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Reporting/claiming union dues

Dr. J 25,043 3,353 February 8, 2012 at 07:20 AM
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My wife is a teacher and as such, pays union dues each year. Also each year, union dues are listed on her W2, I believe in box 13 or 14 (I don't have it here with me) in the same box as healthcare premiums. The school district also sends out a "statement" of sorts affirming how much was paid in union dues. Last year it was about $722.

Anyway, when I enter this info in Turbotax, I enter it in the W2 section, but as an employer can put just about anything in those boxes, turbotax (and the IRS) doesn't "know" what these values represent other than what I type into the description box. I just type whatever the description is on the W2. For example, "DENTAL" or "HEALTH INS", etc. Now it's pretty easy to see what these are if you are a human, but it's not a list entry.

OK so later on in the deductions section of the software it asks if any union dues were paid - do I enter the $722 twice or is it already accounted for when entering the W2?

Theoretically the difference in tax due would be the effective rate times the value (in this case maybe $100).

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#2
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
My wife is a teacher and as such, pays union dues each year. Also each year, union dues are listed on her W2, I believe in box 13 or 14 (I don't have it here with me) in the same box as healthcare premiums. The school district also sends out a "statement" of sorts affirming how much was paid in union dues. Last year it was about $722.

Anyway, when I enter this info in Turbotax, I enter it in the W2 section, but as an employer can put just about anything in those boxes, turbotax (and the IRS) doesn't "know" what these values represent other than what I type into the description box. I just type whatever the description is on the W2. For example, "DENTAL" or "HEALTH INS", etc. Now it's pretty easy to see what these are if you are a human, but it's not a list entry.

OK so later on in the deductions section of the software it asks if any union dues were paid - do I enter the $722 twice or is it already accounted for when entering the W2?

Theoretically the difference in tax due would be the effective rate times the value (in this case maybe $100).
It is in Box 14 on the W2 form. And Box 14 amounts are not automatically distributed to line items, so if you want to claim that you will need to enter the dues amount when the software asks for it.

Also, you should be aware that this is deducted in the miscellaneous expenses part of Schedule A (itemized deductions) and anything claimed in this area is only deductible for the amount that exceeds 2% of your gross income - so unless you have more than just the union dues to deduct, it may not help at all. But it can't hurt to enter the dues and see if you have other miscellaneous expenses that will bump up the total.

Ruth
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#3
Quote from starshiphome View Post :
It is in Box 14 on the W2 form. And Box 14 amounts are not automatically distributed to line items, so if you want to claim that you will need to enter the dues amount when the software asks for it.

Also, you should be aware that this is deducted in the miscellaneous expenses part of Schedule A (itemized deductions) and anything claimed in this area is only deductible for the amount that exceeds 2% of your gross income - so unless you have more than just the union dues to deduct, it may not help at all. But it can't hurt to enter the dues and see if you have other miscellaneous expenses that will bump up the total.

Ruth

Thanks - I just didn't want to "double count" it and have it raise a red flag somewhere. That said, I assume it's already part of the AGI then? What about healthcare premiums?
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#4
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Thanks - I just didn't want to "double count" it and have it raise a red flag somewhere. That said, I assume it's already part of the AGI then? What about healthcare premiums?
Yes, in most cases the dues are included in AGI; they should have told you if it is pretax but I really don't know of any union dues that are pretax.

Healthcare premiums can be pretax (Section 125) or not. It should be noted if it is pretax/Section 125 on either your paystubs or your W2 form. If they are pretax, you cannot use them for a medical deduction; if they are not, you can enter them in the medical expenses area but once again, you need a large amount to make them deductible; only medical expenses over 7.5% of your gross income are deductible on Schedule A.

Ruth
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#5
Quote from starshiphome View Post :
It is in Box 14 on the W2 form. And Box 14 amounts are not automatically distributed to line items, so if you want to claim that you will need to enter the dues amount when the software asks for it.

Also, you should be aware that this is deducted in the miscellaneous expenses part of Schedule A (itemized deductions) and anything claimed in this area is only deductible for the amount that exceeds 2% of your gross income - so unless you have more than just the union dues to deduct, it may not help at all. But it can't hurt to enter the dues and see if you have other miscellaneous expenses that will bump up the total.

Ruth
ITA. When the software asks for the job expenses, union dues, expenses not reimbursed, clothing, etc. should also be input in this section.
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