them to file refund claims for tax years before 2010, such as in cases in which the taxpayer signed an agreement with the IRS to keep the statute of limitations open for audit purposes. To file a refund claim, use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. For information on filing an amended return, go to Tax Topic 308, Amended Returns at http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc308.html or the Instructions to Forms 1040X. Information on where to file your amended returns is available in the instructions to the form.
A gift tax return must be filed by any person who makes transfers of property to a single recipient in a given calendar year if such transfers total more than the annual exclusion amount for the year. The exclusion amount for 2013 is $14,000. However, gifts to a spouse are not subject to gift taxes and do not have to be reported. Thus, same-sex couples may now transfer property between themselves without having to report such transfers on a gift tax return.
Another benefit that same-sex couples will now enjoy is what’s known as the “unlimited marital deduction” for estate tax purposes. Tax law provides that any property that transfers on the death of one spouse directly to the other spouse will not be included in the taxable estate. Estate planning for married couples can be complicated, and I would suggest that anyone in a same-sex marriage have a qualified estate planning professional review their wills to determine whether they have taken advantage of the tax-saving provisions allowed to married couples.
Taxpayers who wish to file a refund claim for gift or estate taxes should file Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. More information is available at www.irs.gov.
Diane Kelly is a retired CPA/tax attorney and the author of the humorous Death and Taxes romantic mystery series and a self-published romantic comedy.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite & Goodreads
The latest version of Kindle Paperwhite, http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Paperwhite-Touch-light/dp/B007OZNZG0, debuted in early September. This release included integration with the recently purchased Goodreads. The Kindle/Goodreads connection allows adding Amazon purchases to the Goodreads list, rating books, sharing reading status, and looking at member profiles.
Kindle Matchbook — Will It Work?
The Matchbook program will allow readers to purchase e-book editions of print books they purchase or have purchased. The pricing will be $2.99 to free. Amazon claims to have 10,000 e-books in the program, from new to titles listed in 1995. So far, only HarperCollins is participating with the bulk of the books coming from Kindle Direct Publishing and Amazon Publishing titles. A disquieting discussion has begun on the fact that Matchbook type sales aren’t covered in author e-book rights in their contracts.