Tax Season 2016 FAQ's

Every year, I compile a list of the FAQ's I get during tax season to share in the hopes it answers somebody else's question.  This is not a substitute for tax advice.  Please check with your tax professional for questions specific to your situation.

I have a taxable account, but I did not receive a 1099-INT form for it.  I looked online and I earned $7 of interest in 2015.  Do I need to claim this interest income on my tax return?

Yes - claim the interest income.  Banks are only required to issue 1099-INT forms on accounts with income greater than $10 for the year.  Regardless, all income is taxable (even if it is below the reporting requirements).

What is the 1095 form I received this year?

This form proves that you had health insurance for the entire year in 2015.  The majority will only need to check a box on their tax return attesting to coverage.  Those who purchased insurance on the Marketplace will get a 1095-A form and will need to fill out more information to see if their advance premium credit was accurate.  The 1095-B and 1095-C are purely informational, but still need to be kept with your other tax documents in case you get audited.

I am considering installing solar panels this year.  What tax benefit do I receive from this, if any?

You can claim 30% of the cost to install qualified solar systems as a federal tax credit. 

Is unemployment income taxable?


I started a business.  Can I deduct expenses related to my home office?

Yes, but only if the area for your home office is exclusively and regularly used for your business.  It cannot be used for personal as well as business reasons.  See the other requirements and details here.

Can I deduct the cost of my child's summer camp? 

You may be eligible for the dependent care tax credit if the child is your dependent, under age 13, and sending him or her to camp allows you to work.  Check out IRS Publication 503 for more information.

How do I value my non-cash charitable contributions?

Use TurboTax's Its Deductible tool.