes for that person for 2020, or do they contact the irs and said this person is deceased? how do you handle the tax burden for a deceased loved one? guest: someone has to file basically on their behalf a final tax return. yes, in that year of death, there is a final tax return that needs to be filed. the irs will not do that for them. perhaps a family member, a spouse that is still alive, they need to file a final form, 1040. host: let's talk to bill from
pennsylvania. caller: thank you for taking my call. i will try to make this quick. i was running my taxes through a software package. i did a conversion from traditional to a roth ira. it is telling me i have made excess roth contributions, even though i have not contributed anything to a roth ira. i did a conversion, but not a contribution. is that possible? guest: you said you are using a commercial software? it sounds like you might want to go back through the interview screens, perhaps a box was checked incorrectly. i would definitely go back and check your entries. with a lot of these commercial softwares, they do have live advice, tax professionals the could help you. also, there could be an income
limitation. that is what i would suggest for your situation. caller: i thought the income limitation had been a limited recently. ok. if they have tax professionals, of course you always have to pay before they talk to you. i would like to know the answer before i pay. it is confusing. i think the irs should consider mike laster print -- like last year. host: one more question before we let you go. what happens if you are audited? guest: you definitely call a tax professional to assist you. it might not be as bad as it sounds. you might just be missing some information. we would recommend hiring a tax
professional to assist you if you are going under audit with the irs. host: we would like to thank rhonda collins with the national association of tax professionals for being here with us this morning and walking us through some of the changes as we get ready to file our taxes >> more than 2000 students entered this year's documentary competition and they told us the issues they want the president and congress to address. here are our winners. eighth-grader, a homeschooler from austin, texas on the spectrum cable system with his documentary about the chinese communist party. our first price goes to a 10th grader from richard montgomery high school in rockville, maryland, and edith from winston
churchill high school. there documentary is on education and standardized testing. third prize are 10th graders in jason, oklahoma for their documentary on pirating and copyright protection. first price goes to 11th graders from a school in california for their documentary about u.s. foreign policy. our grand prize winner is a ninth grader from williamsville south high school in new york. >> we just wanted to call and congratulate you today because you're our 2021 grand prize winner. >> wait, really? >> really. >> [laughter] congratulations! >> congratulations, man. >> oh, my gosh.
thank you guys so much. >> he won for his document right about trust. >> in order to get out of this pandemic to achieve racial justice, to try to reunite a fractured nation, we need to hear the truth even when, especially when, that path ahead is going to be long and full of struggle. once we come to expect the truth, even hard truth, we the people can place our trust in a better future. >> thanks to all the students who participate in in this year's contest. the top 21 entries will air on c-span starting april 1. and you can watch all of the winning documentaries anytime online at studentcam.org. ♪ >>