Friday, August 26, 2011
Hundreds of foreign students on a State Department J-1 cultural exchange visa program walked off their factory jobs in protest recently.
The J-1 visa program brings foreign students to the country to work for two months and learn English, and was designed in part to fill seasonal tourism jobs at resorts and seaside towns. The 400 students employed at a Pennsylvania factory that packages Hershey's candies make $8.35 an hour, but their rent and program fees are deducted from their paychecks, leaving them with less money than they spent to get the visas and travel to the country in the first place.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may qualify to exclude all or part of that gain from your income.
1. In general, you are eligible to exclude the gain from income if you have owned and used your home as your main home for two years out of the five years prior to the date of its sale.
2. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases).
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tax Tips for Job Seekers
Many taxpayers spend time during the summer months updating their résumé and attending career fairs. Job seekers may be able to deduct some of the expenses on your tax return.
Here are seven things that you should know about deducting costs related to your job search.
1. To qualify for a deduction, the expenses must be spent on a job search in your current occupation. You may not deduct expenses you incur while looking for a job in a new occupation.
2. You can deduct employment and outplacement agency fees you pay while looking for a job in your present occupation. If your employer pays you back in a later year for employment agency fees, you must include the amount you receive in your gross income, up to the amount of your tax benefit in the earlier year.