Hello and welcome to the tax Blog of SRJ Consulting!

SRJ Consulting is recognized for achieving excellence in income tax preparation and representation before the IRS.

Based in Chicago, SRJ Consulting provides: income tax preparation, IRS audit defense, IRS Appeals, penalty abatement, unfiled tax returns, and consulting services.

Tax law changes affect every taxpayer. Fortunately, the official website provides a Tax Reform Page, which highlights what you need to know about the tax law changes. To download the IRS Publication 5307, Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families, click here.

Please note that this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. Therefore, do not construe any post here as individual tax advice. As always, before making any decision, it is wise to consult your tax professional.

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Can I claim my friend as my dependent?

If ALL of the statements below are true, you can claim a boyfriend, girlfriend, domestic partner, or friend as your dependent on your 2018 tax return: Relationship: The person lives in your home for the entire year as a member of your household.Income: Their income is less than $4,150 (not including Social Security and welfare) in 2018.Support: You must provide more than half the person’s

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Does a dependent have to live with me?

Not necessarily. Certain relatives may qualify as dependents even if they don’t live with you: Children (including legally adopted), stepchildren, foster children, or any of their descendants Siblings, including half and step siblings Parents and their direct ancestors (excluding foster parents) Stepparents Aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews Fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law Any of these relationships that were established by marriage and

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How can married couples hold property?

There are several ways of owning property after marriage, but keep in mind that they may vary from state to state. Here are the most common: Sole Tenancy. Ownership by one individual. At death the property passes according to your will. Joint Tenancy, with right of survivorship. Equal ownership by two or more people. At death property passes to the joint owner’s. This is an

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What papers will I need if a family member dies?

Here is a list that you can use: Certified copies of the death certificate (at least 10). You can purchase them through the funeral director or directly from the County Health Department. Copies of all insurance policies, which may be located in the deceased’s safe deposit box or among his or her personal belongings. Social Security numbers of the deceased, the spouse, and any dependent

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How to get my Social Security Statement?

At least once each year, you should log on to the “my Social Security” website and download a copy of your Social Security Statement to review your earnings history and verify  those earnings with your tax return figures.  To see your Statement online anytime, create a “my Social Security account” at There is no fee to create a “my Social Security” account, but you must have an email address.

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How can I check my credit report?

Your credit report is divided into four sections: identifying information, credit history, public records, and inquiries. By law, and at your request, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus listed below once every 12 months. To check your report or obtain a copy do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. Instead, visit, call

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Whom should I notify of a new address?

Here is a list you can use to notify when you change your address. Note: the list is not all-inclusive: The IRS-use Form 8822-and state and local taxing authorities The U.S. Post Office Insurance agents (home, auto, and life) Debtors and creditors-mortgage holders, car lien holders, other lenders Credit card companies Publications Clubs and services to which you subscribe The Social Security Administration Any organization

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What records to keep when giving donations to a charity?

You can take a tax deduction for any money or property you donate to a qualified charitable organization (not to individuals and political organizations). Charitable nonprofit organizations have to apply to the IRS to become “qualified.” Donation (contribution) more than $250 in cash or by check or credit card are not tax deductible unless proved by one of the following: A bank record that shows

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Owe Taxes?

You should file your tax return on time. The IRS may charge a late filing penalty if you don’t timely file your return or six-month extension. If you are not able to pay the tax you owe by your original filing due date, the balance is subject to interest and a monthly late payment penalty. If you file an extension for 2017 but do not

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Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Identity (ID) Theft and Protection Service Identity theft is very stressful for victims. Identity theft occurs when someone uses information about you without your permission. They could use your name and address, your date of birth, credit card or bank account numbers, Social Security number (SSN), medical insurance account numbers, driver’s license number, or any other information to access your financial resources. Once identity thieves obtain

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